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Australia: Willing Pawn in US Struggle with China

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 07.08.2020

Upon reading Australia’s new defense strategy, one might think its authors believe they are surrounded by nations invaded and destroyed by China with Australia next in line.

News headlines declare, “Australia’s new defence strategy unveils a significant strategic shift in foreign policy to meet new threats from China,” “China the unspoken threat at centre of new defence strategy,” and “Australia to buy ship-killing missiles and shift focus to Indo-Pacific” to “to protect overseas forces, allies and the mainland against rising threats including China.”

The “threat” of China – the articles and the new defense strategy argue – requires Australia to spend billions on weapons bought from the United States and to depend more heavily on the US for Australia’s protection.

Yet in the same breath, Australia’s media openly admits that up until now, Australia’s military has spent much of its time contributing to America’s many and still-ongoing wars of aggression around the globe from Libya and Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan. Most recently, Washington has recruited Australia to help bolster its presence in the Strait of Hormuz in an effort to menace Iran as well.

In one of the above mentioned articles it’s admitted that:

For decades Australia has been quick to send troops, naval vessels and planes to help the United States wage wars on distant shores.

Despite all but admitting the US – not China – is engaged in a global campaign of armed aggression and that Australia is a willing accomplice – Australia’s new defense strategy points the finger at China as the ultimate global threat.

A likely explanation for this contradictory worldview among Australian policymakers is the possibility that deep-pocketed lobbyists from Washington still hold more sway over Australia’s political levers than Australian businesses and certainly the Australian public – and plan to collectively squeeze Australia for billions in arms sales for missiles and other weapon systems pointed at what is otherwise Australia’s largest and most important economic partner – China.

Not only does this fill up the coffers of corporations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others, but Australia’s apparently hostile posture toward China will most certainly taint relations between the two nations, creating further conflict, and requiring continued and increased weapon sales well into the future.

Should any conflict erupt between the US and China, Australia will find itself a much closer target than the US – a sacrificial pawn of sorts that will bear the full brunt and consequences of any potential US-Chinese hostilities.

Well-Timed “Cyber Attacks” Help Sell an Otherwise Unappealing Defense Strategy 

The new defense strategy – long in the works – was unveiled only after a healthy dose of recent and mysterious “cyber attacks” Australian security agencies attributed with no evidence to China.

Again – the irony here is that the US has by far demonstrated itself to be as much a threat in cyberspace as it is to sovereign nations and their physical territory, and much more so than China.

Regarding Australia specifically, a 2013 Guardian article titled, “NSA considered spying on Australians ‘unilaterally’, leaked paper reveals,” would note that a:

The US National Security Agency has considered spying on Australian citizens without the knowledge or consent of the Australian intelligence organisations it partners with, according to a draft 2005 NSA directive kept secret from other countries.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been revealed to have compromised communications worldwide, hacked the phones of national leaders both friend and foe, infiltrated and created backdoors in Western-manufactured high tech hardware, and carried out offensive cyber attacks against nations around the globe.

There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests many attacks attributed to nations like Russia and China – like the one recently carried out against Australia – were either fabricated entirely, or in fact carried out by actors in the US itself.

But what better way is there to sell the otherwise unpopular idea of Australia buying billions of dollars of weapons from America and poisoning relations with China than to cite an alleged act of aggression from China that is nearly impossible to attribute one way or the other? The Western media’s clout has in the past and continues to be much more persuasive than fact or common sense in the short-term.

Other analysts have pointed out Australia’s new defense policy is out of touch with reality. It will also do much more to undermine Australia’s national security than underwrite it.

While it is sensible for nations to ensure they have a credible deterrence against all forms of aggression regardless of the nation of origin, Australia’s defense posture has it facing a nation clearly more interested in economics than conquest, and facing away from a nation not only openly and repeatedly carrying out aggression worldwide, but one increasingly turning on its own allies for not exhibiting enough zeal against its many and multiplying enemies.
While Australia commits billions to buying American weapons and buying into Washington’s continued and growing confrontation with China – in the end – Australia will need to pick between fading with the US economically or finally accepting China’s rise regionally and globally and Australia’s role as a partner with China rather than part of America’s “primacy” over it.

Again – the irony here is of course that the most likely threat to Australia’s national security will not be from a rising China eager to do business with Australia, but a scorned Washington seeking increasingly aggressive means to force Australia back into its traditional role of buttressing US primacy.

August 7, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

US Marines Seized Panama in 1903

Tales of the American Empire | August 6, 2020

The Isthmus of Panama was attractive to the growing American empire. A canal across these 37 miles would be hugely profitable, improve American commerce, and speed military movements. One problem was that Panama was a province of Columbia since 1821 that demanded a large share of the profits a canal would generate. The solution was to send US Marines to invade Panama and steal it! This fact does not appear in official history, which pretends that Panamanians declared independence from Colombia in 1903 then gave the land to the United States.

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“TR’s Plan to Invade Colombia”; Commander Henry Hendrix USN; https://www.usni.org/trs-plan-invade-…

Related Tale: “The American Conquest of the Philippines in 1899”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg2B_…

“The Story of the Panama Canal”; Library of Congress; 1927 film; https://www.loc.gov/item/mp76000330/

August 7, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Hiroshima, Nagasaki 75 Years On, Washington Still Playing Terror Card

Strategic Culture Foundation | August 7, 2020

Seventy-five years ago this week the world crossed an infernal threshold, with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan by the United States. Humankind had gained the technological capability for inflicting mass, instantaneous annihilation.

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with over 200,000 lives – 90 per cent of whom were civilians – was not a military act to end the Second World War, as the official American narrative would have us believe. It was a political act to begin the Cold War, deliberately carried out by American leaders to assert U.S. hegemony against the Soviet Union and all others. It was an act of fiendish, premeditated mass murder – genocide – with the political objective of instilling terror against all perceived adversaries of American ambitions for global dominance.

Many historians, including respected American scholars, have verified that the atomic bombing of Japan had nothing to do with swiftly ending the Pacific War and “saving U.S. lives”. It was simply an act of unspeakable barbarism for political aims to do with winning the anticipated Cold War. The bombs were dropped just as the Soviet Red Army entered the Korean Peninsula to augment the fight against Japanese imperial forces, as was previously agreed by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta conference of war-time allies back in February 1945. However, by the time of August 1945, Washington and London had moved considerably to adopt a more hostile position against Moscow, with a view to challenging the Soviet Union for spheres of influence in the postwar world.

There is no doubt that the indiscriminate mass murder of Japanese civilians with a new weapon of unprecedented savagery was carried out as a demonstration of psychopathic power by the United States. It was to be the ultimate warning. In short, it was a supreme act of terrorism. The earlier British-American aerial bombing of German cities and the U.S. firebombing of Tokyo inflicted more accumulated deaths, but the instantaneous destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki introduced a new terror lever, one that spelt total annihilation with single bombs.

By 1949, Washington’s terror monopoly lost its ace value when the Soviet Union developed its own atomic weapon. For over seven decades, the world has lived under the shadow of nuclear catastrophe, sometimes coming perilously close, as in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Today, the U.S. and Russia each possess an estimated 6,000 nuclear weapons – accounting for over 90 per cent of the world’s total arsenal. Existing stockpiles are much reduced in number compared with past decades. Nevertheless, each one of these contemporary devices has an explosive power many times that of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is inconceivable that human life and the planet as we know it would survive a nuclear war. For that onerous reason, and to avoid “mutually assured destruction”, Washington and Moscow had cooperated historically to draw up several arms control treaties. But over the past two decades, the U.S. side has revoked treaty after treaty. The Trump administration is threatening to scrap the last remaining one, the New START accord which is due to expire in February next year unless it is renewed, which Washington seems ambiguous about. A policy of calculated ambiguity, it may be averred.

There can be little doubt that the Cold War is back with a vengeance as far as the American government and its propagandist corporate news media are concerned. In recent years and indeed weeks, the vilification and smears heaped upon both Russia and China have intensified to a frenzy. The week-in, week-out paranoia and hostility emanating from Washington towards Moscow and Beijing is on par with the unhinged red-baiting ravings of the McCarthyite era in the 1950s. The return of Cold War mindset in Washington is a concomitant of political and economic crises besetting American power as its presumed global empire lurches towards collapse.

In this context, the remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki takes on an altogether more urgent purpose. It has to be recognized that Washington used nuclear annihilation as a terror weapon and it continues to play the same nefarious tactic to this day. There has never been an official apology out of Washington for the monstrous crime it committed in August 1945 because the American rulers have always wanted to maintain the “right” to terrorize others. The current warmongering out of Washington towards Russia and China amid baseless, provocative accusations, as well as military force build-up in sensitive regions, against the backdrop of unfettered arms development, all can only mean one thing: Washington is trying to use the terror card to subjugate others while running the diabolical risk of inciting a nuclear war.

The world should know that American politicians and their media boosters are collectively acting as a madman. American power ultimately relies on coercive terror. But Russia and China will not tolerate such psychopathic conduct, and, thankfully, have the defensive means to counter-threat. The American pretense of virtue is finally being exposed for the ugly reality that lies beneath.

August 7, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Austrians protest government cooperation with Israel in cyber drills

By Homa Lezgee | Press TV | August 4, 2020

Vienna – Protesters in Vienna are demanding an immediate end to Austria’s military cooperation with the Israeli regime.

The slogan of protesters gathered outside the American embassy in Vienna is “No to Austrian subordination to US/Israeli interests.”

They say the Austrian government’s decision to involve its intelligence forces in cyber maneuvers with Israel is meant to serve the interests of the US and Israel despite concerns it could lead to mass surveillance of the Austrian population.

Not much is known about the maneuvers, reportedly involving the Israeli military, the German Armed Forces, and units from Austria and Switzerland, during which cyber attacks would be simulated and countered.

Protesters also condemned the Austrian government for refusing to vote against Israel’s recent illegal annexation plans.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Austria, such as the Palestine Solidarity Platform, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) have been facing increasing government restrictions amid allegations of promoting anti-Semitism, an accusation they say is being used to misrepresent their goal of opposing Israeli occupation and aggression.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Democratic Party Boosters Have Little to Offer

Few want to return to Obama or Clinton

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 4, 2020

Donald Trump might be described as unique as a president of the United States in that he constantly impulsively self-promotes in a bizarre fashion which the Independent has described as “wild days of authoritarian and incoherent outbursts.” But normally politicians are canny enough to steal and connive out of sight without letting on what they are doing or thinking. Given that, you know you are in deep trouble as a nation when a major political party is so tone deaf as to persist in introducing spokesmen who suffer from serious negative perceptions to boost the chances of their current candidates for office. That is precisely what the Democratic Party has been doing when it keeps employing the Obamas and Clintons to promote the Democratic National Committee platform and its candidates for the November elections while also supporting the campaign of Honest Joe Biden.

Reminding the national electorate of the legacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama guarantees that voters normally inclined to vote Republican or even independent will be energized and turn out in large numbers in spite of their disdain for Trump’s style. Hillary, after all, should still be in jail for her mishandling of classified information while Barack ought to be in prison for life for having given the orders to assassinate American citizens without due process while also using the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to undermine the Donald Trump campaign. Hillary and Barack were also complicit in unnecessary wars against Libya and Syria that have devastated both countries.

Hillary is a co-founder of Onward Together, a Democratic Party front group that is affiliated to other activist organizations. In a recent e-mail she played the race card in a bid to solidify the black vote behind the Democratic Party, writing “Friend, George Floyd’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s lives mattered. Black lives matter. Against a backdrop of a pandemic that has disproportionately ravaged communities of color, we are being painfully reminded right now that we are long overdue for honest reckoning and meaningful action to dismantle systemic racism.”

It is, of course, a not-so-subtle bid to buy votes using the currently popular code words “systemic racism” as a pledge that the Democrats will take steps to materially benefit blacks if the party wins the White House and a majority in the Senate. She ends her e-mail with an odd commitment, “I promise to keep fighting alongside all of you to make the United States a place where all men and all women are treated as equals, just as we are and just as we deserve to be.” The comment is odd because she is on one hand promising to promote the interests of one group based on skin color while also stating that everyone should be “treated as equals.” Someone should tip her off to the fact that employment and educational racial preferences and reparations are not the hallmarks of a government that treats everyone the same.

But if one really wants to dig into the depths of the Democratic Party soul, or lack thereof, there is no one who is better than former U.N. Ambassador and Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, the estimable Madeleine Albright. She too has written an e-mail that recently went out to Democratic Party supporters, saying:

“I’m deeply concerned. Donald Trump poses an existential threat to our standing in the world and continues to threaten the decades of diplomatic progress we had made. It is easy to forget from the comfort of our homes that for many people, America is a beacon of hope and opportunity. We’re known as a country that keeps our promises and upholds justice and democracy, and that didn’t just happen overnight. We’ve spent decades building our nation’s reputation on the world stage through careful, strategic diplomacy — but in just under four years, Trump has done unspeakable damage to those relationships and has insulted even our closest allies.”

Albright, who is perhaps most famous for having stated that she thought that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. imposed sanctions was “worth it,” is living in a fantasy bubble that many politicians and high government officials seem to inhabit. She embraces the America the “Essential Nation” concept because it makes her and her former boss Bill Clinton look like great statesmen. She once enthused nonsensically that “If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.”

Madeleine Albright’s view that “America is a beacon of hope and opportunity… known as a country that keeps our promises and upholds justice and democracy” is also, of course, completely delusional, as opinion polls regularly indicate that nearly the entire world considers the U.S. to be extremely dangerous and virtually a rogue state in its blind pursuit of narrow self-interest combined with an unwillingness to uphold international law. And that has been true under both Democratic and Republican recent presidents, including Clinton. It is not just Trump.

Albright is clearly on a roll and has also submitted to a New York Times interview, further enlightening that paper’s readership on why the Trump administration is failing in its job of protecting the American people. The questions and answers are singularly, perhaps deliberately, unexciting and are largely focused on coronavirus and the new world order that it is shaping. Albright faults Trump for not promoting an international effort to defeat the virus, which is perhaps a bridge too far for most Americans who are not even very receptive to a nationally mandated pandemic response, let alone one requiring cooperation with “foreigners.”

Albright’s persistence as a go-to media “expert” on international relations is befuddling given her own history as an integral part of the inept foreign policy promoted by the Clinton Administration. She and Bill Clinton became cheerleaders for an unnecessary Balkan war that still resonates and were responsible for what was possibly the greatest foreign policy blunder (with the possible exception of the Iraq War) since the Second World War. That consisted of ignoring the commitment to post-Soviet Russia to not take advantage of the 1991 end of Communism by expanding U.S. or NATO military presence into Eastern Europe. Clinton/Albright reneged on that understanding and opened the door for many of the former Soviet allied states to enter NATO, thereby introducing a hostile military presence right up to Russia’s border.

Simultaneously, the U.S. enabled the election as Russian president of the hapless drunk Boris Yeltsin, who, guided by advisers sent by the White House, oversaw the western looting of his country’s natural resources. The bad decision-making under the Clintons led inevitably to the rise of Vladimir Putin as a corrective, which, exacerbated by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and a maladroit Donald Trump, has in turn produced the poisoned bilateral relationship between Washington and Moscow that currently prevails.

So, one might reasonably suggest to Joe Biden that if he really wants to get elected in November it would be a good idea to keep the Clintons, Albright and maybe even Obama carefully hidden away somewhere. Albright’s interview characteristically concludes with her plan for an “Avengers style dream team” to “fix the world right now.” She said that “Well, it certainly would be a female team. Without naming names, I would really try to look for women who are in office, both in the executive and legislative branch. I would try to have a female C.E.O., but also somebody who heads up a nongovernmental organization. You don’t want everybody that’s exactly the same. Oh, and I’m about to do a program for the National Democratic Institute with Angelina Jolie, and she made the most amazing movie about what was going on in Bosnia, so I would want her on my team.”

No men allowed and a Hollywood actress who is regarded as somewhat odd? Right.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

August 4, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , | 3 Comments

A U-2 and World Peace were Sabotaged in 1960

Tales of the American Empire | January 30, 2020

During his last year in office, American President Dwight Eisenhower’s primary goal was called a “Crusade for Peace.” He was the former Allied military commander during World War II and developed a friendship with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who also played a key role in the Allied victory. They had several friendly meetings and planned for a détente resulting deep cuts in military spending. A meeting was scheduled for May 14, 1960 in Paris where a major disarmament agreement would be signed. Many powerful men in Washington DC opposed peace and four conspired to sabotage this agreement. Two weeks before this meeting, they ordered an unauthorized U-2 spy flight over key bases in the center of the Soviet Union. Its pilot was captured after crash landing his aircraft because its fuel was sabotaged.

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“The Secret Team”; Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty US Air Force retired; 1973. This can be read on-line for free: http://www.lander.odessa.ua/doc/The%2…

Colonel Fletcher Prouty discussed Gary Powers U-2 flight in later interviews; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ookIT…

August 1, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | | Leave a comment

Why the US really accuses Russia & China of weaponizing space

By Finian Cunningham | RT | July 30, 2020

Washington has made startling accusations that Russia & China “have already turned space into a war-fighting domain,” but what’s really going on is the US is attempting to distract from its own controversial space militarization.

There is also a sequence of events reflecting Washington’s increasingly hysterical hostility towards Russia and China in which all events are perceived through an obsessive American lens of “hybrid warfare.”

An additional factor is the intensified US demand to include China in arms control talks with Russia, which resumed this week.

The claim made against Russia and China by Christophe Ford, a State Department arms control envoy, comes against the backdrop of President Trump announcing the establishment of a new Space Force Command earlier this year. That move by the Trump administration flies in the face of decades-long advocacy at the United Nations by Russia and China to keep weapons out of space.

The 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty forbids weaponization in the outer atmosphere. Thus, America’s renewed efforts through its Space Force Command are arguably illegal. Allegations from Washington that Moscow and Beijing have turned space into a war-fighting domain appear to turn reality on its head.

Karl Grossman, a professor at the State University of New York who has written extensively on the subject, says that Russia and China have consistently advocated for the expansion of the existing UN treaty to ban not only the placement of weapons of mass destruction but also for a prohibition on any weaponization in outer space.

“The United States has repeatedly voted against this effort, essentially casting a veto at the UN,” Grossman said.

It would seem therefore that America’s claims are motivated by a need to obscure its own controversial militarization of the “final frontier.”

On July 15, the US and Britain accused Russia of testing an anti-satellite weapon in space. Moscow denied this, saying it was carrying out an in-orbit satellite “inspection” by another one of its own satellites. The US Space Force Command acknowledges it was a “non-destructive event” but nevertheless alleged it was an attempt by Russia to deploy a “bullet” in space.

“Inspection of satellites” could of course be a euphemism for gaining the capacity to spy on other nations’ space vehicles. The US is reportedly involved in developing the same kind of surveillance activity against foreign satellites. But for the Americans to accuse Russia of testing a space-based “anti-satellite weapon” seems to be a provocative stretch.

Notably, the report of the alleged Russian weapon test was followed immediately by sonorous statements hailing the establishment last year of the US Space Force “to deter aggression and defend the nation.”

Grossman says: “The new US Space Force is, I’d say desperately, trying to justify itself and thus its announcement that Russia conducted an anti-satellite weapons test needs to be considered in this context.”

But there is more to the sequence of events. Last week, on July 23, China launched its first rover to explore Mars. If the mission succeeds in landing on the Red Planet in seven months, it will be seen as a breakthrough achievement by China, putting the country on par with the US in space exploration. The Chinese launch came a week before NASA blasted off its new rover to Mars which is due to reach the planet in February around the same time as China’s.

It seems significant that Christophe Ford, the US arms control envoy, first made his announcement accusing Russia and China of weaponizing space the day after China’s historic Mars mission launch. Given the closely overlapping engineering shared by space rocketry and ballistic missiles, it could, therefore, be loosely argued that a Mars mission by China has military dimensions. (As would all American missions, if using the same tenuous reasoning.)

However, in the present context of rampant accusations against Russia and China of waging “hybrid war,” including everything from “meddling in elections to subvert US democracy” to “unleashing a virus pandemic to destroy American capitalism,” it is not hard to see how in Washington’s mindset events in space could be construed as yet more hybrid warfare. American paranoia is simply going extraterrestrial.

Another important factor in the sequence is the resumption of arms control talks this week in Vienna between the US and Russia. These negotiations are aimed at extending the New START accord limiting strategic weapons. Washington is pushing the Russian side to lever China into joining a new trilateral arms control agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted in a recent keynote speech that Washington was seeking Russia’s help in curbing China’s nuclear arsenal. Moscow has indicated that such a trilateral accord with China, considering its relatively smaller arsenal, is not relevant at this stage in bilateral negotiations between the US and Russia over New START.

The US warned it would bring up the issue of Russia’s alleged anti-satellite weapon at the arms control talks this week in Vienna.

It seems the US is using claims about space weaponization not only to distract from its own illicit program, but also to undermine Russia in arms talks as a way to pressure Moscow into accommodating Washington’s overbearing demands regarding China.

That does not augur well for a successful arms control agreement or for global security. A foreboding case, so to speak, of ‘watch this space’.

Finian Cunningham is an award-winning journalist. For over 25 years, he worked as a sub-editor and writer for The Mirror, Irish Times, Irish Independent and Britain’s Independent, among others.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

U.S. is pushing for a new provocation against Serbia over the Kosovo issue

By Paul Antonopoulos | July 29, 2020

Belgrade and Pristina have resumed dialogue in Brussels, but the recent delivery of American-made armored vehicles to Kosovo could make the talks difficult and signifies Washington is once again attempting to destabilize the Balkans. Serbia and Kosovo returned to the negotiating table on July 16 after a long hiatus; however the hopes of Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, to allow a constructive dialogue could now be in jeopardy. Washington’s delivery of Humvee armored vehicles to Pristina is a clear message to Belgrade that the U.S. will continue recognizing Kosovo’s independence. Washington purposefully sent the armored vehicles knowing it will create tensions in negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.

The U.S. is putting pressure on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to recognize Kosovo’s independence. However, this is in detriment to international law and UN Security Council resolution 1244, which is still valid and specifies that Kosovo is a Serbian province despite Washington’s recognition of its illegal independence. Although the delivery of Humvee armored vehicles makes little impact on the military capabilities of Kosovo, it is a symbolic gesture by the Americans to show they still have significant influence over Kosovo. Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo and alleged war criminal, has always said that Washington should be an important player in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by the majority of Western countries, with the exception of five EU members who still refuse to recognize its independence: Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia. Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, have not recognized this either and are de facto preventing Kosovo from joining the United Nations.

There is clear proof that tensions are still high between Belgrade and Pristine, especially after Vučić attacked with virulence Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, after the last round of negotiations:

“Is it nice to sit at the other end of the table facing Hoti and listen to his gibberish, saying that they are the only victims and that we are the only bad guys? No.”

The fact that Kosovo recently received a new shipment of armored vehicles from the U.S. will not help normalize relations between the two parties, but this is not surprising considering the Albanians are key to Washington’s policy in controlling the Balkans. Therefore, Belgrade likely recognizes that it cannot trust Washington to bring a resolution to the Kosovo issue, especially since Serbia maintains strong relations with Moscow that it is not willing to sacrifice.

The special relationship between Belgrade and Moscow is viewed negatively by both Brussels and NATO. They would rather bring Serbia under its influence. This is further complicated by the fact that Beijing has an ever-increasing strong presence in Serbia and is investing a lot in the country. Beijing always supports the preservation of Serbia’s territorial integrity, especially regarding Kosovo, which could mean that the Balkan country might be a future flash point between the growing rivalry between China and the U.S.

In 2012, Belgrade highlighted that officials during the presidency of Bill Clinton, who were in charge at the time of the brutal NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, returned to Kosovo to invest – particularly General Wesley Clark and former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Today Kosovo is a hub for drug trafficking, human trafficking and organ harvesting, something that Brussels and Washington are happy to turn a blind eye to.

Albanians are trying to unite in a Greater Albania that would serve the interests of U.S. foreign policy. The arming of Kosovo could be a consequence of this vision, especially since American arms deliveries to Kosovo contradict international law and could trigger a new armed conflict. This may be the hidden goal of the U.S. It is possible that Germany is also pushing in this direction, especially since Berlin was a key player in the dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The recognition of Kosovo’s independence opens the door to further destabilization, violence and potentially even a new Balkan war. With the U.S. delivering Humvee’s to Kosovo, it has signified that it has no interest in finding a lasting resolution between the rebel province and Serbia.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

July 29, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The Senseless and Bloody Italian Campaign 1943-44

Tales of the American Empire | September 27, 2019

American society worships wars and wartime leaders. As a result, most Americans do not know that many wartime leaders were incompetent, while others sacrificed thousands of American lives to advance their career. There are several examples from World War II, like the mindless attacks through mountains up the Italian peninsula. This pointless effort also killed great numbers of Italian civilians and destroyed entire towns.

Related Tale: “The Madness of Operation Torch in 1942” – the big desert battles in Tunisia and Libya could have been skipped https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUFL…

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memor…

July 28, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Everyone Lost in World War II

Tales of the American Empire • August 16, 2019

Hitler had sent Winston Churchill peace offers several times in 1940, proposing that Germany withdraw from occupied areas except for traditional German regions that were seized after World War I. Churchill should have accepted this offer, but he was an arrogant, selfish, bumbling, alcoholic, psychopath whose actions destroyed Europe and the British Empire.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 9 Comments

Adams Meets Johnstone – The Monsters Are at Home Now

By John Quincy Adams* | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 26, 2020

In his long career John Quincy Adams was President, served in both houses of Congress, was nominated for the Supreme Court, was Secretary of State and U.S. ambassador to many of the great powers of the day. An unequaled record and one very hard to imagine ever being duplicated. He was a proud believer in his country, its constitution and its stated ideals. He had two great fears for his country.

A convinced opponent of slavery, he foresaw no way it could be ended but by the decree of a commander-in-chief during a civil war. A decree that would also end the three-fifths rule which gave the slave-owning states such predominant power. And it all came to pass, just as he feared, in the two decades after his death in 1848.

His other fear was that the behavior of America would destroy America. On 4 July 1821, while Secretary of State, he gave a speech which summarized his thoughts and hopes. It deserves to be read in full but probably the most famous section is

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

He believed that America should be an example “Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind.” Involvement in the outside world would inevitably corrupt and destroy liberty “The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.” Likewise, and for related reasons, he despised the expansionism of Andrew Jackson, believed Texas should be in the Union but not by war and trickery, was skeptical of the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase. Better by far that these areas should, of their own free will, and in their own good time, join the Union. To compel, to war, to trick was to destroy the essence of America.

Which brings me to Diana Johnstone and her memoir Circle in the Darkness. Johnstone is a leftie – not the Bolshevik kind, not today’s kind, but an old-fashioned, very American kind – the New Deal kind. Her parents were active in the New Deal and the Roosevelt administration and she grew up with a belief that the principal job of governments was to make things better for ordinary people, wars were to be avoided and America was best off minding its own business – peace and social justice, in other words. She and Adams would have found much to agree with in each other. Her title would also fit Adam’s idea of America in the world – a bright circle of decency in the general darkness.

Johnstone’s book is a lament for the left that used to be and a relating of how, when and where it disappeared. Probably the most notable difference between her early days and today is that today’s left no longer worries about, protests against or even thinks about war. The Iraq War of 2003 was met with enormous protests around the world. They did not stop it, of course, but at least many people said no to it. Subsequent American wars in the Obama period met no protests.

U.S. military forces have been at war for all eight years of Obama’s tenure, the first two-term president with that distinction. He launched airstrikes or military raids in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

His administration overthrew the Libyan government, overthrew the Ukrainian government, attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, supported the Saudi war in Yemen and continued all the wars it inherited. Not a peep of protest. Partly because Obama was a Democrat and the corporate media fawned over him as “cool” and “intellectual.” But he also moved the wars offstage – by reducing the number of troops on the ground, they became drone attacks, special service troops, contractors, bombing. Far offstage. But where are the anti-war protests against the hated Trump? He too has continued the wars he inherited (but at least started no new ones) but, on the other hand, he is throwing sanctions at everybody. Not bullets, not “kinetic”, but not exactly peaceful either – just a different way of trying to destroy the monsters. The left has become persuaded that wars are good wars, not to be protested, if they can be wrapped in a human rights package. Libya is destroyed, turned into a hellhole because Qaddafi was “bombing his own people.” Ukraine ditto because Yanukovych was “corrupt.” Assad “gasses his own people.” With the narrowly restricted control of the news media, the monsters are easily manufactured.

The Western left no longer opposes wars because the “search for monsters to destroy” has silenced them – it’s good to destroy monsters. Who names and condemns the monsters? Why the monster-destroyers of course. And, if the monster is painted sufficiently monstrous by the controlled media, then no one questions the motives of the monster destroyers; no one even asks whether the monster destroyers have motives other than pure ones. As Johnstone writes:

Once a cause was identified by the Western media-political establishment as “good,” there was a herd-like rush to join it, to show that we are so good that we will not even listen to anyone who questions it, for fear of being identified with the Evil Ones.

and

The Kosovo War marked a change in the attitude of the Left toward U.S. military intervention. An immense publicity campaign, playing on false analogies with World War II, succeeded in rallying much of the Left to the need to “do something”—and the only “something” available was NATO bombing.

The left has lost the skepticism and mistrust of the authorities which used to be one of its foundations. What does the Western left agitate about today? Human rights. But not the human rights of children murdered in Yemen or Ukraine or African slaves in Libya; it’s the human rights of sexual minorities that obsesses those who consider themselves progressives. Or tearing down statues. Neither of which impedes the real aims and interests of the monster-destroyers in the slightest. A useful diversion as far as the looters of the world are concerned. Johnstone’s book recounts how, step by step, drop by drop, the Western left has been diverted into trivia.

For around two centuries, the “Left” was the term designating the most forward-looking, creative political forces in our societies. The Left fought for the independence of Vietnam and other colonized Third World countries. Now it is absent from the whole international movement to restore national sovereignty, condemned as “extreme right.” The Left is sabotaged from within by dogmatism. When “left” is reduced to a catechism, it cuts itself off from the real world and serves only as a means to denounce or punish deviations from the creed.

Both Obama and Trump came to power promising to end the endless wars – “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” (Obama 2002) For the money spent in the Middle East the U.S. got nothing (Trump 2017). But the wars, the bombing, the droning continue and now Trump has added sanctions and cyberattacks to the mix. As Adams feared, once America goes looking for monsters abroad, monsters it will find. And always another after those.

And then the monsters follow you home. Despite the Obama administration’s success at making America’s foreign wars invisible to ordinary voters, the wars have been delivered to their local police departments. They have received billions of dollars of military equipment originally acquired to destroy foreign monsters. The result is – as the current spate of riots in America shows – that American police are virtually indistinguishable from American soldiers. Does dressing like a soldier make you act like a soldier? Have the citizens of America become monsters to destroy? Perhaps they are – police killed over a thousand Americans last year.

The monster-destroying has turned on America itself and is tearing the country apart. The favored candidate lost the election and blamed Russia – now everyone is told he must either agree that Russia is a monster or undergo being called dupe of that monster. “The Interagency”, formed for the monster wars, nearly got rid of a president.

Adams’ monsters roam America and the left obsesses over some lump of bronze or the label on a toilet door.

* John Quincy Adams is the pseudonym of a contributor who believes that the USA in particular and the West in general have lost their way and are heading for the rubbish tip of history.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments

COVID-19 and Bioweapons Research

By Seiji Yamada | CounterPunch | July 24, 2020

The anthrax attacks of 2001 were carried out via mail. Anthrax was sent via the US Postal Service to members of Congress and media executives together with notes reading “Death to America,” and “Allah is great.” Five died. In the weeks following the September 11 attacks, the intent of the perpetrators was to make it appear that the anthrax was being sent by Islamic militants.

The anthrax itself was weaponized. Natural anthrax is found in the soil and rarely causes human disease. The weaponized anthrax spores were designed to easily float in the air and thereby more easily infect its victims. The weaponized anthrax was identified as originating in the U.S. government laboratories. Genetic analysis identified it to be from the Ames strain, isolated from a cow in Texas in 1981, and studied at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland. A U.S. government scientist was identified as a suspect, but he committed suicide before being taken into custody. For an analysis of how the anthrax attacks followed the playbook of the June 2001 “Dark Winter” preparedness exercise, see Whitney Webb and Raul Diego’s “All Roads Lead To Dark Winter.”

The so-called biodefense complex is inherently dangerous. While the stated intent of biodefense research is to develop the means of countering attacks – in order to do so, scientists often create virulent pathogens in order to determine the means of responding to them. The process by which microorganisms are artificially made more virulent is called “gain-in-function” research.

An example is how the H5N1 strain of influenza was manipulated in order to make it more easily transmissible among humans. One technique is to infect ferrets with successive generations of a virus. Because the ferret respiratory system has similarities to the human respiratory system at the molecular level, such a technique produces viruses that can more easily infect humans. For obvious reasons, the publication of such research was opposed by many in the scientific community.

Wuhan, the original epicenter of the current COVID-19 pandemic, has two microbiology laboratories equipped to handle pathogenic microorganisms. Such labs are designated by their biosafety levels, with BSL-4 being the highest. The Wuhan Centers for Disease Control is a BSL-2 laboratory located within 100s of meters from the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where cases of COVID-19 were initially found. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is the only declared BSL-4 laboratory in China.

The WIV is responsible for much of the coronavirus research in China. Early on in the epidemic, we learned that the virus responsible for COVID-19 is similar to the coronavirus responsible for the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV): therefore its scientific name, SARS-CoV-2 or SARS coronavirus 2. Moreover, we learned that researchers from the WIV had collected a coronavirus from bats in Yunnan Province with 96% homology to (sharing 96% of its genes with) SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi, as the head of this research group, takes her place as the last author on the article.

Look at a map of China. Wuhan’s central location is what makes it a transportation hub. Yunnan province, to the Southeast, borders Laos and Myanmar. There are a thousand kilometers between Wuhan and the bat caves in Yunnan. The prevailing theory of the origins of the virus is that it made its way into humans through the exotic animal food trade. The encroachment of industrial agriculture into what is left of the wilderness created the conditions for the cross-species jump. It would have a bat virus in Yunnan somehow making the species jump into humans, possibly through an intermediary species, somewhere between Yunnan Province and a city (Wuhan) a thousand miles away.

Isn’t it a more plausible scenario that the SARS-CoV-2 was collected in the Yunnan bat caves by researchers from the WIV, brought by them to Wuhan, and somehow leaked from the laboratory? There are a lot of BSL-4 laboratories in the U.S. Leaks happen at these labs.

Note that I am not suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 was genomically bioengineered, nor that it was created to be a bioweapon. Obviously, the SARS-CoV-2 genome is under close scientific scrutiny, and we assume that molecular biologists would be able to detect such manipulation. However, it is possible to manipulate a viral genome without a recourse to gene-splicing techniques, such as the passing multiple generations through laboratory animals, as noted above with ferrets.

The researchers at the WIV have collaborated with American researchers, however, and conducted gain-of-function experiments utilizing gene-splicing techniques. See, for example, a 2015 paper published in Nature, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” authored by researchers mostly from the University of North Carolina (UNC), but also by collaborators from Harvard, Switzerland, and Wuhan. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is the second-to-last author.

Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

That is to say, these scientists bioengineered a chimera, a Frankenvirus, from the old 2002-2003 SARS virus but with spikes from a different bat coronavirus. The Frankenvirus seems to be a pretty tough customer:

Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.

That is, it’s hard to kill, it’s hard to immunize against, and it reproduces like gangbusters – meaning that if it got loose, it might cause a . . . wait for it . . . a pandemic.

Wait, doctors, didn’t you take the money because you said you were going to come up with a biodefense? Again, I am not suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 was genomically bioengineered – but these scientists are actively creating highly pathogenic organisms, then reporting their work in the scientific literature. Sounds like a Pandora’s box to me.

Of note, this article was published during the period (2014-2017) while the National Institutes of Health was not funding gain-of-function research – though exceptions were made for certain institutions (such as UNC, Harvard, and the WIV). As reported by Sam Husseini, this study also received funding from the US Agency for International Development and the EcoHealth Alliance.

Weapons systems, such as nuclear weapons, missiles, or drones, are developed with the intent of gaining a military advantage over one’s enemies. Inevitably, though, enemies catch up – and the end result is proliferation. As with other weapons, the downsides, the risks, and the costs of bioweapons research are becoming more obvious. Also obvious is that we must put a stop to it.

Seiji Yamada, a native of Hiroshima, is a family physician practicing and teaching in Hawaii.

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment