Aletho News


Spain Asks US to Remove Soil Contaminated With Radiation After Accident in 1966

Sputnik – 06.03.2023

MADRID – The Spanish Foreign Ministry has submitted a formal request to the United States for the removal of soil that was contaminated with radiation 57 years ago in the province of Almeria, a Spanish newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources.

In 1966, land near the town of Palomares was contaminated with plutonium-239 after a US B-52 bomber with thermonuclear bombs on board collided with a KC-135 tanker aircraft. As a result of the plane crash, seven people were killed and four thermonuclear bombs were lost.

The Spanish government reminded the US of a political commitment that Madrid and Washington had signed in October 2015 on the removal of the contaminated soil to the Nevada desert, the report noted.

So far, a total of 50,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil has been scattered across several plots of land covering about 40 hectares (98,8 acres), which were fenced off in 2007 due to high levels of radiation, the report added.

During the Cold War, the US Air Force had been carrying out Operation Chrome Dome. It included the continuous presence in the air of strategic bombers with nuclear weapons, which were ready to strike predetermined targets on the territory of the USSR. However, the accident in Spain caused a serious diplomatic crisis and led to the cessation of US nuclear bombers’ flights over Europe and the Mediterranean. However, such flights were finally stopped only in 1968 when another nuclear accident occurred over the Thule base in Greenland.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Silence is not an option, and sending weapons to Ukraine perpetuates the war

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 6, 2023

As is usually the case in long wars, the warring parties and their affiliated media in the Russia-Ukraine conflict have painted each other using uncompromising language, making it nearly impossible to offer an unbiased view of the ongoing tragedy that has killed, wounded and displaced millions of people.

While it is understandable that wars of such horror and near complete disregard for the most basic human rights often heighten our sense of what we consider to be moral and just, parties involved and invested in such conflicts often manipulate morality for political and geopolitical reasons. This logic is underway in Ukraine. Both sides are adamant that nothing less than a comprehensive victory is acceptable. The Ukrainian view is fully supported by western countries in word and deed, sending billions of dollars’ worth of modern weapons that have done little except make an already bloody conflict worse. They perpetuate the war, not end it.

The Russians hardly see their war in Ukraine as a war against Ukraine itself. In his speech on the first anniversary of the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the war as an act of self-defence. “They are the ones who started this war, and we are using our forces to put a stop to it,” said Putin in a joint session of the Russian Parliament and Kremlin officials.

NATO members have also characterised the war using similar language. “We are fighting Russia,” said Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. Although her statement was withdrawn later on, Baerbock was actually being honest: NATO and Russia are, indeed, at war.

The narratives of both sides, however, are both complex and polarised. To even attempt to offer a third view on the war, or to even approach the subject in a purely analytical manner, immediately qualifies one to be accused of being “biased” one way or the other. Each side believes that its version of the truth is moral, historically defensible and consistent with international law. As a result, many reasonable people find themselves retreating in silence.

Silence is an immoral position, especially during times of war and human suffering. Anyone who thinks otherwise should think again. In Islamic theology, it is accepted that, “Anyone who refrains himself from speaking the truth is a mute devil.” This maxim is shared by most modern philosophies and political ideologies. Among many such statements addressing the matter, one of the most powerful assertions by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was, “The day we see truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die.”

Yet, there is no single truth on the Ukraine war that can remain fully truthful after being placed within a larger context. The war on Ukraine is indeed illegal; but the preceding civil war in Donbas and the violated Minsk agreements at the behest of Western powers — as admitted by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel — were also immoral and illegal. In fact, none of these acts can be analysed accurately or understood fairly, without considering the others.

A year after the war started, more fuel has been added to the fire, as if the main goal behind the war is prolonging it. Concurrently, very few proposals for peace talks have been advanced or considered. Even a proposal made by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, hardly a peacenik, was dismissed almost immediately by the pro-Ukraine camp. When someone like Kissinger is accused of being a compromiser, we can be certain that the political discourse on the war has reached a degree of extremism unprecedented in decades.

Aside from the morality of speaking out against the continued war, and the immorality of silence, there is another matter deserving of our attention. It is not simply a dispute between Russia and its allies on one hand, and Ukraine and NATO on the other. It is affecting all of us.

A comprehensive study conducted by researchers from the Universities of Birmingham, Groningen and Maryland examined the possible effect of the war on household incomes in 116 different countries. The study created a model for the future, based on what millions of people around the world, especially in the Global South, are already experiencing. It looks bleak. Just the fact that energy prices could force an individual household to spend anywhere between 2.7 to 4.8 per cent more is enough to push 78 to 114 million people into extreme poverty. Since hundreds of millions already live in extreme poverty, a massive section of the human race will no longer be able to afford proper food, drinkable water, education, healthcare or shelter.

Hence, our silence on the inhumanity and futility of the war in Ukraine is not only immoral, but also constitutes a betrayal of the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world. This is why the war in Ukraine must end, even if one party is not fully and comprehensively defeated; even if NATO’s geopolitical interests are not served; and even if not all of Russia’s goals, whatever they are, are achieved.

The war should end because, regardless of the outcome, long-term instability in that region will not cease completely any time soon; and because millions of innocent people are suffering and will continue to suffer, in Ukraine and around the world as a direct result of the conflict. And because only political compromises through peace negotiations can put an end to this horror.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Washington gives secret bailout to companies accused of war crimes in West Asia

The Cradle | March 6, 2023

US lawmakers last year secretly authorized a bailout for weapons makers for unproven inflation burden as part of the record-breaking 2023 annual defense budget, which allotted over $800 billion for defense spending.

The bailout provision, crafted behind closed doors and quietly added to the approved budget, allows for “extraordinary relief” via unchecked price hikes to Pentagon contracts in response to any alleged losses weapons makers experience “due solely to economic inflation.”

However, there are no requirements for defense contractors to prove their costs increased due to inflation alone. Earlier versions of the defense budget did not include this provision, and it was reportedly added by a handful of congressional negotiators without broader congressional input.

“The new law places no restrictions on when contractors may ask for increases in contract prices; the only requirement is that costs exceed the original agreed upon price,” Responsible Statecraft reports.

The bailout was approved despite the senate striking down a similar provision and defense contractors failing to demonstrate to the Pentagon that inflation was threatening their bottom line, as they have managed to report record profits despite the economic effects of the pandemic or the war in Ukraine.

As a result of this, US taxpayer money is now being earmarked to provide “profit insurance” to giant corporations like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.

Their profits are also bolstered by US officials covertly deploying troops and waging secret wars over the past two decades in dozens of countries across the globe.

US defense contractors have repeatedly been accused of having responsibility for countless war crimes committed in West Asia and other regions of the world.

Last week, a group of Yemeni nationals filed a lawsuit against several US weapons makers for their role in the bombing of a wedding and a funeral in Yemen.

“Year after year, the bombs fell – on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats, and a school bus – killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” reads the lawsuit.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Canada has blood on its hands: Ottawa’s role in the Syria war exposed

By Steven Sahiounie | Free West Media | March 6, 2023

While most Canadians would prefer to think of themselves as free of constraint from U.S. foreign policy, still history will show that most often Canada’s foreign policy is a mirror image of the U.S.

Canada has blood on its hands in Syria. Canadian intelligence would have provided its government with the facts concerning the Syrian uprising in Deraa in March 2011. That information would have allowed the Canadian government to determine whether to support the U.S.-NATO attack on Syria for regime change or to stand on its own two feet and stay out of nation-building in the Middle East. Instead, the Canadian government knowingly hung on to the apron strings of their southern neighbor and followed the leader into destroying a nation, and deliberately preventing its recovery when the conflict was over.

The conflict in Syria has been described as a popular uprising that was crushed, or as a civil war. The Syrian conflict is neither. It was a CIA-engineered plan for regime change directed by U.S. President Obama. Later, the EU and Canada supported the U.S.-NATO attack on Syria because the EU and Canada usually follow the lead of the U.S. unquestioningly.

The U.S. plan failed because of overestimating the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood’s support in Syria. The majority of the Syrian population are Sunni Muslims, but they are overwhelmingly secular in terms of governance. Had the population supported the Free Syrian Army, which was the foot soldiers of Obama, the regime change might have been successful. But, most Syrians rejected the notion of chopping off the heads of their neighbors to effect a change in government. The majority of Syrians reject Radical Islam, which is a political ideology hiding behind a religion. They prefer a secular government that protects religious rights for all, given the fact, there are 18 different sects in Syria.

The conflict in Syria has ended with the country having been split into 3 sections. The main section covers 75% of the territory in the hands of the central government in Damascus, while the northeast corner is under the occupation of the U.S. military partnership with the Kurds, and the last remaining terrorist-controlled area is in the tiny enclave of Idlib.

The Kurdish section was not involved in the recent earthquake, and they support themselves by selling stolen oil from the oil wells guarded by the U.S. military which President Trump ordered, and President Biden has ordered to remain occupied. When the U.S. troops leave Syria, the Kurds will reunite with the central government. The U.S. occupation is the only thing keeping them separate.

The country has been prevented from recovery due to the U.S.-EU sanctions which prevent any materials from being shipped to Syria. Canadian companies, and individuals, have not sent machines, materials, or other recovery supplies for fear of being penalized by the U.S. Treasury Department. Humanitarian supplies are supposed to be exempt, except there is a time-consuming and costly procedure to get an exemption approved, and most firms and individuals are not willing to seek approval.

On February 9 the U.S. Treasury Department issued General License 23 which waives the sanctions for humanitarian supplies only for 180 days in the wake of the 7.8 earthquakes. Canadian companies and individuals could send supplies to Damascus, but they must be sent through an NGO and not the Syrian government.

Humanitarian aid was sent to Idlib from the UN, crossing the Turkish border at Bab al Hawa. International aid agencies and charities have arrived in Idlib from Turkey. When the Canadian government states they are supporting humanitarian efforts inside Syria, they are referring strictly to the one small province of Idlib, under the command of Al Qaeda terrorists who call themselves Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Canada has taken in over 25,000 Syrian refugees. While this has been seen as a humanitarian act, it is also a political tool. From the outset of the conflict in 2011, refugee camps were established on the border of Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. Refugees sleeping in tents in bad weather demonstrate on western media that Syria was not safe to live in, and not politically correct. Some of the refugees left Syria because they were politically opposed to the government in Damascus. Those refugees mainly numbered among the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a global terrorist organization, whose goal is to establish an Islamic government everywhere. However, most of the refugees were escaping violence caused by the conflict. Houses were destroyed by both the terrorists and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). In many cases, it was the terrorists who attacked homes and civilians. In response to the terrorists’ attacks, the SAA responded likewise attacking terrorist positions which were located in civilian homes.

Both Turkey and Jordan were allied with the U.S. foreign policy under Obama and were playing supporting roles to the CIA program Timber Sycamore which supported Radical Islamic terrorists fighting the government in Damascus. Both Turkey and Jordan had offices that supplied weapons, cash, and training to the terrorists fighting in Syria. The refugee camps in both countries served as a haven for the families of the terrorists fighting in Syria, in which the UN and other international aid agencies would be feeding and caring for the basic needs of the refugees in the camps.

By 2016, Canada had spent over $1 billion in humanitarian, development, and security assistance in the Syria crisis. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced 2016 Canada’s new strategy for the Syrian crisis. His new strategy was to keep following the Americans, and he tried to reframe his government’s involvement as humanitarian.

Over the years, Canada has been accused of being a lap dog for the U.S. While most Canadians would prefer to think of themselves as free of constraint from U.S. foreign policy, still history will show that most often Canada’s foreign policy is a mirror image of the U.S. Many would say that is because the U.S. policy is in the best interest of Canada, and not a dictated position. U.S. President Obama used the Israeli paper “A Clean Break” as the road map for regime change in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria. He was trying to create a ‘New Middle East’. His plan failed in each country, but succeeded in destroying much of each country, and killing thousands. Obama used the Muslim Brotherhood as his partner on the ground in each of the countries. Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria resisted the Muslim Brotherhood and fought back to remain secular governments even though the full weight of U.S.-EU-NATO resources was thrown at the project.

By April 2017, Trudeau was still hanging on to the Obama regime change project in Syria. However, by then President Trump had been elected to office, and he shut the CIA operation in Syria down. Trudeau attended a G7 meeting and was talking up Syria with UK Prime Minister May and French President Hollande. They were anticipating directions from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concerning the future of the U.S. regime change program in Syria.

They would later find that Trump was not in favor of the Obama plan, and it was his wish to leave Syria, but in 2019 he was prevented from a troop withdrawal from Syria by the U.S. State Department headed by Mike Pompeo, who said the U.S. troops needed to remain to prevent the Syrian government from access to their oil. This is why Syrian homes have 30 minutes of electricity 3 times per day now.

According to the U.S. government, and their Canadian followers, if you keep the Syrian people without electricity, without gasoline, and without heating fuel in winter, they will rise and complete the Obama regime change plan. That strategy is both immoral and unethical. It is also illegal under international law to steal a nation’s resources.

The Muslim Brotherhood is very well established in Canada and had connections at the highest levels in the Canadian government. In February 2015, the standing senate committee on national security and defense met in Ottawa to study and report on security threats facing Canada.

In the meeting of senators, an excerpt from the memorandum of the Muslim Brotherhood was shown as evidence.

“The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers.”

The Muslim Brotherhood had successfully entered into the Obama administration and key U.S. official positions. The group had done the same in Canada.

In the Ottawa meeting, it was stated that in June 2012, a delegation of Islamist leaders linked to the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada had met with Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews. The delegation was led by Hussein Hamdani, an adviser to the Department of Public Safety, as a member of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.

Hamdani was in a conflict-of-interest position in his role as an adviser on national security matters since he has been associated with organizations whose charitable status has been revoked by the Canada Revenue Agency due to their involvement in the financing of international terrorism.

Senator Beyak spoke at the meeting and said, “They declare themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood, and as Senator Lang pointed out, their plans are very clear.”

This demonstrates the deep understanding of the Canadian government of the deadly nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, its involvement in Canada, its government, and its link to the conflict in Syria, which was part of the Obama plan.

How Canada plays into the hands of radical Islamists

The Canadian government is capable of determining whether the U.S. foreign policy and never-ending wars abroad are in the best interest of Canada.

The Canadian government had understood from U.S. intelligence that the Obama plan to destroy Syria was based on using the Muslim Brotherhood, and the political ideology known as Radical Islam, as the foot soldiers inside Syria. The Canadian government understood that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated Canadian society and was involved with the Canadian government at the highest levels. The threat to Canada was known, but the decision was made to blindly follow Washington’s dirty war in Syria.

U.S. President Obama is the main villain in this story, but Canada was capable of standing firm against plans to use Radical Islamic terrorists to change governments abroad.

Canada has supported humanitarian aid to Idlib, but not the rest of the country. Idlib is the last remaining terrorist-controlled province in Syria. It is an olive-growing region with no industry or resources outside of the production of olives. It was chosen as the headquarters of the Al Qaeda branch in Syria (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) because it sits on the Turkish border. Turkey, following the U.S. directives, supplied the terrorists with all resources needed including tanks and anti-tank missiles which have even been used to bring down a plane.

Canada does not supply any aid to Syria other than Idlib, which represents 2% of the total area of the country. Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, Hama, Homs, and all other areas in Syria have never received even a loaf of bread from either the U.S. or Canada. However, the UN does supply some food to certain areas outside of Idlib. Funds for the UN World Food Program are in part from U.S. and Canadian donations. Even now, since the 7.8 magnitude quake occurred on February 6, Canada continues to only recognize the 3 million persons in the so-called “The Islamic Republic of Idlib” as Syria. The other 20 million in Syria get nothing, even though Latakia alone has 820 dead, 142,000 homeless due to the quake, and 102 collapsed buildings.

From the U.S.-Canada foreign policy on Syria point of view: Idlib must be maintained as a separate viable ‘state’, free of Damascus. The U.S.-Canada policy is to ignore the government in Damascus and pretend that Idlib is Syria. The Al Qaeda terrorists are thus rewarded by the west for their participation in regime change, which was the Obama policy that Canada signed up to.

Last month, David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen published an article detailing the Canadian special forces’ participation in a controversial 20-member U.S. military team dubbed Talon Anvil in 2015, which has been accused of killing scores of innocent people in Iraq and Syria.

“In December 2021 the New York Times revealed that Talon Anvil was responsible for launching tens of thousands of bombs and missiles against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq but in the process had killed hundreds of civilians. The reckless actions of the Talon Anvil team, which operated from 2014 to 2019, alarmed members in the U.S. military and even the CIA, the newspaper reported.”

“Independent investigators and human rights groups have estimated that at least 7,000 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.”

Last month, Canada announced it would take back 23 of its citizens who have been held in Islamic State camps in northeast Syria, under the control of the Kurds who are partners of the U.S. military there. The group includes six women, 13 infants, and four men.

This would be the largest repatriation for Canada after the Islamic State caliphate was destroyed in 2019.

More than 42,400 foreign citizens, most of them children, have been held in life-threatening conditions in IS prison camps across Syria, Human Rights Watch says.

Canadian intelligence was well aware of who in Canada was following Radical Islam, and who had left to fight in Syria before the founding of ISIS. They were also following events on the ground in Syria while Canadians and other foreigners were fighting the Syrian government, and who among them had made the transition to joining ISIS once the U.S.-sponsored FSA had disbanded.

In 1998, Richard N. Haass wrote “Sanctions: too much of a bad thing.” In his expert analysis, it was proven that U.S. sanctions do not work in big projects, such as regime change in Syria. He further proved that innocent people suffer under sanctions, and they were immoral and unethical. The sanctions against Syria must be lifted and allow citizens to rebuild their lives and allow foreign governments to donate and invest in the rebuilding of the country.

Aid should be allowed to enter Syria in all locations, from Idlib to Deraa, and all in between. All Syrian citizens should have the right to receive help. Planes with aid should be allowed to land in Damascus, Aleppo, and Latakia and shipping containers should arrive in the port of Latakia.

The international community should be putting pressure on the terrorists in Idlib to lay down their arms or arrange to leave the country. They are holding 3 million civilians as human shields. The freedom of those civilians should be a priority to western nations such as Canada.

The President of Turkey, Tayyip Recip Erdogan, has already voiced his wish to repair his relationship with Damascus. Canada and other peace-loving western nations should be supporting his negotiations with Damascus. Washington has told Erdogan not to talk with President Assad, but Canada could show some backbone and defy Washington by showing support for Erdogan’s peace initiative.

Canada should re-open their Embassy in Damascus. With diplomats and humanitarian experts available on the ground, this would be a positive and constructive action that would truly show the Syrian people that Canada cares.

Finally, Canada should identify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Care should be taken by all future Canadian governments to study plans in Washington that assume Canadian support. The Canadian government, supported by its intelligence agency, is capable of determining whether the U.S. foreign policy and never-ending wars abroad are in the best interest of Canada. Taking the high road is sometimes a lonely road, but lives and nations might be saved.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

War and Propaganda in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict


We recently passed the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy review of the twelve months of the conflict, summarizing what had happened and describing future prospects, an article that attracted more than 2,500 comments.

  • Ukraine Is the West’s War Now
    The initial reluctance of the U.S. and its allies to help Kyiv fight Russia has turned into a massive program of military assistance, which carries risks of its own
    Yaroslav Trofimov • The Wall Street Journal • February 25, 2023 • 2,800 Words

Although hardly critical of our involvement, the writer noted that America and its allies had already provided Ukraine with an astonishing $120 billion in military equipment and money, a figure far larger than Russia’s entire defense budget, with further massive outlays still to come.

As the title of the piece indicated, the West had effectively now taken over control of the war, and if the effort to defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin failed, American global influence might be undermined and the future of the NATO alliance called into question. Indeed, such notable foreign policy luminaries as John Mearsheimer, Jeffrey Sachs, Douglas Macgregor, and Lawrence Wilkinson have all recently raised the possibility that NATO risks disintegration, especially in the wake of Seymour Hersh’s bombshell disclosure that President Biden had illegally destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines, some of Europe’s most important civilian energy infrastructure.

So in effect, America is at war with Russia on Russia’s own border, and if we lose that war, the era of our global dominance that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union might come to an end. Since the earliest days of the fighting, our electronic and social media have functioned as unrestrained cheerleaders, hailing Ukrainian victories and Russian defeats, but this WSJ article could not avoid providing a much more sobering perspective.

Although this war has been of enormous world importance, I’ve actually written very little about the details of the conflict.

I lack any military expertise and doubted that I could contribute anything useful about the fighting, which was anyway obscured by the fog of war. America’s reigning Neocon establishment totally controls the Western mainstream media and over the last few decades they have made propaganda, dishonest or otherwise, one of their most frequently deployed political weapons. Indeed, no sooner had the war broken out than social media was awash with the heroic exploits of “the Ghost of Kyiv” and “the Martyrs of Snake Island,” outright hoaxes that were widely disseminated and believed at the time.

We live in the era of smartphones, so video clips showing Russian tanks destroyed or Russian troops defeated and retreating were widely promoted by partisans of the Ukrainian side. But such anecdotal evidence seemed totally meaningless to me. In 1940 the French army suffered one of history’s most lop-sided defeats at the hands of the Germans, yet if smartphones had been around at the time, it would have been easy for pro-French activists to provide hundreds of clips showing destroyed German panzers or small German units suffering defeat. Such war-porn seems more like entertainment for political partisans than anything having serious value.

This obvious problem soon led some observers to search out a means of more objectively determining combat losses. Many of them began relying upon the Oryx website, run by a purportedly independent “open source” organization that organized and displayed images of destroyed tanks and other military vehicles, thereby allowing analysts to total up the losses suffered by each side in the conflict. Journalists and others soon used this photographic evidence to conclude that the Russians had suffered enormous, almost catastrophic losses, with the under-gunned but highly-motivated Ukrainian defenders destroying huge numbers of Russian tanks and other military vehicles, a result that also suggested very high Russian casualties.

The alleged loss of Russian hardware documented by Oryx seems absolutely staggering. One of the main website pages itemizes nearly 9,500 Russian armored vehicles lost, of which 6,000 were destroyed and nearly 2,800 captured. Those losses included nearly 1,800 tanks, with well over 500 of these captured by the plucky Ukrainians. Each of these listed items is linked to a photograph, most of them either being uploaded separately or contained within a Tweet. For example, 244 destroyed or captured T-72B tanks are listed, all individually numbered and linked to the photographic evidence. Obviously, not all destroyed Russian vehicles would have been swept up, so the true scale of Russia’s apparent losses must surely have been considerably greater. Ukraine’s hardware losses were also cataloged, but they only totaled about 3,000 armored vehicles.

Throughout most of the last year, our mainstream media outlets have been filled with stories of Ukrainian victories and Russian defeats, and surely the large compendium of factual material provided by the Oryx website has been an important reason for this. The Oryx Wikipedia entry runs only three short paragraphs, but explains that the website has been regularly cited by Reuters, the BBC, the Guardian, the EconomistNewsweekCNN, and CBS, with Forbes hailing Oryx as “outstanding” and “the most reliable source in the conflict so far.” My impression is that many writers on military affairs are enthralled by such photos of heavy equipment, whether intact or destroyed, and Oryx provides many thousands of such striking images, thus capturing their rapt attention.

If the Russians had indeed suffered more than three times the Ukrainian losses in armored vehicles, with well over 500 of their tanks captured by the latter, a Ukrainian military triumph might have seemed very likely, so the Americans and their allies naturally rewarded their victorious proteges with a tidal wave of financial and military support that easily topped a hundred billion dollars.

The supposed Ukrainian achievement was certainly a remarkable one. According to Wikipedia, the largest land offensive in human history was Germany’s 1941 Operation Barbarossa, which involved fewer than 7,000 armored vehicles. But if we credit Oryx, over the last twelve months Ukraine’s doughty patriots have totally annihilated a far greater Russian mechanized force, while their own losses have been just a fraction of that. Individuals should decide for themselves how plausible such total numbers sound.

I only very recently looked at the Oryx website, and the first issue that came to mind was how anyone could possibly determine whether the images were real, faked, or duplicated. According to Wikipedia, the Ukrainian military possessed thousands of tanks, many of them being the same models used by the invading Russians. So if Ukrainian activists uploaded a photo of a destroyed T-72B to Oryx, how can we really be sure it was a Russian tank rather than one of their own? What if several different photos of the same wrecked vehicle were taken from different angles, and separately uploaded? The fighting in the Donbass began in 2014, and can we be sure that the photographs provided are from the current fighting rather than from battles fought years ago?

Is This a Destroyed Russian T-72B or a Destroyed Ukrainian T72B? They Look Much the Same to Me.

None of the military enthusiasts whom I asked had any ready answers to those questions, perhaps because they had never even previously considered such troubling possibilities.

During recent decades, Hollywood special effects wizards have displayed great technical skill in showing Spiderman swinging between skyscrapers and the Incredible Hulk undergoing a transformation. Surely producing simple photographs of destroyed military equipment would be a triviality, with the costs almost invisibly small compared to a movie budget. But consider that those simple photographs uploaded to a Dutch website have been a crucial factor in attracting many tens of billions of dollars of financial support from American and allied governments, giving each single image on the Oryx website a potential value of $10 million or more. Producing fake photographs is certainly much safer and easier than destroying Russian tanks in real life, and doing so on an industrial scale would seem a very cost-effective propaganda strategy, so it’s difficult to believe that neither the Ukrainians nor their Neocon/CIA/MI6 mentors ever decided to employ such methods.

Putting the issue in very crude terms, I doubt whether Russian losses may be accurately estimated by aggregating and analyzing what amounted to Ukrainian propaganda-Tweets.

Furthermore, an examination of Oryx’s origins raised other troubling issues.

From the Iraq War onward, the credibility of the American government has steadily deteriorated, considerably weakening the effectiveness of its international propaganda campaigns, a central pillar of its international influence.

Then in 2014 a British blogger named Eliot Higgins established Bellingcat, supposedly an independent research organization that relied upon the objective analysis of open source materials. However, in practice his efforts seemed to almost invariably produce conclusions closely aligned with American foreign policy interests in Syria, Ukraine, and other international flashpoints. This notably including the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and the alleged gas attack in Syria that Higgins himself had covered the previous year, always pinning the blame upon governments that were the targets of American hostility.

Numerous distinguished international journalists and other experts, notably including Seymour HershTheodore Postol, and Karel van Wolferen often came to totally different conclusions, but their views were usually ignored by the media, while Bellingcat was heavily quoted in the Western outlets as fully confirming the accusations of the American government. As a consequence, there have been widespread suspicions that Bellingcat merely operated as a tool of Western intelligence services, very similar to how the CIA had established other such front-organizations for propaganda purposes during the original Cold War.

According to the Wikipedia page on Oryx, both its founders were Bellingcat alumni, raising serious questions about whether they are really as independent-minded as they claimed to be.

Meanwhile, other American military experts have provided very different assessments of the course of the war.

For decades, Col. Douglas Macgregor has been regarded as a leading conservative military strategist, authoring several well-regarded books and having many dozens of guest appearances on FoxNews. After having a long career in NATO, he had been a finalist for the position of National Security Advisor, served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, and was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He is obviously very well-connected in such establishment military circles, and based upon his Pentagon contacts, he has repeatedly stated that it is actually the Ukrainian forces that have suffered horrendous casualties, including as many as 160,000 combat deaths compared to far lower Russian losses of perhaps 20,000 or so. Other military experts such as Scott Ritter and Larry Johnson have expressed very similar views.

Across all of his numerous interviews, Macgregor comes across as quite persuasive and confident in his assessments of the military situation.

Given the enthusiastic, almost uniform support of powerful Western political, financial, and media interests for the Ukrainian side, I find it difficult to understand why Macgregor, Ritter, Johnson, and others would be taking such contrary positions unless they sincerely believed that they were correct. Indeed, BBC research effort recently used social media and other open sources to identify 14,709 individual Russian service members killed in the war, a figure that seems quite consistent with Macgregor’s total estimate of 20,000.

So we have diametrically conflicting positions, with Ukrainian officials and the Oryx website claiming Russian losses have been several times greater than Ukrainian ones, while Macgregor and his allies put the ratio at perhaps 8-to-1 in the opposite direction.

I personally lean much more towards Macgregor’s perspective, but I actually doubt that the issue matters much in strategic terms. From the beginning, I’ve never regarded the operational-level details of the fighting in Ukraine as very interesting or important, and haven’t paid much attention to it. This explains why I had never looked at the Oryx website until just a few days ago.

If the Russian army were completely defeated by the Ukrainians and lost control of Crimea and the Donbass, that sort of military disaster for Russia would have major global consequences. But I consider that possibility exceptionally unlikely and doubt that anyone sensible thinks otherwise.

Instead, it seems almost certain that the war will either become roughly stalemated, as many Western analysts seem to believe, or that the Russians will eventually crush the Ukrainians, as predicted by Macgregor and some other Western experts. But unless the latter result draws in NATO forces and leads to a wider war, with possible risk of a nuclear confrontation, I don’t think the strategic consequences are much different in those two contrasting scenarios.

Before the war began, the Russians were widely expected to overwhelm Ukrainian resistance in a matter of weeks, and compared to those early expectations, the war has already been stalemated for a full year.

In hindsight, Russia’s failure to win a quick, decisive victory should not have been too surprising. For example, I’d been entirely unaware that Ukraine actually had an enormous regular army, more than three times the size of Germany’s, and far larger than that of any European NATO country. Much of Ukraine’s military was fully trained to NATO standards, and including reserves and the National Guard, Ukraine deployed more than a half-million ground troops, outnumbering the attacking Russian forces by around 3-to-1, with many of its best units heavily entrenched in strong defensive positions. Under such challenging circumstances, it’s quite understandable that the Russians have required a year of heavy fighting to gain ground against the stubborn Ukrainian defenders, with the latter heavily backed by supplies and assistance from America and the rest of NATO.

But although Russia’s operational progress on the battlefield has been slow and mixed, on the geostrategic level, the Russians have already won a series of major victories. China, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, and most of the other non-Western countries have clearly moved towards Russia, which also easily surmounted the unprecedented sanctions that most had expected would cripple her economy. The reckless American destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines and the European energy crisis may eventually cause the collapse of NATO. Putin’s domestic approval rating is in the 80s, probably as high as it has ever been. And I don’t see any of these results changing if the military stalemate continues.

One year ago, just after the war broke out, I’d outlined my broader perspective in a long article:

For more than a hundred years, all of America’s many wars have been fought against totally outmatched adversaries, opponents that possessed merely a fraction of the human, industrial, and natural resources that we and our allies controlled. This massive advantage regularly compensated for many of our serious early mistakes in those conflicts. So the main difficulty our elected leaders faced was merely persuading the often very reluctant American citizenry to support a war, which is why many historians have alleged that such incidents as the sinkings of Maine and the Lusitania, and the attacks in Pearl Harbor and Tonkin Bay were orchestrated or manipulated for exactly that purpose.

This huge advantage in potential power was certainly the case when World War II broke out in Europe, and Schultze-Rhonof and others have emphasized that the British and French empires backed by America commanded potential military resources vastly superior to those of Germany, a mid-size country smaller than Texas. The surprise was that despite such overwhelming odds Germany proved highly successful for several years, before finally going down to defeat…

Consider the attitude taken during the current conflict with Russia, a severe Cold War confrontation that might conceivably turn hot. Despite its great military strength and enormous nuclear arsenal, Russia seems just as out-matched as any past American foe. Including the NATO countries and Japan, the American alliance commands a 6-to-1 advantage in population and 12-to-1 superiority in economic product, the key sinews of international power. Such an enormous disparity is implicit in the attitudes of our strategic planners and their media mouthpieces.

But this is a very unrealistic view of the true correlation of forces…just two weeks before the Russian attack on Ukraine, Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held their 39th personal meeting in Beijing and declared that their partnership had “no limits.” China will certainly support Russia in any global conflict.

Meanwhile, America’s endless attacks and vilification of Iran have gone on for decades, culminating in our assassination two years ago of the country’s top military commander, Qasem Soleimani, who had been mentioned as a leading candidate in Iran’s 2021 presidential elections. Together with our Israeli ally, we have also assassinated many of Iran’s top scientists over the last decade, and in 2020 Iran publicly accused America of having unleashed the Covid biowarfare weapon against their country, which infected much of their parliament and killed many members of their political elite. Iran would certainly side with Russia as well.

America, together with its NATO allies and Japan, does possess huge superiority in any test of global power against Russia alone. However, that would not be the case against a coalition consisting of Russia, China, and Iran, and indeed I think the latter group might actually have the upper hand, given its enormous weight of population, natural resources, and industrial strength.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, America has enjoyed a unipolar moment, reigning as the world’s sole hyperpower. But this status has fostered our overweening arrogance and international aggression against far weaker targets, finally leading to the creation of a powerful block of states willing to stand up against us.

Then last October, I’d updated my analysis and I think that the subsequent developments have generally confirmed my appraisal:

I wrote those words just two weeks after the war began, and as is inevitable in any conflict, various matters have gone differently than anyone originally predicted.

The Russians had been widely expected to sweep the Ukrainians before them, but instead they have encountered very determined resistance, suffering heavy casualties as they made slow progress. Generously resupplied with advanced weaponry from NATO stockpiles, the Ukrainians recently launched successful counter-attacks, forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin to call up 300,000 reserves.

But although Russia’s military efforts have only been partially successful, on all other fronts, America and its allies have suffered a series of strategic geopolitical defeats.

At the start of the war, most observers believed that the unprecedented sanctions imposed by America and its NATO allies would deal a crippling blow to the Russian economy. Instead, Russia has escaped any serious damage, while the loss of cheap Russian energy has devastated the European economies and severely hurt our own, resulting in the highest inflation rates in forty years. The Russian Ruble was expected to collapse, but is now stronger than it was before.

Germany is the industrial engine of Europe and the sanctions imposed on Russia were so self-destructive that popular protests began demanding that they be lifted and the Nord Stream energy pipelines reopened. To forestall any such potential defection, those Russian-German pipelines were suddenly attacked and destroyed, almost certainly with the approval and involvement of the U.S. government. America is not legally at war with Russia let alone Germany, so this probably represented the greatest peacetime destruction of civilian infrastructure in the history of the world, inflicting enormous, lasting damage upon our European allies. Our total dominance over the global media has so far prevented most ordinary Europeans or Americans from recognizing what transpired, but as the energy crisis worsens and the truth gradually begins to emerge, NATO might have a hard time surviving. As I discussed in a recent article, America may have squandered three generations of European friendship by destroying those vital pipelines.

Meanwhile, many years of arrogant and oppressive American behavior towards so many other major countries has produced a powerful backlash of support for Russia. According to news reports, the Iranians have provided the Russians with large numbers of their advanced drones, which have been effectively deployed against the Ukrainians. Since World War II, our alliance with Saudi Arabia has been a linchpin of our Middle Eastern policy, but the Saudis have now repeatedly sided with the Russians on oil production issues, completely ignoring America’s demands despite threats of retaliation from Congress. Turkey has NATO’s largest military, but it is closely cooperating with Russia on natural gas shipments. India has also moved closer to Russia on crucial issues, ignoring the sanctions we have imposed on Russian oil. Except for our political vassal states, most major world powers seem to be lining up on Russia’s side.

Since World War II one of the central pillars of global American dominance has been the status of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and our associated control over the international banking system. Until recently we always presented our role as neutral and administrative, but we have increasingly begun weaponizing that power, using our position to punish those states we disliked, and this is naturally forcing other countries to seek alternatives. Perhaps the world could tolerate our freezing the financial assets of relatively small countries such as Venezuela or Afghanistan, but our seizure of Russia’s $300 billion in foreign reserves obviously tipped the balance, and major countries are increasingly seeking to shift their transactions away from the dollar and the banking network that we control. Although the economic decline of the EU has caused a corresponding fall in the Euro and driven up the dollar by default, the longer-term prospects for our continued currency hegemony hardly seem good. And given our horrendous budget and trade deficits, a flight from the dollar might easily collapse the US economy.

Soon after the outbreak of the Ukraine War, the eminent historian Alfred McCoy argued that we were witnessing the geopolitical birth of a new world order, one built around a Russia-China alliance that would dominate the Eurasian landmass. His discussion with Amy Goodman has been viewed nearly two million times.


March 6, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

The United States Is in Conflict with Countries for Doing Things We Know They’re Not Doing

By Ted Snider | The Libertarian Institute | March 6, 2023

China, Balloons, and Spying

On February 4, the U.S. military shot down a Chinese balloon they claim was a surveillance device spying on U.S. territory. The unprecedented “kinetic action against an airborne object… within United States or American airspace” was followed by three more objects being shot down by the U.S. and Canada over their airspace.

The conflict that followed derailed potential and necessary Sino-American diplomacy. But Washington knows three crucial things: the surveillance balloon was not intentionally sent over American airspace, the next three objects were not even spying, and even if they had been spying, China would only be doing what the U.S. does every day. There was never a need for the conflict.

Biden has admitted that the three later objects that were shot down “were most likely research balloons, not spy craft.” The U.S. “intelligence community’s assessment is that the three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific studies.”

As for the balloon the United States still believes was a spy balloon, they knew all along that China had not deliberately sent it over American airspace. Far from being taken by surprise, as they portrayed, “U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been tracking it for nearly a week, watching as it lifted off from its home base on Hainan Island near China’s south coast.”

And they knew the intended destination was never the United States. Officials “are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with their airborne surveillance device.” The U.S. monitored the flight path that was taking it to Guam when “strong winds… appear to have pushed the balloon south into the continental United States.”

The U.S. initiated a potentially dangerous conflict with a country for doing something they knew the country wasn’t doing.

And even if China did send a spy balloon over the United States, the government knows that they do that to China every day. Three times a day actually! Retired Ambassador Chas Freeman, who accompanied Nixon to China in 1972, told me that the U.S. “mount[s] about three reconnaissance missions a day by air or sea along China’s borders, staying just outside the 12-mile limit but alarming the Chinese, who routinely intercept our flights and protest our perceived provocations.”

The U.S. has, not balloons, but satellites that spy on China. NBC’s Robert Windrem calls Washington’s “appetite for China’s secrets” “insatiable” and says that “spying on the People’s Republic of China has been one of the National Security Agency’s top priorities since it was established in 1952.”

But they have balloons too. On February 13, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said “that the U.S. had flown high-altitude balloons through its airspace more than 10 times since the start of 2022.” He went on to say that “U.S. balloons regularly flew through other countries’ airspace without permission.”

And in February 2022, Politico revealed that the Pentagon is working on “high-altitude inflatables” that would fly “at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet [and] would be added to the Pentagon’s extensive surveillance network…” The Pentagon, which has spent millions on the project, hopes the balloons “may help track and deter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia.”

Cuba and Sponsoring Terrorism

On October 3, 2022, Colombian President Gustavo Petro asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of international terrorism. At a press conference the same day, Blinken defended the Cuban listing, insisting that “When it comes to Cuba and when it comes to the state sponsor of terrorism designation, we have clear laws, clear criteria, clear requirements.” Petro disagreed, responding that “what has happened with Cuba is an injustice.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agrees. In December, he said that the world must “unite and defend the independence and sovereignty of Cuba, and never, ever treat it as a ‘terrorist’ country, or put its profoundly humane people and government on a blacklist of supposed ‘terrorists.’”

The United States agrees. Though the Biden administration has insisted on keeping Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, they know that Cuba is not a sponsor of terrorism.

William LeoGrande, Professor of Government at American University and a specialist in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, told me that the region’s resistance to the American strangling of Cuba was “preventing Washington from engaging Latin American cooperation on a range of other issues.” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said U.S. policy on Cuba had become “an albatross” around the neck of the U.S., crippling their policy in the hemisphere.

So, President Obama ordered a review of the designation. In an act of extreme historical understatement, he told Congress that “the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period” and “has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” After the State Department review, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that any remaining “concerns and disagreements” with Cuba “fall outside the criteria for designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” The State Department issued an “assessment that Cuba meets the criteria established by Congress for rescission.” The U.S. intelligence community came to the same decision.

In May 2015, Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba’s Foreign Ministry announced that “The government of Cuba recognizes the just decision made by the President of the United States to remove Cuba” from the list, adding that “it never deserved to belong” on the list in the first place.

Cuba was placed on the list in 1982 in an act of hypocrisy and exceptionalism. President Reagan locked Cuba in the list for arming revolutionary left wing movements in Latin America, meanwhile Reagan was arming their right wing opponents. Reagan declared that supporting those groups was “self-defense” and waged secret proxy wars and armed and supported counter-revolutionary forces in El Salvador and Nicaragua. LeoGrande has said that the U.S. backed counter-revolutionary forces “guilty of far worse terrorist attacks against civilians” than the Cuban backed revolutionary forces.

Nonetheless, on January 11, 2021, as it was walking out the White House door, the Trump administration thrust Cuba back onto the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Biden promised, while campaigning for the presidency, that he would “promptly reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.” Instead, two months after Trump put Cuba back on the list,  White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that a “Cuba policy shift is not currently among President Biden’s top priorities.”

Cuba remains on the state sponsor of terrorism list even though Washington knows Havana is not a state sponsor of terrorism. The Obama administration liberated them from the list, knowing that “the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism.” The Trump administration locked them back in the list, knowing the same, and the Biden administration has no immediate plans to reverse it.

Iran and Nuclear Bombs

The pattern is the same with Iran. The Obama administration signs the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, paving the way to end the conflict, the Trump administration illegally pulls out of the deal, renewing the conflict, and Joe Biden continues Trump’s failed policies instead of returning to Obama’s promising policies.

The Biden administration knows that the Trump era policy they are keeping alive is a mistake. Blinken called the Trump administration’s “decision to pull out of the agreement” a “disastrous mistake.” Biden, while campaigning, said that Trump “recklessly tossed away a policy that was working to keep America safe and replaced it with one that has worsened the threat.” He promised to “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy.” He hasn’t.

Instead, the State Department has said that the negotiations with Iran are “not our focus right now.” Robert Malley, the top U.S. diplomat for negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, said that “It is not on our agenda…we are not going to waste our time on it.”

So, Iran continues to be the recipient of American sanctions, threats, assassinations, and sabotage: all while the United States knows Iran is not building a nuclear bomb.

The 2007 and 2011 U.S. National Intelligence Estimates both concluded with “high confidence” that Iran was not building a bomb. But you don’t have to go back that far to find American admissions that they are continuing the conflict with Iran for doing things they know Iran is not doing.

The 2022 U.S. Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review makes the stunning admission that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon nor has it even made a decision to pursue a nuclear weapon. The Nuclear Posture Review makes that admission, not once, but twice, and it is repeated again in the National Defense Strategy in which it is included.

The Nuclear Posture Review says that “Iran does not currently pose a nuclear threat but continues to develop capabilities that would enable it to produce a nuclear weapon should it make the decision to do so.” It then lays out the truth about Iran in the greatest clarity: “Iran does not today possess a nuclear weapon and we currently believe it is not pursuing one.”

That was true four months ago, when the Nuclear Posture Review was released, and it remains true today. On February 25, CIA Director William Burns said that “[t]o the best of our knowledge, we don’t believe that the supreme leader in Iran has yet made a decision to resume the weaponization program.”

As with its Cuba policy, the United States continues to engage in conflict with Iran for doing something they know Iran is not doing. In the case of Iran, that escalating, self-defeating policy is potentially very dangerous.

In all three cases—China, Cuba and Iran–the United States has engaged in hostile, and sometimes dangerous, conflict with countries for doing what Washington knew all along they weren’t doing.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

EU’s solutions for Ukraine don’t work – member state

RT | March 6, 2023

The first step in bringing peace to Ukraine should be to stop people from being killed and establish a ceasefire as soon as possible, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Sunday, during an interview with Sweden’s SVT.

The diplomat dismissed the idea of supplying Ukraine with weapons, currently being done by a number of NATO countries, as a viable method to achieve peace. Asked why Hungary refuses to send weapons to Kiev, Szijjarto pointed to the devastating consequences of the war, and how Western arms have only exacerbated the conflict.

“Look at the infrastructure, look at the people, look at the number of people leaving the country, look at their former houses, look at the damage, the energy infrastructure. This country is being demolished, destroyed. I don’t think that would be of interest to anyone,” he said.

Szijjarto stated that Hungary, as opposed to other European countries, sees the first priority in the Ukrainian conflict as being to “stop killing people,” and suggested that the only way to achieve that is to enter discussions that would hopefully lead to a sustainable peace agreement.

He also noted that the solutions that were being offered in Europe “simply did not work” because everyone is too invested into the “war psyche.” As for sanctions, the minister pointed out that they have also failed to achieve an effect.

“We have introduced packages of sanctions already. Did it bring us any closer to a solution? No. Did it make the war less brutal? No. Did it put Russia on its knees? No. Did it hurt us? Yes.”

Szijjarto’s comments come after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated last month that “the only way” to guarantee a “lasting and just peace” in Ukraine was to continue to provide Kiev with military support.

Moscow, however, has repeatedly blasted Western arms shipments to Ukraine, arguing that it only serves to prolong the conflict and is essentially making NATO countries participants in the now one-year-long conflict. Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that if Kiev receives long-range weapons from the West, Moscow will be forced to “push the threat away” from Russia’s borders even further.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Scholz’s US tour shows Germany’s subservience to Washington

By Lucas Leiroz | March 6, 2023

Despite all the recent humiliation against Germany and reports from credible sources that the US indeed bombed the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, the German government seems willing to continue maintaining a policy of absolute submission to Washington. In the first week of March, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz traveled to the US. First, analysts suggested that he was trying to negotiate new economically interesting deals for Berlin. However, conversations with Biden were restricted to the Ukrainian topic, and revealed the submission of the German leader to the American.

The visit of the head of the German government seems to have had the intention of negotiating with President Biden the position to be occupied by Berlin in the current European context. In the midst of the economic, energy and social crisis that affects the country, the leadership position that Germany previously maintained on the continent (in partnership with France) has been strongly shaken in recent times – which motivates the German government to seek agreements that enable it to recover its status.

Commenting on the matter, Alexander Rahr, German political scientist and head of Eurasian Society, said: “Germany wants, anyway, to restore its leadership in Europe, and this can be done only with the assistance, support and blessing of America”.

As expected, in order to obtain such a “blessing” the tactic used by Scholz was to show himself even more willing to help the US in its proxy war against Russia. The German Chancellor proposed discussions on his country’s role in the conflict and emphasized his commitment to help Kiev. Biden thanked his counterpart for the effort to help Ukraine and both reinforced their votes of friendship.

“You (Olaf Scholz) stepped up to provide critical military support. And I would argue, beyond the military support, the moral support you’ve given Ukrainians has been profound. Profound”, US President Joe Biden said.

However, Scholz does not seem to have heard anything very special from Biden regarding the German role in Europe. Significant agreements were not signed and topics of great strategic interest do not seem to have been included in the conversations. To summarize, the meeting did not have content worthy of a summit between two leaders of world powers. This was more like a meeting that could have been held by telephone or online, since the central issue was to discuss the situation of another country – Ukraine. If Scholz expected Biden to be “pleased” with the German willingness to help Kiev and propose to “bless” German projects in return, the objective definitely failed.

Rahr considers that Scholz received “a slap in the face from the US”, and that the Prime Minister “can do nothing but obey”. The expert recalled that Biden made several tours in Europe, visiting countries like Ukraine and Poland, but ignoring Germany. Clearly, Scholz is not seen as “an equal” by Biden, not being “worth visiting.” This seems to have led to much criticism within Germany over the prime minister’s visit to Washington.

“There is a lot of talk in Germany about why Scholz really needs to go to Washington now. Many believe that he and Biden are discussing everything on the phone, so what could have prompted Biden to allegedly call Scholz on the carpet in Washington? I think a lot has to do with the fact that Biden himself was recently in Europe, but did not visit Germany. He has not visited Germany as a president, so far. He was twice in Poland and by this he clearly emphasized that Poland is the main ally in Europe for him today. I think it’s a slap in the face for Germany,” Rahr said.

As if it were not enough to assume a passive posture and visit Washington after being repeatedly ignored by Biden, there is still the aggravating factor related to Nord Stream. Lately, the discussion on the gas pipeline has been a trending topic on social media. Thousands of people inside and outside Germany have been absolutely shocked by reports that American intelligence has destroyed the gas pipelines. And Scholz simply ignored this situation and visited the accused country.

Rhar claims that German officials already know the truth about the case and that the Scholz government is aware that the country was attacked by the US, but adds that Scholz seems to have no choice but to accept, ignore and continue trying to appear even more like a “good friend ” for Washington, since Germany has no military protection other than NATO.

“It seems to me that everything is already clear to Scholz. I do not believe that German intelligence or the military structures of Europe, which should have known what happened, have any doubts about the US role in [destroying Nord Stream pipelines]. And there were publications and investigations into this in the US. But Scholz also clearly understands that it is impossible to act against America, because today America provides Europe, including Germany, with that security, that nuclear umbrella that Europe itself does not have”, he added.

In fact, the failure of the Scholz government shows how the US has proved to be a terrible ally for its partner countries. American international conduct has simply consisted of demanding weapons for its proxy war against Russia while illegal coercive measures (such as sanctions) and even terrorist sabotage (such as the Nord Stream case) are simultaneously taken to harm these same allies.

The case is simple to understand: subjugating its partners and making them more submissive and dependent, Washington consolidates a zone of influence in the midst of the current process of geopolitical transition to multipolarity. It was not by chance that many sovereigntist projects in Europe, such as Nord Stream itself, the EU-China agreement and the plan for a “European army, have been abandoned or sabotaged since last year.

However, as difficult as it is to face the US, this is a step that will become inevitable for the Germans. If Scholz remains submissive to Washington even after recent sabotage, the government will enter an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Massive US, South Korean War Games Set to Inflame Tensions with North Korea

By Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter | Libertarian Institute | March 5, 2023

Washington and Seoul announced their largest war games in five years. Last month, North Korea warned the US and South Korea that Pyongyang would take “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions.”

American and South Korean forces will engage in two different military exercises in mid-March, dubbed “Warrior Shield.” A portion of the war games will involve a computer simulation, while the live-fire military operations are named “Foal Eagle.” The combined drills will run from March 13-23.

The drills were announced on the same day the US sent a B-1B bomber over the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang views the bombers as provocative because of the large payloads the planes can carry.

This year’s Foal Eagle will be the largest joint American and South Korean war games in five years. The Department of Defense claims the military operations are “defensive.” “We’ve conducted routine training like UFS (Ulchi Freedom Shield) and Freedom Shield for decades that have been defensive in nature,” US Forces in Korea spokesperson Col. Isaac Taylor said.

Washington will deploy an aircraft carrier and other strategic assets to the region for the war games, according to the Korean Herald. Additionally, the Pentagon is sending MQ-9 Reaper armed drones to the Korean Peninsula for the first time.

The Foal Eagle war games were last conducted in 2018. Then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in and American President Donald Trump canceled the military drills to help foster diplomacy with North Korea. Pyongyang views the war games as practicing for a regime change against Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Last month, Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s sister, blasted Washington and Seoul for considering resuming the war games. “There is no change in our will to make the worst maniacs escalating the tensions pay the price for their action.” She warned North Korea would turn the Pacific Ocean into a “firing range” if the US and South Korea conducted the drills.

More recently, the DPRK warned that it would soon consider continued US military action on the peninsula as a “declaration of war.”

The US and South Korea say they are prepared to respond to increased North Korean military activity by further escalating tensions. “Our military will not tolerate North Korea’s provocations that threaten the life and safety of our people.” South Korean military spokesperson Col. Lee Sung-jun said. “We will sternly respond to such acts with the alliance’s overwhelming capabilities.”

In a press release issued by the North Korean Foreign Ministry on Saturday, Pyongyang cautioned, “the Korean peninsula is turning into the world’s biggest powderkeg and war practice field due to a military expansion scheme led by the United States and its followers.”

On Sunday, North Korea demanded the United Nations take action against US military provocations. “The UN and the international community will have to strongly urge the US and South Korea to immediately halt their provocative remarks and joint military exercises,” a statement from the foreign ministry said, adding that tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached an “extremely dangerous level.”

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment