Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Are we still expected to put blind trust in health authorities?

By Jenny Brown | TCW Defending Freedom | December 1, 2022

So many of us watching the Parliamentary Vaccine Safety Petition Debate on October 24, 2022 were left exasperated and deeply contemplating exactly what it will take to penetrate the corridors of power with valid representations of reality.

During the debate, incredibly well researched critical thinking and common sense was championed by courageous MPs as detailed previously in TCW. The debate transcript is available here, demonstrating how even the most sceptical of observers heard 90 minutes of evidence outlining a clearly urgent need for thorough review of vaccine safety.

The debate concluded with the Government saying that there were no plans to specifically investigate the petition relating to the safety of the Covid vaccine as requested that it was the ‘duty of government to ensure that the prescribed medication interventions of its response to coronavirus are safe.’

Instead, the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, Dr Caroline Johnson, stated that a ‘module’ of the UK Covid-19 Public Inquiry would, at a non-urgent time in the future, consider evidence to ‘understand the impact of the pandemic and the response,and any lessons to be learned’.

Conservative MP Elliot Colburn, moving the motion on behalf of the Petitions Committee, even declared that it would be ‘a waste of taxpayers’ money’ for the Government to launch a public inquiry into vaccine safety. His opening statement was a surprising way to show compassion for the 470,000 people who have experienced a Yellow Card worthy adverse event, including 2,330 deaths, following Covid-19 vaccination.

The presumptive overtone of the debate was of accepting blind trust in the ‘approved experts’, despite the overwhelming evidence presented to the contrary. This I have examined in a full, detailed critical exploration of the debate which you can read here.

As we await the second reading of the Covid-19 Vaccine Damage Payments Bill tomorrow, a thorough statement by statement review of the debate, exploring the mounting evidence of grave concern, is warranted.

We need to stop andreally look at the sentences that whizz over our heads and fall into our consciousness as presumed truth. In this essay, I ask where is the definitive evidence for these and many other assertions – see below – liberally reeled off by the Petition’s antagonists during the debate commentary? And if the supportive evidence is not forthcoming, we really need to ask why has this narrative been so robustly constructed?

·         ‘All vaccines used in the UK Covid-19 vaccine programme are safe’ – Dr Caroline Johnson MP

·         ‘The proof is that they work, they are saving lives and they protect us and others’ – Elliot Colburn MP

·         ‘Vaccination is the best course of action, because the danger of injury from coronavirus significantly outweighs the chance of harm from vaccines’ – Steven Bonnar MP

I also delve into vital topics raised including the Yellow Card adverse event reporting data, whistle-blower persecution, misinformation and censorship, vaccinating children, pregnant women, the elderly and healthcare workers, and the vast emerging global evidence of harms including excess deaths.

Was this a debate? Or more accurately, a very well utilised opportunity for valuable demonstrations of cognitive dissonance and serious concerns to be placed on public record? The incredibly revealing discourse did nothing to quell concerns, rather it amplified and galvanised awareness of the vast chasm between the official narrative line and the real world, based on true lived experience.

In the full essay, I report on Dr June Raine’s response to a question put to her at a lecture for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in July 2022. The enquirer asked the Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency how the MHRA looked into the weighing up of harms and benefits from overlapping of Phase I, II and III vaccine trials. Spoiler alert: MHRA appears to have not gone back to examine this . . .

Those adversely affected, and many families grieving for those who died after taking the ‘vaccine’, are continually met with disbelief. Many people report feeling left unsupported by medics and the government, relying on family, friends and those healthcare professionals with enough integrity to pick up the pieces, whilst waiting for those in power to shift out of vaccine injury denial.

We have recently been informed that ‘vaccine’ effectiveness in preventing transmission was never fully studied, a key theme of coercion and informed consent decision-making upturned.

As the booster programme and flu vaccine co-administration continues unabated, the concept of regulatory capture and the influence of Big Pharma are subjects of paramount importance to study. With Pfizer roughly quadrupling their vaccine price to $110 – $130 per dose, and with liability indemnity, the outcome of vaccine administration and safety becomes a matter of conscience.

With that explored in my evidenced rebuttal, it surely takes a certain type of naivety or perhaps arrogance to still state that vaccines are ‘safe and effective’. As the Alliance for Natural Health has put it, the narrative around the safety of Covid shots is cracking. Here they set out the basis for launching a legal action campaign.

Holding the line of accountability are courageous individuals and independent media outlets reporting real world consequences, with integrity, in the face of complete obfuscation from the official authoritative bodies who appear to have completely neglected their duty of care to the public at large.

Despite Elliot Colburn MP feeling ‘lambasted by colleagues’ during the debate, perhaps it was a karmic twist of events considering his introductory tone. He may have experienced a taster of what it is like to be vaccine-injured and seeking help, and for medical professionals in dire conflict as their obliged professional position, duty of care and real-life opinion collide.

‘First do no harm’ is the cornerstone of medical ethics and professional practice, to be patient advocate and respecting the right for an individual to make an autonomous decision about their own health.

In this unprecedented situation, as a society, it is vital to listen to those who have much more to lose than gain by sharing their experience and carefully considered perspective. Whether that be career-jeopardising expert opinion, ridicule-eliciting personal suffering or just applied common sense.

In any case, the situation demands more than debate. It is a matter for swift medical, scientific, regulatory and legal duty of care action with the utmost urgency applied. And if that is not the view, then surely critical thinking has fully given way to authoritarian filtered scientism, ‘the improper use of science or scientific claims’, an incredibly dangerous and precarious position for all UK citizens.

You can read my full essay here.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

People of the World are Dramatically Losing Years of Life

By Sven Román | The Brownstone Institute | December 1, 2022

Covid-19 vaccines and lockdowns are associated with years of life lost on a scale that is unprecedented. EuroMomo includes European mortality monitoring activity data from 22 European countries as well as Israel, representing a total population of around 450 million people.

Since the pandemic began, life years lost reported by EuroMomo have increased by 60%. Compared to the 1.5 years before the pandemic, the number of life years lost after Covid vaccinations were introduced has increased by 384%.

EuroMomo presents weekly statistics of possible excess mortality. The graph below shows data plotted for cumulative excess deaths over the period from 2018 to 20th November 2022 for all ages.

Excess mortality was evident in the pandemic year of 2020 (grey line), and in 2021 (dark blue line) when mass vaccination began, but even higher in 2022 (light blue line), despite the fact that the Omicron variant, with a modest mortality rate, began to dominate at this time.

An interesting pattern is seen when comparing age groups. According to Professor of Epidemiology John Ioannidis, the rate of Covid-19 mortality for those aged <60 years is only 0.035%. However, in the groups aged 0-14 years and 15-44 years, in which the Covid-19 mortality rate is even lower, excess mortality has been extremely high since mass vaccination was introduced.

Considering the fact that excess mortality is more serious for a younger person than an older person, we determined the effects of lockdown measures and vaccine deployment by calculating the number of life years lost before and after these interventions.

The average age of death for all persons recorded in EuroMomo is 82 years. The average number of remaining years of life for all persons that died before this age was estimated. For example in the 0-14 years age group, on average 82-(0+14/2) = 75 years were lost for each person. In the 85+years group, this calculation would mean years of life gained, which is of course unreasonable. In this age group, 1 year of expected survival was assumed.

The chart below shows excess mortality in each age group for three periods: 1) the 1.5 years immediately before the pandemic, 2) the pandemic period before mass vaccination was initiated, 3) the pandemic period after mass vaccination was initiated. For all age groups, the highest degree of excess mortality is in the period after mass vaccination was initiated.

The next chart shows the years of life lost in each age group. The greatest number of years of life lost after the start of vaccination are in the 45-64 and 65-74 years age groups.

The last chart shows the total number of life-years lost for the same 3 periods.

The trend of increasing life-years lost is contrary to what would be expected for effective Covid-19 countermeasures, including mass vaccination and lockdowns. The damage in terms of reduced longevity is becoming greater with each passing week. How much longer should we proceed down this road of failed public health policy before we start to reverse the trajectory?

Sven Román is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and since 2015 a consultant psychiatrist working in child and adolescent psychiatry throughout Sweden. He is also one of three physicians who in March 2021 founded Läkaruppropet (The Physicians’ Appeal), a Swedish response to The Great Barrington Declaration, and since then this appeal has become a non-profit association whose work is carried out by physicians, researchers, lawyers, other health care clinicians and academics, in the same spirit as the Brownstone Institute.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Western University Drops ALL Vaccine Mandates

By Igor Chudov | November 29, 2022

Remember the scandal with Western University in Ontario, Canada, that was requiring boosters from its students?

That’s the college that required bivalent boosters for fall classes.

The uproar was momentous. How can a college require completely unproven “boosters” to be taken by young, healthy students who had one or more Covids anyway?

The college finally relented and fully discontinued Covid vaccination requirements:

Note the BLUE highlighting of “medical experts” in both above images. In three months, the brilliant “medical experts” have completed a 180-degree turnaround in their deep evidence-based scientific thinking and no longer demand the boosters.

What made them change their minds?

I am sure it is you, the protesters, the public, substack authors, etc.

The experts are possibly starting to worry that their role in the “pandemic” will soon be subject to pointed questions from the disappointed public worried about health and fertility.

Personally, I will do my best to continue exposing Covid criminals so that they are not let off the hook and their crimes are not forgotten.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 2 Comments

“Russia has Lost the War”

By Eugenio de Dobrynne | The Postil Magazine | December 1, 2022 

So says Western media… And if all we do is listen to what is published in the West and listen to what the various “strategists” say on all the talk-shows, we would come to the following conclusions:

  • Russia has lost the war, with the capture of Kherson by the Ukrainian army and its offensives in the north of the Donbass.
  • The casualties among the ranks of the Russian army are very considerable and it is demoralized, its generals are incompetent and are dying at the front, if they are not dismissed and arrested.
  • The Russian army has practically no more ammunition left to continue the war and its missiles are unable to reach their targets, thanks to the excellent Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense that intercepts them. And Russia is also running out of missiles.
  • The Ukrainian army has reconquered territory in the Kherson region and its offensives in the north of Donbass, as well as its resistance on the Donetsk front, augur a clear victory of its army which will lead them to reconquer all the territory annexed by Russia, including, of course, Crimea, forcing Russia to sign a peace which will lead its current president, Vladimir Putin, to be tried and sentenced and make recompense for all the expenses undertaken because of the conflict.
  • As for the Russian people, they do not want this war and hope for a quick replacement of their president by one of the opposition leaders, who will be much more liberal and supported by the United States and Europe.
  • Faced with this disaster, Putin and his generals have resorted to wild, indiscriminate shelling of the Ukrainian population, leaving these people without electricity, water and supplies. The Russians do not rule out the use of nuclear weapons, if things get even worse.

Such is the picture painted by the European and Anglo-American mass media, although it must be acknowledged that the latter are making an effort to provide other, more objective analyses in view of the latest developments in the conflict. The intellectual laziness of many information professionals, who limit themselves to reproducing the propaganda reports of Zelensky’s government, if not submitting to the doxa dictated by the media management bodies, as well as the censorship imposed by the authorities and pressure groups, prevent a more impartial knowledge of the real situation of the conflict.

To begin with, Russia cannot lose this war, nor can it give up the territories that since the referendums have been incorporated into the Russian Federation. First of all, it is a question of survival in the face of the Anglo-American world’s determination to put an end to the existence of a Russia that opposes its hegemonic domination and that, on the contrary, is committed to a multipolar world where a balance of forces coexists. Secondly, the Russian society, and even more so the recently annexed populations, and in particular the Donbass regions which have suffered a war for eight years, would never accept to stop being part of Russia.

As for the situation on the ground, if we look at the development of events from the information provided by objective military specialists and analysts, some even coming from armies committed to Ukrainian interests, since the appointment of General Surovikin as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies in the Ukrainian campaign, things have changed quite a lot. His appointment has meant a single command, subordinating the rest of the generals who earlier directed the operations in each of the territories where they acted independently and without coordination with the rest. Since his appointment, a reorganization of the troops assigned to the operation has been carried out, rotating them after the attrition suffered during these nine months of war and reinforcing their material, in particular with artillery pieces and armored vehicles, and massively incorporating observation and destruction drones.

From the tactical point of view, Russia has no need, as Surovikin himself stated, to expose its soldiers uselessly, when it has other means at its disposal to win this war. Russia, because of its demographic situation, cannot afford to send hundreds of thousands of young men to the front, as the Soviets did in World War II, with the result that that entailed. The use of tactical missiles directed against military installations and recently against strategic infrastructures, whose effectiveness is difficult to refute in view of the express acknowledgement by the Ukrainian authorities themselves, is bringing about a substantial change in the course of this conflict.

What some media have considered as a defeat and a withdrawal of the Russian army in Kherson, has been in reality a tactical withdrawal to avoid exposing a significant part of its troops who could have been surrounded in a compromising situation, and thus to better defend themselves. It has been sold that the Ukrainians had defeated the Russians and that this meant that they had practically won the war. The reality is that the Russians have temporarily ceded ground to regroup and organize themselves. They have abandoned the city, transforming it into a ghost town without electricity or water and with a population, albeit a very small one, which the Ukrainian troops will have to feed. At the same time, they have moved, in a successful operation, to the other bank of the Dnieper, turning the river into a natural line of defense very difficult to cross, since at this time, its width is about two kilometers.

So much so that in spite of the fact that the operation had been announced in advance by Surovikin himself, something surprising for a military commander, the Ukrainian forces did not give him credit and delayed their entry into the city until they were certain that it had been abandoned by the Russians, as they believed that it was all a trap. The withdrawal was made without loss of material or men and in an orderly manner, despite the fact that more than 20,000 men were mobilized. Previously, more than 150,000 civilians had been evacuated from the city to the other side, under Ukrainian artillery shelling. They even moved the remains of the founder of the city and mythical person in the history of Russia, Marshal Potemkin, so that his remains would not be desecrated by the Ukrainian troops. Clear proof of this is that we have not seen those images of casualties or destroyed materials that the Ukrainian propaganda media lavished so much on when, at the beginning, they confronted the Russian forces. What has been seen, on the contrary, is a deserted city whose population is trying to survive in hardship and which has been announced that it will be evacuated because of the impossibility of supplying it, while the repressive rearguard forces are engaged in arresting the Russians’ collaborators. In their military history, the Russians have a long experience of strategic retreats that have been successful.

Located on the other bank of the river, with the natural barrier of its width and the difficulty of crossing it under artillery fire, the Russian troops have a considerable advantage. So much so that part of the troops assigned at the time to this front have been transferred to the Donbass front to reinforce the offensive which is being carried out there and which, little by little, is gaining ground despite the difficulty of overcoming the lines of fortifications built by the Ukrainians more than eight years ago and which they have been defending with extraordinary courage and tenacity.

The mobilization of reservists decreed last September and the enlistment of volunteers means the incorporation of 318,000 soldiers and commanders directly on the front line. Unlike the mobilized Ukrainians, who are already in their seventh or eighth mobilization with hardly any training, these troops are undergoing intense military training by veterans of the operation, so that their incorporation will be carried out when they have completed their training and proven their operational capacity. As of today, about 80,000 of them have already joined the front lines, integrating into already hardened units. The rest will do so by mid-December. There has been no haste, and their training is being prioritized to avoid casualties and strengthen their effectiveness.

Meanwhile, on other fronts, Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian troops are advancing slowly, favoring artillery fire both when advancing and retreating, avoiding unnecessary exposure of men and material. The use of observation drones for the localization of enemy forces is being abundantly employed, with excellent results, as this allows for accurate and effective artillery fire. There is abundant filming that proves their use and effectiveness. The practical non-existence of Ukrainian aviation, because it was cancelled at the beginning, and the little effectiveness of its anti-aircraft defenses, in spite of receiving new Western materials, makes Russian aviation have control of the skies and intervene more and more in support of the troops on the ground. Although the equipment provided is not always of the latest generation, the technological complexity also requires trained servants when it comes to more modern systems, which is why the Russians are suspicious of the involvement of NATO troops who covertly handle such equipment.

The Russians are expected to carry out a major offensive when weather conditions permit, i.e., when the ground freezes, because now, with the heavy rains, it is impracticable. The Ukrainians are suffering to a greater extent, because much of the material sent by the Ottoman allies, replacing the Soviet material they had and have been losing, is wheeled, unlike the Russian material, in which tracks predominate. The priority will undoubtedly be focused on recovering the territories of the Donbass up to its territorial limits and, perhaps, on descending from above along the right bank of the Dnieper to recover the territories of Zaporiyia and Kherson. Who knows if they will not go on to Odessa. Nor can the Russians afford to delay their offensive too long, because the longer they delay, the more time the Ukrainian army will have to mobilize and train its levies.

On the other hand, the destruction, by means of tactical missiles, of energy infrastructures, especially power plants and sub-power plants, by the Russian forces, is having considerable effects on the deterioration of the supply on the material fronts, since it prevents their transfer from the borders, slowing down their offensives and weakening their defenses. Although its effects are being felt to a greater extent on the living conditions of civilians, depriving them of electricity and water, the destruction of these infrastructures was something that Russian military officials had been demanding for some time in view of the increase in military aid received by the Ukrainian army from its NATO allies.

Finally, as far as casualties are concerned, the number of deaths in the ranks of the Ukrainian army is staggering. According to American officials, there are about 100,000 dead, to which must be added the wounded in the proportion of three for every one dead. This means that, between the dead and the wounded, they are losing between 300 and 400 men a day on the various fronts. Russian losses are around 48,000 wounded and 16,000 dead, 8,000 of which belong to the Russian army and the rest to the territorial units, Chechen forces and the Wagner group. It should be borne in mind that the brunt of the war has so far been carried out by the territorial units of the Donbass and the special forces on their respective fronts. Initially, the Russian army have started the conflict with between 125,000 and 150,000 troops, to which were added about 60,000 mobilized between the territorial troops of the Donbass and the Chechen special forces and the Wagner Group, with 10,000 troops each. For its part, the Ukrainian army numbered about 600,000 men at the beginning of the conflict. According to UN data, more than 10,000 civilians were killed between the two sides during the eight months of the conflict.

We will probably soon witness a change in the situation, both on the ground and politically, although the media and talk show hosts with careers in the offices of Brussels or NATO headquarters tell us that the Ukrainian army is going to win this war and that they will force Russia to return the annexed territories. American officials have already suggested to Zelensky that he should reconsider negotiating with Russia, and we know that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and American governments have never been known for their unswerving loyalty to the leader of the day. Rather, they have been dedicated to defending their own interests.


Eugenio de Dobrynne writes for El Manifesto, through whose courtesy this article appears.

© 2017-2022 The Postil. All rights reserved.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

January 6 Was Not a Seditious Conspiracy

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 1, 2022

It’s a shame that a course in logic is not offered in law school. If it was, maybe, just maybe, attorney Harry Litman would not have written an op-ed entitled “A Jury Delivers the Truth about Jan. 6. It Was Seditious Conspiracy,” which appeared in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. 

In his article, Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, claims that the recent  federal conviction of Oath Keepers leaders Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs for seditious conspiracy “will go a long way toward defining the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol melee, once and for all, as a heinous crime orchestrated by enemies of democracy.”

Well, actually, it does no such thing. My hunch is that Litman’s prosecutorial mindset is clouding his thinking.

The jury’s verdict of seditious conspiracy applies only to Rhodes and Meggs, not to anyone else. In fact, in the same trial the jury acquitted other defendants of seditious conspiracy and instead convicted them of the lesser charge of obstructing a government proceeding. 

Simply because two people are convicted of seditious conspiracy doesn’t mean that the thousands of other people involved in the Capitol protests are also guilty of seditious conspiracy. The convictions apply only to the people who are convicted, not to the thousands of other people who aren’t convicted. 

In other words, you can have a situation where thousands of people have no intention whatsoever of committing seditious conspiracy and who are simply protesting some governmental action. At the same time and in that same situation, you can have two people who are conspiring to commit sedition. 

Under the law, the fact that those two people are conspiring to commit sedition does not convert the thousands of other people into people who are also conspiring to commit sedition. If the law permitted the feds to convict innocent people in that manner, then everyone involved in the January 6 protests would have been charged with seditious conspiracy and convicted. The fact that federal prosecutors did not charge most of the protestors with seditious conspiracy and the fact that the jury acquitted some of the defendants in the recent sedition case of seditious conspiracy demonstrate the legal principle that only those who are guilty of a crime should be prosecuted and convicted of the crime. 

Litman also reveals his deeply set prosecutorial mindset by suggesting that other people who are still facing trial for the January 6 event “may want to think hard about pleading guilty and offering to cooperate with the government investigation.’

Really? But what if they’re innocent, Litman? Do you still think they should think hard about pleading guilty? As a criminal-defense attorney, would you permit a client in the January 6 event to plead guilty knowing that he was claiming to be innocent? Or are you saying that your client would automatically be guilty, regardless of what he claimed, simply because Rhodes and Meggs were convicted of seditious conspiracy? 

Moreover, what’s wrong with going to trial? Isn’t that a person’s right? Well, not exactly. Litman knows that it is long-established policy in the federal courts to hit people who go to trial and are convicted with higher sentences than those who simply plead guilty. In other words, in the federal court system, you have a right to a jury trial but if you exercise it and lose, you are going to receive a double penalty for making those federal judges and federal prosecutors work for their generous tax-funded salaries.

The fact that two people are convicted of seditious conspiracy does not mean that everyone else involved in the January 6 protests is guilty of seditious conspiracy or, for that matter, any other crime. Moreover, people who are claiming to be innocent should never be encouraged or permitted to plead guilty. Everyone has the right of trial by jury and should never be punished for exercising that right. 

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Israel revokes Jerusalem Residency Rights Of Imprisoned Palestinian-French Lawyer

IMEMC | DECEMBER 1, 2022

On Wednesday, the Israeli Prison Authority informed imprisoned Palestinian-French lawyer, held under Administrative Detention without charges or trial, that it revoked his Jerusalem ID card and stripped him of all residency rights in occupied Jerusalem, and will be deporting him to France upon his release.

The Israeli occupation imposed a three-month Administrative Detention order against the imprisoned lawyer, Salah Hammouri, 37, and renewed the order in June 2022, then renewed it again in September 2022.

Hammouri, a lawyer and a field researcher with the Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support And Human Rights Association, spent more than eight years in Israeli prisons, starting when he was abducted in 2001 and was sentenced to five months in prison.

In 2004 he spent four months under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges, then was abducted again in the year 2005 and was imprisoned for seven years, and then in the year 2017, he was abducted yet another time and spent 13 months under Administrative Detention orders, and upon his release, he received an order barring him from entering the rest of the West Bank for two years.

On June 6, 2022, Salah received another three-month Administrative Detention order just hours before his scheduled release after being imprisoned for three months under a similar order.

The decision to revoke his residency was made in October of last year, 2021, after accusing him of “breeching loyalty to the state” for his human rights and legal work in defending Palestinian political prisoners.

Salah was born to a Palestinian father from Jerusalem where he grew up and lived, and his mother is a French national.

Several years earlier, Israel deported his French wife to her country after detaining her at the airport in Tel Aviv for three days when she returned to Jerusalem. Salah and his wife have two children.

Palestinians born in occupied Jerusalem are only granted “residency” status and not citizenship of Israel despite Israel’s constant claims of “unified Jerusalem as its capital.” Children born to Jewish parent/s in any part of the world are entitled to become citizens of Israel.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iran, India recalibrating ties amid geopolitical shifts

‘Not a choice, but necessity’

By Zafar Mehdi | The Cradle | December 1, 2022

“Not a choice, but a necessity.” That’s how Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani stressed the importance of closer strategic and economic ties between Tehran and New Delhi during his visit to India in November.

Kani had a message for Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Tehran –  strategic synergy is a win-win proposition for the two sides amid the shifting geopolitical and geo-economic landscape in the wake of the Ukraine war and the new world order.

Before the Trump administration reinstated sanctions on Iran in 2018, Iranian oil comprised nearly 11 percent of India’s total oil basket. However, New Delhi buckled under US pressure and stopped importing oil from Tehran in a move that hampered their cooperation in other strategic areas.

Three years down the line, amid rapidly changing geopolitical power dynamics and the end of “the era of the unipolar world,” as announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, India has become keen on recalibrating its ties with Iran, a traditional ally, in the midst of an energy crisis gripping the world.

It is worth noting that Russia became the biggest oil supplier to India in October, supplying 935,556 barrels of crude oil per day, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa, making up for 22 percent of the energy-dependent country’s total crude imports, ahead of Iraq’s 20.5 percent and Saudi Arabia’s 16 percent.

Iran as an alternative energy supplier 

Faced with a burgeoning demand for oil and gas amid the global energy crisis and recent oil cuts by the OPEC+, India now looks poised to resume oil imports from Iran, defying US sanctions, The Cradle learned from sources in Tehran and New Delhi. 

Interestingly, India’s petroleum minister Hardeep Puri hinted at it during his visit to Washington in October, saying New Delhi will buy oil from wherever it has to. Russia, as we know, is already shipping oil to India, despite strong US pressures. 

Talks are currently underway between India and Venezuela, especially with the US easing oil-related sanctions against CaracasThis, by extension, has opened a window of opportunity for India and Iran to revive their energy trade. The good news is that both sides look interested. 

Iran has already expressed its readiness to resume energy trade with India. Last month, newly-appointed Iranian ambassador to New Delhi, Iraj Elahi, announced that Iran is willing to provide low-cost crude oil to India to ensure the country’s energy security, something top Indian officials have in recent months cited as the government’s priority.

A win-win proposition 

In 2018-2019, India purchased $12.11 billion worth of crude oil from Iran, which plummeted to zero in May 2019 after the significant reduction exemption (SRE) period ended.

Likewise, trade between the two countries dropped from $17.3 billion in 2018-2019 to $4.77 billion in 2019-2020. Although it has ultimately failed to achieve its objectives, Washington’s “maximum pressure campaign had a negative impact on India-Iran relations.

However, ties have since markedly improved, as evidenced by Bagheri Kani telling the Indian press that the Islamic Republic is ready to meet the country’s growing energy needs, while India can in turn contribute to Iran’s food security as a major food producer.

This, he asserted, would help in boosting the process of multilateralism in the international system, which essentially means the death of US unilateralism more than three decades after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the former Soviet Union that paved the way for the era of the unipolar world.

Suhasini Haidar, diplomatic affairs editor at The Hindu and a leading Indian analyst, termed Bagheri Kani’s visit to India as “significant,” saying it “shows a commitment to India-Iran ties by both governments despite geopolitical divides in the world on issues like the Ukraine war.”

Penalized by US sanctions 

Haidar described Iranian crude as “sweeter, lighter, cheaper, and easier to transport to India than other options,” calling the Indian government’s decision to cut Iranian imports “irrational.”

“It was irrational of the Modi government to have canceled India’s imports of Iranian oil under threat from the Trump administration, and it would make sense if they decided to restore the oil trade between the two countries,” she told The Cradle.

Haidar said it remains to be seen if the Modi government will be willing to resume oil imports from Iran, “despite several signals that both sides are exploring their options,” especially after the latest sanctions on an Indian company transporting Iranian oil.

Mumbai-based Tibalaji Petrochem Private Limited was sanctioned in late September for shipping Iranian petrochemical products to China. It was the first time an Indian company was sanctioned by the US for dealing with Iran.

In his meeting with his Indian counterpart Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Bagheri Kani pointed to the “necessity” of regional cooperation between the two countries, which he said would “take away the opportunity from foreigners to exploit the lack of cooperation.” 

The sentiments were mutual as India’s foreign ministry spokesman, in a statement following Bagger Kani’s meeting with Kwatra, said the two officials “discussed bilateral relations, including the development of Chabahar Port” and “regional and international issues of mutual interest.”

Time to shore up ties 

According to observers, the time is now ripe for the two sides to shore up bilateral ties and multilateral cooperation, with Tehran set to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the BRICS group, given its close ties with Russia and China.

Notwithstanding existing challenges, Iran and India share mutual interests in trade and connectivity. Iran’s full SCO membership could prompt the two sides to focus more on connectivity projects like the Chabahar Port, which links with the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the multi-mode network of ships, rail and roads for moving freight between India and Iran, among other countries.

“India and Iran have important trade needs, including in wheat, pulses and commodities, as well as oil reserves. And the connectivity engagement is very important for India through Chabahar and through the INSTC,” Haidar explained.

Importantly, in recent years, Chabahar Port in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province has emerged as a key area of cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi, which will provide India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia through Iran, ending its reliance on arch-rival Pakistan.

Rezaul Hasan Laskar, the foreign affairs editor at Hindustan Times, says the strategic port has “become more important following its growing use” but that “it needs to be connected to Iran’s railway network.” 

While the first section of the Zahedan-Chabahar railway line is nearing completion, official sources in Tehran said the agreement between the two sides to construct the 628-kilometer (390 miles) railway line had faced “serious impediments” due to New Delhi’s reluctance to start work fearing US sanctions.

“Despite India’s close ties with the US and Israel, its decision to build strategic ties with Iran, and Iran’s according special projects to India like Chabahar Port despite its ties with China are a constant reminder of this special relationship,” Haidar told The Cradle.

Map of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

Joint cooperation with Beijing and Moscow 

Sources in Tehran and New Delhi said the use of rupee-rial trade was also “seriously considered” during Bagheri Kani’s New Delhi visit, with both sides agreeing that a banking mechanism that is not tied to the west is key to strengthening the process of multilateralism, and paving the way for the resumption of trade.

Laskar of Hindustan Times confirmed that the senior Iranian diplomat “reiterated Iran’s offer to resume oil supplies and raised the issue of trade in national currencies.”

The changing geopolitical landscape in the wake of growing anti-western mechanisms, including SCO and BRICS, led by China and Russia, is also likely to propel increased cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi.

Laskar, however, believes that the SCO has not been a particularly crucial grouping for India in recent years, “largely because of the tensions with China,” adding that India’s biggest concern about the expansion of BRICS is that “it shouldn’t become a China-centric grouping,” underlying Sino-India tensions. 

Meanwhile, Russia remains a common ally of India and Iran, which is evident in Moscow and New Delhi looking to ramp up trade via Tehran along the INSTC – the strategic route that has assumed tremendous significance since the start of the Ukraine war. 

The decision to boost INSTC trade, according to reports in Indian media, was high on the agenda during Bagheri Kani’s India visit, as Russia now looks set to invest in the Chabahar Port. According to sources, the war in Ukraine also figured prominently in Bagheri Kani’s talks with Indian officials. Both sides agreed on maintaining a “neutral stance” on the war and increased engagement with Moscow. 

“Russia is the new game-changer in the region, especially after the realignment of power centers, and that is good news for India-Iran ties,” an Iranian diplomat stationed in South Asia told The Cradle.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

US brings culture wars to Afghanistan

Reflections on Events in Afghanistan

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | DECEMBER 1, 2022

The time has come to pick up threads from my blog of January 27 titled The West co-opts the Taliban. Indeed, the wheel has come full circle: the three-day conclave in Oslo on January 23-25 between a core group of Western diplomats with Taliban officials failed to work out a reasonable a modus vivendi. The pendulum has since swung to the other extreme. 

Afghanistan has once again become the cockpit of big power rivalries due to developments intrinsic to Afghan situation, a regime change in Pakistan and the shifts in regional politics in Central Asia due to the fallouts from the collective West’s proxy war with Russia in Europe.

To recapitulate, Russia and China brilliantly undercut the US’ attempt in Oslo to co-opt the Taliban government as its partner. The terms of partnership were not acceptable to the Taliban, especially the leeway that the US and British intelligence sought to stage covert operations from Afghan soil. 

Russia and China created space for Taliban to negotiate with the US by simply offering them the prospect of a beneficial relationship. The US’s core objective was to use Afghanistan as a staging post for its containment strategies against Russia, China and Iran.

Since then, the US estimates that with Russia bogged down in Ukraine and China remaining extra-cautious in consorting with Moscow, a window of opportunity is available for it to proactively work toward promoting regime changes in Central Asia and roll back the Russian influence in the region.

Attempts were made in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan but the regimes in those countries were vigilant.  The failed attempts once again drew attention to the importance of Afghanistan as a high ground in the geopolitics of the Central Asian region. Hence the need to regain control over Kabul.

This is a truly collective effort by the Western intelligence, with the US, UK, France and Germany in the lead role. Unsurprisingly, the West’s focus has shifted to the northern regions of Afghanistan bordering the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia. 

With a pro-Western regime in power in Pakistan, the US gets a free hand to work with the non-Taliban groups. The Western powers assess that the so-called National Resistance Front (NRF) led by the Panjshiri leader Ahmed Massoud provides a congenial platform for advancing their regional agenda. 

Apart from the Massoud clan’s decades-old links with the French intelligence, Ahmed Massoud himself was trained in Sandhurst. The Panjshiris are irreconcilably opposed to Pashtun rule and also have ethnic affinities with Tajikistan. 

Enter Emmanuel Macron. France has a score to settle ever since Russia’s Wagner Group summarily replaced the French Legion as the provider of security to the Francophone countries in the Sahel region. Macron hopes to turn the table against Russia in Central Asia (and the Caucasus.) 

In this shadow play, Macron sees as quasi-ally the president of Tajikistan Imomali Rahmon. Now, Rahmon’s motivations are never easy to fathom and are rather complicated in this case, but he does see that there is a lot of money that the West is prepared to spend to foster the NRF and Massoud, and this western venture is for sure going to be for the long haul.

Rahmon’s trump card is that Tajikistan is the gateway to Panjshir and it can provide a transit corridor for the flow of Western money, men and materials to boost the NRF’s capability to wage an armed struggle and emerge quickly as a credible political entity regionally. 

Dushanbe hosted the so-called Herat Security Dialogue earlier this week to facilitate a meet-up between the NRF (Massoud) and sundry other disgruntled Afghan politicians hostile toward Taliban rule and domiciled in the West, with the US and European intelligence officials mentoring the event. 

Clearly, the venture aims to broad-base the NRF by bringing on board all anti-Taliban elements. Interestingly, a sideshow at Dushanbe was that the Afghans networked with hand-picked invitees from regional states as well, including Russia and Iran, largely self-styled “liberals” who are willing to subserve the West’s agenda.  

In a nutshell, the venture aims to build up another Afghan resistance movement to oust the Taliban from power. The ground is being prepared for a new civil war where the West hopes to emerge victorious eventually but without having to put “boots on the ground.”

However, this incoming civil war is going to be very unlike all previous ones in Afghan history. For, this is being projected as a culture war — a struggle for dominance between groups within the Afghan society arising from their different beliefs or practices — although quintessentially it is yet another grab for political power with foreign help.

It bears similarity with the culture wars playing out in America during the past two decades and more between the liberal secular society and a conservative opposition that rooted its worldview in divine scripture. Today, in America it is playing out in vicious fights over abortion, gay rights, religion in public schools and the like.

The culture war in Afghanistan too will inevitably expand from issues of religion and family culture to take over politics almost totally, creating a dangerous sense of winner-take-all conflict over the future of the country, as has happened in America. 

The paradox here is that it is taking place in the cause of Democracy, whereas, democracy at its core is an agreement that we will not kill each other over our differences, but instead we’ll talk through those differences howsoever long it may take. Massoud’s NRF, on the contrary, is wedded to violence to overthrow the Taliban government which has been in power only briefly.  

Fundamentally, there is a dangerous misconception here since politics at its core is nothing but an artifact of culture. And culture underwrites politics in all countries. To be sure, the Taliban will see the incoming civil war promoted by the West as an existential threat to their way of life, to the things they hold sacred. That is to say, the Taliban’s resistance to the NRF will be rooted in fear of extinction. They will fight to the death for a way of life.

Why is the West doing this to Afghanistan after having destroyed that country’s social fabric through the past two decades perpetrating such horrific war crimes? At the very least, first return that country’s money in western banks and allow the Afghan nation a decent respite to lick its war wounds, before inciting another civil war. 

Abdul Latif Pedram, a rare progressive-minded Afghan politician known for his integrity, wrote in a tweet “I was invited to the security meeting of Herat (at Dushanbe), but I did not participate in the meeting due to the presence of corrupt people.” 

Indeed, it is an insult to the Afghan people that the westerners continue to treat them like mute cattle. Pedram added that the invitees to the Dushanbe meeting were all associated with the corrupt regime that the Taliban replaced, and are bankrupt in ideas to improve the tragic situation in his country. 

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

Lavrov rubbishes ‘lies’ about Ukraine peace talks

RT | December 1, 2022

Allegations that Russia is seeking peace talks with Ukraine as a ploy for a military build-up are false, Russia’s foreign minister has said. Sergey Lavrov was responding to statements to that effect from top officials in Kiev, including President Vladimir Zelensky.

The accusations are “ridiculous and unpleasant, because [those who make them] blatantly lie,” the minister told journalists on Thursday during a press conference.

“We never asked for any negotiations. But we always stated that if somebody has an interest in a negotiated settlement, we are ready to listen,” he stressed.

In October, President Zelensky said during a virtual speech to the European Council that Russia was “manipulating the negotiations issue” due to Kiev’s battlefield successes. He went on to claim that Moscow was calling for dialogue, “which it rejected itself by starting a war against Ukraine and all of you, the entire Europe,” while rejecting “dozens of our proposals” for peace.

Lavrov noted that Ukraine and Russia were on the verge of striking a peace deal after talks in Istanbul in late March. At that time they inked a proposed agreement, which would have given Ukraine international security guarantees in exchange for neutral status.

Kiev pulled out of the talks soon afterwards, with Zelensky claiming that fresh evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian troops had left him no other option. Moscow rejected the accusations, calling the evidence falsified.

“Not only did we listen, but we were prepared to make a deal on the terms that [the Ukrainians] proposed themselves,” Lavrov explained. “They were not allowed to do that because the war had not made enough profit for those who supervise and direct it.”

The Russian diplomat pointed to the US, and to a lesser degree the UK, as parties who are allegedly directing Ukraine’s actions. Washington pursues its goals of weakening Russia and benefiting from arms sales at the expense of the Ukrainian people, he said.

Lavrov added that the US and its allies have a pattern of rejecting ways to reduce tensions with Russia. Hostilities in Ukraine started after they refused to heed Russian warnings that the expansion of NATO was crossing a red line, he insisted. The military bloc brushed aside a proposed security deal, which in Russia’s view would have addressed the issue.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Zelensky’s $1 trillion ‘reconstruction’ pipe dream

By Drago Bosnic | December 1, 2022

It’s safe to say the world has gotten used to mind-blowing statements coming from the detached Kiev regime, as this has become their common theme. Apart from boastful claims of supposed “victories” of the Neo-Nazi junta forces against the Russian military, talks of how much financial assistance is necessary is the usual topic in Kiev. The regime frontman Volodymyr Zelensky is never tired of demanding yet another few billion dollars (euros and pounds are good enough, too) per month to support the political West’s favorite puppet regime. However, his most recent statements make every other demand look entirely “reasonable”. Namely, the Kiev regime frontman now wants over $1 trillion for the supposed “reconstruction” of the country.

During a video address on November 29, Zelensky stated that it would cost more than $1 trillion to “rebuild” Ukraine. If the number sounds astounding, that’s quite expected, given that it’s over five times the country’s 2021 GDP. However, even this sounds laughable when the second requirement is listed – this “reconstruction” plan would come into effect only after the military superpower with over 6,000 thermonuclear warheads next door is somehow “defeated”. Many have ignored Zelensky’s mind-boggling statements regarding this matter, but he keeps insisting that this is precisely what the Kiev regime needs.

“The reconstruction of our country will become the most momentous economic, technological, and humanitarian project of our time. Even now, we engage dozens of our partner countries to rebuild Ukraine,” Zelensky said during his late-night video address on Tuesday, according to a report translated by Newsweek. “The total volume of work amounts to over a trillion dollars,” he added.

Zelensky mentioned the figure while talking about his hopes that the country would host the World’s Fair in 2030. Another interesting aspect of the plan was that foreign governments and corporations could become “permanent sponsors of specific regions, cities or economic sectors”. Apart from being unrealistic, Zelensky’s ideas are also boiling down to the direct colonization of Ukraine. By giving control of different regions of the country to “permanent sponsors”, the Neo-Nazi junta frontman is effectively fracturing what’s left of the country and giving it to foreign corporate interests in a free-for-all exploitation scheme.

According to Western-backed, Latvia-based news outlet “Meduza”, Zelensky is hoping to develop a system that will allow “partner countries” to become “patrons” of Ukrainian regions, cities or businesses. “We’re already seeing interest [in the program] from France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Portugal, Czechia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Canada, the U.S., Japan, and Australia. And that’s not an exhaustive list,” he said.

Interestingly, the mind-blowing $1 trillion figure was mentioned by Zelensky at least once before, but it somehow went under the radar of most mainstream media. The first time he mentioned it publicly was on September 6, when he was invited to virtually “ring” the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Zelensky used this unique opportunity to float the idea and initially appealed for “at least” $400 billion in foreign funds. “The general project of Ukrainian reconstruction will be the largest economic project in Europe of our time. The largest for several generations. Its volume is already estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars,” he stated at the time and then added: “And with the necessary modernization of the Ukrainian infrastructure, taking into account security needs, it is more than a trillion dollars and in a fairly short term – less than ten years.”

As previously mentioned, the country’s GDP was just over $200 billion in 2021, according to official data from the World Bank. This effectively means that the Kiev regime is demanding others invest half a decade’s worth of Ukrainian “peacetime” GDP. Although this may seem like a dumbfounding request, what’s even more staggering is the fact that at least one US-based think tank already backed the proposal. The renowned Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) openly supported the idea, claiming that “it would provide strategic benefits to the United States.”

In a November 22 report titled “United States Aid to Ukraine: An Investment Whose Benefits Greatly Exceed its Cost”, CSIS authors argued the following: “In practice, Ukraine cannot continue to fight and to recover without continuing aid from the US and other powers. Moreover, if the war drags on as it well may do, the total costs of both the war and recovery states could easily rise well over $500 billion. A truly long war could put the total cost of the war and recovery to a trillion dollars or more.” The report further states: “So far, there has been only limited domestic political resistance in the United States to continuing civil and military aid to Ukraine.”

This clearly implies that the authors think the US government should always insist on more financial “assistance” to the Kiev regime and push back against anyone trying to focus on mounting domestic issues. Given just how corrupt the Neo-Nazi junta is, it’s hardly surprising there’s a lack of enthusiasm for this idea among many in the US. The recent FTX-Kiev regime-DNC scandal, along with the fact that Washington DC cannot account for over $20 billion in previous “aid” provided to the Neo-Nazi junta, all serve as a testament to the skepticism many Americans feel in this regard. Considering the current state of the US (and global) economy, who could possibly blame them.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , | 2 Comments

NEW ‘PARAQUAT PAPERS’ EXPOSE DEADLY SIDE EFFECT

The Highwire with Del Bigtree | November 24, 2022

The herbicide Paraquat has now been linked to increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Newly uncovered documents show that the manufacturers of Paraquat knew of these risks years ago. With the U.S. one of the few large countries still using this toxic chemical many are asking where is the EPA?

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment