Aletho News


North Korea rejects ‘absurd’ US claim

RT | December 23, 2022

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Friday dismissed reports that it had supplied Russia with weapons as “the most absurd red herring.” The White House and the US envoy to the UN claimed to have “confirmed” the transfer, which allegedly took place last month.

A spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry said the “false report that the DPRK offered munitions to Russia is the most absurd red herring, which is not worth any comment or interpretation,” according to the state news agency KCNA. “The DPRK remains unchanged in its principled stand on the issue of ‘arms transaction’ between the DPRK and Russia which has never happened.”

He added that the international community should “focus on the US criminal acts of bringing bloodshed and destruction to Ukraine by providing it with various kinds of lethal weapons and equipment on a large scale,” instead of the “groundless theory” that Pyongyang was selling weapons to Russia, which he said was “cooked up by some dishonest forces for different purposes.”

On Thursday, the White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed that North Korea had delivered “infantry rockets and missiles to Russia for use by Wagner” in November. Kirby also claimed the private military company has 50,000 troops in Ukraine and is “emerging as a rival power center to the Russian military and Russian ministries.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, also said Washington had “confirmed” the transaction and that she will bring it up at an upcoming Security Council meeting. Asked about it at a press conference on Thursday, the UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he had “not seen that statement.”

The questions of North Korean arms exports need to be addressed through the UN sanctions regime, Dujarric said, adding, “I have no further information.”

Iran has likewise rejected US and Ukrainian claims that it sold missiles and drones to Russia, warning Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday that its “strategic patience will not be unlimited towards unfounded accusations.”

Meanwhile, the US Senate has approved another $45 billion in aid for Kiev in 2023, a day after President Joe Biden announced $1.85 billion worth of weapons. The Pentagon has publicly disclosed it had sent over $20 billion in military aid to Ukraine just this year, though Biden insists this does not make the US or its allies a party to the conflict with Russia.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

FBI accuses ‘conspiracy theorists’ of weaponizing Twitter Files

RT | December 22, 2022

Correspondence between the FBI and senior Twitter staff, revealing how the agency pressured the platform to suppress certain narratives, is not evidence of wrongdoing, the Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that “conspiracy theorists” are presenting their activities in a nefarious light.

The files turned over to journalists by Twitter CEO Elon Musk “show nothing more than examples of our tradition, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements,” the FBI statement claims.

“It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the statement concludes, reminding its critics that “the men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public.”

Messages appearing to show FBI agents pressuring Twitter staff to classify legitimate stories such as the Hunter Biden laptop revelations as foreign influence operations are, according to the Bureau merely examples of the FBI “provid[ing] critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers.” Internal communications among platform employees suggest otherwise.

In communications published as part of the Twitter Files, staff repeatedly point out there is “no evidence” to substantiate FBI claims of foreign disinformation and express discomfort with the bureau’s meddling. Twitter’s former policy director observed a “sustained (if uncoordinated) effort by the IC [intelligence community]” to push Twitter to share more information against its own policies, while the FBI ultimately paid Twitter more than $3.5 million in taxpayer dollars to prioritize its censorship requests.

The White House has thus far refused to comment on the Twitter Files, referring reporters to the FBI, and the media establishment have largely ignored them. However, former Republican congressman Ron Paul argued they are proof the FBI colluded with Twitter to deprive Americans of their constitutional right to free speech.

lawsuit filed earlier this year by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana alleges that the FBI was not alone, and that officials from no fewer than 12 government agencies met weekly with representatives of Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech firms to decide which narratives and users to censor, with topics ranging from alleged election interference to Covid-19.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Crimson Contagion?

By Jeffrey A. Tucker | Brownstone Institute | December 22, 2022

The lockdowns of March 2020 shocked the American people and most public health agencies, not to mention infectious disease doctors. The idea of school shutdowns, business closures, plus mandatory remote work and other restrictions have previously seemed inconceivable. It was especially remarkable to have such an “all-of-government” response to a virus that we already knew posed a threat mainly to the elderly and infirm.

Issues like public-health precedent, American legal tradition, and medical knowledge about dealing with respiratory viruses, not to mention natural immunity and collateral damage of lockdowns, were all thrown out the window.

Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Fauci mentions a tabletop exercise called Crimson Contagion that ran from January through August, 2019. I had not previously heard of it and I found the mention remarkable, simply because it proves that not everyone was shocked by lockdowns. They were not part of official planning documents of either the CDC or WHO but they were clearly in the plans of someone.

I’ve only followed up on this report in light of growing focus on the person who coordinated Crimson Contagion: Robert Kadlec, who served in the Trump administration as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Preparedness and Response. It was he who also ran the Covid response between HHS and the Department of Homeland Security.

Kadec’s lifetime government service (and, yes, he is said to be CIA) extends all the way back to the G.W. Bush administration when in 2007 he took the position of Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Biodefense Policy on the Homeland Security Council from 2007 to 2009. The very notion of lockdowns originated in that administration.

The 2019 tabletop exercise involved a huge number of public-sector agencies across all states plus many private-sector associations. It postulated a disease scenario in which a respiratory virus begins in China and spreads around the world by air travelers. It is first detected in Chicago. The World Health Organization declares a pandemic 47 days later. But then it was too late: 110 million Americans became sick, with 7.7 million hospitalized and 586,000 dead.

The conclusion of the exercise was that government was not well prepared for a pandemic and urged more planning and fast acting to implement what we now call lockdowns as we await a vaccine. Presumably, the vaccine then fixes everything.

The public knew nothing of this exercise until March 19, 2020, when the New York Times reported on it for the first time. This was one day following the detailed release of stay-at-home orders by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The next day, National Public Radio also ran a report on Crimson Contagion.

The Times reported:

The Crimson Contagion planning exercise run last year by the Department of Health and Human Services involved officials from 12 states and at least a dozen federal agencies. They included the Pentagon, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Security Council. Groups like the American Red Cross and American Nurses Association were invited to join, as were health insurance companies and major hospitals like the Mayo Clinic.

The war game-like exercise was overseen by Robert P. Kadlec, a former Air Force physician who has spent decades focused on biodefense issues. After stints on the Bush administration’s Homeland Security Council and the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was appointed assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response.

Also participating were former Trump administration officials Rex Tillerson (Secretary of State, 2017-2018) and John F. Kelly, who was White House chief of staff from 2017 to 2019. The NYT even ran a picture of the two of them at the event.

Here are some direct quotes from the October 2019 report of Crimson Contagion:

The exercise revealed several workforce protection challenges under conditions where medical countermeasures, such as the pandemic vaccine, antiviral medications, and personal protective equipment, are limited. To protect the public prior to vaccine distribution, public health officials issued guidance on the implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions intended to slow the spread of the virus.

In keeping with non-pharmaceutical intervention recommendations, employers – including government entities – sought to practice social distancing by having a significant portion of their employees work remotely. Employers encountered cascading impacts associated with making, communicating, and implementing such work-distancing decisions.

At multiple levels of government, officials wrestled with identifying employees who are essential and those who are nonessential in the context of an incident forecasted to span many months. In addition, officials faced challenges in determining which employees could perform their duties remotely and hierarchical organizations, such as state and federal departments and agencies, were uncertain as to the process for determining and implementing remote-workforce decisions.


During the exercise, CDC recommended that states delay school openings for six weeks, a follow-up to the initial (pre-exercise) recommendation that states delay the opening of schools for two weeks if the disease is present in the area. Many local jurisdictions and school districts have the authority to decide to close schools (or keep schools open). This distributed approach to school closure decisions caused confusion centered on discrepancies between schools that remained open and those that closed. In addition, while school delays and dismissals may be necessary over the course of the pandemic response, state participants identified any continued school delays and dismissals as having serious cascading impacts that require a concerted public messaging campaign and government coordination. Multiple states realized that dismissing schools is much more complex than they previously appreciated.

The participating private sector organizations and businesses:

  • Aetna
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • Amador Health Center
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Red Cross
  • Association of Public Health Laboratories
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Carestream Health
  • Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
  • Ephraim McDowell/James B. Haggin Hospital
  • Giant Eagle Pharmacy
  • Grand Strand Health/HCA
  • Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council Healthcare Ready
  • International Safety Equipment Association
  • Juvare
  • Kidney Community Emergency Response Program
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Moldex-Metric Inc.
  • National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • National Indian Health Board
  • North Shore University Health System Patients’ Hospital
  • RBC Limited
  • San Mateo County Health – EMS Agency Seqirus Inc., USA
  • Spectrum Health
  • TriStar Skyline Medical Center
  • University of Minnesota

This exercise took place entirely out of the public eye but had strangely prescient foretelling of events only 5 months later. Kadlec, who had organized the entire tabletop exercise, was also later the author of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions report: An Analysis of the Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic, which came out earlier this year.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., reports: “second only to his longtime crony and comrade in arms Anthony Fauci, Robert Kadlec played a historic leadership role in fomenting the contagious logic that infectious disease posed a national security threat requiring a militarized response.”

He is the signer of the report to HHS, in a letter dated December 9, 2019:

By the time of this letter, US intelligence already knew of the Wuhan virus. Four months later, US lockdowns began, starting with the March 8th cancellation of South-by-Southwest by the Austin, Texas mayor, and extending to the March 12th imposition of travel restrictions, the March 13 takeover by FEMA, and the March 16th press conference by Trump, Fauci, and Deborah Birx, which announced nationwide lockdowns.

The same day, Politico ran an article about another pandemic exercise from 2017 in which some incoming Trump officials participated, including Kelly and Tillerson. The article claims that such exercises are required by law. By the time of Covid lockdowns, they had both been pushed out, only to reemerge as key participants in Crimson Contagion along with most national-security and health-related agencies of the federal government.

The lockdowns – to which Trump agreed only reluctantly and were extended far past the point in which he believed they would control the virus – were the most ruinous of the administration. Trump’s pollsters for 2020 all agreed that these lockdowns created the conditions that drove him from office.

What does it all mean? Perhaps it is all just a series of coincidental data points, that what is called the worst pandemic in 100 years came only a few months after an elaborate multi-agency trial run of the same in which former high officials of the Trump administration participated. And perhaps the best person to run the Covid response also happened to be the very person who organized and managed the trial run in the previous season.

Many people will surely say there is nothing to see here. There is so much not to see these days.

Crimson Contagion Key Findings

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hungary wants European Parliament dissolved

RT | December 22, 2022

The recent corruption scandal in the European Parliament (EP) is a sign that the EU institution should be abolished in its current form, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday. He added that the EP already had an abysmal reputation.

Orban’s remarks came after Eva Kaili, a Greek politician who served as one of the European Parliament’s vice presidents, was arrested and charged this month with corruption for receiving bribes from Qatar.

“The Hungarians would like for the European Parliament to be dissolved in its current form,” he said at a press conference in Budapest.

Orban argued that the scandal “draws attention to the fact that national parliaments have a stronger control system in place,” adding that legislators from the parliaments of member states should be delegated to the European Parliament, as opposed to being elected separately.

“And they obviously know our political position: the swamp must be drained,” the prime minister said.

Budapest has repeatedly clashed with the European Parliament and other EU institutions over a number of issues, including migration and LGBTQ rights. Brussels, in turn, accused Orban’s conservative government of eroding the rule of law at home.

Hungary, whose economy heavily depends on Russian energy imports, has also criticized the EU sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February. Unlike many of the bloc’s member states, Orban has refused to send weapons to Kiev.

“If it were up to us, there would not be a sanctions policy,” Orban said on Wednesday. “It is not in our interest to permanently divide the European and Russian economies into two, so we are trying to save what can be saved from our economic cooperation with the Russians.”

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Economics | , | Leave a comment

US Entry Into the Ukraine War?


“The war in Ukraine is not a Call of Duty fantasy. It is an enlargement of the human tragedy that NATO’s eastward expansion created. The victims do not live in North America. They live in a region that most Americans can’t find on a map. Washington urged the Ukrainians to fight. Now Washington must urge them to stop.” Colonel Douglas MacGregor, The American Conservative

Volodymyr Zelensky did not fly across the Atlantic so he could deliver a speech to the US Congress. That was not the purpose of his trip. The real objective was to produce a galvanizing event that would create the illusion of broad-based public support for the war. That is why the speech was broadcast on all the mainstream media channels and that is why Congress repeatedly greeted Zelensky with raucous applause. Once again, the cadres of voracious elites who control the political levers of power in America, are determined to drag the country to war, which is why they portray a cross-dressing “thug in a gym suit” as a Churchillian figure of unshakable principles. It’s all public relations. It’s all an attempt to garner support for a conflict which will soon involve young American men and women who will be asked to die so that wealthy elites can maintain their grip on global power.

Zelensky’s trip to Capitol Hill was timed to coincide with Putin’s winter offensive, which is expected to crush the Ukrainian Armed Forces and bring the war to a swift end. The Biden administration understands the situation but does not have weaponry or manpower to impact the outcome. That doesn’t mean, however, that Washington doesn’t have a plan for prolonging the conflict or beefing up its combat forces. It does have a plan, that is evident by the way the administration has rejected negotiations at every turn. What that tells us is that Washington is still committed to defeating Russia whatever the cost. In practical terms, that means that the US must create an incident that will serve as a justification for escalation. The incident could be related to Zelensky’s unexpected trip to Washington or, perhaps, it could be linked to the detonation of a nuclear device somewhere in Ukraine. Check out this excerpt from an article at RT:

The risk of Kiev attempting to build a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ remains, a senior Russian diplomat has said….

“Ukraine has the potential necessary to make a ‘dirty bomb,’ it doesn’t take much effort. Especially since Ukraine has been a nation advanced in nuclear technology since the Soviet times, [and] has many technologies and expertise,” Mikhail Ulyanov told journalists on Wednesday, as quoted by RIA Novosti

General Igor Kirillov, the commander of the Russian military branch responsible for protecting troops from weapons of mass destruction, claimed in October that Kiev was “at the final stage” of producing a dirty bomb.” (“Radioactive threat from Kiev persists – Moscow“, RT)

The means by which a false flag is carried out, is completely irrelevant. What matters is that — according to political analyst John Mearsheimer– “The United States is in this to win”, that is, the US foreign policy establishment is not prepared to let the Russian army prevail in Ukraine and impose its own settlement. They’re going to find a way to intensify the conflict and bring foreign troops into the theater. That’s the objective, and that’s what they’ll do once they’ve figured out an excuse for escalation. Bottom line: The US is not going to throw in the towel and call it quits. This is a long-term project that could drag on for years if not decades.

Political analyst Kurt Nimmo thinks that NATO might join the fighting. Here’s a short blurb from Nimmo’s latest at Global Research :

If Olga Lebedeva and can be believed, NATO is on the verge of entering the war in Ukraine.

“Such announcements were heard from officials of the Polish Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the NATO alliance, officers of the French army and (of course) the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence,” according to Lebedeva.

“The main reason would be the very next Russian general offensive that NATO is planning and which according to it would decimate the Ukrainian army not only in the Donbass but also on the Kiev side (many Russian units are in combat situation in Belarus at the borders with Ukraine),” explains, a Russian website.

But NATO has always been very clear: Ukraine CANNOT LOSE. For Washington, the only solution would therefore be for NATO forces to enter Ukraine, hoping that this will end the Russian offensive. The calculation is that Vladimir Putin will not want to directly face NATO with the possible (nuclear) consequences, and will therefore then retreat.” (“NATO Decides to Attack Russia in Ukraine– Ukraine is unable to defeat Russia. The next step is for direct NATO involvement“, Kurt Nimmo, Global Research )

Nimmo could be right but, maybe not. It appears to me that NATO is hopelessly divided on the issue. A number of NATO countries will not join in a war against Russia regardless of the circumstances or the amount of pressure from the White House. The more likely scenario was presented by Colonel Douglas MacGregor who laid it out in an article at The American Conservative on Tuesday. Here’s what he said: 

The Biden administration’s unconditional support for the Zelensky regime in Kiev is reaching a strategic inflection point not unlike the one LBJ reached in 1965… Like South Vietnam in the 1960s, Ukraine is losing its war with Russia… The real danger now is that Biden will soon appear on television to repeat LBJ’s performance in 1965, substituting the word “Ukraine” for “South Vietnam”:

“Tonight, my fellow Americans I want to speak to you about freedom, democracy, and the struggle of the Ukrainian people for victory. No other question so preoccupies our people. No other dream so absorbs the millions who live in Ukraine and Eastern Europe… However, I am not talking about a NATO attack on Russia. Rather, I propose to send a U.S. led coalition of the willing, consisting of American, Polish, and Romanian armed forces into Ukraine, to establish the ground equivalent of a “no-fly zone.” The mission I propose is a peaceful one, to create a safe zone in the Western most portion of Ukraine for Ukrainian Forces and refugees struggling to survive Russia’s devastating attacks…”

NATO’s governments are divided in their thinking about the war in Ukraine. Except for Poland and, possibly, Romania, none of NATO’s members are in a rush to mobilize their forces for a long, grueling war of attrition with Russia in Ukraine. No one in London, Paris, or, Berlin wants to run the risk of a nuclear war with Moscow. Americans do not support going to war with Russia, and those few who do are ideologues, shallow political opportunists, or greedy defense contractors.” (“Washington is Prolonging Ukraine’s Suffering“, Colonel Douglas MacGregor, The American Conservative )

This, I think, is the much more plausible scenario. The Biden Administration will enlist a handful of countries that agree to troop deployments to west Ukraine ostensibly for humanitarian reasons. At the same time, they will allow disparate Ukrainian forces to continue the random shelling of Russia-controlled areas as well as locations on Russian soil. There will undoubtedly be an effort to control the skies over west Ukraine (no-fly zone) and to conduct attacks on Russian formations in the east. Most important, vital supplylines from Poland will remain open to accommodate the flow of men, munitions and lethal weaponry to the front. MacGregor appears to anticipate these developments given his comments at the beginning of the article. Here’s what he said:

During a speech given on November 29, Polish Vice-Minister of National Defense (MON) Marcin Ociepa said: “The probability of a war in which we will be involved is very high. Too high for us to treat this scenario only hypothetically.” The Polish MON is allegedly planning to call up 200,000 reservists in 2023 for a few weeks’ training, but observers in Warsaw suspect this action could easily lead to a national mobilization.

Meanwhile, inside the Biden administration, there is growing concern that the Ukrainian war effort will collapse under the weight of a Russian offensive. And as the ground in Southern Ukraine finally freezes, the administration’s fears are justified. In an interview published in the Economist, head of Ukraine’s armed forces General Valery Zaluzhny admitted that Russian mobilization and tactics are working. He even hinted that Ukrainian forces might be unable to withstand the coming Russian onslaught.” (“Washington is Prolonging Ukraine’s Suffering“, Colonel Douglas MacGregor, The American Conservative )

The plan to lure Russia into a war in Ukraine goes back at least a decade. And what we know now from comments by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is that Washington never sought a peaceful resolution to the conflict but worked tirelessly to install a Russia-hating regime in Kiev that would help it to prosecute its war on Russia. The gathering of nearly 600,000 Russian combat troops in or around Ukraine threatens to derail Washington’s strategy and end the war on Russia’s terms. Washington can’t allow that to happen. It cannot allow the world to see that it was beaten by Russia. Thus, Washington must pursue the only option left to them, the deployment of US troops to Ukraine.

Perhaps, cooler heads will prevail and the administration will pull back from the brink, but we think that is highly unlikely. We think the decision has already been made: We think the United States is going to war with Russia.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism | , , , | 4 Comments

Selling a war: How German media stirs up militancy in society and works to prevent negotiations with Russia

By Felix Livshitz | RT | December 22, 2022

Last week, the University of Mainz published a study of German news coverage of events in Ukraine, and Berlin’s official response to the crisis. The conclusions confirm that since February 24, the media has played a major role in keeping the conflict going, and making a negotiated settlement less likely, due to almost universally biased, pro-war, anti-Russia content being published at all stages.

Researchers at the university analyzed German-language reporting on the Ukraine conflict between February 24 and May 31, assessing the content of around 4,300 separate articles published by the country’s eight leading newspapers and TV stations: FAZ, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Bild, Spiegel, Zeit, ARD Tagesschau, ZDF Today, and RTL Aktuell.

During this time, Ukraine was portrayed positively in 64% of all coverage, and President Vladimir Zelensky in 67%. By contrast, Russia was portrayed “almost exclusively negatively” 88% of the time, and President Vladimir Putin in 96% of cases. Almost all reports – 93% in total – attributed sole blame for the war to Putin and/or Russia. The West was named as “jointly responsible” in only 4% of instances, Ukraine even less so at 2%.

The perspectives of Russia on the conflict were only considered or mentioned in 10% of news reports, less than the viewpoint of any other country, including Moscow’s neighbors. Alternative for Germany and the Left Party, which both oppose arming Ukraine and prolonging the fighting, “had practically no media presence in reporting on the war.”

Government messaging and statements from ministers were completely dominant, being the focus in 80% of news coverage, more than four times above the figure for opposition parties.

In media discussions of “measures most likely to end the war,” economic sanctions against Russia were “by far the most frequently reported,” and approved of in 66% of cases. Diplomatic measures were mentioned “much less frequently,” while “humanitarian measures” were even less regularly featured.

In all, 74% of the reports surveyed portrayed military support to Ukraine “extremely positively.” Delivery of heavy weapons was endorsed “a little less clearly, but still considered to be largely sensible,” with 66% “overwhelmingly in favor.” Less than half – 43% – gave the impression that diplomatic negotiations would be useful, and this was largely due to Der Spiegel’s reporting that clearly marked diplomacy as the most sensible option for Berlin “by far.”

Der Spiegel was the only media examined to rate diplomatic negotiations more positively than the delivery of heavy weapons,” the academics conclude.

The report did identify one area where media coverage was “certainly not pro-government.” On certain rare occasions, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his coalition were strongly criticized “for hesitating to flood Ukraine with heavy weapons” by all outlets apart from Der Spiegel.

The report adds that “not all members of the government were equally affected by the criticism.” While those who escaped censure aren’t listed, it’s a fair bet they are representatives of government coalition parties such as the Greens, who have been demanding that Berlin flood Kiev with arms from day one.

Overall, though, the study offers a disturbing view into how Germany’s entire media lined up behind the cause of war and a dangerous escalation against Russia. Meanwhile, consideration of alternative policies, such as supporting a diplomatic settlement or urging Ukraine to engage in productive negotiations to end the fighting as early as possible was almost completely absent – or indeed completely withheld – from any news reporting or analysis.

It also shows how journalists are among the most aggressive and effective lobbyists for war. Germany is just one country, and a similar investigation of media coverage of the conflict in any Western state would inevitably reach similar conclusions. In many cases, the findings could possibly be even more drastic, in terms of the one-sided, pro-war picture presented to average citizens by the press, and the lack of opposing, pro-diplomacy viewpoints.

This would surely be the case in the UK and US, the two countries most eagerly pushing proxy war with Russia. It has been confirmed that Kiev and Moscow reached a negotiated interim settlement in early April, whereby Russia would withdraw to its pre-February 24 position, and Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership in return for security guarantees from a number of countries.

However, at the very last minute, then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly flew to Kiev and demanded that Zelensky step away from talks. This shocking fact has barely been mentioned in English-language news, but this should not surprise us.

These organizations and the journalists who work for them seem to have a forever war to sell. For that to happen, the Western public apparently cannot be allowed to know it’s possible to achieve peace by alternative means to death and destruction. It is also necessary, it appears, to mislead Europeans about the consequences of the conflict for their own economies and personal lives, as the University of Mainz study proves.

Between February 24 and May 31, the proportion of reports that mentioned or were about the “influence of the war on Germany,” such as energy shortages and price inflation, never rose above 15% in total per week. It is only lately the country’s media has begun to recognize this damage, and explored what it means for the average citizen. A majority of the public may not see the huge recession coming, or have any idea that it is self-inflicted.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s War with Russia Has Nothing to Do With Freedom

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 22, 2022

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared before a joint session of Congress to plead for more billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to help Ukraine in its war with Russia.

One particular sentence in Zelensky’s address caught my attention: “We Ukrainians will also go through our war of independence and freedom with dignity and success.” The sentence prompted an enormous applause from the members of Congress.

There is one big problem with Zelensky’s statement, however. The war between Ukraine and Russia has nothing to do with freedom. Instead, it has everything to do with NATO, the old Cold War dinosaur that ginned up the crisis that led to this highly deadly and destructive war.

Operating through NATO, the Pentagon was insistent on incorporating Ukraine into NATO. Zelensky too wanted Ukraine to join NATO. For at least the last 25 years, Russia has made it clear that Ukraine’s joining NATO was a “red line” for Russia. The last thing Russia wanted was Pentagon bases and nuclear missiles installed on Russia’s border, just as the last thing that the Pentagon would want is Russian bases and nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba. Russia consistently made it clear that if Ukraine crossed that “red line,” Russia would invade Ukraine to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.

Thus, everyone knew what the stakes were if the Pentagon, NATO, and Ukraine persisted in making Ukraine a member of NATO. They knew that if they persisted, Russia would end up invading Ukraine.

Knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally ignoring and disregarding Russia’s “red line,” the Pentagon, NATO, and Ukraine continued down the road toward making Ukraine a member of NATO, knowing full-well that that would result in a Russian invasion of Ukraine to prevent that from happening.

Thus, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky was faced with a fateful choice. If he decided that Ukraine would not join NATO, there would be no Russian invasion of Ukraine. If he decided that Ukraine would join NATO, there would be a Russian invasion of Ukraine, one that was certain to result in massive death and destruction on both sides.

Zelensky chose the second option. In making that choice, he was saying that the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of his citizens and the destruction of his country were worth Ukraine’s joining NATO. That’s quite a choice. Another president might have decided the massive death and destruction that would be unleashed in such a war would not be worth joining NATO.

In any event, the war between Russia and Ukraine is not about freedom, as Zelensky said to Congress. It’s about Zelensky’s wish to have Ukraine join NATO.

And let’s keep in mind that NATO was part of the old Cold War racket that was used to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, which is a type of governmental structure that wields totalitarian-like powers. When the Cold War racket suddenly came to an end, the old Cold War dinosaur NATO should have gone out of existence, just as the Warsaw Pact did.

During the entire Cold War racket, the fear that the Russians and other communists were coming to get us was used to justify ever-increasing budgets for the national-security establishment and its ever-growing army of voracious “defense” contractors who loved feeding at the public trough. The Pentagon and its “defense” contractors were clearly not ready to let go of their Cold War cash cow.

That’s what NATO’s absorption of former members of the Warsaw Pact was all about. By installing U.S. military forces and missiles ever closer to Russia’s border, the Pentagon’s aim was to incite a Russian reaction, which would then bring back the lucrative Cold War racket. Thus, the Pentagon knew exactly what it was doing when it persisted in absorbing Ukraine into NATO. And it clearly got what it was aiming for — a renewal of its Cold War racket and ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess.

One of the unanswered questions is how much of the $100 billion in U.S. taxpayer money that U.S. officials have given to the Ukrainian government has been used to line the pockets of Ukrainian officials. After all, Ukraine is one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. There is no reason to believe that the Ukraine-Russia war has suddenly converted Ukrainian officials into honest and honorable government officials.

Finally, there is something else to consider that is of critical importance. The federal government’s debt now exceeds $31 trillion. U.S. officials, led by President Biden, continue spending money like there was no tomorrow. That includes almost a trillion dollars being given to the Pentagon to keep us “safe” from the threats that it itself induces. Ever-increasing federal spending, debt, taxation, and monetary destruction constitutes a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of the American people. In pleading with Congress to give the Ukrainian government even more billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, it’s too bad that President Zelensky gives short shrift to the continued destruction of our own freedom and well-being here at home.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 2 Comments

Russia reacts to Red Cross office shelling in Donetsk

RT | December 22, 2022

Russia has expressed solidarity with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whose office in Donetsk was hit by artillery fire on Monday night. The global community should recognize Kiev’s responsibility for this and other incidents, the Foreign Ministry suggested.

The shelling was “expected,” considering the years-long indiscriminate attacks on the city by Ukrainian forces, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during her daily briefing on Thursday.

“Even this will not be a reason for the international bureaucracy to get the courage to reject the bland lies of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky…about purported ‘self-shelling’ in Donbass,” the diplomat predicted.

International humanitarian organizations should stop denying reality and not shy away from assigning blame for these types of incidents, Zakharova said. Without acknowledging the connection between the pouring of weapons into Ukraine by Kiev’s foreign backers and the deaths of civilians caused by Ukrainian troops, there cannot be an improvement of the humanitarian situation on the ground, she warned.

The ICRC confirmed on Wednesday that its Donetsk office had been hit by shelling earlier in the week. Luckily no personnel were killed or injured, it added. In a separate attack on an ICRC-supported hospital in the city on Sunday, two patients were killed, the statement said.

The aid organization said it “condemns the effects of the hostilities on our office and calls for respect of the humanitarian space.”

Zakharova noted that over roughly the last two weeks, 21 Donetsk residents had been killed and 94 others injured. She blamed Ukrainian forces for the civilian losses.

President Zelensky has repeatedly alleged that Kiev’s opponents use false flag attacks to discredit its military. In mid-February, he called reports of mortar strikes by Ukrainian forces in Donbass “pure lies.”

“Nobody was injured. It’s just people who have gone crazy and are blowing themselves up…They fire at themselves. It’s a kind of cynicism,” he added.

The Ukrainian president was speaking at a panel discussion at this year’s Munich Security Conference. Officials in Donbass at the time were reporting a surge of Ukrainian attacks amid heightened tensions between Kiev and Moscow.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Olaf Scholz’s foreign policy manifesto in ‘Foreign Affairs’ magazine

By Gilbert Doctorow | December 21, 2022

When I first read through Olaf Scholz’s comprehensive foreign policy essay “The Global Zeitenwende” recently published in Foreign Affairs magazine, it brought to mind another sensational manifesto from an international leader in the news published by this very same authoritative journal. That was an essay ‘written’ by then Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko for the late spring 2007 issue.

There are several things these two essays have in common aside from centrality of Ukraine and of Russian malevolence in their thinking about the world. Publication of the Tymoshenko article gave rise to accusations of plagiarism against her for lifting some well known phrases from the writings of Henry Kissinger without attribution. In the case of Scholz, there is a more subtle kind of ‘plagiarism,’ in that he, like Tymoshenko, is clearly not the sole author of the text published over his name. I will go into these matters in some detail below.

Another common feature is the extraordinary way in which these essays were crafted so as to slot into the susceptibilities and preferences of the American foreign policy establishment. The authors seem to have checked every possible box whether or not it was directly relevant to their overriding argument or to the nations they represent.

A third commonality is apt timing of the publication.  In the case of Tymoshenko, her fierce denunciation of Russia in which she deployed every calumny invented by the American Neo-Conservatives came just a few months after Vladimir Putin delivered his now famous speech on Russian claims against the US-led West at the Munich Security Conference. The sheer temerity of the Russian leader whose speech was witnessed by Senator John McCain and other American political worthies seated in the front rows left the U.S. Administration of George W. Bush infuriated and confounded over how to respond. As soon as they found their footing and their voice, they initiated what has ever since been a vast Information War directed against Russia.

Tymoshenko’s article in Foreign Affairs was the first cannon shot in this war of words. The publishers were most obliging, because such service to the State Department in disseminating a document they had to know was fake was the price they willingly paid to receive privileged access to high government officials on a regular basis and thereby provide value to their subscriber base at home and abroad numbering in the hundreds of thousands that makes FA the most widely read journal of its kind.

By giving pride of place to Scholz’s foreign policy manifesto today, when the will and strength of European solidarity with the USA over the war in Ukraine is top of mind and is being questioned by some in the mainstream media, FA continues this line of service to the powers that be.


I dealt with the peculiarities of the Tymoshenko manifesto in an essay dated 10 November 2009 that I published on my blog and then republished as a chapter (29) in my 2010 book Stepping Out of Line. In that piece, I used close textual analysis to show that many turns of speech and lines of thinking were utterly inconsistent with supposed authorship by a native Ukrainian of her generation while they were second nature to American political commentators.

In this same essay, I emphasized that the kind of misrepresentation practiced in the publication of Tymoshenko’s text by FA was not a one-off development in America’s war of words on Russia. I pointed to an Open Letter to the Administration of President Barack Obama published in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza on 16 July 2009 that was signed by Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and other well known thinkers and former statesmen who were behind the liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet domination in the late 1980s. This appeal to the American President to ensure greater U.S. attention be given to the security of their region had a number of explicitly Russophobe points, including the insistence that Russia’s policy towards their countries was revisionist and threatening. Russia was said to be using overt and covert economic warfare in pursuit of its aims.

The context for the Open Letter was Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow a couple of weeks earlier to pursue the ‘reset’ of relations and achieve a rapprochement on several issues of strategic importance to the United States. Mainstream media, including The New York Times, carried the Open Letter.

The American public took it to be a cri de coeur of freedom fighters. In reality it was concocted by a team of ghost writers under the supervision of the German Marshal Fund and its boss Ron Asmus. This later came out in an expose written by Jacob Heilbrunn for the journal The National Interest.

For all of the above reasons, my first thoughts about possible American authorship of the Scholz manifesto had to be tested. However, the verdict of two German-speaking experts who examined the texts at my request was that German, not English was the source language and that the points made here were in line with what Scholz has said in speeches he has delivered around Germany in the past few weeks. And yet, I insist, that in its particulars the manifesto was made to appeal to the American readership of FA.


Olaf Scholz is notable for his cunning. In short order, as the days of the Merkel chancellorship faded, he leveraged his prominence as a regional politician (mayor of Hamburg) into national standing. And when the Social Democrats emerged from the last elections as the leading party, though one still without a majority in the Bundestag, he succeeded in putting together a governing coalition relying on The Greens. This fox of a man surely recognized The Greens as politically primitive and so, malleable to his purposes, whereas forging yet another Grand Coalition with the CDU/CSU, who would be peers in terms of experience in federal cabinets, would have limited his power. Indeed, the outcome has been a federal government in which the highly visible posts of Economic Affairs (Robert Habeck) and Foreign Affairs (Annalena Baerbock) were filled with utterly inexperienced and incompetent high-ranking Greens politicians whose missteps and foolish statements in public space have diminished the Greens’ weight in a government that the Chancellor dominates.

However, cunning is not the same thing as intellectuality. The author(s) of the manifesto published in Foreign Affairs magazine show a mastery of the skills required to write effective propaganda that you acquire in a political science milieu not in an administration responsible for governing one city on a day to day basis, as was the milieu of Herr Scholz for decades before he rose to the chancellorship.

Am I being unfair or pedantic in calling Scholz a plagiarist when he put his name to a paper written by a team under his direction possibly with inputs from overseas friends in the USA? Isn’t that what political leaders do regularly when they stand on the dais and read speeches that were written by their professional speech writers?

Yes, but speeches are not the same thing as contributions to a journal that is published by political scientists with academic credentials for political scientists with academic credentials.

This is plagiarism in a form that is all too widespread in German political culture. Over the past couple of decades there were a number of scandals involving high politicians there whose doctoral theses were exposed as ghost written or plagiarized in the formal sense of the word. This directly results from the high respect that Germans as a society give to the Herr Doktor moniker. Political aspirants with burning ambition are all too tempted to go for broke.

Had he wished to be more honest with his own people and with the world, Scholz could have said his manifesto was co-authored with one or more experts so that everyone could better judge where this thinking was coming from and challenges to the thinking would be less politicized. Joe Biden did as much when he published his own manifesto in 2017-2018 on “standing up to the Russians” in FA with Michael Carpenter presented as co-author.


Now let us look at the content of the manifesto which is firstly a very carefully trimmed narrative of what over the past thirty years has brought us to the present turning point in the road, or “Global Zeitenwende,” and secondly, a road map to the future, which the author(s) say, in the subtitle to the manifesto, will enable us “to avoid a New Cold War.”

In their hands, the narrative of European and world history over the past thirty years is the story of Russian revanchism that exists in a vacuum, without context of provocations and escalations from the USA, the EU and other actors, and propelled by the animus of one man, Vladimir Putin.

The key message about Russian culpability for everything comes in a couple of paragraphs. The original sin was Putin’s evaluation of the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.” From that the authors fast forward to Putin’s “aggressive speech” at the February 2007 Munich Security Conference, “deriding the rules-based international order as a mere tool of American dominance.” This was followed in short order by the war Russia launched against Georgia in 2008. And from there we are off to the races:

In 2014, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea and sent its forces into parts of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, in direct violation of international law and Moscow’s own treaty commitments. The years that followed saw the Kremlin undercut arms control treaties and expand its military capabilities, poison and murder Russian dissidents, crack down on civil society, and carry out a brutal military intervention in support of the Assad regime in Syria. Step by step, Putin’s Russia chose a path that took it further from Europe and further from a cooperative, peaceful order.

This imperial ambition imputed to the Russians culminated in the unprovoked and utterly illegal invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 to which Europe, and in particular Germany must respond by breaking entirely with past efforts at accommodation with Russia. Instead Germany must rearm and become the leading defender of Europe.

The authors walk a thin line between claiming European leadership for Germany and lauding the Americans for saving Europe presently from the Russian assault. They are giving the Americans exactly what Washington has been demanding for more than a decade: the commitment to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP.  The text even finds space to go into specific procurement items coming up, such as the “dual purpose” (meaning nuclear enabled) American F-35 warplane. Such details obviously are calculated to bring holiday cheer to the Washington establishment.

It is interesting that the manifesto speaks about avoiding a New Cold War when it is patently obvious that we are in the midst of exactly that and should count ourselves lucky that it has not yet escalated to a hot war that quickly becomes nuclear war. We may assume from the text that Scholz is holding out division into hostile blocs as the defining moment for a Cold War. And while formal declaration of anti-NATO alliances has not and may never emerge, the present reality is precisely the formation before our eyes of the Global South in confrontation with the Collective West. The Russia-Iran-China axis is there for all to see even if it is not a formally constituted military bloc. Moreover, a key constituent element of the Cold War, namely an ideological dimension, has in the past several years taken definitive shape in the notion of free democratic nations versus authoritarian nations. As for declaring a Cold War, what is there more to wait for?

Scholz’s manifesto completely distorts history to the point where it even overlooks the finding by the EU, following an investigation by then French President Sarkozy, that the Georgian War was caused by the military assault by Tbilisi on Ossetia, not by some unprovoked Russian attack on the Georgians. More importantly, it is totally blind to where his thinking would and may yet lead Germany and the world.

First, within Europe, his claim that Germany will be the leader of European defense and have the strongest military on the Continent goes directly in the face of a similar ambition of the Poles, the front-line state in the confrontation with Russia that will be receiving the greatest assistance of Washington, because the Poles, unlike the Germans, are putting their bodies on the line in the fight with the Russians over Ukraine.

The German leader’s hopes to become Washington’s closest ally by unquestioningly signing on to the American propaganda line also runs up against the ambitions of the French. It is no accident that the manifesto was issued so as to compete for attention with the visit of Emanuel Macron to Washington, in the knowledge that Macron was bringing to the overlords Europe’s complaints over unfair trading practices embedded in the latest Congressional legislation.

The biggest problem with Scholz’s road map at this Zeitenwende is that it is blind, as is Washington, to where the armed conflict on Ukrainian territory is taking us all. Ukrainian military victory is simply unattainable and sooner or later Kiev will fold. Scholz’s manifesto makes it plain that what lies ahead is what all sides are now calling a ‘long war.’

Yes, Germany will greatly expand its military spending and make amends for the pitiful forces of the present day Bundeswehr. However, the Russians will not go back to their bear caves and hibernate when the fighting stops in Ukraine. Indeed, what I now see is that progressively, over the past 300 days of warfare, Russian society has moved from consumerism and consolidated around patriotism. The ‘fifth column’ Liberals have now mostly left the country and moved to where their assets have long been kept in the West. Russian industry, under state direction, has risen to the challenge of supplying the army with equipment and munitions that are being expended at the highest daily rate since WWII. This trend will only accelerate going forward, as the Russian economy reorganizes on a war footing. Moreover, and most importantly, the small professional army that Russia built up from the start of Putin’s tenure in the presidency has been replaced conceptually by plans to develop an army scaled to offset the whole of European conventional forces. This means, as we have heard repeatedly from the host of the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov talk show, a standing army of three million men and women. And, against that coming force, Mr. Scholz’s Bundeswehr will be as pitiful in the future as it is today when facing Russia. Meanwhile, hopes for an even partial return to normality in relations between East and West on this Continent will be in vain, to the great loss of all sides.

© Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment


By Helmholtz Smith | Son Of The New American Revolution | December 21, 2022 

The primary purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy’s ability to resist. That is a long process – weapons and ammunition destroyed, supply routes blocked, war production stopped, political will broken. And it’s a bloody process – the enemy’s soldiers must be killed or maimed. Clausewitz –

Fighting is the central military act… The object of fighting is the destruction or defeat of the enemy… Direct annihilation of the enemy’s forces must always be the dominant consideration.

Why “dominant consideration”? Simple – once you have destroyed the enemy’s power, you can do anything you want. Take territory without destroying power? Not so good. One may wonder whether this is understood at West Point given the number of TV generals who say Russia is losing because it’s given up territory and was “defeated” in Kiev. Don’t they remember that the US took Kabul and Baghdad quite early? That didn’t end either of those wars, did it?

Demilitarization, denazification, securing safety of Donbass are Russia’s stated aims. They can happen only when Ukraine’s power to resist is broken. Moscow may have hoped the job would have been easier (and it nearly was in April) but here we are. A bigger job earns a bigger reward and the territorial (safety) aims have probably expanded to take in all of Novorossiya.

The Economist (interesting choice of venue – Larry speculates on why this and why now) recently interviewed Zelensky and Generals Zaluzhny and Syrsky. Neither general was very upbeat. What struck me was Zaluzhny saying “I need 300 tanks, 600-700 IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles], 500 Howitzers.” To put this in perspective, according to Wikipedia, the German Army has 266 tanks, about 650 IFVs and about 350 artillery systems. The British Army has 227 tanks, about 700 IFVs and about 230 artillery systems. A year ago, Ukraine was estimated to have had 2400 tanks, thousands of IFVs and 2000 artillery systems. What happened to them? And all the other weapons Ukraine has received? One may see Zaluzhny’s request as being in the form of “if… then”. Well, the first condition won’t be met – he is essentially asking for half of what the the UK and Germany have between them (plus all their guns) – and therefore the second can’t be. Is this his way of admitting that Russia has nearly finished “the destruction of his forces”? (Calling for stronger penalties against deserters doesn’t give a confident ring either, does it?)

First destroy the enemy’s power, then make your choice.

Russian commander Surovikin is surely approaching the judgment call. Ukraine has lost a huge amount of its power of resistance and its friends in NATO are running out of what they can send. He has plenty of options. Which, of course, can be combined. To be carried out with caution, because, as Merkel has told those who hadn’t already figured it out, USA/NATO is not “agreement-capable” and therefore not stable.

  • Continue attrition and watch Ukraine and NATO demilitarize themselves. With forces in place, trained and equipped, take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. (Sun Tzu “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting“.) This is the easiest option but, because it is the slowest, it carries the risk of a desperate USA/NATO doing something irretrievably stupid.
  • “Big arrows”. All or some of these. Deep penetrations to cut off the remaining Ukrainian forces in the east and move to total victory. Or powerful raids into the Ukrainian rear to destroy and disrupt. (John Helmer explains the purpose here.) Or a drive to Trans Dnestr leaving Rump Ukraine landlocked. Any “big arrow” have the advantage of destroying the Ukraine-is-winning fantasy.
  • Block the border with Poland and the supply of NATO weaponry and wait for the the whole thing to collapse.
  • If the Ukrainian collapse at Bakhmut is big enough, just move to the desired end-state borders.

I don’t see any point in trying to take Kiev or any other major city in “Ukrainian” Ukraine – there’s nothing to be gained from acquiring a population infused with hatred. (Nazis in Ukraine? Down the Memory Hole – the Guardian wouldn’t show this video today. Nor Vice this. Nor the BBC this).

Timing? Not my decision but I would bet it happens after the collapse of the Ukrainian last-ditch position in the Bakhmut area. (Are the Western media masters preparing us for that event? Berletic suggests they are. “Bakhmut is not an especially strategic location“, “low strategic advantage“, “lack of strategic importance“, only important because “it would enable Putin to show some form of military victory“. They of course don’t ask why the Ukrainians are sacrificing thousands of lives to hold these “unimportant” positions).

Would this be a defeat for NATO? Of course not, victories are easy when you have a managed news media – Afghanistan, what’s that?

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Sanctions Are Killing Syrians and Are a Human Rights Violation

By Steven Sahiounie | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 22, 2022

Damascus is now bitterly cold and is soon to be blanketed with snow. About 12 million Syrians are facing a deadly winter without heating fuel, gasoline for transportation, and dark houses each evening without electricity. Aleppo, Homs, and Hama are also extremely cold all winter.

Imagine being ill and having to walk to the doctor or hospital. The ambulances in Syria will now respond only to the most life-threatening calls because they must conserve gasoline, or face running out entirely. Gasoline on the black market costs Syrians an equivalent of 50 U.S. dollars for a tank of 20-liter fuel.

Sanctions against Syria were imposed by the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, the Arab League, as well as other countries beginning in 2011. The sanctions were aimed at overthrowing the Syrian government, by depriving it of its resources. U.S.-sponsored ‘regime change’ has failed but the sanctions were never lifted.

For 12 years the U.S. and EU have been imposing economic sanctions on Syria which have deprived the Syrians of their dignity and human rights.

New UN report asks for lifting sanctions on Syria

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights, Alena Douhan, urged sanctions to be lifted against Syria, warning that they were adding to the suffering of the Syrian people since 2011.

“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war,” Douhan said.

After a 12-day visit to Syria, Douhan said the majority of Syria’s population was currently living below the poverty line, with shortages of food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking and heating fuel, transportation, and healthcare. She spoke of the continuing exodus of educated and skilled Syrians in response to the economic hardship of living at home.

Douhan reported that the majority of infrastructure was destroyed or damaged, and the sanctions imposed on oil, gas, electricity, trade, construction, and engineering have diminished the national income, which has prevented economic recovery and reconstruction.

The sanctions prevent payments from being received from banks, and deliveries from foreign manufacturers. Serious shortages in medicine and medical equipment have plagued hospitals and clinics. The lack of a water treatment system in Aleppo caused a severe Cholera outbreak in late summer, and the system cannot be bought, installed, or maintained under the current U.S. sanctions against Syria.

Douhan said, “I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding, and reconstruction.”

U.S. sanctions are not effective

In 1998, Richard Haass wrote, ‘Economic Sanctions: Too Much of a Bad Thing’. He cautioned U.S. foreign policymakers that sanctions alone are ineffective when the aims are large, or the time is short. The overthrow of the Syrian government is a massive aim, and the sanctions did not accomplish that goal.

Haass predicted that sanctions could cause economic distress and migration. In the summer of 2015 about half a million Syrians walked through Europe as economic migrants and were taken in primarily by Germany.

There is a moral imperative to stop using sanctions as a foreign policy tool because innocent people are affected, while the sanctions have failed.

The U.S. steals Syrian oil, and will not allow imported oil to arrive

According to the U.S. government, the sanctions on Syria “prohibits new investments in Syria by U.S. persons, prohibits the exportation or sale of services to Syria by U.S. persons, prohibits the importation of petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin, and prohibits U.S. persons from involvement in transactions involving Syrian petroleum or petroleum products.”

There is a waiver that can be requested from the Department of Commerce, to circumvent the sanctions; however, it only applies to sending items to the terrorist-occupied area of Idlib. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham was the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria and is the only terrorist group now holding territory in Syria.

On October 22, the media Energy World reported the U.S. occupation forces had smuggled 92 tankers and trucks of Syrian oil and wheat stolen from northeastern Syria to U.S. bases in Iraq. The theft is ongoing and continuous.

The U.S. has partnered with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is a Kurdish militia that has a political wing following the communist ideology begun by the PKK’s Abdullah Ocalan. President Trump ordered the U.S. military to remain to occupy northeastern Syria and he ordered the U.S. soldiers there to steal the Syrian oil so to prevent the Syrian people in the rest of the country from benefiting from the gasoline and electricity produced from the wells.

The Syrian Oil Ministry said in August that the U.S. forces were stealing 80 percent of Syria’s oil production, causing direct and indirect losses of about 107.1 billion to Syria’s oil and gas industry.

Because the Damascus government is deprived of the oil its wells produce, it is forced to depend on costly imported oil, usually from Iran. The U.S. routinely commandeers Iranian tankers, such as the incident recently when the U.S. Navy took a tanker hostage off the coast of Greece on its way to Syria but was eventually released by Greece.

Gasoline shortage

The government has instituted a three-day weekend for schools and civil offices, as well as suspended sports events to save fuel.

Maurice Haddad, Director of the General Company for Internal Transport in Damascus, told the al-Watan newspaper that the government has set stricter diesel quotas, leading to fewer daily bus services.

Athar-Press news website reported that several bakeries in Damascus have had to shut down because of the lack of fuel.

Fuel is needed to generate electricity in Syria, and the lack of domestic or imported fuel means most homes in Syria have about one hour of electricity at several intervals each day, and the amount is diminishing daily.

Sanction exemptions for Idlib and the Kurds only

The only two areas in Syria which are not under the Damascus administration are Idlib in the northwest and the U.S.-sponsored Kurdish region in the northeast. The U.S. sanctions are exempt from sending items to those two places only. But, those two places represent a small number of Syrians in comparison to the civilians across the country, and the main cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, and Latakia. The U.S. makes sure the people who are against the Syrian government continue to be rewarded with supplies and reconstruction, while the millions of peaceful civilians are kept in a constant state of suffering and deprivation.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kremlin assesses Zelensky-Biden meeting

RT | December 22, 2022

Washington seems intent on waging a proxy war against Russia using Ukraine as a tool, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said. He added that the main takeaway from Wednesday’s meeting between the two countries’ leaders is that neither the US nor Ukraine is prepared to pay attention to Russia’s concerns.

“Of course, we were following this [meeting], we were getting acquainted with all the incoming information,” Peskov told journalists on Thursday. He added that in Moscow’s eyes, “neither President [Joe] Biden nor President [Vladimir] Zelensky uttered any words that could be construed as, so to speak, potential readiness to take heed of Russia’s concerns.”

The Kremlin spokesperson went on to lament the fact that the US president had failed to warn his Ukrainian colleague against shelling residential areas in Donbass. He also said that neither side called for peace.

According to Peskov, the US is continuing to wage war against Russia indirectly, “to the last Ukrainian.”

He also noted that further weapons deliveries from the US and other countries will only serve to prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

Late on Wednesday, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, also accused Washington of waging a proxy war against Moscow, adding that the US and Ukraine are hell-bent on the “manic idea of defeating the Russians on the battlefield.”

On Wednesday, Zelensky arrived in Washington for his first official foreign visit since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

During his meeting with Biden at the White House, the US president pledged to back Kiev for “as long as it takes.” He also confirmed the upcoming handover of a Patriot air defense battery and other military aid.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned the Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that they could lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment