Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Donald Trump — the Peace Candidate in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary?

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institue | February 8, 2023

A Monday article at Politico makes the case that Donald Trump will likely be running as the peace candidate among individuals vying to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

The article’s authors — Meridith McGraw, Natalie Allison, and Gary Fineout — write:

Those close to Trump’s campaign operation say he plans to try and paint himself as an anti-war dove amongst the hawks. They believe doing so will resonate with GOP voters who are divided on, but growing wary of, continued support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Such a strategy would be in line with how Trump presented his campaign from the beginning — in his November 15 candidacy announcement speech. In that speech, Trump referenced his not having started a new war during his presidential term when declaring that, “unlike Biden possibly getting us into World War III, which can seriously happen, I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars just as I did for four straight years.”

Trump’s record on peace leaves some to be desired. But, his 2024 Republican presidential primary opponents can be expected to include major warmongers. The Politico article mentions Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo as likely contenders, all of whom appear to be more pro-war than Trump. And while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — another potential candidate for the nomination — is not widely known for his thoughts on foreign policy, the Politico article quotes a Trump advocate who provides a preview of the case for Trump as the peacemaker vis-à-vis DeSantis:

‘Trump is the peace president and he’s the first president in two generations to not start a war, whereas if you look at DeSantis’ congressional record, he’s voted for more engagement and more military engagement overseas,’ said a person close to the Trump campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

DeSantis was a Republican United States House of Representatives member from Florida from January of 2013 through September of 2018, when he left the House toward the end of his successful governor campaign. DeSantis was appointed to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs upon joining the House and went on to be chairman on the Subcommittee on National Security at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. So DeSantis should have plenty of a track record related to war and peace.

We’ll see if Trump follows through with this campaign strategy.


Copyright © 2023 by RonPaul Institute.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | | Leave a comment

US behind Nord Stream sabotage – Seymour Hersh

RT | February 8, 2023

The Nord Stream pipelines were destroyed last September by the US in a covert operation, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed. The legendary reporter made the bombshell revelation in an article posted to his newly launched blog on Substack on Wednesday.

The explosives were planted at the pipelines back in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise, Hersh reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning.

The journalist noted he had reached the White House and the CIA for comment, with both firmly rejecting the claim as“utterly false.”

The bombs were detonated three months later on September 26 with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy. The buoy was dropped near the Nord Stream pipelines by a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane, according to the report.

The operation came to fruition following months of back-and-forth between the White House, the CIA and the military, with the officials focusing on how to leave no trace of the US involvement in the attack. The planning process began back in December 2021, when a special task force was created with the direct participation of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

“The Navy proposed using a newly commissioned submarine to assault the pipeline directly. The Air Force discussed dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely. The CIA argued that whatever was done, it would have to be covert. Everyone involved understood the stakes,” the report read.

The source told Hersh that everybody involved understood the operation was not some “kiddie stuff” and was actually an “an act of war.” Throughout “all of this scheming” certain officials urged the White House to drop the idea entirely. “Some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out,’” according to the source.

Originally, the explosives were to have a 48-hour-timer and were set to be planted by the end of BALTOPS22, Hersh reported citing the same source. The two-day window, however, was ultimately deemed to be too close to the end of the exercise by the White House, which ordered the task force to come up with an on-demand method of detonating them. The latter ultimately turned out to be the sonar buoy idea.

The Joe Biden’s administration has been “focused” on jeopardizing the Nord Stream pipelines – initially through sanctions, and, ultimately, with direct sabotage – seeing it as a key to swaying Europe under its cause amid then-looming conflict in Ukraine, Hersh noted.

“As long as Europe remained dependent on the pipelines for cheap natural gas, Washington was afraid that countries like Germany would be reluctant to supply Ukraine with the money and weapons it needed to defeat Russia,” he wrote.

Moscow has provided a similar take on the incident shortly after the blasts, branding them a “terrorist attack” and stating that the US was the nation that benefited most from it, by speeding up Europe’s attempts to wean itself off the Russian gas.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

An Overblown Balloon Headline Inflates False Narrative on China

By Patrick Macfarlane | The Libertarian Institute | February 8, 2023

For several decades the American public has been instilled with an intrinsic fear of and hatred for China.

No singular event in this seemingly inevitable march to war is more emblematic of the American public’s warped psyche than the “Chinese Spy Balloon” narrative—perhaps due, in part, to its facial absurdity. The happening eclipses even similarly nonsensical yarns such as widespread TikTok paranoia (see the NSA’s PRISM program), China’s American farmland purchases (Chinese firms account for <.5% of all foreign-owned land in the U.S.), and the “invasion” of Chinese fentanyl through the Southern border (fentanyl trafficking is illegal in China).

Indeed, even the pervasive use of the term “Chinese Spy Balloon”—an utterly unsupported Pentagon accusation—is emblematic of the absolutely captured state of the American consciousness.

This narrative control is critical to Washington as it manufactures consent for its declared “great power competition” with Beijing.

The saga began on February 2, when an official spokesman announced the Pentagon was tracking the passage of a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” over the continental United States. The spokesman expressed confidence that the “surveillance balloon” belonged to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In this initial announcement, it was importantly noted “[i]nstances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years.”

On February 3, a PRC spokesperson confirmed the balloon originated from China, but said it was merely a civilian weather balloon on a research mission. The spokesperson apologized for the intrusion and explained the balloon entered the United States by accident due to unexpected wind currents. The statement stressed continued communication and diplomacy.

On the afternoon of February 4, American forces downed the balloon just off the coast of South Carolina. The next day, the Chinese foreign ministry called the response “a clear overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.”

In its press conference announcing the shootdown, a senior Pentagon official admitted that so-called “PRC government surveillance balloons transited the continental United States briefly at least three times during the prior administration and once that we know of at the beginning of this administration, but never for this duration of time.” Another official admitted that the Pentagon had tracked the balloon since it entered Alaskan airspace on January 28.

Although the Pentagon insists the balloon was a clandestine surveillance device, it has not tendered a shred of evidence to support that assertion.

It would make little sense for the PRC to launch surveillance balloons across the United States because, as stated during the Pentagon’s initial press briefing, “[the balloon] does not create significant value added over and above what the PRC is likely able to collect through things like satellites in Low Earth Orbit.”

As the balloon made its way from Montana to South Carolina, the American people were whipped into predictable histrionics, with most politicians calling for the balloon to be shot down.

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated on February 3, “[i]t wasn’t a good idea to have a spy balloon fly over our country, it must come down.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) called the balloon a “Potemkin village attempting to conceal [China’s] malign ambitions toward our country and the global order.” He urged the Pentagon to shoot down the balloon, and later quipped “[a] big Chinese balloon in the sky and millions of Chinese Tik Tok balloons on our phones. Let’s shut them all down.”

True to form, the general Republican messaging maligned Joe Biden’s perceived weakness for not shooting the balloon down faster.

Establishment Republican mainstays, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), and House Intelligence Committee chair, Representative Mike Turner, blasted the Biden administration’s inaction in separate TV interviews.

On February 4, Turner said on Meet the Press, “[t]his [balloon] should never have been allowed to enter the U.S., and it never should have been allowed to complete its mission,” adding “I think this administration lacks urgency.”

The same day Cruz told Face the Nation that Biden gave the PRC “a full week…to conduct spying operations over the U.S., over sensitive military installations,” and that “this entire episode telegraphed weakness.”

On February 5, Rubio betrayed the true intent of accusing Biden of weakness—to give cover for more extreme escalation. He told ABC “[t]hese guys [U.S. leadership] can’t even do anything about a balloon flying over U.S. airspace? How can you possibly count on them if something were to happen in the Indo-Pacific region? How are they gonna come to the aid of Taiwan?”

Rubio’s comments fly in the face of Washington’s long-standing Sino-American policy—that the U.S. acknowledges China’s dominion over Taiwan, but will not say what it would do if China were to use force to reconstitute the wayward island.

While some populist Republicans have bravely departed from the establishment’s support for Ukraine, many led the chorus of voices urging escalation—and not diplomacy.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) issued multiple tweets regarding the balloon. On February 3, he stated “[n]ow #China is OPENLY spying on us and the Biden Admin does nothing. China is trolling us. They know Biden is weak.” He later added, inter alia, “SHOOT IT DOWN.”

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted on February 3, “[t]he Department of Defense would like to know the Balloon’s pronouns,” a comment that detracts from Washington’s objectively aggressive global posture by suggesting ineptitude. On February 5, he wrote, “I wonder how much the [Chinese Communist Party]-funded Biden Center at UPenn studied Balloon Theory.”

On February 3, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene issued a lengthy Twitter thread urging the Biden Administration to “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!!” Taylor Greene further called the balloon’s presence “an act of aggression,” that she blamed on the Chinese Communist Party and Joe Biden’s inaction.

Surprisingly, the invective from populist Republicans surpassed even that of the ultra-hawkish architects of Washington’s fortress Taiwan policy, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bob Menendez (R-NJ).

For his part, Bob Menendez neither Tweeted, nor issued a press release about the balloon.

Graham’s statement was much more measured than that of his populist colleagues. February 4, he thanked the military and the Biden administration for shooting down the balloon, but then stated: “[t]he next step is to recover the attached surveillance equipment to determine if the Chinese were lying about the balloons [sic] true purpose…Our intelligence community doubts the Chinese explanation […] but we will only know the true answer when the platform is recovered.”

The universal rejection of diplomacy in favor of an immediate and violent response to the balloon is deeply troubling—from the public to neoliberal Democrats, to the populist right. Surely a collision between U.S. and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea or aircraft in the Taiwan Strait would provoke a similar response. Some popular pundits even called for extreme escalation, such as urging the Pentagon to scramble jets from Guam, ostensibly to attack or threaten mainland China.

The banner narrative favored by mainline Republicans and the populist right alike—that Joe Biden is weak—is insidious, because it implies that Biden should be more aggressive. Furthermore, it excuses Biden’s objectively ultra-hawkish policy against China.

Just in the last few weeks, the Biden administration continued its redoubling of the Asia Pivot launched by Barack Obama and furthered by Donald Trump: the U.S. Marine Corps opened a new base in Guam as the U.S. opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands, furthered diplomatic measures meant to militarize Japan, announced the opening of new military installations in the Philippines and Palau, and furthered a deal that would secure it exclusive military access to Micronesia, an area of the Pacific Ocean as large as the continental U.S.—all with the express and stated aim of confronting China.

Furthermore, any discussion of Chinese surveillance of the United States must necessarily begin with our own surveillance of mainland China. In 2001, “[a] United States Navy spy plane on a routine surveillance mission near the Chinese coast collided with a Chinese fighter jet that was closely tailing it” causing the American plane to crash land in Chinese territory. These surveillance missions continue to this day, along with the at least monthly transit of American warships through the Taiwan Strait, a channel of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China by 110 miles at its widest point.

Meanwhile, the “Biden is weak” narrative enables the Biden administration’s ultra-hawkish policy by drawing attention away from it. While the nation’s imagination was captured by a white balloon, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a rare diplomatic visit to China. That the Pentagon knew the balloon’s trajectory as soon as it entered Alaskan airspace suggests it may have been used as a convenient excuse to cancel the talks. This is further evidenced by the fact that similar balloons have entered the United States without public knowledge.

Furthermore, the timing of the balloon’s transit suggests it wasn’t purposely dispatched by China, as its incentive is likely to preserve Blinken’s visit. The long-planned trip would have seen Blinken meet with his Chinese counterpart and possibly with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. From the PRC perspective, such a visit is an opportunity to negotiate with a country that is encircling it militarily. A high-level meeting might have soothed its offense at yet another diplomatic envoy to Taiwan by an American House Speaker.

Unfortunately, the prevailing narrative won the day—while Americans’ heads were in the clouds, imagining a biowarfare attack, or falsely reporting the balloon carried explosives, Sino-American relations deteriorated even further. Distressingly, the American public exhibited its eagerness to rush to just about any conclusion concerning China.

That rush to judgment—and violent action—should concern us more than the specter of a wayward white spy balloon.

Patrick MacFarlane is the Justin Raimondo Fellow at the Libertarian Institute where he advocates a noninterventionist foreign policy. He is a Wisconsin attorney in private practice. He is the host of the Vital Dissent at http://www.vitaldissent.com, where he seeks to oppose calamitous escalation in US foreign policy by exposing establishment narratives with well-researched documentary content and insightful guest interviews. His work has appeared on antiwar.com, GlobalResearch.ca, and Zerohedge. He may be reached at patrick@libertarianinstitute.org

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | | 1 Comment

Colin Powell’s anthrax vial taught the US a valuable lesson – that it can get away with any lie it wants

By Scott Ritter | RT | February 8, 2023

Twenty years ago, former Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered his now-infamous address before the United Nations Security Council, making the case for war against Iraq.

The presentation would later be revealed as lies. Sadly, it would also turn out that no one seemed to care.On February 5, 2003, I watched it all with a sense of boiling anger. The day before, I had made the following prediction to Japanese media:

“He’s [Powell] going to present circumstantial evidence that packaged together and presented will make a compelling case that [UN weapons] inspections don’t work, inspections can’t work, that Iraq is actively conspiring against inspections, thereby, denigrating the efficacy of inspections, while the world waits for inspectors to do their job. The purpose of Colin Powell’s presentation tomorrow is to destroy international trust and confidence in weapons inspections and that is a darn shame.”

I was 100% correct in my assessment.

I was in Japan at the invitation of Japanese activists to generate political opposition to America’s looming war on Iraq. I addressed the Japanese parliament and spoke with several major Japanese media outlets. Shortly after Powell finished speaking, I gave an interview with Kyodo News, where I dismissed Powell’s assertions that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction as “unsubstantiated.”

“There’s nothing here that’s conclusive proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,” I told Kyodo News. “Everything in here is circumstantial, everything in here mirrors the kind of allegations the US has made in the past in regard to Iraq’s weapons program,” I said. “He just hits you, hits you, hits you with circumstantial evidence, and he confuses people – and he lied, he lied to people, he misled people.”

Powell’s iconic moment was when he raised a vial of white powder – a proxy intended to simulate dry powder anthrax, a potent biological weapons agent, in an effort to link Iraq with the terrorist attacks in the US in October 2001 where dry powder anthrax was sent through the US postal system in envelopes. Ironically, the anthrax in question was actually produced by the US. Iraq is only known to have produced liquid bulk anthrax, which has a shelf life of only three years, and the last known batch of liquid bulk anthrax was produced in 1991 at a state-owned factory which was destroyed in 1996.

“Colin Powell holds up a vial of dry powder anthrax and he makes allusions to the attack in the United States through the letters. That was US government anthrax! It had nothing to do with Iraq,” I said. Powell, I explained, was engaging in “classic bait-and-switch” in his presentation. “Iraq, anthrax, vial, dry powder – what connection do they have? None!”

During my February 4 media event in Japan, I made the following prediction about the consequences of Powell’s UN presentation:

“The United States will seek to compel the Security Council into passing a new resolution, if the Security Council fails to do so the United States will go it alone with its narrow coalition and I see a massive aerial bombardment beginning by the end of February, I see ground troops in significant numbers crossing over into Iraq by early March, and I don’t see this war finishing anytime soon. While we may occupy Baghdad sometime in June, we’ll be occupying Iraq for months, if not years. It will be an occupation that will be carried out with the violent opposition of the Iraqi people, and I see an increase in the acts of anti-American terror abroad. I think an American invasion of Iraq is the best recruitment poster that Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda will ever have.”

I challenged Powell’s assertions until I was blue in the face, including at a public forum held at the University of Tokyo the day after Powell spoke, February 6.

It was to no avail.

“There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more,” Powell told the Security Council, “and he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction.”

All lies. But the US mainstream media repeated his words as gospel, and the American people ate it up as if it were Manna from heaven. My country went to war based upon a foundation of lies told by someone who, up until that moment, was seen as one of the most credible individuals in American public service ever.

The Powell presentation set a precedent of public lies which haunts the US and the world to this day. The United States, it seems, is incapable of telling the truth about anything, especially when it deals with national security and foreign policy.

The current manifestation of this precedent is playing out before the world when it comes to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As was the case with Iraq and Anthrax, the US leads a coalition of compliant partners in spreading similar lies about Russia, whether to ignore history when labeling the Russian decision to intervene an “unprovoked act of aggression”, backing the Ukrainian version of the Bucha massacre, or misleading the Ukrainians and the world about the ability of US-led injections of military equipment to change the tide of battle against Russia – it won’t.

It is virtually impossible for Russia to even begin to contemplate negotiations when the party sitting at the other side of the table, the United States, incorporates lies into every aspect of its argument. The Powell Precedent is pure poison, and the world, especially Russia, would be foolish to accept any drink from a chalice offered by the United States.

Colin Powell may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on in the bodyguard of lies he helped build around everything the US has said and done since that fateful day 20 years ago.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Absurd US propaganda claims China has more ICBMs than America

By Drago Bosnic | February 8, 2023

Mere days after the United States pompously announced that it has soundly defeated an adrift weather balloon, another absurdity has taken the headlines in the mainstream media. Apparently, China somehow managed to overtake America in the number of ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) launchers. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal on February 7, citing the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. According to WSJ, the commander of the US Strategic Command, which oversees America’s nuclear forces, notified the US Congress about the supposed Chinese advantage.

“The number of land-based fixed and mobile ICBM launchers in China exceeds the number of ICBM launchers in the United States,” the commander stated.

The author of the WSJ article himself admitted that the US is currently modernizing its entire nuclear triad (land, sea and air-launched nuclear weapons) and that “it has a much larger nuclear force than China”. The Strategic Command also notified US lawmakers that America still has more land-based ICBMs than China, as well as several times more thermonuclear warheads mounted on those missiles. Worse yet, the report doesn’t even include SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) and strategic bombers that make the US dominance even more pronounced.

But US officials and experts are claiming that “many of China’s land-based launchers still consist of empty silos”, meaning that Beijing “potentially has more launch options”. The lawmakers cited these launchers as “a portent of the scale of China’s longer-range ambitions and are urging the US to expand its own nuclear forces to counter the Russian and Chinese forces”. According to Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, “China is rapidly approaching parity with the United States”.

“We cannot allow that to happen. The time for us to adjust our force posture and increase capabilities to meet this threat is now,” Rogers stated.

He then criticized America’s compliance with the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), claiming this is “inhibiting the US from building up its arsenal to deter Russia and China”. And while China isn’t included in the treaty (set to expire in 2026), Russia is, meaning that Moscow is also “inhibited” by it, making the assertion all the more illogical. On the other hand, many US experts are now claiming that it’s in the US interest to preserve treaty limits with Russia and to also attempt to draw Beijing into it, while still continuing with constant modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal.

Rose Gottemoeller, a US arms control expert who took part in negotiating the New START, stated: “It’s in our national interest to keep the Russians under the New START limits. We need to complete our nuclear modernization according to plan, not pile on new requirements.”

The WSJ report posits that the US is now trying to deal with Russia and China by using a mix of arms control treaties and upgraded nuclear forces. The Pentagon’s 2022 Nuclear Posture Review identified both superpowers as strategic rivals, stating that “by the 2030s the United States will, for the first time in its history, face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries.”

However, while claiming that it wants to preserve the New START, the troubled Biden administration seems to be working towards eliminating it. Just last week, the US accused Russia of violating the treaty by refusing to allow on-site inspections, although the US itself is doing the same, meaning Moscow is simply responding in kind. Such actions indicate that Washington DC might be trying to sabotage the New START because it’s frustrated that China isn’t included in it.

The Pentagon claims that Beijing will increase its current arsenal of 400 warheads to 1,500 by 2035. At present, China’s nuclear arsenal includes an unspecified number of mobile ICBM launchers, while the US military claims that the Asian giant also operates approximately 20 liquid-fueled, silo-based ICBMs, but that it’s also building three ICBM silo fields intended to house approximately 300 modern solid-fueled missiles. For comparison, the US fields 5,428 warheads, with at least 400 land-based ICBMs. In other words, the current American nuclear arsenal is over 13 times larger than China’s, while its land-based ICBMs outnumber Beijing’s by more than 20 times.

US experts are often debating what China plans to do with the aforementioned silos it’s now allegedly building. Some claim that, while Beijing currently doesn’t have enough nuclear-tipped ICBMs to fill all silos, it might leave some empty or install conventionally armed missiles. Still, the sheer magnitude of the mental gymnastics used by the US political establishment to present itself as the “party in jeopardy” in this case is ludicrous for anyone familiar with the size of America’s nuclear arsenal. Even with the assertion that China will have 1,500 nuclear weapons in 2035, including 400 land-based ICBMs, the US would still have a 3:1 advantage, making the accusations against Beijing a moot point.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

GET READY FOR YOUR ANNUAL COVID SHOT

The Highwire with Del Bigtree | February 4, 2023

Updated boosters and annual Covid shots mirroring session flu shots are the orders coming out of the recent FDA VRBPAC meeting. What data is supporting these ideas? Was this the plan all along? The HighWire gives their analysis.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

West uses chemical weapons watchdog to justify its aggression – Moscow

RT | February 7, 2023

The latest report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which blames Damascus for carrying out a chemical attack in Douma in 2018, looks like a political hit piece meant to justify the West’s continued military aggression against the Syrian government, says Alexander Shulgin, Russia’s permanent representative to the organization.

Speaking to RT, Shulgin vehemently dismissed the report, which was released in late January by the so-called Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). Calling the IIT “completely illegitimate,” he claimed the group’s creation was pushed through by the US and its allies in order to undermine the core principles of the OPCW and international law and replace them with their own “made-up rules.”

The IIT’s report, according to Shulgin, is riddled with inconsistencies and factual gaps, and barely holds together. Furthermore, none of Russia’s or any other country’s “uncomfortable” questions regarding the details of the IIT’s findings were even remotely addressed during an OPCW briefing on the report, the ambassador claimed.

Shulgin also noted that the report highlighted the double standards currently present within the OPCW. When Russia presented evidence of a chemical attack in Aleppo back in 2016, every minute detail of Moscow’s findings was heavily scrutinized by the organization, he said. However, when it comes to the attack in Douma, OPCW officials seem to turn a blind eye to basic questions such as how and when the evidence was gathered and presented during the investigation.

“For instance, they referred to the fact that some new sample has appeared, provided by a third party. What is this third party? Nothing is said about it. They just say ‘trust us’,” said Shulgin, noting that the sample in question had never been reported on in previous investigations.

“So before, there was no sample, but now, suddenly, it has somehow appeared. Without any explanations,” the ambassador stressed, suggesting its sudden appearance can only be explained by the need for the US, France, and UK to escape international accountability for their aggression against Syria.

The three NATO states launched a series of airstrikes against civilian and military targets in Syria in April 2018 after the so-called ‘White Helmets’ – an NGO operating in rebel-controlled areas of Syria – published a series of videos supposedly showing the aftermath of a chlorine attack on the residents of Douma.

Syria has vehemently denied any responsibility for the incident, and both Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly pointed to evidence, including testimonies from alleged victims, that suggests the incident was staged in order to justify a Western attack.

February 8, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Canada passes online censorship bill

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | February 7, 2023

‘s Senate has passed Bill C-11 (Online Streaming Act), which critics refer to as “the internet censorship bill,” along with several amendments.

The bill passed in the third reading with 43 votes in favor and 15 against, which means it is now inching ever closer to becoming law since in the next step it goes back to the House of Commons, which will consider the amendments.

The government proposed the bill as a way to amend the Broadcasting Act by modifying Canada’s broadcasting policy, and giving the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) new powers as a regulator.

Opponents of the bill, including Conservative politicians and advocacy groups, however, see it as a way to increase the government’s ability to censor online speech it dislikes.

The effort to bring this legislation to life in Canada has quite a story behind it: initially, the Online Streaming Act, then known as Bill C-10, passed in the House of Commons in June 2021 but failed in the Senate.

It made a comeback as Bill C-11 in February 2022, got cleared by the House in June, and finally last week made it through the Senate.

Reacting to the latest vote on the bill, Conservative Senator Denis Batters took to  to slam both the legislative institution – calling it (Prime Minister) ‘s “fake ‘independent’ Senate,” while referring to the bill itself as “awful.”

Supporters believe that once it becomes law, the bill will be beneficial for legacy media competing with digital outlets, and improve the “discoverability of Canadian content” on major international platforms.

Opponents, however, think that the CRTC will gain broad new powers without proper oversight by either the government or parliament.

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms founder and president John Carpay says that the goal of the bill, on the face of it, is not the issue, since it is supposed to give the CRTC authority over companies like Netflix, Disney, and similar giants.

However, that authority will not end there, Carpay said, trotting out the same statement that has been made for months.

“Rather, the OSA (Online Streaming Act) will empower the CRTC to assume jurisdiction via regulation over any ‘program’ (audio or audiovisual online content) that is ‘monetizable’ because it ‘directly or indirectly’ generates revenues” Carpay added.

And that, according to him, includes private citizens.

“In the long run, the CRTC could end up regulating much of the content posted on major social media, even where the content is generated or uploaded by religious, political, and charitable nonprofits,” Carpay commented.

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine purges libraries of Russian-language books – official

RT | February 7, 2023

Ukraine has removed millions of copies of Russian-language books from its public libraries, Yevgeniya Kravchuk, a senior member of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, said on Monday.

She stated that the Culture Ministry had provided recommendations on what titles should be taken off the shelves.

This comes amid an initiative declared by the Ukrainian government to “overcome the consequences of Russification,” which in practice means purging schools of certain literature, renaming streets, and dismantling monuments to Russian historical figures.

According to Kravchuk, the deputy chair of the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, 19 million copies of books had been removed as of November, including 11 million in Russian.

“Some Ukrainian-language books from the Soviet times are being removed as well,” Kravchuk said. The MP noted that there was not enough literature available in the Ukrainian language.

“The ratio of books in the Russian and Ukrainian languages in our libraries is very disheartening. We are talking about the need to update the stocks more quickly and procure books in the Ukrainian language.”

Ukraine has a sizable Russian-speaking minority, and many Ukrainian speakers are fluent in Russian as well.

In June, the Ukrainian Education Ministry proposed removing more than 40 books by Russian and Soviet authors from the curriculum. The list included the works of such renowned classical writers as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Alexander Pushkin, as well as Boris Pasternak and Mikhail Sholokhov, both of whom won the Nobel Prize for literature. Ukrainian Culture Minister Aleksander Tkachenko urged the world in December to “boycott” Russian culture, arguing that Moscow has been using it for propaganda.

Since 2014, Kiev has adopted several laws aimed at restricting the use of the Russian language in the public sphere. Moscow, meanwhile, has described these moves as discriminatory. Last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned “Kiev’s policy of aggressive de-Russification and forced assimilation.”

Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine nearly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass, a predominately Russian-speaking region, and Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk 2014-2015 peace accords.

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Chronic illness, constant pain, 21 visits to A&E – and still they tell me to have a second jab

By Nicola Cooper | TCW Defending Freedom | January 31, 2023

One dose of Pfizer, just one! Within 30 minutes, while I was still driving home, I had a sudden feeling of the worst flu. My throat, eyes, lips and neck swelled to double their size and I couldn’t breathe. Within an hour welts appeared on my legs, arms, chest and even in my hair. I was taken by ambulance to A&E and given an epi-pen. Twenty-four months on and I have a formal diagnosis of chronic angioedema and urticaria. I’m no better, every day my lips and face swell. I have drooping eyelids, blurred vision, tremors, uninvestigated and untreated spikes in heart rate for no reason, and protruding veins all over my body. Then there is the horrendous tinnitus and 60 per cent loss in hearing. Sinus problems (lesions in the nasal cavity), pain at the back of the head, stomach pain and an intolerance to more than 200 foods. I can’t go out in sunshine because it literally burns the scalp and skin. This is now my life.

The doctors’ advice is to have the second jab! I don’t think so. It was 18 months and 21 visits to A&E before my GP surgery finally got to see me face to face, and then declared that I was too much of a specialist case for them to treat.

I am no anti-vaxxer. I had the jab in good faith thinking that it would mean life returning to normal, to see my children and grandchildren. The lack of medical care and investigation on any symptoms other than the urticaria and angioedema is both criminal and despicable along with their constant texts and letters telling me to get a second dose.

It’s an emotional journey and a very visual one. I have lost all confidence in socialising; the constant swelling has meant my skin has aged ten years in 24 months. I can no longer see well enough to drive, and that is a loss of independence.

The UK CV Family group https://www.ukcvfamily.org/ is a lifeline for me. I can’t thank the creators of the group enough for giving me the simple realisation I am not alone. Daily we see new members. I welcome them with the same message: welcome and so sorry you have to be here.

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Cochrane’s early and deliberate interference in the publication of efficacy of masking review results

Yet again, The Science follows politics.

There is zero evidence that this does anything
eugyppius: a plague chronicle | February 6, 2023

The Cochrane mask review I wrote about last week has hit Team Mask very hard, in fact much harder than I thought it would. They’ve been frantically coping for days now – combing through the fine print, seizing upon every moment of expressed uncertainty or caution in the paper to claim that population-wide masking might still be justified, somehow, because reasons.

The dim and eternally concerned Twitter epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo (who would be a disgrace to her field, if the field of public health weren’t already a disgrace) posted a hilarious nineteen-tweet thread that gathers all the typical excuses and cries to the heavens for more studies, because the “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Intriguingly, as others have noted, Nuzzo used to think totally differently about the utility of masking. In 2006, our epidemiological luminary co-authored a paper on Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza, which flatly admits that “the ordinary surgical mask does little to prevent inhalation of small droplets” and that no data support using N95 or FFP2 respirators outside of healthcare settings. Like all pandemic authorities, Nuzzo had sensible ideas right up until the moment her ideas became important.

Tom Jefferson, the lead author of the Cochrane review, has added to the pain and embarrassment of Team Mask by granting this interview to Maryanne Demasi, in which he reiterates bluntly that “there’s no evidence that masks are effective during a pandemic,” no evidence that respirators do anything even in healthcare settings, blames misguided mask mandates on bad governmental advisers, and criticises the masking “craziness” that took root in 2020, in which “strident campaigners” – “activists, not scientists” – like “academics and politicians started jumping up and down about masks.” He also makes an observation that is often aired at the plague chronicle, namely that the failure of masks to do very much indicates that virus transmission itself is poorly understood, and far more complicated than we tend to assume. You should read the whole thing for yourself.

Here, I want to highlight one crucial point. Jefferson explains that he and his co-authors were ready to publish a review on the evidence for masking and other physical interventions in April 2020, but that Cochrane held up its appearance by “inexplicably” demanding a further peer reviewer. This effectively delayed publication by months, in precisely the period that novel mask mandates were emerging all across the world. When the review was finally cleared for publication in November – long after its chance to influence mask policies had passed – the authors were directed to insert all manner of language softening their conclusions, and Cochrane included an accompanying editorial on why “Policy makers must act on incomplete evidence in responding to COVID-19.”

Plainly, the conviction that mask mandates were necessary came first; The Science followed. All the while, though, the evidence didn’t go away. It was just suspended slightly out of view, diluted with weak excuses and deprived of influence over policy, until the ideological fervour dissipated and the plain truth could be spoken again. The lesson is that regime authorities, particularly when they enjoy the collaboration of the press and academia, can tell almost any lie, but suppressing the truth requires active effort, and sooner or later their myths come crashing down. The mask mythology was among the first to take shape, and it has been the first to fall.

In the coming months other pandemic fantasies will also begin unravel.

UPDATE: See also this interview with Tom Jefferson published today in the Daily Sceptic

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Questions for a Congressional Inquiry

By Steve Templeton | Brownstone Institute | February 7, 2023

Other than a few dead-end doom addicts on social media, most people agree that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. SARS-CoV-2 has entered a stage of endemicity, similar to that of common cold coronaviruses, where there will be sporadic, seasonal outbreaks of cold and flu-like illness as immunity wanes in recovered and vaccinated individuals.

The pandemic was a worldwide disaster, claiming the lives of millions of people. It wasn’t a war against an enemy, as the virus didn’t surrender or sign any peace agreements. SARS-CoV-2 was contained by population immunity, just as similar pandemic viruses have been in the past.

The origin of the virus is still in dispute. Some virologists have tried to shut down any debate while pushing a zoonotic origin as the only possibility. However, a lab leak is no longer a wild theory, it’s a plausible explanation based on evidence from a variety of independent sources.

Yet there was another parallel disaster that was certainly man-made, and that was the US pandemic response. Panicked health officials and politicians failed to implement measures that would protect those most vulnerable to severe COVID-19, including elderly in assisted living facilities, which comprised one-third of all COVID deaths. Instead, leaders insisted on harmful and unfocused measures such as shutdowns, school closures, and universal masking, with little evidence of their benefit.

Attention to other medical issues, such as cancer screenings and diagnosis and treatment of other diseases, as well as childhood vaccinations, all disappeared in a wave of COVID monomania. The consequences of this ill-advised singular focus will be with us for many years. It is of paramount importance that the mistakes that led to this man-made disaster are not repeated.

The governments of European countries have begun to conduct public inquiries into their COVID responses, including NorwaySweden, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. It is past time for the United States to join this list, and critical given the worldwide influence of the CDC, FDA, and NIH/NIAID.

Members of the US Congress are conducting such an inquiry, and their efforts require the help of physicians, scientists and public health policy experts to identify key policy decisions and provide a rationale for investigating those policies and the officials and government agencies that devised and implemented them, with the ultimate goal of meaningful reform.

With help from Brownstone Institute, the Norfolk Group was organized in May, 2022, with the goal of providing a blueprint containing key questions for a congressional inquiry into the public health aspects of the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group consists of eight scientists, physicians and policy experts, and seven of us met in person in Norfolk, Connecticut over Memorial Day weekend. All eight members continued to meet virtually over the summer, fall, and winter as the document was written and continuously revised.

Because the group was comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds, without oversight from any public or private institutions (including Brownstone), we chose to name ourselves The Norfolk Group, and publish our document independently on the website www.NorfolkGroup.org.

The eight members of the Norfolk Group are:

Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD; epidemiologist, health economist, and professor at Stanford University School of Medicine; founding fellow of the Academy of Science and Freedom.

Leslie Bienen, MFA, DVM; veterinarian, zoonotic disease researcher, and faculty member at Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health (through December 31st 2022). She left in January 2023 to work in healthcare policy.

Ram Duriseti, MD, PhD; emergency room physician and computational engineer for medical decision making; associate professor at Stanford School of Medicine.

Tracy Beth Høeg, MD, PhD; physician and PhD epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California-San Francisco, clinical researcher in healthcare policy and practicing Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician.

Martin Kulldorff, PhD, FDhc; epidemiologist and biostatistician; professor of medicine at Harvard University (on leave); founding fellow of the Academy of Science and Freedom.

Marty Makary, MD, MPH; surgeon and healthcare policy scientist; professor at Johns Hopkins University. 

Margery Smelkinson, PhD; infectious disease scientist and microscopist whose research predominantly focuses on host/pathogen interactions.

Steven Templeton, PhD; immunologist; associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine.

The document provides questions and supporting information regarding ten areas of the US pandemic response, including:

  1. Protecting High Risk Americans
  2. Infection Acquired Immunity
  3. School Closures
  4. Collateral Lockdown Harms
  5. Public Health Data and Risk Communication
  6. Epidemiologic Modeling
  7. Therapeutics and Clinical Interventions
  8. Vaccines
  9. Testing and Contact Tracing
  10. Masks

In preparing this document, we did not conduct any interviews or unearth any previously unseen documents. All the information contained in the document was and is publicly available, and we have provided links to each source throughout.

We have detailed evidence that was available at each time point during the pandemic, and have documented instances where the US health agencies, officials, and politicians ignored or suppressed discussion of that evidence. We ask questions that attempt to discover why key individuals failed to consider all aspects of public health instead of engaging in a damaging singular focus on community-wide suppression of an age-stratified and comorbidity-amplified infectious disease. Why was the uncertainty of evidence supporting the effectiveness of mitigation measures not acknowledged? How was pressure from pharmaceutical companies, teachers’ unions, and other special interests related to the abandonment of evidence-based policies? These questions broadly apply to all of the ten areas covered in our document, and together with specific questions and supporting data, resulted in eighty pages. This was no small effort, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

Our document focuses solely on the public health-related aspects of the US pandemic response. Although the origin of SARS-CoV-2 may be in dispute, our document does not ask questions related to this active area of investigation. Separate committees have been and will be organized to address that issue. We have also avoided the topics of economic mismanagement and the role of media in creating or exacerbating pandemic response crises. A media-focused document was released in July, 2022, and an economics-related document was released in December.

Critics will no doubt reflexively label our document as a partisan effort funded with a secret pile of Koch money. Other than the initial efforts of Brownstone Institute to bring us together, there was no outside influence. Our website is self-funded. Understandably, many of our questions and supporting evidence could and likely will be used for partisan purposes, as one party will lead any COVID-19 response commission while the other may be reluctant to cooperate. It is our hope that despite this messy and partisan process, the truth will emerge, individuals will be held accountable, and an opportunity will emerge for serious reform of dysfunctional government agencies.

An inquiry into the US COVID-19 pandemic response cannot be avoided, and we are trailing other countries in efforts to identify mistakes, demand accountability, and propose solutions. It might be an ugly process, but it is a necessary one. We hope our document will move US leaders and policymakers toward the goal of ensuring that the mistakes of our pandemic response are never repeated.

Reposted from the author’s Substack

QUESTIONS-FOR-A-COVID-19-COMMISSION-by-the-Norfolk-Group Download

Steve Templeton is a Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine – Terre Haute. His research focuses on the immune response to the human opportunistic pathogens. He is currently writing a book on infectious diseases and pandemics.

February 7, 2023 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment