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US brings culture wars to Afghanistan

Reflections on Events in Afghanistan

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | DECEMBER 1, 2022

The time has come to pick up threads from my blog of January 27 titled The West co-opts the Taliban. Indeed, the wheel has come full circle: the three-day conclave in Oslo on January 23-25 between a core group of Western diplomats with Taliban officials failed to work out a reasonable a modus vivendi. The pendulum has since swung to the other extreme. 

Afghanistan has once again become the cockpit of big power rivalries due to developments intrinsic to Afghan situation, a regime change in Pakistan and the shifts in regional politics in Central Asia due to the fallouts from the collective West’s proxy war with Russia in Europe.

To recapitulate, Russia and China brilliantly undercut the US’ attempt in Oslo to co-opt the Taliban government as its partner. The terms of partnership were not acceptable to the Taliban, especially the leeway that the US and British intelligence sought to stage covert operations from Afghan soil. 

Russia and China created space for Taliban to negotiate with the US by simply offering them the prospect of a beneficial relationship. The US’s core objective was to use Afghanistan as a staging post for its containment strategies against Russia, China and Iran.

Since then, the US estimates that with Russia bogged down in Ukraine and China remaining extra-cautious in consorting with Moscow, a window of opportunity is available for it to proactively work toward promoting regime changes in Central Asia and roll back the Russian influence in the region.

Attempts were made in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan but the regimes in those countries were vigilant.  The failed attempts once again drew attention to the importance of Afghanistan as a high ground in the geopolitics of the Central Asian region. Hence the need to regain control over Kabul.

This is a truly collective effort by the Western intelligence, with the US, UK, France and Germany in the lead role. Unsurprisingly, the West’s focus has shifted to the northern regions of Afghanistan bordering the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia. 

With a pro-Western regime in power in Pakistan, the US gets a free hand to work with the non-Taliban groups. The Western powers assess that the so-called National Resistance Front (NRF) led by the Panjshiri leader Ahmed Massoud provides a congenial platform for advancing their regional agenda. 

Apart from the Massoud clan’s decades-old links with the French intelligence, Ahmed Massoud himself was trained in Sandhurst. The Panjshiris are irreconcilably opposed to Pashtun rule and also have ethnic affinities with Tajikistan. 

Enter Emmanuel Macron. France has a score to settle ever since Russia’s Wagner Group summarily replaced the French Legion as the provider of security to the Francophone countries in the Sahel region. Macron hopes to turn the table against Russia in Central Asia (and the Caucasus.) 

In this shadow play, Macron sees as quasi-ally the president of Tajikistan Imomali Rahmon. Now, Rahmon’s motivations are never easy to fathom and are rather complicated in this case, but he does see that there is a lot of money that the West is prepared to spend to foster the NRF and Massoud, and this western venture is for sure going to be for the long haul.

Rahmon’s trump card is that Tajikistan is the gateway to Panjshir and it can provide a transit corridor for the flow of Western money, men and materials to boost the NRF’s capability to wage an armed struggle and emerge quickly as a credible political entity regionally. 

Dushanbe hosted the so-called Herat Security Dialogue earlier this week to facilitate a meet-up between the NRF (Massoud) and sundry other disgruntled Afghan politicians hostile toward Taliban rule and domiciled in the West, with the US and European intelligence officials mentoring the event. 

Clearly, the venture aims to broad-base the NRF by bringing on board all anti-Taliban elements. Interestingly, a sideshow at Dushanbe was that the Afghans networked with hand-picked invitees from regional states as well, including Russia and Iran, largely self-styled “liberals” who are willing to subserve the West’s agenda.  

In a nutshell, the venture aims to build up another Afghan resistance movement to oust the Taliban from power. The ground is being prepared for a new civil war where the West hopes to emerge victorious eventually but without having to put “boots on the ground.”

However, this incoming civil war is going to be very unlike all previous ones in Afghan history. For, this is being projected as a culture war — a struggle for dominance between groups within the Afghan society arising from their different beliefs or practices — although quintessentially it is yet another grab for political power with foreign help.

It bears similarity with the culture wars playing out in America during the past two decades and more between the liberal secular society and a conservative opposition that rooted its worldview in divine scripture. Today, in America it is playing out in vicious fights over abortion, gay rights, religion in public schools and the like.

The culture war in Afghanistan too will inevitably expand from issues of religion and family culture to take over politics almost totally, creating a dangerous sense of winner-take-all conflict over the future of the country, as has happened in America. 

The paradox here is that it is taking place in the cause of Democracy, whereas, democracy at its core is an agreement that we will not kill each other over our differences, but instead we’ll talk through those differences howsoever long it may take. Massoud’s NRF, on the contrary, is wedded to violence to overthrow the Taliban government which has been in power only briefly.  

Fundamentally, there is a dangerous misconception here since politics at its core is nothing but an artifact of culture. And culture underwrites politics in all countries. To be sure, the Taliban will see the incoming civil war promoted by the West as an existential threat to their way of life, to the things they hold sacred. That is to say, the Taliban’s resistance to the NRF will be rooted in fear of extinction. They will fight to the death for a way of life.

Why is the West doing this to Afghanistan after having destroyed that country’s social fabric through the past two decades perpetrating such horrific war crimes? At the very least, first return that country’s money in western banks and allow the Afghan nation a decent respite to lick its war wounds, before inciting another civil war. 

Abdul Latif Pedram, a rare progressive-minded Afghan politician known for his integrity, wrote in a tweet “I was invited to the security meeting of Herat (at Dushanbe), but I did not participate in the meeting due to the presence of corrupt people.” 

Indeed, it is an insult to the Afghan people that the westerners continue to treat them like mute cattle. Pedram added that the invitees to the Dushanbe meeting were all associated with the corrupt regime that the Taliban replaced, and are bankrupt in ideas to improve the tragic situation in his country. 

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

The Monaco Battalion. Ukraine’s elite refugees on the Cote d’Azur

RT | November 24, 2022

Since the beginning of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, the US, EU, and their allies have provided Kiev with $126 billion worth of aid, a number almost equal to the country’s entire GDP. Moreover, millions of Ukrainians have found refuge in the EU, where they were given housing, food, work permits, and emotional support. The scope is huge, even by Western standards. Considering that the bloc has been funding Kiev while coping with an economic and energy crisis of its own, the assistance is perhaps especially notable.

Kiev bases its endless funding requests on the collapse of its economy, due to the war, and its need to “resist Russian aggression.” But is the aid reaching its intended destination?

While Ukraine has undergone a general mobilization affecting all men under the age of 60, many former and current high-ranking officials, politicians, businessmen, and oligarchs have moved to safety abroad – mainly to the EU. … continue

The Monaco Battalion 2

Investigation by Ukrainska Pravda | October 17, 2022

Writer and presenter: Mykhailo Tkach

Cameraman: Yaroslav Bondarenko

Director: Andrii Ihnatenko

English translation: Elina Beketova

Translation editor: Teresa Pearce

Join the Ukrainska Pravda Club: https://club.pravda.com.ua/?utm_sourc…

Website: https://www.pravda.com.ua

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Iran retaliates against UN nuclear resolution – media

RT | November 22, 2022

Tehran has for the first time started enriching uranium to 60% fissile purity at the Fordow facility, Iranian media reported on Tuesday. Such a move would be seen as a response to a critical resolution adopted by the UN’s nuclear watchdog last week.

Iran is already enriching uranium at Natanz, its other major production site, to below weapons-grade 90% enrichment, but well above the 3.67% limit specified in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, or JCPOA. The US abandoned the deal with Tehran during the administration of Donald Trump, leading to its erosion and effective collapse.

Other reported moves by Iran include upgrading cascade lines with more advanced gas centrifuges to boost production capacity at Fordow, as well as firing up additional chains at Natanz.

Tehran’s action was described as retaliation for a resolution passed last Thursday by the Board of Directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The document, which was drafted by the US, Britain, France and Germany, decried “insufficient substantive cooperation by Iran” on the issue of uranium traces found in 2019 by inspectors at three undeclared sites. It demanded “credible explanations” and full cooperation from Tehran.

The four sponsoring nations are also signatories of the JCPOA. China and Russia, two other participants of the landmark deal, reportedly voted against the draft document during the closed-door session last week.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry rejected the resolution, calling it a form of political pressure by the US and its allies. Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday that the country had taken “initial measures” in response to it on Sunday night.

“The implementation of these measures was realized today in the presence of IAEA inspectors in the Natanz and Fordo enrichment complexes,” the diplomat added, without specifying what had happened.

The JCPOA was meant to exchange an Iranian commitment to limit its nuclear program for relief of economic sanctions imposed on the country. The goal was to prolong the time Tehran would need to create a nuclear weapon, an ambition that Iran officially denies fostering in the first place.

The Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. President Joe Biden has been negotiating a possible revival of the JCPOA, but no breakthrough has been achieved so far.

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran bans imports of French cars unless damage redressed

Press TV – November 21, 2022

Iran has banned the imports of French cars until France’s automobile manufacturers, namely Renault, Peugeot and Citroen, compensate the damage caused by leaving the Islamic Republic.

The withdrawal imposed a lot of costs on Iran’s automobile and parts manufacturing industry and left many investments in ruins after the US imposed new sanctions in August 2018, targeting the Islamic Republic’s car industry, trade in gold and other precious metals, and purchases of US dollars.

Although the withdrawal forced Iranian manufacturers to pool their resources and produce locally-made cars, compensation for the damage caused by the pullout is a central demand.

The ban announced by Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade spokesman Omid Qalibaf comes as Iran is reintroducing foreign car imports in order to both improve the pool of quality automobiles and meet consumer demand.

Iran prohibited the import of Western cars in 2017 to counter the impending reimposition of US sanctions. The idea was part of Tehran’s efforts to develop a “resistance economy” that could both serve Iranians’ demands for cars, lessen dependence on foreign technology, and potentially boost export revenue.

“Those in the process of importing cars are dealing with the related issues and are concluding their contracts one by one, with the first cars expected to enter the country with the conditions that have been announced to the importers.

“However, what is certain is that French cars will not find a way to our market for now, because French companies such as Renault and Peugeot do not have a good history during the time of sanctions, when they easily left our country despite having committed to joint ventures and investments,” Qalibaf said.

Before the sanctions, French carmaker PSA Group had signed a framework deal with Iranian counterpart SAIPA to produce and sell vehicles for its Citroen brand in the country.

Under the agreement, Citroen and its Iranian partner would invest 300 million euros ($330 million) over five years in manufacturing, research and development, with the first of three planned new Citroen models due to be launched in Iran in 2018.

PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, had finalized a similar production deal with major Iranian automaker Iran Khodro under a 50-50 joint venture to invest up to 400 million euros ($451 million).

Renault had signed a new joint venture deal that included an engineering and purchasing center to support the development of local suppliers as well as a plant with an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year.

“In the middle of the road, however, they left the Iranian automakers alone and caused a lot of damage to our country’s automobile industry,” Qalibaf said.

“As long as the French car manufacturers do not compensate for these damages, they will not have any share in the large car market of our country, and the import of any car from France will be prohibited,” he added.

The ban, however, will not include South Korea, Japan and other countries, because they were not involved in any joint projects with Iranian industrialists when the new sanctions were imposed, Qalibaf stated.

The auto industry forms the second biggest sub-sector of the economy behind oil, accounting for some 10 percent of the gross domestic product and 4 percent of employment.

When the former Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran in August 2018, it reserved Washington’s first hammer blow for the car industry to hurt as many Iranians as possible.

However, the US pressures forced domestic manufacturers to mobilize their resources to fulfill some of the tasks which were an exclusive competence of foreign companies.

Last week, Venezuelan Minister of Transport Ramón announced the shipment of 1,000 cars built in Iran to Venezuela, stating that they were among 80,000 requests registered for the products of an Iranian car manufacturer in his country.

“We have a very high demand for Iranian car products, where we were able to register about 80,000 requests in the first stage,” he said in Tehran where he was at the head of a large delegation.

With the exports, Iran is staking out a niche in South America’s automotive marketplace which has a lot of space for growth and expansion, given the uneasy relationship of some of the countries of the region with the United States.

It followed the Iran-Venezuela 2022 Expo Fair held on Sept. 14-18 in Caracas where President Maduro announced the assembly of four Iranian models at Venirauto car manufacturing plant, a joint venture between the Venezuelan government and Iran Khodro.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 1 Comment

French elites privately fear the US and new research explains why

By Felix Livshitz | RT | November 15, 2022

New research published by France’s Ecole de Guerre Economique has revealed some extraordinary findings about who and what the French intelligence services fear most when it comes to threats to the country’s economy.

The findings are based on extensive research and interviews with French intelligence experts, including representatives of spy agencies, and so reflect the positions and thinking of specialists in the under-researched field of economic warfare. Their collective view is very clear – 97 percent consider the US to be the foreign power that “most threatens” the “economic interests” of Paris.

Who is your true enemy?

The research was conducted to answer the question, “what will become of France in an increasingly exacerbated context of economic war?” This query has become increasingly urgent for the EU as Western sanctions on Moscow’s exports, in particular energy, have had a catastrophic effect on European countries, but have not had the predicted effect Russia. Nor have they hurt the US, the country pushing most aggressively for these measures.

Yet, the question is not being asked in other EU capitals. It is precisely the continent-wide failure, or unwillingness at least, to consider the “negative repercussions on the daily lives” of European citizens that inspired the Ecole de Guerre Economique report.

As the report’s lead author Christian Harbulot explains, ever since the end of World War II, France has “lived in a state of the unspoken,” as have other European countries.

At the conclusion of that conflict, “manifest fear” among French elites of the Communist Party taking power in France “strongly incited a part of the political class to place our security in the hands of the US, in particular by calling for the establishment of permanent military bases in France.”

“It goes without saying that everything has its price. The compensation for this aid from across the Atlantic was to make us enter into a state of global dependence – monetary, financial, technological – with regard to the US,” Harbulot says. And aside from 1958 – 1965 when General Charles de Gaulle attempted to increase the autonomy of Paris from Washington and NATO, French leaders have “fallen into line.”

This acceptance means aside from rare public scandals such as the sale of French assets to US companies, or Australia canceling its purchase of French-made submarines in favor of a controversial deal with the US and UK (AUKUS), there is little recognition – let alone discussion – in the mainstream as to how Washington exerts a significant degree of control over France’s economy, and therefore politics.

As a result, politicians and the public alike struggle to identify “who their enemy” truly is. “In spheres of power” across Europe, Harbulot says, “it is customary to keep this kind of problem silent,” and economic warfare remains an “underground confrontation which precedes, accompanies and then takes over from classic military conflicts.”

This in turn means any debate about “hostility or harmfulness” in Europe’s relations with Washington misses the underlying point that “the US seeks to ensure its supremacy over the world, without displaying itself as a traditional empire.”

The EU might have a trade surplus of 150 billion euros with the US, but the latter would never willingly allow this economic advantage to translate to “strategic autonomy” from it. And this gain is achieved against the constant backdrop of – and more than offset by – “strong geopolitical and military pressure” from the US at all times.

I spy with my Five Eyes

Harbulot believes the “state of the unspoken” to be even more pronounced in Germany, as Berlin “seeks to establish a new form of supremacy within Europe” based on its dependency on the US.

As France “is not in a phase of power building but rather in a search to preserve its power” – a “very different” state of affairs – this should mean the French can more easily recognize and admit to toxic dependency on Washington, and see it as a problem that must be resolved.

It is certainly hard to imagine such an illuminating and honest report being produced by a Berlin-based academic institute, despite the country being the most badly affected by anti-Russian sanctions. Some analysts have spoken of a possible deindustrialization of Germany, as its inability to power energy-intensive economic sectors has destroyed its 30-year-long trade surplus – maybe forever.

But aside from France’s “dependency” on Washington being different to that of Germany, Paris has other reasons for cultivating a “culture of economic combat,” and keeping very close track of the “foreign interests” that are harming the country’s economy and companies.

A US National Security Agency spying order sent to other members of the Five Eyes global spying network – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK – released by WikiLeaks, shows that since at least 2002 Washington has issued its English-speaking allies annual “information need” requests, seeking any and all information they can dig up on the economic activities of French companies, the economic and trade policies of France’s government, and the views of Paris on the yearly G8 and G20 summits.

Whatever is unearthed is shared with key US economic decision-makers and departments, including the Federal Reserve and Treasury, as well as intelligence agencies, such as the CIA. Another classified WikiLeaks release shows that the latter – between November 2011 and July 2012 – employed spies from across the Five Eyes (OREA) to infiltrate and monitor the campaigns of parties and candidates in France’s presidential election.

Washington was particularly worried about a Socialist Party victory, and so sought information on a variety of topics, “to prepare key US policymakers for the post-election French political landscape and the potential impact on US-France relations.” Of particular interest was “the presidential candidates’ views on the French economy, what current economic policies…they see as not working, and what policies… they promote to help boost France’s economic growth prospects[.]”

The CIA was also very interested in the “views and characterization” of the US on the part of presidential candidates, and any efforts by them and the parties they represented to “reach out to leaders of other countries,” including some of the states that form the Five Eyes network itself.

Naturally, those members would be unaware that their friends in Washington, and other Five Eyes capitals, would be spying on them while they spied on France.

It was clearly not for nothing that veteran US grand strategist and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once remarked, “to be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

November 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roosevelt’s War to Unite the World

Tales of the American Empire | November 10, 2022

Americans are taught their nation fought World War II to free Europe from Nazi tyranny, but historical accounts prove otherwise. President Franklin Roosevelt continued President Woodrow Wilson’s effort to unite all nations under a world government based in New York. Creating a United Nations under American control required destroying the growing German and Japanese empires, dismantling the huge British and French empires, and weakening the growing Soviet Union. Roosevelt had no interest in fighting the Germans to win the war quickly. He wanted Germany and the Soviets to destroy each other while he expanded his United Nations to rule the world.

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Related Tale: “Everyone Lost in World War II”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXHxi…

Related Tale: “The Anglo-American War on France”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkUlo…

Related Tale: “The Madness of Operation Torch”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeUFL…

Related Tale: “An Invasion of Sicily in 1942?”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA5fe…

Related Tale: “Poland Lost World War II”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOgNH…

Related Tale: “The Disastrous Liberation of the Philippines”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7bcQ…

November 11, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Intelligence Services Played Key Role in Staging Mass Riots in Iran: Moscow

Samizdat – 09.11.2022

MOSCOW – Western intelligence services played a key role in organizing mass riots in Iran and spreading further disinformation about the situation in the country, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday.

“We note the key role of Western intelligence services in organizing mass riots in Iran and the subsequent dissemination of misinformation about the situation in the country through the Persian-speaking Western media controlled by them. We perceive this as blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state,” Patrushev said at a meeting with Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of Iran Ali Shamkhani in Tehran, as cited by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

On September 16, a series of protests against the current political regime of Iran broke out throughout the country. Riots were ignited by the reports of the death of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by morality police for wearing a hijab improperly.

Amini was detained by Iran’s morality police in Tehran on September 13 for wearing an “improper” hijab, an offense punishable by prison. The woman was sent to one of the FARAJA centers belonging to the police department and military intelligence for an explanatory conversation. In the center, Amini reportedly had a heart attack, after which she was immediately taken to hospital where the young woman passed away on September 16.

Tehran said that the weeks-long mass riots were planned from abroad and summoned the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Norway, and the charges d’affaires of France in Iran in late September. The European diplomats were given a note of protest in connection with anti-Iranian media reports and calls to overthrow the Iranian government.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 2 Comments

France Increases Military Budget by Over 20%

Samizdat – 09.11.2022

The French government has increased the country’s military budget by more than 20% and will continue modernizing the army, French government spokesman Olivier Veran said on Wednesday.

“We have increased the military budget by over 20%, and we are doing everything to modernize our army,” Veran told French media.

The spokesman also said that the French authorities would soon review and adopt a law on military programming, providing for a further budget increase.

Veran rejected the statements suggesting that France weakens the capabilities of its own troops by sending military aid to Ukraine.

“When we supply weapons to our allies, we are not weakening our army, on the contrary, we are strengthening our forces within the European Union. We are not ‘undressing’ our army at all,” the spokesman added.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

French glass maker halts production as energy costs bite

RT | November 4, 2022

France’s largest glass manufacturer, Duralex, has suspended operations for five months due to soaring electricity prices, the company’s CEO Jose Luis LLacuna told the BFM TV channel on Wednesday.

“Our gas and electricity bills have risen from €3 to €13 million a year… The price of energy usually represents 5% to 7% of our turnover. Today, it is around 46%. It is not tenable,” Llacuna explained, adding that the company’s operation had become “nonviable” as it is unable to make a profit after such staggering outlays for energy, in addition to paying salaries and procuring raw materials.

He added that during the five-month closure, Duralex employees would continue to receive 95% of their salaries, 70% of which will be covered by the state.

The head of the company noted, however, that its warehouses are currently sufficiently stocked to survive the winter and not cause a shortage of its goods on the market.

Earlier, France’s largest aluminum smelter, Aluminium Dunkerque, said it would cut production by about 20% due to rising energy prices. Another glass manufacturer, Arc, also said it would lower output and move a number of employees to part-time work.

November 4, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

UN Security Council votes against probe into US biolabs

Samizdat – November 3, 2022

The UN Security Council has rejected Russia’s call for an international investigation into claims that the US used laboratories in Ukraine to develop biological weapons.

While China backed Russia’s proposal, the US, Britain, and France voted against it, and the ten rotating council members abstained.

Russia insists that the US and Ukraine have been violating the 1972 international convention that bans the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons. According to Moscow, several laboratories in Ukraine were working on a secret “military-biological” program, which involved studies and the stockpiling of samples of anthrax, cholera, and other infectious diseases.

Washington and Kiev both deny developing biological weapons. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in March that the laboratories were conducting “ordinary scientific research.”

During the vote in the Security Council on Wednesday, US envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, argued that the Russian proposal for a probe is “based on disinformation, dishonesty, bad faith, and a total lack of respect for this body.”

Thomas-Greenfield reiterated that the activities under the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program in Ukraine and other former Soviet states “are not for military purposes.”

The US Mission to International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland said in April that the CTR’s goal in Ukraine was to help the country “consolidate and secure pathogens and to continue to ensure Ukraine can detect and report disease outbreaks before they pose security or stability threats.”

Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, meanwhile, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the vote. He said “the Western countries are simply afraid” of an international investigation into the issue.

November 3, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rumble says it won’t move its policy goalposts to appease France’s censorship demands

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | November 1, 2022

Growing video platform Rumble, based in the US, has refused to cave to ’s demands to censor Russian news sources such as RT France and Sputnik.

Rumble has instead chosen to pull its services from France rather than comply with the order.

“The French Government has demanded that Rumble @rumblevideo block Russian news sources. Like @elonmusk, I won’t move our goal posts for any foreign government,” Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski tweeted.

In a statement, Rumble said, “the French Government demanded that we remove certain Russian news sources from Rumble.”

Rumble outlined its commitment to free speech, adding, “As part of our mission to restore a free and open internet, we have committed not to move the goalposts on our content policies. Users with unpopular views are free to access our platform on the same terms as our millions of other users.”

Rumble said that it was disabling access to users in France while they look into challenging the legality of the government’s demands.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has a show on Rumble, weighed in on the decision. “If Rumble obeyed France’s censorship order – like Big Tech firms often do – it’d mean Americans could only access voices and views which foreign governments (EU, China, Iran, etc.) permitted to be aired.”

Several months ago, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on , including banning RT and Sputnik from being broadcast in member countries. The two news outlets were accused of spreading Russian propaganda about the invasion of .

The channels are not allowed on television or online in EU countries. However, they have been circumventing the sanctions through online platforms that are not based in the EU.

Last month, France’s President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged the difficulties in blocking RT and Sputnik from the country, as French citizens still had online ways to access the content.

“We’re using the informational weapon and Russia was doing it even before by spreading propaganda on social networks, through propaganda channels that we have cut off on our soil but still continue to find channels to broadcast,” Macron said in an interview broadcast by France 2.

Rumble describes itself as a high-growth neutral video platform with independent infrastructure that is “immune to cancel culture” – and a platform with a mission of restoring the internet to its roots.

November 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Massive Protest By Czechs Targets Russia Sanctions, High Prices

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | October 29, 2022

Fed up with soaring food, energy and housing costs, tens of thousands of Czech protestors railed against their government on Friday, demanding the resignation of conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government, withdrawal from NATO and the negotiation of gas purchases from Russia.

“This is a new national revival and its goal is for the Czech Republic to be independent,” said organizer Ladislav Vrabel. “When I see a full square, no one can stop this.”

The protests occurred both in the capital city of Prague as well as the second-largest Czech city of Brno. Organized under the slogan of “Czech Republic First,” the demonstrations drew their strength from both the left and right wings of Czech politics.

“Russia’s not our enemy, the government of warmongers is the enemy,” one speaker said, according to the Associated Press. Czechia has donated tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, and provided nearly a half million visas to Ukrainian refugees, along with benefits. Protest organizers are also demanding that the refugees not be granted permanent residency.

The protest was the third in a series organized by a group demanding Czechia’s withdrawal from NATO and better relations with Russia. As observed in the United States, the Czech government has attempted to marginalize them by calling them “pro-Kremlin propagandist narratives.”

The Czech government has tried to battle the rising prices with aid to businesses and household electricity price caps.

Friday’s protests were part of a rising wave of discontent throughout Europe. On Thursday, thousands protested in France, demanding higher wages to offset the rising cost of living — among them, striking teachers, healthcare providers and railway workers. Recent weeks have seen similar protests in Germany, Austria and Belgium too.

“This is merely the silence before the storm—the discontent is great, and people do not have any sense that the government has a plausible strategy to master the crisis,” German pollster Manfred Güllner tells The Wall Street Journal.

At a time when three quarters of German households are cutting back on energy consumption, just 9% say Chancellor Olaf Scholz has a sound strategy for surmounting the energy crisis. While the French protests didn’t target the Western sanctions regime against Russia, German protestors have called for an end to them.

The discontent is certain to rise all over the world, as more people connect the dots between Western sanctions and their personal misery… all for the latest proxy war over strategically irrelevant territory.

October 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment