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Report Linking Fluoride to Lower IQ in Children Made Public After CDC, HHS Tried to Block It

By Brenda Baletti, Ph.D. | The Defender | March 16, 2023

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) on Wednesday released a draft report linking prenatal and childhood fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children, after public health officials tried for almost a year to block its publication.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially blocked the NTP from releasing the report, according to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

But a court order stemming from a lawsuit filed by Food and Water Watch against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forced the report’s release this week.

The NTP, an interagency program run by HHS that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.

The report, containing a monograph and a meta-analysis, went through two rounds of peer review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Comments from reviewers and HHS and NTP’s responses also were included in the report released Wednesday.

According to its website, the NTP “removed the hazardous classification of fluoride” in response to comments in the peer-review process. Yet, the report states:

“Our meta-analysis confirms results of previous meta-analyses and extends them by including newer, more precise studies with individual-level exposure measures.

“The data support a consistent inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ …

“The results were robust to stratifications by risk of bias, gender, age group, outcome assessment, study location, exposure timing, and exposure type (including both drinking water and urinary fluoride).”

“These findings fly in the face of the empty, unscientific claims U.S. health officials have propagated for years, namely that water fluoridation is safe and beneficial,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Children’s Health Defense chairman and chief litigation counsel. “It’s past time to eliminate this neurotoxin from our water supply.”

The controversial report will play a key role in determining the outcome of a lawsuit brought in 2017 by several nonprofits against the EPA to end fluoridation of drinking water, plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Connett told The Defender.

“We had to fight hard to have this report even made public,” Connett said. “They [CDC and HHS] buried this. If they had gotten their way, this report would have never even seen the light of day,” Connett said.

Since the trial began in 2020, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen has been waiting for the NTP to complete a systematic review of fluoride’s neurotoxicity before ruling on the case.

Groups like the American Dental Association publicly pressured the NTP to “exclude any neurotoxin claims” from the reports.

Connett said during the trial, the EPA repeatedly claimed that the plaintiffs’ allegations about toxicity could not be verified because there was no “systematic review.”

The documents released Wednesday fill that gap.

Connett said:

“So now what do we have? We have a systematic review by one of the pioneering, leading, most authoritative research groups on toxicology in the world.

“They just completed a systematic review that took them six years to complete, so if that’s not enough to demonstrate a hazard under the toxic substances control act, then how would any citizen group ever be able to meet the standard?”

The findings: fluoride and lowered IQ in children

According to the NTP report:

“The current bodies of experimental animal studies and human mechanistic evidence do not provide clarity on the association between fluoride exposure and cognitive or neurodevelopmental human health effects.”

Yet, the report’s summary contradicts this statement by summarizing the evidence informing this conclusion, stating that nearly all studies examined for this literature review found evidence of cognitive or developmental issues associated with fluoride.

According to the report, 8 of the 9 “high-quality studies examining cognitive or neurodevelopmental outcomes reported associations with fluoride exposure.”

Of the 19 high-quality studies assessing the association between fluoride and IQ in children, 18 reported an association between higher fluoride exposure and lower IQ in children. Forty-six of the 53 low-quality studies also found evidence of that association.

The meta-analysis also states:

“The body of evidence from studies on adults is also limited and provides low confidence that fluoride exposure is associated with adverse effects on adult cognition. There is, however, a large body of evidence on IQ effects in children.”

The monograph and meta-analysis found that fluoride exposure at levels equivalent to 1.5 mg/L is associated with lower IQ in children. The abstract concludes:

“This review finds, with moderate confidence, that higher fluoride exposure (e.g., represented by populations whose total fluoride exposure approximates or exceeds the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride) is consistently associated with lower IQ in children.”

Levels of fluoride found in drinking water in the U.S. are typically 0.7 mg/L, which is lower than the 1.5 mg/L levels found to be neurotoxic by the reports.

On that basis, HHS’ review of the reports recommended the NTP revise its assessment such that, “all conclusory statements in this document should be explicit that any findings from the included studies only apply to water fluoride concentrations above 1.5 mg/L.”

The NTP responded:

“We do not agree with this comment. Our assessment considers fluoride exposures from all sources, not just water.

As discussed in the pre-publication 2022 NTP Monograph, because fluoride is also found in certain foods, dental products, some pharmaceuticals, and other sources, individual behaviors are likely an important determinant of actual exposures.”

Rick North, former CEO of the American Cancer Society’s Oregon division and Fluoride Action Network board member told The Defender that “people consume large amounts of fluoride through tea and other drinks and processed foods made with fluoridated water, not to mention pesticide ingestion and fluoride from air pollution.”

He also said that people’s fluoride exposure can depend on how much water they drink.

“Think about it,” North said. “Your level of risk depends upon, incredibly, how thirsty you are. That’s how absurd the entire premise of water fluoridation is,” he said.

The NTP confirmed that people exposed to levels of fluoride lower than 1.5 mg/L in the water system could have high levels of fluoride in their systems. It stated:

“Even in the optimally fluoridated cities [fluoridated at 0.7 mg/L] in Canada studied by Green et al. (2019), individual exposure levels, as documented by repeated urinary measurements, suggest widely varying total exposures from water combined with fluoride from other sources.”

It added, “our moderate confidence conclusion is primarily based on studies with total fluoride exposure that approximates or exceeds what is generally associated with consumption of optimally fluoridated water [0.7 mg/L] in the United States.”

“We have stressed in our monograph that our conclusions apply to total fluoride exposures rather than to exposures exclusively through drinking water.”

“What the NTP is pointing to here is that in some communities, where the dose of fluoride in the water is 0.7 mg/L, the NTP has found levels of fluoride found to be associated with lower IQ,” Connett told The Defender.

Also, different people have different risk levels, he said. Pregnant women and bottle-fed babies, for example, are some of the populations at highest risk.

On this point, the NTP responded to a different HHS critique, writing, “We have no basis on which to state that our findings are not relevant to some children or pregnant people in the United States.”

“The margin of safety here just doesn’t exist — it is precariously small,” Connett said. He added that the lawsuit is “basically a risk assessment of fluoride.”

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which is the law at stake in the lawsuit, the EPA carries out risk assessments for potential toxins.

To do a risk assessment, the EPA first identifies a hazard and determines at what dose — what level of human exposure — that hazard harms human health.

Then the agency determines in a given case whether the margin between the existing hazard levels and the human exposure levels is unacceptably close, which would make a toxin pose a risk to human health.

Connett said that in EPA’s previous risk assessments for other chemicals, such as methylene chloride or bromopropane, evaluated according to the 2020 risk evaluation method that guides this case, the agency found the hazard level exceeds the human exposure level by much higher margins — “usually in a range of ten to 20 times higher,” yet it has deemed those chemicals to present an unreasonable risk to human health.

In other words, the substances were found to be toxic to humans at levels significantly higher than what people may be exposed to in regular use, yet the EPA determined them to be risks.

When it makes that determination, the EPA must then take steps to mitigate the risk.

That can also be the finding in this case. According to a pre-trial document, both sides in the case agreed to the “undisputed fact” that the “EPA does not require that human exposure levels exceed a known adverse effect level to make an unreasonable risk determination under TSCA.”

The NTP documents also raised flags about the implications of seemingly small neurotoxic effects:

“Research on other neurotoxicants has shown that subtle shifts in IQ at the population level can have a profound impact on the number of people who fall within the high and low ranges of the population’s IQ distribution.

“For example, a 5-point decrease in a population’s IQ would nearly double the number of people classified as intellectually disabled.”

Top HHS and CDC officials tried to ‘water down’ and block the report

In 2016, a group of six nonprofit organizations and several individuals petitioned the EPA to end fluoridation of drinking water in the U.S. based on evidence of health risks associated with fluoride, namely neurotoxicity.

The EPA rejected the petition.

In response, Food and Water Watch, Fluoride Action Network and others sued the EPA in 2017, seeking an end to water fluoridation.

The plaintiffs argued that water fluoridation violates the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act and that fluoride is neurotoxic and lowers children’s IQ.

They based their initial claims on dozens of studies and reviews demonstrating fluoride’s neurotoxicity. Studies have also linked fluoride to a variety of other health risks in both children and adults, and evidence shows it to be an endocrine disruptor.

The EPA denied water fluoridation causes harm.

A seven-day trial took place in federal court in San Francisco in June 2020, but Judge Chen put the proceedings on hold pending the release of NTP’s systematic review of research available on the neurotoxic effects of fluoride.

The report, slated for release in May 2022, was delayed several times and sent for several rounds of peer review.

“The people on the [NTP] committee were experts in their fields who put years into this study, going back and forth with one external review after another,” North said. “You couldn’t ask for more peer review than what it already had. There were constant attempts to delay it, to water it down.”

In late October 2022, Judge Chen ended the stay on the NTP review, ruling that the parties involved could view the NTP review in its unpublished form to better inform his final decision.

However, due to concerns from the EPA, he also ruled the report could not be made public unless the NTP released it.

In December 2022, the plaintiffs filed several exhibits with Judge Chen, including a redacted version of the NTP’s assessment of fluoride’s neurotoxicity and internal emails between the CDC and the NTP obtained through FOIA demonstrating that HHS blocked the release of the long-delayed review, the plaintiffs argued.

The documents showed that on May 11, NTP notified the agencies that it was going to release the report on May 18, but the CDC opposed the release.

Emails also indicated that HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine was going to “get involved,” and, “the May 18 release date for [the monograph] is almost certainly not going to happen,” the Defender reported.

Connett said:

“It was only because we were tipped off by someone with knowledge on the inside that something was amiss that we went and did extensive FOIA requests and we were able to get documents showing that the NTP scientists considered this report to be complete and ready for publication last May, May of 2022.”

North said it was clear the agencies were blocking the release of the report, which was ready for publication.

“This was a clear case of stonewalling,” North said. “The National Toxicology Program, after over six years of research and numerous outside peer reviews, had completed its state-of-the-science report.”

Connett added:

“We have emails showing that Levine is the one who put it on hold. Rachel Levine said not to publish this report at this time. Then we got the FOIA emails showing that and NTP said they may not publish this [the report] at all. They may not publish it in final form but we did get them to agree to at least post a draft report. They will consider it a draft report.”

On January 20, Judge Chen denied the EPA’s request to add another six-month period to the stay he lifted in his October ruling.

The monograph and meta-analysis released yesterday on the NTP’s website are both labeled “draft.”

“Unfortunately, fluoridation promoters and high-level government officials have continued to label it a draft,” North said. “It wasn’t.”

Experts associated with the lawsuit against the EPA will now analyze and interpret the report in future hearings and then Judge Chen will rule.

The next hearing date is scheduled for April 11, 2023. At that time, the judge will set a date for the next phase of the trial.

Brenda Baletti Ph.D. is a reporter for The Defender. She wrote and taught about capitalism and politics for 10 years in the writing program at Duke University. She holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s from the University of Texas at Austin.

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 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

U.N. Is A Climate “Disinformation Threat Actor”

By Michael Shellenberger | March 20, 2023

The United States government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), within the Department of Homeland Security, is raising the alarm about the threat of “foreign influence” that is “leveraging misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation.” CISA defines “malinformation” as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” In 2021, CISA, along with the White House and private sector partners, successfully persuaded Facebook and Twitter to censor accurate information about the origins of the SARS-2 coronavirus and covid vaccines.

And yet CISA is failing to do its job when censoring malinformation, misinformation, and disinformation about climate change, including by “threat actors,” often funded or employed by foreign governments. A Google survey of over 2,300 people conducted last year by the nonpartisan research organization Environmental Progress, which I founded and lead, found that 53% of people surveyed in the U.S. agree with the false statement, “Climate change is making hurricanes more frequent,” while 46% agree with the false statement, “Climate change threatens human extinction.”

I strongly oppose efforts by the U.S. government to censor American citizens by ordering social media platforms to remove content, sometimes while threatening to end Section 230, the federal law that makes companies like Facebook and Twitter possible. Such censorship is a violation of the First Amendment. The journalist Matt Taibbi, former State Department official Mike Benz, and I have all pointed to the emergence since 2016 of a censorship-industrial complex operated and funded by the U.S. government. It should be defunded.

But it’s notable that the censorship-industrial complex has shown no interest in censoring climate misinformation that has led people to believe that climate change is making hurricanes more frequent and threatening human extinction. “An example of malinformation is editing a video to remove important context to harm or mislead,” writes CISA. And yet that is precisely what foreign disinformation threat actors like Greta Thunberg, her allies at the German government-funded Potsdam Institute, and even the U.N.’s own Secretary-General Antonio Guterres routinely do when they share videos of people in poor countries suffering from flooding, which is a direct result of lack of flood management infrastructure, not slightly more precipitation from climate change.

Moreover, the censorship-industrial complex has sought to censor accurate information about climate change and energy. Last June, former Biden Administration Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy demanded censorship of those who criticized the failure of weather-dependent renewables during the blackouts in Texas in February 2021, even though such criticisms were factual. “The tech companies have to stop allowing specific individuals over and over again to spread disinformation,” said McCarthy.

In her interview, she went on to falsely claim that critics of renewables are funded by “dark money” fossil fuel companies — the same false claim that Democrats made of the world’s most influential scientist studying hurricanes and climate change, Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado. As such, McCarthy spread disinformation in order to undermine the legitimacy of her opponents.

The U.N. continues to wage its disinformation campaign against the people of the world, as today’s headlines about its new report show. “‘The climate time-bomb is ticking,’” reads the CNN headline. “Scientists release ‘survival guide’ to avert climate disaster,” says BBC. “Earth to hit critical warming threshold by early 2030s, climate panel says.” The U.N. most journalists are implying that scientists have determined that a temperature increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels would be catastrophic.

The U.N. report is malinformation. The supposed 1.5-degree “threshold” is political, not scientific, as Pielke and others have shown. Global warming causes incrementally greater risk. Temperatures are expected to rise less than most thought as recently as 10 years ago, thanks to abundant natural gas. And humankind’s physical security is assured, given our success at adapting to more extreme weather and producing more food on less land.

All of this raises a question. Why, if the U.N. and U.S. governments are so committed to censoring disinformation, are they themselves spreading it? Why, in other words, do U.N. officials perfectly fit their own definition of “disinformation threat actors,” and often foreign ones at that?

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Yemeni prisoner exchange deal reached

The Cradle | March 20, 2023

The head of the National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Abdul Qader al-Murtada, announced on Monday, 20 March, that a deal to exchange prisoners had been reached between the Ansarallah resistance movement and the Saudi-led coalition, with implementation to take place in three weeks, Al-Masirah TV reported.

Al-Murtada stated that “Today we concluded the latest round of negotiations in Switzerland regarding prisoners, and it was agreed, praise be to God, to implement a broad prisoner exchange deal that includes 706 of our prisoners in exchange for 181 prisoners of the other side, including Saudis and Sudanese.”

“The deal will be implemented after three weeks, hopefully, and another round will be held after the month of Ramadan to complete the implementation of the rest of the agreement,” Al-Murtada added.

The latest round of negotiations began 10 days ago under the auspices of the United Nations.

The prisoner exchange deal comes amid renewed hopes for a broader end to the Yemen conflict.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg told the UN Security Council on 15 March that “Intense diplomatic efforts are ongoing at different levels to bring the conflict in Yemen to an end” and that “we are currently witnessing renewed regional diplomatic momentum, as well as a step change in the scope and depth of the discussions.”

Much of this momentum has resulted from a recent agreement between rival Islamic powers Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic relations and work toward peace in the region. As part of this reconciliation, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to visit Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi King Salman in the coming weeks.

Since the beginning of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which began in early 2015, an estimated 377,000 Yemenis have died, according to a UN Development Programme report issued in late 2021.

Some 60 percent of these deaths were caused by the indirect effects of the war, such as lack of safe drinking water, hunger, and disease, while fighting has directly killed more than 150,000 people.

Most of those killed by the war’s indirect effects were “young children who are especially vulnerable to under- and malnutrition,” according to the report.

During the same period, the US government provided $54.6 billion of military aid to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a report issued by the US Government Accountability Office. The report noted that the US has 140 military advisers working in Saudi Arabia on training missions and to facilitate weapons sales.

The New York Times reported that the internal government report concluded that the US State Department and Department of Defense “failed to assess civilian casualties caused by a Saudi-led coalition in the catastrophic war in Yemen and the use of American-made weapons in the killings.”

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Multipolarity was triggered by the 2003 US invasion of Iraq

By Karin Kneissl | The Cradle | March 20, 2023

On the night of 19-20 March, 2003, the US air force began bombing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The EU and NATO were deeply divided on whether to join the aggression: While newer NATO members from Central and Eastern Europe were in favor of the war, European heavyweights Paris and Berlin opposed it.

The Iraq war also marked the onset of diplomatic coordination between Moscow and Beijing at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The two countries began in 2003 to apply similar voting patterns in the Council, first on Iraq, then on Libya in 2011, and over Syria in several key votes. That early Russia-China UN coordination has, 20 years later, transformed into a determined joint policy toward “guarding a new world order based on international law.”

Looking back at March 2003 from the vantage point of March 2023, the invasion of Iraq unleashed geopolitical consequences far beyond the obvious ones, like the proliferation of terrorism, a decline of US power, and regional chaos. In 2003, a foundational, global shift in the balance of power was surely the last possible consequence envisioned by the war’s planners in Washington and London.

Disconnecting the dots

The destruction of Iraq, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army by the first “US Consul” Paul Bremer in May 2023, the outflow of refugees to neighboring states such as Syria and Jordan, and the exponential growth of extremism and terror attacks are among the consequences of this misguided war.

The flimsy reasons for the war, such as non-existent weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and Baghdad’s alleged support of terror groups like Al Qaeda, were debunked extensively in the following years. By the spring of 2004, evidence was already rife – whether from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or from the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group (ISG) – that Iraq had no WMD program at all.

Rarely before had disinformation campaigns – what is now commonly referred to as “fake news” – been so meticulously executed. The “with us or against us” narrative had firmly taken hold: Western think tanks were out in full force promoting regime change and “democracy” (not a stated goal of the US-led invasion) in Iraq, while those who opposed it were labeled anti-Israel or anti-America.

Despite unprecedented, massive public protests across western capitals in opposition to the Iraq war, the US and its allies had already set in motion their considerable war machine, led by figures such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar.

A false narrative linking Baghdad and the September 11 attacks had already been well-seeded, despite there being no connection whatsoever between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the bombers. It should be noted that there were no Iraqi or Afghan citizens among the terrorists who piloted the 9-11 planes, who were predominantly Saudi nationals.

Unfinished Business

In the autumn of 2001, war scenarios for an invasion of Iraq and regime change were already being laid out in Washington. Johns Hopkins University dean Paul Wolfowitz – an avid supporter of regime-change and US military expansion into Iraq – was named deputy secretary of defense in February 2001, a full seven months before the 9-11 attacks. Wolfowitz’s working hypothesis was that Iraq, with the liberalization of its oil industry, would be able to finance a post-war reconstruction from its own petroleum exports.

The group around Vice President Dick Cheney, which included Wolfowitz and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was influential in shaping President George W. Bush’s position on Iraq. Unlike his father, George H. Bush, who was an experienced CIA director and analyst, the younger Bush lacked a distinct personal worldview on foreign policy, which he outsourced to his hawkish coterie.

Nevertheless, he was determined to finish what he saw as his father’s “unfinished business” from the 1991 ‘Gulf War’ aimed at expelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait. That conflict was executed under a UN Security Council resolution, authorizing legal measures against Iraq as a state, but which did not constitute a war under international law.

In 1991, only Jordan‘s King Hussein took a position supporting Saddam Hussein, with all other nations backing the coalition assault against Baghdad. The US government adhered to the UN resolution, which aimed to restore Kuwait‘s territorial integrity – but not to overthrow the Iraqi government.

Instead, the US supported Iraqi Kurds in the north of the country and encouraged them to revolt against Baghdad. The Iraqi army crushed that rebellion, as it did an uprising in the Shia-dominated south. Perhaps the rebels had hoped for more concrete military aid from the US, but regardless, Hussein remained firmly in power despite military defeat elsewhere.

From Washington’s perspective, the US had failed to unseat Hussein, and within the Bush family, there was a desire to settle a score. For George W. Bush, the invasion of Iraq provided an opportunity to step out of his powerful father’s shadow by executing the elusive regime-change goal. The September 11 attacks provided a justification for this obsession – what remained was to connect Iraq to the US terror attacks and galvanize public and political support for a war, both domestically and internationally.

The UN Security Council in turmoil

In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, there was a great deal of division among UN Security Council (UNSC) members. US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented questionable evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, while the foreign ministers of Germany and France publicly opposed the aggression, for which they occasionally received applause in the Council.

China and Russia, who vehemently opposed the war, began coordinating their decisions and responses, in part because of their respective oil interests in Iraq. This cooperation between Moscow and Beijing set the stage for a coordinated multilateral approach between the two nations. Both governments understood that a war would open Pandora’s box, leading to the collapse of Iraqi institutions and resulting in widespread regional disharmony.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened. The subsequent years saw weekly attacks, an expansion of Salafi terror groups like Al Qaeda, the rise of ISIS in 2014, and perpetual internal Iraqi conflict. Anyone familiar with the country‘s conditions was aware of the looming catastrophe when the illegal invasion of Iraq began on 20 March, 2003.

China and Russia and the multipolar order  

Twenty years to the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a three-day state visit to Moscow, and the focus will extend beyond bilateral energy relations, which have been a consistent priority since 2004.

As previously stated in their joint declaration in Beijing in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart aim to coordinate their foreign policy and advance it together. Their discussions may also touch on the Ukraine dossier, although media expectations in the west may be overestimated.

It may be pure coincidence that the meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Yet it also highlights how extensively Russian and Chinese strategies have intertwined over the past two decades.

Today, increasingly, “orientation comes from Orient.” Cooperative geostrategic leadership and sound alternative propositions to resolve global conflicts are being shaped in Beijing and Moscow – because the old centers of power can offer nothing new.

Twenty years after the US invasion of Iraq, a failed ‘war on terror,’ the proliferation of extremism, millions of dead and displaced in West Asia, and never-ending conflict, China and Russia have finally teamed up to systematically advance their view of the world, this time with more resolve and global clout.

As catastrophic as it was, the Iraq war ended the practice of direct US military invasions, ushering in a war-weary era that desperately sought other solutions. That global division of opinion that began in 2003 over Iraq is, 20 years later, being institutionalized by emerging multipolar powers that seek to counter forever wars.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

USA criticized globally over MQ-9 drone incident

By Vladimir Danilov – New Eastern Outlook – 20.03.2023 

The crash of an American MQ-9 drone heading for the Russian border in the Black Sea near the Crimean Peninsula on March 14 in the morning is likely one of the most discussed topics in the global media in recent days.

According to an official communication from the Russian Defense Ministry, the US UAV’s flight was in violation of the temporary airspace use regime established in accordance with international norms for the area’s boundaries due to the special military operation, and its transponders were turned off.  Fighter jets from Russian Aerospace Forces were deployed in the air to identify the intruder. The MQ-9 made a quick maneuver that caused it to lose control of its flight and crash into the water. The Russian fighter jets did not engage the unmanned aerial vehicle during the incident and did not fire any of their on-board weaponry.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a modular reconnaissance and strike US UAV that can carry a variety of combinations of weapons and electronic equipment depending on the mission, including carrying an arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. As a result, there is no doubt about Russia’s eligibility for protective measures against the United States’ hostile use of the said UAV against Russia. Especially in light of recent open calls by various US representatives for the armed destruction of the Russian Federation. In particular, former US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s call to define the objectives of the US-Russia war.

In contrast to US military officials’ attempts to portray the incident as a “wrongful act by Russia,” particularly Gen. James Hecker, Commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, ordinary Americans are discussing the blatantly “insane” US version of the incident that caused the MQ-9 UAV to crash into the Black Sea. Thus, US armed forces veteran Noctis Draven emphasized that Washington’s anti-Russian propaganda narrative is “easily disproved,” and that if Russia had hostile intentions, the MQ-9 would have been shot down without endangering the pilot or the aircraft.

The MQ-9 incident has been widely discussed in the US media, noting that it is in fact the first direct military confrontation between Russia and the US since Moscow launched its special operation in Ukraine.

For example, Joe Rogan in his podcast PowerfulJRE pointed out that the current White House administration is actively pushing the US to an outright war with Russia, bringing about the feeling of chaos in the country.

According to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, an administration like this could lead to a hot war with Russia and China whether you want it or not.

According to a CNN report, the MQ-9 incident in the Black Sea may contribute to growing support in the United States for the view that aid to Ukraine is not a national security issue for Washington.

The international public has also reacted strongly to the incident, in a way that is clearly unfavorable to the United States and US propaganda.

According to the Chinese Global Times tabloid, such incidents have become more common in recent years around the world. It is emphasized that the United States is surprisingly involved most of the time. The publication stresses that this has become a habitual tactic of provoking enemies, and that a couple more such cases will cause the world to explode.

Guancha readers openly mocked Washington for the botched spying mission in the Black Sea, pointing to the US’s incompetence, whose drone crashed into the water. They praised Russia for “teaching a lesson” to America, self-assured in its permissiveness, without even opening fire, causing the MQ-9 to fall into the water in fear of the Russian Su-27.

As the Global Times correctly points out, the White House clearly requires such incidents in order to complicate the global situation and fight “against the unwanted.” How else can the provocative flight of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone near the Russian state border and the incident in the Black Sea be explained? Since the Cold War’s end, Washington has routinely staged such incidents, frequently targeting countries that the US publicly refers to as enemies.

The Austrian media, which is aghast at the prospect of the United States starting World War III, also points out that America recently staged a provocation with a B-52 bomber, and now the MQ-9 Reaper drone incident. The Austrian journalists wonder what Washington hopes to accomplish by conducting such dangerous “tests” of Russia’s defense capabilities. After all, today, it is clear to everyone that provocations like the ones on March 14 in the Black Sea and the day before with the B-52 bomber near St. Petersburg could be used as a pretext for war.

The opinions of the readers of the French Le Figaro are also quite revealing. Some of them believe that the USA was very “unprofessional” trying to spy on Russia and got what it deserved, while others admit that it was a “flawless operation” by Moscow. The video of the MQ-9 downing in the Black Sea, released by the US, caused no distress among French media readers. They called it “just another batch of oil the Americans poured on the fire.”

Readers of the German magazine Der Spiegel support Russia and are perplexed as to why the West is outraged by its actions. They suggest we look at the map to see for ourselves that American drones have no business over the Black Sea.

Australia’s The Sydney Morning Herald does not rule out that the US drone incident in the Black Sea could trigger a new round of tensions, becoming the first very dangerous incident of its kind since the Cold War. The majority of the publication’s readers blame Washington, specifically asking: what was that drone doing there?

According to some political analysts, the March 14 MQ-9 incident is unlikely to cause any serious consequences in relations between Russia and the US or result in a military clash between the two countries. After all, Washington’s remaining “cool heads” only need to take the necessary steps.

Following the MQ-9 Reaper drone incident over the Black Sea, the US has already begun analyzing the costs and benefits of such missions, weighing the potential value of intelligence obtained in this manner against the risk of escalation in relations with Russia, according to recent information. The US military is specifically instructed to “carefully study” UAV routes and assess ways to reduce the risk of conflict with Moscow, especially considering Russian aviation operations in the Crimea.

However, similar risks exist not only in the Black Sea region, but also in the Baltic Sea, as evidenced by an incident 200 kilometers away from St. Petersburg the day before the MQ-9 events. Then, as you may know, B-52 Stratofortress US strategic bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons and accompanied by Polish fighters, flew over Lithuanian airspace, approached the Russian border at the greatest possible distance, and went into position, simulating bombing readiness. Similar incidents may occur in the Arctic, near Russia’s borders in the Asia-Pacific region, if Washington makes new anti-Russian or anti-Chinese provocations there.

In any case, the US must temper its aggressive cowboy zeal, lest its provocative actions push the world dangerously close to the outbreak of World War III. Especially since there is still no clarity in identifying those responsible for the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 4 Comments

US continues to use terrorists in Syria – Russia

RT | March 20, 2023

The US is still working with Islamic State terrorists and other Islamist groups to carry out attacks against Bashar Assad’s government forces in Syria, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief, Sergey Naryshkin, has claimed.

According to an SVR report released on Monday, the US military’s Al-Tanf base in southern Syria is coordinating subversive activities, with the actions of terrorist groups being planned by representatives of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces as well as US intelligence officers.

The SVR stated that a special role has been assigned to the so-called Free Syrian Army, which consists of Kurdish and Arab detachments operating in the central and northeast parts of Syria. “Through them, the Americans and their British allies are working with the underground formations of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] that still remain in remote areas of the country,” it was alleged.

“ISIS was instructed to incite hostilities in the Syrian south-west (the provinces of Suwayda and Deraa), in the central part of the country (Homs) and east of the Euphrates River (Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor). For this, it is planned to form several detachments of radicals with a total number of about 300 people. After special training, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities in Syria and Iran,” the statement added.

The SVR claims that the US also intends to use terrorists in the region around the capital, Damascus, to conduct tasks such as kidnapping Russian and Iranian servicemen.

In addition to coordinating the actions of Islamist groups, Washington is providing terrorists with weapons, according to the SVR. Several dozen four-wheel-drive pickup trucks with heavy machine guns, as well as a number of rocket systems such as NLAW ATGMs, TOWs, and Igla MANPADS are set to be handed over to fighters in the near future, the report alleged.

Washington’s actions put it “on the same level” as Islamic terrorists and IS militants, and is a manifestation of state terrorism, the SVR argued.

In February, the SVR reported that the US was using Islamist extremists to plan terrorist attacks in Russia and former Soviet republics. Washington has been training as many as 60 terrorists at the Al-Tanf base to make improvised explosive devices and use them to target diplomats, public officials, law enforcement officers, and military personnel, the intelligence service claimed.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Setting the record straight on the teeming media swamp that supported Iraq war

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | Responsible Statecraft | March 20, 2023

In his doubling down of support for the war in Iraq, David “Axis of Evil” Frum all but exonerates the architects and promoters of the war (which would include himself, being a speechwriter for President Bush until 2002, then a media cheerleader) as such:

To my mind, the most important lessons regard government decision making, offering a warning against groupthink and self-deception. Crucial decision makers started with an assumption that regime change in Iraq would be cheap, easy, and lightly contested. They then isolated themselves from all contrary information—until it was too late.

Frum, like his contemporary Eli Lake, is an interesting case because each has in the last few weeks attempted to both acknowledge the conventional wisdom after 20 years that the war was a failure, while still arguing best intentions and look, “Iraq really is better off without Saddam Hussein.” On the latter, I will let my colleague Connor Echols’ heartbreaking interviews with actual Iraqis answer that. What I’m keen to explore is Frum’s assertion that: “I don’t believe any leaders of the time intended to be dishonest. They were shocked and dazed by 9/11. They deluded themselves.”

It is highly doubtful that Frum vulcan mind-melded with each of the architects, or saw into their souls a la Bush and Vladimir Putin. We know from highly documented accounts that, contra Frum’s simplistic summation, the Bush administration was influenced by a vanguard of well-placed neoconservatives who had set regime change into motion back in the Clinton administration. This was no 9/11 hangover. As Jim Lobe pointed out in these pages in 2021, the 2001 attacks enabled leaders and operators like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Scooter Libby, Robert Kagan, and Bill Kristol to have the war they wanted long before those planes flew into the Twin Towers.

Frum’s flimsy rationalization conveniently ignores that the mainstream media was totally and willingly co-opted into this “delusion” too, and without it, the invasion and aftermath, which included eight years of occupation and then another two years of military assistance to help the Iraqis roust ISIS (which the U.S. invasion created) wouldn’t have carried on in the manner that it did.

I say that because as the polling showed the American people losing faith in the war by January 2005, the mainstream media backgrounded all of the bad news (like military massacrescivilian deathstorturesectarian violencePTSD) while foregrounding Pentagon talking points that said new counterinsurgency methods and tactical wins meant victory was “right around the corner.” They lied about reconstruction progress, too, as Peter Van Buren points out right here.

An entire ecosystem of information management ensured that the major networks, newspapers and radio, owned by only a handful of conglomerates, were singing the same tune, all of the time.

Frum, Lake, and columnists like Max Boot, who now, conveniently, says he regrets it, were what Spock would call top “lifeforms” in that ecosystem.

We must talk about this because these men and their compradores in the Washington swamp want to dismiss any comparison to how we view Ukraine and how the media is covering U.S. policy in that war. They have not learned any lessons about meddling and the limits of American power writ large, just in failed wars of the past.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Former Egyptian FM: ‘Everyone knew there were no WMDs in Iraq’, invasion was in place before Bush came to power

Sputnik – 20.03.2023

Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi was Egypt’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States at the time of the US invasion of Iraq. He shared his memories in an interview with Sputnik.

In his interview, Nabil Fahmi said that the American invasion of Iraq was already in place when George W Bush came to power, and he was simply looking for a suitable opportunity to carry out the plan.

Sputnik : As an Egyptian diplomat at the time, how did you feel about the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003?

Nabil Fahmi: At the time, in 2003, I was Egypt’s Ambassador to the United States. Of course, the entire Arab diplomatic corps was discussing the invasion in one way or another. Even with the election of Bush Jr as President of the United States, I noticed a really unhealthy interest the neocons took in Iraq. US vice-president Richard (“Dick”) Cheney was particularly prominent in this regard. On his first visit to Arab countries, he told me personally that he wanted to focus on Iraq.

Sputnik : Why Iraq in particular?

Nabil Fahmi: I asked him why Iraq and not, for example, the Palestinian issue. But he said that Iraq had caught his attention. I told the leadership in Cairo about the strange interest of the new American administration: but at that time, no one imagined that it would come to an open invasion in 2003.

Sputnik : Could you please tell us about Egypt’s position on the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: I conveyed a message from President Hosni Mubarak to the Chief of Staff of the US Army and to one of the military commanders in the region that an invasion of Iraq was not advisable, and that there was a big difference between the liberation of Kuwait from occupation – in which the Egyptians had also been involved – and the direct occupation of an Arab country. This message was also conveyed to various American officials in Washington, including Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and others.

The Egyptian delegation arrived in Washington about four weeks before the invasion in a last-ditch effort to acquaint the US side with Cairo’s position. The delegation visited US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. They were warned that an invasion of an Arab country would be disastrous for the region.

Sputnik : And how did the Americans respond?

Nabil Fahmi: The US administration questioned us point by point, ranging from the invasion and how to take control of certain places. Each time we responded, we emphasized that we did not support the US invasion. At one point, Rice specifically asked why this point was being repeated in every response. Our delegation explained that Egypt continued to oppose the invasion in any case: the Iraqi state must be preserved.

Sputnik : What did Washington think of Cairo’s response to the invasion?

Nabil Fahmi: Our position put me, as Egypt’s ambassador to Washington, in a difficult position before the US Congress. I explicitly said that Cairo did not support the war in Iraq, even though we were friends of America.

Sputnik : And how did you assess the international position on the invasion?

Nabil Fahmi: The US administration was determined to invade Iraq from the first day it came to power, and this was evident in the speeches of Cheney and Wolfowitz. The course of action had started taking shape after 9/11. The Bush administration had to justify this military operation to convince the American public that there was a real threat. To this end, they played the card of Iraq’s possession of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Although in fact everyone knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.

Sputnik : What then were the real reasons for the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: The US decision to invade Iraq was made regardless of the actions of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the suffering of the Iraqi people, and there was no real evidence that Iraq possessed WMD. Either it was because they wanted to realize their ambitions after the liberation of Kuwait – because at that time the controversy about the need to end the war of liberation was raging – or maybe it was because the US was already developing the concept of a “New Middle East” and the easiest place to start implementing it was with a sanctions-weakened Iraq.

Sputnik : In your opinion, what has been the most significant consequence of the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: I opposed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and saw that it was unacceptable and a big mistake on the part of Saddam Hussein. I do not believe that any country has the right to invade another country without respecting international law. That is why I did not support the invasion of Iraq. However, this war caused a lot of trouble in the Levant and the Gulf Region, and later the emergence of Daesh terrorists in the region. To this day, the Middle East is still dealing with the consequences of the US invasion of Iraq 20 years ago.

Sputnik : Has there been a change in American policy toward Arab countries in the years since the invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: Nothing has changed. What has changed is the American reality and the Arab reaction. In the early 2000s, the US wanted to show the Middle East that after the collapse of the Soviet Union it could do whatever it wanted with Moscow’s former allies – that was its interest.

Circumstances are different now. Washington is no longer willing to give guarantees or sacrifice its wealth or forces to protect anyone in the region as a whole. For their part, the Arab countries began to realize – after the American invasion of Iraq – that the US could not be given preferential treatment. Thus, the Arab countries began to balance their foreign policies, giving the US the role of an important partner, but by no means the only one. The Arabs now realize that they must take the lead in solving most of the region’s problems and not rely on others to do so.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

China’s success in reconciling Saudi Arabia and Iran is a huge blow to US hegemony

By Ahmed Adel | March 20, 2023

After agreeing with Saudi Arabia in December to buy its oil for Chinese yuan instead of just US dollars, while at the same time Russia is successfully cooperating with Saudi Arabia and Iran in the oil sector, Beijing is helping a historic reconciliation between the two major Muslim countries. Chinese efforts are all the more impressive when considering the persistent efforts of the US to cause conflict between the two countries instead of reconciliation.

It is hoped that reconciliation will lead to a huge blow to the hegemony of the US dollar. In Beijing on March 17, following negotiations in Iraq and Oman during the previous two years, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia announced an agreement which includes the restoration of diplomatic relations, a confirmation of respect for the sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs, and agreements on security, economy, trade, investment, science and culture.

In short, with the mediation of China, the two regional powers, often framed as having a Sunni-Shi’a rivalry, made it official that they are embarking on a new path of improving relations instead of further spoiling them for the sake of serving Western interests that are contrary to the interests of the Islamic World.

Therefore, it is quite clear who the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had in mind when it announced that overcoming differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have a “beneficial effect on freeing the countries of the region from external interference” – evidently this is in reference to the US. As Beijing highlighted, these two countries have now “taken their own destiny into their own hands,” adding that their agreement “corresponds to epochal development trends.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was recently in Moscow and confirmed that Russia-China relations are reaching new frontiers in building a multipolar world, emphasised that the agreement between Riyadh and Tehran represents “a victory for dialogue and peace.”

In a China Global Television Network (CGTN) article published on March 13 and titled: “Why Iran and Saudi Arabia trust China?”, the author highlights that “dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh has unfolded as negotiations took place in Iraq, where the two countries reached an important consensus. Meanwhile, the main regional allies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, have restored diplomatic relations in 2022. Hence, the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia also is only a matter of time.”

The author’s belief in the resumption of diplomatic relations proved to be true only days after the article’s publication. The resumption signifies that a new era has dawned in the Middle East, and even more broadly when we consider the effects this could have on the hegemony of the US dollar.

The US has been the dominant force in the Middle East since the end of British and French colonialism in the 1940’s. The region has been in a constant state of war since then, with the US now maintaining 30 military bases in the Middle East – five of them in Saudi Arabia.

For the US that relies on its global network of military bases to maintain hegemony, Beijing is showing non-Western countries how a multipolar world can function with great power diplomacy based on agreements and reconciliation, and not rooted in the idea that “might is right,” like Washington adopts.

It is noted that the day before the reconciliation in Beijing, the head of Saudi diplomacy, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, visited Moscow unannounced. And a week earlier, on March 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, who visited Beijing in mid-February. After that, Wang Yi was in Moscow. This suggests that although China was the main broker of peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Russia certainly played a role in reconciliation efforts.

Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are three leading oil and gas producers and are accelerating their search for payment mechanisms to bypass the US dollar. China, for their part, is already discussing such arrangements with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The decline of the US dollar as a world currency will weaken the American economy and military power. This in turn will cripple the US’ ability to wage perpetual wars abroad and impose its global hegemony.

Just as importantly, reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran can be seen as a precursor to eventually joining BRICS in the near future. It is recalled that BRICS plans to decide this year whether to admit new members and under what conditions.

Although BRICS collectively accounts for 42% of the world’s population and 24% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), they collectively hold less than 15% of voting rights in both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are Western dominated. By admitting Saudi Arabia and Iran, BRICS’s global status will be elevated even higher as a symbol of not only peace and reconciliation, but also a path to prosperity independent of Western domination.

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

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

PM Orbán: ‘Europe suffers from war psychosis’

Remix News | March 17, 2023

The main issue facing Europe today is war, which puts Hungary in a difficult situation, as the effects of war are severe and immediate, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a meeting of the Organization of Turkic States summit in Ankara.

The prime minister stressed that, unfortunately, Europe was suffering from a “war psychosis,” with the continent drifting further into war day by day. Orbán thanked the leaders of the Turkish states for strengthening the voice of peace. Hungary — on account of its population’s Asian origins — is an honorary member of the Organization of Turkic States.

Orbán thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who, he said, had so far been able to mediate successfully between the warring parties, and called on him to continue his efforts in the future.

“Only in this way can we have a chance for peace,” Orbán said. He also thanked the Turkish president for the fact that Hungary and Turkey could coordinate their work within NATO.

Hungary’s geographical proximity to the war has placed the issue of pursuing peace at the top of the agenda for Hungary, according to Orbán.

Ukraine is a neighboring state, and the effects of the war are therefore severe and direct, with inflation skyrocketing and energy prices at an all-time high,” he said, adding that “many Hungarians have now died in the war because men from the Hungarian community in western Ukraine are also being conscripted into the army.”

“For Hungary, the most important thing is to save human lives, and that is why we are advocating a ceasefire as soon as possible and peace negotiations.”

At the same time, the prime minister expressed the view that what is happening in Europe is more than just war, because in fact, “the whole of Europe is being reshuffled in terms of power relations,” and this will also have repercussions for Turkey. He added that Hungary is also seeing another threat: “There are processes going on in the world economy that could lead to a new global balance.”

He said that the segmentation of the world economy is against Hungary’s interests, and Hungary sees its future not in segmentation, but in acting in the collective interest and improving interconnectivity.

“The Turk states can play a key role in this, because here we are European, Caucasian and Central Asian countries connected to each other on the basis of mutual respect, setting a good example for the whole world,” the prime minister said in his speech.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

President Xi’s Trip To Moscow Solidifies The Sino-Russo Entente

By Andrew Korybko | March 20, 2023

The impending trifurcation of International Relations will result in the formation of three de facto New Cold War blocs: The US-led West’s Golden Billion, the Sino-Russo Entente, and the informally Indianled Global South. Intrepid readers can review the preceding hyperlinked analysis to learn more about the grand strategic dynamics behind this latest phase of the global systemic transition, while the present one will elaborate on those connected to the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership in particular.

These two Eurasian Great Powers had already closely aligned their foreign and economic policies far before Russia was forced to commence its special operation in Ukraine last year after NATO clandestinely crossed its red lines there and refused to diplomatically resolve their security dilemma. This was due to their shared multipolar vision, which in turn resulted in Moscow synchronizing its Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) with Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

The purpose behind doing so was to supercharge multipolar processes across the supercontinent with a view towards making International Relations more democratic, equal, just, and predictable a lot sooner than even the most optimistic observers could have expected. None of this was driven by anti-Western animosity either since both of them envisaged the EU and US playing pragmatic roles in this emerging world order, which is proven by their proactive engagement of each over the years.

Russia expected that it could diplomatically resolve its security dilemma with the US over NATO’s expansion simultaneously with encouraging it and the EU to get Kiev to implement the Minsk Accords, thus ending the then-Ukrainian Civil War and optimizing trans-Eurasian trade. Meanwhile, many EU countries joined BRI and China even clinched an investment pact with the bloc, all while seeking to diplomatically resolve its own security dilemma with the US and work out a new trade deal with it.

Had the US formulated its grand strategy with mutually beneficial economically driven outcomes in mind instead of remaining under the influence of Brzezinski’s zero-sum divide-and-rule teachings, then everything could have been much different. That declining unipolar hegemon could have responsibly carved out a comfortable niche in the new era of globalization that Russia and China were jointly seeking to pioneer, thus ensuring that the global systemic transition smoothly moved towards multipolarity.

Regrettably, liberalglobalist members of the US’ military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) continued to believe that Brzezinski’s geostrategic schemes could successfully reverse the aforesaid transition and thus indefinitely retain their country’s dominant position in International Relations. This explains why they subsequently sought to “contain” Russia and China at the same time by worsening regional disputes instead of reciprocating those two’s efforts to peacefully resolve them.

The decision was eventually made to prioritize Russia’s “containment” over China’s with the expectation that the first would either strategically capitulate to NATO’s blackmail campaign or quickly collapse due to sanctions if it resorted to military force for defending its red lines in Ukraine, thus making China’s successful “containment” a fait accompli in that scenario and therefore preserving the US’ hegemony. Where everything went wrong was that the West never prepared for a protracted conflict in Ukraine.

Russia proved much more resilient in all respects than the Golden Billion expected, ergo why they’re panicking that the over $100 billion that they’ve already given to their proxies in Kiev isn’t anywhere near enough for defeating that Eurasian Great Power. The New York Times admitted last month that the sanctions failed just like their “isolation” campaign did, while the NATO chief recently declared a “race of logistics” and the Washington Post finally told the truth about just how poorly Kiev’s forces are faring.

Amidst the past year of international proxy hostilities that the West itself provoked, the globalized system upon which China’s grand strategy depended was unprecedentedly destabilized by their unilateral sanctions regime that’s responsible for the food and fuel crises across the Global South. This influenced President Xi to seriously consider a “New Détente” with the US, which he initiated during last November’s G20 Summit in Bali after he met with Biden and a bunch of other Western leaders.

To be absolutely clear, this well-intended effort wasn’t meant to reverse any of the multipolar progress that China was responsible for over the past decade but purely to pursue a series of mutual compromises aimed at establishing a “new normal” in their ties so as to restore stability to globalization. In other words, it was about buying time for the world’s top two economies to recalibrate their grand strategies, ideally in the direction of working more closely together for everyone’s sake.

Their talks unexpectedly ended in early February, however, after the black swan event that’s known as the balloon incident. This saw anti-Chinese hardliners in the US suddenly ascend to policymaking prominence, thus dooming the “New Détente”, which resulted in China recalibrating its approach to the NATO-Russian proxy war to the point where President XiForeign Minister Qin, and Ambassador to the EU Fu all concluded that it’s part of the US’ anti-Chinese “containment” strategy.

Under these newfound circumstances, the US consolidated its successfully reasserted hegemony over the EU by getting Germany to go along with Washington’s very strongly implied threats that the Golden Billion will sanction China if it decides to arm Russia should Moscow require such aid as a last resort. In response, China felt compelled to consolidate its strategic partnership with Russia to the point of turning it into an entente, hence the purpose of President Xi’s trip to work out the finer details of this.

Just like these two Great Powers earlier synchronized Russia’s GEP and China’s BRI, so too are they now poised to synchronize the first’s Global Revolutionary Manifesto with the second’s global initiatives on developmentsecurity, and civilization. This prediction is predicated on the articles that Presidents Putin and Xi published in one another’s national media on the eve of the latter’s trip to Moscow, which confirms that they intend to cooperate more closely than ever before.

Observers can therefore expect the Sino-Russo Entente to solidify into one of the world’s three premier poles of influence as a result of the Chinese leader’s visit, thus making it a milestone in the New Cold War over the direction of the global systemic transition. The worldwide struggle between this pole and the Golden Billion will intensify, especially in the Global South, which will reinforce India’s importance in helping fellow developing states balance between both and thus bring about true tripolarity.

March 20, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment