Aletho News


Russia reveals position on Istanbul grain deal

RT | March 2, 2023

The Black Sea “grain deal” arranged last August is not working as intended, because the grain from Ukraine is not going to the needy countries of Africa and Asia, while the West continues to block all Russian food and fertilizer exports, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

The arrangement, negotiated by the UN and signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul, established a safe corridor for ships bringing corn and wheat from Odessa to countries facing food insecurity. It was also supposed to re-establish the export of grain and fertilizer from Russia, the ministry noted in a statement.

Eight months later, only the first part of the deal has been implemented, and in a way “far from the declared humanitarian goals,” the ministry said. Since August 1 last year, Ukraine has exported over 23 million tons of grain, of which 70% was animal feed. Of that, the EU accounted for 47% and “upper-middle income countries” for another 34%, Moscow said, while only 2.6% is currently going to countries needing food the most.

Meanwhile, there has been “close to zero” progress in unblocking the delivery of Russian grain or fertilizer, badly needed elsewhere. Kiev has continued to block the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline “for purely political reasons,” resulting in a shortage of 2.5 million tons of raw material that could produce seven million tons of fertilizer and feed 200 million people, the ministry said.

The US and its allies have said their sanctions do not include Russian food and fertilizer – but they have banned all Russian ships from docking in their ports or accessing insurance and brokerage service, imposing a total blockade on commercial shipping in effect, if not in name.

“It’s time to stop playing the food card. The lion’s share of grain from Ukraine goes to the European Union as fodder at dumping prices, and not to the poorest countries,” the ministry noted. “Russian agricultural exports are being blatantly hindered, no matter how much the Europeans and Americans, who are used to telling lies, try to convince everyone otherwise.”

As an example, the ministry said that 262,000 tons of Russian fertilizer has been blocked in the Dutch and Baltic state ports for months. Moscow has offered the fertilizer to African countries absolutely free of charge, yet only one shipment of 20,000 tons, destined for Malawi, has managed to depart so far.

Russia is working on its own to organize deliveries to Africa, since the UN process is plagued by such difficulties and delays, the ministry added.

Moscow is therefore forced to conclude that the grain deal “does not work,” identifying the main problem as “sabotage by Western countries” of the Russia-UN memorandum.

“It is obvious that Americans and Europeans do not care about the needs of countries in need, nor about the efforts of the UN, which they have long and persistently tried to turn into a tool for serving their political goals,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 4 Comments

Are We Medicating Millions of ADHD Children without Scientific Justification?

By Yaakov Ophir | Brownstone Institute | March 1, 2023

As glasses help people focus their eyes to see,” medical experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics rule, “medications help children with ADHD focus their thoughts better and ignore distractions.” In their view, as well as in the view of multiple other expert consortiums, the most appropriate way to treat the “lifelong impairing condition” of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is by taking stimulant medications on a daily basis.

Although stimulants, as suggested by their name, are frequently abused for stimulating (potentially addictive) sensations of high energy, euphoria, and potency, they are often compared to harmless medical aids, such as eyeglasses or walking crutches. Numerous studies, we are told, support their efficacy and safety, and evidence-based medicine dictates that these substances will be administered to children with ADHD as the first-line treatment.

There is only one, huge problem. ADHD is currently the most common childhood disorder in Western-oriented countries. Its ever-increasing rates are now skyrocketing. The documented prevalence of ADHD is not about 3 percent, as it used to be when the disorder was first introduced in 1980. In 2014, a survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that over 20 percent of 12-year-old boys were diagnosed with this “lifelong condition.”

In 2020, thousands of real-life medical records from Israel suggested that over 20 percent of all children and young adults (5-20 years) received a formal diagnosis of ADHD. This means that hundreds of millions of children around the world are eligible for this diagnosis and that most of them (about 80 percent), including very young, preschool children, will be prescribed with its treatment-of-choice, as if regular use of stimulants is indeed comparable to eyeglasses.

Stimulant brands for ADHD, such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, or Vyvanse rank at the top of the best-selling lists of medications for children. Indeed, the American dream may play a significant role in the proliferation of such cognitive enhancers in the US, but the rush for the magic pills crosses national borders. In fact, the ‘semi-final’ countries that are currently ‘winning’ the Ritalin Olympics, according to the International Narcotics Control Board, are: Iceland, Israel, Canada, and Holland.

But what if the scientific consensus is wrong? What if the medications for ADHD are not as effective and as safe as we are told? After all, stimulant medications are powerful psychoactive substances, which are prohibited to use without medical prescriptions, under federal drug laws. Like all psychoactive drugs, which affect the central nervous system, stimulant medications are designed to penetrate the blood-brain barrier – the specialized tissue and blood vessels that normally prevent harmful substances from reaching the brain. In this way, stimulant medications are essentially impacting the biochemical processes of our brain – that miraculous organ that makes us who we are.

In my new book ADHD is Not an Illness and Ritalin is Not a Cure: A Comprehensive Rebuttal of the (alleged) Scientific Consensus, I do my best to answer these disturbing questions. The first part of the book offers a step-by-step refutation of the notion that ADHD meets the required criteria for a neuropsychiatric condition. In fact, a close reading of the available science suggests that the vast majority of the diagnoses simply reflects common and pretty normative childhood behaviors that underwent unjustified medicalization. The second part of the book uncovers the massive evidence that exists against the efficacy and safety of the treatment-of-choice for ADHD.

Hundreds of studies, published in well-recognized, mainstream academic journals tell a totally different story than the one told by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Stimulant medications are nothing like eyeglasses. Of course, it is impossible to summarize an entire book here, but I do wish to outline three principal failures in the common comparison between stimulant medications and eyeglasses – or any other daily used, harmless medical aids for that matter, such as walking crutches.

  1. Even without considering the specific criticism about the validity of ADHD, the very comparison between organic/bodily conditions, which are typically measured through objective tools, to amorphic psychiatric labels that rely exclusively on subjective assessments of behaviors, is inappropriate and misleading. The ‘brain deficit’ and the ‘chemical imbalance’ that have been associated with ADHD are unproven myths. Stimulants do not ‘fix’ biochemical imbalances and they can easily be used also by non-ADHD individuals to enhance cognitive performance (even though these individuals are not assumed to have this alleged ‘brain deficit’).
  2. As opposed to visual impairments that restrict the individual’s everyday functioning, regardless of school demands, the primary impairment in ADHD is manifested in school settings. Eyeglasses and walking crutches are needed outside of school premises as well, even during weekends and holidays. ADHD, in contrast, seems to be a ‘seasonal disease’ (despite endless efforts to exaggerate and extend its negative outcomes to non-school-related settings). When schools are closed, its daily medical management is often no longer needed. This simple real-life fact is even acknowledged, to some extent, in the official Ritalin leaflet, which states that: “During the course of treatment for ADHD, the doctor may tell you to stop taking Ritalin for certain periods of time (e.g., every weekend or school vacations) to see if it is still necessary to take it.” Incidentally, these ‘treatment breaks,’ according to the leaflet, “also help prevent a slow-down in growth that sometimes occurs when children take this medicine for a long time” – a noteworthy point that brings us to the third, and most important error in the comparison between stimulant medications and other daily, physical/medical aids, such as eyeglasses.
  3. The benign examples used by proponents of the medications, such as eyeglasses or walking crutches are not regulated by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. Typically, these medical aids do not cause serious physiological and emotional adverse reactions. If stimulant drugs are as safe as experts say, like “Tylenol and aspirin,” why do we insist that they will be medically prescribed by licensed physicians? This question has philosophical and societal implications. After all, if the medications are safe and helpful to various populations (i.e., not only to people with ADHD), what is the moral justification to prohibit their usage among non-diagnosed individuals? This is unjustified discrimination. Moreover, why are we condemning (non-diagnosed) students who use these medications to improve their grades? If regular use of Ritalin and alike is so safe, why not place them on the pharmacies’ shelves, next to the non-prescription pain relievers, moisturizers, and chocolate energy bars?

The last rhetorical questions illustrate how far the eyeglasses metaphor is from the clinical reality and the scientific evidence regarding ADHD and stimulant medications. ADHD medications are not fundamentally different from other psychoactive drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier. At first usage, they may trigger intense sensations of potency or euphoria, but when used for prolonged periods, their desired effects subside, and their unwanted negative effects start to emerge. The brain recognizes these psychoactive substances as neurotoxins and activates a compensatory mechanism in an attempt to fight the harmful invaders. It is this activation of the compensatory mechanism, not the ADHD, that might cause the biochemical imbalance in the brain.

I realize that these last sentences may sound provocative. I therefore encourage readers not to ‘trust’ this short article blindly, but to dive with me into the deep (and sometimes dirty) water of the scientific literature. Despite the academic orientation of my book, I made sure to make the science available to most readers through plain language, illustrative stories, and real-life examples. And even if you disagree with some of its content, I am positive that, by the end of the reading, you will ask yourself, like I did: How is it possible that such critical information about ADHD and stimulant medications is being hidden from us? Does it really make sense to compare these drugs to eyeglasses? Are we medicating millions of ADHD children without proper scientific justification?

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Book Review, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Worst Public Health Mistakes in History,’ Witness Tells COVID Pandemic Oversight Committee

By Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D. | The Defender | March 1, 2023

Convening for the first time on Tuesday, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic presented the testimony of four public health experts, as part of a roundtable: “Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past: Examining COVID Policy Decisions.”

The agenda for the subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), focused on government policy pertaining to COVID-19, including vaccine mandates and other public health guidance.

In his opening remarks, Wenstrup said the subcommittee will examine the origins of COVID-19, policies surrounding gain-of-function, research, the impacts of lockdowns and other government policies, including school closures, and “vaccine and therapeutic development and the subsequent mandates.”

“We are here to deliver an after-action review of the past three years,” said Wenstrup. “To learn from the past, not just what went wrong, but what was done right, and to prepare for the future. This is work that must be done, must be done thoroughly, and must be done with reverence with an eye toward the truth and based on facts.”

The experts who testified included Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Stanford University; Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H., chief of islet transplant surgery and professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University; and Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., M.A.C.P., executive director of the American Public Health Association.

In introducing the experts, Wenstrup said they can “help us chart a path forward; to help us understand what policies went wrong and how we, as a country, can improve.”

Wenstrup cited examples like the vaccine mandates imposed by the Biden administration, ignoring natural immunity, the harm caused to elders forced into nursing homes, and the consequences of stopping in-person learning and implementing remote work, particularly in the public sector.

“The American people deserve to know and understand how and why these impactful decisions were made,” said Wenstrup. “Did we create unnecessary fear in some, and dangerous ambivalence in others?”

“At the end of this process, our goal is to produce a product, hopefully bipartisan, based on knowledge and lessons learned,” he stated.

Ranking member Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) focused on American lives lost during the pandemic, stating that it “was real and not a hoax” and “laid bare vulnerabilities and inequities in our public health infrastructure and our economy.”

“We need to understand the lessons, learn all the barriers of misinformation, disinformation, the politicization of this and avoid those for the fake of our nation, in order to save more lives,” Ruiz said.

Most of the witnesses shared critical words about the overall public health response to COVID-19, which Kulldorff described as “the worst public health mistakes in history.”

Makary said “public health officials have made many tragic mistakes during the pandemic,” including:

“Ignoring natural immunity, dismissing the lab leak as a conspiracy, closing schools, masking toddlers … pushing boosters for young people, bypassing FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] expert panel customary votes that we’ve been using for decades, telling people to wash their hands like crazy.”

Bhattacharya said:

“The American people deserve answers to fundamental questions about the pandemic. On what empirical basis were schools closed? Did public health decision-makers consider the harms of their policies as thoroughly as their putative benefits? Why did authorities ignore recovered immunity or failure of the vaccine to prevent disease transmission?”

“Scientists and people vehemently disagreed about the wisdom of lockdowns, school closures, vaccine mandates and discrimination and so much else,” he added. “There’s near-universal agreement that what we did failed.”

Benjamin, the only expert who was generally supportive of the overall public health response, said, “We must remember the limited information we had when we made those decisions … and also the fact that our knowledge base and science continues to evolve over time.”

He added, “We created a safe and effective vaccine by every standard that we understand safety and efficacy today, in record time.”

Wenstrup praised the quick development of vaccines, describing it as “amazing,” but added, “but we knew from the trials that even people that were vaccinated got COVID” and “we also knew that vaccines produce variants and we should be expecting that.”

Citing the early public health response focusing on COVID-19 at the expense of other patients and health issues, he said one of his constituents, an elderly man, had an operation for “a painful hernia” canceled, ultimately resulting in his death.

Several experts addressed this type of inflexibility. Makary said that while “public health officials are not wrong for making recommendations based on the knowledge that they had at the time … that’s not actually what happened.”

“They were wrong because they refused to evolve their positions as the data became abundantly clear,” he said.

Nursing home policies, hospital visitation restrictions ‘a human rights violation’

Kulldorff said one of the two “major failures” of the public health response was “the failure to properly and optimally protect older Americans,” including “nursing home residents.” He described “sending sick people to nursing homes” as “criminal.”

“We also didn’t protect older working-age Americans in their 60s and 70s, while the ‘laptop class’ was often working from home, whether they were in their 20s or 30s or 40s,” he said. “The way we dealt with the pandemic was the worst assault on poor people, working Americans, the middle class [since] segregation and the Vietnam War.”

Kulldorff, who along with Bhattacharya helped draft the “Great Barrington Declaration” on “the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” said that when the group “proposed very concrete things for how to better protect older Americans” they were “slandered.”

Bhattacharya, in turn, said “the public health establishment … abandoned an essential commitment to science” in “sending COVID-19-infected patients back to nursing homes.”

Experts also addressed broader restrictions on hospital visitation during the pandemic. “To date, no randomized controlled trial has been conducted … against the cruel and inhumane hospital visitation policies that prevented people from seeing their dying loved ones,” said Makary, who described this failure as “a human rights violation.”

‘A house of cards that’s now falling apart’

Several of Tuesday’s witnesses focused on pandemic lockdown policies.

According to Bhattacharya, “By early 2022, about 95% of Americans had contracted COVID, despite the harsh countermeasures in most states.”

Bhattacharya described the policies as a “widespread violation of civil liberties.” He referenced a “Johns Hopkins University meta-analysis [finding] that lockdowns had failed to contain the spread of COVID.”

“At best, [lockdowns] temporarily protected the ‘laptop class’ who could work from home without losing their jobs, perhaps 30% of the population, while being served by the working class,” he added.

Kulldorff said such measures were themselves responsible for many deaths.

“Lockdown harms, school closures, people not going to medical visits … has killed many Americans and will continue to do so in the next few years,” he said, adding that “the lockdowns had enormously negative consequences on public health.”

For example, screening and treatment on cardiovascular disease and other ailments “plummeted,” Kulldorff said.

“The pandemic response is a house of cards that’s now falling apart,” he added.

Several of the experts focused on school closures, with Kulldorff stating, “I don’t think there’s anybody left who thinks that school closures were a good idea.”

Bhattacharya said school closures helped create “tremendous collateral harm” and “have set kids behind in ways that will lead them to worse outcomes as adults, including shorter, poorer lives.”

Mandates ‘ignored clear scientific data’

Bhattacharya questioned why “public health authorities ignore[d] clear scientific data that COVID infection [and] acquired immunity is as strong or stronger than vaccine-acquired immunity.”

“Vaccine mandates forced many frontline workers … to choose between their careers and a vaccine that provides less protection than the natural immunity they already had,” he said.

According to Makary, “Young healthy people were essentially spared from this pandemic,” with “an infection fatality rate no worse than influenza.” However, he said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denied knowledge of studies confirming these findings.

Benjamin said, “We were all kind of surprised the kids did kind of well,” although “there were some children that got … multisystem inflammatory syndrome.”

Defending the COVID-19 vaccines, Benjamin said:

“We have learned that if you do get native infection — meaning you aren’t immunized [and get infected], and then if you get vaccinated — you have a really, really, really robust response, and that’s great science and I’m glad we’re learning about that.”

Makary took a different view, saying, “The greatest perpetrator of misinformation during the pandemic has been the United States government” when it claimed “vaccinated immunity was far greater than natural immunity” and that “masks were effective.”

Makary referred to the recently published Cochrane meta-analysis showing that masks did not prevent the spread of COVID-19 while pointing out that myocarditis is “four to 28 times more common after the vaccine” but that the government has said “young people benefit from a booster.”

Kulldorff referred to the example of Sweden, describing it as the “one Western country who did very well during the pandemic” and that had “mostly voluntary measures” and a “very light approach,” instead of lockdowns and mandates.

“Sweden, together with other Scandinavian countries, [had] the least excess death in the world,” said Kulldorff.

Prompted by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-Iowa), who said, “It wasn’t until I came to Congress that I found out infection-acquired immunity was a novel concept,” Kulldorff stated, “I guess we knew about it since 430 B.C., the Athenian Plague, until 2020, and then we didn’t know about it for three years, and now we know about it again.”

Makary said that since the time of the Athenian Plague, natural immunity had been observed, “and yet it was considered a conspiracy theory or something we couldn’t trust or believe in because we didn’t know the long-term protection. Well, we didn’t know the long-term protection of the vaccines either.”

“There has not been recognition that there is immunity after having had an infection,” said Kulldorff. There “was never a reason to mandate that vaccine for people that all had COVID. There was recently a study of mass vaccinations that shows [they] had zero or very little benefit.”

Benjamin, however, argued that in terms of natural immunity, “We generally don’t do that in medicine, particularly when we have a therapeutic option that will prevent it.”

“Many faced with these anti-scientific choices will never trust public health authorities again,” Bhattacharya said. “Public health bureaucrats operated more like dictators than scientists during the pandemic, sealing themselves off from credible outside criticism.”

As a result, said Bhattacharya, “I’ve seen a rise in vaccine hesitancy for essential vaccines like measles [and] DPT,” describing this as “quite alarming.”

Kuldorff concurred. “By forcing children to have a vaccine that they don’t need because they’ve already had the disease, that undermines the trust in other vaccines,” he said, characterizing this as “very, very serious.”

“It’ll take decades to restore some of this damaged trust” in public health authorities, added Makary.

Kulldorff said, “These failures are due to abandonment of basic principles of public health,” including an exclusive focus on one disease at the expense of all others, and “trying to suppress or eradicate COVID, which was impossible.”

Makary asked, “Why do we have the same policies for everybody?” He noted the “biases” of COVID-19 policy decision-makers, whom he described as “a small, non-diverse, like-minded group making all the decisions, and they were HIV researchers” even though “in HIV, there’s no natural immunity.”

“CDC and the FDA and people at the NIH [National Institutes of Health] made up their mind before the trials were completed,” said Makary. “They decided babies were going to get vaccines before the study was done. And then [they] found no statistically significant difference in efficacy between the two groups and they just authorized it anyway.”

“Why are we even doing trials? Why do we even have an FDA?” asked Makary.

Where do scientists whose careers were destroyed go to get their reputations back?

Ruiz said, “We are still dealing with the long-term implications of this public health crisis,” citing “the spread of misinformation or disinformation” as having “undermined the American people’s trust in our nation’s public health institutions and in each other.”

Ruiz said “misinformation” and “disinformation” may “lead to non-compliance or failure of therapeutics where people are making decisions that put themselves and their families in harm’s way.” But most of the experts took a different view.

Bhattacharya said that “under the banner of combating misinformation, government health agencies use their power to collaborate with social media companies to control the public conversation about COVID science and policy,” noting that he was put on a “trends blacklist” by Twitter as a result, leading to his participation in a lawsuit against the Biden administration based on censorship claims.

“I personally have faced censorship,” Bhattacharya said, “from government sources during the pandemic, including … slander and denigration. You need to involve outside voices respectfully in order to get the full set of people … or else bad decisions will get made, just as they were during this pandemic,” he added.

Kulldorff referred to the Great Barrington Declaration, saying that when it was presented, he and its authors were “slandered instead of taking it seriously,” while Bhattacharya said there was “a media campaign to take down our proposal, which tens of thousands of doctors, epidemiologists and scientists endorsed.”

“Where do the scientists whose careers were destroyed … go to get their reputations back?” he asked.

While Benjamin claimed, “There are many people out there who have a large bullhorn who have made it worse,” he conceded that “nobody should be censored.”

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV’s “Good Morning CHD.”

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

COVID-19 Vaccines Remain Pregnancy Category X

Products Should Never Have Been Administered in Pregnant Women and Those of Childbearing Age

By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH | Courageous Discourse | March 2, 2023

All drugs have a pregnancy category designation giving mothers and doctors guidance on what is known and how safe products are during pregnancy.

  • Category A: The possibility of fetal harm appears remote. Extremely few drugs exist in this category (e.g., multiple vitamins).
  • Category B: If there is a clinical need for a drug in this category, they are considered safe to use. Examples: acetaminophen, amoxicillin.
  • Category C: These drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Examples: fluoroquinolones, gentamicin, saccharin, aspirin.
  • Category D: There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but the benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk. They should only be used in pregnancy when the alternatives are worse. Examples: tetracyclines, ACE inhibitors, and most antineoplastics.
  • Category X: The risk of use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweighs any possible benefit. The drug is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. Examples: thalidomide, oral contraceptives, statins, all COVID-19 vaccines.

I published an article in 2021 with Dr. Raphael Stricker, who advises one of the largest fetal loss centers in the country, warning women that the COVID-19 vaccine should be considered pregnancy category X. This designation should have been assigned by the vaccine manufacturers and agreed to by the FDA and properly placed on all vaccine program documents since pregnancy and childbearing age without contraception were exclusions from the EUA registration trials.

Shockingly, in the very first week of mass vaccination in December of 2020, news reels depicted well-intentioned pregnant mothers getting injected with synthetic lipid nanoparticles laced with long-lasting mRNA coding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology Spike protein. How could this be happening with no mutagenicity or teratogenicity studies? How could good clinical practice by doctors be abandoned?

Pregnant mothers and vaccine center workers didn’t seem to care. There were no assurances of gestational, peripartum, or long-term safety. Would the baby be affected by this brand-new technology? The regulatory agencies and medical colleges appeared to be in a tranced oblivion.

There are more than a dozen papers that extoll the virtues of mass vaccination and quickly conclude that COVID-19 vaccines are “safe” in pregnancy. Each paper has critical flaws including: 1) not randomized, 2) no comparator group, 3) limited time window and not entire term with continued follow-up, 4) incomplete capture of clinical events, 5) conflict of interest with American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) who received an undisclosed sum of money from the White House HHS COVID-19 Community Core Fund to promote vaccination.

In drug safety research, even if it is only one abstract, manuscript, or monograph that raises a serious safety concern, it should be pursued over those which failed to find the signal. Thorp and colleagues used CDC VAERS and compared COVID-19 vaccines to influenza vaccines and found in US cases, a 27-fold higher risk of miscarriage and more than a twofold increased risk across six categories of adverse fetal outcomes. Because the mRNA is now known to circulate for 28 days or more and the Spike protein causes clotting, bleeding, and is known to damage tissues, my conservative conclusion is that COVID-19 vaccination remains pregnancy category X—contraindicated.

Why COVID-19 Vaccines are Pregnancy Category X by Dr. Peter McCullough | Nov 28, 2022 | Health, Politics

Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th Ed. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ Editors. Wolters Kluwer Health. Philadelphia. 2008.

McCullough PA. Lack of Compelling Safety data for mRNA COVID Vaccines in Pregnant Women

McCullough PA. mRNA Circulates at Least 28 Days after Injection Finding Cohesive with Serious Adverse Effects in First Month after COVID-19 Vaccination

Thorp, J.A.; Rogers, C.; Deskevich, M.P.; Tankersley, S.; Benavides, A.; Redshaw, M.D.; McCullough, P.A. COVID-19 Vaccines: The Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes and Menstrual Function. Preprints 2022, 2022090430.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Protests greet Macron on Africa tour, Burkina Faso scraps military pact

Press TV – March 2, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a tour of Africa with a message that France is not after meddling, but the visit revived old colonial wounds, sparking protests.

Macron on Thursday said the era of French interference in Africa was “well over” as he began a four-nation tour of the continent to renew frayed ties.

Anti-French sentiment runs high in some former African colonies. Macron said France harbored no desire to return to past policies of interfering in Africa.

“The age of Francafrique is well over,” Macron said in remarks to the French community in Gabon’s capital Libreville, referring to France’s post-colonization strategy of supporting authoritarian leaders to defend its interests.

“Francafrique” refers to the wave of decolonization in 1960 when France began propping up dictators in its former colonies in exchange for access to resources and military bases.

Macron landed in Gabon on Wednesday, the first stop of the tour that will also take the president to Angola, Congo Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“What is Macron doing in Gabon? Is he coming for the forest or to back (President) Ali Bongo?” asked a 39-year-old technician. “If Macron wants to support the Bongo family, we will rise up,” he said. “Gabon is an independent country. It is not France that appoints Gabonese presidents.”

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), angry protesters gathered in front of the French embassy in Kinshasa, spray-painting anti-French graffiti on its wall and chanting “Macron is a killer!”

They unfurled banners reading, “Macron is the godfather of DRC balkanization,” “Congolese say no to French policy,” and “Macron is an unwanted guest in DRC”.

More than 3,000 French soldiers are deployed in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Djibouti, according to official figures.

Burkina Faso said it has scrapped a 1961 agreement on military assistance with France, only weeks after it told the French ambassador and troops to quit the country.

The Burkinabe foreign ministry advised the French government that the country was “renouncing the technical military assistance agreement reached in Paris on April 24 1961,” according to the correspondence, dated Tuesday.

The ministry said Burkina was giving one month’s notice for “the final departure of all French military personnel serving in Burkinabe military administrations.”

Burkina also gave France a month to pull out a special forces unit of 400 men that was based near the capital. The French flag was lowered on the base last month.

France withdrew the last of its troops from Mali last year, climaxing a break-up that was triggered by angry protests amid rise in Takfiri terrorism.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Majority in France Opposes French Military Presence in Africa, Poll Reveals

By Gleb Chugunov – Sputnik – 02.03.2023

On February 27, President Emmanuel Macron announced France’s new policy towards Africa, which is planning to reduce its military presense on the continent.

More than half of French respondents that took part in a survey held by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), came out in favor of shutting down all French military bases on the continent, media report.

According to sociologists, the closure of military bases is supported mostly by residents of rural areas (60% of respondents) as well as by people over 65 years of age (57%).
The number of people who took part in the IFOP’s survey is unknown.

As for the political views of the respondents, supporters of the two main opposition parties, the right-wing “National Rally” and the left-wing “La France Insoumise”, are those who favor the withdrawal of the army the most – 72% and 63% accordingly. Approximately 47% of respondents supporting President Macron’s social-liberal “Renaissance” party, back the idea of closing the bases, as do 54% of polled voters of the center-right “The Republicans”.

The survey regarding France ‘s military presence on the continent was held after President Emmanuel Macron announced a shift in his Africa policy, promising to implement a “noticeable reduction” in the French military contingent there. However, he did not give specific information concerning the cuts.

According to the leader, France has decided to start managing its army bases on the continent together with the military departments of African nations. The new military partnerships involve training programs for host countries personnel, France’s assistance to local military authorities, in particular, in the field of intelligence.

This followed the recent French troop withdrawals from African countries in the Sahel region. French forces left Mali on August 15, 2022, after the local government announced that it was terminating defense agreements with France, while Mali’s top officials, including its Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, accused the European state of supporting terrorist groups inside the African country.

Subsequently, France officially terminated its military operations in Burkina Faso on February 20, due to a significant deterioration in relations between Paris and Ouagadougou, including Burkina Faso’s request for France to recall its ambassador and to withdraw French troops from the African country.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

The American People Must Draw Red Lines Now

By Connor Freeman | The Libertarian Institute | March 2, 2023

Washington and NATO have rapidly escalated their war with Russia. The White House appears to have blown up the Nord Stream pipelines in a blatant act of war against Russia, not to mention Germany and other European allies.

The CIA is reportedly conducting sabotage attacks on Russian infrastructure and the Pentagon has tacitly endorsed Kiev’s drone strikes hundreds of miles deep inside the Russian mainland.

Along with an assortment of NATO commandos, U.S. troopsCIA, and Special Operations forces are on the ground in Ukraine as well. The White House has greenlit the transfer of Bradley armored fighting vehicleslonger range rockets, and M1 Abrams battle tanks to the battlefield.

Kiev is demanding hundreds of tanks. Concurrently, multiple European NATO members are sending their own main battle tanks to Ukraine, and a U.S. backed assault on Crimea is expected soon.

While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky goads London, Berlin, and Paris into handing over fighter jets, his country has already suffered more than 100,000 casualties, hundreds of Ukrainian troops are dying every day just over a battle for the eastern Donetsk city of Bakhmut.

In recent months, officials in Kiev have explicitly stated that Ukraine—a “de facto” NATO member—is “shedding blood” for a “NATO mission.” The goal is eliminating Moscow as a “threat” to the alliance by weakening, destabilizing, and disintegrating Russia.

In the process, Ukraine, the human battering ram, is being destroyed. But in the words of Madeline Albright, from the Empire’s perspective, “the price is worth it.”

Russia must be crippled before the Pentagon launches its impending war against China, “the big one,” which top military commanders and four star generals now warn will take place in only a few years.

In the meantime, experts and analysts continue to point out—along with even The New York Times—that we are systematically pushing “the United States and its NATO allies closer to direct conflict with Russia.”

What is the justification for this seemingly perpetual escalation? The U.S. war machine reasons that since Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet ordered strikes on NATO territory or pushed the nuclear button, Washington and its NATO vassals can freely provide Kiev with increasingly advanced weapons and even support assaults against the Crimean Peninsula as well as the Russian homeland itself.

The aforementioned tanks will likely be used for the potential attacks on Crimea (read: Russian territory) currently being considered by the White House. Such an escalation could swiftly lead to World War III and a nuclear exchange.

Incidentally, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns nuclear war is now a more likely possibility than at any time during the Cold War. In making their case for turning the clock to 90 seconds to midnight—for the first time—the group partly refers to the refusal of the United States, Ukraine, and its allies to come to the negotiating table.

BAS president and CEO Rachel Bronson said in a statement following the decision that the “U.S. government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the clock.”

Last fall, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was advocating a negotiated settlement between Kiev and Moscow. However, he was all but vetoed by the so-called diplomats in Antony Blinken’s State Department.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently discussed how he attempted to mediate a peace deal with Russia and Ukraine in early March 2022. According to Bennett, both sides made major concessions and “there was a good chance of reaching a ceasefire.”  He has now revealed the effort was overruled and ultimately “blocked” by President Joe Biden and former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to current and former U.S. officials, that same month, Turkish brokered talks in Istanbul between the warring sides also established a workable foundation for a future settlement. The whole enterprise was squashed again by Johnson, acting on behalf of the “collective West.”

Even when U.S. military leadership expresses uneasiness about the war’s trajectory, the provision of heavy western-made tanks, or the sheer inability of Ukrainian forces to regain all the territory Russia has captured, the escalations continue anyway.

The hawkish Secretary General of NATO himself has said “I fear that the war in Ukraine will get out of control, and spread into a major war between NATO and Russia.”

Likewise, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned “I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a wider war. I fear it is doing so with its eyes wide open.”

The American people must draw red lines now and stop their out of control ruling class waging wars against nuclear armed powers. As Roger Waters says, this is not a drill.

Our fellow countrymen have become dangerously desensitized to the thought of direct conflict with both Russia and China.

Tragically, our people have been numb for a long time. They have yet to truly reckon with our government’s mass murder marathon of the last 20 years including one million dead Iraqis, half a million dead Syrians, as well as the hundreds of thousands killed in AfghanistanLibya, PakistanSomalia, and Yemen.

Designedly, our enemies in Washington need us to be numb to the inevitable results of their reckless, murderous policies.

The hawks will next try the same proxy war strategy in Taiwan, we will not get another chance to draw red lines.

We must demand all military aid be terminated, and that the White House and the State Department be forced to support or at least not interfere with negotiations.

We must demand an immediate end to this war now.

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on Conflicts of Interest.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bryansk Terror Attack Deliberate Plot by Ukraine to Stoke Escalation: Scott Ritter

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 02.03.2023

One person was killed and a 10-year-old child was injured after Ukrainian saboteurs opened fire on a civilian vehicle in a border village in Russia’s Bryansk Region. Retired US Marine and former weapons inspector Scott Ritter suspects the attack was not a random act of terror, but a deliberate plot to provoke Moscow.

“It’s clear there were no military objectives. This was a deliberately provocative attack, and it was an attack that was designed to anger Russia by intent. You don’t target women, children, you don’t target a civilian, a village, unless your goal is to anger Russia and provoke Russia into perhaps overreacting. I think that’s the objective,” Ritter told Sputnik after being asked to comment on Thursday’s incident in the village of Lyubechane, in Russia’s Bryansk Region.

“It’s the only thing that can explain it other than simply stating that the people involved are the criminal elements with zero redeeming qualities, purely animalistic. And I’m not going down that route. What I believe is that these people were selected to do a mission that was designed to provoke Russia into an overreaction that could then be used by the Zelensky government as justification for requesting even more military assistance,” Ritter stressed.

The observer warned that Moscow could react to the attack in a variety of ways, for example by lifting its self-proscribed restrictions on targeting decision-making centers in Kiev, or even Ukraine’s president.

“Zelensky would say ‘this war has expanded and I now need the West to step up and deliver more equipment, F-16 fighters,’ things of that nature, because right now Zelensky has hit a brick wall. He’s not getting what he believes he needs to survive. And if he doesn’t get this, he will be facing the inevitability of the strategic defeat of Ukraine. And so I think you’re going to see more and more acts of desperation like this in an effort to push Russia into overreacting so that Zelensky could use a Russian overreaction as justification for demanding even more assistance from the West,” Ritter said.

Commenting on the incident earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the “terrorist act” near the border was “committed by the neo-Nazis and their masters,” and predicted that the West would ignore the crime, just as it had done with others like it. The Russian leader emphasized that those responsible “would not succeed” in their violent and criminal behavior, and that Russia would ultimately “crush them.”

Bryansk’s authorities said that along with the deadly attack on a vehicle in Lyubechane, a residential building in the nearby village of Sushany caught fire after being hit by a bomb dropped from a Ukrainian drone.

On Wednesday, Putin had instructed Russia’s Federal Security Service to step up its work along the Russian-Ukrainian border, citing the dangers to critical infrastructure posed by Western-backed radicals and extremists.

March 2, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

West demands South Korea to supply weapons to Ukraine

By Ahmed Adel | March 2, 2023

A South Korean supply of weapons to Ukraine could lead to Russia and China increasing their cooperation with North Korea. It is for this reason that Seoul is in no hurry to make a decision to support Ukraine, even if Washington and NATO continue to pile on pressure.

In February, it was reported that the US asked to purchase more artillery ammunition from South Korea. According to government sources cited by JoongAng Ilbo, Washington requested Seoul for artillery ammunition and is currently deliberating the matter.

It is recalled that the US bought 100,000 rounds of 155-millimetre howitzer artillery shells from South Korea to send to Ukraine in November. South Korea’s Defence Ministry said at the time that the ammunition purchase was with “the premise that the United States is the end user” so that they could replenish their depleted stockpiles.

The US wants South Korea to maintain distance from Russia and China. However, Russia and China are South Korea’s neighbours, not an ocean length away like the continental USA. This obviously factors into Seoul’s strategic thinking and will impact its decision on whether to support Ukraine, particularly as both countries could use any provocation as a pretext to boost cooperation with North Korea.

Although it might seemingly appear that Beijing has little interest in South Korea’s position relating to a far-off conflict, Seoul’s decision will signal just how easily it will capitulate to US interests. China and Russia will certainly be observing how Seoul responds to pressure from the US and from there make a decision on whether to boost their ties with North Korea.

Regarding the latest US request, a South Korean official, in speaking with Joong Ang Ilbo, said: “there is no change to our stance of not supplying lethal military aid to Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he hopes for South Korean military support when responding to a question from a JTBC reporter at a press conference in Kiev on February 24, the one-year anniversary of the Russian military operation.

“We view weapons supplies to us positively,” Zelensky said, adding that he hopes South Korea “will find an opportunity to help Ukraine.”

It is recalled that Zelensky addressed South Korea’s National Assembly via video livestream in April 2022 and begged for anti-aircraft weapons. There was an evident lack of interest in Zelensky’s speech as only about 60 of the 299 sitting lawmakers were present during the address.

With South Korean lawmakers evidently not interested in sending weapons to Ukraine, a position that has been maintained by the government, pressure has been sustained by the US so that this policy can change.

Adding to this squeeze, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on South Korea to “step up” its military support to Ukraine during his January visit to the Asian country. There, Stoltenberg had the audacity to cite the example of several NATO member states that have revised their policies against exporting weapons to Ukraine. Stoltenberg evidently forgot that South Korea is not a NATO member, or perhaps even the very fact that South Korea is a Pacific country, and not an Atlantic one.

For now, Seoul’s support to Ukraine is not what NATO and the US are expecting. South Korea has only provided humanitarian aid, which, while helpful for citizens, does nothing to alleviate Ukraine’s lack of weapons and ammunition.

President Yoon Suk Yeol has set out to make South Korea a “global pivotal state,” and it is for this reason that the West is piling pressure on South Korea to make a firm stance on the Russia-Ukraine war. Due to South Korea’s rapid economic development and ambitions to grow its prominence on the international stage, the West wants Seoul to make more substantial contributions to global issues, but obviously in accordance to Western interests.

Although there is a likelihood that South Korea’s leaders would like to conform to Western demands, reality dictates that it must consider the consequences its actions can have, particularly in relation to North Korea, China, and Russia. It cannot be overlooked that all three countries are armed with nuclear weapons, with the North Korean nuclear issue being the overriding concern, at least from Seoul’s perspective.

This suggests that although South Korea wants to be a “global pivotal state” and “step up” as a foreign policy actor, as Yoon said, it will be difficult to achieve so long as most of its attention and resources are dedicated to the unresolved war in Korea. Given that the Korean War has not reached a peaceful resolution as only an Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, South Korea must seriously consider how its actions against Russia could lead to closer ties between Moscow and Pyongyang, and how it could be perceived by China.

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

March 2, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment