Aletho News


Rights group submits objection to US plans to build new embassy in Jerusalem

MEMO | January 31, 2023

Adalah yesterday filed an objection against the Jerusalem District Planning Committee over the US’ plan to build a new embassy on illegally confiscated Palestinian land in Jerusalem.

Action was taken on behalf of 12 of the descendants of the original Palestinian owners of the land, with the rights group calling on Washington to “immediately cancel” its plans to build the embassy.

“If the US proceeds with this plan, it will be a full-throated endorsement of Israel’s illegal confiscation of private Palestinian property in violation of international law,” a letter to the US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“Additionally, the State Department will be actively participating in violating the private property rights of its own citizens.”

These descendants include four US citizens, three Jordanian residents and five East Jerusalem residents.

According to Wafa news agency, the land was confiscated by the Israeli government under the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950, which Adalah says is one of the most arbitrary, discriminatory and draconian laws enacted in the state of Israel.

The Absentees’ Property Law was the main legal instrument used by Israel to take possession of the land belonging to the internal and external Palestinian refugees and Muslim Waqf properties across the newly formed state.

Adalah also highlighted that the confiscation of the land on which the US Diplomatic Compound is to be built violates international law, in particular, Article 46 of The Hague Regulations.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Health Authorities Call For More COVID Boosters… But The Public Says No

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | January 30, 2023

Australia and New Zealand suffered some of the worst pandemic mandate conditions of any country in the western world, crossing the line into totalitarianism on a number of occasions. Australian authorities restricted residents of larger cities to near house arrest, with people not being allowed to go more than 3 miles from their homes. Citizens were given curfew hours between 9pm and 5am. They were banned from public parks and beaches without a mask, even though it is nearly impossible to transmit a virus outdoors and UV light from the sun acts as a natural disinfectant.

In the worst examples, Australian citizens received visits from police and government officials for posting critical opinions about the mandates on social media. Some were even arrested for calling for protests against the lockdowns. In Australia and New Zealand, covid camps were built to detain people infected with covid. Some facilities were meant for those who had recently traveled, others were meant for anyone who stepped out of line.

As the fears over covid wane and the populace realizes that the true Infection Fatality Rate of the virus is incredibly small, restrictions are being abandoned and things seems to be going back to normal. It’s important, however, to never forget what happened and how many countries faced potentially permanent authoritarianism under the shadow of vaccine passports. If the passports rules had been successfully enforced, we would be living in a very different world today in the west.

Luckily, the passports were never implemented widely. Australian health authorities are once again calling for the public to take a fourth covid booster shot, but with very little response. Only 40% of citizens took the third booster, and new polling data shows that 30% are taking the fourth booster.

With an astonishing rise in excess deaths by heart failure in Australia coinciding exactly with the introduction of the covid mRNA vaccines, perhaps people are deciding to finally err on the side of caution. Why take the risk of an experimental vaccine over a virus that 99.8% of the population will easily survive?

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Let the Crow Eating Begin

Newsweek : “It’s Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives | Opinion”

By John Leake | Courageous Discourse | January 31, 2023

Newsweek just published an editorial by Kevin Bass, a medical school student in Texas, about how the official scientific establishment in the United States got it wrong about COVID-19. At the risk of sounding immodest, all of the realizations that he catalogues in his essay were apparent to me by May of 2020, almost three years go.

People often ask me why I perceived at the beginning of this mess that our public health officials were lying to us. The answer is simple: I am a longstanding student of history (including medical history) and of human nature. It is precisely a lack of education in history that made so many people susceptible to being manipulated and defrauded by the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex.

Students of political history have often marveled that the Anglo-Irish statesman, Edmund Burke, made all of his accurate predictions about the French Revolution in 1790. Burke foresaw that the Jacobins would grossly mismanage everything and then resort to terror when none of their harebrained schemes worked. He predicted the bloody fiasco would end with the accession to power of a military commander.

Three years after Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France was published, the Reign of Terror began. Nine years later, Napoleon Bonaparte came to power through a combination of subterfuge and soldiers with fixed bayonets.

How did Burke make these predictions? He knew history and he understood human nature. He therefore saw that the Jacobins had no idea what they were doing. None of their abstract schemes acknowledged the complex reality of human affairs. Their entire conception of reality was ideological, not practical, and they insisted on imposing it with fanatical zeal.

Precisely the same is true of the Vaccine Syndicate that ran the official Pandemic Response. Its leaders are votaries of the COVID-19 Vaccine Cult, and all of their policies were in the service of getting a needle in every arm. Their monolithic policy totally ignored the complex reality of the problem.

Those familiar with history (and medical history) could see by April of 2020 that “The Science” constantly invoked by our government health agencies was an ideological construct—an Orthodoxy—and not true science. True scientific inquiry was conducted by doctors in the field who had the courage to treat the illness instead of waiting for the heralded “vaccine.”

Kevin Bass’s Newsweek is a good start. May the rest of the Official “Follow the Science” Establishment get out their forks and knives and start eating crow.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment

Lauterbach in 2020: “Schools drive the pandemic, the research is clear.” Lauterbach in 2023: The belief that many infections occur in schools and day-care centres “did not prove to be correct”

eugyppius: a plague chronicle | January 30, 2023

I guess the research wasn’t so clear then. The pandemicists will now begin to say many stupid things, as they beat a hasty retreat from policies that are more and more universally repudiated.

Chief German pandemic botherer and renowned virus pest Karl Lauterbach in November 2020:

Here’s a good, topical summary on the question of whether schools are driving the second wave, whether they’re sites of superspreading, what the research shows. Dr. Zoe Hyde, an expert on Covid in children, says the research is clear, schools cause clusters of infections, they drive the pandemic, the research is clear. I agree.

Chief German pandemic botherer, renowned virus pest and now Health Minister Karl Lauterbach just this morning:

… Lauterbach … has called the long closure of schools and day-care centres during the pandemic a mistake. Many businesses were “relatively spared” during the pandemic, he said … “But we went very hard on the schools and on the children.” …

“This was the advice from the scientists who advised the federal government at the time,” Lauterbach said. Back then, too little was known about Corona transmission. In retrospect, however, the belief that many infections occur in schools and day-care centres “did not prove to be correct in this way.” Other countries had “acted somewhat differently” and had set other priorities.

Schools and day-care centres closed for months during the first waves of Corona. Lauterbach was not yet the Federal Minister of Health at the time, but as an SPD health politician in the joint government with the CDU/CSU he was involved in important decisions …

Lauterbach said that he considered it difficult to ask for forgiveness in light of this retrospective assessment of the pandemic measures. … “Often our knowledge was simply not good enough,” Lauterbach said. This is a different matter, he said, than if the wrong policies had been deliberately enacted in the face of better knowledge at the time.

There’s a lot to say about this. The most obvious, is the open attempt to shift blame for catastrophic pandemic measures onto not-so-nebulous “scientists who advised the federal government” – a clear jab at Christian Drosten. And of course there is the very tired lie that nobody knew any better in 2020, even though by the Fall of that year – when Lauterbach zealously retweeted Covid lunatics like Zoe Hyde – his own government was publishing weekly contact tracing data that sourced the plurality of infections to care homes and could find almost none in educational or childcare settings, despite the heavy testing there. It’s especially frustrating to read statements like this now, because many, many of us spent a good part of November 2020 pointing precisely at these numbers, only to be thoroughly ignored.

What’s most important, though, is the emerging strategy that we see here and in other places, to contain the growing impression that our entire pandemic response has been a failure. Too many people have been complicit in these ruinous policies for there ever to be an open acknowledgment that they constitute a wholesale disaster. Instead, they’ll try to pick aspects of the containment regime to repudiate, in the hopes that limited admissions will calm their critics and forestall an avalanche. In Germany, they’ve decided that it’s the school closures that are to be officially regretted.

I suspect this is a preview of the strategy they’ll pursue with the mass vaccination campaign. Around this time next year, they’ll start to admit that in their zeal to save lives, they might’ve accidentally overvaccinated some younger cohorts. They didn’t know any better at the time, they’ll say. They were just acting in good faith, they’ll add.

Never believe them.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Acute Psychosis after COVID-19 Vaccination

Alarming Manuscripts Report Acute Neuropsychiatric Symptoms

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH | Courageous Discourse | January 30, 2023

Unvaccinated patients have mentioned half-jokingly that COVID-19 vaccination in friends and family makes some of them “crazy.” While I have always brushed this off as fear driven vaccine ideology taking over common sense in some zealots, the building literature on neuropsychiatric symptoms is alarming. There are now ~10 papers describing headache, fever, and a range of acute neuropsychiatric symptoms after both mRNA and adenoviral COVID-19 vaccination. The strong bias among editors and publishers has kept countless papers out of the mainstream medical media, hence one has to look far and wide to find information on the topic of vaccine safety. Borovina et al, from Croatia described three cases of acute headache followed by psychosis.

Borovina T, Popović J, Mastelić T, Sučević Ercegovac M, Kustura L, Uglešić B, Glavina T. First Episode of Psychosis Following the COVID-19 Vaccination – A Case Series. Psychiatr Danub. 2022 Summer;34(2):377-380. doi: 10.24869/psyd.2022.377. PMID: 35772162.

All three patients required hospitalization with exhaustive diagnostic testing and medical treatment. One of the cases progressed to attempted suicide with a knife stabbing to the abdomen requiring emergency abdominal surgery. As a doctor I am disturbed by medical evidence demonstrating gene coded SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan Institute of Virology Spike protein in the human brain after vaccination. I wonder how many subtle changes go clinically unrecognized. Even if a small number are affect, the massive numbers who came forward make any “rare” complication a common issue to face in clinical practice.

In conclusion, we should not downplay or attempt to normalize neuropsychiatric symptoms after COVID-19 shots. Every case should be taken seriously. Suicides after December 10, 2020 should be investigated and the brand, doses, and dates of vaccination should be recorded by healthcare personnel and noted by family members.

Borovina T, Popović J, Mastelić T, Sučević Ercegovac M, Kustura L, Uglešić B, Glavina T. First Episode of Psychosis Following the COVID-19 Vaccination – A Case Series. Psychiatr Danub. 2022 Summer;34(2):377-380. doi: 10.24869/psyd.2022.377. PMID: 35772162.

Mörz M. A Case Report: Multifocal Necrotizing Encephalitis and Myocarditis after BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Oct 1;10(10):1651. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10101651. PMID: 36298516; PMCID: PMC9611676.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Joe Biden Says “Our Work Is Far from Over!”


I received an email ostensibly from President Joe Biden the other morning which scared the hell out of me. It was the usual plea for money but the headline read “Philip, our work is far from over!” suggesting to me that the White House is seeking to do even more damage to the country in the months to come! In it, Joe claimed that he had created millions of jobs and expanded access to healthcare among other lesser achievements in his two-plus years in office. I must have somehow missed those benefits and was left wondering about the millions of illegal immigrants who have been pouring across our southern border as well as the avoidable war in Ukraine that is on the verge of going nuclear and the soaring interest rates and energy costs here at home.

And also here on the domestic front there is the declaration of de facto war against the so-called white supremacists who apparently seeking to overthrow our democracy by putting their feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, presumably because they are angry and confused due to the fact that they lack melanin. And then there is the question of our democracy itself with corruption rearing its ugly head from both leading parties and the clear weaponization and exploitation of the powers granted to our national security apparatus to seek to criminally influence national elections.

One might ask why I allow myself to be terrorized by emails from Joe and Kamala on a regular basis, but it is all part of my desire to keep an eye on both major parties and their antics. I also hear from the Republicans to include such dangerous creatures as Donald Trump himself and the execrable Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

So if Joe is able to raise tons of money from his freak show constituents, what do we have to look forward to in the months remaining before the 2024 election? Well, the foreign policy front is looking particularly bad. The recent unfortunate decision to send a company of high maintenance Abrams tanks to Ukraine will not alter the probable outcome of the war and invites reciprocity from Russia. What will Joe do if Vladimir Putin uses his superior missile capability to destroy the tanks one by one as they are delivered, possibly killing US military advisers who are training the Ukrainians on their intricacies?

The Ukraine war is not unlike recent commitments in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Iraq where only essentially phony national security interests were contrived to support the military interventions against countries too weak to pose any real threat. The Taliban, Bashar al-Assad, Moammar Ghaddafi and Saddam Hussein did not actually threaten the United States or any vital interests and it required an airhead like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to conjure up imagery of Iraqi nuclear devices delivered by huge transatlantic gliders and exploding over Washington to create a fiction to explain the raison d’etre for the war to the public. A couple of million lives and a few trillion dollars later the positive results obtained from all the interventions are somewhat hard to discern.

One might suggest that the problem with the United States stems from the belief that it is and should be the world’s hegemon based on some sort of manifest destiny that no one ever actually bothers to describe. The concept of a “rules based international order” governed by rules known only to Washington and special friends in places like London and Jerusalem has left much of the rest of the world scratching its collective head.

There is real danger that the United States, like the Bourbon Kings of France, never forgets anything but never learns anything either. Even though Americans gain absolutely nothing from their sacrifice, Joe Biden will no doubt continue as part of “our work is far from over” the extremely dangerous conflict in Ukraine “until Kiev wins” and Russia is presumably repulsed and weakened. If that does not take place by 2024, billions of dollars more will be dumped into the money hole and many more Ukrainians, Russians and quite likely also Americans will die.

But even more dangerous than continuation of the status quo in Ukraine is the possible series of disasters deriving from commitments made by the White House with other foreign regimes that will inevitably lead to more national security policy disasters. I am thinking particularly of China/Taiwan and Israel versus much of the Middle East. One might also add tension with North Korea over its nuclear program.

There are reports that new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is planning a trip to Taiwan to assure that country’s leadership of unlimited US support against hypothetical Chinese aggression. In so doing, he is duplicating a visit made by his predecessor Nancy Pelosi in July 2022, which produced precisely what was not desired, i.e. aggressive countermoves by Beijing. US ability to deter China is in any event problematical and China is a major trading partner which manufactures a large percentage of the products that are sold on the US and European markets. Taiwan for its part does not particularly welcome a more aggressive American defense of what are its own interests, as such moves will only guarantee problems with Beijing. So where will it all go? Tell us Joe.

And then there is Israel. Israel’s new government, again headed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has shifted hard to the right, incorporating as it does the extremist settlers’ movement as well as parties that have spoken casually of forcing the Palestinians out and even of extermination if it comes to that. Half of Israelis are comfortable with the Arabs having minimal civil rights even if they are Israeli citizens and many accept the desirability of forced expatriation of the Palestinians to neighboring states like Jordan or Lebanon. Arab residents of Israel have only limited legal rights and, contrary to the Lobby’s constant assertion that Israel is a “democracy,” Israel in reality became an apartheid state by law when it in 2018 declared itself to be legally the nation state of the Jews with “exclusive right of self-determination.”

More recently Netanyahu has made clear exactly what his government stands for. In late December, he stated that “the Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop the settlement of all parts of the Land of Israel.” He was explicitly including the West Bank and even Gaza, which have long been presumed to be the possible territory of a future Palestinian state.

The wag-the-dog support of the new Israeli government’s extreme nationalism and racism combined is not good for Americans and is a formula for trouble yet the United States government has, if anything, fully embraced it. Both Biden and his ambassador in Israel Thomas Nides have praised the new regime. Washington has also recently deepened military ties with the Jewish state by moving it to a new position in CENTCOM that has elevated the relationship to the status of “full military partner” in terms of strategizing and planning. That definition is close to a commitment to a “full military alliance” that obligates the US to come to Israel’s defense if a war begins in the region, even if Israel starts it. The Pentagon has also for the first time participated in a large-scale joint military exercise which included a simulated attack on Iran.

So if you get an email from Joe Biden saying “our work far from over,” be warned! The “work” sounds like a lot more bloodshed and war forever. If you can find a place where you will likely not be impacted by a nuclear war breaking out, it might be best to move there right now. Otherwise, there could be some rough skating ahead. As I reported in an earlier article, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is warning that there is a definite shortage of fallout shelters in the United States, so be prepared to hunker down in your basement, if you are lucky enough to have one. Follow the instructions in your “nuclear detonation planning guide” then “Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned.” Sage advice if you still have electricity and the tv and radio stations haven’t also been nuked. Thank you Joe Biden!

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | 5 Comments

Croatia’s President Doesn’t Want Be West’s ‘Circus Poodle’ in Ukraine Crisis

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 31.01.2023

The Croatian head of state took flak from Zagreb’s NATO and EU allies last year after threatening to block Finland and Sweden’s NATO applications for membership, but was overruled by parliament, which ratified the accession protocols in July.

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic sparked a fresh rift with Brussels and Kiev after assuring that Crimea will inevitably remain part of Russia, and blasting the West’s “manic” desire to try to collapse Russia or institute regime change in the country.

“Between 2014 and 2022, we watched as someone provoked Russia with the intention of starting this conflict,” Milanovic told reporters Monday while discussing last week’s decision to send German tanks to Ukraine, referring to the 2014 US-backed Euromaidan coup in Kiev.

“What we are doing as the collective West is deeply immoral. German tanks will only unite Russia and China even more. My job as president is to get away from this, and not be a circus poodle. Any involvement in this [crisis] is extremely dangerous,” he said.

Warning that the tank deliveries would only prolong a pointless conflict, Milanovic said he is “against sending any lethal arms there” because as a nuclear power Russia cannot not be defeated.

“Russia has 6,000 nuclear warheads. What is the goal [of the Ukraine conflict – ed.note]? The disintegration of Russia? A change of power? They are talking about ripping Russia apart. It’s manic. The Serbs and I hated each other less. It was a much more terrible war in our country than in Ukraine,” the Croatian president said, recalling the Western-instigated Slav-on-Slav bloodshed of the 1990s in Yugoslavia.

Stressing that “leading German generals are saying” that Crimea will “never be Ukraine again,” Milanovic urged the West to get off its high horse in talking about Russia “annexing” the Black Sea peninsula, and pointed out that Kosovo was “annexed” and “stolen” from Serbia by the West.

“Who annexed Kosovo? The international community, including us,” he said. “It was taken from Serbia by force, it was extraction, a part of Serbian territory was taken away.”

‘It’s Armageddon’

Milanovic expressed fears that “deranged emotions and hatred are leading Europe to great danger” amid the prospects of a full-on war with Russia. “The question is not how much we help Ukraine. This is not help, this is torture. They should have been forced to sit down at the negotiating table. 300,000 Ukrainians should die [to end the conflict?, ed.note]. It hurts my heart, as I’m watching this – it’s Armageddon.”

Milanovic’s remarks sparked outrage from Kosovo and Albania, while a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman called them “unacceptable” for “calling into question the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The spokesman also expressed appreciation for the “steadfast support” Croatia has provided, notwithstanding the president’s sentiments.

Milanovic rivals his Serbian neighbors when it comes to outspoken criticism of NATO and EU policy amid the Ukraine conflict – with the difference being that Croatia is actually part of both Western-dominated institutions. The politician has spoken out repeatedly against Zagreb getting involved, and expressed doubts about the effectiveness of Western sanctions on Moscow, recently calling them “total nonsense.”

Milanovic’s rhetoric has not been matched by actual Croatian government policy, with the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic towing the NATO and EU line and taking one of the toughest anti-Russian stances in the Western Balkans. The Croatian presidency is largely a ceremonial role, although nominally it is supposed to provide for cooperation on conducting foreign policy.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Amount of frozen Russian investments revealed

RT | January 31, 2023

Nearly $81 billion in funds belonging to Russian investors have been blocked by Western financial institutions, according to estimates by the Bank of Russia revealed on Tuesday.

As of November 30, the volume of frozen assets held at Western financial institutions totaled 5.7 trillion rubles ($80.8 billion). More than 20% of these funds are owned by retail investors, the regulator pointed out.

Last year, in an effort to minimize risks and protect investors, the Russian central bank banned brokers from executing trades for unqualified investors to purchase securities from so-called ‘unfriendly’ countries. The regulator has also imposed retaliatory restrictions on assets under Russia’s jurisdiction owned by nonresidents.

Speaking at a conference on the global challenges facing Russian financial markets, the head of the central bank’s investment department, Olga Shishlyannikova, stated her view that the frozen asset “story” is “very complicated” and that it will continue to have a negative impact on investors.

However, some solutions have been implemented, she noted. For example, direct payments of income from Russian securities trading in foreign markets to Russian investors were allowed.

Also, under a scheme introduced last year, Russian companies are able to issue local ‘replacement’ bonds with settlement in rubles to replace outstanding Eurobonds, a type of bond denominated in foreign currency. Russian issuers have experienced major difficulties servicing these bonds in light of Western sanctions.

“If all Russian Eurobonds are replaced, then retail investors will be able to withdraw more than 50% of their assets and start making use of those funds,” Shishlyannikova explained.

The rest of the assets are foreign securities from foreign issuers that have no direct connection with the Russian economy, she added.

Last September, Russia’s National Settlement Depository applied to the finance ministries of Belgium and Luxembourg for general licenses in order to unlock the frozen assets. In December, a general license was issued to release certain frozen funds and economic resources belonging to non-sanctioned Russian investors. However, the Bank of Russia assessed the chances of Western countries returning Russian assets as “extremely low” despite the fact that they haven’t been legally confiscated.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Plan to blockade Russian shipping in Baltic Sea breaks international law and could provoke war

By Ahmed Adel | January 31, 2023

Western intentions to arm Estonia with the most modern types of conventional weapons which can target Saint Petersburg, as well as the installation of a medium-range anti-missile defence system, suggests that the Baltic country is wanting to challenge Russia despite its military barely even having enough professional soldiers to field a single battalion. At the same time, and just as provocative, Estonian authorities discussed an introduction of a 24 nautical mile coastal zone in the Gulf of Finland to limit the navigation of Russian ships.

It is demonstrated that Estonia is a highly active anti-Russian state that hopes its actions will receive Western tributes and rewards. However, in pursuing this goal, the Baltic country is going as far as wanting to break international law by restricting Russian shipping in waters it has a right to navigate through.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that attempts to deploy offensive NATO weapons will immediately provoke retaliatory steps. By Estonia wanting to place weapon systems that can target Russia’s second largest city, it cannot be discounted that the Russian military will deploy the Iskander system or another type of weapon to completely cover Estonia’s sea, land and air territory.

It is recalled that Lithuania attempted to blockade the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad in 2022 by stopping rail and road transportation and attempted to justify the action because of the EU’s sanctions regime. This quickly failed as a military and economic blockade can lead to a ‘casus belli’ – a reason for war, which would not insure Lithuania under NATO’s “mutual defence” article.

Larger European NATO countries are rotating their units, as well as military equipment, including aviation and F-16 fighter jets, in the Baltic countries. The Baltic countries are full of foreign soldiers and equipment as they themselves cannot ensure their own security despite implementing policies that are extremely provocative and hostile to Russia.

The Russian ambassador in Tallinn, Vladimir Lipayev, who disclosed that Western countries plan to supply Estonia with the most modern types of conventional weapons, also said that the Anglos had an interest in creating an anti-Russian outpost in the Baltic country in order to carry out economic, political, cultural and military pressure on Russia.

However, the Baltic countries are playing with fire as the Ukraine war has demonstrated that Russia is capable of demilitarizing hostile states. Even Ukraine, which has all the resources of the West behind it and the second largest army in Europe after Russia, is failing to stem back the tide of war and territorial loss.

With the Ukrainian military appearing to be on course for an imminent collapse in 2023, the US and UK are escalating tensions so that continuous conflict can drain Russia’s resources and attention. An internationalized effort to involve as many countries as possible in a confrontation with Russia only puts countries under a puppet status at risk of Russian retaliation, as Ukraine shows.

As said, if Estonia were to blockade Russian ships, it cannot be protected under NATO’s Article 5 as it initiated the hostility by breaking international law. Understandably, the leading countries of the EU do not want to be exposed to a Russian counterattack, which is why the Baltics and Poland are being used as cannon fodder instead – just as Ukraine currently is.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a dividing line in the middle of the Gulf of Finland was agreed upon between Russia and newly independent Estonia. From this middle line, Finland and Estonia retreated three kilometres to allow Russia a six-kilometre channel for the free passage of Russian merchant and military fleets, thus actually making these international waters. In order to blockade Russia in the Gulf of Finland, it is necessary for Finland to implement the same policy. If Tallin unilaterally introduces such a zone in its territorial waters, then Russia has the option to use the Finnish part of the gulf.

For now, there is no indication that Finland plans to block Russian ships. If Finland and Estonia were to block Russian shipping, Moscow would have a strong case to appeal to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, something that would surely humiliate a country like Finland which likes to pride itself on supposedly adhering to international law very strictly.

Therefore, although the Estonian side may be enthusiastic in enforcing anti-Russian measures on the encouragement of Anglo countries, there is a likelihood that regional countries like Finland and Germany will not want a new front of tensions with Russia and will attempt to coerce the Baltic country to moderate its attitude.

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

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | 9 Comments

Pentagon’s prediction of ‘inevitable’ conflict with China shows war is America’s primary ‘export’

By Drago Bosnic | January 31, 2023

For a country constantly chest-thumping about the size of its economy, the United States is remarkably over-reliant on one form of “export” – war. For decades, the American-led political West used proxy wars to hurt its geopolitical adversaries. While most of these weren’t a direct existential threat to US rivals and were relatively limited in scope, recent years brought a major shift to this strategic approach.

Washington DC has become more bellicose than at any point in its history, aggressively attacking the very heartlands of its opponents. In the case of Russia and China, the only reason America isn’t directly attacking either of the superpowers is their ability to immediately “return the favor.” And yet, the US keeps fanning up conflicts that are pushing the world ever closer toward another global conflict.

Ukraine and Taiwan are the two most prominent examples of America’s strategy of “accelerated escalation”, obviously designed to cause “irrational decision-making” in both Moscow and Beijing, according to the Pentagon-funded RAND Corporation. With Ukraine reaching a boiling point and Russia forced to intervene, Washington DC is determined to do the same with China in Taiwan. In recent years, top American officials, including several military commanders, have been warning about the “inevitability of war with China”.

However, the latest statement is quite concerning, issued in the form of a memo by an active four-star general and circulated with an official order. This is particularly dangerous, especially when taking into account the fact that the general took the step of conveying it through the official chain of command. According to NBC News, General Mike Minihan sent it to his subordinate officers:

“A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years and tells them to get ready to prep by firing ‘a clip’ at a target, and ‘aim for the head’. In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, ‘I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.'”

According to various sources, the US Air Force general commands approximately 50,000 US servicemen and nearly 500 planes, making his comments all the more concerning. This is particularly true when taking into account that USAF is in direct control of two arms of America’s thermonuclear triad – its land-based ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and nuclear-armed strategic bombers.

Perhaps the most alarming part of the grisly prediction is that it instructed commanders under him to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared.” Minihan claims this is because China is allegedly “determined to make a move” against its breakaway island province of Taiwan within the next two years and that this would trigger a direct US military response.

He further called for “a fortified, ready, integrated, and agile Joint Force Maneuver Team ready to fight and win inside the first island chain.” Minihan also issued an order that all steps in preparation for war with China were to be reported to him directly by February 28. As to why he thinks this is “inevitable” by 2025, NBC claims he stated the following:

“Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be ‘distracted,’ and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.”

The wording is quite concerning, especially when coming from a high-level military commander. General Minihan directed all Air Mobility Command personnel to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most. Aim for the head.” Using such phrases when talking about the “coming war” with a nuclear-armed China is unwise, to say the least, not to mention the complete disregard for the most basic diplomatic etiquette. Additionally, China’s conventional capabilities are very different in comparison to just a decade ago. Beijing has invested heavily in technological advances that rival or even surpass America’s, particularly hypersonic weapons, in which Washington DC significantly lags behind.

Still, China has spent decades trying to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully, especially through close economic ties with the island, but the US has been undermining these efforts, particularly in recent years. Beijing’s attempts to achieve nonviolent political reunification with Taiwan have been severely compromised by American arms deliveries, with Taipei spending dozens of billions on weapons, most of which haven’t even been delivered due to the current US focus on Ukraine. China has been warning Washington DC against fomenting the independence ambitions of its breakaway island province. However, the US hasn’t only ignored this, but it seems it’s already planning yet another war with another superpower.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | | 1 Comment

US, South Korea vow to expand war games amid tensions in Korean Peninsula

Press TV – January 31, 2023

United States and South Korea have pledged to expand the level and scale of their joint military exercises and boost nuclear deterrence planning amid a major uptick in tensions with North Korea.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin met with South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup on Tuesday in Seoul, more than two months after their annual talks in November last year in Washington.

He is also scheduled to hold talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol during his stay in Seoul before flying to the Philippines.

In a joint statement, the two officials said they had agreed to boost information sharing and joint planning between the two sides.

They also committed to boosting the “level and scale” of combined military exercises this year and to deploying more US aircraft carriers and bombers.

North Korea has repeatedly denounced the joint drills between Washington and Seoul as proof of their hostile intentions.

The Pentagon chief said the trip aimed at deepening cooperation with the key Asian ally and reaffirming the US extended deterrence commitment to South Korea as “ironclad” at a time of heightened tensions.

“That’s why the United States and the ROK (Republic of Korea) are taking clear, meaningful steps to modernize and strengthen our alliance,” Austin was quoted as saying by the South’s state-run Yonhap news agency.

“So our adversaries and competitors know that if they challenge one of us, they are challenging the US-ROK alliance as a whole,” he added.

Lee has said the two countries will hold a table-top nuclear drill in February under the theme of North Korea’s nuclear strikes, while Austin said the drills are in line with their talks to expand activities and extended deterrence mechanisms on the peninsula and in the region.

Military tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen sharply this year. The US has resumed massive land, naval, and aerial war games with South Korean and Japanese forces in the region while vowing to consider all available options to counter what they deem a threat posed by North Korea.

North Korea considers the US military drills with South Korea and Japan “provocative measures” that are designed to practice an invasion.

The country is reeling under harsh sanctions by the US and UN Security Council over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which have not prevented it from developing its military capabilities as a deterrent against hostile West-led moves.

North Korea maintains that it will not tolerate persisting US-led war games in the region, underlining that it will continue responding to joint military maneuvers of its adversaries by holding its own drills as well as developing all sorts of weaponry, including long-range missiles.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

What is covered by the “pictures of the Russian train”?

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 31.01.2023 

We recently wrote about the ways the United States’ allegations of North Korean munitions shipments to Russia had created a new standard of proof. However, it appears that the US side is not content with having hit rock bottom once again.

On January 20, 2023 National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby raised new allegations against the Wagner PMC and Russia, claiming that the US had presented its intelligence findings to the relevant expert group of the UN Security Council (Committee 1718, which is in charge of sanctions against the DPRK). Although this was the first time ever any “evidence” had been presented, it was unfortunately a very peculiar type of proof.

The world was shown “rare, declassified photographs of Russian rail cars traveling between Russia and North Korea in November” and what Kirby described as the original delivery of North Korean weapons to the Russian PMC. According to the US statement, the photos were of a five-car train that ran between the Khasan (Russian Federation) and Tumangan stations on November 18 and 19, 2022, and those cars contained ammunition for Wagner.

“We obviously condemn North Korea’s actions and call on North Korea to immediately stop these shipments to Wagner,” Kirby said at the start of the daily White House press briefing. He then stated that “while we estimate that the amount of material delivered to Wagner has not changed the dynamics of the fight in Ukraine, we anticipate that it will continue to receive North Korean weapons systems” and therefore “will not preclude imposing additional sanctions if deemed appropriate at the UN”. As an aside, it was noted that North Korea continues to circumvent sanctions with the help of Russia and China.

On January 23, State Department spokesman Ned Price also stated that the United States and South Korea regularly discuss how to counter threats from North Korea, including “the supply of weapons and other military equipment from North Korea to Wagner units for use in Ukraine”.

Not coincidentally, not only Russian but also Western experts who deal with North Korea professionally have noted this reference with some surprise. Even those who dislike the North reacted in the style of “maybe the US has other evidence that has not been shown to us, but this is just a hint.”

Asked by RIA Novosti if it could be said with certainty that the pictures show weapons being transported from the DPRK to Russia, NK News director Chad O’Carroll said the photos do not show what is called hard evidence that would confirm US claims. The photos DO NOT show weapons or grenades being loaded and only include an image of Russian rail cars in North Korea – which, he adds, Russian media have also written about. That White House officials, according to O’Carroll, “show some level of specificity by releasing satellite images of a certain date showing rail cars and cargo” only means that Washington is very confident in its intelligence, but “anyone would be happy to see more detailed evidence”.

Another US expert noted that the pictures provided by Kirby show covered rail cars in which containers of ammunition would not fit, especially since they are loaded on platforms and not in boxcars. He also pointed out that “the versions voiced by Washington keep changing. In September, they claimed that North Korea was supplying Russia with millions of artillery shells and missiles. They claimed Pyongyang was trying to make it appear that the supplies were going to the Middle East and Africa, but in fact they were going to Russia. Now that version is forgotten – there is a new one. Meanwhile, one million shells is 50,000 tons, which is several large ships.”

The claim that the data were sent to the committee that investigated the sanctions is also not identical to the fact that the experts who examined them agreed with the American version.

In this context, the author will try to explain to the audience what more reasonable evidence of this kind would look like, using pictures of the train: Here is a picture of what looks like a military factory, and of containers of ammunition being loaded into wagons; here is a traceable route (because it is not particularly difficult to trace their path through the consignor system) by which a train from North Korea went directly into the front line area where it was unloaded, whereupon the shell shortage ended in that section of the front line. Such things can still be used as evidence, although indeed some questions remain.

The second thing that came to the author’s mind was a quote from a Russian cartoon, “This picture is useful: it covers a hole in the wall,” and he draws attention to two events that paralleled Kirby’s statement.

The first event is that on January 19, 2023, the day before Kirby’s statement, the Pentagon asked United States Forces Korea (USFK) to provide some of its equipment in support of Ukraine, stressing that its security operations on the Korean Peninsula would not be “affected in any way” by this move. USFK spokesman Col. Isaac Taylor said, “The Department of Defense continues to provide military assistance from its reserves in support of Ukraine. US forces in Korea have been asked to support this effort by providing some of their equipment… This does not affect our operations or our ability to fulfill our ironclad commitment to protect our ally, the Republic of Korea. There should be no doubt that we are ready to fight tonight as well”.

Taylor did not specify, however, what equipment, or in what quantity, would be delivered for use in Ukraine. The ROK Department of Defense also declined to comment on the issue.

The New York Times had previously reported that the US Department of Defense had drawn on US artillery stockpiles in South Korea and Israel because of Ukraine’s urgent need for munitions assistance.

USDOD deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh clarified this information, pointing out that the withdrawal of munitions and military equipment from US depots in South Korea and other countries in support of Ukraine had no impact on US defense capabilities and had little to do with reducing domestic stockpiles. It has also come to light that the US is in talks with Korean military contractors to replenish empty depots.

To the author, this information indicates two important things.

First, despite the loud declarations about the danger of the North Korean threat and the need to give money to counter it, it appears that the US does not in fact particularly believe that the North will attack the South in the relatively near future. Otherwise, they would not have moved an arsenal to Ukraine from a place where these munitions could be urgently needed.

Second, the fact that ammunition is being sent from Korea means that the arsenal of democracy is not bottomless and is slowly running out. Weapons and ammunition even need to be withdrawn from long-term storage. As we noted in one of our articles, it appears that their talk of Moscow’s “ammunition shortage” is masking their own ammunition scarcity, which is not so much affecting Russia as it is Ukraine and its allies.

Combined with a number of other news items, this suggests that the Europeans are growing weary of the conflict and increasingly reluctant to hand over new arms tranches to Kiev. This is a rather important sign, suggesting that in a certain situation Kiev will come to understand that for all the need to “defend democracy,” it has to do it alone.

The second event is a statement by Russian Foreign Intelligence that Ukrainian authorities are placing munitions from the West in nuclear power plants because they know that Moscow will not dare to bomb them. Foreign Intelligence Director Sergei Naryshkin said, “The Foreign Intelligence Service receives reliable information that Ukrainian forces are storing weapons and ammunition supplied by the West on the premises of nuclear power plants. This applies to the most expensive and scarce missiles for Haymar’s multiple rocket launchers and foreign air defense systems, as well as large-caliber artillery ammunition the AFU lacks most. Just in the last week of December 2022, several railroad cars with lethal cargo were delivered from abroad to the Rovno NPP via the Rafalovka station.”

Naryshkin’s statement does not contain exhaustive evidence, but the reasoning is somewhat more detailed than Kirby’s and contains some specifics. Apparently, it is precise data on where and how Ukrainian ammunition stocks move.

Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to the head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, then stated on social networks that “Ukraine has never stored weapons on the territory of the nuclear power plant” and noted that Ukraine is “always open” to inspection bodies, especially the IAEA.

In this context, the author once again reminds us that it is not unusual in war to attribute to the enemy acts committed by one’s own side in order to divert attention from oneself. So if you want to make the next lofty claims of DPRK intrigue, look at the holes in the wall this picture covers.

Konstantin Asmolov, PhD in History, is a leading research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of China and Modern Asia, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment