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To curb Iran’s influence, Washington and Tel Aviv are preventing alleviation of Lebanon’s economic crisis

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | November 16, 2022

Despite the recent signing of a historic maritime border agreement between Tel Aviv and Beirut, tensions continue to remain high, with both Israel and the United States attempting to force Lebanon into compliance with their regional agenda.

Although Israeli and Lebanese leaders signed letters of intent earlier this month ending their long-standing maritime border dispute and averting a major escalation in their ongoing conflict, the two sides still remain technically at war. Beirut refuses to recognise Israel, maintaining the stance that first the Palestine issue must be resolved, as Tel Aviv maintains control over the Shebaa Farms area which Lebanon claims to be its territory.

Last week, drone strikes were reported to have killed up to 25 people after targeting a fuel aid convoy that had just passed the Al-Qaim crossing into Syria from Iraq. There are conflicting reports on who actually carried out the attack, with both Israel and the United States accused of having been behind it. The US military instantly distanced themselves from the incident, by denying they had carried out any strikes, whilst the Israeli government refused to comment and is now widely assumed to be culpable. According to Iraqi authorities, the fuel trucks, numbering 22 according to Iranian state-media, were approved for heading out of the country and seemed to be part of Iran’s new agreement with Lebanon to provide free fuel.

Despite opposition from top US officials, in August Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati accepted an offer from Tehran to supply Lebanon with fuel free of charge. Although the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, had warned Beirut not to take the offer from Iran, it was decided that going ahead with receiving the Iranian gift was in the Lebanese national interest. It is likely that the temporary US silence following this was in large part to do with the then-ongoing maritime border dispute between Tel Aviv and Beirut. The US has repeatedly attempted to counter Iranian influence in Lebanon, even going as far as claiming Beirut is not in need of the Iranian fuel, whereas the country is clearly in a state of economic collapse and suffers a shortage.

After Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s most popular political parties, organized Iranian fuel shipments in 2021, Washington quickly took to countering any future attempts for Tehran to come to the aid of the Lebanese economy. A deal was then organized in September of 2021, under US supervision, for Egypt to supply natural gas through Jordan and Syria into Lebanon, in order to ease the energy crisis. However, the US government had pledged to amend its Caesar Act sanctions that it currently implements against Damascus to allow for the deal to go ahead, but has so far failed to do so. Although the Lebanese State is now quickly taking to exploring and, it hopes, extracting natural gas from the offshore Qana prospect, which it secured its rights to under its maritime border agreement with Israel, this process could take years to bear fruit.

In the short term, Beirut needs a solution to its energy crisis and Iran is offering free fuel to supplement part of its needs. Washington and its close ally Tel Aviv see this as a plot between Hezbollah and Tehran to take control over the Lebanese State. Although Lebanon is technically an independent state, the reality is that France, the US and the Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia, hold huge shares of influence in the political and economic affairs of the country, and none of them feel comfortable with the idea of Tehran having a significant influence.

The regional strategy of the United States government, which Israel is also in lockstep with, is to combat the influence of the Iranian government. Part of this strategy is to pressure more Arab States to normalize ties with Tel Aviv and to give up on the consensus amongst Arab League States to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative. The initiative maintained that recognition of Israel by Arab states, along with the establishment of military, economic and political ties, could not come without the realisation of a Two-State solution under which the creation of a viable Palestinian State would be established. So far the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and Jordan have all normalized ties with Tel Aviv, abandoning the Palestinian cause for Statehood. The US Biden administration is clearly seeking to add Saudi Arabia to the list, but eventually wants to go further than that.

At the recent COP27 climate meeting, held in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, Lebanese, Iraqi and Israeli representatives were all photographed standing near each other and had agreed to a distant cooperation on combating climate change. In Israeli and US media, this has been framed as somewhat of a breakthrough, despite being officially undermined by both Baghdad and Beirut. What is certain, however, is that the US and Israel are continuing to send a message to Lebanon, that they will not let it simply go about its business and thrive without adhering to their own agenda. Hence the US has not allowed for the Egypt-Jordan-Syria deal for transfer of fuel into Lebanon.

The most insidious part of the stance maintained by the US government is that Lebanon cannot simply leave the Iranian sphere of influence altogether and Washington is well aware of this. As long as Lebanese Hezbollah remains a popular force in the country, there will always be a link between Tehran and Beirut. This means that the US policy is designed to punish the Lebanese people for not getting rid of Hezbollah, something that neither the US nor Israel will dare try to do themselves. If Israel and the US are both in lockstep about preventing Iranian fuel from reaching Lebanon, then this means that they are simply depriving Lebanon of its ability to get back on its feet, all in the name of combating Iran and Hezbollah. In their eyes, if the Lebanese people perceive the Iranian fuel imports to be their saving grace, this runs counter to US hegemony and, together with the latest perceived victory for Hezbollah in forcing the Israelis to negotiate a maritime border settlement, Tehran would come off with greater support in Lebanon.

The US and Israel are proving incapable of allowing the Lebanese people to achieve a greater standard of life, due to the fact that Hezbollah and Iran are still there. Meanwhile, getting rid of Hezbollah would not only be militarily impossible, but there is also no evidence that such a move would actually bring stability – as evidenced with the case of Sudan, which normalized ties with Israel and earned itself a place in the good books of the US government, but the West is yet to aid the country, which endures a continuous state of crisis.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The UN calls on Israel to destroy its nuclear weapons

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 16.11.2022 

The United Nations General Assembly has finally voted on a resolution calling on Israel to destroy its entire nuclear arsenal and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit its nuclear facilities. 152 countries voted “yes”, five – Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, and the United States – against, and another 24 countries, including members of the European Union, abstained from voting.

Few people can say where the “great states” of Micronesia or Palau are located. It is well known that the official head of Canada is the King of Great Britain, and it is not surprising that these three countries have, as befits good servants, unanimously followed the American order. Most states, aware of the enormous danger posed by Israel with its secret nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, responsibly voted in favor of this resolution.

The document states that Israel is the only state in the West Asian region and one of the few members of the UN (193 in total) that has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The strong support for the resolution at the UN General Assembly in New York reflects widespread international frustration with the Israeli regime’s control of the nuclear threat in West Asia. This is especially true given how many countries Israel has invaded or attacked and how many genocides it has committed. The presence of Israel’s nuclear weapons has made the occupation regime over the Arab people of Palestine, according to the Saudi newspaper Arab News, “an extraordinary source of instability in the region.”

The resolution reiterated “the importance of Israel acceding to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and placing all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency to achieve the goal of universal adherence to the treaty in the Middle East (West Asia).” The document called on Israel “to accede to the Treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce, test, or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, and to place all of its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an important confidence-building measure among all states in the region and as a step toward strengthening peace and security.”

Despite fierce and extensive Western propaganda and hysteria focused on Iran’s nuclear program, which has been repeatedly deemed peaceful by the IAEA, the resolution emphasizes that Israel poses a real threat to the region. The proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in West Asia was also approved by the First Committee with 170 votes, including Iran. Perhaps not surprisingly, Israel was the only state to again oppose the text, as has happened repeatedly in the United Nations. The United States, Cameroon, Comoros, and Tanzania were the only four countries to abstain.

Iran’s representative to the UN General Assembly First Committee, Heidar Ali Baluji, criticized Israel for acquiring weapons of mass destruction and spending huge sums on conventional military needs. “In addition to weapons of mass destruction, the Israeli regime continues to threaten peace and security in the region and beyond with its large arsenal of sophisticated conventional offensive weapons. The regime is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid since World War II,” Baluji said. Israel spent $24.3 billion on the military last year, equivalent to 5.2% of its GDP, placing it among the top five countries in West Asia for military spending. How much the Israelis spend on the military nuclear program and the constant improvement of these deadly weapons is anyone’s guess.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant, made headlines when he revealed Israel’s nuclear secrets to the world. The regime sent him to prison and only in 2004, after serving an 18-year sentence, most of which he spent in solitary confinement, was he released. However, strict conditions were placed on his release, including a ban on leaving Israel, a ban on entering the Palestinian territories, and a ban on communicating with foreign journalists. Since his release, Vanunu has served at least two prison terms after being convicted of alleged parole violations.

Not only does Israel possess nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, the regime also disposes of its nuclear and radioactive waste in the Palestinian-occupied West Bank. According to numerous reports that have appeared in Palestinian and Arab newspapers in recent years, there is growing concern about the high rates of various cancers and birth defects among people in the southern West Bank. Israel has turned Palestinian towns and villages into a dumping ground for its nuclear and radioactive waste. Investigations in the Palestinian town of al-Khalil have revealed that its residents are suffering from radioactive contamination. According to reports, the radiation originates from Israeli nuclear facilities and nuclear waste storage sites in the area. It could also be the result of the use of depleted uranium weapons against the Palestinians.

Based on numerous studies, it is widely believed that there is a strong link between radiation and nuclear waste from Israel’s Dimona reactor (where a nuclear weapons facility was completed in 1963) and an increase in cancer cases in the southern West Bank. In the same areas in the south of the occupied West Bank, not a single case of cancer was reported before the Israeli factory began producing nuclear weapons. Many Palestinians currently suffer from cancer and birth defects, as well as recurrent miscarriages among women.

According to an Arabic Post investigation, Israeli authorities have not heeded official warnings from Palestinian officials who expressed serious concern about the danger of high levels of nuclear radiation in the atmosphere and groundwater in areas in the south of the West Bank, particularly in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), where record levels of cancer and fetal malformations are recorded every year.

In December 2021, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of dumping hazardous nuclear waste, such as burnt oil, chemical and electronic waste, and others in the Palestinian territories. All this, he said, poses a long-term threat to the Palestinian environment (soil, water, air, and wildlife), in addition to the outbreak of cancer and birth defects. “There are 6,251 cancer patients in the country, which is a high percentage compared to neighboring countries,” Shtayyeh said. He also attributed this to the fact that the Israelis use the occupied territories as a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani speaking before the UN, said that Israel’s advanced nuclear program poses a serious threat to international security and stability. Kanaani called on the IAEA to fulfill its mandate and responsibility in this regard.

It is worth noting that, according to various experts, Israel has 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal due to its active nuclear policy and the patronage of the West, especially the United States. It has repeatedly vehemently refused to have its military nuclear facilities inspected, not to mention refusing to sign the NPT. At the same time, Iran is a party to the NPT and has consistently maintained that its nuclear program is exclusively civilian in nature and subject to the strictest oversight by the UN and the IAEA. It is not surprising that Iran has repeatedly been subjected to the most thorough inspections by international bodies, and in Israel, even experts do not know where and what is located, not to mention the fact that not a single IAEA inspection has taken place there.

The policy of double standards is quite clear. When it comes to stopping nuclear proliferation, Israel is absolved of its responsibility. As a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran operates a peaceful program for energy and medical purposes, but is subject to the most stringent inspection program in IAEA history. At the same time, the West, especially the United States, has imposed the most painful sanctions regime on the Islamic Republic.

At the same time, Israel, which has hundreds of nuclear warheads, is not inspected by either the UN or the IAEA, and these organizations do not even want to hear about any control of Israel’s military nuclear program. On the contrary, Israel is supplied with endless amounts of military weapons (paid for by American taxpayers) and huge sums of money from the West, and also enjoys great diplomatic and political support on the world stage. An umbrella of uncontrollability, so to speak, is erected over Tel Aviv. The West is making it clear to Israel: do what you want, and we will cover you. But it is not the same for the peoples of this region, over whom hangs constantly the nuclear sword of Damocles, which can break loose at any moment with the use of nuclear weapons and the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Viktor Mikhin is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Not in the CIA’s Still-Secret JFK Files

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | November 16, 2022

The deadline for the release of the CIA’s long-secret JFK-assassination records is rapidly approaching. The deadline is December 15. As I have previously predicted though, the CIA will demand that President Biden continue its cover-up of its November 22, 1963, regime-change operation, and President Biden will comply with that demand. There is no reasonable possibility that those 60-year-old records will be revealed to the public — ever. The notion that “national security” would be grievously threatened is, of course, patently ludicrous. The United States will not fall into the ocean or even be taken over by the communists if the records are released.

To be sure, a few records will be released once the newest deadline approaches. That’s what happens each time the new extended deadline is reached. That’s to comfort people by indicating that all is okay and that the records that they are still hiding contain no incriminating information. The bulk of the records — thousands of them — will continue to be kept secret, with nary a peep of protest from either the mainstream press or Congress, which enacted the JFK Records Act back in 1992. That’s the law that forced the CIA and other federal entities to disgorge their secret assassination-related records.

We can speculate all day long about what they are still hiding. No, not a confession. There is no possibility that any CIA official would put anything about a state-sponsored assassination of a high government official in writing. But it’s a virtual certainty that the records contain small pieces of the puzzle that will further fill in the mosaic of this particular regime-change operation.

There is something else to consider though: What those still-secret records don’t contain. That’s another reason why they have to continue keeping that last batch of records secret. Once they are released, we will be able to see what they don’t contain. What they don’t contain can be as incriminating as what they do contain.

Let’s take two big examples: George Joannides and the Zapruder film.

Jefferson Morley has an excellent article on Joannides in his Substack article yesterday entitled “Tunheim: Release Undercover Officer’s JFK File.” I recommend stopping at this point and reading Morley’s article first. Pay particular attention to what U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, who chaired the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s, says about the CIA, especially with reference to George Joannides.

Morley, a former investigative reporter for the Washington Post, sued the CIA for release of its files on Joannides, a high CIA official. The CIA fought the lawsuit tooth and nail. The suit went on for about ten years. In the end, the CIA prevailed. As they have done ever since the federal government was converted to a national-security state, the federal courts deferred to the majesty of the CIA and its demand to keep its Joannides files secret. (Morley is also the author of FFF’s book CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files.)

As I detail in my newest book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, an essential aspect of the plot to assassinate Kennedy was to blame the assassination on a communist. Remember: 1963 was the height of the Cold War. Most everyone hated and feared communists. The Pentagon and the CIA had inculcated the notion in most everyone’s minds that the Reds were coming to get us.

Thus, by framing a communist, the Pentagon and the CIA could be virtually certain that hardly anyone would question or challenge the official narrative — that a no-good, rotten communist had killed their president. If they did, the national-security establishment could (and did) immediately claim that the critic was a communist sympathizer.

As I detail in my book, it’s a virtual certainty that Oswald was working as an intelligence agent when he was framed for the crime. After all, he had been a U.S. Marine. How many Marine communists have you ever met? He learned fluent Russian, something that is impossible to do on one’s own. They have language experts in the military for that purpose. The Navy stationed  him at Atsugi Air Base in Japan, where the top-secret U-2 spy plane was based. His friends in the military were calling him “Osvaldovitch” because he was studying Marxism while serving in the Marines. Would the Marines really let an avowed Marxist remain in the military, which would enable him to report troop movements and other secret things to the Russians? (Yes, those Russians!)

That’s what Oswald’s all too public pro-communist activities in New Orleans were all about — to make it look like he was a genuine communist. That’s why he was also sent to Mexico City to visit the Cuban and Soviet embassies — to connect this “communist” to the supposed International communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Moscow.

Immediately after the assassination, a group in New Orleans called the DRE issued a press release advertising Oswald’s communist bona fides. What the DRE and the CIA kept secret was that the DRE was effectively a front organization for the CIA. The CIA had been secretly funding the organization and controlling its activities through none other than CIA official George Joannides. Thus, for all practical purposes, it was the CIA that sent out that press release immediately after the assassination advertising Oswald’s communist bona fides.

Can you see why the CIA would fight Morley’s lawsuit tooth and nail? Can you see why they would want to keep Joannides’s CIA file secret forever?

Do those still-secret CIA files include the CIA’s files on Joannides? If I had to bet, I’d say: Not a chance! I’d say that given the ferocity by which they fought Morley’s lawsuit, there is no possibility that they included those files in the records they turned over to the National Archives that are still being kept secret. 

But one big advantage of keeping those records secret is that, of course, we can’t be certain of that. The CIA knows that once the remaining records are released, assassination researchers will say, “Where are the Joannides files?”

The same holds true for the CIA’s records relating to the Zapruder film. As I detail in An Encounter with Evil, for decades the official narrative was that the Zapruder film, which captured the assassination, went to LIFE magazine’s printing plant in Chicago. 

In fact, the film was secretly diverted to the CIA’s photographic center in Washington, D.C., and then taken to a super-secret CIA operation named “Hawkeyeworks” at Kodak’s headquarters in Rochester, New York, where a super-quality altered copy of the film was produced on a state-of-the-art optical printer. That super-secret altered copy became the new Zapruder film “original.” The complete operation did not come into public view until the late 2000s.

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the Zapruder film is, without any doubt whatsoever, a JFK-assassination-related record. Given such, why weren’t the CIA’s records relating to its handling of the Zapruder film in Washington, D.C., and Rochester on the weekend of the assassination turned over to the ARRB in the 1990s? After all, if the Zapruder-film operation was on the up-and-up, there would have been log-in records and records relating to what they were doing with the film.

Instead, they have continued to keep the entire Zapruder-film operation secret. Why? 

Is it possible that the Zapruder film records are included in those still-secret records? Anything is possible, but it’s a virtual certainty that they do not. Something that incriminating would be kept secret forever. But as long as the CIA succeeds in keeping that final stash of records secret, it is impossible to ask, “What about your Zapruder records? What happened to them? Why aren’t they included in that final stash of secret records?”

Unfortunately, all too many Americans don’t want to ask these types of questions. That’s because deep down they know what happened but they don’t want to “know know” for certain. They would rather just keep wishing that it had never happened and prefer that we just “move on.” But the Kennedy assassination was such an enormous rupture in American society — one that moved our nation to the dark side of militarism, wars of aggression, coups, more assassinations, empire, alliances with dictatorial regimes, foreign interventionism, torture, indefinite detention, and, of course, a perpetual hostility toward Russia and China — that it can’t be swept under the carpet. Even though it’s been almost 60 years since that particular U.S. regime-change operation, it is essential that we confront it and deal with it. Our national well-being depends on it.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , | 8 Comments

Swissmedic and Vaccinating Doctors Criminally Sued for Authorizing and Administering Covid-19 mRNA Jabs

Do not underestimate the Swiss diligence

By Andreas Oehler | Live To Fight Another Day | November 14, 2022

The detail-oriented Swiss are taking their medical establishment to task in a big way for authorizing and administering the Covid-19 mRNA jabs, in a formal criminal complaint.

That is what the criminal complaint against Swissmedic is about” (SRF, 2022.11.14):

That’s what it’s all about: On July 14, 2022, a lawyer submitted a 300-page criminal complaint to the responsible cantonal public prosecutor’s office on behalf of six people allegedly injured by mRNA vaccinations. It is directed against three representatives of the Swiss licensing and supervisory authority for medicinal products and medical devices (Swissmedic) and five vaccinating doctors from the Inselspital in Bern. A criminal investigation is to be opened against them. The lawyer has now gone public with a media conference.

These are the plaintiffs: The lawyer for those affected, Philipp Kruse, is a declared opponent of vaccination and Covid measures. He represented people who refused to wear masks or parents who didn’t want their children to take part in pool tests. Doctors who were noticed as corona skeptics also appeared at the media conference.

This is what the indictment says: The defendants are accused of violating basic drug law due diligence by allowing and administering the Covid 19 vaccination. There are a number of other charges listed, including intentional or possibly negligent bodily harm, endangering life, killing and abortion.

These are the alleged damages: According to lawyer Kruse, the damages range from circular hair loss, derailment of the menstrual cycle to polyarthritis, muscle weakness and chronic exhaustion to the death of a 20-year-old person. Some of the six victims listed are still unable to work. The connection to the Covid 19 vaccination was confirmed by experts in five cases. In the case of the deceased, the causal connection must be proven on the basis of pathological examinations. However, these investigations are not yet complete.

What Swissmedic says: Nothing. Swissmedic does not want to comment on the ongoing court proceedings. The Federal Office of Public Health and the Federal Vaccination Commission also do not want to comment.

What may fly under the radar in other countries, in terms of the lack of accountability and responsibility for Covid-19 jabbing injuries, is unlikely to pass muster in Switzerland. The Swiss pride themselves on being OBJECTIVE, diligent, thorough and just. Because of these very high public expectations, it is impossible to sweep under the carpet, gaslight, or outright ignore the laws on the books over there, let’s hope:

It is about these articles of the Medicines Act

Art. 3 Duty of care 1 Anyone who handles medicinal products must take all the necessary measures based on the current state of science and technology to ensure that the health of humans and animals is not endangered.

Chapter 8: Penal Provisions Art. 86233 Crimes and misdemeanors 1 Anyone who willfully: a. manufactures, places on the market, uses, prescribes medicinal products without the necessary authorization or authorization, contrary to the terms and conditions associated with an authorization or authorization or contrary to the due diligence obligations stipulated in Articles 3, 7, 21, 22, 26, 29 and 42, imports, exports or trades abroad; (…).

Link to the Medicines Act .

Also of note here is that Swissmedic is the key conduit of the global vaccination programmes in partnership with Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO, and also FDA.

Good luck in court!

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Missile incident was Ukrainian ‘provocation’ – Polish politician

Lublin, Poland ©  Getty Images / Aleksander Glowacki / EyeEm
RT | November 16, 2022

Poland should rethink its position towards the conflict in Ukraine after a “provocation” on the part of Kiev that cost two villagers their lives, a former city councilman in Lublin said on Wednesday. Jaroslaw Pakula, whose term ended four days before the incident, said the missile that struck Przewodow was obviously Ukrainian and that the government in Warsaw needed to send a message to Kiev instead of telling “fairy tales” to its citizens.

“Of course, this is a Ukrainian rocket. Of course, this is a provocation on the part of the Ukrainian authorities,” Pakula posted on his Facebook page. “The rocket could not be fired 100km in the opposite direction by mistake.”

The purpose of the provocation was to scare the EU and get civil society support for sending even more weapons to Ukraine, Pakula added. Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev.

“I urge you to rethink Poland’s position [regarding] this war in the event that the red line is crossed again!” Pakula concluded.

Pakula’s Facebook page still has a Ukrainian flag over his portrait photo, and lists him as chairman of the city council of Lublin, the seat of the region where Przewodow is located. The official city website, however, notes that he was no longer in office as of November 11.

Zelensky was quick to accuse Russia of attacking Poland and the entire NATO after a missile exploded in Przewodow on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people. The government in Kiev said the incident showed the need for NATO to “close the sky” over Ukraine, as they have demanded since February.

While Zelensky continues to insist the missile was Russian, Warsaw and Moscow have both identified it as a S-300 air defense missile, with Poland calling it “Russian-made” and Russia pointing out it was in Ukrainian service. The US and NATO have also described the missile as an air defense rocket that strayed, seeking to minimize the incident while also arguing that Russia was the ultimate culprit for bombing Ukraine in the first place.

The Russian military has pointed out that Tuesday’s missile strikes on Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure targets came nowhere close to the Polish border.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

Why is Nature Praising the Use of Propaganda During the Pandemic and Calling for More?


Throughout the Covid era, those expressing views at odds with the dominant narrative were often subjected to unprecedented levels of censorship and psychological manipulation. Academic journals played a significant role in this silencing of alternative voices by, for example, ignoring the work of established scholars, perpetuating biasrejecting research papers that reached conclusions inconsistent with mainstream views, and demonstrating a financial motivation to only publish studies favourable to the pharmaceutical industry. As a consequence of this partiality, the perceived scientific integrity of academic periodicals has suffered considerable damage. Alas, a recent article in the once highly respected Nature journal will have done nothing to improve the credibility of the academic press.

The article, titled “Mastering the art of persuasion during a pandemic“, is a supplementary ‘outlook’ piece written by Elizabeth Svoboda, a Californian science journalist. Drawing on the perspectives of a cluster of social science experts, Svoboda lauds the importance of health policymakers deploying “effective communication strategies” so as to ensure that the populace do the right things when faced with the next global pandemic. She asserts that a range of behavioural science strategies, or “nudges”, will be of central importance in enhancing compliance with public health restrictions when the next novel respiratory virus emerges over the horizon. The article, however, is riddled with highly questionable assumptions and ideological biases.

The Covid science is not settled

Arguably the most blatant distortion, illustrated many times by both the author and the experts cited, is that the Covid science is settled and their version is the definitive truth. The article opens with the ludicrous suggestion that the official advice in early 2020 – that masking healthy people would achieve no benefit – was a “fateful moment”, a missed opportunity “to stop the virus bringing the world to a halt”. In support of this assertion, Rob Willer, a sociologist at Stanford University, describes this initial guidance as “a big credibility mistake”, and goes on to suggest that it was an example of public health experts trying to protect the supply of masks to healthcare. According to Willer, this noble white lie led to many people feeling “resentful” at having been misinformed and it fuelled their reluctance to adhere to subsequent mask requirements. Totally ignored is that most of the more robust, real-world evidence concludes that masking healthy people achieves no meaningful reduction in viral transmission, and the U-turn in mid-2020 towards mask mandates was not the result of new research findings but was – more likely – politically motivated.

Similarly, the raft of unprecedented Covid restrictions (lockdowns, shutting businesses, school closures) inflicted on Western citizens by the public health establishment are all assumed to achieve important benefits so that the only challenge for the pandemic experts is how to persuade the pesky people to comply with them. Consequently, the article cites the ideas of a number of social scientists regarding how to effectively lever compliance with future public health diktats. Varun Gauri, a senior economist, highlights the importance of making it easier for people to ‘do the right things’. Matthew Goldberg, a research psychiatrist, wants the psychological persuasion techniques of behavioural science to be used pre-emptively “so that when the time arises, people can act quickly”, a view echoed by infection-control researcher Armand Balboni. Katy Milkman, a behavioural scientist, promotes her strategies to enhance the take-up of Covid vaccines, including a “regret lottery” where people are informed that their names have been entered into a draw to win a lot of money, but that the “winner” will lose the prize if not vaccinated.

Despite the wealth of accumulated evidence that lockdowns are ineffectual in reducing Covid-related hospitalisations and cause huge collateral damage, alongside the emerging realisation that Covid vaccines may achieve no overall net benefits and can do considerable harm, nowhere in the article is there even a hint of recognition that the restrict-and-jab doctrine of mainstream public health failed to achieve many of its stated aims.

One important negative consequence of the flawed ‘science is settled’ assumption, as displayed by the author and her expert contributors, is that it justifies the censoring and vilification of anyone challenging the dominant narrative. For example, Varun Gauri says, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, disinformation played a major part in sowing division and undermining the authority of health officials” and that this “paved the way for fast viral spread and low vaccination rates”. His solution is for authorities to “take a bigger, legislative approach to the problem” – a euphemism for censorship. Similarly, Katy Milkman warns against allowing “conspiracy theories to slither in”.

The controversy surrounding the acceptability of state-imposed ‘nudging’

It seems that all those involved in the Nature article are blissfully unaware of the controversy surrounding the state’s use of covert psychological strategies (or ‘nudges’) to promote compliance with Government restrictions. Blinded by their fixed belief that the Covid science is settled, and focused only on the goal of persuading the populace to ‘do the right things’, the social scientists cited in the commentary blithely propose a range of behavioural science interventions without any questioning around the appropriateness and ethical acceptability of these clandestine methods.

Nudges are psychological strategies of persuasion that largely impact upon their targets below the level of conscious awareness – that is, people do not know they are being influenced. Such techniques have been heavily deployed throughout the Covid era, and have evoked a range of ethical concerns relating to the acceptability of the state strategically (and non-consensually) increasing the emotional discomfort of its citizens as a means of promoting compliance with unprecedented and largely non-evidenced public health restrictions. Also, as the strategies operate subconsciously, they could often be categorised as manipulative.

The expert contributors referenced in the Nature article repeatedly commend greater deployment of these ethically dubious techniques in future pandemics. For instance, Balboni urges political leaders to ensure human behaviour specialists play a much bigger part in health policy, bemoaning that, during the Covid era, “social scientists, anthropologists and psychologists were not used nearly enough”. Later in the article, the purported benefits of the “pre-emptive deployment of behavioural science” is highlighted.

More specifically, the value of equating virtue with compliance with the restrictions is lauded. This particular strategy – an ‘ego’ nudge in behavioural science parlance – was used repeatedly throughout the Covid event, effectively evoking shame in anyone who deviated from the demands of public health diktats and the vaccination doctrine. Many will recall the repeated ‘I wear a face covering to protect my mates’ adverts, the ‘don’t kill your gran’ quips by ministers, and the close-up images of acutely unwell hospital patients with the voiceover, “Can you look them in the eyes and tell them you’re doing all you can to stop the spread of coronavirus?” Of the same ilk was the NHS document (later redacted) advising front-line staff to tell young people that, “Normality can only return, for you and others, with your vaccination” (my emphasis).

The Nature article endorses the same tactic of differentiating the goodies from the baddies. It is stated that, “Encouraging feelings of empathy in people could make them more likely to choose to protect others during a pandemic”. There are also references to the desirability of “invoking of empathy” and emphasising “the vaccines’ collective benefits, such as protecting others”. In the words of Balboni, it is really important to get people to recognise that “through their behaviour, they can actually protect other people”. Clearly, the considerable evidence demonstrating that Covid vaccinations do not prevent viral transmission has yet to reach these nudge enthusiasts.

In a Western supposedly liberal democracy, is it ethical for the state to strategically inflict shame on its citizens? Does the informed consent of the people, as to whether to accept a medical or psychological intervention, no longer matter? Is it acceptable to covertly influence the general population to follow contentious and largely non-evidenced Covid restrictions? Shamefully – pun intended – these key ethical considerations are totally disregarded in this Nature journal commentary.

The role of political ideology and conflict of interests

What might account for the publication of such a partisan article in an academic journal?

Many critics of Covid orthodoxy have raised the spectre of an underlying globalist agenda, removed from any democratic process, shaping Western responses to pandemic management. With the central involvement of the World Economic Forum (WEF), it has been argued that the crisis following the emergence of a novel respiratory virus has been opportunistically exploited in pursuit of wider, pre-existing goals pertaining to tackling climate change and the imposition of Covid Passes and Digital ID, Social Credit Systems, Central Bank Digital Currency and Universal Basic Income (as detailed in Agenda 2030). The authoritarian control over the world’s population (essential to realise such an agenda) is typically legitimised under the banners of ‘the greater good’ and ‘social responsibility’, two themes that run through the Nature article. Is it possible that the author and contributors adhere to this globalist ideology?

Exploration of the ongoing interests of those involved in the compilation of the article is revealing:

  • Elizabeth Svoboda is a regular contributor to Greater Good online magazine.
  • Varun Gauri is a member of the WEF and an economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank.
  • Rob Fuller is “Director of Polarisation and Social Change Lab” at Stanford University; he recently co-wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times titled, “How to convince Republicans to get vaccinated”.
  • Matthew Goldberg is a research scientist at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
  • Katherine Milkman is Deputy Director at the “Behaviour Change for Good Initiative“, an enterprise that claims it uses behavioural science to “transform people’s lives for the better”.

Would it be too speculative to suggest that those involved in the Nature article harbour a penchant for a new world order, and that these globalist proclivities may have compromised their objectivity?

Finally, my eye was drawn to a footnote to the article that read: “This article is part of Nature Outlook: Pandemic preparedness, an editorially independent supplement produced with the financial support of third parties.” And who funds this supplement? Astra Zeneca and Moderna.

I rest my case.

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

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

The “Fact Check” Scam

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | November 16, 2022

Last Monday I received an email from NewsGuard, “an independent organization that rates and reviews news outlets based on nine apolitical journalistic criteria.”

The analyst asked me to comment on two statements in my columns in which I am accused of “advancing false and unsupported claims.”

One false and and unsuopported claim is “a March 2022 article titled ‘Ukraine Hosted Illegal US Biowarfare Laboratories,’ repeated Russian and Chinese propaganda about the presence of U.S.-run bioweapons labs in Ukraine, which has been repeatedly debunked by fact-checking organizations and refuted by U.S. government officials.”

The alleged “fact checker’s” claim that I made a false and unsupported claim is incorrect for two reasons. One is the fact that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency produced official US government documents that state that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Defense, funded anthrax laboratory activities in a Ukrainian biolab in 2018. The US government’s records also show over $11 million in funding for the Ukraine biolabs program in 2019.

See also:

Apparently, it never occurred to the dumbshit “fact checker” that relying on assurances from a proven liar such as the US government is no way to check a fact. How, “fact checker,” does the government refute its own admission? Notice also that the “fact checker” thinks that a statement by the Russian government is “unsupported,” but a statement by the US government is considered “supported.” How does this obvious bias serve to verify any fact?

The second reason the “fact checker” is incorrect indicates that the “fact checker” is incapable of understanding that to report what the Russian government claims to have discovered in Ukraine is not misinformation or propaganda. It is correct information reporting Russian claims. What we see here is a “fact checker” who thinks or has been trained to see any report, whether or not endorsed by the reporter, of an item in the “impermissible to be mentioned” category as a “false and unsupported claim.” In other words, all is false except official narratives.

My other “false and unsupported claim” is that 100,000 vote spikes are indications of fraud, a conclusion endorsed by numerous experts. The “fact checker” alleges that vote spikes “are commonplace and due to the release of large batches of results all at once from solidly Democratic or Republican districts, or from mailed ballots.” What the “fact checker” does not account for is the extreme unlikeliness of a vote dump of 100,000 or more ballots that is all for one candidate, or how votes were mailed in such a way that all Democrat votes arrived in the same delivery. Perhaps it is statistically possible for 100,000 votes to arrive in an unbroken stream all for the same person, but the probability of such an event is far too low to account for the large number of times it throws a close election to a Democrat. Are there that many voting precincts in which not a single Republican voter lives? Republican vote spikes are rare and seem to happen when the algorithm of the voting machines has created an unbelievable margin of Democrat victory and has to be narrowed.

In my opinion, “fact checkers” are unintelligent people devoid of integrity who are hired to support official narratives by stamping out truth and dissenting opinion. Who checks the “fact checkers?” There is no reason to trust a “fact checker.” Anyone can set up a “fact check” site to protect any material or ideological interest from examination. Note that “fact checkers” appeared only after the official narratives became so blatantly false that they had to be protected from examination. Never before did we have an industry of censors employed to protect official narratives. “Fact checkers” are the true enemies of truth.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 4 Comments

The press are completely crazy and they are going to get us all killed

The heedless jingoistic war rhetoric of the German media

eugyppius: a plague chronicle | November 16, 2022

Yesterday, at around 3.40 in the afternoon, a rocket exploded in the Polish village of Przewodów. Two people died. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky immediately blamed Russia, later going so far as to characterise the alleged attack as a message from Putin to the G20 summit. Then the Associated Press reported that they had heard from “a senior U.S. intelligence official” claiming that “Russian missiles” were responsible for the attack, and thereafter the worst German journalistic actors embarked upon an evening of dark speculation about the proper NATO response to a Russian attack on Poland. Higher brow outlets, like ZDF, merely ran inflammatory headlines about Russian rockets, with the crucial information – that the rockets were Russian-made, while their immediate origins were unclear – buried in the body of the piece. Bild, on the other hand, went all-in, with this incredible rant from chief editor Johannes Boie:

The Russian army has bombed Poland, the AP news agency reports, citing a US intelligence official.

Two people are dead, murdered!

Accidental or not – this is an armed attack on NATO territory!

The two most likely possibilities are, first, that Putin’s soldiers hit Poland by mistake. They are often poorly trained and drunk. In this case, the tyrant must apologise formally, beg for forgiveness on bended knee, so to speak, while armed NATO fighter jets fly around his country.

He is not used to that. When his troops shot down a passenger plane in 2014, killing 298 people, there were no consequences.

Or alternatively, Putin attacked NATO on purpose. In this case, the alliance must hit back hard, because NATO cannot simply let its territory be bombed or let its citizens die in a hail of Russian bombs. Putin will only respond to force.

Should the unlikely third possibility be true, that the explosion was the result of Ukrainian air defence, then – indeed – the Russians are also to blame. For they are playing with fire on the NATO border.

The mad tyrant is bringing us ever closer to World War 3.

This morning, Boie’s paper carried a front-page headline screaming “Putin fires rockets at Poland.”

Now that both Poland and the Americans have clarified that the explosion was likely caused by a stray Ukrainian air defence missile, the story has disappeared entirely from the top of I guess they’re not so interested in extracting apologies from a kneeling Zelensky. Meanwhile, that other major Axel Springer organ, Welt, are running damage-control pieces, like this one from obnoxious mediocrity Clemens Wergin, claiming that “Without Russia’s war crimes, it never would’ve come to the accident in Poland.

There are a few observations to make about this little storm in a teacup. The first is that, despite appearances, not all of the American government and not all of NATO have completely lost their minds. Scholz, Macron and others called for caution and avoided open statements of blame, and today we’ve seen a clearly coordinated campaign to shift direct responsibility away from Russia. The second is that there are, however, plenty of powerful people, in NATO and elsewhere, who are indeed totally, stratospherically crazy. These include very probably that anonymous senior intelligence official who spoke to the Associated Press, and also a great part of the media, who have made a habit out of printing reheated Ukrainian press releases as news, and who have never quite recovered their senses since they lost them in the great Corona panic.

It must be fun to rage about the tyrannical evils of Russia and the democratic virtues of the NATO countries, most of which have spent the last three years denying their allegedly free citizens all manner of basic rights and freedoms. It’s also incredibly, incredibly dangerous. A direct NATO attack on Russia would be a catastrophe for Europe. Maybe somebody should try to rein in the press and wean them from their crisis addiction before they happen upon another pretence to invoke Article 5. There’s no guarantee the next one will be clarified so quickly.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Missile strike on Poland

By Gilbert Doctorow | November 16, 2022

Yesterday’s incident of missile strikes on the Polish side of the border with Ukraine which killed two has been denounced by the Russians as a ‘provocation.’ The logic of such an incident would be for Poland and its NATO allies to denounce Russia as the culprit, as the violator of the sanctity of NATO territory, and to threaten Russia with the invocation of Article Five of the Alliance, a declaration of war in all but name. Indeed, that is precisely what we heard from President Zelensky in his first statements about the incident, and he was seconded by leaders of the war-mongering jackal states in the Baltics.

In fact, so far the Polish reaction appears to be restrained. Their president, Duda, has called upon his compatriots to remain calm while an investigation is underway. Polish authorities would say only that fragments of the missiles recovered at the site show that they were “Russian made,” which by itself means very little since both sides to the conflict use “Russian made” military hardware.  Meanwhile, in far off Bali, Joe Biden responded to journalists’ queries, saying that examination of the trajectory of the missiles which struck farmland on the Polish side of the border with Ukraine made it ‘unlikely’ that they were launched from Russia. Of course, journalists did not ask the necessary follow-up question: so what does this known trajectory tell us about where in fact these missiles were fired from? And who is likely then to have fired them?

This morning’s Financial Times article on the subject adds speculation that possibly the missiles were part of the Ukrainian air defense system and were fired to bring down Russian cruise missiles attacking their energy infrastructure but “went astray.” In this same reporting, they do not bother to ask whether the fragments truly indicate ‘air defense’ projectiles or ground to ground missiles, which presumably would be manifestly evident from the large fragments seen in photographs from the site.

All of this prevarication and hesitancy on the part of the U.S. and Polish authorities in pointing fingers at the culprit for the attack in Poland is in direct contradiction with the longstanding pattern of U.S. and Western behavior in what we know were false flag incidents directed from Washington or London. In such cases, accusations against the Russia over the downing of Flight MH17, or against the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria over alleged chemical attacks on his own civilian population followed within minutes of the given incidents.

So I ask again, what happened yesterday in Poland and who is to blame?  To find a plausible answer, I suggest applying the time proven Roman guiding principle of investigation and ask cui bono, whose interests are served by what has happened? This is a simple, reasonable approach which regrettably has gone out of style in our days of Information Wars.

Cui bono points to the Kiev regime as responsible for the missile attacks on Poland, for the sake of finally bringing NATO openly into the fight on their side against Russia. Poland is not yet ready for war against Russia, and will be ready only many months from now when it receives major arms deliveries from the United States. The USA does not want an unplanned escalation from proxy war to war of the principals that could easily lead to a Russian nuclear attack on the homeland. It is only Mr. Zelensky’s regime that can hope for total chaos in order to survive the destruction of his country’s core infrastructure that is now well on the way, at last.

Of course, in Washington, in Brussels these considerations must be well understood by key personnel. The coming consultations over activating Article 4 of the Alliance treaty, officially recognizing a threat to their territorial integrity, revolve around formulating a determination of responsibility for the incident that avoids blaming the present darling of our solicitude, Ukraine, for attacking a NATO country.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022


16 November afternoon. The latest statements from Poland and the U.S. in the past hour or so are saying the missiles which landed in Poland were Ukrainian air defense missiles, not downed Russian cruise missiles. It is of course possible they were Ukrainian ground to air missiles (S300), but it is also possible they were ground to ground missiles (Tochka) fired by Ukrainian units for the reasons I mention in this article; both missile systems are “Russian,” that is to say they come from the common Soviet past of the two countries. Since the US has recorded the trajectory of the missiles by one of its spy planes on location near the border, they know from where the missiles were launched and whether air defense units were there. They also have the missile fragments from the crash site and can identify exactly what type they were if they so wish. No one from NATO is going to look into these matters, or announce their findings if they do; you can be sure of that.

For their part, the Poles are indicating that they will not activate Article 4 provisions of the Alliance after all. We may assume that knowing what they do, they would prefer to remove this whole incident from public discussion as quickly as possible.

The Russians say their attack on infrastructure came nowhere near the Ukrainian border with Poland, and that is completely believable: they want to avoid precisely what happened yesterday.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 1 Comment

As Democrats destroy democracy, the US becomes a one-party state

By Daniel Miller | TCW Defending Freedom | November 16, 2022

The disappointing results in the US mid-term elections from the point of view of popular opposition shouldn’t have been surprising to anyone. The United States is now effectively a one-party state, and seeking redress through elections is no longer a plausible path.

The critical point was already established in the stolen 2020 US Presidential election as the cardinal distinction between ballots and votes.

Whereas votes are linked to specific individuals, and cannot be cast by people who are no longer alive or no longer live in the area, ballots are harvested, potentially months in advance, by party workers mailing out returns to high population density housing projects and retirement homes, and picking them up again.

Because it lacks any practically enforceable safeguards, the ballot system is fundamentally vulnerable to organised fraud. This is why it was adopted and will remain the system going forward.

We are already beyond any question of rigging elections because the electoral system itself is now fundamentally rigged – that is, fundamentally organised to engineer Democratic Party majorities, which is to say rote acclamations of corruption and oligarchy, because the Democrats control high-population urban voting districts.

Where necessary, voter suppression techniques are applied on election day in the form of a shortage of ballots or malfunctioning voting machines, as happened this year in Arizona and elsewhere.

None of this is especially sophisticated – ultimately it represents a 21st century version of 19th century Democrat urban machine politics associated with the infamous Tammany Hall.  

It should also be recognised that US democracy was never without fraud. Elections were also sporadically fixed in the 20th century, most notably in Illinois in the 1960 Presidential election, when Richard Daley got out the vote in the graveyards of Chicago to deliver a victory for Kennedy.

Nonetheless, the extent to which the new ballot system represents an electoral new normal is an innovation, and one which it is hard to see being reversed. Additionally the new system is fortified by an increasingly vicious security state, which labels everyone asking the most obvious questions as insurrectionists and election deniers.

American democracy is now caught in the vice of a Catch-22. There is no possibility of achieving political change through elections so long as this system remains in place, and therefore no possibility of changing the electoral system. States that retain local control over the legislature, notably Texas and Florida, may be able to hold the line for the moment, but as things stand national democracy is finished in the United States, and it isn’t coming back.

Just as the triumph of the Nazi Party in Germany would not have been possible had the Weimar Republic been healthy, the fact that the Democrats were able to install this new system in the first place is the result of longer-term trends.

In the short term, one can point to the complicity of the Republican Party especially, but also the failure of Trump, whose fateful decisions in the first weeks of the so-called pandemic set the stage for what history will eventually come to understand, unambiguously, as a coup.

The role of the Republican Party in the US political system will also eventually be clearly perceived. In truth, the GOP represents the inverse of a political party, which instead of aiming to reward its supporters by winning political power, robs them to maintain the personal privileges of its leadership. In the UK, the Conservative Party plays a similar role.

The systematic misallocation of funding made this year by the national Republican leadership reveals the party’s priorities with crystalline clarity. Mitch McConnell, one of the richest men in the Senate, withdrew money from tight races in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia to entrench establishment candidates in Alaska and elsewhere more in tune with his essentially larcenous motives. As the Babylon Bee website noted, the Republican Party staved off a red wave.

Seen from the point of view in which one of them is actually imagined to achieve national office, the current discussions about the relative merits of Trump versus DeSantis in 2024 are either completely delusional, or deliberate distractions.

It is inconceivable that the US administrative state which blocked his victory in 2020, and has spent the last two years viciously persecuting his supporters, would allow Trump to return to the White House in 2024. It’s also true that Trump failed in his first term to prevent the Democrats from seizing the power they have, and unclear what he now could do differently.

Given the position of dominance that the Democrats and their allies in the American Securitate occupy, it also seems highly unlikely DeSantis would be allowed to make meaningful changes. The heart of the matter is that US elections no longer mean anything.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | | 5 Comments


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | November 10, 2022

The conversation is exploding across Europe as politicians and media raise the alarm about record excess mortality rates in 2022. Why are so many non-Covid related deaths happening now?


The Highwire with Del Bigtree | November 10, 2022

Obstetrician, Dr. James Thorp, and Postpartum Nurse, Michelle Gershman, speak out about unprecedented elevation of reproductive and pregnancy complications that have been reported that directly coincide with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Video, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments