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Virginia Goes Zionist

Jewish power manifest in the Old Dominion

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 31, 2020

Politicians, bureaucrats and media talking heads have long turned a blind eye to legislation and policies that benefit the state of Israel to the detriment of United States’ interests. The U.S. Treasury is plausibly describable as a gift that never stops giving to the people and governments of Jewish state. Since the foundation of Israel in 1948, the federal government in Washington has provided some $142.3 billion in direct aid of various kinds. Currently, Israel receives $3.8 billion per annum guaranteed for ten years, a sum that is supplemented by various giveaways, tax concessions and co-production arrangements from the government. Private “charitable” donations from individuals, businesses and foundations, some of which are fraudulent, considerably augment those numbers, making the total that Israel receives annually from the United States well in excess of $10 billion. A considerable proportion of that money is technically illegal, as it goes in support of the Israeli settlements on Arab land. No other country has received anything even approaching what Israel gets from the American taxpayer in one form or another and the one-way flow of money is also remarkable in that it has been guaranteed well into the future.

Other benefits obtained by Israel from the United States are less easy to quantify, to include the theft of U.S. military technology, which is then copied and sold by the Israeli arms industry, directly eliminating American jobs in one of the few manufacturing sectors that is relatively speaking thriving. There is also the observable transfer of high-tech jobs from the U.S. to Israel, engineered by Jewish billionaires like Paul Singer who are able to influence such decisions in the corporate world.

Israel also benefits enormously from the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement of 1985, which is, by design, intended to give the Jewish state free access to the huge U.S. market without any real reciprocity for U.S. companies to enter the tiny Israeli market. Israel also is able to bid on U.S. government contracts, including classified defense contracts, a practice that has led to several lawsuits when the Israeli company gets a contract by lowballing the bid but then fails to perform. In some cases, Israeli companies have submitted low bids to obtain contracts at state and federal levels even when they had no relevant experience and no facilities that can actually perform the work. They pocket the subsidies and advance payments they receive from local governments and states and then effectively disappear.

The desire of some American Jews who occupy powerful positions to aid Israel at the expense of the United States is despicable, sustained by the lie that Israel is an ally and that both countries ultimately benefit from the process. Israel’s ability to impose its own priorities at the levels of Congress and the White House has long been observed, but its political manipulation and ability to corrupt U.S. democracy of behalf of a foreign power have lately been extended to the state and local levels. This shift is due in part to the desire on the part of Israel’s promoters to shut down the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It has proven difficult to pass an unconstitutional national level ban on non-violent criticism of Israel going through Congress, so the Israel firsters have instead concentrated on the states. Twenty-eight states now have some form of legislation that denies state services or jobs to anyone who does not sign an agreement to not boycott Israel. A particularly draconian bill being considered in Florida equates any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, enabling any critic to be sued in courts for hate speech.

A particularly egregious and also unique example of a state’s economic policies being manipulated by a dedicated Israeli fifth column in government is the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. Grant Smith, long a critic of the VIAB, heads the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP). He has written a new book entitled The Israel Lobby Enters State Government: Rise of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, which documents in considerable detail how the conspiracy by powerful Jews in Virginia to benefit Israel has actually operated, much of it secretly through special arrangements and deals. He has also had a long interview with Scott Horton of Antiwar.com regarding the book which is well worth listening to.

The VIAB is unique because it is actually part of the Virginia state government. It is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and is able to access funds from other government agencies to support Israeli businesses. It is staffed by Israelis and American Jews drawn from what has been described as the “Israel advocacy ecosystem” and is self-administered, appointing its own members and officers. While there are many Israel business promotion entities active in the United States, only Virginia has such a group actually sitting within the government itself, ready to make secret preferential agreements, to arrange special concessions on taxes and to establish start-up subsidies for Israeli businesses. Israeli business projects have been, as a result, regularly funded using Virginia state resources with little accountability. Bear in mind that this agency exists not to promote Virginia businesses but rather to give an advantage to Israeli businesses, some of which might even be competing with existing Virginia companies and putting local people out of work.

Virginia already runs an estimated $500 million trade deficit with Israel due to the federal Free Trade Agreement and the promotion of Israeli businesses in the state, which repatriate their profits to Israel, adds considerably to that sum. Smith reports how VIAB is not just an economic mechanism. Its charter states that it was “created to foster closer economic integration between the United States and Israel while supporting the Israeli government’s policy agenda.” Smith also has observed that “VIAB is a pilot for how Israel can quietly obtain taxpayer funding and official status for networked entities that advance Israel from within key state governments.”

Jewish federations and groups active on behalf of Israel were present in Virginia before VIAB was founded in 1996. Its Godfather was Eric Cantor, a state legislator who later entered Congress as the only Jewish Republican, where he was a powerful advocate for Israel. The board grew significantly under governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration (2014-2018). McAuliffe, regarded by many as the Clintons’ “bag man,” received what were regarded as generous out-of-state campaign contributors from actively pro-Israeli billionaires Haim Saban and J.B. Pritzker, who were both affiliated with the Democratic Party. McAuliffe met regularly in off-the-record “no press allowed” sessions with Israel advocacy groups and spoke about “the Virginia Advisory Board and its successes.” That was, of course, a self-serving lie by one of the slimiest of the Clinton unindicted criminals.

And wherever Israel goes there is inevitably going to be the usual hanky-panky. Many of the Israeli companies chowing down on the Virginia feed bag are located on land stolen from Arabs on the West Bank. They are illegal under international law, even if President Donald Trump and company have declared otherwise. And then there are the conflicts of interest. VIAB board member Aviva Frye, whose family mostly resides in Israel and who worked to obtain the government approvals for an Israeli solar and wind energy company called Energix, located on the West Bank, was subsequently rewarded with a company directorship. And one hand inevitably washes the other. Board member Eileen Filler-Corn, a leading advocate for Israel, recently became the first woman to become speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. Grant Smith reports how she benefited greatly in her campaign by virtue of large donations from other board members as well as from Jewish groups and Israeli companies.

The VIAB is little more than a mechanism set up to carry out licensed robbery of Virginia state resources being run by a cabal of local American Jews and Israelis to benefit their co-religionists in Israel. Grant Smith observes how some pushback is finally in evidence, due to fraud in accounting procedures that have been exposed as well as environmental devastation for various projects that were never completed. Some human rights groups have also begun to challenge the illegality of the Israeli West Bank settlement-based companies involved. But it is not enough and it is probably too late as Israel is never held accountable for anything by the American Establishment. For my part, as a Virginia resident I have written and called the governor’s office and the offices of my state Senator and Delegate. No one has returned my calls or responded to my letters. Whose America is it? one might well ask.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

March 30, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 5 Comments

On COVID-19 and Curtis LeMay

By Robert S. Griffin • Unz Review • March 26, 2020

As I write this in late March of 2020, the world is under attack from a deadly strain of coronavirus called COVID-19. Thus far, there have been around 18,000 deaths world-wide, including 550 deaths in the United States where I live. My country has come to a halt: schools and businesses are shut down and people have been warned to stay in their houses or apartments hunkered down in the face of this menacing enemy. We’re in a war, that’s how it is being described in the media. The president has said he is like a war-time president.

Speaking of war, tonight, hunkered down as I usually am in this very late stage of life—I didn’t need to be directed to hide out on this leather couch I’m sitting on at the moment—I read a biography of an American World War II-era air force general by the name of Curtis LeMay (LeMay: The Life and Times of General Curtis LeMay by Warren Kozak, Regnery, 2009). As I was reading along, it hit me that COVID-19 has a long way to go before it’s in a league with General LeMay as a killing machine. Back in 1945, in less than three hours, LeMay got way, way more killing done than COVID-19 has been able to accomplish in three months.

And it’s more than just in the sheer number of deaths that LeMay comes out on top in the comparison.

COVID-19 has been bad at snuffing out the lives of children and people who aren’t already sick with something. With LeMay, young and old, sick and well, he put them all in their graves.

And LeMay wasn’t limited to primly killing people lying quietly in hospital beds with rubber tubes running into them as COVID-19 has been. He set them on fire, deprived them of air to breathe, and heated them up like pot roasts. Imagine that action!

More, COVID-19 seems only to be proficient at x-ing out human life in cold weather; no good in the summer. LeMay demonstrated in both Europe and Asia that he was a man for all seasons, as it were—he was as effective cancelling someone’s existence in July as January.

Plus, Curtis LeMay didn’t just kill people; he also totally leveled the areas they lived in. COVID-19 has accomplished nothing in this regard.

In addition, Curtis LeMay had style and pizzazz—he had a snappy uniform and chewed on a big cigar. COVID-19, tiny and round with little spikes, no snappy uniform, no big cigar, nothing, lacks presence entirely.

Even more, Curtis LeMay was miles ahead of COVID-19 in public relations. He did his killing and came off looking good and got fawned over and invited to dinner parties, while COVID-19 does its killing and comes off looking bad and is shunned and people are brewing up poison to slip into its margarita. No contest there either.

The one area where COVID-19 comes out ahead of LeMay is in the ability to make the stock market plunge. LeMay was lacking in that area, though in fairness to him, he wasn’t dedicated to getting that accomplished—total destruction and super high death counts were his only priorities.

Assuming you don’t know about him, General Curtis LeMay conceived and ordered an incendiary bombing raid—fire bombs, they set everything aflame—on the civilian population of Tokyo, Japan, March 9th, 1945. Here’s a description of how it went down drawn from the LeMay biography I just read:

Across Tokyo, residents looked up in amazement. They had never seen the “B-sans” [B29 bomber airplanes] so low, nor had they ever seen so many at once. German Catholic priest, Father Gustav Bitter, who was there, later wrote, “The fire falling from the sky reminded me of tinsel hung on a Christmas tree. The red and yellow flames reflected from below onto the silvery undersides of the planes in the upper darkness gave them the appearance of giant dragon flies with jeweled wings. I watched as if I were in a trance.”

With sudden fury, tranquility became horror as the incendiaries hit home. They created tornadoes of fire. They sucked away oxygen; people couldn’t breathe and suffocated. Masuko Harino, a factory worker, reported, “Intense heat came from the firestorm. My eyes seemed about to pop out. People’s clothes were on fire. They were writhing in torment.” A young woman described a school that had become a three-story oven: every human being inside it was cooked to death. Strewn everywhere, some in batches, the incinerated bodies were black; they looked like logs from a distance. There was a dreadful sameness about the dead, no telling men from women or adults from children. If they could walk, survivors wandered about like ghosts, silent. Those still alive were left to die in agony; there was no medicine, food, or drinking water for them.

The raid lasted two hours and forty minutes. Sixteen square miles of Tokyo, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, was transformed into a moonscape of twisted reddish-black iron, roasted sheet metal, and rubble. Not a single man-made structure still stood. An estimated 100,000 people died in Tokyo that night. More than a million were left homeless. The grisly retrieval of bodies took weeks. At least 70,000 people were buried in mass pits. A U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey concluded, “More persons lost their lives in Tokyo that night than in any equivalent period of time in the history of mankind.”

How did what Curtis LeMay pulled off that March night in 1945 go over? It went over really big. And LeMay himself went over really big. I read The New York Times every morning, and it’s been non-stop trashing COVID-19 for weeks, not one positive word, and there’s been all kinds of commiserating with the dead and dying. With LeMay, the Times jumped up and down like cheerleaders. Hurray for our hero! The paper pointed out that those people in Tokyo LeMay set on fire, asphyxiated, and baked had it coming—women, children, and infants, every last one of them–because “the people, factories, and small establishments all contributed to Japan’s war effort.” The Times celebrated LeMay’s admirable deed as the start of really good things: to wit, Japanese cities becoming “no more than holes in the ground.” Though the newspaper cautioned readers that the Japanese “have done their deadliest fighting from holes in the ground,” so we need to be diligent and thorough with the killing.

Following the bombing raid, New Yorker magazine had a glowing profile of LeMay. And he was on the cover of Time magazine and given an effusive write-up in its pages. Nothing like that for COVID-19. But then again, COVID-19 hasn’t done the bang-up job of extinguishing human life that LeMay did, and it’s not anihilating the people who most richly deserve to die like LeMay was so good at doing.

LeMay got a promotion to Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and in 1968, ran for vice-president on a third-party ticket, garnering a hefty 13% of the vote. COVID-19 couldn’t come by a janitor’s job or get on the ballot for dogcatcher.

LeMay got an elementary school named after him, and . . . oh, you get my point. LeMay had it all going, and my best guess is that no matter how good COVID-19 does in the future—including getting up to speed with killing little children—it’s never going to measure up to him.

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy – Book Review

House of Mirrors, by Yves Engler. (Photo: Book Cover)
By Jim Miles | Palestine Chronicle | March 23, 2020

(House of Mirrors – Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy. Yves Engler. RED Publishing, Saskatoon/Black Rose Books, Montreal. 2020)

Some book covers are better than others, and that of Yves Engler’s House of Mirrors is beautifully expressive of the contents of his latest work. It shows a very friendly face and happy smiling Justin Trudeau in an iconic pose that says it all: America first.

This is Engler’s eleventh book exposing the downside of Canadian politics. It covers two main themes, the obvious first one is that of Canada’s involvement in the U.S. imperial-hegemonic demands around the world.

The second, more domestic, is that the Liberal’s and Conservatives, Canada’s two main parties, are essentially the same thing when it comes to foreign policy. Whereas the Conservatives are much more aggressive with their terminology while the Trudeau Liberals couch their words in a fancier more humanistic sounding language, the end results are the same: following the U.S. corporate-industrial-military complex and in certain cases being ahead of that curve.

With that as its underlying theme, Engler covers many topics concerning the Trudeau Liberals. The first long section deals with “The Canadian Monroe Policy” discussing how Canada fits into U.S. initiatives throughout Latin America with the overthrow, attempted overthrows, and manipulations of various organizations (OAS) in order to control the western hemisphere.

While paralleling U.S. interests, in terms of Venezuela, Canada, under Chrystia Freeland’ tutelage, has taken a leading interest with its support of the Lima Group (all sycophantic governments to U.S. corporate interests) against Venezuela.

A long essay on the Middle East, “Loving Monarchies, Hating Palestinians” discusses how Canada relates to the Arab countries, Israel, and the Palestinians. An earlier chapter, “The Sun Never Sets on the Canadian Military”, ties in with this chapter in exploring the numerous military sales and security contacts with Middle Eastern countries.

Large orders of military materials are sent to the likes of Saudi Arabia in support of its war on Yemen. Much information and technological information for security is exchanged between Canada and Israel (fun fact: Canada developed apartheid long before South Africa and Israel). The official position for Palestine is the stillborn two-state peace process while the actual position is more one of asking why the Palestinians do not acquiesce to Israeli demands.

Many other important topics are presented: around the world from China and North Korea through to Freeland’s favorite bogeyman, Russia, and on into Africa (military and mining interests); around the world from its domestic carbon dioxide/environmental policies; another hit on Canada’s mining interests in particular with South America; and the language of “Judge What I Say, Not What I Do”.

It is interesting how often Chrystia Freeland’s name rises in connection with Trudeau’s foreign policy. She is foremost in using the platitude about “international order based on rules” and the “rule of laws”. Whatever the foreign policy, as Foreign Affairs Minister and now as Deputy Prime Minister (a conveniently invented position), she carries considerable sway concerning Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria and other global hotspots (coronavirus notwithstanding). She inverts the colonial role, making Canada a victim rather than a colonizer and exploiter, “Canada has never been an imperialist power…we’ve been the colony.”

In his conclusion, Engler reprises comments about Canadian banks, the mining industry, Russia, Israel, Iran, the military, and business in general. He summarizes, “corporate Canada is highly international” with “segments… tied to extreme capitalism.” Extreme capitalism being capitalism dominated by and supported by the military-industrial complex with assistance from the financial community and the mainstream media.

As with all of Yves Engler’s books, House of Mirrors is tightly written, with little philosophizing, allowing the information to speak for itself, information that is highly notated and well referenced. The smiling man on the cover, Justin Trudeau, is essentially another true believer in an oligarchic world order (along with Ms. Freeland) supported by an international array of corporate and military liaisons.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

March 23, 2020 Posted by | Book Review | , , , | Leave a comment

US must shut down its biowarfare labs to save the world from pandemics

By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | March 20, 2020

The coronavirus is spreading here in the United States in an alarming fashion and the government is now moving into crisis mode. Nearly 15,000 people have been tested positive as of today, Friday, and it’s increasing exponentially. So the question becomes what went wrong? The US had plenty of warning on this. The Chinese figured out it was a problem back in January. And at that point, measures could have been taken that would have kept the problem very, very small. And that didn’t happen.

I think we can look at this from a couple of different standpoints. The first, of course, is that the US leadership is completely incompetent and reckless. And from the incompetence standpoint, clearly, Trump has been completely at a loss trying to politicize this thing and blame China without taking the kinds of measures that would protect the American people.

The US healthcare system is a world class joke. We’re the only advanced industrial country that doesn’t have some form of universal health coverage. So nobody in the United States except for a handful of rich and very well insured people is in a position to easily go and get a coronavirus test. And there aren’t any test kits. For some reason, despite the problem being evident in January, no test kits were made for the United States. And so the United States is basically last in the world in responding to this.

So that’s one aspect of the problem. But the other aspect, which is completely blacked out and censored from the corporate-controlled mainstream media here in the West, is that this crisis is a lesson to the entire world that we need to address the problem of biological weapons. This may or may not be a deliberate biological weapon attack; it may or may not be an accidental release of a biological weapon. There are strong arguments for both possibilities. And I think the arguments for it being a deliberate release as an attack on China by the United States to try to use this hybrid fifth generation warfare and economic warfare to prevent China from overtaking the United States as the world’s leading power — previous similar attacks on China using SARS and bird flu and so on and so forth have been ongoing for years, and when SARS was used against China by the United States, it didn’t spread from China —  and it’s very likely that the same people who did that once again hit China with this COVID-19 virus, as part of Trump’s wrapped-up economic fifth generation hybrid war on China.

Likewise, the severity of the outbreak in Iran suggests that the Americans and/or their partners the Israelis, who often play a leading role in these kinds of extreme events, may very well have been in this and they may have deliberately attacked Iran.

Now it’s spreading worldwide, presumably because the people behind this simply were so reckless that they either didn’t take into consideration the likelihood of this kind of blowback, which is always there with any use of bio-weapons, or perhaps they figured they could use the worldwide economic crisis for their own ends. But this is of course still a high hypothesis and there’s lots of circumstantial evidence for this. I wrote a piece about this at Unz Review. But whether or not it’s the case, we know that one of the greatest threats to humanity is the ongoing development of biological weapons, especially ethnic-specific or the makers intend them to be ethnic-specific biological weapons, but then they can mutate and hit other ethnicities as well. There have been all sorts of research on this.

The United States has been using biological weapons regularly for the past 50 years. It dropped hundreds of thousands of germ bombs with cholera and plague on Pyongyang alone during the Korean War, and hundreds of thousands or even millions elsewhere all over China and Korea. And, this is explained in the book This Must Be the Place: How the U.S. Waged Germ Warfare in the Korean War and Denied It Ever Since by Dave Chaddock.

The US also attacked its own Congress in 2001. We now know that the anthrax attacks came from within the US biological weapons community, and it was presumably part of the September 11 anthrax false flag operation as Dr. Graham McQueen has explained in his book, the 2001 anthrax attacks.

So there is a wakeup call here. The US has biowarfare labs all over the world surrounding Russia in places like Georgia, Armenia and elsewhere, these labs need to be shut down. The world treaty banning biological weapons has a loophole. It says you can work on so-called defensive weapons but not offensive weapons. Well, there’s no difference. And then the black operators can use the so-called defensive weapons as offensive weapons, and they are. This needs to end.

So we need to put some teeth in that biological warfare treaty, get huge inspections, international control over this issue, shut down all bio-warfare research labs and everybody else remotely close to that field. That’s the only way we’re going to save the world from not only this pandemic, but vastly worse ones that are upcoming very soon in the future if we don’t act now.

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 3 Comments

Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher – Book Review

By Jim Miles | Palestine Chronicle | March 16, 2020

(Circle in the Darkness – Memoir of a World Watcher.  Diana Johnstone.  Clarity Press, Atlanta Georgia. 2020)

Diana Johnstone has done a masterful job of writing her autobiography, Circle in the Darkness, that provides many details of her life, her early influences, and the various stages of her career throughout the second half of the Twentieth Century and the first part of Twenty-first.

It is a wild ride through various aspects of society, concentrating on the historical events of her era.

Much of what she writes is not news to those who do follow alternative news sites, but what is added is a strong personal perspective based on – not surprisingly – facts and truth, both from her own experiences in regions of concern and a wide arrange of conversations with both people of significant influence and those with no influence but feeling the impact of developments in their country.

The details Johnstone adds are a strong and valuable retort to mainstream media disinformation that has “moved farther and farther away from informing the public and nearer and nearer to instructing them in what they should think.”

Themes

One of three themes that impressed me and are developed throughout the book, the media takes a large hit. While discussing NATO crimes of the Balkan, she writes, “The journalist was no longer asked to dig for new information and provide fresh analysis, but to contribute to the “common narrative”” as originated by NATO and the media.

When discussing mass media and the Military Industrial Complex she writes, “those private interests coincide quite closely with those of the U.S. government, since the same economic powers are behind both.”

Relying on “open sources and thoughtful analysis of known facts” rather than “spook revelations” her work is significantly more accurate than the mainstream.

NATO and European unity cover another large thematic area. She discusses how NATO and the European Union actively promote the neoliberal order as conditioned by the U.S. and other global hegemonic financial powers against the best interests of their own people and against the best interests of many sovereign states in the world.

When discussing the idea of Joint Criminal Enterprise as argued by the U.S. in relation to Serbia (essentially all Serbs are guilty of war crimes) she reverses the argument with clear examples, and summarizes, “U.S. strategy basically boils down to the implicit or explicit threat to wipe out the whole nation it is attacking…. This war is not the result of a clever plan by some ragtag Balkan clan leaders. This war was deliberately planned and carried out by the real Joint Criminal Enterprise: NATO.”

The third theme was her development of ideas concerning the development of the “left”.

It has changed from operating with the best interests of the people in mind – anti-war, support for workers and societal infrastructures – to becoming a supporter of war and more interested in the distractions of identity politics, “The Left has evolved from a program to an attitude.”

Certainly, there is merit in people’s identity but it comes at the cost of no longer working against class structures that keep workers down and keep the rich getting richer.

Johnstone follows the developments in France to its present-day neoliberal U.S. supporting government of Macron and follows the developments in Sweden as it turned away from the left of Olaf Palme towards a strong non-NATO supporter of all NATO adventures.

A Host of other Ideas

Many other ideas are presented in Circle in the Darkness.

Israel is discussed directly only briefly but Zionism’s influence is related throughout. While discussing false flags, the USS Liberty attack is mentioned threading into the theme of the media as ”the mainstream media have persisted in ignoring what happened, even as evidence mounted that General Moshe Dayan personally ordered the attack.”

The relationship between the dropping of the gold standard and the introduction of the petrodollar is touched upon, a topic that is rare if ever in mainstream journalism. Again just touching on it she discusses the “debt trap” on a personal level when two local Minnesota farmers commit suicide after being enticed to overextend themselves into debt.

In general, however, this is Diana Johnstones’ story of the many people she meets and interviews, or argues with, debates with, or simply discusses the many issues of her career spent mostly within European journalism. That overlapped with her employment by the German Green party and how she watched it change from an anti-war truly green party to a pro-war neoliberal supporter of capitalism.

She continues to write as an independent journalist today, with her work published globally in several alternate news sites. While I am familiar with the same history background as Ms. Johnstone, I do not have the expertise of overseas experience, the philosophical background, and the wide range of contacts she has had available throughout her career.

Circle in the Darkness covers an amazing and productive lifetime and provides valuable insights and factual details in support of her views and reporting.

It is entertaining – not in the distractive sense but for the quality of the writing and her combination of anecdotal stories combined with researched ideas.

Thus it is a very strong informative work on our modern history, an important read to more clearly understand the machinations of the modern political-military scene.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

March 16, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

The Long Roots of Our Russophobia

By Jeremy Kuzmarov | CounterPunch | March 6, 2020

For the last five years, the American media has been filled with scurrilous articles demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has been accused of every crime imaginable, from shooting down airplanes, to assassinating opponents, to invading neighboring countries, to stealing money to manipulating the U.S. president and helping to rig the 2016 election.

Few of the accusations directed against Putin have ever been substantiated and the quality of journalism has been at the level of “yellow journalism.”

In a desperate attempt to sustain their political careers, centrist Democrats like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton accused their adversaries of being Russian agents – again without proof.

And even the progressive hero Bernie Sanders – himself a victim of red-baiting – has engaged in Russia bashing and unsubstantiated accusations for which he offers no proof.

Guy Mettan’s book, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017) provides needed historical context for our current political moment, showing how anti-Russian hysteria has long proliferated as a means of justifying Western imperialism.

Mettan is a Swiss journalist and member of parliament who learned about the corruption of the media business when his reporting on the world anticommunist league rankled his newspapers’ shareholders, and when he realized that he was serving as a paid stenographer for the Bosnian Islamist leader Alija Izetbegovic in the early 1990s.

Mettan defines Russophobia as the promotion of negative stereotypes about Russia that associate the country with despotism, treachery, expansion, oppression and other negative character traits. In his view, it is “not linked to specific historical events” but “exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim’s alleged behavior or characteristics.”

Like anti-semitism, Mettan writes, “Russophobia is a way of turning specific pseudo-facts into essential one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism, and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism.”

The origins of Russophobic discourse date back to a schism in the Church during the Middle Ages when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Roman empire and modified the Christian liturgy to introduce reforms execrated by the Eastern Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine empire.

Mettan writes that “the Europe of Charlemagne and of the year 1000 was in need of a foil in the East to rebuild herself, just as the Europe of the 2000s needs Russia to consolidate her union.”

Before the schism, European rulers had no negative opinions of Russia. When Capetian King Henri I found himself a widower, he turned towards the prestigious Kiev kingdom two thousand miles away and married Vladimir’s granddaughter, Princess Ann.

A main goal of the new liturgy adopted by Charlemagne was to undermine any Byzantine influence in Italy and Western Europe.

Over the next century, the schism evolved from a religious into a political one.

The Pope and the top Roman administration made documents disappear and truncated others in order to blame the Easterners.

Byzantium and Russia were in turn rebuked for their “caesaropapism,” or “Oriental style despotism,” which could be contrasted which the supposedly enlightened, democratic governing system in the West.

Russia was particularly hated because it had defied efforts of Western European countries to submit to their authority and impose Catholicism.

In the 1760s, French diplomats working with a variety of Ukrainian, Hungarian and Polish political figures produced a forged testament of Peter 1 [“The Great”] purporting to reveal Russia’s ‘grand design’ to conquer most of Europe.

This document was still taken seriously by governments during the Napoleanic wars; and as late as the Cold War, President Harry Truman found it helpful in explaining Stalin.

In Britain, the Whigs, who represented the liberal bourgeois opposition to the Tory government and its program of free-trade imperialism, were the most virulent Russophobes, much like today’s Democrats in the United States.

The British media also enflamed public opinion by taking hysterical positions against Russia – often on the eve of major military expeditions.

The London Times during the 1820s Greek Independence war editorialized that no “sane person” could “look with satisfaction at the immense and rapid overgrowth of Russian power.” The same thing was being written in The New York Times in the 2010s.

A great example of the Orientalist stereotype was Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, whose main character was modeled after Russian ruler, Ivan the Terrible. As if no English ruler in history was cruel either.

The Nazis took Russo-phobic discourse to new heights during the 1930s and 1940s, combining it with a virulent anti-bolshevism and anti-semitism.

A survey of German high school texts in the 1960s found little change in the image of Russia. The Russians were still depicted as “primitive, simple, very violent, cruel, mean, inhuman, cupid and very stubborn.”

The same stereotypes were displayed in many Hollywood films during the Cold War, where KGB figures were particularly maligned.

No wonder that when a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, took power, people went insane.

Russophobia in the United States has been advanced most insidiously by the nation’s foreign policy elite who have envisioned themselves as grand chess-masters seeking to checkmate their Russian adversary in order to control the Eurasian heartland.

This view is little different than European colonial strategists who had learned of the importance of molding public opinion through disinformation campaigns that depicted the Russian bear as a menace to Western civilization.

Guy Mettan has written a thought-provoking book that provides badly needed historical context for the anti-Russian delirium gripping our society.

Breaking the taboo on Russophobia is of vital importance in laying the groundwork for a more peaceful world order and genuinely progressive movement in the United States. Unfortunately, recent developments don’t inspire much confidence that history will be transcended.

Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018) and Obama’s Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).<

March 8, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

The Brooklyn Yeshiva Anthem Protest: Why It’s Not Antisemitic

By Ira Glunts | CounterPunch | March 6, 2020

“An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike.”

Hajo Meyer, Jewish German-born Dutch physicist and Auschwitz survivor.

“Antisemitism is a trick we always use.”

Shulamit Aloni, Jewish Israeli, former Israeli Minister of Education, longtime member of the Israeli parliament.

On Sunday, February 23 before a match at Yeshiva University, two brave young Muslim Brooklyn College volleyball players “took a knee” during the playing of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. Omar Rezika (Soph.) and Hunnan Butt (Fr.) following the example of NFL football player, Colin Kaepernick, who protested the police brutality in the US African-American community, were protesting the brutality of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies toward its non-Jewish residents. The Nation sports journalist Dave Zirin wrote me that he learned this was the reason for the protest from sources close to the team.

The Jewish press, Jewish organizations and social media were quick to cry antisemitism. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, The Algemeiner, and StopAntiSemitism.org (has short video of the protest) were just a few who rallied their readers against the protesting students. The antisemitism charges were easily refuted by the fact that the protest was a legitimate political protest against Israel and had not been directed at Jews, as Jews, nor specifically at the members of the Yeshiva community because of their ethnicity or religion. Of course just about every Yeshiva student, faculty member and administrator is a supporter of Israel and is also an active apologist for Israeli transgressions.

The Yeshiva University President, Ari Berman, boasted of the wide (some would add “mindless”) support Zionism has in the United States, and called the actions of Rizika and Butt “unfortunate.” In saying this he ignored the acceptance free speech and peaceful protest have in American culture and especially in academia. The Yeshiva University newspaper, The Observer, quotes Berman as saying:

It is unfortunate that some members of the opposing team disrespected Israel’s national anthem. We are proud to be the only university who sings both the American and Israeli national anthems before every athletic competition and major event. Nothing makes me prouder to be an American than living in a country where our religious freedom, our Zionism and our commitment to our people will never be impeded and always be prized.

One salient element that differentiates this protest from Kaepernick’s NFL anthem protests, and indeed most protests, is that it can be credibly argued that it was Yeshiva University, not the protesters themselves, that initiated the confrontation. What university makes the visiting team stand for a foreign national anthem? And this is not just any foreign national anthem. It is a national anthem whose words specifically exclude more than 20% of Israeli citizens and more than 50% of persons subject to Israeli rule because they are not Jewish. The anthem also celebrates what most Muslims and many progressives, backed by international law, consider to be a brutal, illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Even the Zionist political lobby group, J Street, which supports a kinder, gentler and better-concealed Israeli occupation, featured an alternative, more democratic version of a possible Israeli anthem in the entertainment program of one of its recent conferences.

The American Jewish blogger, Richard Silverstein, who has tweeted about the anthem protest, sent me his reaction:

Unfortunately, the courageous act of dissent performed by these two young volleyball players has been transformed into a act of anti-Semitism, when it was nothing of the sort. They simply sought to engage in a cherished American tradition of free speech and standing up for the oppressed. No university that I know plays both the Star Spangled Banner and the national anthem of a foreign country before sporting events…except Yeshiva University.

A Brooklyn College spokesperson issued a brief statement which was quoted in the Yeshiva Observer that began by assuring those who took offense from the anthem protest that ““Brooklyn College strongly condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and hatred…. Their kneeling is protected by the First Amendment.” The spokesmen did not defend the students against the charges of antisemitism from the Jewish press, nor against the criticism of President Berman.

Interestingly, the Yeshiva University Observer did not bother to even mention the reason Rezika and Butt were protesting. However, its article copiously catalogs the consternation of the Yeshiva community at the temerity of two visiting students to disrespect the Israeli national anthem and the anguish that their kneeling caused in the Yeshiva community.

Conflating Judaism and Zionism is a staple in the bag of tricks of American Zionists. They claim that a vast majority of Jews are Zionists (something with which I concur and most pro-Palestinian activists strongly deny, especially Jewish pro-Palestinian activists). Thus they claim an attack against Zionism is an attack against the core beliefs of most Jews. It is hateful to them, and thus antisemitic. Yet the same people who justify their claim of antisemitism by the belief that most Jews are Zionists (in an almost religious sense) will also tell you, when it is in their interest to do so, that it is antisemitic to protest in front of a synagogue (or at a Jewish university) because Jews have very diverse opinions on Israel, and to generally assume the synagogue members support Israel is wrongly generalizing about Jews and is in itself antisemitic. This flawed but convenient logic makes any real criticism of Zionism equal to antisemitism.

In the United States there is a taboo in criticizing Israel in or around any place that is Jewish. Such protests get little or no mention even in the progressive press and on websites run by both activist Palestinians or Jews. What is surprising is that a number of sites and well-known activists did not run from this story. The story was carried by The Nation, Middle East Eye, and the PalestineChronicle. Yousef “Strange Parenthesis” Munayyer, the Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, gave a statement of support for the anthem protest to Middle East Eye. All of this is both unusual and encouraging. Many others, as expected, avoided the story despite the fact that flashy protests against Israel are the bread and butter of their outlets.

In Amy Kaplan’s brilliant analysis of the “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel she asks the following question:

How did Zionism, a European movement to establish a homeland for a particular ethno-religious group, come to resonate with citizens of a nation based on the foundation, or at least the aspiration, of civic equality and ethnic diversity?

She states that her book, Our American Israel: The Story of an Entangled Alliance, “aims to recover the strangeness [emphasis mine, IG] in an affinity that has come to be seen as self-evident. … How in other words, did so many come to feel that the bond between the United States and Israel was historically inevitable, morally right, and a matter of common sense?”

Four Questions That May Be Difficult To Easily Passover

How strange is the received wisdom about Israel? Here are four examples that come to mind.

1) Why is it unthinkable to protest in front of a synagogue even when that synagogue openly supports Israeli occupation and apartheid, when it is acceptable to protest in front of a church? There have been numerous protests at Catholic churches over charges of priests sexually abusing young church members. My friends Ed Kinane and Ann Tiffany were accused of antisemitism when they protest against the siege of Gaza in a Jewish neighborhood, partly because the protest is at a busy intersection near a synagogue. However, when they protested in front of a Catholic Church, demanding the new bishop be more sensitive than his predecessor to the problems of American capitalism and empire, nobody complained that it was inappropriate to protest in front of a church.

2) Why have so many states passed anti Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation, when that legislation clearly violates the right of free speech?

3) Why is talking about the use of money in order to influence the US Congress by Jews or Jewish groups verboten when it is generally accepted as a simpe statement of fact? Remember, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby?” from the twitter feed of Representative Ilhan Omar? That tweet has been deleted, by the way.

4) “To raise a memorial to a European genocide on the secular but sacred space of the National Mall required enormous cultural work – nothing less than the transformation of the Holocaust into an element of American heritage” (from Our American Israel). How was this accomplished, especially considering there is no museum or even a memorial dedicated to American slavery or the genocide of Native Americans on the National Mall?

The answers to these questions, as the Jewish-American rock idol Bob Dylan sang, “is blowing in the wind.” Ironically, after living briefly on a kibbutz in northern Israel, he also sang Neighborhood Bully, which is an apologia for Israeli war crimes.

Just asking these questions is enough to get you accused of being an antisemite, even if you are Jewish, like I am. So I am going to stop here. One good thing about being old, though, is that no one can call my employer to “expose” me as an antisemite.

One last thing, if you want some answers about all of this, I strongly recommend you read Amy Kaplan’s book. It is brilliant.

IRA GLUNTS first visited the Middle East in 1972, where he taught English and physical education in a small rural community in Israel. He was a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Forces in 1992. Mr. Glunts is a Jewish American who lives in Madison, New York. He owns and operates a used and rare book business and is a part-time reference librarian. Mr. Glunts can be reached at gluntsi[at]morrisville[dot]edu.

March 7, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Years Later: The Skripal Case Is Weirder Than Ever

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 6, 2020

While navigating through today’s propaganda-heavy world of misinformation, spin and outright creative writing which appears to have replaced conventional journalism, it is most important that two qualities are active in the mind of any truth-seeker. The first quality is the adherence to a strong top down perspective, both historic and global. This is vital in order to guide us as a sort of compass or North Star used by sailors navigating across the ocean. The second quality is a strong power of logic, memory and discernment of wheat vs. chaff to process the mountains of data that slaps us in the face from all directions like sand in a desert storm.

As the second anniversary of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal has arrived, it is a useful time to take these qualities and revisit this bizarre moment of modern history which took place on a park bench in Salisbury UK and which led to one of the greatest frauds of the modern era derailing all attempts to repair relations between Russia and the west.

To do this, I decided to plunge myself into a new book called Skripal in Prison written by Moscow-based journalist John Helmer and published in February 2020.

This incredible little book, which features 26 chapters written between March 2018 to February 2020 originally published on the author’s site Dances with Bears, unveils an arsenal of intellectual bullets which Helmer skillfully uses to shoot holes into every inconsistency, contradiction and outright lie holding up the structure of the narrative that “there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter”. This line was asserted without a shred of actual evidence by Theresa May in the House of Commons on March 16, 2018 and in the months that followed, western nations were pressured to expel Russian diplomats (23 in Britain, 60 in the US, 33 across the EU), close down consulates (one Russian consulate in San Francisco and one American consulate in St Petersburg) and impose waves of sanctions against Russia.

Four months after the Skripals (and one unfortunate detective named Sgt. Nick Bailey) were released from British hospital care, two more figures were stricken with Novichok poisoning and taken to hospital on June 30 with one of them (Dawn Sturgess) dying 9 days later. This too was blamed immediately on Russia.

Helmer’s research systematically annihilates the official narratives with the craftsmanship of a legal attorney, taking the reader through several vital questions which shape the book’s composition as a whole, and which I shall lay out for you here:

  1. Why have Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia fallen off the face of the Earth since their release from Salisbury hospital? It is known that one controlled video was recorded featuring Yulia speaking, and several short calls to family were made by Yulia and her father after their poisoning… but nothing more. Beyond the fact that it appears the Skripals were kept on an American military base in Gloucestershire for an indeterminate amount of time, Helmer points out “at the point in their recuperation when the two of them were beginning to be explicit in their public remarks about what had happened, their communications were cut off. Nothing more is known to this present day.”
  2. Despite the fact that the UK Prime Minister asserted that a European Arrest Warrant was issued for the two Russians that were alleged to have carried out Putin’s malevolent will onto the poor Skripals – why were no such warrants ever registered in Interpol? Is it because such warrants actually require evidence?
  3. Why did British Intelligence sanction the tearing down of big sections of Skripal’s home at 47 Christie Miller Road in Salisbury due to the apparent “dangers of deadly contaminants”, while only the door handle was tainted with Novichok? If the reasoning was due to health safety, then why were similar actions not taken to the Bourne Hill police station which Sgt. Bradley contaminated or the restaurant and pub which Sergei Skripal went to before his trip to the park … or the contaminated London hotel where the two Russian agents apparently stayed?
  4. Since Novichok is an extremely fast acting substance, generally attacking the nervous system in minutes, how is it possible that the time separating the Skripals’ moment of contamination to the moment of losing consciousness on a park bench was over three hours?! How is this possible? Similarly how was it possible that Sgt. Bailey’s point of contamination at Skripal’s home occurred a full 12 hours before he felt the need to go to the hospital?
  5. What the hell was up with the strange case of the two unfortunate victims of the July 2018 Novichok poisoning in Amesbury (9 miles from Salisbury)? Were Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley simply collateral damage in an MI6 effort to plug a missing hole in the narrative caused by a lack of any evidence of a device used to apply the nerve agent to the door handle in the first place? Why does Rowley (a known heroin addict) have no recollection where he found the perfume bottle filled with Novichok which he gifted to Sturgess on June 26? Why was the perfume bottle only found by authorities on Rowley’s kitchen counter two days after Sturgess died on July 9th even though a search for Novichok had been carried out at his apartment beginning with the couple’s admission into Salisbury hospital on June 30?
  6. What was the role of the Ministry of Defense’s Porton Down chemical laboratories in this bizarre story? The lab itself was located just a few miles from the crime scene, and the first responder on the scene was an off-duty Colonel named Alison McCourt who happened to be shopping nearby and rushed to the scene. Helmer describes how Col. McCourt is head of nursing for the British Army and Senior Health Advisor which connects her closely to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down which also happened to have held a major chemical warfare exercise named Toxic Dagger in the area just two weeks earlier. Are these things nothing but coincidences?
  7. Porton Down labs which tested the Skripal blood samples and Novichok at the Skripal residence is part of the Ministry of Defense and to this day, no public admission of those samples’ existence at the labs has occurred. Requests by Helmer and others to receive confirmation of from the labs according to Freedom of Information laws have been denied outright on the grounds of “the public interest”. Why? Could it be because blood tests were never actually carried out? Helmer’s book probes this question deeply and the lack of evidence will shock you.
  8. How about the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)? Since the OPCW ran parallel tests of the apparent blood samples of the Skripals as well as the later July victims Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley to get “matches” with the novichok traces in a perfume bottle and Skripal door handle, why has evidence of these samples not been made available? Also why was a British intelligence officer the only figure who oversaw the samples taken to the OPCW for verification? In fact, Helmer points out that the one Swiss contract laboratory (Spiez) associated with the OPCW has contradicted all British claims that any “match” exists between the Skripal samples and Novichok A-234 poisoning.
  9. Finally, Helmer asks: Why were all OPCW Executive Council votes in regards to matters surrounding the Skripal case, taken in secret, and thus in conflict with its own charter and why was Russia denied the right to share in the investigation of the Novichok attack as guaranteed in Articles XIII and IX of the OPCW Chemical Weapons convention? Could that have something to do with the role of former OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü, a Turkish NATO-phile, who Helmer notes “has also been a member of the NATO staff in charge of expanding NATO military operations to the Russian frontier, as well as NATO operations in Ukraine and Syria.” In 2019, Üzümcü was inducted into the Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the Empire.

Helmer goes on to make the point that the overarching dynamic shaping the events of the Skripal/Novichok affair are guided by the collapsing western empire which has been working tirelessly to surround Russia with a ballistic missile shield while sabotaging all efforts by genuine patriots in the west from establishing positive alliances with Russia.

Taking the opportunity of the second anniversary of the Skripal affair to read this book is not only a valuable exercise in logic but also key into the desperate and increasingly fear-driven mind of the London-centered deep state which is quickly losing its grip both on reality and the very influence it had spent generations putting in place.

March 6, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘World War III’: World War IV Has Already Begun

By A. B. Abrams | The Saker Blog | February 27, 2020

“A. B. Abrams is the author of the book ‘Power and Primacy: A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific.’ His second book covering the history of the United States’ conflict with North Korea is scheduled for publication in 2020.

He is proficient in Chinese, Korean and other East Asian languages, has published widely on defence and politics related subjects under various pseudonyms, and holds two related Masters degrees from the University of London.”


The world today finds itself in a period of renewed great power conflict, pitting the Western Bloc led by the United States against four ‘Great Power adversaries’ – as they are referred to by Western defence planners – namely China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This conflict has over the past 15 years escalated to encompass the military, economic and information spheres with global consequences – and appears to be coming to a head as signs of peaking tensions appear in multiple fields from military deployments and arms races to harsh economic wars and a harsher still information war.

While the term ‘World War III’ has been common since the 1940s, referring to the possibility of a global great power war on a greater scale than the first and second world wars, the Cold War between the Western and Soviet Blocs was at its height as total, as global and as heated as the prior conflicts. As weapons technology has evolved, the viability of a direct shooting war has diminished considerably – forcing major powers to seek alternative means to engineer their adversaries’ capitulation and assert their own dominance. This has been reflected in how the Cold War, and the current phase of global conflict some refer to as ‘Cold War 2’ have been distinct from the first two world wars despite the final objectives of the parties involved sharing many similarities. I would thus suggest redefining what a ‘world war’ is and acknowledging that this current phase of global conflict is every part as intense as the great power ‘hot wars’ waged in the first half of the 20th century.

Had the intercontinental range ballistic missile and the miniaturised nuclear warhead been invented twenty years earlier, the Allied Powers may have needed to rely more heavily on economic and information warfare to contain and eventually neutralise Nazi Germany. The Second World War would have been very different in nature to reflect the technologies of the time. When viewed from this paradigm, the Cold War can be seen as a ‘Third World War’ – a total conflict more vast, comprehensive and international than its predecessors stretched out over more than 40 years. The current conflict, or ‘World War IV,’ is ongoing. An assessment of prior ‘great power wars,’ and the unique nature of the current conflict, can provide some valuable insight into how warfare is evolving and the likely determinants of its victors.

As of 2020 it is clear that great power conflict has become almost as heated as it can short of an all-out hot war – with the Western Bloc applying maximum pressure on the information, military and economic fronts to undermine not only smaller adversaries such as Venezuela and Syria and medium sized ones such as North Korea and Iran, but also China and Russia. When exactly this phase of conflict began – sometime after the Cold War’s end – remains uncertain.

The interval between the third and fourth ‘world wars’ was considerably longer than that between the second and the third. This was due to a number of factors – primarily that there was no immediate and obvious adversary for the victorious Western Bloc to target once the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Post-Soviet Russia was a shade of a shadow of its former self. Under the administration of Boris Yeltsin the country’s economy contracted an astonishing 45% in just five years from 1992 (1) leading to millions of deaths and a plummet in living standards. Over 500,000 women and young girls of the former USSR were trafficked to the West and the Middle East – often as sex slaves (2), drug addiction increased by 900 percent, the suicide rate doubled, HIV became a nationwide epidemic (3) corruption was rampant, and the country’s defence sector saw its major weapons programs critical to maintaining parity with the West delayed or terminated due to deep budget cuts (4). The possibility of a further partition of the state, as attested to multiple times by high level officials, was very real along the lines of the Yugoslav model (5).

Beyond Russia, China’s Communist Party in the Cold War’s aftermath went to considerable lengths to avoid tensions with the Western world – including a very cautious exercise of their veto power at the United Nations which facilitated Western led military action against Iraq (6). The country was integrating itself into the Western centred global economy and continuing to emphasis the peaceful nature of its economic rise and understate its growing strength. Western scholarship at the time continued to report with near certainty that internal change, a shift towards a Western style political system and the collapse of party rule was inevitable. The subsequent infiltration and westernisation was expected to neuter China as a challenger to Western primacy – as it has other Western client states across the world. China’s ability to wage a conventional war against even Taiwan was in serious doubt at the time, and though its military made considerable strides with the support of a growing defence budget and massive transfers of Soviet technologies from cash strapped successor states, it was very far from a near peer power.

North Korea did come under considerable military pressure for failing to follow what was widely referred to as the ‘tide of history’ in the West at the time – collapse and westernisation of the former Communist world. Widely portrayed in the early 1990s as ‘another Iraq’ (7), Western media initially appeared to be going to considerable lengths to prepare the public for a military campaign to end the Korean War and impose a new government north of the 38th parallel (8). Significant military assets were shifted to Northeast Asia specifically to target the country during the 1990s, and the Bill Clinton administration came close to launching military action on multiple occasions – most notably in June 1994. Ultimately a combination of resolve, a formidable missile deterrent, a limited but ambiguous nuclear capability, and perhaps most importantly Western certainty that the state would inevitably collapse on its own under sustained economic and military pressure, deferred military options at least temporarily.

The fourth of the states that the United States today considers a ‘greater power adversary,’ Iran too was going to considerable lengths to avoid antagonism with the Western Bloc in the 1990s – and appeared more preoccupied with security threats on its northern border from Taliban controlled Afghanistan. With a fraction of the military power neighbouring Iraq had previously held, the presence of an ‘Iranian threat’ provided a key pretext for a Western military presence in the Persian Gulf after the Soviets, the United Arab Republic and now Iraq had all been quashed. With the new government in Russia put under pressure to terminate plans to transfer advanced armaments to Iran (9), the country’s airspace was until the mid 2000s frequently penetrated by American aircraft, often for hours at a time, likely without the knowledge of the Iranians themselves. This combined with a meagre economic outlook made Iran seem a negligible threat.

While the Cold War ended some time between 1985 and 1991 – bringing the ‘third world war’ to a close – the range of dates at which one could state that the ‘fourth world war’ began and the West again devoted itself to great power conflict is much wider. Some would put the date in the Summer of 2006 – when Israel suffered the first military defeat in its history at the hands of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Using North Korean tunnel and bunker networks, command structures, weapons and training (10), and bolstered by Iranian funding and equipment, the shock of the militia’s victory, though underplayed in Western media, reverberated among informed circles across the world.

Others would place the date two years later in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics, when Georgia with the full support of the West waged a brief war against Russia – and Moscow despite harsh warnings from Washington and European capitals refused to back down on its position. Post-Yeltsin Russia’s relations with the Western Bloc had appeared relatively friendly on the surface, with President George W. Bush observing in 2001 regarding President Vladimir Putin that he “was able to get a sense of his soul,” and predicting “the beginning of a very constructive relationship.” Nevertheless, signs of tension had begun to grow from Moscow’s opposition to the Iraq War at the UN Security Council to President Putin’s famous ‘Munich Speech’ in February 2007 – in which he sharply criticised American violations of international law and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.”

It could also be questioned whether, in light of what we know about Western support for separatist insurgents in Russia itself during the 1990s, the war against the country ever ended – or whether hostilities would only cease with a more total capitulation and partition and with the presence of Western soldiers on Russian soil as per the Yugoslav precedent. As President Putin stated in 2014 regarding continuing Western hostilities against Russia in the 1990s: “The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious. There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia” (11). Regarding Western efforts to destabilise Russia during the 1990s, CIA National Council on Intelligence Deputy Director Graham E. Fuller, a key architect in the creation of the Mujahedeen to fight Afghanistan and later the USSR, stated regarding the CIA’s strategy in the Caucasus in the immediate post-Cold War years: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power” (12). The U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare’s director, Yossef Bodansky, himself also detailed the extent of the CIA’s strategy to destabilize Central Asia by using “Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiralling violence and terrorism” – primarily by encouraging Western aligned Muslim states to continue to provide support for militant groups (13).

Much like the Cold War before it, and to a lesser extent the Second World War, great powers slid into a new phase of conflict rather that it being declared in a single spontaneous moment. Did the Cold War begin with the Berlin Blockade, the Western firebombing of Korea or when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – which accelerated the move into a nuclear arms race. Equally, multiple dates were given for the opening of the Second World War – the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war two years prior, the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbour and conquest of Southeast Asia which marked the first major expansion beyond Europe and North Africa in 1941, or some other date entirely. The slide into a new world war was if anything even slower than its predecessors.

The shift towards an increasingly intense great power conflict has been marked by a number of major incidents. In the European theatre one of the earliest was the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002 and subsequent deployment of missile defences and expansion of NATO’s military presence in the former Soviet sphere of influence, which was widely perceived in Russia as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrent and place the Western Bloc in a position to coerce Moscow militarily (14). This threatened to seriously upset the status quo of mutual vulnerability, and played a key role in sparking a major arms race under which Russia would develop multiple classes of hypersonic weapon. Their unveiling in 2018 would in turn lead the United States to prioritise funding to develop more capable interceptor missiles, a new generation of missile defences based on lasers, and hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles of its own (15).

Another leading catalyst of the move towards great power confrontation was the Barak Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative, under which the bulk of America’s military might and considerable assets from the rest of the Western world would be devoted to maintaining Western military primacy in the Western Pacific. This was paired with both economic and information warfare efforts, the latter which increasingly demonised China and North Korea across the region and beyond and actively sought to spread pro-Western and anti-government narratives among their populations through a wide range of sophisticated means (16). These programs were successors to those sponsored by Western intelligence agencies to ideologically disenchant the populations of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union with their own political systems and paint Western powers as benevolent and democratising saviours (17). Economic warfare also played a major role, with efforts centred around the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ trade deal – or ‘Economic NATO’ as several analysts referred to it – to isolate China from regional economies and ensure the region remained firmly in the Western sphere of influence (18). The military aspect of the Pivot to Asia would reawaken long dormant territorial disputes, and ultimately lead to high military tensions between the United States and China which in turn fuelled the beginning of an arms race. This arms race has more recently led to the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which paves the way for deployment of American long-range missiles across the Western Pacific – all with China and North Korea firmly in their crosshairs (19).

It is arguably in the Middle East, however, where the new phase of global conflict has seen its most direct clashes so far. The nine-year conflict in Syria, although far less destructive or brutal, provides ‘World War IV’ with something of an analogue to the Korean War in the Cold War. The conflict has united the Western Bloc and a wide range of allies, from Turkey and Israel to the Gulf States and even Japan (which funds the jihadist-linked White Helmets) (20), in an effort to overthrow an independent government with close and longstanding defence ties to Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. The conflict has seen North Korean, Russian, Hezbollah and Iranian special forces (21) among other assets deployed on the ground in support of Syrian counterinsurgency efforts, with all of these parties providing considerable material support (the Koreans have built and fully staffed at least three hospitals as part of large medical aid packages and continue to be a major supplier of arms and training) (22). China too, particularly concerned by the presence of jihadist militants of Chinese origin in Syria, has played some role in the conflict – the exact details of which remain uncertain with much reported but unconfirmed (23).

Syria’s insurgency involving a range of jihadist groups, at times united only by their intent to end the secular Syrian government, have received widespread support from the Western Bloc and their aforementioned allies. This has involved both material support, which according to State Secretary Hillary Clinton included turning a blind eye to Gulf countries’ considerable assistance to the Islamic State terror group (24), and active deployments of special forces from a wide range of countries, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Israel and the U.S. The U.S., European powers, Turkey and Israel have at times directly attacked Syrian units in the field – while Russian reports indicate that close Western coordination with jihadist groups has been used to facilitate a number of successful attacks on Russian positions (25). The conflict in Syria arguably represents a microcosm of the macrocosm which is a new world war – one which pits the Western Bloc and those which support the Western-led order, both directly and through local proxies, against three of its four ‘great power adversaries’ in the field.

‘World War IV’ is unlikely to come to an end for the foreseeable future, and its final outcome remains difficult to predict. Much like in the Cold War, the Western Bloc retains considerable advantages – today most notably in the field of information war which allows it to extensively shape perceptions of the vast majority of the world’s population. This has included the demonization of Western adversaries, the whitewashing of Western crimes both domestically and internationally, and portraying westernisation and increased Western influence as a solution to people’s frustrations from corruption to economic stagnation. This has been a key facilitator of the pro-Western protests engulfing states from Sudan and Algeria to Ukraine and Thailand. Economically too, only China among the Western Bloc’s major adversaries has posed a serious threat to Western primacy. Indeed, it remains highly questionable whether the other three could survive economically under Western pressure without Chinese trade and economic support.

Russia has made a considerable economic recovery since the 1990s, but remains a shadow of its former self in the Soviet era. The country’s leadership has succeeded in reforming the military, foreign ministry and intelligence services, but the economy, legal system and other parts of the state remain in serious need of improvement which, over 20 years after Yeltsin’s departure, cannot come soon enough. Even in the field of defence, the struggling economy has imposed serious limitations – and in fields such as aviation and armoured warfare the country is only beginning to slowly go beyond modernising Soviet era weapons designs and begin developing new 21st century systems (26). On the positive side, the country does remain a leader in many high end technologies mostly pertaining to the military and to space exploration, while Western economic sanctions have undermined the positions of Europhiles both among the elite and within the government and boosted many sectors of domestic production to substitute Western products (27).

In the majority of fields, the ‘Eastern Bloc’ have been pressed onto the defensive and forced to prevent losses rather than make actual gains. While preserving Venezuelan sovereignty, denying Crimea to NATO and preventing Syria’s fall have been major victories – they are successes in denying the West further expansion of its own sphere of influence rather than reversing prior Western gains or threatening key sources of Western power. Pursuing regime change in Venezuela and Ukraine and starting wars in the Donbasss and in Syria have cost the Western Bloc relatively little – the Ukrainians and client states in the Gulf and Turkey have paid the brunt of costs for the war efforts. Material equipment used by Western backed forces in both wars, ironically, has largely consisted of Warsaw Pact weaponry built to resist Western expansionism – which after the Cold War fell into NATO hands and is now being channelled to Western proxies. Libyan weaponry, too, was transferred to Western backed militants in Syria in considerable quantities after the country’s fall in 2011 – again minimising the costs to the Western Bloc of sponsoring the jihadist insurgency (28). The damage done and costs incurred by the Syrians, Hezbollah, Russia and others are thus far greater than those incurred by the Western powers to cause destruction and begin conflicts.

Syria has been devastated, suffering from issues from a return of polio to depleted uranium contamination from Western airstrikes and a new generation who have grown up in territories under jihadist control with little formal education. The war is a victory only in that the West failed to remove the government in Damascus from power – but Western gains from starting and fuelling the conflict have still far outweighed their losses. In the meantime, through a successful campaign centred around information warfare, the Western sphere of influence has only grown – with further expansion of NATO and the overthrow of governments in resource rich states friendly to Russia and China such as Libya, Sudan and Bolivia. Commandeering the government of poor but strategically located Ukraine was also a major gain, with states such as Algeria and Kazakhstan looking to be next in the Western Bloc’s crosshairs. Thus while Syria was saved, though only in part, much more was simultaneously lost. The damage done to Hong Kong by pro-Western militants, ‘thugs for democracy’ as the locals have taken to calling them, who have recently turned to bombing hospitals and burning down medical facilities (29), is similarly far greater than the costs to the Western powers of nurturing such an insurgency. Similar offensives to topple those which remain outside the Western sphere of influence from within continue to place pressure on Russian and Chinese aligned governments and on neutral states seen not to be sufficiently pro-Western.

While the Western Bloc appears to be in a position of considerable strength, largely by virtue of its dominance of information space, which has allowed it to remain on the offensive, a sudden turning point in which its power suddenly diminishes could be in sight. From teen drug abuse (30) to staggering debt levels (31) and the deterioration of party politics and popular media, to name but a few of many examples, the West appears at far greater risk today of collapse from within than it did during the Cold War. A notable sign of this is the resurgence of both far right and far left anti-establishment movements across much of the Western world. Despite massive benefits from privileged access to third world resource bases, from France’s extractions from Francophone West Africa (32) to the petrodollar system propping up American currency (33), Western economies with few exceptions are very far from healthy. A glimpse of this was given in 2007-2008, and little has been done to amend the key economic issues which facilitated the previous crisis in the twelve years since (34). The West’s ability to compete in the field of high end consumer technologies, particularly with rising and more efficient East Asian economies, increasingly appears limited. From semiconductors to electric cars to smartphones to 5G, the leaders are almost all East Asian economies which have continued to undermine Western economic primacy and expose the gross inefficiencies of Western economies. The result has been less favourable balances of payments in the Western world, a growing reliance on political clout to facilitate exports (35), and increasing political unrest as living standards are placed under growing pressure. The Yellow Vests and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all symptoms of this. With very real prospects of another economic crash in the coming decade, in the style of 2008 but likely much worse, Western economies are expected to bear the brunt of the damage. Their ability to survive remains in serious question. Effects of a crash on North Korea, Iran, Russia and even China will be far less severe. While the previous crash hit Russia particularly hard (36), an economic turnaround from 2014 and the insulation provided by Western sanctions leave it far less vulnerable to the fallout from a Western economic crisis.

Ultimately China appears to be setting itself up for an ‘Eastern Bloc’ victory – a coup de grace which could see Western gains over the past several decades reversed and the power of the West itself diminished to an extent unprecedented in centuries. While the United States reluctantly outsourced much of its high end consumer technologies to East Asian allies during the Cold War – namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – China is going for the jugular of the Western world’s economy with its ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, which will see some critical remaining fields of Western technological primacy shift to East Asian hands. The Coronavirus, bombings in Hong Kong, the trade war, and the wide range of tools in the Western arsenal for destabilisation can at best slightly delay this – but cannot prevent it. In a globalised capitalist economy the most efficient producers win – and East Asia and China in particular, with its Confucian values, stable and efficient political systems and world leading education (37), are thus almost certain to take over the high end of the world economy.

Much as the key to Western victory in the Cold War was successful information warfare efforts and isolation of the Soviet economy from the majority of the world economy, the key to determining the victor of ‘World War IV’ is likely lie in whether or not Beijing succeeds in its attempt to gain dominance of high end technologies critical to sustaining Western economies today. This is far from the only determinant of victory. Efforts to undermine the effective subsidies to Western economies from Central and West Africa, the Arab Gulf states and elsewhere in the third world, and to ensure continued military parity – to deter NATO from knocking over the table if they lose the game of economic warfare – are among the other fields of critical importance. Based on China’s prior successes, and those of other East Asian economies, the likelihood that it will meet its development goals is high – to the detriment of Western interests. The result will be an end to world order centred on Western might – the status quo for the past several hundred years – and emergence in its place of a multipolar order under which Russia, Asia (Central, East, South and Southeast) and Africa will see far greater prominence and prosperity.

  1. Menshikov, S., ‘Russian Capitalism Today,’ Monthly Review, vol. 51, no. 3, 1999 (pp. 82–86).
  2. Yulia V. Tverdova, ‘Human Trafficking in Russia and Other Post-Soviet States,’

Human Rights Review, December 11, 2016.

  1. Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, London,

Penguin, 2008 (Chapter 11: ‘Russia Choses the Pinochet Option: Bonfire of a Young Democracy’).

  1. ‘The Death of the MiG 1.44 Program; How the Collapse of the Soviet Union Derailed Moscow’s Fifth Generation Fighter Development,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 16, 2018.

‘Russia’s Sukhoi Unveils Images from Cancelled Next Generation Fighter Program,’ Military Watch Magazine, December 17, 2019.

  1. Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, President of Russia, Kremlin, December 4, 2014.

Bechev, Dimitar, Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2017 (Chapter 1).

  1. Kristof, Nicholas D., ‘WAR IN THE GULF: China; Beijing Backs Away From Full Support of the War,’ New York Times, February 1, 1991.
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“North Koreans Assisted Hezbollah with Tunnel Construction,” Terrorism Focus, The Jamestown Foundation, vol. III, issue 30, August 1, 2006.

Dilegge, Dave and Bunker, Robert J., and Keshavarz, Alma, Iranian and Hezbollah Hybrid Warfare Activities: A Small Wars Journal Anthology, Amazon Media, 2016 (p. 261).

‘Bulsae-3 in South Lebanon: How Hezbollah Upgraded its Anti-Armour Capabilities with North Korean Assistance,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 3, 2019.

  1. Kremlin, President of Russia, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, December 4, 2014.
  2. Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, U.S. Congress, October 7 to 26, 2005.
  3. ‘American political scientist: Western Intelligence used Azerbaijan to export terrorism into Russia,’ Panorama, May 30, 2015.
  1. Kremlin, President of Russia, Plenary session of St Petersburg International

Economic Forum, June 17, 2016.

  1. Gregg, Aaron, ‘Military Industrial Complex Finds a Growth Market in Hypersonic Weapons,’ Washington Post, December 21, 2018.
  2. Mullen, Mike and Nunn, Sam and Mount, Adam, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, Independent Task Force Report No. 74, September 2016.

Cartalucci, Tony, ‘Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation,’ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, October 15, 2019.

Park, Kyung-Ae, ‘Regime Change in North Korea?: Economic Reform and Political Opportunity Structures,’ North Korean Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Spring 2009 (p. 23-45).

  1. ‘Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A.,’ New York Times, December 26, 1977.
  2. Wu, S., ‘Why the TPP is an “economic NATO,”’ Huffington Post, October 19,

2015.

  1. Ait, Abraham, ‘US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia,’ The Diplomat, October 25, 2018.
  2. al-Jablawi, Hosam, ‘The White Helmets Struggle Without US Funding,’ Atlantic Council, June 11, 2018.
  3. ‘North Korean Special Forces in Syria; A Look at Pyongyang’s Assistance to Damascus’ Counterinsurgency Operations,’ Military Watch Magazine, June 10, 2018.
  4. ‘DPRK Ambassador affirms his country’s readiness to support health sector in Syria,’ Syrian Arab News Agency, July 25, 2016.
  5. Pauley, Logan and Marks, Jesse, ‘Is China Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria?,’ The Diplomat, August 20, 2018.

Hemenway, Dan, ‘Chinese strategic engagement with Assad’s Syria,’ Atlantic Council, December 21, 2018.

  1. ‘We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – U.S. allies Saudi Arabia

and Qatar are funding Isis,’ The Independent, October 14, 2016.

  1. ‘Inquiry Into Death of Russian Lt. Gen. Asapov Shows Data Leaks to Daesh –

Source,’ Sputnik, September 26, 2017.

‘Drones used by Syrian terrorists “require advanced training” – Russian MoD in response to US,’ Sputnik, January 9, 2018.

  1. ‘Five Next Generation Russian Combat Jets We Will See in the 2020s: From MiG-41 Hypersonic Interceptors to PAK DA Stealth Bombers,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 1, 2019.
  2. Twigg, Judy, ‘Russia Is Winning the Sanctions Game,’ National Interest, March 14, 2019.
  3. Hersh, Seymour, ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 8, April 2014

Angelovski, Ivan and Patrucic, Miranda and Marzouk, Lawrence, ‘Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East,’ The Guardian, July 27, 2016.

Chivers, C. J. and Schmitt, Eric and Mazzetti, Mark, ‘In Turnaround, Syria Rebels Get Libya Weapons,’ New York Times, June 21, 2013.

McCarthy, Andrew C., ‘Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria,’ National Review, August 2, 2016.

  1. ‘Militants Bomb Hospital, Torch Quarantine Center as Hong Kong Braces for Virus Outbreak,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 27, 2020.
  2. ‘Class A drug use “at record levels due to young people”,’ BBC News, September 20, 2019.
  3. Buchholz, Katharina, ‘Industrialized Nations Have Biggest Foreign Debt,’ Statista, February 7, 2019.
  4. ‘France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding

France,”’ Centre for Research of Globalization, January 14, 2015.

Bart Williams, Mallence, ‘The Utilization of Western NGOs for the Theft of Africa’s Vast Resources,’ TedxBerlin, January 26, 2015

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA).

  1. Wong, Andrea, ‘The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret,’ Bloomberg, May 31, 2016.

Spiro, David E., The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.

  1. ‘Banks have not learnt lessons of 2008 crisis, says Gordon Brown,’ Financial Times, October 31, 2017.

‘A decade after the financial meltdown, its underlying problems haven’t been fixed,’ The Guardian, August 6, 2017.

  1. ‘Fearing U.S. Sanctions Over Su-35 Purchase: What is Behind Indonesia’s Interest in New F-16V Fighters,’ Military Watch Magazine, November 6, 2019.

Rogan, Tom, ‘The very political reason Qatar buys different fighter aircraft from Britain, France, and the US,’ Washington Examiner, February 25, 2020.

Krishnan, Rakesh, ‘Countering CAATSA: How India can avoid American arm twisting,’ Business Today, March 6, 2019.

  1. Gaddy, Clifford G. and Ickes, Barry W., ‘Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,’ Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2010 (pp. 281-311).
  2. Hobbs, Tawnell D., ‘U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers,’ The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2019.

Turner, Camiilla, ‘Chinese students are two years ahead of their white British peers by age 16, report finds,’ The Telegraph, July 30, 2019.

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The UN’s Planet Saving Delusion

The UN couldn’t help Haiti recover from an earthquake. But it’s gonna rescue the planet.

This graphic accompanies the UNESCO editorial. Read it online here; download it here
By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | February 19, 2020

UNESCO is supposed to be about cultural preservation. Toward the end of last year, its in-house magazine nevertheless published a special issue on climate change. The official editorial employs the usual cliches. Catastrophic consequences. The “greatest global challenge of our times.” Blah, blah.

Hilariously, this editorial implies that, without a UN plan, the planet simply won’t survive. Earth to UNESCO: could we spend five minutes talking about how the UN has failed – tragically and comprehensively – to save Haiti?

That nation has less than 12 million people. It’s slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland. Because it comprises half of an island, its borders are well-defined. The UN has been a significant presence there since 2004, yet Haiti remains a basket case.

After a devastating earthquake struck in 2010, rebuilding was a huge job at which the UN was spectacularly inept. But that isn’t the half of it. UN peacekeepers then infected the already traumatized local population with cholera.

The peacekeepers were from Nepal, which had just experienced a cholera outbreak. The UN took no steps to ensure its personnel weren’t carrying the disease. Nor did it establish proper sanitation at their encampment. Untreated sewage got dumped into the country’s most important river, contaminating water that was used for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

A news report from Haiti, October 2010:

This triggered the worst cholera epidemic of modern times, an epidemic Haitian doctors were ill-equipped to combat since the disease had never been recorded there before.

The 10,000 deaths and decade of sickness that followed is a UN-caused calamity. But when Ban Ki-moon finally got around to apologizing for how the situation had been handled, six years after the epidemic began, he failed to take full responsibility. The UN, you see, is protected by diplomatic immunity. There’s a permanent get-of-jail-free-card in its back pocket. It can never be held truly accountable for the harm it inflicts.

Anyone who imagines the UN is capable of saving the entire planet needs to take a few days out of their life to read two books. The first is written by Jonathan Katz, the Associated Press journalist stationed in Haiti when the earthquake occurred. It’s titled: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.

The other is called Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-up in Post-Earthquake Haiti. It tells the story of Renaud Piarroux, a French physician who was called in to investigate. Written by his medical colleague, Ralph Frerichs, it shows the UN failing one moral test after another.

Rather than receiving cooperation and assistance, Piarroux, who had led efforts to stamp out cholera elsewhere, had to battle the UN itself.

It is standard procedure in such situations to identify the source of an outbreak as quickly as possible. In this instance, officials at several UN bodies – including the World Health Organization (WHO) – insisted there were more important considerations than assigning blame. Frerichs writes:

there was an active effort to suppress any search for the origin. [p. 34]

all international officials, with no exceptions, adopted the same position, exonerating [UN] soldiers. [p.66]

The [UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] maps continued to falsify where cholera began… [p. 70]

For years the UN, aided and abetted by certain prominent experts, tried to link the outbreak to climate change:

it became apparent that there was an active effort to obfuscate the role of the Nepalese UN peacekeepers, aided by those who believed that cholera originates from climatic or environmental changes… [p 108]

There was not a single piece of evidence to support the environmental hypothesis that [cholera] had been lying dormant and then…had been upset by the January 2010 earthquake. The outbreak had occurred nine months after the earthquake! [p. 137]

On January 6, the members of the ‘independent’ UN panel were announced… The panel members were… firmly tied to the environmental theory. [pp. 160-161]

At the end of its investigation, even the UN panel had to dismiss the environmental hypothesis… [p. 182]

Overall, the UN report was a whitewash that chose not to talk about the peacekeepers, yet criticized the victims. Here are a few more quotes from the book:

How could the supposedly independent UN panel have failed to identify the humans responsible for the… outbreak? [p. 189]

the panel did not hesitate to assign some blame to Haitians and to their local public health environment. [p. 190]

Details on the source [of the cholera] were also omitted from [a WHO publication] when the scientific facts were clearly known…WHO regulations have long stipulated that ‘all information available on the origin of infection’ must be reported. [p. 194]

The UN is a massive bureaucracy. Bureaucracies are never held accountable. They’re staffed by careerists who hop from assignment to assignment, avoiding the consequences of the decisions they make about other people’s lives.

When something goes wrong, the buck gets passed here, there, and everywhere. There’s little incentive for UN personnel to acknowledge their mistakes, never mind learn from them.

The world is comprised of doers and talkers. Haiti shows us that UN personnel are good at talking and writing reports. But they’re pathetic at getting anything done in the real world.

At ground zero of a terrible natural disaster, UN personnel made things worse rather than better. They then wasted precious time denying, stonewalling, and covering up the harm they’d inflicted.

February 21, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Skripal in Prison — The First Book to Report the Truth

Editor’s note: John Helmer of Dances With the Bears is one of the two people who have done the most work on Her Majesty’s Skripal fiasco (the other being Rob Slane of The Blogmire ). He’s the longest-serving foreign reporter in Russia (arrived to cover the Perestroika and simply never left) and with unnerving regularity manages to know more than you would think would be possible for one Australian in Moscow. Now he has a book out on the whole thing.


By John Helmer | Anti-Empire | February 14, 2020

It is exactly two years since the case of two Russians, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, began with their collapse on a park bench in the middle of England on the afternoon of March 4, 2018.

On their anniversary it is necessary to tell this story. But it isn’t the story of what happened. This is because the only people who can tell that one, the Skripals, are locked away in isolation, guarded by determined men under secret government orders.

Instead, this is the story of what didn’t happen – provably didn’t happen because it was quite impossible circumstantially; and because the legal papers warranting that it did have not been signed by a judge, tested in a court of law, or released in public.

The facts which you have seen, heard or read about the incident of March 4, 2018, have been falsified. Everything that has flowed from them is false too. Understanding this is a start to the other story, and so something solid to work from – not missed until now; more like seen but disbelieved. As if the truth were fiction, and the fiction truth.

This is the story of how the largest and longest criminal investigation in modern British history ended in a prosecution without evidence of the crime, the weapon, the crime scene, and even of the crime victims. Allegations there are; evidence admissible in a British court of law there is not. That’s to say, a prosecution which will not be presented in court, before no judge and jury; with no witnesses on oath; and no verdict. That is no prosecution at all.

To say otherwise, as do the British Government, its allies abroad, and every one of its mass-circulation media without exception, is a lie. The victims, it turns out, are held in a British prison, at a secret location, incommunicado, without access to lawyers to defend them, without contact with their families, or the consular representatives of the state whose passports they hold. No court has judged them or sentenced them to this punishment.

The Prime Ministers, Theresa May & Boris Johnson, lied.

MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, lied.

The BBC lied.

The coroner broke the law.

The police and prosecutors faked the evidence.

Russian intelligence agents tried to rescue Sergei Skripal but were foiled in the attempt.

This is the story of what didn’t happen, and the truth of what did.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING

  • “You’ve lost me John”  —  Mark Urban, BBC
  • “Other books will follow on the Skripals, but they will struggle to match the texture of Urban’s research, its knowledgeable hinterland” — The Times
  • “There are people out there who know exactly what happened and who are biding their time before revealing all. I am not such a person, nor would I want to be, but I believe that such people do exist” —  Rob Slane, The Blogmire
  • “One of the most experienced foreign journalists in Moscow, John Helmer has lived in Russia for the last 30 years and knows more about it than necessary” — Andrei Shitov, Chief Political Observer, Tass
  • “The book explains why the truth, though known, has not been told” — Katrina van den Heuvel, Editor, The Nation, New York.
  • “You are picking on a dead man who can’t answer for himself” – Joe Lauria, Editor, Consortium News
  • “[John Helmer is] a notorious conspiracy theorist” — Jeremy Kinsman, former Canadian ambassador to Russia, foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Skripal in Prison  — the Paperback

Skripal in Prison — the E-book

February 15, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 2 Comments