Aletho News


Ron Unz: JFK Assassination, Iranian Channel Four TV (IRIB)

Iranian TV Fills the “Blank Spots” in Our National History


I recently read Lenin’s Tomb, David Remnick’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1993 account of the decay and political collapse of the Soviet Union, and one of the crucial points he emphasized was that Soviet history contained many important “Blank Spots,” deeply suppressed facts or incidents central to the true history of that unfortunate country.

Just as information suppressed by the Soviet authorities had once circulated freely in the West, topics totally banned from today’s Western media are openly discussed in other societies, which possess entirely different taboos.

A few months ago I was contacted by a host for Iranian broadcast television who had decided to feature interviews with a number of Western dissident thinkers, individuals whose controversial views had excluded them from American media outlets. Channel Four of the Iran Broadcasting Corporation is one of that country’s largest, having a potential audience of ten million, and I gladly spent four hours discussing a variety of my topics, while also suggesting a number of other figures who were also interviewed as well.

Thirty-odd segments featuring about a dozen different guests were ultimately recorded, and as they have been aired, they are also being released on a streaming website. About half are now available, including most of my own and those featuring E. Michael Jones, Nick Kollerstrom, Kevin Barrett, and Laurent Guyénot. For more convenient Western access, I had them video-captured and uploaded to a Rumble channel, realizing that many of the taboo topics would immediately trigger a purge on Youtube.

Those of my interviews already broadcast included discussions of the JFK Assassination, the 9/11 Attacks, and the Holocaust, and I was reasonably pleased with how they came out. I’m embedding these video segments below, followed in each case by some of the main articles I had previously published on those particular topics.

Ron Unz: JFK Assassination, Part #1, Iranian Channel Four TV (IRIB)

Ron Unz: JFK Assassination, Part #2, Iranian Channel Four TV (IRIB)

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Mexican President Says Trump Arrest is About Keeping Him Off the Ballot

Agencia Press South via Getty Images
By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | March 23, 2023

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador slammed the Biden administration for accusing him of corruption while abusing the justice system in America to engage in a political witch hunt against Donald Trump “so that he doesn’t appear on the ballot”.

AMLO made the comments in response to a U.S. government report that accused his an administration of “human rights violations,” a charge which he asserts is a tissue of “lies”.

Over the weekend, Trump said he expects to be arrested in connection with a potential indictment for ‘hush money’ payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

“Right now, former President Trump is declaring that they are going to arrest him,” said AMLO, adding, “If that were the case… it would be so that his name doesn’t appear on the ballot.”

Obrador said he sympathized with Trump because he too had been targeted with “the fabrication of a crime, when they didn’t want me to run.”

“And this is completely anti-democratic… Why not allow the people to decide?” said AMLO.

The president also shot down claims that he was responsible for the mistreatment of journalists by pointing to America’s treatment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, adding that the report criticizing his administration, “should not be taken seriously.”

“Let’s see, human rights? Why don’t you release Assange?” he asked. “If you are talking about journalism and freedom, why are you holding Assange?”

Obrador also said the U.S. had no right to browbeat him about violence given their alleged role in blowing up the Nord Stream oil pipelines.

“If you talk about acts of violence, how is it that an award-winning United States journalist tells us that the United States government sabotaged the Russian-European gas pipeline?” the president stated.

“Why is a cartel, or several cartels, allowed to operate in the United States, freely distributing the fentanyl that does so much harm to young people in that country?” he asked.

AMLO said the U.S. should stop trying to “be the government of the world” when their own behavior is rife with inconsistencies.

Last night, a letter written by Michael Cohen’s attorney said that Cohen acted alone when paying off Stormy Daniels in 2016, with the case against Trump looking increasingly flimsy and more likely to collapse altogether.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Russian governor’s son flees house arrest in Italy

RT | March 23, 2023

Artyom Uss, son of the governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region, Aleksandr Uss, has fled house arrest near the Italian city of Milan, the ANSA news agency has reported.

The Carabinieri – an Italian law enforcement agency that also acts as the military police – is searching for the alleged fugitive, the agency added.

According to ANSA, Uss is believed to have broken his electronic tag before fleeing his home on Wednesday afternoon.

The developments come just days after a court of appeals in Milan approved the 40-year-old’s extradition to America. Uss was detained last October at Milan’s Malpensa Airport on allegations of sanctions evasion and money laundering. The New York district attorney had earlier issued an international arrest warrant for him.

Uss, who had been held under house arrest since his initial detention, denied the allegations and his lawyer had told TASS that they intended to appeal the extradition decision. According to ANSA, Uss was preparing to contest the court’s decision when he disappeared.

The US has claimed that the governor’s son allegedly purchased American military technology before selling it to sanctioned Russian entities. He is also accused of smuggling oil from Venezuela to customers in China and Russia.

In October, a Russian court ordered Uss’s arrest on money laundering charges. Moscow has since demanded that he be extradited to his homeland.

Governor Aleksandr Uss has claimed that the charges against his son are politically motivated. Lawyers for Artyom Uss have also suggested that Washington may want to use him in potential prisoner exchanges with Moscow.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Turkiye ‘reviewing options’ for Syria withdrawal: Report

The Cradle | March 23, 2023

Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar released a report on 23 March claiming that Turkiye is willing to make concessions regarding the fate of its military presence in Syria, and is reviewing options to set a timeframe for the withdrawal of its troops from the country.

This comes in light of Damascus’ repeated insistence that the continuation of normalization efforts between the two countries depends on this condition.

“Turkish officials are studying, at the present time, several options regarding the fate of the Turkish military presence in Syria and the possibility of setting a schedule to end it in connection with field, humanitarian and political developments,” Syrian opposition sources told Al-Akhbar.

According to these sources, Turkiye will present proposals on this matter to Russian and Iranian mediators and is hoping that Tehran and Moscow will be able to act as “guarantors” to convince Syria that Ankara will properly implement any agreement that is reached, “whatever the results of the Turkish presidential elections.”

Damascus said in January that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the reconciliation with Syria as a ploy to secure himself in the upcoming election in Turkiye. Many have reinforced this, alleging that Erdogan wishes to use the normalization to portray himself as a champion in diplomacy, and as the solver of the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkiye.

Since the devastating earthquake that struck Turkiye and Syria at the start of last month, Erdogan’s chances at reelection have slimmed, according to the most recent polls.

Russia is currently working to set a date for a four-way meeting between the foreign ministers of Ankara, Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran, aimed at moving forward with the reconciliation. However, this meeting has so far failed to materialize, given Syria’s insistence on clear Turkish concessions.

According to Al-Akhbar, Turkiye’s newfound willingness to concede on the issue of its military presence is the reason behind the Turkish foreign minister’s latest claim that the meeting could be held “within days.”

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq war is epitomy of media duplicity

By Jim Bovard | The Libertarian Institute | March 23, 2023

The Iraq War was spawned by a deadly combination of political depravity and media complicity. Unfortunately, on the twentieth anniversary of the war, both elements of that conspiracy are being whitewashed. Instead, politicians and their pundit accomplices are prattling as if the Iraq war was a well-intentioned mistake, not a crime against humanity.

In the days after 9/11, when pollsters asked Americans who they thought had carried out the 9/11 attacks, only 3 percent of respondents suggested Iraq or Saddam Hussein as culprits. But President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney worked ceaselessly to convince Americans that Saddam was the 9/11 culprit. Official propaganda trumpeting the Saddam/al-Qaeda link was the linchpin for exploiting 9/11 to justify war. A February 2003 poll found that 72 percent of Americans believed that Saddam was “personally involved in the September 11 attacks.” Shortly before the March 2003 invasion, almost half of all Americans believed that “most” or “some” of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. Only 17 percent of respondents knew that none of the hijackers was Iraqi.

In his official notification of invasion sent to Congress (in lieu of a declaration of war) on March 18, 2003, Bush declared that he was attacking Iraq “to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.” Bush tied Saddam to 9/11 even though confidential briefings he received informed him that no evidence of any link had been found. Three years after the war started, Bush publicly admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

On March 17, 2003, Bush also justified invading Iraq by invoking UN resolutions purportedly authorizing the U.S. “to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.” In a speech giving Saddam 48 hours to abdicate power, Bush declared, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” In the weeks and months after the fall of Baghdad, Bush repeatedly asserted that U.S. forces had discovered WMDs or that Saddam had weapons programs. “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories,” Bush declared to journalists on May 29, 2003. Five weeks later, he again claimed vindication because “we found a biological lab” in a truck trailer. However, CIA investigators concluded that the trailer had nothing to do with an Iraqi WMD program. False claims by the Bush administration on Saddam seeking uranium in Niger sparked an uproar and leaks seeking to destroy the former ambassador who exposed the sham.

In June 2003, Bush repeatedly denounced “revisionist historians” who kept asking about the missing WMDs. In a November 12, 2003 interview with the BBC’s David Frost, Bush declared that he had sent a team to Iraq “to find the weapons or the intent of weapons.” Bush did not reveal how he defined “the intent of weapons.” The following month, Bush told ABC News that the war was justified because there was “the possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons.” In January 2004, David Kay—the man Bush chose to head the search for WMDs in Iraq—testified to Congress that “we were almost all wrong,” as far as Iraq possessing WMDs. Kay’s testimony demolished one of the prime pretexts for the war.

Bush responded by portraying the lack of evidence as proof of his courage. On February 8, 2004, Bush justified invading Iraq because Saddam “had the ability to make weapons at the very minimum.” This is like justifying a violent no-knock raid on someone’s house because they could have purchased gunpowder and tin cans.

In a March 2, 2004 speech to Homeland Security Department employees, Bush offered a new justification for invading Iraq: “America will not allow terrorists and outlaw regimes to threaten our Nation and the world with the world’s most dangerous technologies.” The mere suspicion that a nation might have “dangerous technologies” justified devastating their land.

But what did George W. Bush really think? That mystery was solved a few weeks later at the annual Washington dinner for the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. Bush performed a skit featuring slides showing him crawling around the Oval Office peeking behind curtains. Bush quipped to the poohbah attendees: “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere…Nope, no weapons over there… Maybe under here?” The crowd loved it and The Washington Post headlined its report on the evening: “George Bush, Entertainer in Chief.” Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisherlabeled the performance and the press’s reaction that night as “one of the most shameful episodes in the recent history of the American media and presidency.” By the time of Bush’s performance, hundreds of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians had already been killed.

Most of the media had embedded themselves for the Iraq war long before that dinner. The Washington Post buried pre-war articles questioning the Bush team’s shams on Iraq; their award-winning Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks complained, “There was an attitude among editors: ‘Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?’” Instead, before the war started, the Post ran 27 editorials in favor of invasion and 140 front-page articles supporting the Bush administration’s case for attacking Saddam. PBS’s Bill Moyers noted that “of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news, from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.” Jim Lehrer, the host of government-subsidized PBS Newshour, explained his timidity in 2004: “It would have been difficult to have had debates [about invading Iraq]… you’d have had to have gone against the grain.” Lehrer’s admission did not disgrace him since groveling to officialdom is the job description for Washington journalists.

In his 1971 opinion on the Pentagon Papers case, Justice Hugo Black declared that a free press has “the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.” But during the Iraq War, most of the media preferred to trumpet official lies instead of exposing them.

A 2005 American University survey of hundreds of journalists who covered Iraq concluded: “Many media outlets have self-censored their reporting on the conflict in Iraq because of concern about public reaction to graphic images and details about the war.” Individual journalists commented:

“In general, coverage downplayed civilian casualties and promoted a pro-U.S. viewpoint. No U.S. media show abuses by U.S. military carried out on regular basis.”

“Friendly fire incidents were to show only injured Americans, and no reference made to possible mistakes involving civilians.”

“The real damage of the war on the civilian population was uniformly omitted.”

The media sugarcoated the war and almost always refused to publish photos incriminating the U.S. military. The Washington Post received a leak of thousands of pages of confidential records on the 2005 massacre at Haditha, including stunning photos taken immediately after Marines killed 24 civilians (mostly women and children). Though the Post headlined its exclusive story, “Marines’ Photos Provide Graphic Evidence in Haditha Probe,” the article noted that “Post editors decided that most of the images are too graphic to publish.” The Post suppressed the evidence at the same time it continued deferentially reporting official denials that U.S. troops committed atrocities.

In 2007, two Apache helicopters targeted a group of men in Baghdad with 30 mm. cannons and killed kill up to 18 people. Video from the helicopter revealed one helicopter crew “laughing at some of the casualties, all of whom were civilians, including two Reuters journalists.” “Light ’em all up. Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,” one guy on the recording declared. Army Corporal Chelsea Manning leaked the video to Wikileaks, which disclosed it in 2010. Wikileaks declared on Twitter: “Washington Post had Collateral Murder video for over a year but DID NOT RELEASE IT to the public.” Wikileaks also disclosed thousands of official documents exposing U.S. war crimes and abuses, tacitly damning American media outlets that chose to ignore or shroud atrocities.

In 2007, Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly declared that at the beginning of the war in Iraq, “everybody in the country [was] behind it, except the kooks.” The “kooks” included UN weapons inspectors, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and many foreign governments. The “kook” label was also attached to Antiwar.comThe American Conservative, Counterpunch, the Future of Freedom Foundation, and an array of individual journalists who often found closed doors to their submissions. Likewise, the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of protestors who took to the streets of American cities to oppose the war were redefined into a laughingstock.

In his rush to war, President Bush showed boundless bad faith—followed by boundless righteousness after his lies were exposed. By the summer of 2008, only 22 percent of Americans approved of Bush and 41 percent said he was the “worst president ever.” But the same media outlets that championed the Iraq War helped resurrect Bush’s public image a decade later. Bush was exalted like the second coming of George Washington for his slams against the Trump administration. By early 2018,  a poll showed that 61 percent of Americans approved of Bush, and his support among Democrats quintupled, from 11 percent in early 2009 to 54 percent now. The key to Bush’s rehabilitation was burying his Iraq War record in the Memory Hole.

The media played the same trick to expunge its own tawdry Iraq record. Four years ago, the Washington Post spent a king’s ransom to produce and run a Super Bowl ad on its “Democracy Dies in the Darkness” motto. At that time, the Post was whipping up RussiaGate hysteria and reaping torrents of new subscribers. The Super Bowl ad, a paean to reporters, declared, “When we go off to war… knowing keeps us free.”

But kowtowing leaves people dead. Twenty years after the start of the Iraq War, President Biden is dragging America deeper into a foreign conflict that could spiral into World War III. Most of the mainstream media is again parroting whatever the U.S. government or its foreign lackeys say about the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Lies are political weapons of mass destruction, obliterating all limits on government power. The Iraq War should have taught Americans not to trust presidents or pundits who seek to unleash mass carnage. But don’t trust the Washington elite to ever learn or admit that lesson.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US to build new military bases near South China Sea

RT | March 23, 2023

The United States is set to build four new military bases “scattered” around the Philippines, the country’s president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has confirmed. He added that at least one facility would be placed near a disputed island chain claimed by China and several other nations.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Philippine leader offered additional details about the new installations, which were first unveiled last month as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with Washington. However, he said he could not reveal their exact location until a formal announcement is made alongside the US.

“There are four extra sites scattered around the Philippines – there are some in the north, there are some around Palawan, there are some further south,” he said, adding that the bases would help to defend the country’s largest island, Luzon.

Palawan is one of the Philippines’ westernmost regions, and is situated around 200 miles (320 kilometers) east of the disputed Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, which is also known by several other local names. Six countries have laid claim to parts of the small island chain, among them China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei as well as the Philippines, though US officials have repeatedly rejected Beijing’s claims as “unlawful.”

American bases on Luzon, meanwhile, are likely to be built with Taiwan in mind given its close proximity to the self-governing island, which China considers part of its sovereign territory. Though Washington had long maintained a policy of “strategic ambiguity” toward Taipei, President Joe Biden has broken with that approach, explicitly stating that US forces would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of a Chinese attack.

Asked about the plans for the new bases during a Wednesday press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin argued that military cooperation between countries should be “conducive to regional peace and stability and not targeted at or harmful to the interests of any third party.”

“The US side, out of selfish interests, remains trapped in a zero-sum mentality and keeps increasing military deployment in the Asia-Pacific,” he said, adding that “Regional countries need to remain vigilant and avoid being coerced or used by the US.”

President Marcos went on to warn of a “complex” and “unpredictable” security environment in the region, saying he was aware of an “emerging threat” that would require “adjustments in our strategy” without elaborating.

Under the 2014 EDCA, the US was initially permitted to construct five military bases around the Philippines, but the pact was recently extended to four additional “strategic” sites. Washington has so far spent $82 million on the original five facilities, and continues to work on bases that will eventually host rotating troop deployments.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Why hypersonic weapons change everything

They can sink ALL of the U.S. aircraft carriers, all at once

By Alex Krainer | Trend Compass | March 22, 2023

When it comes to all matters military, I have been following a handful of analysts among whom Croatian Admiral Davorin Domazet (retired) emerged as perhaps my favorite. He has deep and detailed command of technical matters (like Andreiy Martyanov he insists that you can’t prevail in modern warfare without deep knowledge of advanced mathematics and probability). More importantly, he has perhaps the clearest understanding of the broad historical context of today’s clash between Russia and the western powers.

Unfortunately, Admiral Domazet does not give many interviews and none in English, but I thought that his last one was important enough to share more broadly in this article.

If you happen to speak Croatian/Serbian, you can find the interview, published on 17 March 2023 at this link. It runs over 2 hours.

The context is everything

Domazet is the only military analyst that I know of, who takes into account the history of western financial oligarchy, their Venetian roots, migration to Amsterdam where they formed the Dutch Empire, and subsequent move to London which, to this day remains the ideological and spiritual headquarters of the undead British Empire.

He has correctly labelled humanity’s enemy as the “western occult oligarchy,” and has even called the war in Ukraine as the clash between Christ and anti-Christ, underlining that the anti-Christ is in the west. Mind you, Croatia is a NATO member state and is, like Poland, a catholic Slavic nation, sharing even some of its cultural Russophobia (though it may not bequite as rabid in Croatia as it is in Poland).

About Russia’s hypersonic weapons

However, the part of Domazet’s last interview that I found particularly worth sharing was what he laid out about Russia’s hypersonic weapons.

It was in 2018 that Vladimir Putin took the stage to present Russia’s new hypersonic weapons. The term “hypersonic” refers to missiles that fly at speeds of 5 mach and higher. At the time, many in the west dismissed Putin’s claims and thought it was a bluff. We now know that he wasn’t bluffing. Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types: Zircons, Kinzhals and Avantguards.

Domazet explained why these weapons are radical game changers in warfare. Namely, in World War 1, tanks were the game changing military technology. Since World War 2, it’s been the air-force. Aircraft carrier strike groups have been an irresistible force wherever they travelled, dominating the seas ever since. But hypersonic precision missiles have rendered that force obsolete overnight.

The main military front in today’s global conflict, according to Domazet, are the Anti-Ballistic (ABM) batteries which the US has set up on the Poland-Romania axis, and the Russians on the North Pole-Kaliningrad-Crimea-Syria axis. These are defensive systems, conceived to intercept incoming nuclear missiles (though they can easily be converted to offensive nuclear missiles). However, today’s ABM systems are only effective against missiles flying at speeds up to mach 3.5 (3.5 x the speed of sound).

The Kinzhal turns mighty aircraft carrier strike groups into sitting ducks

Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike. During the war in Ukraine, Russia staged a stunning demonstration of its power. The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built during the Soviet times to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete.

The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km, with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, generating enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message for the west.

Moscow calling: we can sink ALL your carriers

The Kinzhal was developed with the express purpose of destroying aircraft carrier strike groups. If it could destroy a warehouse built to withstand a nuclear strike, it can cut through an aircraft carrier like a hot knife through butter.

According to Admiral Domazet, neither the western powers nor China are anywhere near having weapons like that. He explained that the critical issue with hypersonic weapons are the extreme temperatures reached during hypersonic flights on the surface of missiles, which can cause them to break apart mid-flight. Russia is the only nation that has developed special materials that enable the missiles to withstand this stress, so their flight can be controlled throughout its trajectory and delivered with pinpoint accuracy.

Western intelligence estimated that Russia had some 50 Kinzhals at the start of the war in Ukraine, and thus far it has used only 9 of them. Last week, they fired six Kinzhals in a single salvo. That too, was a message. Here’s how Domazet explained it: United States have 11 aircraft carrier strike groups. Of these, fewer than half will be active at any one time (while others are in dock for maintenance, or in preparation). Firing six Kinzhals in one go is military-speak for, “we have the capability to sink ALL of your aircraft carriers at once.”

Russia will run out of ammunitions any minute now, (experts say)…

Russia has the capacity to build about 200 Kinzhals per year and now has means of delivering Kinzhal and Zircon missiles anywhere from aircraft, ships and submarines. In addition to destroying aircraft carriers, they can also destroy NATOs ABM missile sites. In a nutshell, Russia is now a clear winner of the 21st century arms race.

It could take the western powers 10 years or longer to catch up and until then, the only way to avoid losing the war is to either concede defeat and accept Russia’s security demands, or to escalate the conflict to nuclear exchange.

A conservative estimate suggests that at least a billion people would perish in such a conflict and nobody would win. Who would do such a thing? The idea of using nuclear weapons is, in fact, so repugnant that we can be assured that our leaders will never chose the path of escalation. Surely, nobody’s that evil, right? Are they?

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Serbs Aware of UK’s ‘Gift’ for Ukraine: NATO Poisoned Serbia’s Soil for Billions of Years to Come

Sputnik – 23.03.2023

The radioactive substance that contaminated Serbian soil during NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 is still killing people, Dr. Zorka Vukmirovic, former scientific advisor at the Institute of Physics in Belgrade, told Sputnik, commenting on London’s plans to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium shells.

As one of the most glaring examples of the terrible consequences, she pointed to the depleted uranium bombing of a telecommunications station near Vranje in Serbia’s south in the spring of 1999 and the repercussions for the workers who had cleaned up the area around the destroyed facility. Seven of them have already died of cancer, and the eighth is suffering from cancer as well.

“It is a well-known fact that NATO has admitted to having dropped 10 tons of depleted uranium ammunition on the territory of Serbia. It was important to show where these munitions were used. A map was made in consultation with our army, which concluded that it was 15 tons of depleted uranium. The map was supplemented with some locations, and the map turned out to be far larger than NATO was trying to present,” Vukmirovic specified.

According to Dr. Vukmirovic, it is crucial to find places where pollution is still present because that is where people live, grow food and use water.

“The worst consequence is that all the dumped uranium, which gets into the groundwater with the rain, can endanger drinking water. Most of the known sites are along the border with Albania, and most of these sites belong to the Drin River. So it flows into the Adriatic Sea,” the expert said.

Vukmirovic points out that it is essential to clean up contaminated soil and properly dispose of waste throughout Serbia so that everyone can have healthy children.

“If this is not done, there is a great danger. Otherwise, the soil will remain contaminated for billions of years. Another problem is the solubility of uranium in contact with water. Rain dissolves this waste and sends it deeper into the groundwater, which is the source of drinking water,” she noted.

No Accurate Data on Illnesses

Sputnik’s source regrets that the exact number of people who came down with cancer as a result of the attacks with depleted uranium shells is unknown. No one has systematically collected such data.

According to the Institute of Public Health of Serbia, by 2014, 35,319 people nationwide were sick with cancer and 20,806 people had died. That’s more than 5,000 cases per million people, 2.8 times the global average.

In 2016, 22,004 people died, 60.8% more than in 1991.

With an annual mortality increase of 2.8%, Serbia has become the world’s leader in cancer deaths. In the US, for example, which has left the Serbs with tons of depleted uranium, these rates have been falling. During that time, the incidence rate there dropped by 0.6% and the mortality rate by 1.6%.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Putin and Xi Standing Firm on the Right Side of History

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 23, 2023

The historic summit this week between the Russian and Chinese leaders provoked paroxysms of angst in the Western media. President Vladimir Putin’s hosting of China’s Xi Jinping in Moscow was presented as the “world’s two most prominent autocrats” purportedly establishing a hostile “anti-West axis”.

The American and European media – slavishly echoing the talking points of their imperialist regimes – were in hyper-bogeyman mode. The meeting of Putin and Xi was distorted in every way to appear as something illegitimately threatening and sinister to the Western “rules-based global order” (euphemism for Western capitalist privileges and predation.)

Bogeyman mode also entails collective amnesia. The summit coincided with the 20th anniversary of the U.S. and British launching their war on Iraq – arguably the biggest crime of the 21st century so far. Yet this vile anniversary has hardly stirred any Western media condemnation or shame, never mind legal accountability.

The wanton cynicism towards the Putin-Xi meeting belies the deep anxiety among the U.S.-dominated clique of Western states that the much-vaunted “rules-based order” is collapsing. A collapse caused by its own inherent corruption and systematic abuse of power and international law over many decades.

Both Putin and Xi emphasized that the Russia-China alliance was not meant to threaten any third party.

“We are always for peace and dialogue,” said China’s President Xi who was in Russia on a three-day state visit.

Putin hailed the highest point in relations between Moscow and Beijing and underscored the long historical friendship. Both leaders said this was not simply an extension of a Cold War-era alliance but rather a harbinger of genuine multipolar global development for all nations based on partnership and cooperation, respecting international law and national sovereignty.

Indeed, the much-anticipated multipolar world order is coming to fruition as the erstwhile dominance of Western elitist unilateralism shrivels. The Russian and Chinese leaders signed multiple trade deals and furthered plans to use national currencies, thereby making the unwarranted privileges of the US dollar obsolete.

There is a palpable sense that the global economy is moving in a tectonic shift towards Eurasian partnership of vitality and dynamic multipolar development, foreshadowing a fateful demise for U.S.-led Western capitalist hegemony. Western nations are haunted by financial bankruptcy, inequality, paralyzing debt, and dead-end militarism.

Of particular note is the plan to build a new gas pipeline from Russia to China dubbed Power of Siberia 2. It will supply an additional 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China. Significantly, this new supply route of Russian energy matches the volume that had been earmarked for the European Union with the operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline – until the Biden administration blew it up.

Out of all the impressive partnership deals signed in Moscow this week, the new gas route to China speaks loudest. Russia has decided to walk away from the ungrateful Europeans and let them suffer the consequences of industrial shutdown by opting for expensive American gas.

Eurasian economic power is the fulcrum of global development. Russia and China are leading the way, not just for the rest of Eurasia, but also for the Global South, Latin America, Africa, and others. The incremental moving away from the U.S. dollar as fiat international currency is the most ominous sign of the rise and fall. Russia and China are hastening that fateful switch.

In a desperate bid to avert the inevitable, the Western imperialist regimes and their media tried to depict the Putin-Xi summit as something sinister for global security, in what amounts to be a reverse projection of their own depredations and crimes.

Western media sneered that “autocrats” Putin and Xi were “posing as peacemakers”, even while both leaders emphasized their vision of multipolar relations was based on mutual cooperation.

China’s proposals for a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine were welcomed by Putin but dismissed by the Americans and Europeans as “diplomatic cover for Russian aggression”. Meanwhile, Washington and Brussels made new commitments to increase weapons supply to Ukraine, thereby prolonging the conflict – the worst in Europe since World War Two.

It is American and European regimes that are ruling out any dialogue or political-historical understanding about the origins of the war in Ukraine. Hence their determination to swipe away any opportunity for resolution. Because if an intelligent, reasonable dialogue was held – as the Russians had proposed before the war erupted more than a year ago – the conclusions would be unacceptable for U.S. and NATO expansionism.

The paradox is Russia and China are portrayed as global villains by Western powers who are still dripping with blood from the fraudulent and illegal Iraq war and who are today fueling a potentially catastrophic nuclear confrontation over Ukraine. The same media lying machine that enabled the destruction of Iraq (and many other nations) is now enabling hostility towards Russia and China.

To augment that twisted narrative, the Western media seek to undermine the Russian and Chinese-led move towards a better, fairer global economy and with that the demise of U.S. hegemony. Of course, “U.S. hegemony” and “Western economy” are just euphemisms for a dictatorship of billionaires and corporations, a dictatorship that the vast majority of the Western public has to suffer under.

So this week, Russia was labelled the “junior partner” of China and denigrated for becoming a “dependency” on Beijing. Western media reporting went into contortions to wantonly mischaracterize the evident warmth between Putin and Xi, and the tremendous significance of their global vision.

Russia was disparaged as becoming nothing more than a “resource colony of China” owing to its burgeoning oil and gas exports. That moniker reminds one of former U.S. Senator John McCain’s insult of Russia being nothing more than a “gas station masquerading as a nation”.

It’s funny how Moscow was up until recently accused of “energy blackmail” and “weaponizing hydrocarbons” when it was the main supplier of Europe. But when Russia’s vast energy is rerouted to China it is now pilloried as a “colony” of Beijing. Western propaganda can’t make up its mind about whether to cast Russia as an energy tyrant or an energy toady. That double-think betrays propaganda construct and demonization.

The world is changing before our eyes. Western imperialist regimes are being exposed for the warmongers they are, their privileges and predatory capitalism are imploding, their neocolonialist blood-sucking days are over, and a new multipolar order of partnership and peace is emerging.

The Western elites and their media are excelling themselves by trying to bad mouth Putin and Xi in every preposterous way. The outlandish distortions are commensurate with the desperation.

Time in short order, however, is telling who really is on the right side of history.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Western Sanctions Targeting Russians Failed, PM Mishustin Says

By Oleg Burunov – Sputnik – 23.03.2023

The US and its allies slapped packages of sanctions on Russia shortly after Moscow had launched its special military operation in Ukraine.

Russian Prime Minister Mishustin stated on Thursday that the US-led Western sanctions barrage targeting Russians has failed.

“At the very beginning, the West tried to assure that the sanctions were not directed against our citizens. And at the time, there were no illusions on this score. But now, even a person far removed from global politics understands that the main target was precisely the Russian people,” the prime minister emphasized during his speech at the State Duma, Russia’s lower house.

He said that the West “stopped at nothing”, even going as far as blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipeline network and seizing banking accounts.

Also, they “disconnected [Russia] from the international payment system, trying to block all banking and any other economic activity [of the country],” Mishustin pointed out.

The Russian PM emphasized that despite the sanctions, “goods and services-related payments as well as money transfers are being carried out just like before.”

“All bank cards in Russia that were previously in use are still working. The government also managed to reduce inflationary pressure and preserve the banking sector’s stability,” Mishustin stressed.

He recalled that last spring, “analysts were predicting a probable double-digit decline in Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP),” but he emphasized “we weathered the storm.” “It was a tricky task. The economic slowdown, [which was] inevitable under such conditions, was quite mild. Nevertheless, We’ve put the economy back on the growth track,” he added.

The Russian prime minister highlighted that in this regard the government had created “all the necessary work conditions for those companies that see their future in Russia, including firms from unfriendly states.”

“Despite all the restrictions, the negation of property rights, and the discriminatory measures that Russian businesses faced in the West, foreign companies feel comfortable when working in Russia,” Mushustin noted. He warned that “if foreign firms ditch their business operations in Russia and fail to take care of the future of their enterprises and employees, we will protect the interests of our people.”

The PM cautioned that “external pressure” on the Russian economy is unlikely to show signs of easing any time soon, and that “the period of [the economy’s] adaptation will end in 2024. Moreover, Russia will embark on the path of long-term progressive development.”

Last year, Western governments began to slap sweeping sanctions on the Russian economy over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine. However, these measures finally boomeranged on the economies of the US-led West as these restrictive measures sent inflation (especially in the energy sector) skyrocketing to record highs while simultaneously driving their societies into a cost of living crisis.

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s economy recovers while dozens of US banks face collapse

By Ahmed Adel | March 23, 2023

Although Western media were boasting about Sberbank’s 78% plunge in profit in 2022 due to US-led sanctions, with CEO German Gref acknowledging a “most difficult year”, it appears that the US economic system is the one actually on the brink as four banks have already collapsed, with dozens more expected to follow.

CNN described the Russian bank’s drop in profit as a “collapse” in its headline, but then had to admit in the article that “Sberbank’s resilience in the face of sanctions helped Russia’s banking sector recover from a loss-making first half in 2022.”

This is in line with Gref’s belief that this year’s profits should be close to the record 1.25 trillion rubles ($16.5 billion) earned in the “pre-crisis year.” “Our business model passed another strength test,” he added.

It is recalled that Russian Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on March 14 that there is “practically” no risk of Russia facing a fallout from the SVB collapse, adding that: “Our banking system has certain connections with some segments of the international financial system, but it is mostly under illegal restrictions.”

Despite alarmist headlines from US media and experts, Peskov was proven correct as no Russian bank has collapsed despite Western sanctions. Meanwhile, the full repercussions of SVB’s downfall are yet to be felt, with former Lehman Brothers executive Lawrence McDonald believing that up to another 50 American banks could collapse if structural problems are not fixed.

“So Lehman failed and then it forced this too-big-to-fail system, and then, now this interest rate shock to the regional banks is moving hundreds of billions of dollars out of regional banks into the big banks… So you could have another 50 bank failures… unless they fix the structural problem,” said McDonald on March 22.

“There’s going to be further damage. They have to cut rates and then they have to have a deposit guarantee, a larger one, that’s what they’re going to come up with… That’s a bailout. That’s basically the federal government taking on bank deposit risk,” he added.

By being cut-off from the Western banking system, Russia is effectively protected from the series of bank collapses that are expected to follow. Russia faced a credit crunch due to the fallout from the US subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, which ultimately led to the Global Financial Crisis, a demonstration of how it too was exposed to weaknesses in the US economy.

Although Russia was cut-off from SWIFT only two-days after the special military operation began, in addition to many other Western restrictions, including a $60 per barrel oil price cap, President Vladimir Putin boasted about the resilience of the Russian economy.

The IMF reported that Russia’s economy contracted by 2.2% in 2022 and will start growing again in 2023, expanding by 0.3%, and then 2.1% in 2024. This is impressive when considering that fellow European countries, which are not sanctioned, will be struggling immensely. The UK is expected to contract by 0.6% and Germany will have a growth of only 0.1%.

At the same time, the OECD forecasts that US economic growth would slow from 1.5% this year to 0.9% next year. This is due to higher interest rates slowing down demand. Bloomberg on March 21, citing sources, reported that the US Treasury Department is studying the possibility of guaranteeing all bank deposits in the event of a recession in the banking sector.

The current banking crisis has forced economists, including from the esteemed JPMorgan Chase, to make new recession forecasts after any hopes of recovery were snuffed away.

“The Fed is facing a difficult task on Wednesday, but it is likely already past the point of no return,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in a note to clients on March 22. “A soft landing now looks unlikely, with the airplane in a tailspin (lack of market confidence) and engines about to turn off (bank lending).”

Goldman Sachs also echoed JPMorgan and said in mid-March that the banking crisis could deliver a severe blow to economic growth.

For his part, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has warned multiple times, including as recently as March 9 but even from before the banking crisis, that the economy could be heading for a “Wile E. Coyote moment,” referencing a Looney Tunes character who was always blissfully unaware that he was about to hit the ground after running off the edge of a cliff.

However, the expected collapse of many banks in the US and the impending economic crisis has not deterred the determination of the Biden administration to fanatically arm, fund and train the Ukrainian military and regime. With millions of Americans on the verge of dropping out of the Middle Class, Washington continues to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine, and all the while Western sanctions are now beginning to have a minimum effect on the Russian economy, thus effectively rendering them nearly useless.

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

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Never vaccinated’ vs ‘Ever vaccinated’ mortality rate illusion: Survivor bias and how to overcome it

Claims of lower mortality rates for vaccinated may be just a statistical illusion

By Norman Fenton | Where are the numbers | March 21, 2023

In a previous article, we described the concept of survivor bias in studies that claimed better outcomes for covid vaccinated women in pregnancy: since the greatest risk to babies occur early in pregnancy, the babies of women who are vaccinated during pregnancy must already have survived the riskiest period.

In fact, a similar survivor bias more generally affects mortality rates for the vaccinated. If you see a study claiming much higher mortality rates of the ‘never vaccinated’ versus the ‘ever vaccinated’ you need to be sure it’s not just a statistical illusion due to survivor bias. This (7 minute) video provides an animated explanation:

The video shows this particular bias is avoided by using ‘person years in each vaccination category’ rather than people in each category. So a person who first gets vaccinated 6 months into a one year study and lives until the end of the year will be counted as 6 months never vaccinated and 6 months ever vaccinated.

The example is, of course, extremely simplified. Ideally, to calculate the correct number of person years in each category we need to know, for each person in the study, the exact date of each vaccination. And we also need to take account of the varying infection rate at different time intervals. That’s because the survivor bias is further exaggerated if (as was the case in most Western nations for the covid vaccines) the initial vaccine roll-out happened during the winter – meaning that fatality rates would inevitably fall anyway as more people were vaccinated. So, irrespective of the vaccine, more deaths were occuring at a time when more people were unvaccinated. Most of those classified as vaccinated would therefore already have survived the initial death peak when first vaccinated.

The ONS attempt to avoid survivor bias, but most reporting organisations and published studies do not

The ONS data on deaths by covid vaccine status uses person years to avoid this kind of survivor bias (although there are other biases not avoided in the ONS data as explained here). However, most studies and reports comparing mortality rates of vaccinated and unvaccinated (whether it is for covid deaths or all-cause deaths) fail to make the adjustment and are therefore overestimating the mortality rate of the unvaccinated while underestimating the mortality rate of the vaccinated.

Consider, for example, the most widely used web site for covid data, “Our World in Data”. Its page describing the comparison in covid mortality rate for vaccinated and unvaccinated states:

Death rates are calculated as the number of deaths in each group, divided by the total number of people in this group. This is given per 100,000 people.

So, all of the graphs shown there, such as this one for the USA, are subject to survival bias (one of the tell-tale signs of survivor bias is that the overestimation of the unvaccinated mortality rate will be highest during the time when large numbers of people are still being vaccinated and lowest during periods when there are few new vaccinations):

The regular CDC reports such as this most recent one not only fail to adjust for survivor bias but fail to mention this among the many listed limitations of their analysis. Since, as our simple video example shows, survivor bias makes it inevitable that a placebo vaccine can be shown to reduce mortality and will do so the more jabs you have. Therefore, it is unsurprising that these reports all have to assert the following to keep up the illusion:

All persons should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination

Survival bias is just one of the many biases and flaws that have led to massively exaggerated claims of vaccine efficacy and safety

As we have explained several times before there are many biases and flaws in the way covid data is collected and analysed which (curiously) all favour exaggerated claims of vaccine efficacy and safety:

How to create the illusion your vaccine is 90% effective

…. even when those vaccinated get infected

March 23, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment