Aletho News


The Myths Told by Covid Experts – And Now Debunked


In the past few weeks, a series of analyses published by highly respected researchers have exposed a truth about public health officials during Covid: that much of the time, they were wrong – writes Dr. Marty Makary in the New York Post. He sets out “10 myths told by Covid experts — and now debunked”. Here are the first four.

Misinformation #1: Natural immunity offers little protection compared to vaccinated immunity

A Lancet study looked at 65 major studies in 19 countries on natural immunity. The researchers concluded that natural immunity was at least as effective as the primary Covid vaccine series.

In fact, the scientific data was there all along — from 160 studies, despite the findings of these studies violating Facebook’s ‘misinformation’ policy.

Since the Athenian plague of 430 BC, it has been observed that those who recovered after infection were protected against severe disease if reinfected.

That was also the observation of nearly every practicing physician during the first 18 months of the Covid pandemic.

Most Americans who were fired for not having the Covid vaccine already had antibodies that effectively neutralised the virus, but they were antibodies that the Government did not recognise.

Misinformation #2: Masks prevent Covid transmission

Cochrane Reviews are considered the most authoritative and independent assessment of the evidence in medicine.

And one published last month by a highly respected Oxford research team found that masks had no significant impact on Covid transmission.

When asked about this definitive review, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky downplayed it, arguing that it was flawed because it focused on randomised controlled studies.

But that was the greatest strength of the review! Randomised studies are considered the gold standard of medical evidence.

If all the energy used by public health officials to mask toddlers could have been channelled to reduce child obesity by encouraging outdoor activities, we would be better off.

Misinformation #3: School closures reduce Covid transmission

The CDC ignored the European experience of keeping schools open, most without mask mandates.

Transmission rates were no different, evidenced by studies conducted in Spain and Sweden.

Misinformation #4: Myocarditis from the vaccine is less common than from the infection

Public health officials downplayed concerns about vaccine-induced myocarditis — or inflammation of the heart muscle.

They cited poorly designed studies that under-captured complication rates.

A flurry of well-designed studies said the opposite.

We now know that myocarditis is six to 28 times more common after the Covid vaccine than after the infection among 16- to 24-year-old males.

Tens of thousands of children likely got myocarditis, mostly subclinical, from a Covid vaccine they did not need because they were entirely healthy or because they already had Covid.

Dr. Makary blasts the CDC for weaponising research by “putting out its own flawed studies in its own non-peer-reviewed medical journal, MMWR“.

“In the final analysis, public health officials actively propagated misinformation that ruined lives and forever damaged public trust in the medical profession,” he adds.

Worth reading in full.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

False hopes and broken promises litter the ground behind the UN Statement on Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | February 28, 2023

Rarely does the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN make an official comment expressing happiness over any official proceedings concerning the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, though, is “very happy that there was a very strong united message from the Security Council against the illegal, unilateral measure” undertaken by the Israeli government.

The “measure” in question is a decision, on 12 February, by the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to construct 10,000 new housing units in nine illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank. Predictably, Netanyahu was angered by the supposedly “very strong united message” from an institution that is hardly known for its meaningful action regarding international conflicts, especially in occupied Palestine.

Mansour’s happiness may be justified from some perspectives, especially as we seldom witness a strongly-worded position by the Security Council that is both critical of Israel and embraced by the US. The latter has used its veto in the council 53 times since 1972 — according to the UN itself — to block draft Security Council resolutions that are critical of the occupation state.

However, a close examination of the context of the latest UN statement on Israel and Palestine shows that there is little reason for Mansour’s excitement. The statement in question is just that; a statement, with no tangible value and no legal repercussions. It could have been meaningful if the language had been unchanged from its original draft. Not of the statement itself, but of a binding UN resolution that was introduced on 15 February by the UAE ambassador.

Reuters revealed that the draft resolution would have demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” That resolution — and its strong language — was scrapped under pressure from the US and was replaced by a mere statement that “reiterates” the Security Council’s position that “continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.” It also expressed “deep concern”, actually, “dismay” with Israel’s 12 February announcement.

Netanyahu’s angry response was mostly intended for public consumption in Israel, and to keep his far-right government allies in check; after all, the conversion of the resolution into a statement, and the watering down of the language were all carried out with the prior agreement of the US, Israel and the PA. The Aqaba conference held two days ago is confirmation that such an agreement is indeed in place. Hence, the statement could not have come as a surprise to the Israeli prime minister.

Moreover, US media spoke openly about a deal, which was mediated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The reason behind it, initially, was to avert a “potential crisis” which would have resulted if the US had vetoed the resolution. According to the Associated Press, such a veto “would have angered Palestinian supporters at a time that the US and its western allies are trying to gain international support against Russia.”

However, there is another reason behind Washington’s apparent sense of urgency. In December 2016, the then US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice refrained from vetoing a similar UN Security Council resolution that strongly condemned Israel’s illegal settlement activities. This happened less than a month before the end of Barack Obama’s second term in the White House. For Palestinians, the resolution was too little, too late. For Israel, it was an unforgivable betrayal. To appease Tel Aviv, the Trump Administration gave the UN post to Nikki Haley, an ardent supporter of Israel.

Although another US veto would have raised a few eyebrows, it would have presented a major opportunity for the strong pro-Palestine camp at the UN to challenge US hegemony over the matter of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It would also have deferred the issue to the UN General Assembly and other UN-related organisations.

Even more interesting, according to the Blinken-mediated agreement — reported by APReutersAxios and others — Palestinians and Israelis would have to refrain from unilateral actions. Israel would freeze all settlement activities until August, and Palestinians would not “pursue action against Israel at the UN and other international bodies such as the World Court, the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council.” This was the gist of the agreement at the US-sponsored Aqaba meeting as well. While the PA is likely to abide by this understanding — since it continues to seek US financial handouts and political validation — Israel will most likely refuse; in fact, practically-speaking, it already has.

Although the agreement reportedly stipulated that Israel would not stage major attacks on Palestinian cities, only two days later, on 22 February, Israel raided the West Bank city of Nablus. It killed 11 Palestinians and wounded 102 others, including two elderly men and a child.

Moreover, a settlement freeze is almost impossible. Netanyahu’s extremist coalition government is held together in large part by the common understanding that settlements must expand constantly. Any change to this understanding would almost certainly mean the collapse of one of Israel’s most stable governments in years.

Why, then, is Mansour “very happy”? The answer stems from the fact that the PA’s credibility among Palestinians is at an all-time low. Mistrust, if not outright disdain, of Mahmoud Abbas and his authority is one of the main reasons behind the brewing armed rebellion against the Israeli occupation. Decades of promises that justice will eventually arrive through US-mediated talks have culminated in nothing, so Palestinians are developing their own alternative resistance strategies.

The UN statement was marketed by PA-controlled media in Palestine as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy. Hence, Mansour’s happiness. But this euphoria was short lived.

The Israeli massacre in Nablus left no doubt that Netanyahu will not even respect a promise he made to his own benefactors in Washington. This takes us back to square one: back to where Israel refuses to respect international law, the US refuses to allow the international community to hold Israel to account, and the PA claims another false victory in its supposed quest for the liberation of Palestine. Practically, this means that Palestinians are left with no other option but to carry on with their resistance, indifferent — justifiably so — to the UN and its “watered-down” statements.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

West helped Nusra, ISIS obtain chemical weapons: Syrian FM

The Cradle | March 1, 2023

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Faisal Mekdad, claimed at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on 28 February that “well-known countries had used weapons of terrorism against the Syrian people,” in violation of the United Nations charter and their international obligations.

Foreign Minister Mekdad stated in a video address to the conference that, “Syria faced an unjust war, during which well-known countries employed weapons of terrorism against the Syrian people, sent tens of thousands of foreign terrorists, and provided them with various types of support and weapons, including internationally prohibited ones, to serve their aggressive agendas.”

He added that the policies of these countries have led to terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra obtaining chemical weapons and using them repeatedly against Syrians, which highlights the need to address the shortcomings in international instruments governing the use of such weapons. Mekdad also called for joint action to find a politically neutral mechanism to coordinate international efforts to address acts of chemical terrorism.

Not only the Syrian government but independent sources have suggested that armed opposition groups supported by the US, Israel, Turkiye, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia used chemical weapons against the Syrian army and Syrian civilians during the conflict, which began in 2011.

Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and a former war crimes prosecutor, gathered testimonies indicating that opposition armed groups used sarin gas against the Syrian army and civilians in the town of Khan al-Assal in March 2013.

Journalist Seymour Hersh reported that a classified US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) briefing in June 2013 indicated that Nusra maintained a sarin production cell and was attempting a large-scale production effort in Syria.

A report published by Rootclaim in 2021 showed that the Saudi-backed armed opposition group, Liwa al-Islam, launched the sarin-filled rockets used in the chemical attack in East Ghouta in August 2013.

A detailed report from the Libertarian Institute showed that the Ghouta attack was a false flag attack meant to trigger Western military intervention in Syria as part of the broader CIA program known as Timber Sycamore.

Foreign Minister Mekdad pointed out that Syria’s experience with the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) showed that the watchdog group had become politicized and a tool of the Western powers to manufacture hostility toward the Syrian government.

Mekdad called on the states who are party to the OPCW to carry out a responsible and careful review of the work of the organization and to correct errors and clear violations of the provisions of the convention that governs the group.

As reported by journalist Aaron Mate, veteran OPCW inspectors provided evidence showing the Syrian government was not responsible for an alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018, but their probe was censored and manipulated by top OPCW officials. Under direct US government pressure, the OPCW concealed this evidence provided by its own inspectors and released a report that suggested the Syrian government was responsible for the attack.

Foreign Minister Mekdad also stressed that the Israeli occupation constitutes a source of permanent and serious threat to regional and international peace and security. In addition to launching repeated attacks on Syrian and Palestinian territories, it continues to modernize and expand its arsenal of all types of weapons of mass destruction.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Early “Spring Exacerbation”

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 01.03.2023 

Those who closely follow the events on the Korean peninsula know that military exercises of the United States and the Republic of Korea take place every spring. The DPRK traditionally perceives them as a rehearsal for an invasion and responds with demonstration of force. Each side declares however that in response to the provocations of the other, it has the right to strengthen its defense capability thus getting trapped in a vicious circle. But although the actions of Washington and Seoul aggravate the situation no less, they do not make the front pages, unlike the news about launches or statements by the North, and this creates a picture in the public mind that Pyongyang is the culprit of tension.

On February 17, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea announced that in March South Korea and the United States would hold a joint 11-day Freedom Shield exercise. In response, the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement, in which it threatened to take “unprecedented tough and decisive measures” for “disturbing military demonstrations that seriously violate the security interests of the DPRK.”

On February 18, North Korea resumed missile launches. An ICBM was launched towards the East Sea (Sea of Japan).

The reaction of Washington and Seoul was quite acute: if you recalculate the missile trajectory from a high-altitude to a more typical one, its range turns out to be 14,000 km. So it can reach the continental territory of the United States by a wide margin.

South Korean experts also noted that the launch had been managed by the Main Missile Directorate, and it was carried out by the same unit as the Hwasong-17 launch on November 18, and it took almost nine and a half hours to prepare the liquid-fuel ICBM for being started. In addition, they traditionally doubted that the missile had successfully entered the atmosphere: allegedly, a video of a descending missile filmed by a Japanese fighter shows that its warhead had been broken into pieces and disappeared from view after it caught fire. After the previous failure in November on September 3, North Korea released an improved Hwasong-15 ICBM with a lighter warhead. But this time the missile seems to have failed again to re-enter the atmosphere.

On February 19, the deputy department head of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), Kim Yo-jong published a press statement in which she castigated Washington’s desire to turn the UN Security Council into an tool for implementing a hostile policy against the DPRK. And although Kim Jong-un’s sister noted that “our ICBMs will never take aim at Seoul,” this phrase is not identical to “DPRK missiles are not aimed at Seoul” – the DPRK has enough other types of missiles and barrel artillery capable of reaching the capital of the Republic of Korea.

On the same day, February 19, South Korea and the United States conducted joint air exercises with the participation of American B-1B strategic bombers. For understanding: taking off from Guam, the B-1B can reach Pyongyang in two hours.

February 20 became an eventful day. First, Kim Yo-jong responded to critical statements about the February 18 launch in the style of “your experts are idiots.” In particular, the fighter did not film the disintegration of the warhead, but the separation of the so-called hypersonic glider from the missile head. The “first sister” summed up by saying that “in case of any direct and indirect alarm,” we will take appropriate response measures and “the frequency of using the Pacific Ocean as our training ground depends on the nature of the actions of American troops“.

Second, at about 7 a.m., the North launched eastwards two medium-range ballistic missiles from Sukchon, South Pyongan Province. It is noteworthy that the North Korean media covered the launch a mere hour after the fact.

In the context of the above, the experts of the Republic of Korea believe that the DPRK military might have simulated strikes on the Cheongju and Osan air bases (North Chuncheon Province) and Gunsan (North Jeolla Province), which are located at a 340 and 390 km distance from the missile launch site. It was from them that the planes of the US and South Korean Air Forces took off for joint exercises the day before.

Third, the ROK has imposed new unilateral sanctions against the DPRK. More precisely, in relation to four individuals and five organizations for their assistance to the nuclear and missile development of the North, as well as for evading the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions. This measure is being applied for the fourth time in the reign of Yoon Suk-yeol: new sanctions were introduced just ten days after the decision had been made to restrict Pyongyang’s illegal activities in cyberspace. Previously, these same individuals and organizations had been included in the US sanctions lists, so the step was purely formal.

Fourth, the “Korean” meeting of the UN Security Council eventually took place. In 2022, the UN Security Council held 10 meetings specifically devoted to discussing North Korea’s missile threats, but all of them ended without any results due to the opposition of China and Russia, who are permanent members of the Security Council with veto power.

In 2023, the scenario was resumed. The United States has called on the UN Security Council to hold North Korea accountable “for its recent missile provocations.” Nevertheless, China once again opposed taking any action against Pyongyang, accusing the United States of escalating tensions and provoking North Korea. Its representative reminded the world that the United States had announced joint military exercises at a higher level and on a larger scale, as well as the timely deployment of strategic assets on the Korean peninsula. Russia’s permanent representative to the UN also accused the United States of provoking North Korea. According to the Russian diplomat, the DPRK is simply responding with missile tests to unprecedented US military maneuvers, which are clearly anti-Pyongyang in nature.

On February 22, the military of South Korea, the United States and Japan conducted joint missile defense exercises in the waters of the Sea of Japan. It involved destroyers equipped with the system, which worked out actions for the exchange of information about ballistic missiles, procedures for their detection, tracking and interception. On the same day, a meeting of the Naval commanders of the three countries took place in Yokosuka.

On the same day, on February 22, the 8th U.S-ROK Deterrence Strategy Committee Table-Top Exercise (DSC TTX) was held at the Pentagon. The parties were represented by Heo Tae-keun, ROK Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy (DEPMIN), Siddharth Mohandas, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, and Richard Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy (N-CWMD). The military reviewed measures to strengthen combat readiness in case of the real use of nuclear weapons by the North, and they studied a variety of possible scenarios.

Also on February 22, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK for International Organizations Kim Song Kyung criticized the “unfair and unbalanced” policy of the UN Secretary General, who “from year to year repeats illogical and deplorable nonsense, no different from the chatter of US State Department officials.” And if, because of this stance, “an undesirable situation arises”, he “will not get rid of the heavy responsibility for it.”

At dawn on February 23, North Korea responded to previous day’s exercise by conducting a launch of Hwasal-4 “strategic cruise missiles” capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

In an interview with the Korea Times, senior researcher at the Korean Defense and Security Forum, Shin Jung-woo said that the range of the missiles was 200 kilometers longer than those tested on January 25, 2022. However, in general, the description of the launch was assessed skeptically. According to a representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on February 24, the data obtained by ROK and US observation means do not correspond to the information voiced by the North and may be exaggerated. The military did not provide other details, referring to the fact that this could reveal the capabilities of the allies in the field of surveillance.

On February 24, the head of the DPRK Foreign Ministry Department for US Affairs, Kwon Jong-geun, chastised the UN Security Council meeting, at which, according to the North Korean diplomat, the United States “again found fault with our use of the right to self-defense.” But in addition to the customary rhetoric, there was something new. “The United States should bear in mind that the further continuation of their hostile and provocative acts against the DPRK, despite our repeated protests and warnings, can be considered a declaration of war against our Republic.” This is quite serious, given the new regulations for the use of North Korean nuclear weapons. In response, the US warned that North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons would lead to the end of the DPRK regime, and announced that it would continue to deploy specialized nuclear forces.

What will happen next? In February, the ROK and US military intend to conduct an additional Air Force exercise, and then in March the large-scale Freedom Shield exercise will take place, which will last 11 days, including its field component. The main trigger of the “spring exacerbation”. Moreover, negotiations are underway on the arrival at the port of Busan of an American nuclear aircraft carrier (presumably the Nimitz), which will take part in the exercise. Similarly, in 2022, the United States sent the Ronald Reagan to the peninsula. The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea, however, refused to confirm this fact but stated that “the deployment of key US military assets took place in close consultation between South Korea and the United States“.

So, both sides do not intend to retreat, and it is highly likely that 2023 will equal 2022 in terms of the number of missile launches from the North, and even surpass it. However, seasonal exacerbation is seasonal for a reason: it happens within certain limits. And although non-core experts react to this saber rattling every time as if a war were on the threshold, one should rather be afraid of the probability of an irrational factor when, against the background of tension, someone may lose their nerves.

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

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Russian airlines surviving sanctions – Bloomberg

RT | March 1, 2023

Sanctions against Russian aviation have led to mixed results but have failed to cause the significant pain to the sector that was expected by Western countries, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing industry analysts.

The Ukraine-related sanctions forced two of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, to stop doing business in Russia. Meanwhile, over 40% of the aircraft operating in Russia were owned by foreign lessors that demanded their property back shortly after the restrictions were introduced.

However, Russian air carriers are still operating 467 Airbus and Boeing jets versus the 544 a year ago, according to data from researcher Cirium, as cited by the news agency.

The country’s airlines reportedly keep flying the jets without software updates and other forms of support from Boeing and Airbus. Both manufacturers told the agency that they had stopped providing parts, maintenance or technical support to airlines or maintenance companies in Russia.

In February, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency head Alexander Neradko said that Boeing and Airbus planes operated by Russian airlines will be able to fly safely until 2030 if properly maintained.

In an attempt to isolate Russia, the US, EU, and a number of other countries closed their airspace to Russian airlines. However, despite losing many destinations, Russian carriers have reportedly increased the number of flights to Thailand, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

According to Cirium estimates, Russian airports are now served by some 270 international flights daily compared to 300 a year ago.

At the same time, Russia’s retaliatory measures forced EU and US carriers to make long and expensive detours on flights to Asia. Russian airspace is still open to airlines from nations that opted not to support the sanctions, such as the UAE, which has ramped up service.

“Clearly the sanctions didn’t work as the West thought they would, and the global aviation industry is a lot leakier than anyone thought,” industry consultant Richard Aboulafia told Bloomberg. “Yes, safety will deteriorate the longer these sanctions go on, but it’s clearly not going to bring connectivity within Russia and from Russia to a grinding halt.”

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Turkish FM speaks out on sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

RT | March 1, 2023

Türkiye will not be joining unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over the conflict in Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu was asked how long Ankara would be able to resist pressure from the US and its allies to put restrictions on Moscow ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in India’s capital New Delhi.

“We don’t need to resist anyone, we make our own decisions as a sovereign state. We don’t join any unilateral sanctions. We support only those [restrictions that are] introduced with the backing of the UN,” the foreign minister replied, as cited by the media.

“It’s not just about Russia, but we also don’t support sanctions against Iran or any other country,” Cavusoglu pointed out, adding that “no one can put pressure” on Türkiye.

India, which chairs the G20 this year, is hosting the summit of foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday.

An Indian foreign ministry official told Reuters on Wednesday that New Delhi didn’t want the conflict in Ukraine to dominate the discussions at the event, but acknowledged that it would likely be among the top issues on the agenda. The host nation’s “intention [is] to continue playing the voice of the Global South [Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania] and raising issues pertinent to the region,” the official said.

High-ranking Indian diplomat Vinay Kwatra told reporters that “questions relating to food, energy and fertilizer security, [and] the impact that the conflict has on these economic challenges that we face” will be among those to receive “due focus” in New Delhi.

However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is a stalwart supporter of Kiev, insisted that India should use the G20 gathering to “make Russia understand that this war has to finish.” According to Borrell, the “success” of the whole meeting “will be measured in respect to what we will be able to do on that.”

An EU source said separately the EU delegation in New Delhi won’t support the final statement as a result of the summit if it doesn’t include condemnation of Russia’s conduct in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Korybko: There’s No Reason For India To Decouple Itself From Russia

By Andrew Korybko | March 1, 2023

As an economic expert, Renuka Sane’s heart might presumably be in the right place, but her suggestion to decouple from Russia is counterproductive from the perspective of India’s grand strategic interests. By following her well-intended advice, India would be abandoning its masterful balancing act between key players in the New Cold War that’s responsible for its rapid rise as a globally significant Great Power over the past year. It would also be voluntarily submitting itself to vassal status vis-à-vis the US-led West’s Golden Billion.

The Print, a popular Indian online media outlet, published an op-ed by Renuka Sane on Wednesday urging her country to decouple from Russia in order to please its Western partners. Titled “India must detach from Russia. Exports, IT, or education, its interests lie with the West”, the research director at Trustbridge, which works on improving the rule of law for better economic outcomes for India, shared plenty of details about Indian-Western economic, financial, and tech ties in order to make her case.

There’s no disputing the fact that these abovementioned relationships are incredibly important for India and far outweigh related ties with Russia. The problem, however, is the innuendo that pervades her text whereby she appears to regularly hint that her country’s Western partners might employ “state coercion” against it in response to Delhi’s defiance of their demand to distance itself from Moscow. The first such example of this is present in the second paragraph of her piece.

Sane writes that “State coercion limits engagement between individuals in two countries. Governments make such decisions based on a balance of economic interests and foreign policy. One arena where this plays out is visa diplomacy. Denial of visas is a lever of international relations and often used as a tool to influence actions by another State.” She then adds near the end of that paragraph that “Trade agreements may sometimes be driven primarily by geopolitical and strategic reasons.”

Sane continues this trend into the third paragraph where she opines that “The energy, support, and prioritisation for all these [Indian-US tech initiatives] on the part of the two governments are shaped by their security environment.” This part can be interpreted as her hinting that the US’ displeasure with the Russian dimension of India’s foreign policy could have consequences for bilateral cooperation, especially in the tech sphere.

Reinforcing this point, the fourth paragraph includes the following insight: “Information Technology is now India’s biggest industry, and the future of the Indian economy is tied to success in this sector. For further doubling of services exports, support and cooperation from Western governments is important.” Sane then adds at the end of the sixth paragraph that “India’s approach to the Ukraine war will shape the extent to which Western governments choose to support India’s services exports growth targets.”

The last two paragraphs more directly convey the implied purpose behind her latest op-ed. This is evidenced by her warning that “If global firms want to exit China on the grounds that it is an authoritarian country hostile to the West, then it is in India’s interest to look ‘un-China’ in the eyes of the world. Our equation and policies vis-a-vis Russia may shape the attitude of these global corporate players.”

Sane then ends her piece on the following ominous note: “India’s economic interests lie with the West, and the latter is extremely worried about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Putting everything together and keeping in mind the excerpts that were shared, there’s little doubt that she’s concerned that the West – particularly the US – might punish India for its independent foreign policy towards Russia through economic, financial, and/or tech means, ergo her innuendo that it should ditch Moscow.

As an economic expert, her heart might presumably be in the right place, but her suggestion is counterproductive from the perspective of India’s grand strategic interests. By following her well-intended advice, India would be abandoning its masterful balancing act between key players in the New Cold War that’s responsible for its rapid rise as a globally significant Great Power over the past year. It would also be voluntarily submitting itself to vassal status vis-à-vis the US-led West’s Golden Billion.

India’s hard-earned strategic autonomy would be surrendered in exchange for literally nothing at all since it’s highly unlikely that her implied scenario of that de facto New Cold War bloc punishing her country through the related means that she warned about will ever come to pass. This South Asian Great Power is simply much too important to the Golden Billion for the latter to unilaterally decouple itself from the former for five reasons that will now be summarized.

First, India’s labor and market potentials are too large for the West to ignore, which directly segues into the second point of them envisaging that country functioning as a reliable re-shoring location for gradually reducing their presently disproportionate dependence on Chinese-based supply chains. Third, their support for India’s continued economic growth enhances its comprehensive capabilities to manage China’s rise, which aligns with their de facto New Cold War bloc’s geostrategic interests.

Fourth, no other country has anywhere near the previously mentioned characteristics that India has, meaning that there’s no viable alternative for the West with respect to those related opportunities in the event that they decide to decouple themselves from it as punishment for its foreign policy. And finally, the worst-case scenario that they want to avoid at all costs is pushing India into considering the “Chindia” scenario of combining its potential with China and jointly challenging the West.

That last-mentioned scenario is only foreseeable in the event that the West’s liberalglobalist elite succeed in punishing India for its foreign policy through economic and other means of the sort that Color Revolution mastermind George Soros implied last month are credibly in the cards. His de facto declaration of Hybrid War against India during the Munich Security Conference was alarming, but his more pragmatic and non-ideological peers might still rein him in and prevent this from materializing.

If they can’t, then they risk pushing India into seriously considering synergizing its economic, financial, and tech potential with China, which would deal a deathblow to Western dominance. In any case, this is a choice for the West itself to make and India shouldn’t voluntarily subjugate itself to the Golden Billion’s foreign policy demands out of desperation to avert the scenario of it being punished by them like Sane appears to be strongly suggesting throughout her piece.

Rather, India should maintain its multi-alignment between all key players, but never shy away from signaling to everyone that it always has backup plans in the event that any of them unilaterally decides to worsen their relations for purely zero-sum political reasons. There’s no indication that the West as a whole is seriously considering punishing India for its ties with Russia, Soros’ de facto declaration of Hybrid War against it notwithstanding, but they should still know what would happen if they do.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , | 1 Comment

Russia Will Keep Up The Pace Of Oil Exports To India Despite Increased Chinese Demand

By Andrew Korybko | March 1, 2023

Bloomberg’s points in support of this observation are purely economic and overlook the strategic dimension of Russia’s discounted oil exports to India, which will be explained in the present piece.

Bloomberg published a piece on Tuesday about how “Russia Seen Favoring India Even as China’s Oil Demand Rebounds”, which cites lead crude analyst Viktor Katona from commodity-data firm Kpler. According to him, “While China could ‘buy literally the entire Russian oil exports’ as it abandons Covid-zero policies, Russia will want to keep the Indian market because it is more lucrative and gives its crude sellers greater control.”

Katona is also quoted as adding that “Chinese refiners may want to buy more Russian crude this year, but they also have the capacity to do their own shipping. That would deprive Moscow of income from the ‘parallel gray fleet’ of tankers it has established to deliver crude to India.” While these are all valid points in support of his prediction, they’re purely economic and overlook the strategic dimension of Russia’s discounted oil exports to India, which will now be explained.

First, India’s unprecedentd scaling of Russian oil imports over the past year since the start of the latter’s special operation preemptively averted Moscow’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China and continues to do so into the present.

Second, the Kremlin will never forget the aforementioned strategic favor that India did for Russia at its most sensitive moment in decades, hence why it’s inclined to keep up the pace of its discounted exports to that country as a way of thanking it for this.

Third, the Kremlin is cognizant of the fact that there must be tangible benefits for India in continuing to defy Western pressure upon it to dump Russia, so keeping up the pace of oil exports to it incentivizes India to continue its pragmatic policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict.

Fourth, their newfound energy relations also served Russia’s grand strategic goal of accelerating India’s rise as a globally significant Great Power.

That last-mentioned outcome advances the global systemic transition’s ongoing evolution towards tripolarity ahead of its final form of more complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”), which serves both of their interests. And finally, the larger dynamics connected to the aforesaid development is that it helps break the Sino-American bi-multipolar superpower duopoly that previously characterized International Relations, thus greatly enhancing Russia and India’s strategic autonomy in the New Cold War.

Altogether, these strategic motivations ensure that Russia won’t increase oil exports to China at the expense of the level at which it’s presently supplying India. Observers should always keep them in mind since they prove that the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership is premised on their shared goal of accelerating the global systemic transition and not on deriving opportunistic economic benefits like Bloomberg implied is supposedly the case when it comes to their current energy ties.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Blinken hopes to derail India’s relationship with Russia following Scholz’s failure

By Ahmed Adel | March 1, 2023

With Russia’s military operation in Ukraine evidently destroying NATO’s ambitions, Washington is becoming increasingly frustrated that Moscow has not been isolated. Russia did not economically collapse, as was predicted in the West, partly because of the robust and longstanding relationship it has with India. It is unsurprising that in only a matter of days, Germany and the US have pressured India to capitulate their sovereignty and serve Western interests instead of their own.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sought assurances from India on February 25 that it would not only refuse to block, but also support efforts to isolate Russia. Following his talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chancellor refused to reveal what exactly they discussed in relation to Ukraine.

Although the contents of the discussion were cited as being confidential in nature, it is likely that Scholz did not want to humiliatingly admit that India refused to step back from its tried and tested relationship with Russia. Scholz did reveal though that he and Modi had discussed the war in Ukraine “very extensively and very intensely.”

It is noted that this trip was Scholz’s first official visit to India but his fourth meeting with Modi since taking office in 2021. Although they also discussed ways to boost economic cooperation, including through a free trade agreement between the European Union and India, it cannot be overlooked that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in New Delhi only days after Scholz.

Days before arriving in the Indian capital, Blinken said that countries like India, which have not joined the West in denouncing Russia’s military operation, were on a supposed trajectory away from alignment with Moscow. He stressed that the process would not occur “in one fell swoop.”

“There are countries that have long-standing, decades-long relationships with Russia, with the Soviet Union before, that are challenging to break off in one fell swoop. It’s not flipping a light switch, it’s moving an aircraft carrier,” Blinken said in an interview with The Atlantic on February 24.

However, for all of Blinken’s claims that India is moving away from Moscow, there is no actual suggestion that this is occurring. The US and India cooperate through the QUAD format, a naval bloc aimed against China, but this has not meant India’s submission to Washington, as the Americans evidently anticipated.

Although India has faced sustained and continued pressure from the West to distance itself from Moscow, New Delhi has thus far resisted, citing its longstanding ties with Russia and its economic and oil interests. It cannot be overlooked that Russia has been India’s largest weapons supplier since the Cold War-era, particularly since the US traditionally favoured Pakistan.

However, Washington in recent years has looked to turn New Delhi away from its main military supplier (but without wanting to adjust its policy to Pakistan).

“India for decades had Russia at the core of providing military equipment to it and its defences, but what we’ve seen over the last few years is a trajectory away from relying on Russia and moving into partnership with us and other countries,” Blinken said, without mentioning the fact that India is moving towards home-grown production, something that Russia is playing a key role in.

None-the-less, it is expected that Blinken, in the same way as Scholz, will try and convince India to change course regarding its ties with Russia.

As Bloomberg reported, citing Kpler’s lead crude analyst, Viktor Katona, “India purchased almost no Russian oil a year ago, but has become a crucial market after the US and European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow. The Asian country imported around 1.85 million barrels a day from Russia in February, close to its potential maximum of about 2 million barrels a day.”

The cold hard facts are that Moscow and New Delhi have a longstanding relationship that India will not break just for the sake of serving Western interests. Beyond the time-tested security ties, Russia offers energy hungry India the best deal for oil, something that will not be sacrificed because of a far-off war in Eastern Europe.

According to QUARTZ, India has in less than a year saved an estimated $3.6 billion by increasing Russian oil imports. This is a significant amount for a country that depends on imports to meet 85% of its petroleum needs.

It is recalled that in November 2022, Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said “Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner. Any objective evaluation of our relationship over many decades would confirm that it has actually served both our countries very, very well.”

With this statement, he effectively confirmed a continuance of the current policy despite sustained pressure – a pressure that Scholz and Blinken are the latest to apply. They are however also the latest that were unable to convince New Delhi to change its policy regarding Russia.

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

March 1, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

“I am ashamed to be a European” — MEPs slam EU for silence on Nord Stream blasts

George Soros is either prophetic or pulls a lot of strings

By Tony Cox | RT | February 2, 2023

George Soros is either stunningly prescient or frighteningly influential when it comes to determining who will need to do all the bleeding and dying that he deems necessary to bring about a desirable “new world order.”

Consider the Hungarian-born billionaire’s essay on the future of NATO: “The United States would not be called upon to act as the policeman of the world. When it acts, it would act in conjunction with others. Incidentally, the combination of manpower from Eastern Europe with the technical capabilities of NATO would greatly enhance the military potential of the partnership because it would reduce the risk of body bags for NATO countries, which is the main constraint on their willingness to act. This is a viable alternative to the looming world disorder.”

Soros deserves credit for neatly describing the US and NATO strategy for bringing about and exploiting the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Ukrainians are providing the manpower – in other words, the cannon fodder – and the Western puppeteers can endeavor to weaken Russia and enforce their vision of a favorable world order. They also can do this without having to make the case to their citizens that this is a fight for which it is worth tolerating body bags coming home from the front.

Additionally, by sharing the burden of providing military and economic aid to Kiev, the Western powers achieve the dual benefits of prolonging their proxy war and creating the impression that the whole world is steadfastly standing with the blue and yellow. That helps underpin the narrative frame that there is no moral basis for criticizing Ukraine policy and anyone who does so is probably a Kremlin agent.

The thing is, Soros didn’t write his take on the situation this week, this month or even in the past year. He didn’t even write it back in 2014, when he was allegedly backing the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government and might have reasonably anticipated a coming conflict with Russia. No, Soros wrote this assessment in 1993, nearly 30 years ago.

Back then, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Soros wanted to prevent former Soviet states and Warsaw Pact nations from becoming nationalist countries that would be governed according to their own interests and oppose the global order that he was promoting.

Western leaders had made assurances that NATO wouldn’t expand eastward, but Soros saw the military bloc as “the basis of a new world order.” He conceded that the group would need “some profound new thinking,” given that its original mission was “obsolete,” and he insisted that the alliance must be free to invite any country to join.

In fact, he saw a great opportunity for NATO to take advantage of the security void created by the Soviet collapse if it could act quickly. “If NATO has any mission at all, it is to project its power and influence into the region, and the mission is best defined in terms of open and closed societies.”

“The countries of Central Europe are clamoring for full membership of NATO as soon as possible, preferably before Russia recovers. Russia objects, not because it harbors any designs on its former empire but because it sees no advantage in consenting. Its national pride has been hurt and it is sick and tired of making concessions without corresponding benefits.”

Soros saw NATO as both a viable platform to develop into the anti-Russia enforcer for his new world order and the bright and shiny object to lure Europe’s former Eastern Bloc states into the fold. “NATO has a unified command structure which brings together the United States and Western Europe,” he said.

“There are great advantages in having such a strong Western pillar: It leads to a lopsided structure firmly rooted in the West. This is as it should be, since the goal is to reinforce and gratify the desire of the region for joining the open society of the West.”

The goal became reality. For example, Soros noted that there was nothing to prevent countries such as Poland, Czechia and Hungary from joining NATO. The three nations became the first wave of NATO’s post-Cold War expansion, joining the bloc in 1999. In fact, the bloc has since nearly doubled in size, adding 14 members by 2020 and teeing up Ukraine and Georgia as future prospects.

NATO moved right along the Russian frontier, placing strategic weapons and security guarantees on Moscow’s doorstep and helping to trigger the current crisis. As Soros acknowledged in 1993, Russia had no desire to restore the empire of Peter the Great – contrary to a popular CNN talking point. However, as the Kremlin warned repeatedly in the years leading up to the current conflict, Moscow couldn’t stand idly by while its national security interests were trampled.

It’s easy to see why Soros was and is so worried about nationalism: His vision could never sell with a government that served the interests of its own people.

NATO’s expansion binge didn’t make anyone safer. We know the little brothers, like the people of Ukraine, aren’t better off. They have the privilege of bleeding and dying as they provide the “manpower” for NATO’s proxy fight with Russia. As for the big brothers, they undermine their own security. Americans and Western Europeans are suffering the economic effects of the US-NATO sanctions war against Russia, and their governments are pushing them ever closer to a planet-ending nuclear Armageddon.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced last week that its Doomsday Clock had advanced to within 90 seconds of midnight, the latest ever, indicating that humanity stands at “a time of unprecedented danger.” The group cited the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has “challenged the nuclear order – the system of agreements and understandings that have been constructed over six decades to limit the dangers of nuclear weapons.”

Not to worry if you’re George Soros, 92 years old, and watching your geopolitical dreams come true. He and others like him can keep marching onward to perfect their world order as they see fit.

If we wonder whether NATO works on behalf of that order, we need look only at what has transpired and the framing of the current conflict. When Russian forces began their offensive against Ukraine last February, Western leaders and pundits condemned President Vladimir Putin for undermining the “rules-based international order.”

So NATO has emerged as the enforcer of the rules-based international order – the new world order, if you will – just as Soros called for three decades ago. The results of that “profound new thinking” are much the same as the political activist envisioned in 1993. He also called for expanding NATO to Asia, which hasn’t yet happened, but the bloc’s 2022 summit was enlarged to include representatives from Asia-Pacific “sentinel states” – Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Was Soros so much of a visionary that the hedge-fund investor could foresee how geopolitics would play out several decades ahead of time, or does his accuracy reflect the fact that he and his allies tend to get their way? Rather than prescience, is this situation more like the cook being a good predictor of what we’re going to have for dinner?

Soros himself offered a hint on that theory in his essay: “We have to act without full knowledge of the facts because the facts are created by our decisions.”

Anyone who suggests that Soros calls a lot of the policy shots is immediately condemned by the Western media as anti-Semitic because, after all, he has Jewish heritage. Never mind that he’s an avowed atheist who has been accused of undermining Israel’s democratically elected government and funding groups that defame the Jewish state.

So when Moldovan President Maia Sandu returns from a recent trip to Davos and promptly starts hinting about joining NATO – in violation of her country’s constitutional commitment to neutrality – we shouldn’t point out that she met with Alexander Soros, son of George Soros, during the summit. Revealing or trying to connect such dots would be anti-Semitic, according to the Western media.

It couldn’t be that George Soros wields an inordinate amount of influence over world affairs. It couldn’t be that some of his critics have legitimate and unbigoted disagreements with his ideas. It couldn’t be that his immunity to criticism is further evidence of his power.

And shut your eyes when a US watchdog group reveals that Soros has financial ties to at least 253 media organizations worldwide and funding links to 54 prominent media figures, including such names as Christiane Amanpour of CNN, Lester Holt of NBC News and Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee.

So Soros gets to wield his influence with impunity, apparently achieving what he wants in many cases. He gets to serve the interests of billionaires, defense contractors, power-mongering politicians and social engineers. But what about the rest of us, the other 8 billion people in the world? What about those who just want to be able to support our families, pursue happiness and live in peace – without worrying that iodine pills are sold out and there might not be time to build a nuclear fallout shelter?

Soros himself might prescribe us more bread and circuses, to keep the masses distracted – as well as tribalism, to keep the people divided – at least until we’re needed to serve as “manpower” for the cause.

Tony Cox is a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers.

March 1, 2023 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment