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Elon Musk suggests Ukraine peace plan

Samizdat | October 3, 2022

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proposed a plan to end the conflict in Ukraine. The billionaire suggested that new elections be held in the four regions that recently voted to join Russia, while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and relinquish its claim to Crimea.

Musk posted an outline of his plan on Twitter on Monday, suggesting that Russia “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” with Moscow withdrawing from these areas if voters choose.

Crimea would be declared “formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783,” until Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gifted the peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

Musk, whose text messages revealed him to be an occasional reader of RT, called Khrushchev’s decision a “mistake.”

The billionaire then suggested that Ukraine commit to neutrality – as Russia had requested long before it launched its military operation in February – and guarantee the supply of water to Crimea. Ukraine shut down the supply in 2014 after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin the Russian Federation. Shortly after the launch of Russia’s operation in Ukraine, the supply was restored.

“This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end,” Musk commented on his suggestion, adding that it is “just a question of how many people die before then.”

The plan is unlikely to find fans in Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed not to negotiate with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and to seize the entirety of the territory Kiev claims as its own – including the Donbass republics and Crimea – by force. Furthermore, Zelensky sent an application for membership to the NATO alliance last week.

Residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye would likely vote in overwhelming numbers to join Russia if the recent referendums in these territories were held again. All of these regions have a high percentage of Russian speakers and have historically voted for pro-Russian candidates while part of Ukraine.

However, Putin has already signed treaties to accede these territories into the Russian Federation, and has vowed to defend them with Russia’s full military capabilities.

At the time of writing, nearly 60% of respondents on Twitter backed Musk’s idea. That ratio is likely to change, however, as pro-Ukrainian Twitter users in the comments have called on ‘#NAFO’ trolls to swing the poll in their favor. In a follow-up post, Musk said that “the bot attack on this poll is strong!”

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Kiev’s counter attacks on Kherson have failed – top official

Samizdat | October 3, 2022

Attempts by Ukrainian forces to break through Russia’s defenses in Kherson Region have been thwarted, the deputy head of the local administration, Kirill Stremousov, has said.

In a Telegram post on Monday, Stremousov stated that “everything is under control in the Nikolayev direction,” despite Kiev’s efforts to retake the region. He noted that Ukraine’s forces had advanced southward along the Dnieper River to the village of Dudchany before “taking a beating” from Russian Aerospace Forces.

The official admitted that the Ukrainians were able to advance a little bit, but noted that the region’s defense systems were working and that “at the moment, the situation is completely under control.”

Stremousov concluded by urging people not to give in to panic because of what they hear and read on social media. “This is not Kharkov, this is not [Krasny] Liman, we are holding the fence,” he proclaimed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has also confirmed repelling the attack, stating that over 400 Ukrainian servicemen, 43 tanks and 89 units of special military equipment were eliminated in the Nikolayev-Krivoy Rog area.

The announcement comes as Kiev’s forces have mounted large-scale offensives along several points of engagement with Russia. On Saturday, Russian troops were forced to withdraw from their defensive positions in the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic after they were nearly encircled by Ukrainian forces, which had brought in reserves and reached a “considerable superiority in men and material.”

It has been noted, however, that the Ukrainian side has been suffering significant casualties in the offensive, having reportedly lost over 500 soldiers (200 dead, 320 injured), as well as ten tanks and 25 infantry fighting vehicles during the attack on Krasny Liman, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Kiev’s offensive comes after President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Russian-held regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, into the Russian Federation on Friday. The move came after the four territories overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining Russia in referendums held between September 23 and 27.

Ukraine and Western nations have refused to recognize the results of the referendums and have vowed to never acknowledge the regions as being part of Russia.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

US is recalibrating the power dynamic in East Mediterranean. Can South Asia be far behind?

File Photo
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | OCTOBER 2, 2022 

A mild flutter ensued after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent meeting with his Turkiye counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York on September 21 when it came to be known that Cyprus figured in their discussion. Jaishankar highlighted it in a tweet 

The Indian media instinctively related this to Turkish President Recep Erdogan making a one-line reference to the Kashmir issue earlier that day in his address to the UN GA. But Jaishankar being a scholar-diplomat, would know that Cyprus issue is in the news cycle and the new cold war conditions breathe fresh life into it, as tensions mount in the Turkish-Greek rivalry,  which often draws comparison with the India-Pakistan animosity, stemming from another historical “Partition” — under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) that ended the Ottoman Empire. 

The beauty about peace treaties is that they have no ‘expiration date’ but the Treaty of Lausanne was signed for a period of a hundred years between Turkiye on one side and Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and their allies on the other. The approaching date heightens the existential predicament at the heart of Turkiye’s foreign policy. 

The stunning reality is that by 24th July 2023, Turkey’s modern borders become “obsolete”. The secret articles of the 1923 Treaty, signed by Turkish and British diplomats, provide for a chain of strange happenings — British troops will reoccupy the forts overlooking the Bosphorus; the Greek Orthodox Patriarch will resurrect a Byzantine mini state within Istanbul’s city walls; and Turkey will finally be able to tap the forbidden vast energy resources of the East Mediterranean (and, perhaps, regain Western Thrace, a province of Greece.) 

Of course, none of that can happen and they remain conspiracy theories. Nonetheless, the “end-of-Lausanne” syndrome remains a foundational myth and weaves neatly into the historical revisionism that Ataturk should have got a much better deal from the Western powers. 

All this goes to underline the magnitude of the current massively underestimated drama, of which Cyprus is at the epicentre. Suffice to say, Turkey’s geometrically growing rift with Greece and Cyprus over the offshore hydrocarbon reserves and naval borders must be properly understood in terms of the big picture.

Turkiye’s ruling elite believe that Turkey was forced to sign the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and the “Treaty of Lausanne” in 1923 and thereby concede vast tracts of land under its domain. Erdogan rejects any understanding of history that takes 1919 as the start of the 1,000-year history of his great nation and civilisation. “Whoever leaves out our last 200 years, even 600 years together with its victories and defeats, and jumps directly from old Turkish history to the Republic, is an enemy of our nation and state,” he once stated. 

The international community has begun to pay attention as Turkiye celebrates its centenary next year, which also happens to be an election year for Erdogan. In a typical first shot, the US State Department announced on September 16 — just five days before Jaishankar met Cavusoglu — that Washington is lifting defence trade restrictions on the Greek Cypriot administration for the 2023 fiscal year. 

Spokesman Ned Price said, “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken determined and certified to Congress that the Republic of Cyprus has met the necessary conditions under relevant legislation to allow the approval of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defence articles.” 

The US move comes against the backdrop of a spate of recent arms deals by Cyprus and Greece, including a deal to purchase attack helicopters from France and efforts to procure missile and long-range radar systems. Turkiye called on the US “to reconsider this decision and to pursue a balanced policy towards the two sides on the Island.” It has since announced a beefing up of its military presence in Northern Cyprus.  

To be sure, the unilateral US move also means indirect support for the maritime claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, which Turkiye, with the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, rejects as excessive and violates its sovereign rights and that of Turkish Cypriots. 

Whether these developments figured in Jaishankar’s discussion with Cavusoglu is unclear, but curiously, India too is currently grappling with a similar US decision to offer a $450 million military package to Pakistan to upgrade its nuclear-capable F-16 aircraft. 

Indeed, the US-Turkey-Cyprus triangle has some striking similarities with the US-India-Pakistan triangle. In both cases, the Biden administration is dealing with friendly pro-US governments in Nicosia and Islamabad but is discernibly unhappy with the nationalist credo of the leaderships in Ankara and New Delhi. 

Washington is annoyed that the governments in Ankara and New Delhi preserve their strategic autonomy. Most important, the US’ attempt to isolate Russia weakening due to the refusal by Turkiye and India to impose sanctions against Moscow. 

The US is worried that India and Turkiye, two influential regional powers, pursue foreign policies promoting multipolarity in the international system, which undermines US’ global hegemony. Above all,  it is an eyesore for Washington that Erdogan and Prime Minister Modi enjoy warm trustful personal interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The photo beamed from Samarkand during the recent SCO summit showing Erdogan arm in arm with Putin must have infuriated President Biden. Modi too displayed a rare moment of surging emotions when he told Putin at Samarkand on September 16, 

“The relationship between India and Russia has deepened manifold. We also value this relationship because we have been such friends who have been with each other every moment for the last several decades and the whole world also knows how Russia’s relationship with India has been and how India’s relationship with Russia has been and therefore the world also knows that it is an unbreakable friendship. Personally speaking, in a way, the journey for both of us started at the same time. I first met you in 2001, when you were working as the head of the government and I had started working as head of the state government. Today, it has been 22 years, our friendship is constantly growing, we are constantly working together for the betterment of this region, for the well-being of the people. Today, at the SCO Summit, I am very grateful to you for all the feelings that you have expressed for India.” 

Amazingly, the western media censored this stirring passage in its reports on the Modi-Putin meeting! 

Notably, following the meeting between Modi and Erdogan in Samarkand on Sept. 16, a commentary by the state-owned TRT titled Turkiye-India ties have a bright future ahead signalled the Erdogan government’s interest to move forward in relations with India. 

India’s ties with Turkiye deserve to be prioritised, as that country is inching toward BRICS and the SCO and is destined to be a serious player in the emerging multipolar world order. Symptomatic of the shift in tectonic plates is the recent report that Russia might launch direct flights between Moscow and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a state supported and recognised only by Ankara. (Incidentally, one “pre-condition” set by the Biden administration to resume military aid to Cyprus was that Nicosia should roll back its relations with Moscow!)  

Without doubt, the US and the EU are recalibrating the power dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean by building up the Cyprus-Greece axis and sending a warning to Turkiye to know its place. In geopolitical terms, this is another way of welcoming Cyprus into NATO. Thus, it becomes part of the new cold war. 

Can South Asia’s future be any different? Turkiye has so many advantages over India, having been a longstanding cold-war era ally of the US. It hosts Incirlik Air Base, one of the US’ major strategically located military bases. Kurecik Radar Station partners with the US Air Force and Navy in a mission related to missile interception and defence. Turkey is a NATO power which is irreplaceable in the alliance’s southern tier. Turkey controls the Bosphorus Straits under the Montreux Convention (1936).

Yet, the US is unwilling to have a relationship of mutual interest and mutual respect with Turkiye. Pentagon is openly aligned with the Kurdish separatists. The Obama administration made a failed coup attempt to overthrow Erdogan. 

October 2, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nord Stream pipelines can be restored – Moscow

Samizdat | October 2, 2022

Russia may be able to fix the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which were damaged earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Sunday.

“There are technical possibilities to restore the infrastructure, it requires time and appropriate funds. I am sure that appropriate opportunities will be found,” Novak told Russia 1 TV.

According to the official, however, the first step should be to determine who is behind the incident.

“As of today, we proceed from the fact that it is necessary, first of all, to figure out who did it, and we are sure that certain countries, which had expressed their positions before, were interested in it. Both the US and Ukraine, as well as Poland at one time said that this infrastructure is not going to work, that they will do everything to make sure of it, so, of course, it is necessary to seriously look into it,” Novak stated.

Citing German security services, Der Tagesspiegel newspaper earlier reported that the damaged routes could be permanently out of use if they are not repaired quickly, as salt water could cause corrosion.

The Danish authorities reported leaks on both the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines on Monday after a local pipeline operator noted a loss of pressure following a series of undersea explosions in the area. The Danish Energy Agency reported earlier on Sunday that the pressure on the Nord Stream 1 is stable and the gas leakage is over, while on Saturday, it said the Nord Stream 2 also stopped leaking gas.

The incident is widely considered to be the result of sabotage. Russia has called it a terrorist attack. While those behind it have not yet been identified, Moscow has blamed the US.

October 2, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Nasrallah Charges US With ‘Satanic’ Meddling, Use of Troll Armies Against Iran Amid Protests

Samizdat – 01.10.2022

Iran has faced two weeks of civil unrest following the death of a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini in religious police custody under suspicious circumstances. Tehran released CCTV footage debunking protesters’ claims that the woman was beaten into a coma, and accused the US and others of trying to foment a color revolution.

Hezbollah secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has ripped Washington for engaging in a “satanic” campaign to try to bring down the Iranian government and divide the Islamic world.

“The constant incitement against Iran and the painting of its people as an ‘enemy’ is a satanic deed aimed at ripping the nation apart,” Nasrallah said in a televised address Saturday.

“The United States exploits any incident in Iran in order to provoke the nation against the Islamic establishment, the latest of which is the protests that have broken out following Ms. Amini’s tragic death,” Nasrallah said. “US-backed vandals took advantage of the unclear circumstances surrounding her death to challenge the Islamic Republic after America’s campaign of so-called ‘maximum pressure’ failed dismally,” he added.

Saying that the Islamic Republic was “stronger and braver” than ever, Nasrallah suggested that successive US administrations have recognized their inability to defeat Iran militarily, and have instead “bet on disputes at home” to try to divide and destabilize the country.

“Western and Persian Gulf media outlets are working to incite people against [the Iranian government]. US administrations have established troll armies across social media platforms to undermine Iran, but all to no avail,” he said.

Cities across Iran have been rocked by more than two weeks of protests following Amini’s death. The young woman died in a hospital in Tehran on September 16, three days after being detained by Iran’s Guidance Patrol, better known as the ‘morality police’, for breaking hijab rules. Demonstrations began a day after her death, with demonstrators and provocateurs on social media accusing police of causing her death by severely beating her.

Iranian authorities tried to defuse the situation by releasing security cam footage appearing to show that Amini was not subjected to any form of physical abuse while in Guidance Patrol custody. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ordered a special investigation into the case and expressed condolences to Amini’s family.

However, the violence has not subsided, and scores of people, both protesters and police, have been wounded or killed in violent street clashes in the past two weeks.

US media have made no secret of America’s role in fomenting the violence. Last week, Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad boasted in an interview with the New Yorker magazine that she was “leading this movement,” and expressed confidence that “the Iranian regime will be brought down by women.” Alinejad works for Voice of America Persia and Radio Farda, the US government-funded branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The journalist has spent years calling on Washington to slap more sanctions against her birth country, and pro-Iranian media have accused her of ties to the CIA.

The protests in Iran began just one day after Iran was formally admitted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a nine-member Eurasian economic and security bloc of nations which also includes China, Russia and India, among others.

Last week, the information portal of the BRICS group of nations charged the West with seeking to foment a color revolution in the Islamic Republic.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani accused Western powers and media of openly supporting the violent unrest.

“In the recent riots, political leaders of America and, sometimes, Europe, as well as their media and hostile Persian-language outlets backed by the West abused a sad event that is being investigated, and went the extra mile in support of rioters and disruptors of national security under the pretext of support for human rights,” Kanani wrote in an Instagram post.

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

Famous Pro-Vaccine Doctor Suspects Pfizer Booster Shot Sent His Cancer Into Overdrive

By Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender | September 28, 2022

Michel Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of immunology and pharmacotherapy at the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, suspects his third dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine may have sent his cancer into overdrive.

Goldman, 67, is one of Europe’s best-known champions of medical research and a lifelong promoter of vaccines.

But he told The Atlantic he wants discussion of the COVID-19 vaccine to be transparent — so he went public about his suspicion that the Pfizer booster shot he received on Sept. 22, 2021, may have induced rapid progression of his angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), a type of lymphoma he’d been diagnosed with before he got the booster shot.

After his diagnosis, Goldman said he rushed to get the booster shot, believing he would need it more than most people because once he started chemotherapy, his immune system would be compromised.

But after receiving the shot, Goldman’s follow-up CT scan showed something unexpected: Within only a few days, his cancer had grown so fast that cancerous points were lighting up all over his scan.

“It looked like someone had set off fireworks inside Michel’s body,” The Atlantic reported.

Goldman and his brother, Serge Goldman, a fellow scientist and head of nuclear medicine at the teaching hospital of the Université libre de Bruxelles, suspected Goldman’s COVID-19 booster shot may have triggered the rapid proliferation of cancerous growth in his body.

The initial CT scan had been “a bit disturbing,” Serge Goldman told The Atlantic, because it showed an asymmetrical cluster of cancerous nodes around Goldman’s left armpit, where Michel’s first two doses of vaccine had been delivered.

The CT scan done after Michel’s third dose showed the cancer’s asymmetry had flipped and was clustered by his right armpit, where he received the third shot.

The brothers knew it could be a mere coincidence, but they thought it was important to investigate the possibility that the vaccine might be behind the clustering — because it could mean other people with certain forms of cancer might be at risk of a COVID-19 vaccine causing their cancer to progress more rapidly.

So on Nov. 25, 2021, the brothers — who had written prior papers together — and other colleagues published a case report in which they described Michel Goldman’s experience and urged the scientific community to study the phenomenon to see if it occurred in patients diagnosed with AITL.

“Since nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccines strongly activate T follicular helper cells, it is important to explore the possible impact of approved SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines on neoplasms affecting this cell type,” the authors wrote.

The brothers said the case study “suggests that vaccination with the [Pfizer-BioNTech] BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine might induce rapid progression of AITL.”

They noted, however, that it would be “premature” to extrapolate the findings from Michel Goldman’s case to other patients with the same kind of cancer and that “dedicated studies are needed.”

Going public was ‘the right thing to do’

Michel Goldman’s case study added to the scientific literature that aims to understand the relationships between mRNA vaccines and the functioning of helper T-cells.

For instance, previous researchers have noted mRNA vaccines rev up helper T-cells, which may explain why Michel Goldman’s AILT went into overdrive following his third booster shot.

“Perhaps the shots gave such a jolt to his helper T cells that they went berserk,” The Atlantic reported. “If they were prone to forming tumors, or if they were already cancerous, then overstimulation could have made the problem even worse.”

Research involving body scans of some people who get mRNA vaccines — including cancer patients — shows heightened activity in the lymph nodes near the armpit on the side where the shot was received.

In February 2018, a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Institute for Cancer Genetics published a study using mice with a pair of gene mutations — the same two mutations found in Michel Goldman’s tumor — showing that the mutations predispose T-cells to go rogue.

The study also showed that when the mice were injected with red blood cells from sheep — as an experimental stand-in for invading microbes — the mice developed the same subtype of lymphoma Michel Goldman had.

Michel Goldman previously headed a $2 billion European endeavor to accelerate the research of new medicines and in December 2020, he publicly spoke out in support of the safety of mRNA vaccines — the technology used in both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

At that time, he said the highest risk — especially for vulnerable people — is not to be vaccinated and that his main concern about mRNA vaccination was that people might use the possible side effects as an argument against getting the vaccine.

He currently leads the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation in Healthcare, or I3h, a university hub aimed at assisting in drug-design projects.

Michel Goldman doesn’t regret going public with his case, even though it presented challenging evidence regarding the safety of mRNA vaccines for individuals such as himself.

“I’m still convinced it was the right thing to do,” he told The Atlantic.

He remains adamant that COVID-19 vaccines are useful for the vast majority of people, but he is unsure whether he himself will get another booster dose.

“I don’t know what I will do,” he said.


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.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | | 1 Comment

IS RUSSIA REALLY LOSING IN UKRAINE?

By Drago Bosnic | September 29, 2022

After Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO aggression, the state and corporate-run mainstream media of the political West started spreading multiple false narratives about it. One of the most common themes was that the Russian military supposedly “failed” because the Kiev regime didn’t collapse in a matter of days.

In the following months, especially after the Russian forces withdrew from northern areas of Ukraine, this was used to further reinforce the narrative that the Russian military was somehow “defeated”. However, the truth lies in the Russian military and geopolitical nomenclature regarding the events in Ukraine. While the political West is unanimous in calling it “an unprovoked, brutal invasion”, the Russian side calls it a special military operation.

Although the wording may seem irrelevant, it does have serious implications. The whole operation has been limited from the start. As Russian President Vladimir Putin himself stated, Moscow didn’t really show more than a fraction of its capabilities. And indeed, given the number of Russian troops initially engaged in the special military operation, which was approximately 100-150 thousand, versus more than 200,000 troops of the Kiev regime, it’s clear that Moscow never expected to take control of the entire territory of Ukraine. In addition, the Kiev regime forces exponentially grew in size after the forced mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men. And although Western media are trying to downplay it, multiple estimates put the number of conscripted personnel anywhere between several hundred thousand and nearly a million soldiers.

For its part, Russia decided not to increase the number of troops engaged in the special military operation. What’s more, with troop rotation, the true number of Russian soldiers actively engaged in combat operations was much lower, most likely standing between 50 and 100 thousand, stretching for well over a thousand kilometers from the northern areas of the Kharkov, through Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions all the way to the Black Sea coast. These forces have consistently been outnumbered by the Kiev regime troops for over 7 months now and have stood their ground.

And although this could be attributed to the Russian military’s vast technological and numerical superiority, especially in terms of artillery and air dominance, it can only be considered a remarkable achievement from a purely military standpoint. This also explains the Kiev regime’s reaction to Moscow’s recent low-level mobilization announcement, which will increase the number of Russian troops engaged in the special military operation by 300,000, pushing the total to well over 400,000 soldiers.

As per usual, the mainstream media in the United States and other countries of the political West have been trying to portray this as a sign of Russia’s supposed “weakness”. However, the Pentagon’s and NATO’s reaction speaks volumes of how the political West really feels about the mobilization. With Western Military Industrial Complexes already working at maximum capacity to supply the Kiev regime forces with additional weapons, having a twofold or threefold increase in the number of Russian troops is the last thing they needed (at least in the short term). If the Russian military was able to conduct successful offensive operations for months, while being outnumbered, what could one expect when Moscow decides to exponentially increase the size of its forces engaged in the special military operation?

In the meantime, the Western press and other media are constructing the narrative that millions of Russian men are supposedly trying to flee the country in order to avoid mobilization. Naturally, they are ignoring the fact that the Russian Ministry of Defense registered nearly 900,000 requests for joining the armed forces, with many regions and federal subjects in the country providing several times more troops than they’re required to. The most prominent example of this is Chechnya, which overshot its mobilization quota by over 250%. And yet, the Western media keep insisting that there’s supposed “widespread opposition to Putin’s war”. In reality, the fact that the Russian police arrested several hundred protesters in a country of approximately 150 million shows just how truly “widespread” the opposition to mobilization is.

Expectedly, the propaganda war isn’t only limited to the supposed “failures” of the Russian military, but also its leadership. Recent speculation that Vladimir Putin is ill, on the verge of death or losing power, while ignoring the rapidly deteriorating mental and physical health of Joe Biden serves as a testament to that. To make matters worse, the attempts by the so-called “fact-checkers” to whitewash Biden’s string of dementia-induced gaffes can only be described as comical. And while the political West’s propaganda machine works round the clock to create an alternate reality that doesn’t exist past a TV or smartphone screen, the economic and social unraveling resulting from the failed economic siege of Russia has been affecting hundreds of millions around the world and is only bound to get worse.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Kamala Harris’ visit to Tokyo aims to destroy Sino-Japanese relations

By Ahmed Adel | September 29, 2022

US Vice President Kamala Harris is on a trip to Japan and South Korea, her first visit to Japan and her second to Asia since taking office early last year. Ahead of the US midterm elections in November, Harris has increased her attacks on China, something she has not stopped doing since arriving in Japan on September 26 for the state funeral of assassinated former leader Shinzo Abe.

During a meeting in Tokyo on September 26, the American Vice President and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned China’s actions in the Taiwan Strait. A White House statement described Beijing’s actions in the Taiwan Strait as “aggressive and irresponsible provocations.” 

Meanwhile, a series of visits to Taiwan by senior US officials and the increased US supply of weapons to the island have heightened tension in the region. It is evident that China’s actions are only a response against US-instigated provocations.

With these statements, the US has increased propaganda and support for actions against China. There is growing Western desire to erode the “One China” principle and Japan is increasingly participating in these actions. For Beijing, it is not just a matter of military exercises, warships passing through the Taiwan Strait and arms shipments to Taiwan, but an intensification of Western propaganda to put psychological pressure on China and normalise the idea of an independent Taiwan. 

The gradual erosion of the “One China” principle is evident. Most of Asia is well aware of the American falsehoods, but this is influencing its partners in the West and Japan to the idea of an independent Taiwan. 

At the meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, Kamala Harris reaffirmed the US commitment to Japan’s security, but in return, Washington wants Tokyo to be more active in containing China. Washington’s main aim is to disrupt the process of improving Sino-Japanese relations. The US is counting on Japan’s help to incite tensions with China.

It is recalled that the provocative actions against China by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Taiwan for the second time this year on September 26, also failed to bring the desired results, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. On his first trip in early March, Pompeo was awarded Taiwan’s highest award for his contributions in promoting Taiwan-US relations. To express his “deep gratitude”, the American politician described Taiwan as a “great nation” with a developed democracy.

However, his second visit was even more provocative as he announced that Taiwan “doesn’t need to declare independence because it already is an independent country.” This statement prompted the Chinese Foreign Ministry to say in a statement that Pompeo’s calculations will not materialise, describing him as “a former politician of diminished credibility who staged these stunts for personal political gains.”

Adding to insult, Pompeo said in Taiwan: “China’s aggressive conduct, diplomatically, militarily, economically … have changed this region. And it brought those who prefer peace and commerce even more closely together. If we want a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century, the century which Xi Jinping dreams of, the old paradigm of blind engagement must end.”

It has not been unnoticed that the 50th anniversary of Sino-Japanese relations, marked on September 29, has been darkened due to differences over Taiwan. Beijing is becoming increasingly wary of Tokyo as it forges closer ties with Taiwan amid growing tensions, which Harris’ visit only provokes further.

According to Japan Times, an official from a Chinese group for bilateral friendship, who was also involved in commemorative events in 2012 for the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations, pointed to the absence of momentum in celebrating the 50th anniversary. The official said that Chinese people feel betrayed by Japan over Taiwan.

When Beijing and Tokyo normalised ties in 1972, Japan said that it understood and respected the notion that Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory. The Global Times, the English mouthpiece of the Chinese government, said this month that Japan “tends to turn its back” on the promise it made 50 years ago.

Japan will be “able to create favourable conditions for the bilateral relations” only by keeping its promise, the Global Times also said.

However, there is little indication that Tokyo wants to deescalate tense relations with Beijing, and rather, it is more likely that things will become worse before they become better, especially following Harris’ visit to Japan and Pompeo emboldening Taiwan towards independence rather than unification with mainland China.

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

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Russia Backs India’s Bid to Become Permanent Member of United Nations Security Council

Samizdat – 25.09.2022

Russia has come out in support of India’s bid to become one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – the all-powerful global body which is responsible for taking key decisions about maintaining peace and security in the world.

At present, it comprises the United States, France, Russia, China, and Great Britain.

During his speech at the UNGA, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov called for wider representation of Asian, African, and Latin American countries in the Security Council, making particular mention of New Delhi and Brazil.

“We see an opportunity to make the Security Council more democratic by having representation from African, Asian and Latin American countries. India and Brazil, in particular, are major international players and should be included as permanent members of the council,” Lavrov said in his address to the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

Earlier, in a joint statement, India and 31 other nations urged the UN to expand both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the UNSC.
Besides, New Delhi said that reforms in the UN were necessary to make it more effective and representative.

At another meeting in which foreign ministers from India, Japan, Germany, and Brazil took part, reforms of the Security Council were discussed at length.

The four nations together are known as the G4 and after the meeting they released a joint statement, saying that “today’s conflicts around the globe and the interconnected global challenges have brought to the fore the urgency to carry out reforms in the Security Council as well as expand the membership of other decision-making groups so that they are more representative of the interests of the developing nations.”

At present, India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

New Delhi’s two-year term on the Council ends on 31 December this year.

September 25, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

Only 1.3% of Americans Got Bivalent Boosters

What a failure! Nobody wants the “8-mice boosters”

By Igor Chudov | September 23, 2022

An incredibly uplifting WSJ article. Apparently, the hyped bivalent boosters tested on 8 mice, are not finding as much reception as the vaccine promoters were hoping for. Out of 330,000,000 Americans, only 4.4 million people got the bivalent booster. This works out to be only 1.3% of the US population.

The Journal gives a bunch of reasons why nobody is taking the boosters. Such as “people are tired of them”, “most had Covid despite boosters” etc.

The article does not mention “8 mice” on which the boosters were tested.

Health authorities are trying to “get more information out”, but it is not working well. They paid for 171 million doses, but only 4.4 million took the shots!

Health authorities had looked to the new round of doses as an opportunity to improve boosting rates, saying people who were open to vaccinations but hadn’t gotten a booster may want a retooled shot.

“If we do a good job with getting information out, it might help people make a more realistic risk assessment,” said Jennifer Dillaha, the director of the Arkansas Department of Health.

Maybe call it Omicron Plus

Maybe Ms. Dillaha should instead admit that the vaccine is a scam and does not work.

September 23, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Iran: What is the Future of the Nuclear Deal?

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 22.09.2022 

While many around the world hoped for a positive reaction from the United States to Iran’s latest response, the European trio at the talks in Vienna (E3 – the UK, Germany, France) have separately issued a statement that could undo all the positive results of a year of painstaking negotiations. After Tehran responded to an American text submitted through the European Union’s coordinator for the Vienna talks, Josep Borrell, the latter passed it on to Washington. The Biden administration called the latest Iranian response “unconstructive” but refrained from responding formally, prompting speculation about the impact of the US midterm elections on negotiations in Vienna over the resumption of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Still, after days of guesswork and speculation, a response was given, but not from the American side, which had intended to do so. E3 released a joint statement that seems only to have delighted opponents of the JCPOA and caused bewilderment around the world. “As we move closer to an agreement, Iran has reopened separate issues, related to its legally binding international obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its safeguards agreement under the NPT concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This latest demand raises serious doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPOA. Iran’s position contradicts its legally binding obligations and jeopardizes prospects of restoring the JCPOA,” the E3 statement said demagogically and with no good reason.

This is despite the fact that Iran has long claimed that the IAEA has lost all credibility by making unfounded accusations that are politically motivated and emanate from the anti-JCPOA camp. In other words, and this fact has now become clear, the IAEA is simply a tool in the hands of the West, not an independent UN body. The E3 countries also seemed keen to make a poorly veiled threat against Iran, stating, “Given Iran’s failure to conclude the deal on the table, we will consult, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s continued nuclear escalation and lack of cooperation with the IAEA regarding its NPT (non-proliferation treaty) safeguards agreement.”

The E3 joint statement was seen by experts around the world as an irresponsible move and a servile, obsequious submission to its master, the US. Reading this statement, one gets the impression that it is the E3 that is the aggrieved party that has lost over 300 billion dollars and 1,000 lives in the last 3 years because Iran withdrew from the JCPOA. Apparently, Brussels wants everyone to believe that Iran, not the US, has blatantly violated and completely reneged on all its obligations, subsequently violating all 11 commitments it had made to rectify the situation. After all, it is both well known and not disputed by anyone in the world that it was the US that unreasonably withdrew from the JCPOA and imposed further brutal sanctions on Iran, causing the Iranian people to suffer.

In addition to the separatist actions disregarding the views of Russia and China and the utter irresponsibility, the statement also undermined the ongoing and subsequent negotiations, deepening the atmosphere of distrust. Moreover, and quite obviously, the E3 countries have only strengthened the position of the opponents of the JCPOA, which is apparently what they were aiming for. “It is regrettable that by [issuing] such an ill-considered statement, the three European countries have followed in the footsteps of the Zionist regime down a path that will lead to the failure of negotiations. It is obvious that if such an approach continues, the E3 should also accept responsibility for its consequences,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said bluntly.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, trying to justify his loyalist position to the US, demagogically signaled a lack of expectation on his part that an agreement with Iran would in the near future restore Tehran’s shattered nuclear deal with world powers. Then, realizing that the best defense is a good offense, he unceremoniously declared that Iran had no reason not to sign and that European countries would remain “patient.” And what else could the 9th Federal Chancellor say after meeting in Berlin with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who insisted that restoring the 2015 agreement would be a “critical mistake”? Incidentally, Germany still pays reparations to those Jews who were forced by Nazi Germany to leave as evacuees.

It appears that provocative pressure from Israel as well as other factors have managed to halt or delay Washington’s progress towards a return to a nuclear deal with Iran. This is clear from statements by senior Israeli officials, analysis by Israeli research centers and the media. There was a real celebration in Israel, as officials could not hide their joy at the E3 statement. “Following the Americans, yesterday the E3 countries announced that a nuclear agreement with Iran will not be signed in the near future, that the IAEA’s files opened on Iran will not be closed,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid cheerfully told a cabinet meeting. He thanked the leaders of France, Britain and Germany for their “strong position” on the issue. Then a wave of boasting and bravado swept over the Prime Minister and he took all credit for the collapse of the nuclear deal, saying, “In recent months, we held a discreet and intensive dialogue with them, and presented them with up-to-date intelligence information about Iranian activity at nuclear sites.”  And further: “Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic campaign to stop the nuclear agreement and prevent the lifting of sanctions on Iran.”

It may be recalled that as the negotiations approached a crucial milestone, Israel began to take active steps to counter this, including visits to Washington by Mossad director David Barney, Israeli National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz. Israel said the diplomatic onslaught was aimed at preventing the renewal of the nuclear agreement, which Tel Aviv sees as a threat to its security. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said he would visit the US this month to meet US President Joe Biden ahead of the UN General Assembly meetings to discuss the Iranian issue. “Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic campaign to stop the nuclear agreement and prevent the lifting of sanctions on Iran,” World Israel News stressed. Apparently, Israel and its leadership have decided that they are above the UN, and only they should solve the world’s problems and only in their own interests. That is why now more than ever, the challenge of transforming our world from a unipolar to a multipolar one, where all countries have equal rights and resolve issues in the common interest, is relevant.

Lapid, who visited Germany to discuss his country’s concerns about the agreement, said that “it is not over yet – there is still a long way to go, but there are encouraging signs.” He was referring to Israel’s success in dissuading the US administration from returning to the agreement. The Times of Israel quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying that during recent talks with Biden, the Israeli Prime Minister was told that the nuclear deal was not being discussed and would not be signed anytime soon. According to the website, Lapid has recently become increasingly convinced that Washington’s return to the nuclear deal is unlikely. Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers is “in the ER room” and unlikely to be extended any time soon, if at all, Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said after European leaders expressed doubts about Tehran’s willingness to revive the pact.

“We cannot predict when the deal will be signed by major world powers and Iran,” Aleef Sabbagh, a political analyst, told Al-Ahram Weekly. “Right now, it’s not even close.” He noted that pressure from Tel Aviv appears to have delayed the signing of the agreement, and Israel’s diplomatic war against the deal has so far achieved some of its goals.  However, several Israeli analysts point out that the delay in finalizing the agreement is linked to some of its details, in particular the IAEA’s investigation into traces of uranium at three sites that Tehran has not previously disclosed. Iran at the same time is demanding the cessation of this investigation as a precondition for a deal, and is apparently not about to back down. Israel, for its part, will continue to apply pressure until the last minute to prevent the signing of the agreement, focusing its attention on organizing a tough international stance in support of the IAEA investigations. This would require the establishment of a mechanism to control the funds Iran gains access to in order to ensure that they do not fall to Tehran’s allies in the region.

The Israeli opposition, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claims that the US administration has decided to return to the agreement, but insists on more favorable terms. He also accuses the incumbent Lapid government of failing to convince Washington of Tel Aviv’s security demands, which would be harmed by the agreement. However, the current Prime Minister argues that his cabinet is working quietly and diligently and has so far succeeded in blocking the agreement. Israel often repeats that it will not be bound by the agreement if it is signed, and reserves the right not to allow Iran to become a nuclear power. Tel Aviv has also frequently threatened to resort to the military option to achieve this goal if “Israel’s security needs” demand it, despite all the peace treaty efforts of many countries around the world.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Ukraine referendum is a big deal

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 

The referendum on September 23-27 in the Donbass and southern Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine on their accession to Russian Federation is, prima facie, an exercise of the right of self-determination by the native population who reject the western-backed regime change in Kiev in 2014 and the ascendancy of extreme nationalist forces with neo-Nazi leanings in the power structure. 

But it has other dimensions, too. In all probability, the referendum will overwhelmingly opt for accession to Russian Federation. In Donbass, it is a straightforward question: “Do you support the entry of the DPR into the Russian Federation as a subject of the Russian Federation?” For  Kherson and the Zaporozhye Cossacks, the referendum ascertains three sequential decisions: secession of these territories from Ukraine; formation of an independent state; and its entry into the Russian Federation as a subject. 

In 2014, all legal procedures for the admission of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation were completed in four days. An expeditious process can be expected this time around too. There is huge mass support within Russia for reunification with the ethnic Russian populations in the eastern and souther regions of Ukraine who suffered severe persecution during the past 8-year period, including brutal violence, at the hands of extremist Ukrainian nationalist elements in control of the state apparatus. This is a highly emotive issue. 

In the post-cold war era, the genie of self-determination was first let out of the bottle by the West during the dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia. Although the US midwifed the secession of Kosovo from Serbia as far back as in 2008, the entity is yet to be accorded recognition by the UN. Serbia rejects the secession despite sustained western pressure. 

That said, the Kosovo precedent will not stop the western powers from condemning the accession of regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

The big question today is about the Russian calculus. President Vladimir Putin has surely factored in that the accession of the “Russian regions” of eastern and southern Ukraine is an immensely popular decision in the domestic opinion. The most revealing comments on the topic have come from the former President Dmitry Medvedev.

Medvedev wrote in his Telegram channel: “Referendums in Donbass are of great importance not only for the systemic protection of the inhabitants of the LNR, DNR (Donbass) and other liberated territories, but also for the restoration of historical justice.”  

In Medvedev’s opinion, these plebiscites “completely change the vector of Russia’s development for decades.” He adds, “And not only our country. Because after they (referendums) are held and the new territories are accepted into Russia, the geopolitical transformation in the world will become irreversible.” 

Most important, Medvedev forewarns, “An encroachment on the territory of Russia is a crime, the commission of which allows you to use all the forces of self-defence.” 

 Furthermore, he says, once the process of annexation of the new territories is completed, “not a single future leader of Russia, not a single official will be able to reverse these decisions. That is why these referendums are so feared in Kiev and in the West. That is why they need to be carried out.” 

What emerges is that Russia has given up hopes of any negotiated settlement. Moscow was initially optimistic that Kiev would negotiate, but the bitter experience turned out to be that President Zelensky was not a free agent. It is the Biden Administration that holds the stop watch for the proxy war. And Washington’s timeline is linked to the weakening and destruction of the Russian state, which has been the ultimate US objective. Lest we forget, Joe Biden played a seminal role in installing the new regime in Kiev in 2014 and in moulding Ukraine as an anti-Russian  state.

Suffice to say, the referendum on Wednesday is Russia’s only available course of action under the circumstances, while Kiev maintains a maximalist position as advised by the US, UK and Poland. 

The accession of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye creates a new political reality and Russia’s partial mobilisation on a parallel track is intended to provide the military underpinning for it. The accession signifies a paradigm shift insofar as any further attacks on these regions that are part of Russia can be construed by Moscow as attacks on Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. 

Certainly, Kiev’s wanton attacks in future on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye will trigger Russian reaction. Any attack on them will be considered aggression and will give Moscow the right to respond “adequately.” The fact the Russian deployment in these territories will be significantly augmented and upgraded signals a willingness to use force. 

Meanwhile, Russia’s special military operations will also continue until its set objectives are met. Which means, even more territories may come under Russian control, creating ever newer facts on the ground. Kiev needs to factor all this carefully.

The Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder has reacted as follows: “No one will take such bogus referendums seriously, and the US will certainly not recognise their results. How will this affect our and international support for Ukraine? This will not affect in any way, we will continue to work with Ukraine and our international partners to provide them with the necessary assistance to protect their territory.” 

It is a sufficiently evasive statement.  Neither Pentagon nor the Russian military command will risk brinkmanship. The likelihood, therefore, is that the accession of the new territories to the Russian Federation may not be militarily challenged by the US or NATO. That said, Russia is already at war with the NATO, as Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said, albeit not in terms of weapons supplies, which “we find ways to counter,” but in the Western systems that exist — “communication systems, information processing systems, reconnaissance systems and satellite intelligence systems.”

The point is, the accession of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the Russian Federation will require the NATO and the US to reset the proxy-war algorithm. The CIA’s analogy of the Afghan jihad of the 1980s no longer holds good. Russia has avoided a quagmire in Ukraine and probably is turning  the table on the NATO. To make things doubly sure, Moscow lifted the veil today on its newest ICBM, Sarmat. 

In Putin’s national address on Wednesday, he had said: “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”

The results of the referendum must be determined not later than 5 days after the last voting day (Sept. 27), and the issue of accession to Russia is considered approved if more than 50% of the plebiscite participants vote for it. Significantly, the Russian State Duma is scheduled to hold plenary sessions in Moscow on September 27 and 28. 

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 5 Comments