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Prisoner of War Camps in America

By Larry Romanoff | Moon of Shanghai | June 1, 2020

This story has all the requirements to qualify for a conspiracy theory, and may not make sense to you without some background for context.

Prior to the US entering WWI, an enormous years-long anti-German propaganda campaign was unleashed by the Creel Commission, headed by Walter Lippman and Edward Bernays, the latter being a nephew of Sigmund Freud. (1) (2) Public literature attacked everything German in America, including schools and churches. In many schools the German language was forbidden to be taught to “pure Americans”, and administrators were urged to fire “all disloyal teachers”, meaning any Germans. The names of countless towns and cities were changed to eliminate their German origin: Berlin, Iowa became Lincoln, Iowa. German foods and food names were purged from restaurants; sauerkraut became ‘liberty cabbage’; dachshunds became ‘liberty dogs’ and German Shepherds became ‘Alsatians’.

All American orchestras were ordered to eliminate from their performances any music by classic German composers like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. Public libraries removed and (most often) burned all books by German authors, philosophers and historians. In some states, the use of the German language was prohibited in public and on the telephone. German professors were fired from their universities, German-language or German-owned local newspapers were denied advertising revenue, constantly harassed, and often forced out of business. The patriotic Boy Scouts of America contributed to the effort by regularly burning bundles of German newspapers that were on sale, and Germans were regularly insulted and spat upon by other citizens. Germans were forced to gather in public meetings and denounce Germany and its leaders, forced to purchase war bonds and publicly declare their allegiance to the US flag.

As the rhetoric reached dangerous levels, the anti-German hysteria and violence increased proportionately. Many Germans were forcibly removed from their homes, often torn from their beds during the night, taken out into the street and stripped naked, beaten and whipped, then forced to kneel and kiss the American flag. Many were tarred and feathered, then forced to leave their cities or towns. Some were lynched from trees. Priests and pastors were dragged out of their churches and beaten for giving sermons in German.

Newspaper editors were screaming that all Germans were spies poisoning American water supplies or infecting hospital medical shipments, and that most “ought to be taken out at sunrise and shot for treason”. Congressmen recommended hanging or otherwise executing all Germans in America, State Governors urging the use of firing squads to eliminate “the disloyal element” from the entire state. The US Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels stated that Americans would “put the fear of God into the hearts” of these people. Most Americans are aware that during the national hysteria of the Second World War the US government forced more than 100,000 US-born Japanese into concentration camps, but history has deleted the fact that many more Germans were interned in concentration camps in the US prior to and during the First War, and in all cases had all their assets seized.

With all of this and much more, America was a hotbed of hatred for the entire German population. After the Second World War, Germany was widely accused of using propaganda against the Jews, while our history books have airbrushed out the massive and unspeakably evil storm of hate propaganda in America against Germans prior to and during WWII. There were thousands of posters and articles containing lurid descriptions of fake atrocities, newspaper articles, cartoons and so much more, but the historical record of this years-long tapestry of lies and hate has been quite well buried. It is possible to find copies on the internet of many wartime posters, but this collection has been well sanitised with virtually all of the genuinely evil and dirty productions apparently lost to history. The narrative today in the history books casually dismisses all of this as “an innovative use of graphic arts to stir patriotism”, but it was hatred rather than patriotism that was being stirred.

The propaganda incited an intense hatred for everything German, to ease US entry into the First World War. It was not different during the Second World War, and the propaganda/hate campaign was not limited to the US. In 1940, the UK government initiated what it called an “anger campaign” with the stated cause of “instilling personal hatred against the German people and Germany”, the authorities pleased that the original 6% of the British population that ‘hated Germany’ increased to over 50% by the end of the campaign. The radio waves were full of descriptions of the “cruelty and blackness of the German soul”. There were articles in the British newspapers advocating the “systematic extermination of the entire German nation” to be carried out after the war ended. Thus, after victory over Germany, every person of German extraction was to be executed and the nation of Germany itself to disappear forever. (3)

It wasn’t only the US and UK where this hatred of Germans was being propagated. Germans in every nation were vehemently portrayed as evil incarnate, this nature stemming simply from the fact of their being of German origin. In countries all around the world, the media spread the same message of hatred against Germany and the Germans. In Brazil, anti-German demonstrations and riots consumed the country, with German businesses being destroyed and Germans being assaulted and killed. In almost every nation, the German-language press and use of the German language completely disappeared during the war from fear of reprisal, as did all German schools and most businesses. None re-opened.

Throughout the world, as in the US, false wartime propaganda was used as during both World Wars to incite entire populations into an irrational hatred of everything German, even to the extent of powerful media recommendations that the entire German race be exterminated after the war. The American public in particular was as full of hatred for things German during the Second World War as they were during the First World War; on both occasions to the extent there was a significant movement to exterminate all those of German descent in the US.

It was in this context that Eisenhower so famously said, “God, how I hate Germans”, and it was in this context that 12 million Germans died in American concentration camps in Germany AFTER the war. As James Bacque discovered, the Americans killed between 8 million and 12 million Germans in American concentration camps in Germany. Perhaps two million were executed, and the rest died by starvation, it being a capital offense to even attempt to bring food to the prisoners. (4) (5) (6)

The US was a hotbed of hatred for everything German during the Second World War as well as during the first. Germany and Germans had been so reviled in the US for decades that most Americans possessed an instinctive fear and hatred of them. Those memories so fervently instilled by the propaganda machine, did not dissipate quickly but lingered for many years, so much so that even after the war it was actually dangerous for an American to say anything positive or complimentary toward either Germany or German people. Anyone expressing even tolerance or sympathy for Germans was very liable to find himself in prison. The above forms the context for what follows. We can now fast-forward to the end of World War II and the American concentration camps in Germany.

Concentration Camps in America

It was in this context that the US military established around 700 concentration camps for Germans in the US, prisons which housed nearly 500,000 German so-called “Prisoners Of War” who were forcibly shipped from the concentration camps in Germany to the US during the later stages and also after the war ended. The official reasons given for this enterprise were varied and conflicting. The original government claim stated an insufficiency of food in Germany so the US military shipped these prisoners to America to better feed them. A later claim was of insufficient space remaining in Germany for more American concentration camps, so these civilians were relocated to the US. Another was that the prisoners filled the country’s need for extra farm labor. (7) (8)

This topic has understandably received little attention from the US media, and the pages in the history book are mostly blank. My first impression on reading the few articles that exist was, given the more or less uniform commentary and context, that an official template had been followed, though I have been unable to locate it. Wikipedia claims that “Newspaper coverage of the camps and public knowledge [of them] were intentionally limited until the end of the war, in part to comply with the Geneva Convention.” Maybe, but I am aware of no stipulation in any convention, Geneva or otherwise, prohibiting public knowledge of concentration camps. Let’s begin by taking a brief look at the lives of these German prisoners while encamped in the USA.

Several of the published articles present what is purported to be quotations from letters written by German prisoners to their families, letters apparently mailed to Germany. From the September 2009 issue of the Atlantic magazine, (from a letter purportedly mailed to Germany in 1944): “All in all, our life here is very orderly. We sleep in beds which have white covers and we eat with knives and forks. Up till now, we were treated excellently.” Another quoted in the Atlantic : “I am really in a golden cage.” And another: “When I was taken prisoner, I visualized a life of horror but it is quite different.”

The Atlantic article tells us: “The POWs were overwhelmed by the excellent conditions in the camps and the abundance of food and other articles”, further claiming the existence of “countless letters” from Americans resenting the fact that “there are German prisoners here and they live better than we do.” Texas A&M history professor Arnold Krammer tells us “German POWs were treated very well. … they were given wine and beer with every meal.” Wikipedia tells us, “Many prisoners found that their living conditions as prisoners were better than as civilians in Germany”, and that some prisoners were sent to a camp, where “each had his own bungalow with garden.” Also according to Wikipedia, they received wine with all their meals, had special meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and in fact received too much food: “Unable to eat all their food, prisoners at first burned leftover food fearing that their rations would be reduced.” (9)

Loren Horton confirms that the German prisoners “got more rationed items – like cigarettes – than the civilians in the area could get”, and that many Americans believed “the prisoners had more luxuries than the average citizen”. Wikipedia claims further that “Groups of prisoners pooled their daily beer coupons to take turns drinking several at a time. They also received two packs of cigarettes a day and frequently meat”, noting as have others that meat and cigarettes were strongly rationed at the time, and unavailable to most American civilians. Wikipedia further tells us that for these German prisoners, “their good treatment began with the substantial meals served aboard (the ships carrying them to the US)”, and that upon arriving in America they were amazed to travel in unusual comfort on “sleek, comfortable passenger trains” that carried them to their prison camps.

Someone named John Ray Skates wrote an article claiming “The high ranking generals had special housing [while] lower ranking officers had to content themselves with small apartments”, some officers having not only a private home but furnished also with a car and driver. He also tells us that at least some officers often went to movie theaters because they were “the only air-conditioned place in town”. Skates tells us further that these prison camps “had most of the facilities and services that could be found in a small town – dentists, doctors, libraries, movies, educational facilities”. And not only educational facilities. Horton tells us “the prisoners formed their own orchestras”, and that “a massive nativity scene was constructed at Christmas time” by the prisoners who “paid for the materials from their 80 cents per day credits. They had more than $8,000!” They even had sports teams, and printed their own newspapers. Wikipedia tells us that “nobody could become bored” as a prisoner since these German prisoners “held frequent theatrical and musical performances attended by hundreds and even thousands” of people, including the entire local citizenry and all their American guards, and that movies were shown four times each week. (10)

According to the Smithsonian magazine, the prisoners to a man claimed such excellent treatment that their only complaint was the lack of sufficient girl friends. (11) But then the men in many camps held “social receptions” with local American girls, this “unauthorized fraternization between American women and German prisoners” being so common as to often be a problem. Apparently this wasn’t all bad because in this way many German soldiers met their future wives. Part of the problem appears to have been the natural attractiveness of German men, at least to American women. The Atlantic magazine article claimed these men were often described as “magnificent physical specimens, physically supreme, muscular types”, and “fine specimens of physical manhood.”

As well, “typical Americans” described these German prisoners as “just the best bunch of boys you ever saw”, “uniformly neat, excessively polite, splendidly disciplined, these young men are – frankly – hard to dislike.” The Atlantic also tells us that “grateful Americans” (no idea why they were grateful) “often showed their appreciation by inviting the German prisoners to restaurants and even their homes for dinner.” These warm feelings apparently prevailed to such an extent the Inspector General wrote that Americans were too “apt to become overly friendly and solicitous of the prisoner’s welfare.” All articles claim the prisoners were more or less free to come and go as they pleased and, while a few tried to escape, this was never a concern, the prison camps having little to no security so as to permit the Germans to leave the camp for their day jobs.

A Ronald H. Bailey informs us that the Germans adjusted wonderfully to prison life, where the “guards marveled at the changes” in the men, keeping their compounds so neat, and where “The prisoners appeared in high spirits. They spent hours creating large and well-tended flower beds.” Wikipedia tells us that the Germans were “pleased to be captured” by the Americans, and stated Krammer as reporting that “I’ve yet to meet a German prisoner who doesn’t tell me that it was the time of their lives”. Krammer claims the Germans left the US “with positive feelings about the country”, the men stating, “We all were positively impressed by the USA … We all had been won over to friendly relations with the USA.”

It seems that the wonderful treatment by the Americans “inadvertently defanged” any Nazi sentiment and created half a million “Little Ambassadors” for America. This was true in part because the Germans realised that the “rabid, anti-American propaganda” they had received, “didn’t fit what they saw in America”. But, and much more importantly, “all German POWs learned by example what democracy looked like on a daily, personal basis.” Krammer tells us further that due to these and other factors, “thousands returned to Germany fluent in English and “having a new love and respect for the United States”, having formed “decades long friendships with the enemy”.” Skates tells us that over the years since the war, many German prisoners have returned to the US for the purpose of seeing the camps they lived in as young men, and were uniformly “sad” to learn the camps had all been torn down after the war. He tells us these men are now “very old” but they still return to the US “to remember their experience” as prisoners. (12)

We even apparently have documented evidence of all this. In 2001 and 2002, a research team from a group named TRACES claims to have filmed over 75 hours of interviews with former German prisoners or their family members, and have apparently seen copies of cheques issued by the US Military and payable to German prisoners returning home, and Krammer has apparently written several books on the matter. Not only that, but the US government held a kind of memorial celebration in 2004, to “salute the hundreds of thousands of German prisoners of war taken to camps in the United States during World War II.”

That’s a good story, but there are a few chinks in the armor.

None of the official statements establish a reason for incarcerating German civilians in the US for years after the end of the war. To suggest that Germany had no space for more prisons is ridiculous nonsense since the US military simply established them in fenced open fields without shelter or protection of any kind. The claim about the shortage of food is true, but that was because the Americans refused to permit food imports to postwar Germany, the stated aim being to starve Germany to death, and Eisenhower ordered the immediate execution of anyone attempting to smuggle food to the prisoners. If Eisenhower was deliberately starving millions to death in Germany, and it is beyond dispute that he was, why would he want to bring them to the US so as “to better feed them”?

What reason could the US government have, to incur the expense of transporting half a million Germans across the Atlantic, then feeding and housing them for years? Why not simply let them die with the others? General Eisenhower, the same man who had made no secret in telling the country, “God, how I hate Germans”, and who had organised and supervised the extermination of more than 12 million of them, had now moved from the battlefields into the White House and built 700 “Golden cages” for these same people, with rations, privileges, and girlfriends that apparently far exceeded those available to ordinary Americans. In what way does this story make sense?

The official narrative is that the last shipment of German prisoners left the US on July 22, 1946, that the men were returned to Germany, but I have been unable to locate any confirmation of these prisoners actually having left the US. Certainly it is possible that official and public records exist which I have not discovered, but the export of half a million prisoners in a short space of time from only two or three possible locations on the US Eastern seaboard is more than nothing in terms of public events since it would have required at least 100 to 150 ships, yet I have been unable to locate any media or other public evidence of this. The only real facts I could uncover were brief stories about camps being emptied in the middle of the night, the locals being told the prisoners had been ‘transferred’, and to not ask questions.

Recognising the difficulty in proving that something didn’t happen, I turned my attention to a search for evidence that the Germans did indeed arrive in Germany as the US narrative claims, but I could find not a shred of evidence that such a transfer occurred. Neither Germany nor the Red Cross (who would have been involved in all such transfers) appear to have any record of any transfer of personnel from the US after the war. And as James Bacque pointed out, the German ports had all been bombed to rubble and would have been unable to accept such transfers. As well, in my conversations with Bacque, he claimed an examination of all military records and troop movements and had seen no transfers of Germans from the US to anywhere.

The Atlantic magazine contradicted the official version and claimed they were instead turned over to the UK and France for what would have been years of punishing forced labor almost certainly ending in death, claiming that for the prisoners, this was a “modern slave trade on the grandest scale” (not a nice way to treat “the best bunch of boys you ever saw”). But from the detailed research by James Bacque and other sources of information, there appears no record of prisoners arriving from the US anywhere in either the UK or Europe after the war. Further, of all my media, historical, university, and other contacts in Germany, only one person was even aware of the existence of German concentration camps in the USA. I was unable to find anyone with any knowledge of half a million Germans arriving from the US after the war, and absolutely no record or evidence of such a transfer.

Epilogue

The US military, led by General Eisenhower, established enormous concentration camps throughout Germany, some containing more than one million soldiers and civilians each, and executed or starved to death around 12 million, most deaths occurring long after the war had ended. Eisenhower had forbidden food to be delivered to the camps, issuing orders to shoot and kill anyone attempting to smuggle food to the prisoners. Coincidentally, the US military transported to the US some 500,000 German soldiers (from these same camps) to be interned in concentration camps where they would join large numbers of German-Americans and their families who were imprisoned and had their assets confiscated, also for the sin of being German. All this done under the command of Eisenhower who, as noted above, had now transferred to the White House.

But now something strange happens. These same Germans living under the same watchful eye of Eisenhower and still in the atmosphere of seemingly limitless hatred for Germans, were now suddenly living “in a golden cage”, in private bungalows, with cars and drivers, “social receptions” with local American girls, all the beer they could drink and movies at least four days a week. Instead of being worked and starved to death, they had so much food they would burn it for fear of having their rations reduced. And rather than being treated poorly, they had “more luxuries than the average American citizen”, especially for items that were heavily rationed. These wonderful “physical specimens” were cavorting with American girls and meeting their future wives, beloved by all Americans while discovering the blessings of democracy. They had their own orchestras and put on performances attended by “thousands of people”, this while all German music, composers and authors were banned by the US government in all other parts of the country. And they printed their own newspapers in German while German books and newspapers were also banned in the entire US.

Every part of the official narrative begs to be disbelieved. I do not have all the facts, but a hatred stoked continuously among the American population from at least 1914, and shared by the President and military, would not be expected to lend itself to keeping Germans in a golden cage. Roughly 500,000 Germans were indeed shipped to the US but I can find no record of them having left and there is no record of them arriving anywhere else. German Americans had their assets confiscated and were imprisoned in these same camps with their families and none permitted to leave, yet our German physical specimens were apparently free to come and go as they pleased, often to have dinner at the homes of loving Americans, and accumulating substantial assets in the interim.

I would point out that the “one small group” of prisoners who accumulated “$8,000” in cash would have to be fictitious since the median annual income for Americans at the time was only about $1,400. Moreover, the German-Americans interned in these camps were not being paid while their assets were being confiscated, and those in the concentration camps in Germany certainly weren’t being paid, so why were these men given daily prisoner stipends? As well, why would the Atlantic contradict the official narrative of a return to Germany, claiming instead they were sent to France to be worked to death as slaves and, if that were the case, how could they return to the US to be filled with joy at seeing their former prisons?

As documented by several sources, in 1943, the US military initiated a “formal reeducation program” for German prisoners, led by university professors, psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as those who would later form the CIA. Wikipedia tells us “the program was kept secret because it probably violated the Geneva Convention’s ban on exposing prisoners to propaganda”, but the prisoners may have been exposed to more than propaganda. You will need to study the CIA’s Project MK-ULTRA to have a proper appreciation of this. It would seem reasonable to conclude these re-educated Germans did not consider their time in America to be “the best time of their lives”, and also likely that these “fine specimens of physical manhood” were introduced to more than the wonders of democracy.

I can only speculate at this point but without substantial – and credible – official documentation, as well as media coverage, of the shipment of nearly 500,000 men from an American port, I am reluctant to accept claims that these men actually left the US. And with the lack of any evidence from official military records and the International Red Cross, it is pointless to assume they arrived anywhere else.

There are two other items which appear a necessary part of this puzzle. First, the events described above coincide perfectly in time with the US military’s explosive interest in human experimentation. Readers may be aware of Shiro Ishii and his Unit 731 in Harbin, China, where his group performed the most hideous human experiments imaginable, including live vivisections. (13) (14) Few seem to know that the reason there were no war crimes trials for the Japanese is that General Douglas MacArthur made a deal with Ishii that they would all be immune from prosecution if all documents and records on human experimentation were turned over to the US and Ishii and his entire troop of thousands would be relocated to America. This is what transpired, with the Japanese given new identities and housed on US military bases, Ishii himself being a professor and a supervisor of biological research at the University of Maryland until his death decades later. Second, these activities coincide perfectly with the creation of the CIA’s horrendous MK-ULTRA program which was nothing if not “human experimentation” of the worst kind imaginable. (15) There isn’t room to dwell further on these two aspects here.

When we add together the killing of about 12 million Germans in American concentration camps after the war, then Shiro Ishii and his Unit 731 troop, the US military’s sudden and vast interest in human experimentation, and the CIA MK-ULTRA project, and add in the intense hatred of Germans throughout America, stoked almost continuously for more than 30 years, with prominent politicians calling for the execution of all Germans in the US, this is the atmosphere and environment into which the 500,000 German prisoners were forcibly transferred to the US, and it is their “Golden cages” which were so often mysteriously emptied during a night. There is also the question of the German-Americans interned in the same camps. Their internment is documented, and the natural assumption has been made that they were all released at some point, but I have seen no evidence to substantiate this assumption and, given the existing sentiment that all those of German extract in the country should be executed, we may be forgiven for wondering about their well-being.

I find myself coming away from this story with an unshakable feeling that this is a very black chapter in American history which has been fearfully buried and whose interment is being protected by powerful people and fabricated mythology. To date, I cannot conclusively prove or disprove the thesis that the 500,000 German prisoners incarcerated in the US were used as subjects in the vast array of human experiments being performed at that time. However, from everything I know, negating all the circumstantial evidence would be a daunting task. And, at the risk of sounding foolishly trite, if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it makes noises like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

Notes

(1) Propaganda: Edward Bernays: 9789563100921: Amazon.com; https://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays/dp/9563100921

(2) WWI Propaganda: The Bryce Report, Edward Bernays; www.revisionist.net/hysteria/cpi-propaganda.html

(3) The psychological tricks used to help win World War Two – BBC; http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20161021-the-psychological-tricks-used-to-help-win-world-war-two

(4) James Bacque – Best-selling author; https://www.jamesbacque.com

(5) Wikipedia Zionists Attack Honest Historian James Bacque; https://rense.com/general73/wiki.htm

(6) Other Losses by James Bacque – Internet Archive; https://archive.org/details/OtherLosses_201608

(7) German prisoners of war in the United States – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_prisoners_of_war_in_the_United_States

(8) List of World War II prisoner-of-war camps in the United States: https://military.wikia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_prisoner-of-war_camps_in_the_United_States

(9) Nazi Prisoners of War in America; https://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Prisoners-America-Arnold-Krammer/product-reviews/0812885619

(10) An excerpt from an article by John Ray Skates; www.newsouthernview.com/pages/nsv_shm_pows_camp_clinton.html

(11) German POWs on the American Homefront; https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/german-pows-on-the-american-homefront-141009996/

(12) Preserving America’s World War II POW Camps; https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2018/04

(11) Pure Evil: Wartime Japanese Doctor Had No Regard for human suffering; https://www.medicalbag.com/home/features/despicable-doctors/pure-evil-wartime-japanese-doctor-had-no-regard-for-human-suffering/

(12) [PDF] General Ishii Shiro: His Legacy is That of Genius and Madman; https://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2167&context=etd

(13) MKULTRA – RationalWiki; https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/MKULTRA

Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai, 2020

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 4 Comments

Australian Court Ruling Grants Access to Queen’s Correspondence Written Before Whitlam Dismissal

Sputnik – 29.05.2020

On 11 November 1975, Governor-General of Australia John Kerr sacked Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, arguing that he had failed to get parliament to approve a national budget and then refused to resign or call an election. Since then, historians have questioned what Buckingham Palace knew about the removal of Whitlam.

The Australian Supreme Court ordered to make public the correspondence written by the Queen Elizabeth II before the 1975 dismissal of then Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The court ruled that the letters that the monarch had sent to Governor General John Kerr were in the public domain, according to the BBC.

Kerr fired Whitlam three years after he was elected prime minister, which led to a deep constitutional crisis. The reasons for his resignation are still being discussed; some experts believe that the UK and even the US tried to suppress the reformist ideas of the politician.

More than 200 letters have been kept sealed in the National Archives since 1978, but on Friday the High Court of Australia ruled that they could be accessed in the national interest.

The contents of the the letters between the Queen and Sir John are unknown.

In 2018, the historian Jenny Hocking demanded that the correspondence be published, but the Australian federal court refused the plaintiff to release the Queen’s letters.

May 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Western Reaction to China Shows the Bad Old Days Haven’t Passed

By James O’Neill | Dissident Voice | May 29, 2020

One of the most tiresome clichés uttered by the western nations, including Australia, is their alleged commitment to the “rules based international order”. By this they generally mean a set of rules of supposed international authority, to which all developed nations are expected to adhere.

Those who allegedly failed to do so are labelled as rogue states, or deviant states, and in some way a threat to good government and a peaceful world. The myth has always had trouble confronting the reality. Australia has been one of the most assiduous articulators of the myth. As recently as this week it was accusing China of breaching the said rules by China asserting its authority over Hong Kong.

When one reads the mainstream media of all the events in Hong Kong what is immediately striking is that Hong Kong’s history seems to go back no further than the 1990s when the United Kingdom and China signed an agreement whereby the United Kingdom would release its rule of Hong Kong.

Conveniently overlooked in these accounts is the slightest hint of real history. Hong Kong had been part of China for more than 2000 years until the 1860s. We will leave to one side what sort of history the United Kingdom could boast of that goes back two thousand years.

The United Kingdom acquired Hong Kong by conquest during the first of the two opium wars, another feature of British colonial history that the mainstream media glides over as though it did not exist. The British invaded Afghanistan three times during the 19th century. They were not bringing the dubious benefits of British civilisation to the Afghanis. They wanted to control the opium production source, then as now, producing the bulk of the world’s heroin production.

China unsurprisingly did not appreciate Hong Kong being used as the entry point for Afghan heroin under British control. They fought back, but lost. Hence the ceding of Hong Kong to British rule. The heroin was therefore able to be imported freely by the British to the extent that by 1900 one in seven adult Chinese males was a heroin addict.

The 1949 revolution changed the government of China but it was several decades before they began to assert their wish that Hong Kong be returned to the mainland. By 1998, when the handover agreement was finally signed, China was still not strong enough to refuse to accept what was a manifestly unequal bargain.

There is no other historical precedent that I am aware of that land colonised by an imperial power and eventually returned to its rightful owner is done so conditionally.

The Chinese are now accused by the British, the Americans, and the Australian governments of not complying with the terms of the handover. That allegation is made by people who have never bothered to read the terms of the agreement.

Even more critically, those same governments are alleging that the people of Hong Kong are being deprived of their “democratic rights” to self-government. This was an argument that was never heard during the entire century plus of British rule.

Among the various benefits that the Hong Kong people have enjoyed since liberation from British rule is that they now have the right to vote. That the people of Hong Kong had no democratic means of determining how and by whom they were governed during British rule, not even having the right to vote, is another inconvenient fact glided over by the present erstwhile defenders of so-called Hong Kong democracy.

It is a fundamental principle of international law that countries are entitled to govern their own affairs. It is also a fundamental principle that the British, and particularly the Americans since 1945, have simply ignored the principle when it suited them.

Where was the West’s “respect for international law” when the United States and its allies (including Australia) sanctioned, bombed, invaded, occupied and otherwise destroyed to a greater or lesser extent at least 70 countries over the past 70 years? The death toll from those illegal activities has been variously estimated at between 50 and 70 million people.

Current illustrations of that point, all of them involving the willing compliance and assistance of Australia, include Afghanistan (invaded 2001 and still there); Iraq, invaded 2003 and still there despite the clearly expressed view of the Iraqi parliament that all uninvited foreign troops should leave; and Syria, invaded in 2015 after years of supporting terrorist proxies in that country by their invaders. The United States currently occupies Syria’s oil region, stealing its oil and keeping the proceeds of sale. Not a word of dissent from its Australian ally who clearly has a flexible definition of what the “rules based international order” actually means.

In the case of China, Australian adherence to the United States line goes far beyond the current situation in Hong Kong. Australia was being the loyal United States proxy when it alleged that China was the source of the coronavirus currently causing economic havoc around the world.

On instructions from Washington, Australia proposed a motion for international consideration that the origins of the virus should be investigated in China. Had the proposal beeg neutrally worded, for example suggesting an investigation of all countries that might have been the source, the proposal might not have been ignored as it was.

All countries obviously include the United States, where a growing body of evidence suggests it is the real source of the pandemic. That, however, would not suit the current suicidal Australian campaign to attack China on various fronts on behalf of its American masters.

Why Australia would want to attack such a vitally important nation, whose importance to the Australian economy extends far beyond being a market for Australian goods, defies rational explanation. The Chinese, unsurprisingly, and in my view completely justifiably, have begun to take measures in response, the result of which will be extraordinary pain to the Australian economy.

The current pandemic should be seen as an opportunity for Australia to discard its colonial status and actually take decisions that enhance rather than hinder Australia’s vital interests. The history of the past 70 years however, suggests that is a vain hope.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He can be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au.

May 29, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Is This Controlled Demolition all over Again?

By Gilad Atzmon | May 22, 2020

For years Eco-Enthusiasts, both activists and scientists, have been telling us that the ‘party’ will come to an end. The planet we are stuck on can’t take it for much longer, it is getting too crowded and unbearably warm. Most people didn’t take any real notice of the situation and for a reason. This planet, we tend to think, isn’t really ‘ours,’ we were thrown onto it and for a limited time. Once we grasp the true meaning of our temporality, we begin to acknowledge our terminality. ‘Being in the world’ as such is often the attempt to make our ‘life-time’ into a meaningful event.

Most of us who haven’t been overly  concerned with the ecological activists and their plans to slow us down knew that as long as Big Money runs the world, nothing of a dramatic nature would really happen. In the eyes of Big Money, we tended to think, we, the people, are mere consumers. We understood ourselves as the means that make the rich richer.

Rather unexpectedly, life has undergone a dramatic change. In the present age of Corona, Big Money ‘let’ the world lock itself down. Economies have been sentenced to imminent death. Our significance as consumers somehow evaporated. The emerging alliance we have been detecting between the new leaders of the world economy (knowledge companies) and those who carry the flag of ‘progress’ ‘justice’ and ‘equality’ has evolved into an authoritarian dystopian condition in which robots and algorithms police our speech and elementary freedoms.

How is it that the Left, that had been devoted to opposition to the rich, has so changed its tune? In fact, nothing has happened suddenly. The Left and the Progressive universe have, for some time,  been sustained financially by the rich. The Guardian is an illustrative case of the above. Once a left -leaning paper with a progressive orientation, the Guardian is now openly funded by Bill & Melinda Gates. It shamelessly operates as a mouthpiece for  George Soros: it even allowed Soros to disseminate his apocalyptic pre-Brexit view at the time he himself gambled on Brits’ anti- Brexit vote. By now it is close to impossible to regard the Guardian as a news outlet –  a propaganda outlet for the rich is a more suitable description. But the Guardian is far from alone. Our networks of progressive activists fall into the same trap. Not many of us were surprised to see Momentum, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign support group within the Labour Party, rallying for the ‘Holocaust Survivor’ and ‘philanthropist’  George Soros. When Corbyn led the Labour Party, I learned to accept that ‘socialists’ putting themselves in the line of fire defending oligarchs, bankers and Wall Street brokers must be the new ‘Left’ reality. We are now  inured to the fact that in the name of ‘progress’ Google has demoted itself  from a great search engine into a hasbara outlet. We are accustomed to Facebook and Twitter dictating their worldview in the name of community standards. The only question is what community they have in mind. Certainty not a tolerant and pluralist western one.

One may wonder what drives this new alliance that divides nearly every Western society? The left’s betrayal is hardly a surprise, yet, the crucial question is why, and out of the blue, did those who had been so successful in locating their filthy hands in our pockets go along with the current destruction of the economy? Surely, suicidal they aren’t.

It occurs to me that what we may be seeing is a controlled demolition all over again. This time it isn’t a building in NYC. It isn’t the destruction of a single industry or even a single class as we have seen before. This time, our understanding of Being as a productive and meaningful adventure is embattled. As things stand, our entire sense of livelihood is at risk.

It doesn’t take a financial expert to realise that in the last few years the world economy in general and western economies in particular have become a fat bubble ready to burst. When economic bubbles burst the outcome is unexpected even though often the culprit or trigger for the crash can be identified. What is unique in the current controlled demolition is the willingness of our compromised political class, the media and in particular Left/Progressive networks to participate in the destruction.

The alliance is wide and inclusive. The WHO, greatly funded by Bill Gates, sets the measures by which we are locked down, the Left and the Progressives fuel the apocalyptic phantasies to keep us hiding in our global attics, Dershowitz tries to rewrite the constitution, big Pharma’s agenda shapes our future and we also hear that Moderna and its leading Israeli doctor is ready to “fix” our genes. Meanwhile we learn that our governments are gearing up to stick a needle in our arms. Throughout this time, the Dow Jones has continued to rise. Maybe in this final stage of capitalism, we the people aren’t needed even as consumers. We can be left to rot at home, our governments seemingly willing to fund this new form of detention.

I believe that it was me who ten years ago coined the popular adage “We Are all Palestinians” – like the Palestinians, I thought at the time, we aren’t even allowed to name our oppressor…

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Venezuela sues Bank of England for refusal to return country’s gold amid coronavirus crisis

RT | May 20, 2020

Venezuela’s Central Bank has launched legal action to force the Bank of England to release more than $1 billion in gold held in its coffers to battle the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Reuters.

The claim, submitted in a London court on May 14, says that Caracas needs the gold back to buy healthcare equipment, medicine, and food to address the “COVID-19 emergency” in the country, the document seen by Reuters said. Once it is sold by the Bank of England (BoE), the funds are transferred to the United Nations Development Programme.

The gold reserves of many developing nations are held in BoE vaults, with Venezuelan assets on its deposit reportedly worth around $1.7 billion. However, Venezuela has been unable to retrieve its assets from London due to political pressure from the US, which has been seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

“The foot-dragging by the Bank of England is critically hampering Venezuela and the UN’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in the country,” Sarosh Zaiwalla, a London-based lawyer representing the central bank, said as cited by Reuters.

In January, the BoE rejected Venezuela’s request to withdraw $1.2 billion in gold. Bloomberg reported at the time that the refusal came after the request of high-profile US officials to help cut off the Maduro government from its overseas assets.

Venezuela had 749 coronavirus cases with 10 people dead as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The South American nation plunged deeper into political crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself ‘interim president’ following calls for regime change from Washington. While offering support to Guaido, Washington has been targeting Venezuela with multiple rounds of sanctions, crippling the nation’s finances. The restrictions include the country’s vital oil sector which accounts for most of its revenues.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 4 Comments

Planet of the Greens: why eco-activists turn on each other

GWPF | May 18, 2020

Attempts by eco-activists to censor and shut down Planet of the Humans reveals the green movement’s authoritarian nature that turns most aggressively on its own apostates.

Jeff Gibbs’ and Michael Moore’s new film, Planet of the Humans has been watched more than eight million times. It has cast doubt on the green movement’s claims to be concerned with the environment and questioned the motivations and integrity of its leaders and backers.

In reply, environmental activists have attacked Moore and Gibbs, and called for their film to be censored. What this reveals is that the green movement is incapable of responding to criticism and that it turns most aggressively on its apostates.

Gibbs and Moore’s film has been attacked for supporting the interests of fossil fuel companies. But the film itself exposes deep links between even the most vilified energy producers and the green agenda. Other critics have accused the pair of ‘ecofascism’ for their allusions to population control, yet Planet of the Humans says nothing that celebrated green film makers such as David Attenborough have not said.

Neither the film revelations nor the green movement’s hostility should surprise anyone. A deep contradiction lies at the heart of the green agenda, the exposure of which has triggered campaigners whose interests depend on it. Since its first days, it has been wealthy industrialists such as oil tycoon Maurice Strong who have used their power to establish environmental concerns on the global political agenda. And it is wealthy philanthropists, whose fortunes were made from fossil fuels, such as the Rockefeller family, who have backed green organisations.

Despite the failure of greens’ dire prognostications, the green movement’s message of despair and its demands for draconian and authoritarian policies have change little over the last half century. And the very nature of the green movement has changed little, too – it is still the PR tool of billionaires such as Jeremy Grantham, who, having made part of his fortune from fossil fuels, now profits from the environmentally-destructive technologies that the green movement campaigns for.

Campaigners’ anger at Gibbs and More is not owed to the pair making false technical arguments about the shortcomings of ‘renewable’ energy technology, but for their exposing the lie at the heart of the green movement.

Watch the full documentary on Bitchute.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Film Review, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

With Friends Like These…

By Blake Alcott | Palestine Chronicle | May 16, 2020

It’s nice that a group of 127 British politicians has discovered the as-yet unused tool for pressuring Israel: sanctions, the ‘S’ in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). They wrote a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to impose such sanctions if Israel annexes roughly half of the West Bank – which it just might do this summer.

Actually, many Palestinians believe annexation even of the entire West Bank would be a good thing insofar as it would make Israeli apartheid plain and visible to everybody. That would force world opinion to apply its anti-apartheid standards to historic Palestine and insist on equal rights for everybody between the river and the sea.

Even without this insight, however, the letter is milk toast. It latches onto only the most egregious of Israeli actions – de jure annexation of territory already de facto annexed. It leaves unchallenged countless Israeli actions such as mass murder in Gaza, home and village demolitions, discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, and its defining itself in July 2018 as a racist state by means of the Nation State Basic Law. The list goes on and on.

The letter is a legalistic gripe that doesn’t mention history or basic ethics. Yes, it is true that “acquisition of territory through war is prohibited” and annexing such territory violates international law, but what about the annexation of Greater Jerusalem in 1967 or, for that matter, of the bulk of historic Palestine in 1948? What about absolute rule over the West Bank and the siege of Gaza without annexation?

The politicians’ main gripe, though, is that annexation would be “a mortal blow to… any viable two-state solution.” Beloved by all of the signees, that is the Zionist solution which leaves the Israeli apartheid state intact within the 1948-occupied territories. It also leaves the 7 million Palestinian refugees out in the cold.

Any two-state solution would be crassly unjust, but this group of British politicians thinks it would be great, and that its possibility be kept alive, because that is the only way to save Israel in the long run (albeit on only about 80% of Palestinian land). And these signees are allegedly the Palestinians’ friends.

Palestine’s So-called Friends

Their letter is actually a symptom of a deeper intellectual bankruptcy and of the impotence of the forces in political Britain claiming solidarity with Palestine. They all support the Zionist two-state solution.

The Parliamentary group ‘Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East’ (LFPME), for instance, “supports a two state solution that creates a viable and contiguous Palestinian state” – and that preserves the viable and contiguous Jewish state. It to be sure urges boycott of West Bank-settlement goods, but trips over itself in a rush to assure the public that this “is categorically not an anti-Israeli policy, but an anti-settlement policy” and that this should not be taken for support of BDS, “which is widely considered to be obstructive to the two state solution.”

91 MPs are members of LFPME, and 24 of them signed the letter. Not among them, curiously, is the Chair of LFPME, Lisa Nandy, who has herself taken incoherent positions on Palestine, describing herself at once as a Zionist but broadly supporting the Palestinians’ right of return. She clearly leans toward Israel, saying she was “honored” by the support of the rabidly pro-Israel Jewish Labour Movement and that under Jeremy Corbyn, the most pro-Palestinian British politician ever, Labour “gave the green light to anti-Semites”.

Three of the signees against annexation are even members of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) – Lilian Greenwood, Peter Hain, and Margaret Hodge. On that group’s website, the headline reads ‘Working towards a Two-State Solution’. It “promotes a negotiated two state solution for two peoples; with Israel safe, secure and recognized within its borders living alongside a democratic, independent Palestinian state [and] seeks to strengthen relations between Britain and Israel.”

At first glance, it is astounding that of LFI’s 55 MP members, 24 of them are also members of LFPME! They include such well-known figures as Liam Byrne, Angela Eagle, Emily Thornberry, Liz Kendall, Wes Streeting, David Lammy, Jess Phillips, Chris Bryant, and Rosie Winterton. But astonishment vanishes when one realizes that the goal of the two groups is the same: Israel safe and secure in the Near East, legitimate for all time, ‘alongside’ a rump statelet they are cheeky enough to call ‘Palestine’.

LFI Chair Steve McCabe MP rides hard against a new category of racism: “anti-Zionist antisemitism”. In the Jewish Chronicle of 7 April 2020, he pledged to “vigorously oppose the divisive effort to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state led by the BDS movement.” Perhaps, were LFPME to endorse BDS in so many words – which to my knowledge it does not – MPs would see that they must choose between LFI and LFPME.

Corbyn as Labour leader from 2015-2020 not only unfailingly supported the two-state solution and Israel’s ‘right to exist’, but failed to deal with the Party’s phony, alleged ‘antisemitism crisis’. He did not make clear that criticism of Israel is not antisemitic because any settler-colonial state in Palestine – whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or British – would face the same fundamental criticism, namely that it by definition dispossesses the Palestinians.

Tragically, Corbyn also allowed anti-racist upholders of human rights such as Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Chris Williamson to be expelled from the Labour Party merely for making various factual comments, mostly about Zionism. Lacking any clear and principled ideology, Labour under Corbyn diminished and tainted the voices of many staunch pro-Palestinians.

What’s more, all the candidates to replace Corbyn – Keir Starmer, Nandy, Rebecca Long-Bailey, etc. – bent the knee to those who do have a coherent ideology and control the narrative in Britain: the Zionists. During the leadership campaign all of them endorsed the so-called “Ten pledges to end the antisemitism crisis” written by the Israel-lobby group Board of Deputies of British Jews. Two of the pledges are 1) to see to it that “Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker… will never be readmitted to membership” and 2) to “adopt the international definition of antisemitism without qualification”.

That definition of antisemitism is, of course, the notoriously illogical one put out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). It conflates politics and racism and includes amongst the “manifestations” of antisemitism the “targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”, “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor”, and “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The Labour Party obeys the pro-Israel forces, but rest assured, things are no better within the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties, nor at The Guardian or any other British newspaper. Truly, ‘with friends like these,…’ No, that’s not quite right. The Palestinians have no friends in British politics.

Why Such Weakness?

The question is Why? A big reason is that within Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity circles there is, in Britain, no coherent intellectual analysis of what is just or unjust, and no vision of a solution.

Nobody in political circles even talks about the three comprehensive demands of BDS (return, equality within Israel, and liberation for the West Bank and Gaza Strip). Talk is only of BDS tactics and its danger to Israel.

Instead, as with the anti-annexation letter, small skirmishes are fought within the Zionist two-state paradigm, symbolically making oppression a little more tolerable and in effect distracting from the fundamental issues that would make sense to the British public, if enunciated.

One ‘solidarity’ wing is Zionist: Israel has every right to continue as it is, as a discriminatory state on the 1967 borders. The perfect representative of this wing is the U.K.’s only Palestinian MP, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, who wrote in the Guardian in 2019 of her fear of being called ‘antisemitic’ and who stressed that she “believes in Israel’s right to exist.” Also: “I believe in a two-state solution [which] is at best in stasis, at worst it is teetering on the brink of a precipice. It needs a lifeline.”

The other wing is BDS, which starts not with a position against Israel but rather for all the rights of all the Palestinians. Its three demands strictly imply Two Democratic States, and neither of them are Jewish or any other ethnocracy. (The two would undoubtedly merge, resulting in One Democratic State, but that is a separate topic.)

As Omar Barghouti, one of the main originators and propounders of BDS, said a few years ago, “A Jewish state in Palestine, in any shape or form, cannot but contradict the basic rights of the land’s indigenous Palestinian population… No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”

So the cat’s already out of the bag. What is now needed is for both Palestinians and their supporters to publicly and fearlessly embrace Barghouti’s clarity – to unabashedly say Yes, a racist, apartheid state should obviously be replaced by a normal, human rights-based, ethnicity-blind democracy. To boot, in my experience most people on the street understand this without any difficulty.

It would both constitute a clear intellectual narrative and enormously help campaigning in countries like the U.K. It is now impossible to explain to the public – or for that matter to MPs when one lobbies them – what solution would embody the fulfillment of Palestinians’ rights, or ‘what the Palestinians want’. By contrast, international supporters of the Black freedom struggle in South Africa were able to draw upon a clear vision while arguing the case in the West; Palestine activists lack any such inspiring vision, one which openly, in easy-to-understand terms, states the political goal.

But the BDS Call describing the rights to be fulfilled is kept at a flickering flame. Hardly anyone ventures outside the pro-Zionist framework of the parliamentary Friends of Palestine and, for that matter, the co-opted leaders of the Palestinian Authority. The best that well-meaning British politicians have to hold onto are sporadic, justified but non-essential incidents like the annexation of Area C in the West Bank.

Palestine’s supporters are waiting for open acknowledgment of the consequences of the BDS demands. Only that will enable a refutation of charges of antisemitism – because it would offer a clear, motivating, positive vision which doesn’t even have to mention the Jewishness of the present occupying state, Israel.

– Blake Alcott is an ecological economist and the director of One Democratic State in Palestine (England) Limited. The author welcomes any information on ODS or bi-nationalism activity sent to blakeley@bluewin.ch.

May 16, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Covid-19: For Western mainstream media, Russia fails even when it succeeds

By Anna Belkina | RT | May 14, 2020

The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded that two of the most prominent foreign newspapers, the New York Times and the Financial Times, retract their stories stating that Russia is concealing the real Covid-19 death toll.

Even if the NYT and FT were correct in their claims, Russia would still be doing far better than the vast majority of large industrialized nations, including the US and UK.

As of the morning of May 14, Russia’s Covid-19 death toll stands at 2,212 out of 242,271 recorded cases, or 0.9 percent. This number is not disputed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which has continuously monitored the situation in the country. To compare, the death rate for the novel coronavirus is six percent in the US, seven percent in Canada, 14 percent in the UK, and 10 percent or more in Italy, Spain, France and Sweden. You know, the so-called civilized countries.

There is not a hint of evidence that the Russian government has covered up the coronavirus toll. Yet, foreign media are skeptical of Russia’s numbers. Perhaps because in their worldview, Russia is not allowed to be anything but a grim and miserable failure at everything. Any fact contradicting this narrative is Kremlin propaganda.

To wit, the UK-based, Japanese-owned Financial Times has analyzed the recent all-cause mortality data coming out of Moscow and Saint Petersburg vis-a-vis the cities’ historical averages. It has concluded that Russia’s actual Covid-19 death toll is around 70 percent higher than the officially reported figures.

Meanwhile, the New York Times – headquartered in the city where nurses had to wear garbage bags for the lack of protective equipment, and where the local government began prospecting parks as possible burial grounds due to the staggering Covid-19 body count of nearly 15,000 – claimed that Russia’s real death toll could be “possibly almost three times higher than the official death toll.”

Here’s what the Times doesn’t tell you: Even if their worst case scenario for Russia were true, the country’s Covid-19 death rate would still be one of the lowest among large industrialized nations. Even having been tripled by the Times’ accounting, the resulting 2.7 percent still would be an impressive healthcare result compared to six percent in the US. It  would still be below Japan’s 4.1 percent and barely above the world’s main coronavirus ‘success story’, South Korea, currently at 2.3 percent. Moscow, a city with 50 percent more residents than NYC, would still have a body count five times lower even if all the extra deaths the Times is writing about were attributed Covid-19.

NB: While there are other large nations with smaller fatality numbers, such as India and Brazil, they are testing their populations at levels lower by a factor of tens, and suffer from weaker healthcare infrastructure overall. Their official recorded Covid-19 deaths therefore are likely not providing an accurate portrayal of the situation on the ground, a concern echoed by the WHO. Russia currently tests at the rate of ~40,000 per 1 million people, or well ahead of the US, UK, Canada, France, Sweden, and other OECD countries, and on par with Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, Europe’s ‘model nations’ in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Times is not interested in exploring the reasons for Russia’s promising performance, be they grounded in the country’s demographics or familial habitation traditions, legacy healthcare system or innovative scientific approaches, historical experiences with respiratory illnesses or modern infrastructure management.

It buries the lede, brushing aside its own note that “underreporting of fatalities has been observed in many other countries, where subsequent data reveal large upticks in deaths compared to the same period in previous years,” and charts showing Spain and England as countries that display a change in historical mortality trend lines nearly identical to Russia’s.

©  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/world/coronavirus-news.html

New York’s own numbers, according to the US Centers for Disease Control “may be thousands of fatalities worse than the tally kept by the city and state.” Moscow’s Department of Health, by the way, has already addressed the questions about the city’s cause-of-death accounting.

Instead, the Times pivots to its favorite bête noire – malevolent Russian propaganda. Their purported 300-percent greater coronavirus death toll in Russia “contrasts sharply with the line peddled by the Kremlin.” The paper does not clarify whether the same historical disparities in Spain and the UK contrast sharply with the line peddled by Madrid or the line peddled by 10 Downing Street. Official information from the naughty countries is always ‘peddled lines’; everyone else gets to plead best intentions and innocent ignorance in perpetuity.

The ‘Kremlin line’ on the coronavirus toll in Russia is supported by international monitoring and discrepancies are accounted for by international practices. The Kremlin’s supposedly concealed ‘massive failure’ would still be kicking the a** of most ‘First World’ nations when it comes to mitigating Covid-19 fatalities. But it would kill the mainstream press to admit as much.

Anna Belkina is RT’s deputy editor in chief and head of communications, marketing and strategic development.

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

UK Presents No Proof of Russia’s ‘Cyberattacks’ on COVID-19 Vaccine Developers, Moscow Says

Sputnik – May 15, 2020

MOSCOW – The United Kingdom has not presented any proof of Russia’s alleged cyberattacks on universities working on a vaccine against the coronavirus, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said in an interview with Sputnik.

“Russia has not received any official request from the UK … Neither have we seen any persuasive proof of cyberattacks on British universities and scientific organisations by our country or from its territory”, Syromolotov said. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing another round of the anti-Russia campaign, in which our country is groundlessly accused of staging cyberattacks”.

He recalled that Georgia and the Czech Republic had filed similar accusations against Russia.

“Each time we see more and more refined attacks on Russia, aimed at discrediting its image on the global media arena”, Syromolotov noted.

According to him, London is trying to find any trace of “Russian meddling” to start yet another baseless campaign against Moscow on “highly likely” grounds.

In early May, reports emerged in the UK media, claiming that “hostile states”, such as Russia and China, were attempting to hack UK universities and steal research related to the vaccine.

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

UK propaganda campaign in Syria was bloated, inefficient & possibly illegal: internal review

By Danielle Ryan | RT | May 12, 2020

British state-funded propagandists created “a constellation of media outlets” in Syria and produced so much content that people “no longer knew who or what to believe,” an internal review into the failed operation has revealed.

Details of the UK government’s Syria propaganda campaign, aimed at supporting the so-called ‘moderate armed opposition’, were published by Middle East Eye (MEE) in February. The work, which began in 2012, involved establishing a network of anti-government citizen journalists to shape public perceptions of the war, the outlet’s investigation found.

Now MEE has revealed the contents of a “scathing” internal government review, which found that the programs – collectively dubbed ‘Operation Volute’ – were sloppily and inefficiently run and may even have broken UK laws. The review also concluded that some projects “were designed to impress the US government,” the outlet said.

‘Fundamental shortcomings’

This image of Britain as a prolific propaganda-pusher is in stark contrast to the mainstream media view of Western powers acting as the ultimate truth-tellers in a world of ‘bad guys’ and fake news, which Britons are accustomed to hearing about.

The MEE report bursts that bubble, revealing that communications companies contracted by the British government used “news agencies, social media, poster campaigns and even children’s comics” to covertly bolster the Syrian opposition and to undermine the Assad government, as well as the Islamic State (IS). Efforts were stepped up “dramatically” in 2013 after the UK parliament inconveniently voted against military intervention in the country.

However, the review, carried out in 2016, found that London’s grand plans weren’t exactly as effective as envisioned and said the initiatives suffered from “fundamental shortcomings” – including the fact that “no conflict analysis” and “no target audience analysis” was done. Unsurprisingly, the review referred to the work euphemistically as “strategic communications” rather than propaganda.

The contractors were pumping out so much content that they created “a constellation of media outlets,” where Syrian audiences and activists “got lost and were distracted.” The result was that “people no longer knew who or what to believe,” MEE said.

Law-breaking and ‘reputational damage’

Ironically, while all this was happening, the British mainstream media was busy obsessing over and publishing stories on Russian propaganda, while completely ignoring and failing to investigate its own government’s massive influence operation and potential law-breaking.

The assessment revealed that concerns had been voiced within the UK government about whether there was even a need for the programs, and about the “major risk” that the activities of the contractors were “in contravention of UK law” – though there is no more detail given on how that may be the case, MEE reported.

The review also pointed to a “duplication” of efforts and warned of possible “reputational damage” to the British government if its funding of the programs was revealed.

Deaths and ‘work that caused harm’

Some of the projects were overseen by a Ministry of Defence (MoD) unit called Military Strategic Effects. Offices were also set up in Istanbul and Amman, where Syrians were recruited for the work. Many of the stringers (part-time local reporters) who were employed inside Syria were not even aware that they were working on projects funded by the British government. The budget for the projects in 2015-16 came to £9.6 million – and more was earmarked for future work.

The British government was seemingly unmoved by the fact that some of these people also lost their lives in the course of the work, noting coldly that one of their contractors “suffered losses of core staff that damaged the organisation quite fundamentally.”

“The department declined to say whether the effects hoped for were weighed against the risk to life; how many people died; and whether the UK was supporting their dependents,” MEE said.

The government also noted that some of the stringers working with the “moderate” rebels were “undertaking work which could cause (and has caused) harm,” but did not give more details.

‘Value for money’

Unsurprisingly, the programs were most heavily pushed by the Ministry of Defence. In fact, “the only” government ministers who were “fully committed” to the propaganda programs in 2013 were those at the MoD. They felt they were getting “extraordinary value for money given current policy restraints.” Those “policy restraints” referring, of course, to parliament’s vote not to intervene militarily. Some other ministers were asking “whether taxpayers’ money should be spent” on the projects while there remained “substantial doubts” about them.

While the review is highly critical of inefficiencies, nowhere in the government review is the decision to pour millions into propaganda campaigns and influence operations in a foreign war ever actually questioned.

Danielle Ryan is a freelance journalist based in Dublin. Her work has appeared at Salon, The Nation, RT and others. (Twitter: @DanielleRyanj)

May 12, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Britain Overtakes Italy with Highest Death Toll in Europe

By Johanna Ross | May 8, 2020

They said that it was because of the aged Italian population. They hypothesised that it was the tendency to have extended families, in which the elderly live together with their children and grandchildren. They suggested Italians weren’t used to social distancing, and couldn’t resist a kiss and cuddle. You name it, every reason under the sun was found for why Italy, a month ago, had such a high death rate to coronavirus; in particular in comparison with China, where the outbreak began.

The commentariat now has to think again, for Britain has overtaken Italy as the worst nation in Europe to be afflicted by Covid-19. The Department of Health on Tuesday announced a rise of 693 to 29,427, which then surpassed Italy’s official figure of 29,315.  The total since has risen to 30,076. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, council chair of the British Medical Association, said the figures gave cause for concern, particularly “given that the UK was originally affected by the outbreak later than many other nations, and with the government initially saying that a death toll of 20,000 would be a ‘good outcome’.”

There has also been an alarming number of deaths caused, it seems, indirectly by the pandemic. Experts, including Prof James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at the University of Oxford, are calling for an inquiry to establish just how these other deaths came about. In the week ending 24th April, for example, there were an additional 3,312 deaths to causes other than Covid-19. It has been suggested that they could be due to general disruption to NHS services, as a result of the pandemic, meaning delayed hospital admissions for life-threatening conditions.  In many instances, regular medical appointments were cancelled and patients themselves have avoided going to the doctor or hospital for fear of catching the disease.

For weeks we watched events unfold in China and then Italy, as if it was some hollywood disaster movie. Not till Boris Johnson uttered the words in his press conference of 12th March “I must level with you. Families are going to lose loved ones before their time” did the reality of what the UK was about to face really sink in. And yet even as the horror scenes in Italian hospitals were being played out, it was not until 23rd March that the Prime Minister announced that lockdown would commence.

The analysis has long begun of what went wrong in the UK’s pandemic planning. Scientists had warned the government as early as 26th February that as many as 33 million UK citizens could be affected in a coronavirus epidemic. They were told that as many as 541,200 people could be placed on ventilators. And yet, the pace at which the government acted was painfully slow – as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has highlighted.  The opposition leader has accused the government of being ‘slow into lockdown, slow on testing, slow on protective equipment’ and is concerned that an exit strategy out of lockdown is not being prepared quickly enough. Starmer is calling for an inquiry into Downing Street’s handling of the crisis as he says the high death rate is a ‘real cause for concern’.

The Prime Minister has hinted that some lifting of restrictions may be announced on Monday, now that Britain has reached the peak of the epidemic, and is officially on the downward curve. Johnson has set a new target of 200,000 Covid-19 tests a day by the end of May, but with the country struggling to meet the current goal of 100,000 tests a day, it’s not clear how achievable this is.  Testing in general is deemed to be one of the key reasons why nations such as South Korea dealt so swiftly and effectively with the virus. Its strategy of ‘test, trace, contain’ paid off. Almost as soon as the outbreak had began, the country had organised hundreds of drive-through testing centres which were assessing up to 20,000 people a day. The tests were carried out in the space of 10 minutes, and the results were sent to patients’ mobile phones within 24 hours. The country’s technological advancement and quick reaction time has set it apart in the competition of who has best dealt with this pandemic.

But even closer to home, there is another country putting Britain to shame in its handling of the crisis – Germany. Angela Merkel has announced that the first phase of the pandemic is now over, and having lifted some lockdown restrictions recently, the Chancellor has gone further to say that all shops of up to 800 square metres may open from now on. The Bundesliga has also been given the green light to start up again and schools will open from the summer term. Social distancing is to be observed, but two households will be able to meet and eat together, and elderly people in care homes can have visits from one person at a time. The number of cases currently sits at 168,575 in Germany and continues to rise, but the country has experienced far fewer deaths than France, Spain, Italy and Britain – 7,190 to date. This has also been put down to their efficient testing programme which was aided by a distributed network of testing through individual hospitals, clinics and laboratories, instead of relying on tests from a single government resource, as in the UK and US.

Comparisons are being made – although Boris Johnson doesn’t like it. He said at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday that it was too early to make such international comparisons, but Keir Starmer hit back, saying that that was exactly what the government had being doing from the outset with its charts and graphs showing different countries’ trajectories. The reality is that questions will continue to be asked about the UK’s response to coronavirus. In what has been one of the worst pandemics ever, the British people have a right to know why the world’s 5th largest economy has struggled to cope. The case continues…

Johanna Ross is a journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

May 8, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

100 years of shame: Annexation of Palestine began in San Remo

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | May 5, 2020

One hundred years ago, representatives from a few powerful countries convened at San Remo, a sleepy town on the Italian Riviera. Together, they sealed the fate of the massive territories confiscated from the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in World War I.

It was on April 25, 1920, that the San Remo Conference Resolution was passed by the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council. Western Mandates were established over Palestine, Syria and ‘Mesopotamia’ – Iraq. The latter two were theoretically designated for provisional independence, while Palestine was granted to the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish homeland there.

“The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the (Balfour) declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” the Resolution read.

The Resolution gave greater international recognition to Britain’s unilateral decision, three years earlier, to grant Palestine to the Zionist Federation for the purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland, in exchange for Zionist support of Britain during the Great War.

And, like Britain’s Balfour Declaration, a cursory mention was made of the unfortunate inhabitants of Palestine, whose historic homeland was being unfairly confiscated and handed over to colonial settlers.

The establishment of that Jewish State, according to San Remo, hinged on some vague ‘understanding’ that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

The above addition merely served as a poor attempt at appearing politically balanced, while in reality no enforcement mechanism was ever put in place to ensure that the ‘understanding’ was ever respected or implemented.

In fact, one could argue that the West’s long engagement in the question of Israel and Palestine has followed the same San Remo prototype: where the Zionist movement (and eventually Israel) is granted its political objectives based on unenforceable conditions that are never respected or implemented.

Notice how the vast majority of United Nations Resolution pertaining to Palestinian rights are historically passed by the General Assembly, not by the Security Council, where the US is one of five veto-wielding powers, always ready to strike down any attempt at enforcing international law.

It is this historical dichotomy that led to the current political deadlock.

Palestinian leaderships, one after the other, have miserably failed at changing the stifling paradigm. Decades before the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, countless delegations, comprised those claiming to represent the Palestinian people, traveled to Europe, appealing to one government or another, pleading the Palestinian case and demanding fairness.

What has changed since then?

On February 20, the Donald Trump administration issued its own version of the Balfour Declaration, termed the ‘Deal of the Century’.

The American decision which, again, flouted international law, paves the way for further Israeli colonial annexations of occupied Palestine. It brazenly threatens Palestinians that, if they do not cooperate, they will be punished severely. In fact, they already have been, when Washington cut all funding to the Palestinian Authority and to international institutions that provide critical aid to the Palestinians.

Like in the San Remo Conference, the Balfour Declaration, and numerous other documents, Israel was asked, ever so politely but without any plans to enforce such demands, to grant Palestinians some symbolic gestures of freedom and independence.

Some may argue, and rightly so, that the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the San Remo Conference Resolution are not identical in the sense that Trump’s decision was a unilateral one, while San Remo was the outcome of political consensus among various countries – Britain, France, Italy, and others.

True, but two important points must be taken into account: firstly, the Balfour Declaration was also a unilateral decision. It took Britain’s allies three years to embrace and validate the illegal decision made by London to grant Palestine to the Zionists. The question now is, how long will it take for Europe to claim the ‘Deal of the Century’ as its own?

Secondly, the spirit of all of these declarations, promises, resolutions, and ‘deals’ is the same, where superpowers decide by virtue of their own massive influence to rearrange the historical rights of nations. In some way, the colonialism of old has never truly died.

The Palestinian Authority, like previous Palestinian leaderships, is presented with the proverbial carrot and stick. Last March, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told Palestinians that if they did not return to the (non-existent) negotiations with Israel, the US would support Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.

For nearly three decades now and, certainly, since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, the PA has chosen the carrot. Now that the US has decided to change the rules of the game altogether, Mahmoud Abbas’ Authority is facing its most serious existential threat yet: bowing down to Kushner or insisting on returning to a dead political paradigm that was constructed, then abandoned, by Washington.

The crisis within the Palestinian leadership is met with utter clarity on the part of Israel. The new Israeli coalition government, consisting of previous rivals Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, have tentatively agreed that annexing large parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley is just a matter of time. They are merely waiting for the American nod.

They are unlikely to wait for long, as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on April 22 that annexing Palestinian territories is “an Israeli decision.”

Frankly, it matters little. The 21st century Balfour Declaration has already been made; it is only a matter of making it the new uncontested reality.

Perhaps, it is time for the Palestinian leadership to understand that groveling at the feet of those who have inherited the San Remo Resolution, constructing and sustaining colonial Israel, is never and has never been the answer.

Perhaps, it is time for some serious rethink.

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment