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India Must Work on a ‘Common Strategy’ in Afghanistan: Germany on Delhi’s Alleged Backing of Daesh

By Dhairya Maheshwari – Sputnik – 31.08.2021

India, which had been backing a democratic government in Afghanistan before the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, is now following a “wait and watch” approach in the nation. One of Afghanistan’s largest regional donors since 2001, the nation’s takeover by the Taliban has led to India significantly scaling down its diplomatic presence.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday urged India to work on a “common strategy” with other regional nations on the security situation in Afghanistan.

The minister was responding to a question whether he would take up the issue of Delhi’s alleged backing of Daesh-K with other regional governments.

“For the broader region and also for India, it is important to discuss and develop a common strategy as far as developments in Afghanistan are concerned. We need international unity. We need to stand united. And the fact that the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution is an important step in that direction”, said the top German diplomat.

Maas was addressing a press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. He is on a five-nation visit to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Qatar, as per the German Foreign Ministry.

​The remarks come days after a suicide bombing at Kabul’s international airport, claimed by Daesh-K, left 13 US troops and 169 Afghans dead.

Speaking about the question of India’s purported backing of the group, Qureshi stated that he has been consistently warning the global community about the role of “spoilers” in the Afghan peace process.

“Beware. We have been constantly warning the international community about the roles of spoilers within and beyond Afghanistan. The international objective is peace and stability. The international community has to discern between those who are standing on the side of peace and stability and has to differentiate between those who, for self-interest, are taking steps that won’t be helpful in promoting peace and stability”, said Qureshi.

The Pakistani foreign minister added that he had been taking up the matter during his bilateral consultations with other governments.

Qureshi also blamed India for perpetrating a terrorist attack at a dam project in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in July, which left nine Chinese engineers dead.

He also said in June of this year that Islamabad has “irrefutable evidence” about India running nearly 66 terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan for Pakistan-focused violent jihadi groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

In November of last year, Qureshi claimed that Indian agencies were also targeting infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship initiative of the Beijing-backed One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

In February of this year, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Delhi of using Daesh (ISIS) to incite unrest within the country.

“This is the unanimous opinion of our government and our security agencies that India is backing ISIS”, Khan stated at the time.

Time and again, India has denied Pakistan’s allegations of backing terrorist groups against Islamabad.

August 31, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Amazon, “Economic Terrorism” and the Destruction of Competition and Livelihoods

By Colin Todhunter | OffGuardian | August 30, 2021

Global corporations are colonising India’s retail space through e-commerce and destroying small-scale physical retail and millions of livelihoods.

Walmart entered into India in 2016 with a US$3.3 billion take-over of the online retail start-up Jet.com. This was followed in 2018 with a US$16 billion take-over of India’s largest online retail platform, Flipkart. Today, Walmart and Amazon control almost two thirds of India’s digital retail sector.

Amazon and Walmart have a record of using predatory pricing, deep discounts and other unfair business practices to attract customers to their online platforms. A couple of years ago, those two companies generated sales of over US$3 billion in just six days during Diwali. India’s small retailers reacted by calling for a boycott of online shopping.

If you want to know the eventual fate of India’s local markets and small retailers, look no further than what US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in 2019. He stated that Amazon had “destroyed the retail industry across the United States.”

AMAZON’S CORPORATE PRACTICES

In the US, an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee concluded that Amazon exerts monopoly power over many small- and medium-size businesses. It called for breaking up the company and regulating its online marketplace to ensure that sellers are treated fairly.

Amazon has spied on sellers and appropriated data about their sales, costs and suppliers. It has then used this information to create its own competing versions of their products, often giving its versions superior placement in the search results on its platform.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) published a revealing document on Amazon in June 2021 that discussed these issues. It also notes that Amazon has been caught using its venture capital fund to invest in start-ups only to steal their ideas and create rival products and services.

Moreover, Amazon’s dominance allows it to function as a gatekeeper: retailers and brands must sell on its site to reach much of the online market and changes to Amazon’s search algorithms or selling terms can cause their sales to evaporate overnight.

Amazon also makes it hard for sellers to reduce their dependence on its platform by making their brand identity almost invisible to shoppers and preventing them from building relationships with their customers. The company strictly limits contact between sellers and customers.

According to the ILSR, Amazon compels sellers to buy its warehousing and shipping services, even though many would get a better deal from other providers, and it blocks independent businesses from offering lower prices on other sites. The company also routinely suspends sellers’ accounts and seizes inventories and cash balances.

The Joint Action Committee against Foreign Retail and E-commerce (JACAFRE) was formed to resist the entry of foreign corporations like Walmart and Amazon into India’s e-commerce market. Its members represent more than 100 national groups, including major trade, workers’ and farmers’ organisations.

JACAFRE issued a statement in 2018 on Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart, arguing that it undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihoods of millions in India. The committee said the deal would lead to Walmart and Amazon dominating India’s e-retail sector. It would also allow them to own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them the country’s digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.

In January 2021, JACAFRE published an open letter saying that the three new farm laws, passed by parliament in September 2020, centre on enabling and facilitating the unregulated corporatisation of agriculture value chains. This will effectively make farmers and small traders of agricultural produce become subservient to the interests of a few agrifood and e-commerce giants or will eradicate them completely.

Although there was strong resistance to Walmart entering India with its physical stores, online and offline worlds are now merged: e-commerce companies not only control data about consumption but also control data on production and logistics. Through this control, e-commerce platforms can shape much of the physical economy.

What we are witnessing is the deliberate eradication of markets in favour of monopolistic platforms.

BEZOS NOT WELCOME

Amazon’s move into India encapsulates the unfair fight for space between local and global markets. There is a relative handful of multi-billionaires who own the corporations and platforms. And there are the interests of hundreds of millions of vendors and various small-scale enterprises who are regarded by these rich individuals as mere collateral damage to be displaced in their quest for ever-greater profit.

Thanks to the helping hand of various COVID-related lockdowns, which devastated small businesses, the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $3.9tn (trillion) between 18 March and 31 December 2020.

In September 2020, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s executive chairman, could have paid all 876,000 Amazon employees a $105,000 bonus and still be as wealthy as he was before COVID. Jeff Bezos – his fortune constructed on unprincipled methods that have been well documented in recent years – increased his net wealth by $78.2bn during this period.

Bezos’s plan is clear: the plunder of India and the eradication of millions of small traders and retailers and neighbourhood mom and pop shops.

This is a man with few scruples. After returning from a brief flight to space in July, in a rocket built by his private space company, Bezos said during a news conference:

I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this.”

In response, US congresswoman Nydia Velazquez wrote on Twitter:

While Jeff Bezos is all over the news for paying to go to space, let’s not forget the reality he has created here on Earth.”

She added the hashtag #WealthTaxNow in reference to Amazon’s tax dodging, revealed in numerous reports, not least the May 2021 study ‘The Amazon Method: How to take advantage of the international state system to avoid paying tax’ by Richard Phillips, Senior Research Fellow, Jenaline Pyle, PhD Candidate, and Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy, all based at the University of London.

Little wonder that when Bezos visited India in January 2020, he was hardly welcomed with open arms.

Bezos praised India on Twitter by posting:

Dynamism. Energy. Democracy. #IndianCentury.”

The ruling party’s top man in the BJP foreign affairs department hit back with:

Please tell this to your employees in Washington DC. Otherwise, your charm offensive is likely to be waste of time and money.”

A fitting response, albeit perplexing given the current administration’s proposed sanctioning of the foreign takeover of the economy, not least by the unscrupulous interests that will benefit from the recent farm legislation.

Bezos landed in India on the back of the country’s antitrust regulator initiating a formal investigation of Amazon and with small store owners demonstrating in the streets. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) announced that members of its affiliate bodies across the country would stage sit-ins and public rallies in 300 cities in protest.

In a letter to PM Modi, prior to the visit of Bezos, the secretary of the CAIT, General Praveen Khandelwal, claimed that Amazon, like Walmart-owned Flipkart, was an “economic terrorist” due to its predatory pricing that “compelled the closure of thousands of small traders.”

In 2020, Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM) filed a complaint against Amazon and Flipkart alleging that they favoured certain sellers over others on their platforms by offering them discounted fees and preferential listing. The DVM lobbies to promote the interests of small traders. It also raised concerns about Amazon and Flipkart entering into tie-ups with mobile phone manufacturers to sell phones exclusively on their platforms.

It was argued by DVM that this was anti-competitive behaviour as smaller traders could not purchase and sell these devices. Concerns were also raised over the flash sales and deep discounts offered by e-commerce companies, which could not be matched by small traders.

The CAIT estimates that in 2019 upwards of 50,000 mobile phone retailers were forced out of business by large e-commerce firms.

Amazon’s internal documents, as revealed by Reuters, indicated that Amazon had an indirect ownership stake in a handful of sellers who made up most of the sales on its Indian platform. This is an issue because in India Amazon and Flipkart are legally allowed to function only as neutral platforms that facilitate transactions between third-party sellers and buyers for a fee.

UNDER INVESTIGATION

The upshot is that India’s Supreme Court recently ruled that Amazon must face investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive business practices. The CCI said it would probe the deep discounts, preferential listings and exclusionary tactics that Amazon and Flipkart are alleged to have used to destroy competition.

However, there are powerful forces that have been sitting on their hands as these companies have been running amok.

In August 2021, the CAIT attacked the NITI Aayog (the influential policy commission think tank of the Government of India) for interfering in e-commerce rules proposed by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

The CAIT said that the think tank clearly seems to be under the pressure and influence of the foreign e-commerce giants.

The president of CAIT, BC Bhartia, stated that it is deeply shocking to see such a callous and indifferent attitude of the NITI Aayog whch have remained a silent spectator for so many years when:

…the foreign e-commerce giants have circumvented every rule of the FDI policy and blatantly violated and destroyed the retail and e-commerce landscape of the country but have suddenly decided to open their mouth at a time when the proposed e-commerce rules will potentially end the malpractices of the e-commerce companies.”

Of course, money talks and buys influence. In addition to tens of billions of US dollars invested in India by Walmart and Amazon, Facebook invested US$5.5 billion last year in Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Platforms (e-commerce retail). Google has also invested US$4.5 billion.

Since the early 1990s, when India opened up to neoliberal economics, the country has become increasingly dependent on inflows of foreign capital. Policies are being governed by the drive to attract and retain foreign investment and maintain ‘market confidence’ by ceding to the demands of international capital which ride roughshod over democratic principles and the needs of hundreds of millions of ordinary people. ‘Foreign direct investment’ has thus become the holy grail of the Modi-led administration and the NITI Aayog.

The CAIT has urged the Consumer Affairs Ministry to implement the draft consumer protection e-commerce rules at the earliest as they are in the best interest of the consumers as well as the traders of the country.

Meanwhile, the CCI probably will complete its investigation within two months.

Colin Todhunter specialises in development, food and agriculture and is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal.

August 30, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , | 1 Comment

Forbes: “Forget About Peak Oil – We Haven’t Even Reached Peak Coal Yet”

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | August 8, 2021

Mainstream media is waking up that despite billions invested in renewable energy, oil and coal use are surging:

Forget About Peak Oil – We Haven’t Even Reached Peak Coal Yet

David Blackmon, Senior Contributor Energy
Aug 2, 2021,09:18am EDT

Despite all the heavy dissemination of narratives and talking points about a “climate emergency” and the “energy transition” during 2021, the ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic proves that the world still heavily relies on fossil fuels to provide its constantly growing energy needs. Indeed, as the pushers of Peak Oil demand theory try in vain to revive their own always-wrong narrative, it now appears that the world has yet to even meet the peak of demand for the least environmentally friendly fuel of all, coal.

This is especially true in China, India and much of Asia, where thousands of coal-fired power plants have seen record usage levels in the face of a major heat wave this summer. … Read more

Just to add to the fun, talking about peak oil and peak coal as if they are different targets is fundamentally wrong.

As the NAZIs proved in WW2, when they lost access to good oil fields, you can run an economy on coal liquefaction technologies, well proven technologies for converting coal into oil.

The only holdup is liquefied coal is more expensive than conventional oil, it doesn’t become economical until oil prices exceed $100 ($145 / barrel according to one estimate I saw). Though China runs a significant volume of coal liquefaction plants, those plants are likely more for high value added chemical synthesis than fuel oil.

The threat of cheaper coal liquefaction technologies is likely the real reason OPEC tries to keep oil prices low. OPEC are terrified of “demand destruction”, the possibility that high oil prices will stimulate a switchover to EVs, or more investment in developing non-OPEC oil resources, but they are also concerned it will stimulate research into cutting the cost of coal liquefaction. A coal liquefaction research breakthrough could permanently cap OPEC’s conventional oil at an uncomfortably low price.

So the reality is, there is zero chance we shall see peak oil supply in our lifetime, or even our grandchildren’s lifetime, not only because there are vast reserves of oil, but because there are centuries worth of coal reserves just sitting in the ground waiting to be mined. We shall all have a plentiful supply of oil at an affordable price, for as long as we need it.

August 8, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

India May Join China In Bid To Lower Oil Prices

By Tsvetana Paraskova | Oilprice.com | July 27, 2021

The world’s third-largest crude oil importer, India, could join China in tapping into its strategic petroleum reserve in a bid to sell lower-priced crude to its refiners amid rallying international oil prices.

India is reportedly considering selling half of its SPR to attract private participation in expanding its strategic storage capacity, government sources told Reuters last week.

The sale of crude from reserves could also be a move from one of the importers most sensitive to price hikes to reduce the price of crude for its refiners, Reuters columnist Clyde Russell says. India’s SPR currently holds around 36.5 million barrels of crude oil.

India has been the most vocal critic of the OPEC+ production reduction pact this year, saying that it does not support “artificial cuts to keep the price going up.” On several occasions, India’s top officials have criticized OPEC+ for keeping the market tight and prices high and have expressed concern that the higher crude and fuel prices in India would slow down the economic and oil demand recovery.

India’s move to commercialize half of its SPR is primarily aimed at raising financing for additional SPR storage, but it could also ensure cheaper oil from storage to Indian refiners, according to Reuters’ Russell.

Last week, reports emerged that the world’s top oil importer, China, is looking to tap its crude reserves.

China has started to release more than 20 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic reserve in a move seen as seeking to curb the recent oil price rally, Energy Intelligence reported last week, quoting trading sources. The reported release from the strategic petroleum reserve is also aimed at putting inflation under control.

Various market and trade sources told Energy Intelligence that China was about to release the equivalent of between 22 million barrels and over 29 million barrels, or between 3 million and 4 million tons.

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

UN chief sounds alarm over abuses against Kashmiri children by India

Press TV – June 30, 2021

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced grave concerns about human rights violations against children in the Indian-administered Kashmir.

“I call upon the [Indian] government to take preventive measures to protect children, including by ending the use of pellets against children, ensuring that children are not associated in any way to security forces, and endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration and the Vancouver Principles,” Guterres said in the UN Report on Children 2021 released on Tuesday.

The UN report cited numerous violations involving Indian forces attacking Kashmiri children in the Indian-administered Kashmir.

“A total of 39 children (33 boys, 6 girls) were killed (9) and maimed (30) by pellet guns (11) and torture (2) by unidentified perpetrators (13) (including resulting from explosive remnants of war (7), crossfire between unidentified armed groups and Indian security forces (3), crossfire between unidentified armed groups, and grenade attacks (3)), Indian security forces (13), and crossfire and shelling across the line of control (13),” it said.

The UN secretary-general also condemned the military occupation of several schools in the Indian-administered Kashmir by the New Delhi forces.

“The United Nations verified the use of seven schools by Indian security forces for four months. Schools were vacated by the end of 2020,” it said.

Guterres expressed “alarm” over “detention and torture” by the Indian troops and their overall use of force against Kashmiri children in the Muslim-majority region.

“I am alarmed at the detention and torture of children and concerned by the military use of schools,” he said.

The UN chief called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to ensure that children were kept out of way of “all forms of ill-treatment” when taken into detention in prisons in the Indian-administrated Kashmir.

The disputed Muslim-majority Kashmir, located in the Himalaya region, is mainly divided between India and Pakistan, while a third strip of land in northern Kashmir is held by China.

The people in Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan since the two countries were partitioned in 1947.

June 30, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

India Situation: What does the Current Data Say?

Ivor Cummins | April 27, 2021

So then, what DOES the actual DATA say? Surely we should care, right?

*** NOTE THIS IS NON-CENSORABLE – NO medical advice or information here, NO conflicting with the WHO (remember they shared the Prof Ioannidis paper in their Oct 2020 bulletin).

Just the data and some scientific inferences – period. DOWNLOAD here and use with my permission (just click yes to cookies – no need to subscribe): https://we.tl/t-aRo1uhxv2c​

My Odysee link: https://odysee.com/@IvorCummins:f

April 30, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | Leave a comment

The Truth About the Covid ‘Crisis’ in India

By Will Jones • Lockdown Sceptics • April 27, 2021

Now that Chile is settling down a bit, the latest Covid cautionary tale is India, which never seems to be out of the news at the moment as its positive cases and deaths have rocketed in the past few weeks.

Even the usually level-headed Kate Andrews in the Spectator has been painting the situation in lurid colours.

As it happened, the UK’s worst nightmares were never realised. The Nightingale hospitals built to increase capacity were barely used. But what the British Government feared most is now taking place elsewhere. India is suffering an exponential growth in infections, with more than 349,000 cases reported yesterday, as well as nearly 3,000 deaths. Hospitals are running out of oxygen for patients and wards are overflowing. There are reports of long queues as the sick wait to be seen by medical professionals. It’s expected the situation will deteriorate further before it gets better.

Jo Nash, who lived in India until recently and still has many contacts out there, has written a very good piece for Left Lockdown Sceptics putting the current figures in context – something no mainstream outlet seems to have any interest in doing.

Jo makes the crucial point that we need to keep in mind the massive difference in scale between India and the UK. At 1.4 billion people, India is more than 20 times larger than the UK, so to compare Covid figures fairly we must divide India’s by 20. So 2,000 deaths a day is equivalent to a UK toll of 100. India’s current official total Covid deaths of approaching 200,000 is equivalent to just 10,000 in the UK.

In a country the size of India and with the huge number of health challenges faced by the population, the number of Covid deaths needs to be kept in perspective. As Sanjeev Sabhlock observes in the Times of India, 27,000 people die everyday in India. This includes 2,000 from diarrhoea and 1,200 from TB (vaccinations for which have been disrupted by the pandemic). The lack of adequate hospital provision for Covid patients may be more a reflection of the state of the health service than the severity of the disease.

Jo Nash also points out that poor air quality plays a role.

Delhi, the focus of the media’s messaging, and the source of many of the media’s horrifying scenes of suffering, has the most toxic air in the world which often leads to the city having to close down due to the widespread effects on respiratory health…

Respiratory diseases including COPD, TB, and respiratory tract infections like bronchitis leading to pneumonia are always among the top ten killers in India. These conditions are severely aggravated by air pollution and often require oxygen which can be in short supply during air pollution crises…

According to my contacts on the ground, people in Delhi are suffering from untreated respiratory and lung conditions that are now becoming serious. I’ve also had breathing problems there when perfectly healthy and started to mask up to keep the particulate matter out of my lungs. I used to suffer from serious chest infections twice yearly during the big changes in weather in India, usually November/December and April/May. When I reluctantly masked up that stopped. My contacts have reported that the usual seasonal bronchial infections have not been properly treated by doctors afraid of getting Covid, and people’s avoidance of government hospitals due to fear of getting Covid. Undoubtedly, these fears will have been fuelled by the media’s alarmist coverage of the situation. Consequently, the lack of early intervention means many respiratory conditions have developed life-threatening complications. Also, people from surrounding rural areas often travel to Delhi for treatment as it has the best healthcare facilities and people can go there for a few rupees by train. This puts pressure on Delhi’s healthcare system during respiratory virus seasons.

Positive cases look like they may be peaking in many regions now.

One mystery, as yet unexplained, is why India, which has not experienced a strong surge like this so far, suddenly did in March and April. Adding to the mystery is that the simultaneity of the surge across the regions is unexpected in a country as large as India and contrary to earlier outbreaks last year. Nick Hudson from Panda suggests it means there must be something artificial about it as it is not a natural pattern, since viruses naturally spread across the country with some delay and variation evident between regions.

From Teddy Petrou
From Ruminator Dan

It hasn’t escaped people’s attention that one novel factor is the nationwide vaccine programme rollout, beginning in January and accelerating during March. Is this a further example of the post-vaccine infection spike seen in the various trials and population studies, possibly caused by temporary suppression of the immune system?

Testing is another possible factor, as the number of tests being carried out surged in March and April – though so did the positive rate, suggesting this can’t be the only explanation.

Whatever is going on, it’s a pity there is not more curiosity among our scientists and journalists. Instead, it’s just the usual scaremongering driven by the misrepresentation of data.

Stop Press: Former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Professor Ramesh Thakur has been in touch with a comment he left on a story in the Australian.

Some context and perspective. India’s Covid deaths yesterday were 2,163 (seven-day rolling average). India’s average daily death toll is 25,000 from all causes.

Second, despite this surge, as of now India’s Covid mortality rate is 140 dead per million people. This compares to 401 for the world average, 1,762 for the US, and 1,869 for the UK. It puts India 119th in the world on this, the single most important statistic for comparison purposes.

Third, the crux of the problem in India is not the proportion of cases and deaths from Covid. Rather, it is the lack of a fit-for-purpose public health infrastructure and medical supplies of equipment and drugs.

Fourth, although Government neglect of public health while prioritising vanity projects like a new Parliament building during the pandemic, building temples and statues etc. is a contributory factor, the real cause of a poor public health system is poverty. Put bluntly, poverty is the world’s biggest killer.

Fifth and finally, this is why a strong economy is not an optional luxury but an essential requirement for good health.

April 27, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

The Syrian government has been blamed for the 2018 Saraqib chemical attack, but this time around India isn’t buying it

By Kit Klarenberg | RT | April 23, 2021

Damascus again finds itself the subject of international opprobrium after being found guilty of a chemical attack, and ostracised from the OPCW. However, New Delhi’s rejection of the report suggests the West’s influence is waning.

On April 21, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced it would remove Syria’s “rights and privileges” within the association with immediate effect.

The move was precipitated by 87 OPCW member states voting in favor of a proposal by 46 countries – led by London, Paris, and Washington – to strip Damascus of its voting powers in the assembly, and bar the country’s representatives from holding any offices within the organisation.

It’s the first time a member state has been sanctioned in such a manner in its 24-year history, and follows just over a week after the OPCW released the findings of its second Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) probe of an alleged chemical attack in Saraqib, Syria in February 2018. The team concluded that a Syrian Air Force helicopter had dropped “at least” one cylinder containing chlorine over the city, dispersing the contents over a wide area.

The report’s headline claims were dutifully amplified without critique by the mainstream media, but this time not all were convinced. At an informal meeting of United Nations Security Council members, convened by Moscow and Beijing on April 16, four days after the IIT findings were released, India’s deputy permanent representative K. Nagaraj Naidu had some stern words for the OPCW.

He stated that New Delhi had always stressed the necessity of “impartial, credible and objective” investigations into the use of chemical weapons, which “scrupulously” follow Chemical Weapons Convention procedures and provisions to reach “evidence-based conclusions,” scathingly adding, “the current report falls short of these expectations.”

The veteran diplomat didn’t articulate India’s specific reservations about the findings, but said it was necessary to “draw lessons” from events such as Colin Powell’s infamous February 2003 UNSC speech, when he claimed Washington possessed “irrefutable and undeniable” evidence Iraq had weapons of mass destruction capable of targeting the West.

In any event, one doesn’t require a degree in chemistry to see the IIT report is far from “impartial, credible and objective” on its own terms.

First and foremost, the OPCW claims IIT findings were derived from a “comprehensive review” of a mountain of evidence, including eyewitness and victim interviews, analysis of samples collected at the site, and even examination of satellite imagery. But it simultaneously concedes the probe “relied” on a May 2018 OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) investigation of the incident, which reached the same conclusions as the IIT.

Relying on the FFM report is inherently problematic, given mission investigators didn’t actually visit the site of the attack, and all the samples reviewed were provided by the highly controversial White Helmets. This means there was no chain of custody for this vital physical evidence, in breach of long-standing OPCW protocol, which states such a paper trail is “100% critical.”

“The OPCW would never get involved in testing samples that our own inspectors don’t gather in the field, because we need to maintain chain of custody of samples from the field to the lab to ensure their integrity,” an OPCW spokesperson said in April 2013.

Interestingly, a table in the FFM report comparing samples taken from two cylinders said to have delivered the chlorine payload, indicated chlorine-related chemicals were found by investigators but also showed many chemicals detected were related to the nerve agent sarin, which jihadist forces in Syria are known to have used.

The FFM report and its IIT successor nonetheless both conclude there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the chemical used in the attack was chlorine, the latter claiming “sarin-related compounds” represented a negligible part of the “chemical signature” identified in the samples. However, they also note that specialists the team consulted “agreed that it would be difficult to fill a cylinder to be used as a weapon with both sarin and chlorine.”

The IIT is said to have explored “the possibility of cross-contamination during the sampling process, or at a later stage in the handling of the samples themselves,” their findings “leaving the possibility that contamination occurred before sampling or after the samples were taken, but before they were secured by the OPCW in sealed packaging.”

“The latter scenario would still not fully explain why only by-products and one degradation product of sarin, rather than sarin itself, were identified,”  the particularly incongruous passage notes. “In any event, since the FFM did not make findings related to the use of sarin in Saraqib…the IIT refrained from pursuing this aspect of the incident further. Some uncertainties in respect of the possible use of sarin in the same area remain.”

No doubt due to recent allegations of rebel forces having staged “false flag” chemical attacks in Syria in order to precipitate Western intervention, the IIT report specifically explored this scenario. Investigators obtained and analyzed “various household chlorine-based products commonly used in the Syrian Arab Republic and readily available on the market,”  which identified six specific chemicals, “the presence of which in samples from the Saraqib incident could be indicative of intentional – or even accidental – dispersal of these chlorine-based products in the area in question.”

No trace of the six chemicals could be found in the samples, which the IIT contends entirely refutes suggestions of staging. However, which six chemicals were found by the team isn’t stated, nor is how and why their absence rules out a “false flag” operation explained.

The White Helmets were even more fundamental to the FFM investigation than merely providing the samples. They also put investigators in touch with witnesses who reinforced the chlorine attack narrative, several of whom conspicuously stated that the smell around the affected area was a “pungent odour” similar to “household cleaning products, though stronger.”

The White Helmets were likewise central to the OPCW’s investigation of several other alleged chemical strikes in Syria, including an April 2018 incident in Douma. Leaked internal OPCW documents reveal that two FFM teams were sent to investigate the incident, with one heading to the site itself, and the other to Turkey.

Witness interviews conducted in the separate countries diverged so sharply that a 116-page draft interim report prepared in June 2018 specifically referred to “two broad and distinct narratives” – one in which a chemical attack happened, one in which no such event occurred.

Yet the report released to the public was trimmed to just 34 pages, with all ballistic, forensic and witness evidence gathered by the Douma FFM, which completely dispelled the notion of a chemical attack, and pointed directly or indirectly to a staged incident, removed. Instead, based on the White Helmets-provided evidence alone, the OPCW claimed there was “sufficient evidence” to conclude chlorine had been unleashed on the rebel-occupied city from cylinders dropped from a government helicopter. An eerie echo of its Saraqib probe indeed.

This selective editing was quite so misleading, it prompted an OPCW investigator who’d visited Douma to write privately to the organisation’s director general, expressing their “gravest concern” at the degree to which the findings “misrepresents the facts.” It wasn’t until November 2019, 18 months after the report was released, that their chilling words were leaked online.

It’s anyone’s guess whether similarly grave concerns have been expressed internally about the evidently equally suspect Saraqib FFM probe, although in this case no investigator actually went to the city to conduct an “impartial, credible and objective” on-the-ground inspection. The very countries that proposed Syria’s OPCW censure are no doubt relieved – and the OPCW itself is extremely unlikely to make such an egregious mistake ever again.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions.

April 23, 2021 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

Kerry Lunges Into India With Anti-BRI Agenda Bringing Green Suicide for All

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | April 9, 2021

As the China-Russian-Iran alliance continues to gain new momentum spreading win-win cooperation and development across Asia, Africa and the World, the dying unipolar system run by detached militarists, financiers and technocrats is doubling down on its weird mix of 1) a “scorched earth” offensive threat to “dissuade” China and Russia from continuing on their current trajectory and 2) a “positive” green game on which nations are invited to tie their destinies as an alternative to China’s BRI.

Everyone reading this should already be aware of the “scorched earth” Full Spectrum dominance policy targeting Russia and China.

However, what is less appreciated even among the most geopolitically savvy anti-imperialists today is what sort of “positive” green game is being deployed to subvert the $3 trillion Belt and Road Initiative which has already won over 136 participating nations and which geopolicians understand to be a mortal threat to their desired world order.

A U.S.-Led Alternative to the BRI

According to Biden’s own remarks during his March 26 call to Boris Johnson, the USA must create “an infrastructure plan to rival the Belt and Road Initiative.”

This agenda was amplified by John Kerry’s foray to India, Bangladesh and the UAE from April 1-11 where the Presidential Climate Envoy has been deployed to set the stage for the April 22-23 International Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by Joe Biden.

Now, in principle, a U.S.-version of the BRI is not intrinsically a bad idea.

However, this idea could only function in the real world IF the USA were to give up its unipolar imperial ambitions and return to the anti-imperial constitutional traditions which once animated its greatest leaders like Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, FDR and JFK. Under influence of the technocrats managing the current Biden presidency in post-color revolution USA, that option is about as far from reality as one can imagine.

On the other hand, were the USA to stick with the Great Reset Agenda which is attempting to undo the industrial revolution under the cover of “reducing global emissions” to zero by 2050 as the Paris Accords proclaim, then any idea of a viable U.S.-led BRI doppelganger is pre-doomed to fail by its own internal self-contradictions.

What is the main self-contradiction of this “development agenda”?

The nations of the earth need to develop. They have objectively verifiable and measurable constraints to their ability to support their populations based on limits to agriculture, industry, energy, education and transportation. Decades of unchallenged Anglo-American dominance has only exacerbated these problems to the acute degrees we find today.

That’s why they are embracing China’s Belt and Road so enthusiastically.

Unlike the World Bank and IMF practices over the past 70 years, China is extending financing to all participating nations based on conditionality-free, low interest practices that create long term, genuine development, and full spectrum economies in every nation it touches. This is how China has met its goals of wiping out extreme poverty at home in a relative blink of an eye.

Despite the countless billions of dollars of loans extended to the poorest nations of the world since the earliest days of the Cold War, poverty, war, insecurity, terrorism and debt slavery have become more rampant today than ever before. The recent March 23 Hunger Hotspots Report issued by the World Food Program and FAO outlined hundreds of millions of people suffering acute food insecurity around the world with Syria, the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Haiti and South Sudan toping the list. U.S.-led imperial intrigue, financial loans, speculative warfare and humanitarian “aid” to all of these countries should not be seen as coincidental to their currently dismal situation.

China, on the other hand, is ensuring that these nations acquire genuine development, great megaprojects, interconnectivity via roads, ports and rail as well as local industrial production and engineering expertise via trade schools and on-the-ground training under Chinese experts. Investments into all forms of energy required to build megaprojects is on the table without any green conditionalities as we find being imposed by western technocrats.

Kerry’s Green Delusion Exposed in India

Compare this with John Kerry’s demands that India and Bangladesh embrace de-carbonization strategies in the build up to the April 22-23 climate conference and the latter COP26 summit in December. The delusional foundations of Kerry’s thinking were eloquently exposed by Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, a leading member of Modi’s Council on Climate Change who told the Hindustan Ties on March 30:

“First, it would require us to immediately scrap all existing coal-based power plants and factories, or alternatively, retrofit them with carbon-capture and storage technology. This would entail astronomical costs at a time when the economy is already reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dasgupta called out the hypocrisy and imperial agenda’s underlying this apparently altruistic green agenda saying:

“It would necessitate an immediate switch-over to imported, existing clean energy technologies at a huge cost, denying our own industry the time required for indigenization or development of affordable indigenous technologies. Let us not forget that the U.S. lodged a complaint against us at the WTO when we took some modest measures to promote domestic manufacture of solar cells and modules… we need to examine the trade-related implications of surrendering our principled position on ‘common and differentiated responsibilities.’ The European Union is set to impose levies on carbon-intensive imports, even from developing countries. It would be naive to think that the countries calling on India to adopt a 2050 net-zero target are motivated purely by altruistic concerns unrelated to commercial interests.”

OSOWOG Revived

Despite the fact that a “Green BRI doppelganger” has been on the books since 2018 when the OSOWOG Plan was unveiled as a World Bank-financed/British Commonwealth-run initiative, the plan was generally acknowledged to be an unworkable green boondoggle and fell out of interest for quite some time. However, a flurry of renewed media propaganda over the past few months has attempted to drive this green zombie back into the zeitgeist as witnessed by Forbes’ recent promotional coverage of the plan. The authors of the Forbes fluff piece stated:

“The idea behind OSOWOG is that the sun never sets. An inter-continental grid can be instrumental in harnessing the sun’s energy (and all other forms of renewable energy) by optimally leveraging the differences in time zones, seasons, resources, and prices between countries and regions. This is particularly helpful for decarbonising countries which have limited avenues of harnessing renewable energy and heavily reliant on fossil fuels.”

The plan’s outline is broken up into three phases which is somewhat reminiscent of the famous “underpants gnome plot” from South Park.

The World Bank-connected authors describe how in phase one, solar panels will be spread across South Asia, Southwest Asia and the Middle East with India serving as the driving force. Completely skipping over how phase one could realistically happen, the technicians describe phase two which sees North Africa swiftly covered in solar panels (see: Desertec part deux) and as if by magic, both regions would be connected via green grids. In the final third phase, this new green energy hub cutting across the Eurasian Heartland from Africa through Asia, would then be extended to the entire globe.

When all of this is somehow finished by 2050, the world as a whole would be forever relieved of its dependence on dirty energy sources like oil, natural gas and nuclear as we collectively are steered into a new age of clean zero-growth, sustainable mediocrity under a technocratic elite managing the levers of consumption and production under a post-nation state world order.

Three basic questions might arise at this point:

1) How would such large-scale green megaprojects be funded by western nations who are sitting on top of a multi-quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble of speculative capital ready to blow out into a hyperinflationary collapse that will make Weimar 1923 look like a cake walk?

Answer: It can’t.

2) Even if green solar grids could be constructed across the heartland cutting across (and disrupting) the East-West New Silk Road, how could such forms of green energy- long known for its unreliability, high costs and low-quality energy output be capable of meeting the needs of the people of the world wracked by generations of poverty and underdevelopment?

Answer: It can’t.

3) So why would any nation go along with this sort of plan when viable alternatives like the Belt and Road Initiative and broader Multipolar Alliance already exist with olive branches open to all?

Answer: If they are not suicidal, then they won’t.

This last answer obviously creates a bit of an uncomfortable ambiguity since the thesis that “nations are not suicidal” is rather indefensible at this moment in time.

Suicidal Ideation as a Bad Foreign Policy Paradigm

Based upon their words and actions, any onlooker endowed with a basic IQ level would have to come to the conclusion that many nations have demonstrated a high degree of suicidal behavior in recent years. From pumping trillions of dollars into zombie, to shutting down entire economies in response to viruses with relatively low fatality rates, to encircling Russia and China with belligerent military postures, to pouring flames onto the fires of radical jihadi terrorist and neo-Nazi groups, to shutting down the foundations of industrial energy needs requisite to support existing population levels, to burning food for bioethanol- there is very little western governments have done in recent years which gives any strong indication that the desire to survive is strong.

The fact that many of those suicidal nations are concentrated in the Trans-Atlantic City of London-dominated zone of influence and have seen their nationalist leaders fall under assassins bullets many decades ago in order for supranational “deep state” operations to infuse themselves into positions of control should be kept firmly in mind. This fact helps remind us that we are not dealing with conventional “sovereign nation states” as some commentators make the foolish habit of doing, but rather we are dealing with a supranational financier oligarchy utilizing its influence across bureaucratic, media, military industrial, academic, and corporate lines of control.

Whether or not India, or any other nation among NATO (and newly emerging Pacific NATO Quad) has the moral fitness to survive will depend on how fast they realize that their genuine interests are not located in green grids or military confrontation with Russia and China but rather in dropping zero sum thinking in order to work with the Multipolar Alliance as collaborators.

April 10, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

India threatens to jail Facebook, WhatsApp & Twitter staff over refusal to wipe data that ‘undermines national security’

RT | March 6, 2021

Indian authorities have reportedly given an ultimatum to US social media platforms, threatening jail time for their local employees if the companies continue to ignore official takedown requests against “damaging” information.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have each received written notices warning their employees could face arrest should the requests be ignored, in some cases citing specific India-based staff by name, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing “people familiar” with the matter.

The reported warnings come as New Delhi faces down Big Tech platforms amid a wave of heated protests over controversial agricultural bills, which have drawn thousands of farmers to rally in the Indian capital, at times descending to violent clashes with security forces. While the government has long wrangled with the social media platforms, the threats of arrest mark a sharp escalation of pressure.

In early February, Twitter blocked access to a litany of accounts for Indian users, among them lawmakers, news outlets, journalists and political commentators. Though the platform quietly reversed those bans some 12 hours later, AFP reporter Bhuvan Bagga, citing a government source, noted the move followed an order from India’s IT ministry to block hundreds of accounts it accused of spreading “factually incorrect” claims and “inflaming passions” around the farmer protests.

The ministry responded harshly to Twitter’s sudden reversal, threatening “penal action” should it continue to rebuff the government’s takedown requests. The warning appears to have worked, as Twitter reinstituted many of the bans within days, though refused to re-block “accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians.”

A Facebook spokesperson told the Journal the platform complies with takedown and data requests “in accordance with applicable law and our terms of service,” while its subsidiary WhatsApp said it abides by the orders only when they are consistent with “internationally recognized standards” of human rights and due process. Twitter, meanwhile, was more defiant, insisting it would “continue to advocate for the fundamental principles of the Open Internet.”

As Big Tech firms seek their way into India’s massive market, the country recently imposed new rules to govern social media platforms, requiring them to appoint India-based representatives to coordinate with law enforcement and government agencies. The restrictions can also compel sites to scrub content the state believes to undermine national security or public order. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister of electronics and information technology, argued the rules would force the companies to be “more responsible and more accountable,” after previously blasting sites like Twitter for “double standards” in enforcing their policies.

March 5, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Interview With Doctor Sheri Tenpenny

The Conscious Resistance Network | February 13, 2021

February 13, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment