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The West is poised to throw Yemen under the bus again to fuel its economic war on Russia

By Robert Inlakesh | Samizdat | September 11, 2022

Strained by the consequences of the ongoing conflict between NATO and Russia over Ukraine, France may be destroying all prospects for peace in Yemen, in a bid to secure energy resource from the United Arab Emirates.

Considered to be home to the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history, according to the United Nations, earlier this year, its people saw glimmers of hope towards ending its seven-year long war. A ceasefire truce, which has largely held since April, has been viewed as the first step towards reaching a UN-mediated solution for peace between the Ansarallah government in Sanaa and the Saudi-led coalition forces which claim to represent the internationally backed Yemeni government in exile.

According to UN estimates, the total number of people killed in Yemen’s war already reached 377,000 by the beginning of 2022. The civilian death rate is said to have doubled, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), since the controversial withdrawal of UN human rights monitors last October.

Although Saudi coalition forces and Ansarallah, popularly referred to in Western media as the “Iran-backed Houthi rebels,” have managed to keep fighting to a minimum during the past months, another major player in the south of Yemen has recently decided to go on the offensive. The Southern Transitional Council (STC), often called Yemen’s southern separatists, are backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and declared the start of a new military operation in the Abyan province “to cleanse it of terrorist organisations.” This follows territorial gains by the STC, in neighboring Shawba province, against the Muslim Brotherhood aligned Islah Party and others. The offensives launched by the UAE-backed STC have been regarded as a major challenge to UN efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, as well as having imperiled the Saudi initiative, which it calls the ‘Yemen Presidential Council,’ aimed at solidifying the legitimacy of the alternative Yemeni leadership in exile.

Where France Comes In

Although its role is little known to the Western public, Paris is the third largest arms supplier to the UAE and Saudi Arabia for their war efforts in Yemen, ranking just behind the US and UK. In fact, Germany, Spain and Italy have also sold weapons that have been used in the devastating war. Despite criticism, from human rights groups, of French weapons being used by Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to commit war crimes, the sale of weapons has continued from France.

April 15, 2019, French investigative magazine, Disclosepublished an expose on Paris’s role in Yemen’s war. The information presented was based on a leaked French Military Intelligence (DRM) report dating back to September, 2018, clearly proving that the country had sold offensive weapons that were used in civilian areas, a charge that the French government has denied. As far back as June, 2018, credible reports began to emerge that French special forces units were operating on the ground in Yemen, alongside forces belonging to the UAE. Last December, Paris decided to further tighten its relationship with Abu Dhabi, signing its largest ever weapons sale to the UAE, worth 19.23 billion US dollars according to a report from Reuters.

France first turned to the US

France is now desperately in need of alternative energy suppliers to Russia, in order to meet its required needs, fearing that as the winter hits, Moscow may strategically cut off its natural gas completely. As part of NATO, Paris is backing a US-led initiative which seeks to make Russia pay an economic and military price for its offensive in Ukraine, however, this strategy has majorly backfired economically.

US President Joe Biden made two major foreign policy pledges when running for office in 2020, which are relevant to the current French predicament. The first being to revive the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and the second being to find a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen. Due to the ongoing NATO-Russia conflict, seeking a revival of the Iran nuclear deal has re-emerged on the political agenda of his administration in a major way. Iran, free from sanctions, could become an alternative source to fill the energy needs of Europe in the future, yet it could take some time for this to actually happen.

On the issue of the war in Yemen, Joe Biden pledged as part of his first speech on his government’s foreign policy goals, that he would hold Saudi Arabia to account and seek to find a solution to the crisis in Yemen. However, the war in Ukraine clearly changed his approach to Riyadh, so much so that Washington signaled in the review a decision to not sell offensive weapons to the Saudi government. The US President was heavily criticized by Human Rights Watch for traveling to Saudi Arabia in July.

Despite US attempts to have Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states increase their oil production, none have yet complied in the manner that Washington had hoped for. Specifically in the cases of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it is clear that both are seeking to fast track their journey to diversify their economies. That has meant them hanging onto their strategic reserves of oil and gas, during a global energy crisis, which has made fiscal sense for them. In the cases of Venezuela and Iran, despite the US having seemingly reached out to both, neither seem to be a real replacement to Russia in the near future.

All Bets On Yemen

France is now looking for alternatives on its own. In June, the European Union announced that it had signed an agreement with Israel and Egypt. Under the deal, Israel will send gas through pipelines to Egypt, where it will then be transported to Europe. Although this may work, Tel Aviv does not have the capacity to replace Moscow as Europe’s main supplier of gas. Israel seeks to double its gas output, but in doing so is already running into potential problems over its maritime border dispute with Lebanon and its planned extraction of gas from the ‘Karish field’ in September, considered to be located in a disputed area. Lebanese Hezbollah has even threatened to strike all of Israel’s gas facilities in the event that Beirut is not given a fair deal to access its own resources.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has attempted to persuade resource rich Algeria to become part of the EU’s solution, also going on a three-day trip to Algiers in order to mend ties. Algeria, which maintains close relations with Moscow, withdrew its ambassador from Paris for three months last year, during a diplomatic row. Macron had accused the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s government of “exploiting memory” and “rewriting history” of the colonial era and even questioned the legitimacy of Algeria as a State prior to French settler-colonial rule there. Around 1.5 million Algerians were killed in the battle for independence from France, which its resistance eventually managed to win in 1962. The tone of the French president has now dramatically changed from that of last year, with Macron remarking that both nations “have a complex, painful common past. And it has at times prevented us from looking at the future.”

The other major alternative path that France seems to be now seeking, is through its close alliance with the UAE. As mentioned above, it has been clear for some time that Paris has been involved in supplying weapons, logistical support and even boots on the ground to its allies in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, aiding their fight in Yemen. However, it is also clear that the UAE has not been interested in cutting into its strategic oil reserves to meet the demands of Europe.

In July, as President Macron hosted the Emirati President, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in Paris, the French ministry of economy announced a new strategic energy agreement between the UAE and France. An aide to the French president noted that France was eager to secure diesel fuel from the UAE, hinting that the cooperation agreement involving France’s ‘Total Energies’ and the UAE’s ‘ADNOC’ may be linked. Although it is unknown as to what the specifics of the “strategic agreement” are, it has been speculated that the deal could potentially be worth billions.

Then, in August, the UAE-backed STC suddenly began new offensive operations in both the Shabwa and Abyan provinces. It just so happens that the STC forces decided to take over the energy sites in the Shabwa province too. Leading human rights NGOs had urged Paris to keep in mind Abu Dhabi’s human rights abuses in the advent of the signing of the strategic energy agreement, calls clearly not heeded. On August 21st, when UAE-backed forces seized the oil facilities in Yemen’s south, it may have been with the French deal in mind. Yemen’s former foreign minister, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi stated on Twitter that “preparations are being made to export gas from the Balhaf facility in light of increased international gas prices.” This was then followed by an announcement from the parliament of the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government, warning of suspicious movement from both US and French forces.

The key Balhaf facility, in Yemen’s Shabwa province, has reportedly been turned into a base for forces belonging to the UAE, with allegations suggesting that Paris could “provide protection for the facility through the French Foreign Legion.” There are also countless reports of the UAE looting resources from Yemen, which would seem to support the idea that they could be attempting to extract them to send to France. The latest reported looting of Yemen’s resources, from June, quotes Yemeni officials as having alleged that a Gulf Aetos tanker, carrying 400,000 barrels of Yemeni crude oil, had departed from Rudum port and was being operated by the UAE.

What these offensive moves by the STC also mean, is that the Saudi-backed forces in Yemen and Ansarallah will likely also get involved in the combat too. This could mean the dissolution of the ceasefire truce between the two sides, the renewal of the Ansarallah offensive to take the oil rich Marib province from the Saudi-backed forces and the death of any potential peace initiative to end the war.

It is unlikely that Ansarallah will stay silent, if the STC are aiding in the theft of Yemen’s resources for the sake of France. One of the major reasons behind the dramatic escalation of violence last year, was the Ansarallah offensive, launched with the aim of taking out the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-led coalition, Marib. The purpose of taking the resource rich area would be to stop the looting of Yemen’s resources, which according to reports is amounting to the theft of millions of barrels per year. Some sources claim that an unofficial agreement is in place between the US and Saudi governments, to purposefully keep the resources of Yemen away from its people and instead, divert the profits to Saudi banks.

Part of the reason why there was a Yemeni revolution in 2011, then a seizure of power in 2015 by Ansarallah in conjunction with the country’s military, was the popular belief that the past two Presidents of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh and Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, were corrupt. The people of Yemen were fed up with Saleh for a multitude of reasons, primarily that he mismanaged resources, had sold out to the United States and was corrupt. President Hadi was later to be seen as a stooge, controlled completely by the Saudis.

Perhaps the biggest problem here however, is not just that Yemen is a resource rich country, with a starving population, being torn apart by foreign powers, but also that nobody even knows what their governments are involved in. On August 25, then British prime minister, Boris Johnson, stated, about rising energy bills, that “While people are paying energy bills, people in Ukraine are paying with blood”. Yet, it may turn out that for Europe to keep the lights on, the people of Yemen will pay with their blood. Except in this case, the UK, US and France can’t blame that bloodshed on Moscow, this is their own doing.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News.

September 11, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli naval delegation deployed to Yemen’s Socotra Island

The Cradle | September 2, 2022

Yemeni media reported on 2 September that a delegation of Israeli military experts has been deployed to the UAE-controlled Yemeni island of Socotra, located in the Gulf of Aden.

According to the report, the Israeli team has been on the island for the past few days, and is accompanied by several Emirati intelligence officers.

The report adds that the delegation, who belong to Tel Aviv’s navy, have been carrying out search operations and excavations across Socotra Island.

The island, inhabited by around 60,000 people, overlooks the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab, a major shipping corridor that links the Red Sea to both the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Over the past year, Israel has reportedly been working with its Gulf partner to establish a presence on Socotra.

According to a Yemeni media report from March, the UAE is involved in the development of a construction project to build facilities on the island for the purpose of hosting Israeli soldiers, officers, and other military experts and personnel.

This is allegedly part of a plan to turn the Yemeni island into a center for regional espionage, as well as to increase military control over maritime routes.

Last year, Israel signed an agreement with the UAE, allowing it to establish an intelligence center at the island’s Hadibu Airport.

Israel is also interested in the strategic Yemeni island because it serves as a potential flashpoint for a confrontation with Iran. In 2020, the Washington Institute published an analysis examining how Israeli submarines could potentially strike the Islamic Republic from positions near Yemen.

In January of this year, Socotra Island made headlines due to controversial photos of Israeli tourists who had visited the island under a UAE-issued visa.

In June of 2020, the UAE established control of the island by bribing its tribal authorities.

Former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi described the UAE’s takeover of the island as “a full-fledged coup,” however.

Since the start of the war on Yemen in 2015, the UAE has been an integral part of the Saudi-led coalition, backing mercenary groups across the country and taking part in indiscriminate bombing campaigns.

The Saudi-led coalition, which continues to violate the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, receives logistical and military support from the US, the UK, France, and most notably Israel.

September 2, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 3 Comments

Katyusha rockets hit Emirati-owned gas complex in Iraqi Kurdistan

Press TV – July 26, 2022

A number of Katyusha rockets have struck a gas complex in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, in the latest attack to target the facility owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) energy firm Dana Gas.

“It is still not yet clear if there was any damage” in the Monday evening attack on the Khor Mor complex, said Ramak Ramadan, district chief of Chamchamal where the facility is located.

The gas complex lies between the northern Iraqi cities of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, in a region administered by Kurdish authorities.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sadiq Mohammed, an official from the adjacent Qadr Qaram district, said in a statement to the Kurdish-language Kurdistan 24 television news network that the attack was carried out using three Katyusha rockets, without causing any casualties.

Other reports said five rockets were used in the attack.

Earlier in June, the Emirati-owned facility was targeted three separate times by rockets that did not cause casualties or damage. No one claimed responsibility for those attacks either.

A Katyusha rocket on June 25 targeted the Khor Mor gas complex.

“The rocket hit around 500 meters outside the complex,” a local official said at the time. There was no immediate claim for the attack.

Katyusha rocket attacks hit the same facility on June 22 and June 17, also without causing casualties or damage.

Energy infrastructure elsewhere in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has also come under attack in recent months.

Rockets struck the Kawergost refinery, northwest of the regional capital of Erbil, in April and May.

The assaults have come amid a simmering oil dispute between Kurdistan and the federal government in Baghdad.

The Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been in a long-standing dispute over Baghdad’s share of Kurdish petrol, with the Iraqi government demanding full control of the region’s crude for years.

Under a deal between the two sides, the Kurdish region delivers 250,000 of its more than 400,000 barrels of daily oil output to Baghdad, in return for its share of the federal budget.

Over the past years, multiple reports have revealed that Iraqi Kurdistan is secretly selling oil to Israel at heavily discounted prices and that more than two-thirds of the occupying regime’s oil has been imported from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper said in a report in March 2019 that Israel was buying significant amounts of Iraqi oil from certain parties and “mafias” in the Kurdistan region for prices as low as $16 or $17 dollars.

British daily the Financial Times had earlier reported that Israel had obtained 75 percent of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kurdistan’s secret dealings with Israel, which also include the region’s reported cooperation with the Israeli spy agency Mossad, come as Iraq’s parliament has recently passed a law making it illegal for the country to ever normalize its relations with the Tel Aviv regime.

The passage of the law cemented the Arab country’s invariable and age-old policy of refusing to recognize the occupying regime.

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Iran deal can survive if US opts for own interests rather than Israel’s: Foreign Ministry

Press TV – July 20, 2022

Tehran says multilateral negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran deal will be fruitful if the United States looks at the issue through the lens of its own national interests rather than those of the Israeli regime.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani told a press conference on Wednesday that the US seems to be weak when it comes to making “an independent political decision” about whether it is willing to return to the deal, four years after it unilaterally walked away.

“If the US administration [of Joe Biden] looks at this issue through the lens of American national interests and not through the lens of the interests of the occupying Zionist regime, the ground will be paved for an agreement in the near future,” Kan’ani said.

More than a year of negotiations – first in Vienna and now in Doha – have not yet led to an agreement on what steps each side needs to take in order to restore the ailing accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US withdrew from the JCPOA back in 2018 as it unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign targeting the Iranian economy, despite Tehran’s strict compliance with the terms of the accord.

The Vienna talks, which began in April last year, hit a deadlock in March owing to Washington’s insistence on retaining parts of its sanctions against Iran. The Doha talks, however, have led to different interpretations by the parties to the talks.

“Contrary to the claim of the American side that the Doha negotiations were a failure, they opened up a path for the continuation of talks between the different parties of the nuclear agreement,” Kan’ani said, assessing the negotiations as “good.”

He explained that there is no major obstacle to concluding an agreement, except that the American side has to make a serious political decision.

“On the one hand, the US administration expresses its desire to return to the agreement, and on the other hand, it does not want to pay the costs of returning to the agreement,” the Iranian spokesman added.

‘US, Israel failed to form anti-Iran coalition’

In his Wednesday press conference, Kan’ani also pointed to Biden’s recent trip to the region with the agenda of forming an anti-Iran coalition among other objectives, saying both the US and the Israeli regime failed to achieve that goal.

“The Zionist regime attempted to form a regional coalition during that trip to put pressure on Iran,” he said. “In this effort, this regime has failed and the American government has not succeeded either.”

Biden arrived in the Israeli-occupied territories last Wednesday, kicking off a much-anticipated four-day trip to the region. The regional tour also took the US president to Saudi Arabia, the country he once pledged to make “the pariah that they are.”

Since 2020, the US has brokered normalization agreements under the so-called Abraham Accords between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan – with Saudi Arabia expected to be the next.

In Saudi Arabia, Biden attended a summit of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, plus Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq – also known as GCC+3. The summit, which was ostensibly aimed to build an anti-Iran front, failed to garner much support.

A day before the summit, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi stressed that Iraq will not be part of any camp or military alliance, and “will not be a base for threatening any neighboring countries.”

The UAE, a close ally of both Saudi Arabia and the US, also dismissed the idea of forming a NATO-like military alliance in the region.

“We are open to cooperation, but not cooperation targeting any other country in the region and I specifically mention Iran,” Anwar Gargash, the UAE president’s diplomatic adviser, said.

“The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that sees confrontation as a direction,” Gargash added.

After the summit, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan claimed that his country extends a hand of friendship toward Iran.

He also expressed the kingdom’s willingness to reestablish normal relations with the Islamic Republic.

“The messages we received from Arab officials in the region, both directly and indirectly, show that fortunately, the countries of the region are not ready to act against Iran [and in line with] America’s regional policies,” Kan’ani said.

He then added that conditions are now ripe for Iran to organize and host talks to deepen regional cooperation.

He also urged the US to stop meddling in the internal affairs of regional countries, halt its plots of forming fictitious alliances, and refrain from imposing American values on the region.

Regional countries naturally have common interests and views, he said, adding, “They are capable of creating the best conditions for stability and security in the region in the light of regional meetings.”

July 20, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emirati official: We oppose anti-Iran coalition in region

Anwar Gargash, the UAE president’s diplomatic adviser
Press TV – July 15, 2022

An Emirati official has dismissed the idea of forming a NATO-like military alliance in the region, saying the United Arab Emirates does not intend to form a regional coalition against any country, in particular Iran.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, the UAE president’s diplomatic adviser said a Middle East NATO was merely a “theoretical” concept and that confrontation was not an option for Abu Dhabi.

“We are open to cooperation, but not cooperation targeting any other country in the region and I specifically mention Iran,” Anwar Gargash said. “The UAE is not going to be a party to any group of countries that sees confrontation as a direction.”

He also said that the UAE was in the process of sending an ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Our conversation is ongoing … we are in the process of sending an ambassador to Tehran. All these areas of rebuilding bridges are ongoing,” Gargash maintained.

“We have an open eye. We are very clear if something is defending the UAE and its civilians, of course we are open to these ideas, but not to the idea of creating any axes against this or that country,” he added.

In recent months, Iran and the UAE have intensified their efforts to rebuild relations affected by the years-long war in Yemen and other regional issues.

Last August, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi said that the Islamic Republic is determined and open to the expansion of relations with the UAE, stressing that Tehran sees no boundaries to the promotion of such ties, particularly trade and economic ones.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said after a May visit to the UAE that warm relations among neighbors disappoint the enemies.

“A new page was opened in the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the UAE,” the top Iranian diplomat tweeted after meeting Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the newly-appointed president of the UAE, in Abu Dhabi on May 16.

“We warmly shake hands with our neighbors. The warmth of the neighbors’ relations disappoints the enemies of the region,” he added.

July 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

UAE forces are displacing Yemenis from Abd Al-Kuri Island

MEMO | June 29, 2022

Emirati forces have been accused of displacing local residents from Yemen’s Socotra archipelago in preparation to establish a military base on the island of Abd Al-Kuri.

Yesterday they continued to forcibly evict dozens of families from their homes at gunpoint, reported the Yemen Press Agency, citing local sources. The sources added that the recent displacement came after construction work began to build the base, which is speculated to host joint UAE and Israeli forces stationed in the archipelago.

In April, it was reported that UAE forces have been expelling dozens of families from their villages on Abd Al-Kuri Island, the second largest in the archipelago.

The displacements come amid increased cooperation between the UAE and Israel – who normalised ties in 2020, to set up a military and spy base on the strategically-located islands. This is in line with Israel’s ambitions to gain a foothold in the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.

Despite the UAE’s withdrawal in 2019 from the southern port city of Aden on Yemen’s mainland, it has steadily been increasing and consolidating its influence elsewhere in the southern provinces, including in Socotra. Its actions are seen by many locals as an occupation.

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Reportedly Seeks US Go-Ahead to Provide Arab Gulf States With Laser Weaponry

Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023

Samizdat – 28.06.2022

Last week, Israel’s defense minister announced that Tel Aviv was working on a ‘Middle East Air Defense Alliance’ with Arab governments, but provided no details. On Sunday, US media reported that Washington brokered a secret meeting in the spring of top Israeli and Arab military officials to discuss regional air defense coordination against Iran.

Israeli officials are planning to ask US President Joe Biden for his formal blessing to provide an Iron Beam laser-based air defense system to Gulf Arab states including the United Arab Emirates and possibly Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Channel 12 has reported.

The unsourced Hebrew-language report, cited by the Times of Israel, indicated the delivery of the system to the Gulf countries would assist with the US-led push to ramp up air defense cooperation between Tel Aviv and a loose regional coalition including Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Jewish State does not have formal diplomatic relations with the latter two country, and Riyadh has repeatedly stated that it would not establish formal ties with Israel until the Palestinian question and the creation of a Palestinian state was settled.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Middle Eastern sources, that the Pentagon had organized a hush-hush meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in March to discuss ways to improve air defense cooperation against Iranian ballistic missiles and drones. The meeting was said to have been chaired by then-US Central Command chief Frank McKenzie, and attended by top military commanders from Israel and the Arab countries who were invited.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who announced the formation of a regional anti-Iranian air defense alliance last week, appeared to signal the veracity of WSJ’s reporting on Monday, saying Israel was “building” a “wide partnership with additional countries in the region to ensure a secure, stable and prosperous Middle East,” and that “among other things, this also includes aerial defense.”

“We will strengthen this, as a stable Middle East is an international, regional and Israeli interest of the highest order,” Gantz said.

Iran’s military also appeared to issue an indirect response to WSJ’s report, with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri warning Monday that Tehran “will not tolerate” the threats posed by Israel and its cooperation with CENTCOM, and “will definitely react to them.”

Israel has long touted the purported advanced capabilities of its so-called ‘Iron Beam’ laser-based air defense system, a prototype of which was unveiled last year. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the “game-changer” weapon would shift the balance in Israel’s favor, with the estimated $2 in electricity required per burst to intercept enemy rockets just a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a rocket might cost. Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023.

Last week, Breaking Defense reported that Israel would ask Biden for more money for Iron Beam’s development, on top of the $3.3 billion in annual US subsidies already received by the Israeli military and defense establishment. The outlet’s sources indicated that Israel will likely ask the US president to shell out about $300 million in additional cash.

“The relations between the US and Israel are solid. The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful to both sides,” a senior defense source told the outlet.

During his trip to the Middle East next month, Biden is expected to tour an Israeli airbase and get a firsthand look at the prototype laser weapons being developed by Israeli defense giants Rafael and Elbit Systems.

Lasers for use against aircraft, missiles, drones, ships, and ground equipment have been on the drawing board of weapons developers since the Cold War, with engineers spending decades mulling over the prospects of replacing conventional missile and shell projectiles with the futuristic beam pulse. But energy-directed weapons have long faced what have previously been deemed unsolvable issues, such as the immense amounts of power required to operate them, as well as interaction between combat lasers and natural phenomena such as rain, fog, smog or dust, all of which dissipates their strength.

Last month, US weapons maker Raytheon reported that its own laser weapon, fitted aboard an Army Stryker vehicle, had successfully downed incoming mortar rounds in testing.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Macron reveals if Saudis and UAE can rapidly ramp up oil output

Samizdat – June 28, 2022

Oil-rich countries Saudi Arabia and the UAE cannot radically increase crude production anytime soon, French President Emmanuel Macron was overheard saying to his US counterpart Joe Biden on Monday.

The leaders were contemplating how to curb Russia’s oil revenue without triggering more energy price increases.

The brief conversation between Macron and Biden was filmed by reporters on the sidelines of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in southern Germany.

Macron told his US counterpart that he had a call with Emirati leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “He told me two things. ‘I’m at a maximum [production capacity]’. This is what he claims,” Macron said.

The French president continued: “And then he said [the] Saudis can increase by 150 [thousands barrels per day]. Maybe a little bit more, but they don’t have huge capacities before six months’ time.”

Emirati Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazroui clarified on Twitter that “the UAE is producing near to our maximum production capacity based on its current OPEC+ production baseline” of 3.168 million barrels per day. He said the Gulf state would stay “committed” to the same baseline until the end of the year.

Western countries have been looking for ways to curb Russia’s revenue from the oil trade, all while trying to avoid further energy price hikes at home. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were seen as nations with spare capacity to boost oil production in order to reduce prices, according to Reuters.

June 28, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why India must decouple from I2U2

Foreign Ministers of India, Israel, UAE, US (clockwise) held a videoconference in October 2021 to launch a ‘Quad’ for West Asia
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | JUNE 17, 2022 

Indian diplomacy is descending from the sublime to the absurd. Such wild swings signal rank opportunism. These are extraordinary times when to be smart is equated as being opportunistic.

Hardly a week passed since PM Modi received the Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian in Delhi and expressed high hopes for India-Iran relationship. Now it transpires that India also forms part of the Gang of Four led by US President Joe Biden to “contain” Iran, from a new platform called I2U2 — the ‘I’ being India and Israel, and ‘U’ being US and UAE.   

The I2U2 summit in mid-July between Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Bennett, Modi, and Emirati President Mohammed bin Zayed is destined to be a signpost in the geopolitics of West Asia. This new Quad first appeared on 18th October 2021 as an offspring of External Affairs Minister Jaishankar’s 5-day trip to Israel when from Tel Aviv he pulled a rabbit out of the hat, leaving the Indian public wonder what new grandstanding their impulsive minister was indulging in. 

Between October and July this year, the I2U2 is getting an upgrade from foreign minister to prime minister/president level. On Tuesday, while announcing Biden’s first West Asian tour as president in mid-July, Washington has made some effort to rationalise Biden’s intentions in undertaking the planned visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia. A senior White House official said Biden intends: 

  • To demonstrate “the return of American leadership to bring countries together”; 
  • To create “new frameworks that aim to harness unique American capabilities to enable partners to work more closely together, which is essential to a more secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East region over the long term”; 
  • To build on the “resounding vote isolating Iran last week at the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna where 30 countries condemned Iran’s lack of compliance with safeguard obligations” (where India, by the way, had abstained from supporting the US move); 
  • “To make sure we’re doing all we can to strengthen Israel’s security, prosperity, and integration into the larger region, both now and over the longer term”; 
  • To “focus on Israel’s increasing integration into the region” through new formats other than Abraham Accords, such as the “entirely new grouping of partners… what we call I2U2”! 

So, that’s it. India will lend a hand to assist the US to refill the fizz that has gone out of the Abraham Accords. The hope that more countries would join Abraham Accords is withering away. Israel needs to be shown around to prospective suitors in its neighbourhood. I2U2 is, in essence, a dating agency. When it concerns Israel, the role of pandar comes naturally to the US presidents. But why should India squander away its soft power? 

The US prestige and influence in West Asia has suffered a severe jolt during the Biden presidency. Not too long ago, Biden had called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” and pledged to make a horrible example of it on account of its human rights record. But now the shoe is on the other foot. Biden is craving for attention from Saudi Arabia. He had taken a second vow not to have any dealings with the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But he is now beseeching the proud Prince for an audience. His recent phone calls weren’t answered. 

The White House official explained Biden’s U-turn this way: “we have important interests interwoven with Saudi Arabia, and engagement is essential to protecting and advancing those interests on behalf of the American people.” In reality, Biden is swallowing pride and reviving the old matrix of US-Saudi relationship riveted on the petrodollar. 

With poll rating falling abysmally low, Biden is desperate to tackle the rising inflation in the US economy, and the soaring price of oil is fuelling public disaffection. Saudi Arabia can help Biden salvage his standing. 

However, it is the turn of the Saudis now to tell Americans there’s no free lunch. They want a written treaty to the effect that the US won’t ditch them when the crunch time comes or if the Kingdom or the ruling family feels insecure. Put differently, they want the Americans to act as their Praetorian guards as before.  

In return, of course, Saudis will generate massive business for the US military-industrial complex, recycle their petrodollar to strengthen the Western banking system and create lucrative business for American companies — in short, help the beleaguered Western economies to pursue their post-pandemic recovery that is getting derailed by the war in Ukraine. 

Indeed, the Saudis also have a rich history of lavishly greasing the palm of the American elite in the administration, the Pentagon and the Congress. In a nutshell, Biden as a seasoned operator in the Beltway knows which side of the bread is buttered. 

But to rationalise his U-turn, an alibi is needed. So, Biden has decided to hoist “Iranian threat” as the leitmotif of the revamped US-Saudi security alliance. All signs are that Biden has acceded to the Saudi demand to scuttle the JCPOA and pile new sanctions against Iran, although the negotiations in Vienna are in home stretch and an agreement is within sight. 

Biden’s West Asian agenda is completely US-centric, aimed at securing US business interests and shoring up its regional influence. Israel, of course, is a “holy cow”. Very soon Biden will begin fund-raising for his re-election bid in 2024, and Jewish donors are a generous lot. 

However, the million dollar question remains: What has India got to do with Biden’s agenda? There are real risks, for the subplot here is that Biden hopes to nix India’s plans to revive its atrophied relationship with Iran. The recent visit of the Iranian foreign minister to India would have set alarm bells ringing in Washington and Tel Aviv. 

Biden has a game plan for leaders like Modi who have a tendency to disregard the US diktat occasionally. Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan spoke candidly just the other day: 

“We’re playing the long game here. We are investing in a relationship (with India) that we are not going to judge by one issue even if that issue is quite consequential, but rather that we are going to judge over the fullness of time, as we try to work to convergence on the major strategic questions facing our two countries. 

“On one of those questions — how to deal with the challenge posed by China — there’s much more convergence today, and that is important to US foreign policy. On the question of Russia, obviously, we have different historical perspectives, different muscle memories, but we feel confident that the dialogue we have going with India right now will bear fruit over time.”

Sullivan was discussing India’s time-tested relationship with Russia — how Washington hopes to erode and dissolve it all in good time. 

Plainly put, Americans estimate that Indians have no “staying power,” or “big picture.” They probably estimate that the Indian government would grab the I2U2 platform to burnish its  international image. But if there is any sanity left in the Indian foreign policy establishment, a subaltern role to serve US and Israeli interests cannot enhance India’s prestige in West Asia where, as it is, Modi government is perceived as an Islamophobic regime backed by religious fanatics. 

In the life of individuals and nations alike, there are moments when one has to learn to say “no.” This self-serving, cynical overture from 78-year old Biden is one such moment. That’s why, despite zero chance of India turning down Biden’s invite, not to urge Modi to say “Nyet” to I2U2 will be a serious lapse. 

South Block is underestimating the gravity of its folly. India never ever got entangled in the intra-regional issues in West Asia. It never acted as the surrogate of extra-regional powers, either. Most important, it never sought the “containment” of any regional state. That’s how it held its head high in the choppy waters of the Persian Gulf.  

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Dept. Not Investigating Saudi Use of US Weapons in Alleged War Crimes: GAO

Samizdat | June 16, 2022

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a scathing report Monday which found that the Department of Defense and the Department of State “have not fully determined the extent to which U.S. military support has contributed to civilian harm in Yemen.” The news comes on the heels of the announcement that US President Joe Biden will be paying a visit next month to Saudi Arabia, a country which in 2019 he pledged to turn into a “pariah.”

“Despite several reports that airstrikes and other attacks by Saudi Arabia and UAE have caused extensive civilian harm in Yemen, [the Department of Defense] has not reported and [the State Department] could not provide evidence that it investigated any incidents of potential unauthorized use of equipment transferred to Saudi Arabia or UAE,” the GAO report concluded.

In February 2021, US President Joe Biden declared he was ending “all American support for offensive operations” in the Saudi war on Yemen. GAO monitors pointed out that while US Military Training Mission staff claimed that “all of the equipment the US sells… to Saudi Arabia must be for defensive purposes,” the “officials could not provide a definition for equipment that is defensive in nature when asked how they distinguish between equipment used for defensive purposes and equipment used for offensive purposes.”

Instead, the report’s authors noted, State Department officials “told us they have no specific definitions for what constitutes ‘offensive weapons’ and ‘defensive weapons’ to direct the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.”

The report also found that from fiscal year 2015 to 2021, the “Department of Defense administered at least $54.6 billion of military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of which over a third, or $18.3 billion, came in the form of missiles. The remaining military aid was reportedly spent as follows: $7.6 billion on equipment maintenance, $6.2 billion on aircraft, $4.9 billion on “special activities,” $4.6 billion on communication, detection, and coherent radiation equipment, $3.3 billion on ships, $2.8 billion on training, $1.4 billion on construction, $1.2 billion on ammunition, $1.1 billion on support equipment, $900 million on weapons, and $1.8 billion on other expenditures like combat, tactical, and support vehicles, as well as research and development.

Although “the United Nations has characterized the conflict in Yemen as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,” the report’s authors explain that the US has “long-standing security relationships with Saudi Arabia and UAE—two primary actors in the conflict—and has continued to provide them military support, including for operations in Yemen since 2015.”

In April, 32 US Congress members urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to commit to a “recalibration of the US-Saudi partnership,” noting that the US’ “continued unqualified support for the Saudi monarchy, which systematically, ruthlessly represses its own citizens, targets critics all over the world, carries out a brutal war in Yemen, and bolsters authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East and North Africa, runs counter to US national interests and damages the credibility of the United States to uphold our values.”

But with Biden’s announcement that he’ll be flying to Riyadh next month for what the Saudi embassy described as “official talks” between Joe Biden and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the odds of such an adjustment taking place–and of US agencies taking a more proactive approach towards American involvement in alleged Saudi war crimes–are growing ever-slimmer.

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran vs. UAE – ‘Russia and Ukraine Gulf edition’ coming soon?

By Gavin O’Reilly | OffGuardian | June 15, 2022

Although receiving miniscule media coverage, Thursday’s announcement that Israel had deployed military infrastructure to the UAE and Bahrain in the shape of radar systems, ostensibly to counter an alleged missile threat from nearby Iran, should be a cause for concern amongst onlookers.

Coming in the same 24 hour period in which Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett paid a surprise visit to the Emirates, and in which Israeli Forces bombed Damascus International Airport, the announcement that both Abu Dhabi and Manama had agreed to host Israeli military infrastructure should be seen as the first step towards current tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran being placed on a possibly irreversible path towards conflict in the region.

Indeed, Israeli encirclement of Iran via Tel Aviv-allied Arab states possibly triggering a war between Tehran and both the UAE and Bahrain bears a stark similarity to the nine-year long build-up of provocations which would ultimately led Russia to launch a military intervention into neighbouring Ukraine in February of this year.

In November 2013, following the decision by then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to suspend a trade deal with the EU in order to pursue closer ties with Russia, a CIA-orchestrated regime change operation, known as ‘Euromaidan’, would be launched in order to depose Yanukovych’s leadership and replace him with the pro-Western Petro Poroshenko – whose coalition government would contain rabid far-right sympathisers hostile to Moscow.

Indeed, such was the anti-Russian sentiment amongst the new US-backed Kiev government that the predominantly ethnic-Russian Donbass region in the east of the country would breakaway to form the independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in April 2014, following the previous month’s successful reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with the rest of Russia.

The establishment of these two pro-Russian Republics however, would spark a near eight-year long conflict in the eastern European country, in which Kiev would use neo-Nazi paramilitaries such as Azov Battalion and Right Sector to wage an ethnic cleansing campaign against the inhabitants of the Donbass.

In spite of Western media descriptions of ‘Russian aggression’ however, Moscow had sought to resolve the conflict in Donbass through peaceful mean via the Minsk Agreements – which would see both Republics granted a degree of autonomy whilst still remaining under the rule of Kiev.

With 14,000 dead in the Donbass conflict, NATO failing to honour a post-Cold War agreement not to expand eastwards, and the subsequent confirmation that US-funded labs were developing bioweapons in Ukraine however, Moscow’s hand was ultimately forced in February of this year when a Russian military intervention was launched into Ukraine in order to remove neo-Nazi elements from power and to destroy any military infrastructure that would ultimately have been used by NATO had Kiev gone on to become a member.

This is where the similarities with Iran and the neighbouring Gulf states of the UAE and Bahrain come into play, with both countries having formalised diplomatic links with Tel Aviv via the September 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords.

Lauded as a ‘peace deal’ by the then-administration of Donald Trump, despite Israel, the UAE and Bahrain never actually being at war, the ‘normalisation’ agreements, coming eight months after the US had nearly triggered a new Gulf war with the assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike, were seen by many geopolitical observers as a means to contain Iran within the region, a long-time foreign policy aim shared by both Washington and Tel Aviv.

Indeed, despite the relationship between Israel and both states initially starting off on a purely diplomatic basis, the announcement that Israeli radar systems are to be moved into both the UAE and Bahrain marks a dangerous step towards a scenario were Israeli military infrastructure is placed within striking distance of Iran – a situation that would likely lead to a major regional conflict, one that could reach far beyond the Persian Gulf.


Gavin O’Reilly is an Irish Republican activist from Dublin, Ireland, with a strong interest in the effects of British and US Imperialism; he was a writer for the American Herald Tribune from January 2018 up until their seizure by the FBI in 2021, with his work also appearing on The Duran, Al-Masdar, MintPress News, Global Research and SouthFront. He can be reached through Twitter and Facebook and supported on Patreon.

June 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is a Social Credit System Coming for Us?

By Tessa Lena | May 13, 2022

A Social Credit Score System Is Piloted in Bologna, Italy

The city administration of Bologna, Italy, is piloting a program that brings the beast of the Fourth Industrial Revolution straight to the citizens. It’s an early reiteration of Klaus’ Schwab’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, the honey moon, so to speak — so it comes to the citizens wrapped in gift paper, with balloons, prizes, and party language. But make no mistake: underneath, there is cruel man-eating machine that wants to mine your data and control your behavior!

So, what exactly is happening in Bologna? The administration is “digitizing” their relationship with the citizens. For starters, they are launching an app — with a catch — that will provide an interface to get access to various local services. Without saying it, the they are implementing the “digital governance” aspect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Quoting the Italian source:

“We will give citizens services based on their needs – says the Mayor – and this will allow us to personalize their experience. People will be able to find everything the administration will do on their mobile phones or computers. The physical branches, however, will not disappear.

“We will maintain a ‘physical’ support for all people who do not use the web, especially the older ones,” assures Lepore [Mayor of Bologna]. But the goal is computer literacy that leaves no one behind.”

If we read this announcement with innocent eyes, it sounds like yet another initiative that the bureaucrats are launching, perhaps benevolently, to keep up with the times and with the buzzwords. And in an ideal world — a world filled with flowers, butterflies, rainbows, and harmless, caring bureaucrats — there would be nothing wrong with adding on a little extra convenience via technology.

Technology can be very helpful if done right, and if it comes to us without Trojan horses. But alas, at the moment, we don’t live in such a world!

We live in a world where Klaus Schwab and his buddies and masters are fighting with each other over who gets to eat the most peasants! We live in a world where those who already have great power are seeking even more power — and that world is quickly going back to the feudal-time psychological standards (while, ironically, keeping the modern standards for the levels of industrial poisons in everything around us.)

As far as Trojan horses, the Bologna municipal app actually comes with a social credit system! The “virtuous citizens,” doing nice things, such as using public transport, keeping their energy use low, etc., get “perks,” like points in gaming. For those points, they may be able to get discounts or prizes or access to additional services. Nice Trojan horse, right?

“Among the most innovative interventions is the smart citizen wallet [emphasis mine]. ‘The wallet of the virtuous citizen,’ explains Bugani, who had worked on the project with the Raggi [Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome from 2016 to 2021] administration (in Rome today the platform is active in an experimental phase). The idea is similar to the mechanism of ‘a supermarket points collection,’ as the councilor himself points out.

‘Citizens will be recognized if they separate waste, if they use public transport, if they manage energy well, if they do not incur sanctions from the municipal authority, if they are active with the Culture Card.’ Virtuous behaviors that will correspond to a score that the Bolognese will then be able to ‘spend’ on prizes, such as discounts, cultural activities and so on.”

In other words, it’s the “nice” face of digital control. Nice, for now. But we need to be clear: we are looking at the digital control of everything we do in the end of that journey!

Integrated Citizen Relationship Management in Rome

The Italian news source mentions that this approach is already in experimental use in Rome, Italy. In March 2022, Salesforce published the following announcement:

“Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today announced that the Municipality of Rome has chosen Salesforce to create an Integrated Citizen Relationship Management platform …

Leveraging Salesforce Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud will deliver omni-channel self-service capabilities, seamless collaboration between local government departments, and empower citizens to receive the information they need faster through AI-powered chatbots.

The launch of the MyRhome platform is another step on the Municipality’s path to creating a ‘smart city’ [emphasis mine] — an ecosystem of public and private stakeholders serving citizens wherever they are”.

Of course! We can’t expect any less from Salesforce, given that Marc Benioff is on WEF Board of Trustees!

Also, remember the famous “lockstep scenario” document released by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network? The document that the Rockefeller Foundation says today has been misinterpreted by the conspiracy theorists — because the good and virtuous Rockefeller Foundation totally didn’t mean to predict what actually happened in 2020 (and also probably had nothing to do with eugenics)?

Well, keeping in mind that “lockstep scenario” document, here is Peter Schwartz, the Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Salesforce and “an internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, specializing in scenario planning and working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future … Prior to joining Salesforce, Peter was co-founder and chairman of Global Business Network [emphasis mine].” In the words of George Carlin, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it! You and I are not in the big club!”

Their Motive for the “Digital Governance” Model? It’s the Data, Stupid!

At first, it’s the data (to train our future boss, the robot) — and then, increasingly, it’s mainly about control!

Let’s look at a very “interesting” 2017 write-up on digitizing governments on the World Economic Forum’s website. It talks about the importance of collecting data to build and train their beloved AI. It also complains about the fact that a lot of the data kept by governments just sits there in paper format and, dammit, is not making itself useful to the sacred goal of training the AI! Not good, they say, what a waste!

Therefore, to “open” that data to the AI beast, they want the governments to digitize their services — sorry that was the quiet part — what they actually say is that the citizens are craving those digital government systems because, who doesn’t know that the elimination of privacy is … good for us?

The World Economic Forum also suggests that the governments should develop new legal frameworks and data management systems to make data available for free. What a great idea! In 2017, the World Economic Forum mouthpieces were more upfront that today, so it is useful to read exactly what they said back then:

“Need for data is quickly becoming a central theme that applies to all aspects of our evolving digital society. A case in point is the field of artificial intelligence, which promises to revolutionize society (governments included). Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are using AI-related techniques to train computers to recognize objects in photos and understand human language.

It is possible to train computers to perform these difficult feats because we have the enormous quantities of data that is required. The same applies to all forms of machine learning, smart manufacturing and every other tech-driven trend shaping the future. They are all reliant on data, and are only as good as the data they crunch. In this context, data has been described as the new oil.'”

“Today, a large majority of the world’s data is in the hands of the private sector … The remainder of the global data sits in government hands, mostly stored in paper format, or legacy systems. To maximize the societal benefits of the data age, a new movement started promoting open data.

While government data is all data or information that government entities produce or collect, making it open refers to publishing and sharing data that can be readily and easily consulted and re-used by anyone with access to internet with no fees or technological barriers.

Most of this data currently remains locked up and proprietary (private property of companies, governments and other organizations). This severely limits its public value.

Data is now a new social good and governments will need to think of some form of data responsibility legislation that guides the private sector and other data owners on their duties in the data age: the duty to collect, manage and share in a timely manner [emphasis mine], as well as the duty to protect.

This legislation is needed over and above a government’s own open and big data management systems, and will need to cover all data stakeholders (irrespective of ownership or other governing rules).”

“Once a clear legal framework is in place, governments need to develop, and quickly master, a new core capability: data curation … Most governments around the world still struggle with legacy databases that are incompatible with each other, and work against any kind of data-sharing or data-driven design. Laws and regulations are still in their infancy and struggling to cope with the pace of change …”

“Governments must review a vast number of laws and regulations [emphasis mine]. From harmonizing and enforcing privacy regulations and protecting against data-breaches, to regulations that ensure net neutrality and data flows. Today’s debates over the future of big data are based on the assumption that the internet will remain a series of open networks through which data easily flows.

Some countries have begun to harden their internet systems, and the concept of net neutrality is uncertain. If the internet becomes a network of closed networks, the full potential of big data may not be realized.”

“Governments must also improve their capabilities when it comes to citizen engagement to effectively and actively engage with both providers and users of data. This requires governments to create a culture of open data [emphasis mine] – something governments are starting to do with various degrees of success.

The level of citizen engagement is not the typical government communication function, but a more open, horizontal, and fast-paced G2C platform.”

Must, must, must. So I am guessing, national sovereignty is a sore thumb in the way of our aspiring Davos masters because in their minds, they have already decided that they want our data (but not theirs) to be openly available, and that they don’t want any questions from the peasants.

A tangential comment: As a musician, I am remembering with some bitterness how Big Tech was pushing for “open data” and “open access” back in the day, selling it as “free expression” and “democracy,” and as a result — since buying music became unfashionable — musicians lost much of their income … and nobody cared!

I am glad that now at least, a lot more people are realizing what liars whose Big Tech companies are, and what liars they have always been all along, when they were talking about “free expression”! Look at them now, with their “free expression”! They are quite happy to censor! So it’s only our data that they want to be open — not our opinions!

And Here Is Another Curiosity From the World Economic Forum

They published this article in 2018:

Could robots do better than our current leaders

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to wreak havoc on labour markets, with AI and robots replacing various white-collar jobs. One job category largely excluded from scientific reports is that of government leaders, despite being one of the most critiqued, scrutinized and ridiculed jobs of all.”

“However, commentators from countries as diverse as India, the UKNew Zealand and Japan have started to suggest that robots as government leaders could drastically improve decision-making, by being much less irrational and erratic than their inherently flawed human counterparts.”

After freaking us out, the World Economic Forum writers chuckle and let us continue being governed by human politicians, at least for now:

“For the time being, it seems neither possible nor optimal for robots to replace government leaders, despite the clear imperfections displayed by the latter group … Ultimately, a more realistic and desirable scenario is one in which AI and automation are neither competitors nor substitutes to humans, but tools that government leaders can engage effectively and sometimes defer to, in order to make better, fairer and more inclusive decisions.”

Phew, it’s almost like … you know, when a street robber first tells us to give him all of your money but then agrees to take only half! Such a kindly, generous robber! We are so lucky!

World Economic Forum’s “Agile Nations”

The 2017 WEB write-up about digital governance reads like a “wish list” and a blueprint for the governments to act upon. (I guess, given the bribing and coercive power of the people who’ve composed the wish list, their wish list had a strong chance of becoming the bureaucrats’ blueprint the moment it was written.) So in 2020, seven nations got together and signed an agreement to essentially implement it. A quote from “Agile Canada“:

“In November 2020, seven countries signed on to the Agile Nations Charter, establishing Agile Nations as a forum for countries to collaborate on creating a global regulatory environment in which innovation can thrive.

Member countries include: Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) also participate as observers.”

“Priority areas for cooperation are: data and communications, transportation, medical diagnosis and treatment, clean technology, legal and professional services, pro-innovation regulatory approaches.”

And here’s from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought economic and social disruption worldwide. As people and businesses focus on recovery, governments must ensure that innovation, which will power economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, is not held back by outdated regulations [emphasis mine].”

Translation from Orwellian to English: “We want your data, including your medical and biometric data — and we want it now. Look at how lovely our AI is … my precious! (Sorry couldn’t help it!) The so called national laws and regulations interfere with the speed at which we can get a hold of your data.

Like we said, we want it now, and so we would very much like it if so called national laws and regulation got replaced with a digital framework that we write and that we can update any time we like! Sounds like a good idea or what? Who wants some funding? You know what you need to do to get that funding, don’t you?” The quote continues:

“As part of the development of the OECD principles on Effective and Innovation Friendly Rule-Making in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have been co-operating to look deeper into the interlinkages between regulation and emerging technologies …

Ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship.”

“In addition, in support of the mission of the Agile Nations, representatives of Facebook also offered to launch a call for research – overseen by an independent steering committee of experts in the field of law, regulation and entrepreneurship – into what approaches to rulemaking (e.g. regulatory sandboxes, policy prototyping) were the most effective for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As this initiative continues to develop, other businesses will be encouraged and invited to co-sponsor this initiative, and to venture their own ideas to support the work of the Agile Nations.”

“In sum, the Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. The agreement paves the way for these nations to cooperate in helping innovators navigate each country’s rules, test new ideas with regulators and scale them across the seven markets.

Priority areas for cooperation include the green economy, mobility, data, financial and professional services, and medical diagnosis and treatment.”

“Scientific Management”

The World Economic Forum’s agenda is a strange mix of religious fundamentalism and “scientific management.” As I wrote earlier in an article about the mind of a technocrat, scientific management is a “method of industrial optimization developed by Taylor in the late 19th and early 20th century. The essence of his method was extreme fragmentation and compartmentalization of the production process.”

It required taking a complex process, breaking it down into very simple tasks, timing each task, optimizing it to the maximum using the stopwatch, and then assigning each of those simple tasks to different workers, while insisting that the workers should only use the pre-optimized motor patterns and work as efficiently as possible. Under scientific management, there was no room for workers’ creativity.

And while Taylor and Ford intended the scientific management method for the purpose of streamlining industrial production, the Davos charlatans aim to manage our entire lives, and justify it with some bogus “public good” and “community values”!

Whose “Community Values” Are Those, Anyway?

Here is the elephant in the room: It’s the Davos charlatans — and I want to repeat the word “charlatans” because that’s who they are underneath their bank accounts and their important speeches — who are writing our so called “community values”! They are trying to latch onto our natural social instincts and weaponize our good instincts against us!

They want us to be unassuming, guilty “good citizens” who put a limit on our carbon footprint and on the number of children we have — while they, the self-appointed “guardians” of the world, fly private jets to climate change conferences and have as many kids as they damn like!

And here’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with real community values! We are social creatures, and it benefits us to live together well. However, community values are only as good as the people who propose them — and community values turn into a pumpkin the moment someone like Schwab touches them!

As Good as the People

Let’s even forget about Schwab for a second and think how community values work in principle. Let’s imagine a small village. If the people living in that village are mostly healed and grounded, they will raise their children to seek wisdom and live well with others — from the heart, not from the letter.

However, if the people in the village have been abused, and abused, and abused again — and never healed — then even the authentic community values in that village could end up being anxious, rigid, and detrimental to freedom.

Hurt people tend to teach their children that life is meant to be joyless. They tend to slap their children’s wrists for wanting to be free, saying it’s a selfish folly. Hurt people hurt people! And at one point, the rigid rules might have been an invention of a cunning predator — but after prolonged abuse, people might have internalized them and passed them on to their children! (And look at how many people in the West sincerely adopted the religion of the Mask … they have internalized it!)

Another example: in my birth homeland of Russia, there are many small communities where the people carry so much hurt and sadness that the gloom is almost palpable in the air. I am saying this from personal experience, and with much pain and love for my people. I ran away from that gloom and immigrated to America because the “community values” felt too joyless!

So when it comes to Klaus Schwab and friends, they are only as powerful as we let them. I believe that that healing ourselves and our relationships is at the top of our priorities list in the battle against transhumanism — because anything we do from a place of love has more power than anything we do from the place of fear!

Why Will Transhumanism Fail?

This system, the entire man-eating beast, will eventually fail, I have no doubt — but we don’t know when, and we need to stay humble, brave, and very patient. The cruel beast may fail very soon, or it may take a while to fail. I think it depends on how quickly we remember to relate to each other in spirit, with love and happy humility — instead of labeling and judging each other based on ancestry, politics, or differences in opinion.

I think it depends on how quickly we realize that the freedom taken away from the people everywhere, throughout history, has been as existentially precious as the freedom that is being taken away from us right now — because there is no fundamental difference between us and other people, and never has been.

We, here and now, are dealing with the same dilemma that many in the past have dealt with, and some have died from. Spirit is spirit, and freedom is freedom! And I think that when we remember to stand together and honor each other and each other’s love and each other’s courage, we’ll be undefeatable. No Klaus Schwab can do anything to us if we refuse to betray our fellow human beings for any reason.

And sooner or later, spiritual clarity will prevail, and this transhumanist beast, the culmination of abuse, will fail. The reason why it will fail is simple. We are not machines, and when we are managed like machines — increasingly so over the centuries — our souls bleed badly. When we are managed like slaves, we suffer unbearably — and suffering, while it’s not a preferred way of obtaining clarity, still mysteriously leads to spiritual clarity. Life puts no suffering to waste!

And when the pain gets unbearable, and there is nowhere to go but toward our heart of hearts, our souls scream to the skies, and we pray for answers with no arrogance and no talking points, and then something magical happens. When our fear and pain become too much but we keep pushing, we grow our souls to where solutions show up out of nowhere.

And then we cry, laugh, and pray more for healing, and more solutions show up, and we look back and we suddenly know why we had to suffer, and why the sweetness was worth it. And then we start living well because, after all this suffering, we finally remember that everything in the world, everything-everything, has always been about love — and that living well with each other is not just pleasant but also very practical.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment