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Israel prevents Palestinians from combating COVID-19

By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | April 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic death toll grows and the number of those infected creeps past one million confirmed cases, worldwide, the Palestinian health workers of Gaza and the West Bank try desperately to prevent the spread of the virus in the occupied territories. Unfortunately, however, this effort has been severely compromised by the Israeli occupation forces.

An issue almost completely overlooked by Western corporate media, is the issue of Israeli persecution of Palestinians during the ongoing pandemic. This major cover-up comes despite the fact that there is currently round the clock coverage of the impacts of the novel coronavirus.

Israel has continued its brutal policies of mistreatment of Palestinian political prisoners, massive arrest campaigns, break-ins, killings, bombings and even crimes specific to the pandemic, which we are currently living through, such as the destroying emergency clinics which have been set up to deal with the virus outbreak and also the dumping sick Palestinians outside of checkpoints.

If ever there was a time that the world would see unity between the oppressed and the oppressors, it would surely be at a time when the whole world is collectively under attack by an enemy of the collective which is not only infecting and killing people, but destroying the world economy. However, unfortunately, this has not been the case between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation.

Just in the past few weeks alone, Israeli occupation forces have continued arresting and detaining Palestinian minors in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Also continuing to raid and attack Palestinians who are attempting to self isolate and practice social distancing in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday the 22nd of March, Israeli occupation forces killed a 32 year old Palestinian man, from the village of Nilin (near central Ramallah), in the West Bank. The 32 year old was shot in the head whilst driving his car and according to his family was simply running errands. Since then, dozens more have been shot and severely injured.

Palestinian political prisoners who are currently being held in Israeli prisoners are also fearful for their lives, some announcing hunger strikes over the lack of precautionary measures taken by the Israeli prisons. All Palestinian prisoners will now be essentially in the dark, as social distancing measures are in place, preventing any physical communication with loved ones. On top of this, a recently released Palestinian prisoner has, according to reports, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Israeli artillery strikes have also been reported as having hit three different areas inside of the illegally besieged Gaza Strip, just last week. Israel claimed this came after an unspecified number of rockets were fired, no damage was reported inside of Israel however. This bombardment of Gaza ignores the UN global call for ceasefire, which Israel has joined the likes of Saudi Arabia and the United States in already abandoning. Israel has continued running mock raids on Gaza since last week’s airstrikes.

Israel has also been documented as having dumped Palestinians who work in illegal settlements, randomly, outside checkpoints after the workers have displayed signs of sickness. One specific case gathering a lot of attention on social media, the Palestinian Health Ministry later confirmed that the man who had been featured in the video, did not test positive for the virus.

What Israel shows with its dealings with sick Palestinian workers, demonstrates its clearly racist views towards Palestinians, treating Palestinians as if they were animals that can be simply discarded of if they seem to pose a health risk.

According to Israeli Human Rights Organization BTselem, on the 26th of March, the Israeli military stormed the Palestinian village of Khirbet Ibziq, accompanied by a military escort with a bulldozer and two cranes, which they used to demolish an emergency clinic and community housing. The facilities were created to deal with the outbreak of the virus, which the Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah, are ill-equipped to deal with in the event that the disease becomes more wide spread. The Israeli forces also confiscated equipment being used to combat the spread of COVID-19 on that day.

These are but only a sample of the problems faced by Palestinians under occupation, when it comes to dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19. But without using more examples of racist persecution, it is essential that we ask the question; that if Israel cannot put aside its dehumanizing tactics used against the Palestinian people now and cannot put aside its racism during a global pandemic, what will defeat this divisive mentality of the occupier?

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

US sidestepped OWN SANCTIONS against Russia to save American lives from Covid-19… If only it cared as much about Iranian lives

By Scott Ritter | RT | April 3, 2020

When it comes to saving American lives, sanctions are not an obstacle to the provision of life-saving medical equipment. Ramping up sanctions on struggling Iran is okay however – which goes to show the US price tag on human life.

It was a sight that warmed the heart of even the most cynical American opponent of Vladimir Putin’s Russia—a giant An-124 aircraft, loaded with boxes of desperately needed medical supplies, being offloaded at JFK Airport. When President Trump spoke on the phone with his Russian counterpart on March 31, he mentioned America’s need for life-saving medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protective equipment. Two days later the AN-124 arrived in New York.

As the aircraft was being unloaded, however, it became clear that at least some of the equipment being offloaded had been delivered in violation of existing US sanctions. Boxes clearly marked as containing Aventa-M ventilators, produced by the Ural Instrument Engineering Plant (UPZ), could be seen. For weeks now President Trump has made an issue about the need for ventilators in the US to provide life-saving care for stricken Americans.

There was just one problem—the manufacturer of the Aventa-M, UPZ, is a subsidiary of Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) which, along with its parent holding company ROSTEC, has been under US sanctions since 2014. Complicating matters further is the fact that the shipment of medical supplies was paid in part by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a Russian sovereign wealth fund which, like ROSTEC, was placed on the US lending blacklist in 2014 following Russia’s intervention in Crimea. Half of the Russian aid shipment was paid for by the US State Department, and the other half by RDIF.

According to a State Department spokesperson, the sanctions against RDIF do not apply to purchases of medical equipment. KRET, however, is in the strictest SDN (Specially Designated Persons) sanctions list, which means US citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from doing business with it. So while the letter of the sanctions may not have been violated, the spirit certainly has been.

One only need talk to the embattled Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, to understand the difficulty in trying to purchase much-needed medical equipment during a global pandemic where everyone else is trying to do the same. New York has been competing with several other states to purchase much-needed ventilators from China. “It’s like being on eBay”, Cuomo recently told the press, with 50 states bidding against one another, driving the price up. The issue became even more complicated when the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, entered the bidding war. “They big-footed us”, Cuomo said, driving the price per ventilator up to $25,000. “We’re going broke.”

Cuomo estimates that New York will need upwards of 40,000 ventilators to be able to handle the influx of stricken patients when the outbreak hits its peak. At the moment, New York has 17,000 ventilators available—including 2,500 on order from China—and Cuomo doesn’t expect any more. “We’re on our own.” Plans are in place to begin imposing a triage system to prioritize ventilator availability if and when the current stockpile is exhausted. These plans include the issuance of an emergency waiver that permits health care providers to take a patient off a ventilator to make it available for another patient deemed to be more “viable”—that is, who has a greater expectation of surviving the disease.

Cuomo’s predicament is being played out around the world, in places like Italy, Spain—and Iran, where the outbreak of coronavirus has hit particularly hard. The difference, however, is that while the US, Italy and Spain are able to scour the global market in search of life-saving medical supplies, Iran is not. US sanctions targeting the Iranian financial system, ostensibly imposed to prevent “money laundering” by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command, which has been heavily sanctioned by the US over the years, have made it virtually impossible for Iran to pay for humanitarian supplies needed to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

As bad as it is for Governor Cuomo, at least he can enter a bidding war for medical supplies. Iran can’t even get its foot in the door, and it is costing lives. Making matters worse, at a time when the international community is pleading for the US to ease sanctions so Iran can better cope with an outbreak that is taking a life every ten minutes, the US instead doubled down, further tightening its death grip on the Iranian economy.

The global coronavirus pandemic will eventually end, and when it does there will be an accounting for how nations behaved. Nations like Russia and China have been repeatedly vilified in the US media for any number of reasons—even the Russian aid shipment containing the sanctioned ventilators has been dismissed as a “propaganda ploy.” What, then, do you call the US’ blatant disregard for select human lives?

The callous indifference displayed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials to the suffering of the Iranian people by increasing sanctions at a time when the situation cries out for them to be lifted in order to save lives, when contrasted to the ease in which US sanctions on Russia are ignored when life-saving medical equipment is needed, drives home the point that, as far as the US is concerned, human life only matters when it is an American one. That might play well among American voters (it shouldn’t), but for the rest of the world it is a clear sign that hypocrisy, not humanitarianism, is the word that will define the US going forward.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Crisis & Critique: US Ramps up Aggression amid Pandemic

By Ociel Alí López – Venezuelanalysis – April 1, 2020

Venezuela has been one of the countries least affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the region so far. Nevertheless, the US government is attempting to exploit the situation in order to force a violent outcome to the country’s political standoff, putting a price on the head of Maduro and other top functionaries as well as pushing a new “transition” plan to depose the government in exchange for sanctions relief. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s attorney general has summoned Guaido for questioning on April 2. Far from bringing about a truce, the coronavirus has raised tensions to new heights.

On the verge of a truce

The pandemic has caught Venezuela’s opposition in a rather uncomfortable position. Their strategy of not recognizing Maduro and the never ending simulacrum that is Guaido’s “interim presidency” is, fourteen months later, an abject failure in terms of concrete achievements. Guaido’s virtual staying power is owed almost exclusively to Donald Trump, who invited him to the White House at the close of his international tour in February.

But this strategy leaves a vacuum in the opposition. The existence of an “interim president” precludes that of an opposition leader who can channel requests, critiques, and demands toward the government. Guaido is instead forced to speak as a president but without any state resources at his disposal to confront the COVID-19 crisis. Some of Guaido’s spokespeople such as his foreign relations envoy, Julio Borges, issue statements that are woefully out of touch with the gravity of the international conjuncture: “The coronavirus is Maduro and there will be no cure until he leaves power.”

For his part, Maduro, comfortable and without internal resistance, rapidly implemented the World Health Organization’s guidelines, decreeing a national quarantine within days of the first case being reported on March 13. Maduro also managed to meet not only with the country’s principal chamber of commerce, FEDECAMARAS, but also with Colombia’s health authorities, a fact which Colombian President Ivan Duque publicly denied. He additionally secured aid from Cuba and China, which have emerged as global leaders in COVID-19 response. Meanwhile, the United States and Guaido’s other Western sponsors are mired in an unprecedented health crisis due to the number of dead and infected.

On March 23, the European Union publicly called for the International Monetary Fund to accept emergency loan requests from Venezuela and Iran and for relief from US sanctions, which according to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, “block them from receiving income by selling oil.” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also urged the lifting of unilateral coercive measures in the face of the pandemic.

The situation seemed favorable for Maduro’s struggle against the US economic blockade.

In this context, the coronavirus was on the verge of bringing about the unthinkable: an agreement between the opposition and the government. Henry Ramos Allup, the president of Venezuela’s main opposition party, announced on March 10 that Democratic Action would abandon its prior abstentionism and compete in parliamentary elections scheduled for 2020. Amid the global COVID-19 hysteria, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles opened the possibility for an agreement with Maduro when he stated on March 25:

This pandemic must create an opportunity to pursue some kind of agreement that looks after people’s wellbeing… Let’s work together: you have internal control, and I have international support. You are willing to come to an agreement to join hands. Could it be that difficult? I don’t think so.

That very night, there were two, almost parallel reactions. Maduro said, “I agree with Capriles’ proposal,” and asked the Vatican’s representative in the country to mediate and open its offices for a meeting with the different opposition factions as soon as possible.

Minutes later, Guaido stated, “we are willing to do everything we have to do,” implicitly recognizing the need for an agreement to address the health emergency. However, he did enumerate certain conditions regarding the distribution of humanitarian aid, which should be managed by multilateral organisms and not the Maduro government.

Venezuela’s dueling political factions appeared to be on the verge of engaging in substantive talks, but it was not to be.

Escalating US assault

The next day, on the morning of March 26, US Attorney General William Barr gave a press conference announcing “narco-terrorism” charges against Maduro and other senior government officials.

As expected, the charges were endorsed by Trump in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, effectively torpedoing negotiation efforts and once again raising tensions to a boiling point.

This is hardly the first time that the US has blocked dialogue. When in early August 2019 rumors were circulating of something resembling an electoral pre-agreement emerging from Norway-brokered talks, the United States ramped up sanctions with an August 5 executive order banning all dealings with the Venezuelan state and freezing its assets in what some analysts have linked to the Cuba embargo. The next day, Maduro abandoned talks.

The government had also previously claimed in February 2018 that a last minute call by then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the head of the opposition negotiating team, Julio Borges, led the opposition to walk out in lieu of signing a finalized electoral deal. This was the fruit of months of negotiations mediated by former Spanish President Jose Rodriguez Zapatero and the Dominican government, and the agreement concerned guarantees for the 2018 presidential elections, which the main opposition parties opted to boycott.

With this latest decision, Trump ups the ante. On top of punishing economic sanctions, the US now places a multi-million dollar bounty on the head of Maduro and other top officials, giving the green light to renewed violent actions aimed at killing or capturing them.

But the move also aborts the nascent negotiation efforts recently underway. Rather than paving the way for an invasion, indictments open the way for paramilitary operations of the sort one might find in a Hollywood movie. Recall that neighboring Colombia is a country littered with irregular armed outfits. Just a few days ago, following the seizure of an arms cache in northeastern Colombia, retired Major General Cliver Alcala confessed to a plot to overthrow Maduro in coordination with Guaido and US advisors. Paradoxically, the general confirmed the coup plan only after he was indicted by the US Justice Department, subsequently turning himself in to Drug Enforcement Agency officials and traveling from Colombia to the US.

Several days later, on March 31, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a more conciliatory but equally arrogant tone, unveiled a “transition” plan proposing the creation of a “council of state” comprised of opposition and Chavista representatives, with both Guaido and Maduro stepping aside and new elections called. The Venezuelan constitution contains no provisions permitting such an arrangement, which has already been rejected by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

The government did not delay in rolling out its response. The attorney general summoned Guaido to appear for questioning on April 2 and it is very possible that he could be taken into custody after Alcala publicly named him as responsible for terrorist actions to be carried out with the arms confiscated in Colombia. With Guaido behind bars, another scenario opens up, and all that is left is to await a more decisive response from the US.

Meanwhile, we must not forget the arena that has taken center stage at present: healthcare.

Coronavirus and the collapse of the health sector

This escalation of conflict comes not only in the context of coronavirus, but also at a moment of deep crisis in Venezuela’s healthcare system, which could be rapidly overwhelmed if Venezuela’s curve mirrors that of other countries.

In a November 2019 report, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock observed:

I have seen myself how the health system is on the verge of collapse, with many hospitals lacking the most basic water and electricity infrastructure. Hospital patients, many of whom are already critically ill, are at high risk of losing their lives from new infections they are acquiring while they are in hospital, because basic cleaning and disinfection cannot be done. This is exacerbated by a lack of medicines, and a shortage of doctors and nurses to administer them. Preventable diseases including malaria and diphtheria are back with a vengeance. People with chronic health conditions, pregnant and nursing women, infants and those living with disabilities are among the most vulnerable.

No matter how much the government emphasizes its strength in the health sector owing to the support of its allies, the reality is that the system has suffered severe deterioration. If we project an Italy or Spain-style curve in Venezuela, the result could be not just a health sector collapse, but a catastrophe in every arena of life.

For this very reason, Washington’s bellicose measures provoke widespread animosity among diverse national and international constituencies. On the one hand, Chavismo automatically closes ranks behind the government, which implements stronger security measures that block efforts to open up the political field. On the other, the opposition factions that were engaged in or calling for dialogue with the government are now shut out of the game because it will be very difficult for them to compete in parliamentary elections to be held later this year. And if the main opposition parties do not participate, like in the last few elections, they will lose the only real power they have left: the National Assembly. The majority of opposition political actors have reacted with caution and have not automatically supported the US’ actions.

Washington’s latest maneuvers also fly in the face of positions taken by US allies like the European Union, as well as other multilateral bodies, which have called for lifting sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Washington’s “kick them while their down” approach may appear disproportionate in the face of the current crisis, but we must remember that the US presidential campaign looms large and the Venezuela issue is key to winning the critical state of Florida.

For his part, Guaido may try to dust off the “humanitarian aid” discourse that he had dropped from his political repertoire after the opposition’s US-backed effort to force food and other supplies across the Colombian border in February 2019 ended not only in failure but in a corruption scandal that has dogged the “interim president” ever since. The US, Colombia, and Guaido’s other allies could make a fresh attempt at “humanitarian intervention” amid the current situation of international panic. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cuba and Venezuela Carrie Filipetti recently prepared the ground for this possibility, stating that the COVID-19 contagion in Venezuela could pose a regional threat.

This discourse is illogical given that according to official figures Venezuela has far fewer cases than its neighbors, while the US is now the global epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. But when it comes to US-Venezuela relations, official discourses have little concern for facts. Anything can happen, above all, if elections require putting a face on the “invisible enemy.”

Ociel Alí López is a Venezuelan researcher who has published numerous written and multimedia works. He is dedicated to analyzing Venezuelan society for several European and Latin American media outlets. He is a co-founder of alternative Venezuelan state television station Avila TV in 2006. He is the recipient of the CLACSO/ASDI researcher prize and the Britto Garcia literature award.

April 3, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Regime Change through the Drug War

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | April 1, 2020

The Justice Department’s securing of a criminal indictment of Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro reminds us that when it comes to the U.S. government’s regime-change operations, coups, invasions, sanctions, embargoes, and state-sponsored assassinations are not the only ways to achieve regime change. Another way is through a criminal indictment issued by a federal grand jury that deferentially accedes to the wishes of federal prosecutors.

The best example of this regime change method involved the president of Panama, Manuel Noriega.

Like many corrupt and brutal dictators around the world, Noriega was a partner and ally of the U.S. government. In fact, he was actually trained at the Pentagon’s School of the Americas, which is referred to in Latin America as the School of Assassins. He later served as a paid asset of the CIA. He also served as a conduit for the U.S. government’s illegal war in Nicaragua, where U.S. officials were using the Contra rebels to effect a regime change in that country.

But like other loyal pro-U.S. dictators, Noriega fell out of favor with U.S. officials, who decided they wanted him out of office and replaced with someone more to their liking.

The big problem, of course, is the one that always afflicts U.S. regime-change aspirations: Noriega refused to go voluntarily.

U.S. officials knew that it would look bad to simply invade the country and effect a regime-change operation through force of arms. Undoubtedly, they considered a state-sponsored assassination through the CIA, which specialized in that form of regime change, but for whatever reason that regime-method wasn’t employed.

So, the regime-changers turned to the U.S. Justice Department, which secured a criminal indictment against Noriega for supposedly violating America’s drug laws. The U.S. rationale was that the U.S. government, as the world’s international policeman, has jurisdiction to enforce its drug laws against everyone in the world.

On December 20,  1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama to bring Noriega back to the United States to stand trial on the drug charges. One might consider the invasion to be one gigantic no-knock raid on an entire country as part of U.S. drug-war enforcement.

An estimated 23-60 U.S. soldiers were killed in the operation while some 300 were wounded. An estimated 300-800 Panamanian soldiers were killed. Estimates of civilian deaths ranged from 200 to 3,000. Property damage ranged in the billions of dollars.

But it was all considered worth it. By capturing Noriega and bringing him back for trial, U.S. officials felt that they had made big progress in finally winning the war on drugs. Equally important, they had secured the regime change that had been their original goal. At the same time, they sent a message to other rulers around the world: Leave office when we say or we’ll do this to you.

Noriega was convicted and received a 40-year jail sentence. When his lawyers tried to introduce evidence at trial of his close working relationship with the CIA and other elements of the U.S. national security state, not surprisingly federal prosecutors objected and the judge sustained their objections. Better to keep those types of things as secret as possible.

Alas, Noriega’s conviction and incarceration did not bring an end to the war on drugs, as this crooked, corrupt, failed, and racially bigoted government program continues to this day. Moreover, as Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro might soon find out., the drug war continues to provide an effective way for U.S. officials to effect regime change.

April 1, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Sick and Sadistic: World Fights COVID-19 Amid U.S. Sanctions

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 1, 2020

Dozens of U.S. government-chartered flights have begun to airlift vital medical equipment and supplies from China to the U.S. as the latter becomes the world’s biggest case load of infections from the novel coronavirus. There are grim forecasts for the number of deaths in the U.S. as the pandemic is weeks from peaking there.

China is cooperating with the U.S. in organizing the massive medical transfer, naturally of course, given the humanitarian crisis. You would think therefore that a little reciprocation would be in order from Washington. After all, China is one of those foreign countries that the U.S. has imposed sanctions on over alleged human rights violations. Would it not behoove the U.S. to show a bit of solidarity and gratitude by dropping its sanctions regime against China?

And not just China. There are are some 30 countries and territories that currently sit on a U.S. sanctions list, mostly due to Washington’s accusations of human rights violations. Some of the targeted nations have been under sanctions for decades, such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran. Others have joined the dubious club more recently, such as Russia, Yemen and Venezuela.

Surely at this unprecedented time of a global pandemic threatening millions of human beings regardless of nationality, it is time to show genuine solidarity and compassion for others. The very idea of imposing sanctions on other countries is not only anachronistic. It is utterly barbaric.

In any case, U.S. sanctions imposed unilaterally without the mandate of the UN Security Council are arguably illegal. Even before the coronavirus outbreak and its accompanying disease, Covid-19, the American deployment of embargoes to disrupt commerce and trade of other countries could be seen as reprehensible. Such measures are rightly judged to be collective punishment of civilians which violates international law and the UN Charter.

But now as countries battle against an existential threat posed by the virus, the existing U.S. sanctions can be seen as an abomination.

Iran is a particularly poignant case. It has one of the highest infection rates in the world with thousands of deaths in a matter of weeks. Yet the Trump administration sees fit to not only maintain harsh sanctions on Tehran, it has actually added three more rounds of sanctions against Iran since the epidemic occurred. The deaths in Iran are being multiplied by American policy.

The Trump administration cynically claims that U.S. sanctions do not impede humanitarian aid to Iran. The claim is beneath contempt. The crippling sanctions imposed by Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy virtually precludes Iran from making international financial transactions, including for medicines. Moreover, the effect of “secondary sanctions” means that many countries are intimidated from doing business with Iran out of fear of U.S. reprisals.

Washington has blood on its hands where any country is finding the fight against Covid-19 in any way more difficult. It already had blood on its hands from its illegal sanctions. But what we have now is the grotesque picture of a ghoulish, sadistic American government shamelessly showing its ugly face at a time of global suffering.

At the G20 summit last week – held by teleconference to avoid spreading coronavirus infection – Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the world to drop sanctions at this critical juncture. He said it was imperative for all nations to have access to medicines and equipment without financial restrictions. “It is a question of whether people live or die,” he added.

Putin’s call for discarding sanctions was backed by UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and other world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the end, however, the G20 final joint statement omitted any unanimous mention of sanctions. One suspects that the U.S. – the world’s number-one serial abuser of sanctions – pulled strings behind the scenes to pre-empt any move to banish such measures of financial coercion. Not surprisingly, because financial coercion (less politely, “terrorism”) is an instrumental weapon for U.S. foreign policy, as much as its military intimidation of other nations is.

Instead, what came out of the G20 conference was a joint statement of vapid, disingenuous rhetoric.

It opined: “Global action, solidarity and international cooperation are more than ever necessary to address this pandemic. We are confident that, working closely together, we will overcome this. We will protect

human life, restore global economic stability, and lay out solid foundations for strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.”

Just how does “global solidarity” and “working closer together to protect human life” translate into practical remedial action when Washington continues to wield a veto over some of the poorest and weakest nations gaining life-saving supplies?

If there were any compassion or morality in Washington, it would immediately rescind all its sanctions against other nations in recognition of common humanity. But the hard-heartedness of Washington is unrelenting even at a time of crisis and death. It is based on a self-righteousness that is frightening in the scale of its hubris and hypocrisy.

A certain natural “correction” is due for this endemic criminal mentality of America’s ruling class. And one senses that the correction for its systematic evildoing against fellow human beings is not going to pass lightly.

April 1, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Can the United States decline peacefully?

By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | March 31, 2020

Professor Atta-ur-Rahman from Pakistan recently in an interview argued that this coronavirus pandemic may have originated as a US bioweapon. He’s not just any doctor, but he’s the chairman of (Pakistani Prime Minister) Imran Khan’s National Task Force on Science and Technology. And Pakistan’s former UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon said the same thing.

This is very interesting. The US, of course, has been very close to Pakistan in the past. And today Pakistan is trying to balance between the US and China. Hearing this kind of statement from high level people in Pakistan is a wakeup call that the world needs to take this seriously.

I think that the context is such that anybody who’s seriously paying attention to contemporary history has to admit that from the circumstantial evidence alone, it seems very likely that we should see this as a deliberate US biological attack on China, and perhaps on Iran or perhaps the Israelis did that.

The reason for this is that the US has entered into a period of great power competition with a rising China, not just a rising China but with a very rapidly rising China, if we listen to serious geostrategic analysts such as John Mearsheimer, a very brilliant man who tries to tell the truth as he sees it, as we all know, from his analysis with, with Walt on the Israel lobby here in the United States.

In October 2014, just about six years to the day before the US military sports team came to Wuhan, China, perhaps bringing that virus and while at the same time an exercise was being run, “Event 201”, mimicking exactly what would happen in the case of this kind of pandemic, John Mearsheimer published an article called, Can China Rise Peacefully? His answer was no.

John Mearsheimer is an American political scientist and international relations scholar. And he argued that the United States is going to take extraordinary measures to kill Chinese economic growth, which has been averaging 10% since 1980, and which is still up at 7%, putting China on a course to grossly eclipse the United States in economic and enhanced technological and military power within a decade or two at the very most.

Mearsheimer says the United States will undoubtedly do what it takes to stop this no matter what. Here’s a quote from his article he said,

“All of this tells us the United States has a profound interest in seeing Chinese economic growth slowed considerably in the years ahead. That outcome might not be good for American prosperity, much less for global prosperity, but it would be good for American security, which is what matters most.”

So that prediction was that the US would be willing to kill not only the global economy, but the American economy as well in order to stop this precipitous Chinese ascendance in the world. That’s what’s happened obviously.

If China’s growing at over 7% and the US is growing at a couple of percent at most, that differential leads to quick Chinese dominance of its region and then the world, whereas if the whole world’s growth is killed, and China’s dives down to a percent or two, and even if the US growth goes a little bit negative, this change doesn’t happen, the US maintains its current global military supremacy or so it may think.

So clearly, from the background, the historical background in the context everybody in the world who knows anything about history needs to be talking about, this as a US bioweapon attack on China just as the Chinese are saying, just like the Iranian government’s saying just like the Russian government’s saying and now just like the top people in Pakistan are saying.

Kevin Barrett is an American author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies.

March 31, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 6 Comments

Europe sends medical supplies to Iran in first INSTEX transaction: Germany

Press TV – March 31, 2020

Germany says the three European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal have registered the first transaction under a trade system set up last year to protect companies doing business with Iran from US sanctions, delivering medical supplies to the Islamic Republic amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Berlin’s Foreign Ministry said Germany, France and Britain “confirm that INSTEX (trade system) has successfully concluded its first transaction, facilitating the export of medical goods from Europe to Iran.”

“These goods are now in Iran,” it said in a statement, giving no further details.

The German Foreign Ministry added that Berlin hopes to enhance the mechanism and carry out more transactions with Tehran.

“Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI (Special Trade and Finance Instrument) will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” the German Foreign Ministry said.

Iranian authorities have not commented on the news so far.

The transaction comes over a year after the European trio announced the creation of INSTEX — a non-dollar direct payment channel officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges — in an effort to keep Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers alive.

The apparatus was designed to circumvent the sanctions that the United States re-imposed against Iran after leaving a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, the trio, plus Russia and China.

However, the Europeans have not been able to operationalize the non-dollar trade mechanism under pressure from the US.

The system was launched after Iran complained about the European countries failing to maintain trade with the country as mandated under the nuclear deal, and bowing instead to Washington’s pressure.

In May, Iran initiated a set of countermeasures against Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and following the European partners’ failure to guarantee Tehran’s business interests under the agreement.

Iran had accepted the nuclear limits voluntarily as part of the deal, despite not being obligated by the UN nuclear agency to commit to any such restrictions.

Tehran has vowed to reverse all its nuclear activities as soon as the other JCPOA signatories begin fully implementing their obligations.

March 31, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | | 2 Comments

Russia quizzes US on coronavirus’ parentage

Medical workers in protective suits attend to coronavirus patients at the Intensive Care Unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan, China, February, 2020.
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | March 30, 2020

All through the recent weeks since US President Donald Trump coined the epithet “China virus” to rename Coronavirus, Moscow kept a deafening silence.

Finally, on Sunday, March 29, Moscow broke that silence. That the first Russian statement came at the level of the Russian foreign ministry makes this particularly significant.

In an exclusive remark, a “source in the Russian Foreign Ministry” told the state news agency Tass :

“In order to unambiguously answer the question about the origin, about where the first case emerged, major research needs to be carried out. So, Washington’s accusing tone in comments against China arouses blatant bewilderment.”

The source then went on to touch on the allegation made in China —namely, that a team of American military personnel had visited Wuhan, China, previously before the outbreak. The Russian Foreign Ministry source said:

“As for “US trace” in the COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t have this data today. However, for a long time we have been watching with concerns the US military and biological activity carried out in direct proximity with our borders. In other words, there are indeed questions for the US.”

Now, a few things must be said right at the outset. Any longtime observer of the Russian state system, media culture and Russian diplomacy would know that Tass, which functions under the supervision of the Kremlin is not in the business of lapping up stray remarks by a moonlighting Russian source.

As for Russian diplomats, even the dumbest of them know better than to casually chat up a Tass correspondent. And, of course, Tass will never put out as lead story a stray remark of such significance without clearance from a high level, possibly even from the Kremlin.

What it adds up to is that Russia is signalling that it knows something about coronavirus’ parentage that is explosive in its impact on world politics and international security. Russia has highly privileged intelligence sharing arrangements with China. The Kremlin is the only interlocutor with which President Xi Jinping’s office maintains an institutionalised system of sharing vital information and coordination.

All these factors come into play while assessing yesterday’s Tass report.

Suffice to say, one plausible explanation for the Tass report today is that Moscow has alerted Trump to something that he may not yet be aware of.

Indeed, no attempt has been made by the US so far to disprove the Chinese allegation. There has been a media cover-up instead. Meanwhile, experts have opined that it is unlikely that coronavirus has been used by anyone as a biological weapon but it cannot be ruled out that during research, the virus might have “escaped”.

Interestingly, the Russian “source” drew a pointed comparison with covert attempts by the US military to indulge in “biological activity” near Russia’s borders as well.

Trump is on record that his “china virus” reference was an instinctive reaction to the Chinese allegation. Trump since added that he has stopped using that expression. In fact, he has more than made up by making a telephone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping to bury the hatchet.

After their conversation on March 27, Trump seemed relieved that Beijing is agreeable to bury the past and to look forward to a future of joint effort to combat coronavirus. Trump tweeted in unusually empathic language, even expressing his “respect” for the Chinese system:

“Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the Corona Virus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”

Xinhua carried an unusually detailed report on the conversation which highlighted that a serious discussion took place between Trump and Xi and made it clear that POTUS quizzed Xi closely and held out reassuring words:

“Stressing that China’s experience is very illuminating to him, he said he will make personal efforts to ensure that the United States and China can ward off distractions and concentrate on cooperation against COVID-19.”

The references here to “personal efforts” and “distractions” merit particular attention. Has Xi taken Trump into confidence? The Russians have broken their silence within 2 days of the conversation between Trump and Xi.

However, this isn’t the end of the story. The orphan who appeared in Wuhan late last year may be establishing its parentage by reaching the US and creating an apocalyptic situation in New York. The big question will continue to haunt the world community: Was the coronavirus originally conceived in the womb of a Pentagon lab developing biological weapons?

Harrowing imagine from the inside of a truck in New York City. All victims of the coronavirus for disposal. Image taken by a local nurse, New York, March 29, 2020

Russia now says it has information to that effect. Was the Pentagon conducting tests of potential biological weapons on the two big powers that the Deep State in America regards as the US’ principal adversaries and existential threats?

Moscow has a way of drawing the White House’s attention to sensitive issues through such modes at a time when the direct communication channels remained hopelessly clogged. Moscow knows fully well from past experiences that the POTUS may not always be kept briefed on the shenanigans of the cold warriors in the US intelligence and defence establishment.

The military-industrial complex and the ‘Deep State’ have been historically a law unto themselves. Remember the farewell speech by President Dwight Eisenhower on 17 January, 1961 when he forewarned the nation to be on guard against the potential influence of the military-industrial complex (a term he is credited with coining). Eisenhower said:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Eisenhower was drawing deep into the bitter experience during his presidency that despite his profound military background and being the only general to be elected president in the 20th century, the military-industrial complex torpedoed his efforts to initiate detente with the USSR.

In the wake of the famous U-2 spy plane incident on May 1, 1960 (just days before a summit meeting between Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Paris), which infuriated the Kremlin, Eisenhower had to abandon a planned Moscow visit in June to flesh out his pet foreign-policy project of detente with the USSR, which the highly decorated World War 2 general had deeply cherished would be his finest presidential legacy.

March 30, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Turkish forces, allied militants cut off drinking water to Syria’s Hasakah, environs

Press TV – March 29, 2020

Turkish forces and allied Takfiri militants have once again cut off drinking water supply to people in Syria’s northeastern city of Hasakah and surrounding areas, only a few days after the Damascus government complained to the United Nations and the Security Council over the issue.

Director General of Hasakah Water Company, Mahmoud al-Ukla, told Syria’s official news agency SANA in a statement on Sunday that the Turkish troops and their allies stopped the pumping of water from the Allouk water station at 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) last night, and have refused to reverse their decision.

He emphasized that the measure has deprived up to a million people in the Hasakah region of the essential resource.

Ukla then described the cut in water supply to the Hasakah region as a blatant violation of human rights, an appalling crime against the population of Hasakah, and an act in a way that increases the sufferings of the locals.

Allouk water station is located near the border town of Ra’s al-Ayn, which the Turkish troops and their allied militants seized in October 2019 during the so-called Peace Spring Operation.

“Turkish occupation forces and affiliated terrorists cut off drinking water from Allouk water station and feeding wells deliberately and systematically, depriving more than 600,000 Syrian citizens, mostly women and children, from drinking water,” the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in identical letters sent to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the rotating President of the UN Security Council Zhang Jun on Thursday.

The Syrian ministry noted that the Turkish forces shelled the water station during their cross-border military operation last October, putting it out of service.

Syrian officials, accordingly, briefed the UN Security Council on February 27, informing the international body of a water outage in Hasakah.

“But unfortunately the Security Council, its General Secretariat or relevant international organizations failed to condemn the Turkish forces’ bombing of such a critical civilian facility and their use of water as a weapon against civilians,” the letters pointed out.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry finally called on the Security Council to condemn the crimes being perpetrated by Turkish soldiers, and obligate Ankara to stop its violation of the international law and humanitarian principles, besides its support for terrorist groups wreaking havoc inside Syria.

Turkey has beefed up its military presence in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last militant bastion in a nine-year foreign-backed war, where several anti-Damascus terrorist outfits receive Turkey’s support in their persisting militancy against the Syrian government.

Last week, a United Nations official said interruption to the key water station in Syria’s northeast puts thousands of lives at risk as efforts ramp up to stop the outbreak of the novel coronavirus there.

UNICEF Representative in Syria Fran Equiza said the interruption “during the current efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease puts children and families at unacceptable risk.”

He underlined that the station is the main source of water for around 460,000 people in Hasakah city, the town of Tal Tamer as well as al-Hol and Areesha camps.

The Syrian government has applied a series of measures, as cases of COVID-19 infection have been found in the war-ravaged Arab country.

The measures include suspending schools, universities, as well as some ministries and closing marketplaces and restaurants.

The government also stopped public transportations nationwide.

March 29, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Coronavirus: the Reactionaries from USA

By Viktor Mikhin – New Eastern Outlook – 29.03.2020

Coronavirus is spreading to more and more countries and leaving an increasing number of deaths in its wake. It is about time experts and the common men asked legitimate questions: “Where did this deadly virus come from, in what laboratories was it created, and who is behind the pandemic?”. We will try to answer them as objectively as possible.

The first country where the novel coronavirus was detected and that actively began to stop its spread was China. When residents of the city of Wuhan began to get infected and die, the Chinese authorities warned the global community about the danger and started its full-on battle against the virus.

Many nations in the world immediately offered to help China and quickly began working on the cure for COVID-19.

But what did the current U.S. administration do in the wake of the outbreak? Some U.S. media outlets started accusing China of unleashing the virus. A number of articles followed pointing to China as the origin of the virus. The author was left with the impression that either these journalists had witnessed its creation or they had been carefully instructed as to what to write. A seafood market in Wuhan was also mentioned as the source of the virus. There were also stories suggesting that the unexpected appearance of the novel coronavirus hinted at it being man-made, and that people could have used the theory the virus had come from animals to hide the true nature of its origins.

People who think they are intelligent and astute know for sure that only thieves and fraudsters make the biggest noise as they flee from those who they have stolen from or deceived. And this is exactly what some U.S. conspiracy theorists did, out of sheer stupidity, as they do not care about being objective and, instead, only strive for publicity and wider reach. Then, in the author’s opinion, more serious analytical articles were published insinuating that the new virus was created by biologists from the military and originated in U.S. laboratories.

In short, they said that as a result of experiments, the coronavirus genome appeared to contain “HIV virus-like insertions”. According to the biologists responsible for the research, the virus was not a product of evolution or mutation even theoretically speaking. Hence, they concluded it could have been man-made. Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding also addressed this issue by posting: “I am absolutely not saying it’s bioengineering nor am I supporting any conspiracy theories with no evidence. I’m simply saying scientists need to do more research + get more data. And finding the origin of the virus is an important research priority”. A professor of Molecular Biology in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, Anand Ranganathan, and his colleagues published a preprint (which has not been peer-reviewed as yet) about their research on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). They discovered a possible link between it and other similar known coronaviruses circulating in animals (such as bats and snakes), and found HIV virus-like insertions in 2019-nCoV. No other well-studied coronaviruses have such a structure. Hence, their research hints at the possibility that the virus was designed and could be used to wage biological warfare.

In light of these recent developments, it seems apt to remind our readers that a fierce, take-no-prisoners type of trade war is currently ongoing between the United States and China. And in the midst of this confrontation, as if by a wave of a magic wand, the coronavirus outbreak started in the PRC, which has already caused enormous damage to the Chinese economy and considerably weakened Beijing’s bargaining position at the negotiating table.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many experts reported that, recently, Washington, in contravention of international law, was actively developing biological weapons in its numerous laboratories located in the United States as well as abroad. Apparently, there are more than 200 U.S. biological laboratories worldwide: in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

Incidentally, the author has come across articles published by Ukrainian media outlets claiming that local authorities have no oversight of such facilities. It seems that the situation in a number of other countries where U.S. biolabs are located is similar.

DTRA (the Defense Threat Reduction Agency), which collaborates with the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia, is suspected of involvement in an incident that occurred in Chechnya in spring 2017. Locals reported seeing a drone that appeared to be spreading a white powder near Russia’s border with Georgia.

Ethnic bioweapons (biogenetic weapons), “is a type of theoretical bioweapon that aims to harm only or primarily people of specific ethnicities or genotypes”. Although there have never been any reports confirming that research on such weapons exists, documents that the author has come across show that the United States is gathering information about certain ethnic groups, first and foremost Russians and the Chinese. After all, Washington has labelled Russia and China as its main rivals recently. The author believes that the U.S. Air Force has been collecting Russian RNA (ribonucleic acid) and sinus tissue samples from a federal initiative. Apparently, information about this can be found in the Federal Procurement Data System. According to Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court biological experiments are deemed as war crimes. However, the United States is not a member of the Court and has a tendency to evade responsibility for war crimes.

From the author’s perspective, there is a hidden motive behind the coronavirus pandemic. And as some have already guessed, it is not the Great Plague of the XXI century but a highly contagious disease that appeared at just the right time. In other words, the pandemic is part of a far-reaching disinformation campaign aimed at creating panic and chaos. According to Chinese conspiracy theories, the virus appeared in Wuhan during the Military World Games, which U.S. and British servicemen took part in. The author believes that there were many agents from the CIA and MI6 who could have released the coronavirus at the time thus putting everyone’s lives at risk. Incidentally, the British could have played an important role in this mission as they have already gained similar experience by spreading biological agents from the Porton Down science park near the city of Salisbury. The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia lends further credence to the author’s theory as they managed to survive the ordeal.

There are over 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and millions more are worried about the pandemic. What is curious to the author is that not only are the common men in a panic but so are authorities and officials who are preparing to take unprecedented quarantine measures in Russia, China, Iran and other nations that are known to choose their own path. The information war has served as a catalyst to the crisis that could have been smaller in scale but thanks to manipulation of mass consciousness, this is no longer the case.

The author thinks that the current disinformation campaign accompanying the coronavirus pandemic is the beginning of the “heist of the century”. As a result of this con, assets and savings of many nations, companies and individuals will end up in the hands of the current oligarchy, more specifically hundreds of the richest and most powerful families. The substantial portion of global wealth they already own will only increase as the rich always want more. From the author’s point of view, the United States is accustomed to robbing other countries and people of their wealth, and their allies are no exception, take Italy for example.

March 29, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

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

The Empire’s Cuban Colony 1898-1959

Tales of the American Empire

The Cuban struggle for independence in the 1890s was closely covered by the American press. Some newspapers agitated for American intervention and featured sensational stories of Spanish atrocities against the native Cuban population. Spain posed no threat to the United States, but Cuba had very profitable plantations coveted by American tycoons. On February 15, 1898, the US Navy warship USS Maine was visiting Havana harbor and was rocked by an explosion, killing 260 of the crew and sinking the ship. America’s ruling class used this incident and their money and media to pressure the US Congress to declare war on Spain to seize Cuba.

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment