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Crimea referendum result was ‘legitimate’ – Le Pen

RT | May 25, 2023

The 2014 referendum accurately reflected the will of the people living in Crimea to join Russia, Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday, addressing an inquiry before the French National Assembly.

“I fully support the referendum,” Le Pen told the lawmakers. “I think that Crimea’s residents expressed their will freely by a vote, in order to reunite with Russia. I think that it was absolutely legitimate.”

Le Pen explained that her position on the peninsula has consistently remained that it was Russian long before it was “given away” to Ukraine “at the whim of a dictator” for sixty years, in reference to the decision of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to redraw internal borders in 1954. The Russian Empire had acquired Crimea from the Ottomans in the 18th century.

She also pointed out that there were no refugees from Crimea after the referendum, that Crimean residents themselves freely told her their preference when she visited, and that the West never offered to organize another plebiscite to verify the result of the one they challenged.

Crimeans organized a referendum in March 2014, shortly after a US-backed coup installed a government of Ukrainian nationalist in Kiev. The result showed overwhelming support for rejoining Russia, which Moscow accepted. Meanwhile, the Kiev government violently crushed dissent in Odessa and Kharkov regions, and sent troops against Donetsk and Lugansk.

The National Rally leader appeared before a parliamentary commission investigating “Russian influence” in France, to address accusations that her party took two loans from a Russian bank. Le Pen explained that she turned to Russian banks because no French or EU banks wanted to work with her party, and that the purely business arrangement did not make her an agent of Moscow.

President Emmanuel Macron brought up the loans to attack Le Pen during the 2022 re-election campaign. She lost the runoff by a 17-point margin, but last month’s polls showed her 10 points ahead of Macron in a hypothetical rematch.

Le Pen’s insistence that the Crimean return to Russia was not an “illegal annexation,” expressed in January 2017 to France’s BFMTV and in February to CNN, earned her a ban on entering Ukraine by the government in Kiev.

The current government has vowed to ban the Russian language and expel anyone suspected of “collaboration” with Moscow once it seizes Crimea, which Kiev has announced as one of its war aims.

“As soon as we enter, we must eradicate everything Russian in Crimea,” Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, told the US government-controlled RFE/RL last month.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | Leave a comment


Now it should be clear… they don’t even want to know the truth


In one of the most grotesque votes ever taken in the Australian Senate, a majority of Senators voted NOT TO INVESTIGATE THE UNEXPLAINED NON-COVID EXCESS DEATHS WHICH HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE COVID-19 “VACCINES”. This is horrifying and terrifying.

If there was any doubt whatsoever that our government is wilfully blind to the death and destruction they have caused… this is it. The vaccine linked deaths amount to a 737 planeload of passengers unexpectedly falling from the sky every week since January 2021 and our government is not even curious as to why.

As documented by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 10,000 Australians above historical averages are dying of heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, dementia and other neurological diseases since the COVID “vaccines” were released near the start of 2021. These numbers do not include COVID declared deaths. This is the worst death rate since WWII and our government has not offered a credible explanation for the deaths. This is more than incompetence and dereliction of duty. In my view, this is sinister.

This vote has astounded many including Dr. Philip McMillan. CLICK HERE to view short video.

Our local heroes who have fought to expose the truth about the dangers of the COVID “vaccines” include: Senators Antic, Babet, Hanson, Rennick and Roberts and Russell Broadbent MP. Remember their names. Remember.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Kissinger behind 3 million civilian deaths – report

RT | May 24, 2023

Henry Kissinger, the foreign policy eminence grise who has advised half a dozen presidents, has caused the deaths of over 3 million people, according to an Intercept report published Tuesday in observation of the realpolitik strategist’s 100th birthday.

While critics of the Nixon-era secretary of state and national security adviser often describe him as a war criminal for his pivotal role in numerous US-backed genocides and coups, the report argues Kissinger’s body count has been widely underestimated, particularly regarding the secretive, highly illegal expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia in the 1970s.

Between the genocides he sponsored in East Timor and Bangladesh, the continent-wide terrorism, coups and death squads of Operation Condor in Latin America, the fomenting of civil wars in Southern Africa, and his carpet-bombing of Cambodia and Laos under the guise of chasing the Vietnamese, Kissinger is believed to be responsible for over 3 million civilian deaths – more if one counts the casualties that have resulted from advice he gave the private sector.

Kissinger has ‘only’ acknowledged that his actions caused the deaths of 50,000 Cambodians and blames the Vietnamese, the supposed targets of the US’ bombing campaign (the coordinates of which were logged incorrectly so as to be recorded as legal strikes within Vietnam). Intercept reporter Nick Truse argues the number is closer to 150,000, pointing to numerous documented examples of egregious and deliberate undercounting of civilian casualties. The figure represents more than six times more civilians than the US has killed in airstrikes since 9/11.

Transcripts from the Intercept’s “exclusive archive” of declassified US military documents from a secret Pentagon war crimes task force reveal it was Kissinger’s decision to relay then-president Richard Nixon’s drunk, belligerent trash talk about Cambodia into coherent instructions to the Pentagon to begin a “massive bombing campaign” in the country in 1970.

Kissinger’s now-infamous directive to shoot “anything that flies on anything that moves” exploded the secret war, tripling the number of bombings by the end of the year. He allegedly approved all 3,875 individual bombings of the war, and the bombers dropped over 257,000 tonnes of explosives on Cambodia in 1973 alone.

The Intercept’s archive also revealed numerous brutal ground raids on Cambodian villages that have since been all but memory-holed; Truse confirmed via interviews with survivors that the raids were far deadlier than reported. While the airstrikes were frequently hushed up as “pilot error” – “errors” that were nevertheless repeated thousands of times – the US Army, in an internal investigation, actually blamed its press corps when ground troops were caught looting a village they had just raided.

Kissinger’s carpet-bombing of Cambodia paved the way for the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal dictatorship that killed 2 million Cambodians – 20% of the country’s population – which he privately (and approvingly) referred to as “murderous thugs” while helping them secure regional allies.

Kissinger has never been prosecuted – or even officially charged – with war crimes, nor has the US military made any systemic efforts to hold accountable the troops who actually did the killing.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bottom Line On Epstein

By Karl Denninger – 2023-05-23

Let’s make it simple, since now there are rumors flying around that he tried to blackmail Bill Gates regarding an affair he might — or might not — have had with a young but of legal age woman who was very good at playing chess.

Nobody has explained how Epstein made his money.  He had a lot of it; you don’t buy an island and outfit it, never mind a nice big jet aircraft which is expensive to buy and also very expensive to maintain, fuel and staff without some source of income.

We all know, for example, how Elon Musk got his money.  And Bernie Ebbers.  And Ken Lay.  And any one of myriad other very wealthy people.  Whether ultimately it was discovered they were doing foul things or not the fact is that it was trivially easy to know exactly how they made their money, in the main.

Except for Epstein.

Therefore, by simple deduction, Epstein got his money because someone, or a group, were paying him and had the means to hide it from ordinary, routine surveillance that “outs” everyone else.

That in turn means one or more governments were doing it and none of them who had actual knowledge were adversarial to the others.

How do we know this?

Because it would have been to the adversary’s tremendous advantage, and a nation-state is immune to “mere arrest” for some trumped-up offense, to blow the lid off of it had that been the case.

Therefore it wasn’t.

Since the activities took place in and around the United States it is also therefore clear that one of the funding conduits was one or more agencies of and in the United States.  There may be others but our government was one of them.

That is conclusive.

What is also conclusive is that all of the 535 members of Congress know this and none of them have done anything about it.

That includes your Congressperson and both of your Senators, in each and every case.

To restate just in case your IQ is smaller than your shoe size: One or more of our agencies suborned and used the sexual abuse of underage girls, along with the sexual coercion of women who had reached the age of consentfor reasons we do not have knowledge of but which can be reasonably believed to be underhanded, illegal or likely both.  Such acts are criminal felonies even if the government performs them; there is no immunity for a US Government agency or instrumentality to fund activity leading to the rape of children.

This clearly did occur.

Whatever other gripes you may have with our government we, the people, clearly are willing to permit this to stand.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

First COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuit in U.S. Targets U.S. Government, Social Media Giants

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender | May 23, 2023

Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, along with a father whose 16-year-old son died from vaccine-induced cardiac arrest, are suing the Biden administration and top U.S. public health officials.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, the plaintiffs — including Brianne Dressen who suffered severe nerve damage after taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine — allege the U.S. government colluded with social media companies to censor them when they posted stories about their personal vaccine injury experiences.

Defendants include President Biden and top-ranking White House officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

This is the first lawsuit brought by U.S. citizens injured by the COVID-19 vaccines.

Dressen — a preschool teacher from Saratoga Springs, Utah — volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial for its COVID-19 shot. Now, she says, she is “collateral damage of the pandemic.”

Dressen co-chairs React19, a “science-based non-profit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from longterm COVID-19 vaccine adverse events globally.”

After receiving the AstraZeneca shot, Dressen experienced extensive adverse effects — including doubled and blurry vision, severe sensitivity to sound and light, heart and blood pressure fluctuations and intense brain fog — that worsened over time.

She said Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, GoFundMe, Reddit and Instagram removed content she posted about her injuries.

According to Dressen, the plaintiffs’ experiences of censorship “pale in comparison to the thousands of Americans we know who all have experienced the same thing.”

“There is nothing scarier than reaching out for help only to be silenced,” Dressen told The Defender. “It was as scary as the vaccine reaction itself.

“Our constitutional freedoms must be protected, regardless of whether or not we are in a national emergency,” Dressen added.

Dressen — who now experiences “permanent disability” with “ups and downs” — said she and the other plaintiffs are “not fighting this fight for a select few” but are fighting on behalf of the “tens of thousands who are experiencing the same kind of censorship.”

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed the suit on behalf of Dressen and the other plaintiffs, who include Kristi Dobbs, Nikki Holland, Suzanna Newell and Ernest Ramirez.

All but Ramirez experienced COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries. Ramirez received the Moderna vaccine with no adverse effect  — but his 16-year-old son died of vaccine-induced cardiac arrest five days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

Newell is a former triathlete from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease after she got the vaccine and who now relies on a walker or cane to get around.

Case challenges ‘shocking’ government mass-censorship

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs experienced “heavy and ongoing censorship” on social media platforms — including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and GoFundMe — “when they attempted to share “ their personal experiences after they, or a loved one, were medically harmed after taking the vaccine.”

For instance, TikTok on multiple occasions removed Holland’s video posts in which she shared her personal experiences related to her COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries and recovery process.

TikTok said the videos violated “Community Guidelines” for posting “violent and graphic content” and for “integrity and authenticity” concerns.

According to the complaint:

“This case challenges the government’s mass-censorship program and the shocking role that it has played (and still plays) in ensuring that disfavored viewpoints deemed a threat to its agenda are suppressed.

“This sprawling censorship enterprise has involved the efforts of myriad federal agencies and government actors (including within the White House itself) to direct, coerce, and, ultimately, work in concert with social media platforms to censor, muffle, and flag as ‘misinformation’ speech that conflicts with the government’s preferred narrative — including speech that the government explicitly acknowledges to be true.”

Kim Mack Rosenberg, the Children Health Defense’s (CHD) acting outside general counsel, said the new lawsuit is important because it exists “at the intersection” of COVID-19 vaccine injury and COVID-19 censorship.

“The complaint here alleges — as have other cases — a massive censorship program to control the narrative and promote the government’s COVID-19 propaganda,” Mack Rosenberg told The Defender.

She added:

“Silencing those who have been injured, like the plaintiffs in this case, by the very product promoted — and in some cases mandated — by the government is particularly egregious and causes further, albeit, different injury to those individuals, whose First Amendment rights have also been violated.

“Moreover, censoring these injured individuals injures the public, depriving them of important information and discourse on these issues.”

Missouri and Louisiana in May 2022 filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security.

Former Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt alleges the Biden administration led “the largest speech censorship operation in recent history” by working with social media companies to suppress and censor information later acknowledged as truthful.”

In March, CHD Chairman on Leave Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and CHD filed a class action lawsuit against Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top administration officials and federal agencies, alleging they “waged a systematic, concerted campaign” to compel the nation’s three largest social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech, including facts and opinions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Commenting on the new lawsuit, Peggy Little, senior litigation counsel for NCLA, said in a statement:

“Americans injured by experimentally approved Covid vaccines are being deplatformed, silenced, suppressed, defamed and cancelled by their own government for reaching out to others simply to share and receive information critical to their physical and mental well-being.

“Government actors have bullied, threatened and coerced social media companies to strip these plaintiffs of their First Amendment rights of association and speech. Suppression of speech critical of the government by the very government actors mandating the vaccine is frightening.

“NCLA’s lawsuit seeks to restore these plaintiffs’ civil liberties and the free flow of information guaranteed by the First Amendment for all Americans. We must never again lose our constitutional bearings in a pandemic.”

Casey Norman, one of the NCLA lawyers representing Dressen and the other plaintiffs, agreed. He said that the government claims it suppresses “so-called misinformation” for the sake of “public safety and welfare.”

“Fortunately,” Norman added, “the First Amendment says otherwise: the government may neither censor our clients nor induce others to do so.”

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter and researcher for The Defender based in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), and a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University (2015). Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions in the United States and is fluent in Spanish.

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.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iranian President: US Claims to Promote Democracy Are ‘Fake’

By Wyatt Reed – Sputnik – 24.05.2023

Claims by the US government that it pursues the promotion of democracy abroad are simply “fake,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Tuesday.

“The United States and [some] Western countries are not after democracy, but domination and plundering of other countries’ wealth,” Raisi said during an official visit to Indonesia, according to Iranian media.

“With the rise of emerging powers, the era of US domination has come to an end, said Iran’s chief executive,” media summarized.

Raisi pointed out that if Western powers are really after democracy and self-determination, they can start by guaranteeing Palestinians the right to choose their own destiny.
“Let the Yemeni and Afghan people decide for themselves,” he concluded, asking: “Why are you interfering in their affairs?”

The statements, delivered during a speech urging unity among Muslims at an Islamic center in Jakarta, came as Raisi seeks to bolster bilateral relations on his first official trip to Indonesia.

During a meeting with Indonesian House Speaker Puan Maharani, Raisi said the “expansion of ties between the Islamic Republic and Indonesia holds great promise for the progress of the two nations, the region, and the broader Muslim community,” state media reported.

“Despite the unjust threats and sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made significant progress and has achieved capabilities that have created good opportunities for the development of bilateral relations,” Raisi is quoted as saying.

On Tuesday, the two countries’ presidents and high-ranking officials met to sign off on 11 cooperation agreements.

The deals relate to “preferential trade, visa waivers, cultural exchanges, cooperation on supervising the production of pharmaceutical products, collaborations in scientific, technological, and innovative arenas, and bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sectors,” media indicated.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

Ukraine to hike tariffs on Russian oil transit to EU

RT | May 24, 2023

Ukraine will significantly raise transit fees for Russian oil running through the Druzhba pipeline on its territory to the EU on June 1, TASS reported on Tuesday, citing data from Russian oil and gas transport company Transneft.

It is expected that Kiev will increase tariffs for transporting crude to Hungary and Slovakia by €3.4 per ton to €17 ($18), bringing the total hike to 25%.

The planned increase in transit costs will be the second this year, after Kiev raised the tariff by 18.3% in January. Prior to that, the tariff was hiked twice last year.

Ukraine has cited the destruction of the country’s energy infrastructure which resulted in “a significant shortage of electricity, an increase in its costs, a shortage of fuel, and spare parts” as the main reason behind the decision.

Russian business daily Kommersant reported last month that Kiev was planning to hike transit fees for Moscow by over 50%. According to the outlet, Ukrainian pipeline operator UkrTransNafta had applied for a two-step increase in transit prices, by 25% from the current $14.6 per ton to $18.3 on June 1, and by an additional 23.5% to €21 ($22.6) on August 1.

Ukraine continues to collect payments for fuel flowing through pipelines in the country, while urging EU countries to stop purchasing Russian oil and gas.

Kiev is currently negotiating the hike directly with buyers in Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, according to media reports.

Druzhba, one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, carries oil around 4,000km from Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Devil’s In The Details When It Comes To Pashinyan’s Karabakh Peace Proposal


Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan proposed recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in full in exchange for it doing the same to his country, though the caveat is that he’ll only do so if the security of local Armenians there is guaranteed. This naturally raises the question of how to satisfy his requirement in a way that’s also acceptable to Azerbaijan, with one possibility being to prolong the deployment of Russia’s peacekeepers there.

It can’t be taken for granted that Azerbaijan would approve of this for the extended period of time that Pashinyan appears to be implying is required to guarantee their safety, however, since it appears to be growing frustrated with the status quo. Azerbaijan only agreed to the presence of these forces in November 2020 because it expected that they’d expedite the removal of Armenian forces in parallel with facilitating the reasserting of the state’s sovereignty over the rest of its territory.

That outcome hasn’t yet materialized, and instead, these South Caucasus rivals have even clashed several times along their internationally recognized border. Armenia also accuses Azerbaijan of violating the same Moscow-mediated ceasefire that it agreed to after self-described “activists” blocked the Lachin Corridor, while Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of doing the same by still launching attacks from Karabakh. These factors have combined to make many worry about whether another war might soon erupt.

As a self-respecting state, Azerbaijan regards it as offensive for Armenia to hint that it can’t guarantee the security of its citizens, which includes those Armenians who’ve been in Karabakh since Soviet times but not those who moved to the region as colonists after its occupation by neighboring Armenia. Its rising confidence and regional prestige as a result of its victory two and a half years ago reduces the chances that Azerbaijan would agree to prolong the deployment of Russia’s peacekeepers.

Those calculations indirectly pose a problem for Russian-Armenian relations since Moscow must prove its military-security worth to Yerevan in order to prevent its “defection” from the CSTO, with the scenario of it prolonging the deployment of its peacekeepers in Azerbaijan being the best way to do so. Armenia surprised Russia by participating in joint NATO drills last month, which was followed by its Deputy Foreign Minister revealing this month that it contemplated leaving the CSTO last September.

Pashinyan added earlier this week that Armenia’s withdrawal might indeed still happen if it concludes that the CSTO has “become a non-functional organization”, which prompted Kremlin spokesman Peskov to promise that Russia will retain relevant dialogue with its partner in an effort to prevent this. The unstated threat that was just conveyed by Yerevan is that it’ll ditch the CSTO and thus deal a major blow to Moscow if Russia can’t convince Azerbaijan to guarantee the security of Armenians there.

In the event that Armenia “defects” from this Russian-led military-security bloc, then it would immediately raise questions about Moscow’s reliability to its other partners such as those in Central Asia, thus possibly emboldening those countries to distance themselves from it too like the West wants. With Armenia out of the CSTO, it might then apply for expedited entry into NATO, which could possibly lead to it and Georgia joining together like was supposed to be the case with Finland and Sweden.

Russia must therefore do its utmost to avert this dark scenario from unfolding, to which end it’s pressed to politically resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict once and for all as soon as possible before Yerevan’s patience runs out. That said, it wouldn’t be in Armenia’s best interests to ditch the CSTO until it gets what it wants since otherwise it’ll be without Russia’s protection if Azerbaijan and/or Turkiye decide to invade its internationally recognized territory in order to resolve this conflict on their own terms.

Nevertheless, it might end up being the case that Armenia could secretly reach an agreement with the US for the latter to extend security assurances to it prior to that country’s membership in NATO upon it formally announcing its withdrawal from the CSTO and intention to join that enemy bloc. The precedent for doing so was already established last May after the US gave exactly these sort of assurances to Finland and Sweden until they joined NATO, which is still relevant to the latter since it hasn’t yet done so.

Russia’s challenge is therefore threefold since it must: 1) broker a sustainable peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan as soon as possible to preempt Yerevan’s “defection” from the CSTO on the pretext that this group is “non-functional”; 2) to which end Moscow must likely get Baku to agree to at least prolong the presence of Russian peacekeepers for the next few years; and 3) then ensure that Armenia still doesn’t “defect” from that bloc after it already gets what it wants from Russia.

Each of these tasks presents a formidable challenge in and of themselves, let alone having to be tackled all at once due to Armenia hinting that it’ll dump the CSTO if it doesn’t get what it wants sometime soon, and not to mention that this is happening amidst Russia’s ongoing special operation. Even so, if there’s any country whose diplomats are capable of rising to the occasion, it’s Russia’s. This doesn’t mean that they’ll succeed, but just that nobody should doubt that they’ll give this their best shot.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian vessel attacked by Ukrainian sea drones off Bosporus – MOD

RT | May 24, 2023

The Russian Navy’s reconnaissance ship, ‘Ivan Churs’, has been attacked by three unmanned speed boats launched by the Ukrainian military, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The vessel was targeted early in the morning by the drones in Türkiye’s exclusive economic zone, some 140km (86 miles) to the northeast of the Bosporus Strait, the ministry’s spokesman, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said during a daily briefing.

The ship was patrolling areas near the TurkStream and Blue Stream natural gas pipelines, Konashenkov noted, adding that the naval patrols were deployed after the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last September.

“All of the enemy boats were destroyed by fire with the onboard weapons of the Russian ship,” the spokesman added.

The military shared footage of the incident, showing a small, black speedboat coming under large-caliber gunfire. The vessel suffers a direct hit and explodes, leaving a plume of black smoke on the water.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

What If Russia Pulls a Hiroshima/Nagasaki on Kiev?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | May 24, 2023

Today’s Los Angeles Times contains a letter to the editor from a North Hollywood person named Dave Simon, which states in part the following: “To this day, I have no regret that President Harry Truman saved many American lives as well of thousands of others all across the globe by ordering the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Simon’s sentiment has always been the popular justification for the U.S. atomic bombings of the people in those two Japanese cities. The idea has been that without the bombings, it would have been necessary for the U.S. to have invaded Japan to secure its defeat, which would have necessarily entailed the deaths and injuries of thousands of U.S. soldiers. 

Therefore, the argument goes, by killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians with the atomic bombings, and, equally important, implicitly threatening to continue doing so against other Japanese cities, the Japanese government was forced to surrender, thereby bringing a quicker end to the war, which thereby saved the lives of U.S. soldiers. 

I have always opposed that reasoning. Targeting civilians is a war crime. That’s why Army Lt. William Calley, Jr., was charged with a war crime after he and his troops massacred civilians during the Vietnam War. Targeting civilians with an atomic bomb is no different from shooting them with an M-16. The bombing simply kills more people.

Would thousands of U.S. soldiers have died in an invasion of Japan? Of course. But that’s the nature of war. Soldiers die in war. To say that it is legitimate to kill women, children, and seniors in order to protect soldiers is highly illegitimate, from both a moral and a legal standpoint.

But as many people have pointed out, Japan was ready to surrender anyway. All that Japanese officials needed was an assurance that their emperor would not be executed, tortured, or abused. The U.S. refused to provide that assurance, pursuant to President Roosevelt’s policy that demanded “unconditional surrender.” It was a ridiculous policy, especially since after Japan’s surrender, the U.S. did not execute, torture, or abuse the emperor anyway.

Moreover, there are commentators who make a persuasive case that the real reason that President Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to send a message to the Soviet Union, which was already being converted from WW2 partner and ally to the new official enemy of the United States.

There are also commentators who argue that Japan surrendered to the United States not because of the atomic bombings but rather to prevent the Soviet communists from taking control of Japan. 

In any event, let’s jump forward to the current war between Russia and Ukraine or, as some contend, the current war between NATO and Russia. 

Let’s assume that Russia is familiar with the popular U.S. justification for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the justification that Dave Simon sets forth in his letter to the LA Times. Let’s assume that Russia drops an atomic bomb on Kiev, the capital and the most populous city of Ukraine, in order to shorten the war by securing Ukraine’s immediate surrender. By shortening the war, the lives of thousands of Russian soldiers would then be saved. 

What would Simon and other supporters of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including U.S. officials, say then? Would they defend Russia’s dropping an atomic bomb on Kiev on the same basis that they defend the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or would they declare that Russia’s atomic bombing of Kiev constituted a grave war crime for targeting and killing civilians, even while continuing to justify the U.S. targeting and killing the civilian populace in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 3 Comments

Orban: Relations With Sweden ‘Awfully Wrong’, Preclude It From Joining NATO

By Igor Kuznetsov – Sputnik – 24.05.2023

According to various reports, faced with resistance from Turkiye and Hungary alike, the Swedish government has considered postponing the goal of entering NATO from the July summit in Vilnius to the bloc’s meeting in Washington next April.

Relations between Hungary and Sweden are poor and must improve before the Nordic state’s bid for NATO membership is approved, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the Qatar Economic Forum.

“The political relationship between Sweden and Hungary is awfully wrong, and we have to improve first,” Orban said. “We would not like to import conflicts into NATO first.”

Earlier, Orban’s chief of staff said that the bilateral ties between Hungary and Sweden have hit an all-time low. He also accused Swedish politicians of “making a habit of continually questioning the state of democracy in Hungary,” as well as “insulting Hungarian voters and MPs, and, through them, the whole of Hungary.”

No date has been set yet as to when the Hungarian parliament will vote on the Swedish bid for admission, which has to be ratified by all current members.

While commenting on Orban’s latest statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated his hope that Sweden’s application will be approved and recommended doing so. Among others, Stoltenberg cited the Turkish election and Sweden’s new anti-terror laws as factors that may facilitate the Nordic country’s accession. At the same time, Stoltenberg said that the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania merely offers “a possibility, not a guarantee.”

However, Swedish media have been circulating reports that the government’s plan for Swedish NATO entry may be about to be postponed. Instead of being approved in Vilnius in July, a possibility of entering NATO only at the bloc’s meeting in Washington next April is now under consideration. Among others, this has sparked criticism from the Social Democrats, a heavyweight party that has dominated Sweden’s politics since the 1930s, over the lack of a plan B. For their part, the Social Democrats, now in opposition, have called for deepening Nordic cooperation, should the NATO entry be delayed.

Still, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom of the liberal-conservative Moderate Party that leads the current minority government confirmed that the goal for Stockholm is to join NATO in connection with the Vilnius summit.

Sweden and its neighbor Finland asked to join NATO last year, citing changes in the European security landscape following the conflict in Ukraine. While Finland went on to become a member, Sweden’s bid has been held up by Turkiye and Hungary, with Budapest citing grievances over Stockholm’s criticism of Orban’s record on democracy and the rule of law and Ankara accusing Sweden of harboring what it sees as Kurdish terrorists and, most recently, meddling in the Turkish elections.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Kiev used US-supplied vehicles to invade Russia

By Lucas Leiroz | May 24, 2023

The US claims that the weapons sent to Ukraine are only used within the borders of the conflict zone, but it is increasingly clear that this equipment is being used by Ukrainian forces to carry out terrorist attacks in the undisputed Russian territory. Photos and videos shared on the internet show that US armored vehicles were used by pro-Kiev forces to attack Belgorod during recent terrorist hostilities. As expected, US officials are denying their involvement and suggesting the images are fake. Now, Washington needs to find a “justification” for the undeniable fact that its proxy regime is inappropriately and illegally using military aid provided by NATO.

The images are being published by Russian war correspondents who covered hostilities in Belgorod. It is possible to find among the equipment captured by the Russian forces several American-made weapons, including some armored vehicles such as M1151A1 Humvees and MaxxPro MRAP. The vehicles were mostly destroyed by Russian artillery or left behind by enemy soldiers as they tried to evade Russian fire.

Reacting to the case, the US authorities argued that there is not enough evidence to confirm the veracity of the photos and videos circulating on the networks. Speaking during a press conference, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller emphatically expressed his skepticism about the veracity of the images, indicating that they could be some “fake” deliberately spread by the Russians to accuse the Americans. He made it clear that an official statement by Washington will only occur after the images are analyzed and there is absolute confidence on their accuracy.

“We’ve seen some of the reports circulating on social media and elsewhere making claims that US-supplied weapons were used in these attacks (…) I will say that we’re skeptical at this time of the veracity of these reports (…) We’ve seen a lot of reports on social media and fuzzy pictures on social media and a lot of kind of armchair intelligence analysts making claims (…) We’re skeptical that they’re accurate (…) We don’t have perfect clarity on the information (…) We’re looking at the same pictures you see, the same fuzzy images, and at this time, we are skeptical of their veracity”, Matthew Miller told journalists during a press conference.

Miller’s argument is vague and weak. Confirmation on the veracity of the images can be obtained in a short time through an expert analysis, which is enough to eliminate any doubts about the case. What Miller seems to be doing is avoiding giving a verdict on the subject, postponing the final assessment to a future that may take a long time or not even happen. With this, the US avoids giving a public response about the participation of its weapons in an illegal attack against Russia.

Some other American officials, however, are already using another argument. In an interview with journalists, the Pentagon’s press secretary, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, stated that his country has not approved any transfer of weapons to “paramilitary groups” outside the Ukrainian armed forces.

“So we’ve seen those reports [on images], something that we obviously continue to monitor very closely. I will say that we can confirm that the U.S. government has not approved any third party transfers of equipment to paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces, nor has the Ukrainian government requested any such transfers. So again, it’s something we’ll keep a close eye on”, he said.

His words come amid the current discussion about who really carried out the attack on Belgorod. Kiev alleges that those responsible for the attack were exclusively the neo-Nazi groups ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’, which are militias formed by expatriate Russian-born mercenaries.

The Ukrainian government believes it has no responsibility in the case, as it was not its regular troops who operated the attack. Consequently, the American government wants to avoid any accusation of co-participation due to the use of its weapons, claiming that Washington delivers this equipment only to Kiev, not being responsible in case of use by paramilitary groups.

However, these arguments are inconsistent with reality and international law. These paramilitary groups are at the service of Kiev and directly obey the Ukrainian state, regardless of whether their legal status is one of regular troops or not. These militias are excluded from the norms of humanitarian law, but it means nothing regarding their affiliation with Ukraine, which is why Kiev must be seen as directly responsible for the Belgorod attack.

Accordingly, Kiev’s sponsors are also co-participants in the crime. If pro-Ukrainian terrorists use US weapons to attack Russian civilians in demilitarized territory it is because Washington gives such weapons to Kiev even though the US knows that there are terrorists working for that regime. So, as much as they want to deny it, the US and NATO are in fact co-authors of the attacks on Russia.

Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.

You can follow Lucas on Twitter and Telegram.

May 24, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment