[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/18/22 1:36pm
Adolf Hitler’s elite SS Leibstandarte kick started today’s Transgender industry when they dressed as drag queens in the 1942 film Die Große Liebe. Adolf Hitler’s elite SS Leibstandarte kick started today’s Transgender industry when they dressed as drag queens in the 1942 film Die Große Liebe (The Great Love), featuring Zarah Leander, one of the Führers favorite film stars. Hitler, as a glance at those he had killed in his Night of the Long Knives to cover up his male prostitution years in Vienna and his incestuous relationship with Geli Raubal, his own niece (who suicided to escape him), was as camp as the SA thugs his SS thugs dispatched. From a Nazi point of view, however, Adolf Hitler’s elite SS Leibstandarte drag queens were in the best of company. And, though Hitler’s SS Leibstandarte gender benders were obviously fine physical specimens, even better male specimens are today transitioning to females where they are winning all kinds of sex segregated sports that were once the preserve of girls and women and bringing us a bizarre clone of Huxley’s Brave New World, fascism with a trans human face. Paddy Trimble typifies many of our new trans activists. Paddy orally and anally raped two nine-year-old girls. When Paddy was jailed for his “political offences”, Paddy called himself Patricia and campaigned for trans rights. Vice Magazine is, predictably, among Patricia’s many mainstream supporters. Now that Patricia has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, Patricia campaigns to be transferred to the hog’s heaven of a woman’s prison and for Patricias fellow transgender prisoners to be recognized as prisoners of conscience and victims of the patriarchy. Patricia has convinced Adam Laboucan, Andrew Burns and countless other incarcerated dirt bags that they too are transgenders in need of an easier ride in hog heaven. These trans women, it seems, make much better and much more inclusive women than wizened hags like Hillary Clinton, Mary Robinson and Ursula von der Leyen, who made their fortunes masquerading as champions of women against the patriarchy that has always spoiled them. And champions of transitioning children. Because their nascent Sex Reassignment Surgery market is already valued at over $300,000,000 and is growing at over 25% a year, leading providers such as Mount Sinai Centre for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS), Transgender Surgery Institute of Southern California, Rumercosmetics, Chettawut Plastic Surgery Centre, Phuket International Aesthetic Centre (PIAC), Sava Perovic Foundation Surgery, Yeson Voice Center and Bupa Cromwell Hospital are badly in need of top notch politicians and other consultants in need of big bungs. Because driving demand for sex change operations is currently the key factor in driving profits ever northwards, there is big money to be made lobbying Quisling governments to green light all of this and to give dissenting TERFs the baseball bat treatment. Reforming discrimination laws, getting corrupt law makers to queer up insurance discussions and battering the TERFs into silence are all essential steps to maximize Transgender Inc’s shareholders’ returns, all the more so given the high cost of gender reassignment surgical procedure when insurance companies are not forced to pick up the tab or a quick nip and tuck trip to Thailand is not feasible. Transgenderism is taking the entire Free World by storm. Whoopi Goldberg has her own trans modeling company on Oprah’s Oxygen network. Trans celebrities are on constant display in the media, being celebrated as if having body dysphoria were a badge of honor. Cosmopolitan magazine offers breast-binding guides for pre pubescent girls. Cosmetology consultant services are a growing business offering help to “trans women”. Crayola has created a new gender-fluid make-up, and Jecca has started a line just for “transgender” people. Jazz Jennings, a male teen who recently had his penis surgically removed, identifies as a Transgender woman and has been on many major talk-shows since his family decided he was Transgender when Jennings was only four years old. Jennings has his own reality TV series, chronicling his transition and how it is affecting him and his family. He also has his own trans foundation and has received many awards and accolades. A children’s storybook about his life, which normalizes for young school children the idea that they can become the opposite sex, has been adopted as part of some school curricula. I, Pedophile, a movie which advocates for the removal of the “stigma” over kiddy fiddling, has recently broken Amazon rental records. Struggling mother Searah Deysach typifies todays evangelical entrepreneurs. Searah sells fake “extra-small” penises for transitioning four year old girls who want to pack some meat in their panties. The pint sized penises come both cut and uncut and cashew, caramel and hazel nut flavors are very popular amongst her little customers, who already have learned to be discerning about their cock choices in their playschools. TomBoyX is a woman’s undergarment company. In a recent ad, they chose an attractive young woman with double mastectomy scars donning their boxers under a caption that reads: “This canvass was given to you but you made it your own. You crafted your own story. Share it with the world. #moretome”. Men at the highest echelons of society—such as billionaire philanthropist Jennifer Pritzker and the creator of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Martine Rothblatt—are claiming not just a transgender identity, but for Rothblatt, that of a trans-humanist as well. Rothblatt believes “transgenderism is the onramp to trans-humanism”, the precursor to superhumans, something that was right up Herr Hitlers alley. Rothblatt’s book, From Transgender to Transhuman, reads like a blueprint for the modern-day trans project to infiltrate every sector of our societies. If all that sounds preposterous, scientists are already looking at changing our biology as a way to deal with climate change. Japan has already approved the world’s first-ever human-animal embryo experiments. Japanese stem-cell scientists have their government’s backing to develop animal embryos that contain human cells, which will then be transplanted into surrogate animals. The aim is to grow human cells in mouse and rat embryos and to create hybrid animals with organs composed of human cells and for these organs to be transplanted into people. Although this research could, in the shorter term, produce alternative sources of organs for transplant, the array of ethical and technical hurdles to be addressed over the longer term are not unlike those which Joseph Mengele faced in his pioneering work, which had the support of his international peers. This is happening at a time in our history when the escalation of robots and artificial intelligence are also surging in the marketplace, with female-simulated robot sex dolls that are frighteningly close in texture and appearance to real humans acting as stand-in prostitutes in brothels, and for some “volunteers”, stand-in women in relationships. Robot nannies that supposedly offer guidance and friendship for children while their parents are away, are being marketed by Mattel and other corporations as “the future of raising children”. London’s Goldsmiths University, pre Covid, hosted an annual conference, Love and Sex with Robots; their experts believe we will marry robots before long. And, as for vulnerable children, human chicklets whom they class into free range and battery farm, God knows what horrors these devils have planned for them once they totally emasculate the protective power of mothers, or lactaters as our politicians insist we must now call them. Even chess whizz David Levy believes wedding bells will be ringing any day soon as men sweep robots off what passes for their feet. As the technology develops, and as society gets softened up to the idea of being intimate with robots, Levy may well be right. Irrespective of whether Transgender Inc is presented as intense body dysphoria, sexual-fetishization, social contagion, a civil rights movement, or cultural gender-bending that speaks the language of the progressive left while actually cementing gender stereotyping, being hyper-capitalistic and censorious, our Green Party leaders are normalizing biology-shifting through chemicals and surgery. Transgender Inc is literally capitalism on Big Pharma’s toxic steroids and the CIAs ANTIFA activists are supplying their weirdos with rainbow colored baseball bats through screwball groups like The Degenderettes as well as instructing them on how to swing the bats to crack the heads of the TERFs, so called trans exclusionary radical feminists, those ordinary women who are sane enough to critique queer theory and who are no platformed as a hate group for objecting to the CIAa pet pedophiles being allowed teach children how to fondle their penises in our public libraries. As Orgy Island’s Jeffrey Epstein was a committed trans-humanist, we can deduce that trans-humanism is not a fringe movement. To the contrary, it has become quite the elite phenomenon, with hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in it each year. Although many of the tech world’s biggest names, such as Google’s Ray Kurzweil and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, are also trans-humanist devotees, elite universities are also signed up and, for a price, they argue what human rights should be accorded to AI robots, to cyborgs and to cloned Japanese rats and which of those rights should supersede those of poor humans. These narcissists think they are so important that they should live forever no matter whose rights they have to trample over. They want license to genetically enhance their offspring and to redesign the human race into a “post-human” species made in their own image and for their own needs. Just like the Quaker and Nazis eugenicists of earlier eras, both of which were heavily into the controlled breeding of the super race and the controlled culling of the sub humans. Trans-humanism is the Orgy Islanders’ revamped eugenics movement that is evolving into a neo-superman philosophy and the Orgy Island A listers – Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann; the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking; the paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; neurologist Oliver Sacks; molecular engineer George M. Church; and the entire staff of Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which Epstein kick started with a $6.5 million donation – are amongst their key collaborators to make Epsteins ilk the new Abrahams and, as with Genesis 26:4, make their “free range” trans-humanist children “as numerous as the stars in the sky” with dominion over “all nations of the earth”. Epstein had even ear marked his New Mexico ranch for this purpose of inseminating young girls and, much like the SS hospitals did in their time, raising the new-born to be the new trans-human master race. MI6 is fully signed up to Orgy Island’s trans-humanist project. British diplomats are signing off on official Foreign Office emails by referring to themselves as “zie” rather than “he” or “she” in solidarity with their trans staff. MI6 employ 14,000 people in their Foreign Office spy centres around the world and three are known to have changed their gender while working for them. So there are somewhere between 0% and 0.0002143% potentially affected. This is not the tail wagging the dog. It is not even a hair on the tail wagging the dog. It is the trans-humanists using their hand full of dupes to re-engineer society along Orgy Island’s trans-demonic lines, with ANTIFA being their own skull cracking, cross dressing SS Leibstandarte. Brave New World, indeed.

[Category: History, Culture War, Fascism, Gender, Society, Transhumanism]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/18/22 11:28am
Ukraines surface area under cultivation is vast — so vast, that, at 32 million hectares, its larger than Italy. Ukraine has the capacity to produce a lot more grain if modern technology, finances and practices are used to supplement its nutrient-rich soil – TRT World (Click on the image to enlarge)  

[Category: INFOGRAPHICS, Colonialism, Economy, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/17/22 12:32pm
Germany is confused about Ukraine war. It fears Russia too much and so wants to blend into the background. Is that reason to break out the bubbly? Germany is a country besotted by an identity crisis which has been seen by all in recent months like a boil exploding. Just recently a photo of a German minister drinking champagne with the mayor of Kiev did the rounds and prompted apologies by the German official himself who, perhaps in hindsight, saw that drinking bubbly while something like 100 Ukrainians a day die on the battlefield was a tad inappropriate – especially given that the Germans are, in part, responsible for those deaths. But is current Germany policy in the Ukraine responsible for Ukraine saving itself from Russia – or in fact just delaying a final result indefinitely which, ultimately means a Russian victory? You can be forgiven though for not keeping up with the wavering and inconsistent policy of Berlin. Most Germans can’t either. From the off, the Germans were quite hesitant about supporting the Ukrainians with equipment and cash. Some might remember the hilarious package of helmets which Olaf Scholz sent, adding that Germany would not send hardcore military equipment. But that soon changed, and the German Chancellor whose dulcet voice has been likened to a doctor bearing bad news, changed his tune and threw the lever. In June he had his moment of glory in the German parliament by announcing 100bn euros of military spending to revamp the dilapidated German army with new kit. The speech, described as a “Zeítenwende moment” brought the house down and saw MPs clapping fortuitously in support. Does a new German army which was headlined ironically to “save” Europe necessarily mean more military aid to Ukraine? Not necessarily. Promises to supply Eastern European countries with more tanks after they had sent theirs to Ukraine have not materialised. Neither indeed has the promise of German tanks sent directly to the Ukraine. It’s not just that the industrial military complex in Germany is poorly organised – the one area where Germany acts like it is a Mediterranean country – but there is still a great deal of procrastination when it comes to Ukraine as the timing of weapons deliveries and the type of kit has created bloody divisions within the coalition. Berlin wants Ukraine to win the war. Well, no, actually it doesn’t as that would mean Russia losing and it certainly doesn’t want that. Ideally it would prefer that the war ended with neither side a conclusive winner or loser as it has a love/hate relationship with Russia ever since the golden days of the Schroeder-Putin ended and Angela Merkel entered the stage playing the role of a weary adversary to Moscow. These days politicians like Scholz are so conscious of Germany’s humiliation by Russia as this is part of the DNA of the political elite in Germany. Yet he is also aware that Russia is not far away, as Germany is only buffeted by Poland. In recent weeks news have emerged of Germany holding up an EU aid package to Ukraine and not sending its own military hardware there, drawing considerable criticism of foot dragging. In the end, he announced air defence missiles would be sent there, explaining that Germany couldn’t send any really heavy equipment there as it would leave its current levels within Germany low. It’s an excuse which has plausible credibility but one which no one is buying. Scholz’s own social democratic party’s view is that its voters are worried that the Russian campaign in Ukraine could turn specifically against Germany, which is really the main reason why the big guns won’t be sent. And so Scholz walks a tightrope with his strategy of sending specific military hardware to Ukraine to not anger Putin. Berlin wants to make a considerable contribution, but one which gets blended into the mix and therefore unnoticed. A bit like fighting with a pea shooter and a bag of flour and expecting to defeat the playground bully. It can only end in tears and white faces. In the meantime, the rest of Europe ponders what Scholz is up to with his 100bn euro spending spree. The question of how EU countries form an EU army – not necessarily one which is run by Brussels – has been resolved to some degree. Germany may well look to its neighbours like Romania, for example, and ask them to join it in so-called excursions around the world in an informal coalition which the media will of course call an “EU army”. But in reality, Germany is just beefing up its military not to send to Ukraine or even replenish arms stocks, but more to be stronger back home. The move was a deft one and played to the ears of all of the coalition, even the Greens who have as their founding manifesto in the 80s an anti-NATO pledge but who, ironically, are the most gung-ho when it comes to Ukraine and supporting Zelensky. That’s the same Green party which also wanted to scrap the Germany army altogether. The German minister caught drinking champagne shouldn’t apologise. Germany has everyone where it wants for the moment in terms of the war in Ukraine and so that’s something to celebrate – certainly if Putin doesn’t have the Germans in his hairlines. Perhaps military spending might stir up some nationalist zeal from Germans themselves as they have their heating shut off and face grinding poverty due to the Ukraine war, which has produced a recession and trade deficit in Germany never seen in thirty years in a week where its economics minister said that Germany now need to swallow the bitter pill of Russian oil dependency. Even in the last days of the war in the bunker, Hitler’s cronies drank the last bottles of champagne. Perhaps Germans may do this when the water runs out and power cuts become the norm. Don’t mention the war.

[Category: Europe, World, Crisis, European Union, Germany, Olaf Scholz, Politics, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/17/22 11:56am
W.J. ASTORE So the FBI has raided Donald Trump’s compound in Mar-a-Lago, where Trump allegedly had classified material squirreled away. Apparently, Trump is being hounded under the Espionage Act passed by Woodrow Wilson during World War I more than a century ago. Was Trump holding classified material? Was he being careless with this information, perhaps to the extent of endangering national security? I doubt that very much. A few boxes of files (mis)appropriated by Trump, perhaps in his usual careless manner, hardly pose a threat to America’s existence. I’m much more concerned about the heavy-handed use of the Espionage Act against a former president, even a president I think was a chimp, and the precedent it sets for the future. Are we now going to see the FBI and other law enforcement agencies sent against political opponents in openly partisan attacks? If the Biden Justice Department can openly sic the FBI on the previous president, and Biden’s most likely challenger in 2024, then shouldn’t we expect Trump or some future Republican do the same to Biden? Or Kamala Harris? And on and on? I can’t help but think this raid on Trump’s home will only help Trump in 2024. This only seems to confirm what Trump always says: that the Deep State is after him, and that only he can take it on, because only he is on your side against big government and its many abuses of power. Ironically, the Espionage Act is typically used against honorable whistleblowers. People like Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, and Julian Assange. To think that Donald Trump’s name might be linked to these principled people, however tangentially, beggars belief. Trump’s name shouldn’t be mentioned in the same galactic breath as these truth-tellers, but now it can be, impossible as that seemed a few days ago. I don’t get it. Trump is a nincompoop who shouldn’t have been president, but this kind of politically motivated raid can only generate sympathy for him among so many people who are tired of a government that pays virtually no attention to their real needs and real security. It’s safe to say that if Trump runs in 2024, he almost certainly will win (again), because of the stupidity of establishment Democrats who seem to think the only way they can beat him is to turn him into a pariah. Their actions, however, are much more likely turn him into a martyr. And few people deserve that status less than con-man Trump. bracingviews.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Donald Trump, Elections, FBI, Justice, Politics, United States]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/17/22 11:50am
Ankara has managed to reset relations with several neighbors, yet normalization with Damascus has remained the most elusive, until recently. Why now? And what will it take? By Hasan ÜNAL The 5 August meeting in Sochi between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin has given rise to speculation in the west over Turkish-Russian rapprochement – and its possible negative impact on western efforts to curtail the imminent multipolar order. Western NATO states have reason to be concerned about Ankara’s recent moves, given the momentum created on 19 July during Astana talks in Tehran – between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Erdogan, and Putin – geared to resolve the Syrian crisis. United against the States What was striking about the meeting in the Iranian capital was its defiant tone, slamming US-led unipolarity (the so-called rules-based order), and accusing Washington of looting Syria’s resources and sponsoring terrorism, all while demanding that the US exits the region immediately. Washington has long sought to undermine the Astana Process, launched in January 2017 by Russia, Iran and Turkey to demilitarize the Syrian conflict and establish ceasefires. To that end, it manipulated Turkey’s ill-defined Syria policy, expecting that Ankara and Moscow would collide head-on over “opposition-controlled” Idlib or elsewhere, thereby hindering possible rapprochement between the two Eurasian states. However, it seems as if the Erdogan-Putin meeting has instead advanced beyond their earlier encounter on 29 September 2021, also held in Sochi, where it was then leaked that the two leaders had somewhat agreed on a broad geopolitical vision. The two leaders focused on a wide range of areas of close cooperation – particularly on trade and economy – but also on prospective fields of mutual benefit such as defense industry ventures, as well as on regional issues like Syria, Crimea, and Cyprus. Turkey’s shift on Syria Although few details have been released following that closed-door meeting, it is interesting to note the discernable change in Ankara’s stance on Syria since then. There is now serious talk of normalization with Damascus and a renewal of the Syrian-Turkish 1998 Adana Agreement, which will entail a joint effort to defeat US-sponsored Kurdish separatists in Syria, especially in the areas to the east of the Euphrates where the latter are striving to install a US-backed statelet. As things stand, there is no reason why Erdogan and Putin could not iron out a deal to end the Syrian conflict, especially since Ankara – in an 18-month flurry of diplomatic outreach to regional foes – has largely given up on its Muslim Brotherhood-oriented foreign policy by mending ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and even Israel. Today, Erdogan’s personal obstinacy over Syria remains the main hurdle obstructing an overall peace with Turkey’s war-stricken southern neighbor. Why make peace? The Turkish president certainly has a lot to gain from a well-orchestrated rapprochement with the Syrian government. For starters, Ankara and Damascus could agree on a protocol to repatriate millions of Turkish-based Syrian refugees back to their places of origin, and renew the Adana Agreement to create a common front against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates. Conceivably, Erdogan could even ask Damascus to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – a very dear issue for Ankara – in return for Turkey’s full support for the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all its territories, including those areas currently under Turkish occupation. With strong Russian guidance, is not entirely inconceivable that the two states could return to a comfortable neighborly states quo, with trade, investment, and reconstruction activities leading the way. It would be a far cry from the 1998 to 2011 Syrian-Turkish ‘golden era,’ when Ankara studiously worked to bolster friendly relations with Damascus, to such an extent that joint-cabinet meetings were occasionally held between the administrations of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Erdogan, where the latter would refer to the former as “my brother.” Today, the emerging multipolar order makes diplomatic and economic re-engagement all the more conducive, because as NATO’s Madrid Summit demonstrated, the west needs Turkey more than ever, and Ankara’s moves to normalize relations with Damascus is less likely to incur a significant cost than before the Ukraine crisis erupted. Indeed, even before events in Europe unfolded, Turkey undertook several military operations against the PKK/ Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, much to Washington’s dismay and outrage. Ankara could proceed with these operations with less censure today, but it has not. Turkey appears to have realized – possibly under Russian advisement – that without normalization with Damascus, Turkish military moves on Kurdish separatists would yield significantly fewer results. Problems closer to home Moreover, Erdogan’s administration has been beset by the contentious domestic issue of the millions of Syrian refugees who remain inside Turkey. The days when the president and his close associates were preaching Islamic solidarity in defense of hosting Syrian refugees have long past. The mood across Turkey has changed dramatically amid rising inflation, a collapse of the lira, and the general public’s disenchantment with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). For the first time since Erdogan’s ascension to power in 2003, the masses sense that his once-unbeatable, Islamist-leaning populist party may be defeated in upcoming presidential polls slated for May-June next year. True or not, there are public rumblings that the AKP – to escape an election loss – plans to bestow millions of Syrian refugees with Turkish citizenship, allowing them to vote in the pivotal polls. The disoriented outlook of Turkey’s main opposition party has always played to Erdogan’s advantage in previous elections. The feeble-looking Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who took the helm of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) after a sex scandal involving its previous leader, has never managed to rally the public around him. Importantly, Kılıçdaroğlu has typically trailed behind Erdogan in opinion polls because of his pro-American, pro-EU approach to almost everything – at a time when anti-US sentiment in the country polls at a startling 85 to 95 percent of the population. Repatriating refugees Furthermore, Kılıçdaroğlu and his party do not make any clear-cut pronouncements about a peace with Syria. If anything, the CHP was as critical of Assad as Erdogan’s AKP, and its spokespeople barely weighed in on the divisive Syrian refugee issue, even though economically-challenged Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country. The entry of a new figure – Ümit Özdağ, a professor of Political Science and International Relations, who recently formed the Party of Victory (Zafer Partisi) – onto the Turkish national political scene, has introduced a radical change in the discourse about Syrian refugees and their repatriation. Almost overnight, Özdağ has gained widespread support from voters across the political spectrum. His unexpected surge in the polls has clearly contributed to a reassessment by the government and ruling party on the Syrian issue. Ankara needs Damascus Today, almost all voices from the CHP to the AKP are floating arguments for some sort of repatriation, but as even the Turkish public understands, this cannot be done without normalization with Damascus. Hence, Erdogan’s test-balloon musings to Turkish journalists on his flight back from Sochi, hinting that Putin had repeatedly recommended that Ankara coordinate with Damascus on any military operation in Syria to rout out the PKK/SDF. Despite the positive national outlook on normalizing with Syria, Erdogan won’t have a smooth path ahead. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s untimely remark a few days ago that Ankara should try to bring the Syrian opposition (a clear reference to the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army) and the Assad government together with a view to striking a deal, didn’t go down well at all with those oppositionists. It almost led to an uprising in Syrian areas under Turkish control – particularly in Azaz, where militants burned down Turkish flags and vowed to fight to the bitter end against the “Assad regime” and even Turkey. Same old foreign policy The statement the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued following these events underlined the long hard slog to a Syrian peace settlement, and revealed the depth of the Erdogan government’s involvement with these militants. As it has predictably done since 2011, the FM statement conveniently shifted blame back onto the Syrian government for foot-dragging toward overall peace and reconciliation. But Ankara desperately needs to drop its tired old refrain: demanding that Damascus agrees to a new constitution, pushing for federalization of the state, and insisting on new Syrians elections, under a care-taker government, composed of opposition politicians, and preferably without Assad at its helm. Having failed to oust Assad militarily, Turkey once imagined it could unseat him through this convoluted political and electoral formula. Erdogan’s logic was that the millions of Syrians under Ankara’s influence – both in Turkey, as well as in Turkish-controlled Syrian territories – in addition Syrian Kurds in areas under the PKK/PYD, especially to the east of the Euphrates, would vote Assad out. Trading the ‘rebels’ for the Kurds This ‘fantasy’ contrasts sharply with realities on the Syrian ground, and also totally undermines Turkey’s own national interests. Years of these haphazard AKP policies, premised on the unrealistic scenario of a sudden collapse of Assad’s government, all while stealthily transforming the country into a jihadist paradise – in the name of democracy – has instead become Ankara’s biggest foreign policy quagmire, and has emboldened its separatist Kurdish foes as never before. Furthermore, Erdogan’s disastrous Syria policy has isolated Turkey for almost a decade in the region, even among Sunni states, and threatened to set off a conflagration with Russia, a major source of energy and tourism for the Turkish economy. In fairness, the Turkish leader appears to be making some sound political maneuvers of late, and reaching out to Damascus is the most important of these for the region’s stability. Whether Erdogan will crown his new grand foreign policy moves with a Syrian peace by normalizing relations with Damascus remains to be seen. If he doesn’t take this bold step, particularly in advance of Turkey’s presidential elections, Erdogan runs the risk of joining the long list of politicians determined to oust Assad, who have themselves left or been ousted from office under the weight of the so-called “Assad Curse.” thecradle.co

[Category: Editor's Choice, Diplomacy, Middle East, New World Order, Politics, Russia, Syria, Turkey]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/17/22 11:34am
The British Empire continues to exert a vast top-down influence over world affairs, Matthew Ehret writes. Many things are reversible. That weight you put on last thanksgiving, the potholes strewn throughout New Jersey, and even hair loss can easily be reversed. One thing that isn’t reversible is time, but despite its impossibility, delusional power hungry technocrats have shown themselves absolutely committed to throwing the world not only back to the glory days of 19th century British imperial geopolitics, but even further back into the height of medieval feudalism, albeit with some modern technocratic twists. Current aspiring leader of Britain Liz Truss, who will certainly be taking the baton of the UK ship of state in September has outlined her commitment to restoring the idiotic policy of “Global Britain” which is merely a pathetic attempt to restore the British Empire to its glory days while revamping the long-standing agenda first laid out by Cecil Rhodes in his 1877 will (aka: My Confessions of Faith) where the arch racist said: “Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire”. In a recent speech, Truss outlined her priorities for this new Global Britain agenda by targeting China’s malign influence around the world and Russia’s supposed desires for global dominance. In her speech, Truss said: “I will ensure the Commonwealth sits at the heart of my plans for Global Britain.” “As one of the largest groups of freedom-loving democracies, we must ensure there are clear benefits to remaining a member of the Commonwealth and offer nations a clear alternative to growing malign influence from Beijing.” This statement represents the height of hypocrisy as no nation has more blood on its hands either in the past or present than Britain. From managing a global empire of economic enslavement and having invaded nearly every nation on Earth at one time or another, Britain continues to exert vast control over the mining concessions of Africa with over $1 trillion of direct mining interests controlled by British and/or British Commonwealth-based corporations. According to the 2016 report produced by War on Want: “101 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) — most of them British — have mining operations in 37 sub-Saharan African countries. They collectively control over $1 trillion worth of Africa’s most valuable resources. The UK government has used its power and influence to ensure that British mining companies have access to Africa’s raw materials. This was the case during the colonial period and is still the case today.” As outlined in The Spider’s Web, the City of London is the nerve center of world finance, with the Bank of England and Commonwealth offshore tax havens providing the support for trillions of dollars of drug money laundering, terrorist financing and other corrupt practices globally as exposed. During the 250 years of British hegemony over the world, the impoverished nations of the world found themselves more impoverished, less capable of acquiring means of industrial production and more at war with themselves and their neighbors via divide-to-conquer tactics. From the standpoint of global intelligence operations, Britain is the creator and central command structure of the Five Eyes intelligence apparatus and has also been dubbed “Londonistan” for having provided safe havens for international terrorist groups who have found sanctuary under the liberal surface ideology of tolerant Britain. British intelligence has also been found to have either helped create and/or continued to support terror groups internationally as outlined by EIR researcher Michael Billington in the 2020 report British Creation and Control of Islamic Terror: Background to China’s Defeat of Terror in Xinjiang. China on the other hand has shown nothing but good will when conducting business with its less economically advanced neighbors- whether in Asia, the Middle East, Africa or Latin America. While it is true that both China and Britain are actively promoting increased free trade zones, it is only China who actually supports a policy of honest growth and a fair playing field with actual, measurable increases of education, standards of living, productive industrial powers of labor and full spectrum economic activity within her partner nations. While China has provided large scale loans for transport corridors, new industrial zones, and coal, oil, natural gas, hydro and nuclear power investments to countries desperately in need of real development, Global Britain and her American/EU cohorts have spent decades only providing conditionality-laced loans with strings attached and “appropriate” green technologies that will forever prevent Africa or other poor nations from ever standing on their own two feet. Again echoing the Round Table agenda for an imperial federation under a preferential trade systems across the commonwealth as the dominant economic bloc in the world, Truss stated “Prioritising trade with countries across the Commonwealth will strengthen economic and security ties whilst also turbocharging opportunities for British businesses to access one of the world’s largest economic blocs.” The idea of Global Britain has always had at its heart the concept of an integrated British Commonwealth with the Five Eyes at the head of intelligence, City of London at the head of finance and the hereditary structures of power centered around the Crown as the titular fount of all honors through which all branches of the international deep state derive their powers. Since 1833, Global Britain has been managed by a pseudo private system of Crown Agents today named Crown Agents for Overseas Government and Administration. This vast body exists as a semi-official status and describes itself as “an emanation of the crown” and is extremely active in Central and Eastern Europe with its greatest focus on Ukraine’s economic, energy and health management system. The agency is partnered with the World Bank, UN and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and acts as a giant holding company with one shareholder called the Crown Agents Foundation based in Southwark London. Having been set up in the 1930s as the new face of the British Empire, today’s British Commonwealth occupies 12.2 million square miles of territory, holds 2.4 billion people and represents 21% of the world’s land area. For those who still believe in the myth that the British Empire disappeared after WW2, it is worth contrasting both Commonwealth and Empire maps. The fact is that the British Empire continues to exert a vast top-down influence over world affairs. Despite having nominally disappeared after WWII, giving way for an “American Empire”, Global Britain is simply an attempt to make explicit what has always been true. Today’s strategists managing the Global Britain agenda “coming out party” are in a desperate attempt to position the Commonwealth as the center of a new post-reset age. This repositioning requires the controlled disintegration of $1.5 quadrillion derivatives time bomb called a “financial system” and a period of sustained civil war across the USA. But it also requires the non-existence of China, Russia or any other organized network of nation states who reject the demands to reduce themselves to depopulated slave status. That last part of the equation is where the entire plan breaks down terribly for the modern heirs of Churchill, and Oswald Mosley whose ivory tower utopian models of the new world order demands a complete reversal of the objective forces of history that demand a very different destiny for humanity. This is a much more harmonious destiny which such feudalists have no significant role to play unless they profoundly alter their ways and acquire some useful skills. This fact was outlines perfectly by none other than President Putin on July 20, 2022 when he conducted an appraisal of the positive changes initiated by the growing multipolar alliance. In his speech, Putin said: “These enormous changes are irreversible, of course. National and global processes are underway to develop the fundamentals and principles of a harmonious, fairer and more community-focused and safe world order as an alternative to the existing world order, or the unipolar world order in which we lived, and which, because of its nature, is definitely becoming a brake on the development of our civilisation.” The author can be reached at matthewehret.substack.com

[Category: Europe, World, British Empire, Globalism, Liz Truss, United Kingdom]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/16/22 2:28pm
By Philip GIRALDI I often complain that Washington’s heavily lopsided relationship with Israel is an arrangement that brings absolutely no benefit to the American people, and even less to our national security as it has involved the US in an endless series of completely avoidable conflicts. But there is one exception to that generalization, though one hesitates to call it a benefit, consisting of the White House’s adoption of the Israel practice of referring to opponents as “terrorists.” Israel uses it as a generic cover designation to denigrate and humiliate the Palestinians while also delegitimizing their resistance, permitting them to torture and kill Arabs at will, destroy their homes, and bomb them mercilessly. Washington, which claims to be the font of a “rules based international order” as well as the defender of global “democracy” and “freedom,” has developed since 9/11 an unfortunate tendency to do the same thing as the Israelis to justify its attacks on civilians and its brutal assassination policies. In fact, the US and Israel are generally speaking the only two countries that openly use “targeted assassination” as a political tool without even bothering to fall back on “plausible denial” to conceal their actions. Israel only last week, initiated a politically motivated bombing attack on Gaza, which killed 45 civilians, including seventeen children and destroyed numerous homes. No Israelis were killed or even injured when the Gazans struck back with their home-made rockets. Both the White House and leaders in the US Congress congratulated the Israelis for “exercising their right to defend themselves.” The principal targets of the Israeli onslaught were two Islamic Jihad leaders whom both Israel and the international media have described as “terrorists” and “militants.” The Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the operation as successful as the two men were reported killed. A retired Israeli general went so far as to describe the massacre as “really clean, very nice” and an “exceptional achievement.” The Israeli action recalls the recent assassination of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The media coverage described how the Agency relentlessly stalked al-Zawahiri, described as the mastermind of 9/11, eventually learning that the 71-year-old was living in a house in an upscale Kabul neighborhood. It was also determined that he spent most days sitting on a terrace at the top of the house. The hellfire drone that killed him targeted the terrace at the time of day when he was normally sitting outside. Taliban sources report that his body was torn apart and incinerated by the two missiles that apparently struck him. The White House is, of course, framing the assassination as a great success, a major blow in the war against terror. Joe Biden is hoping that it will improve the administration’s dismal approval ratings in the lead-up to the November elections, but the information given to the media regarding the incident praising the CIA’s tenacity and professional expertise is perhaps a bit over the top. Alternative reports from Afghanistan suggest that al-Zawahiri was living quite openly in Kabul and that he has not been active in any presumably radical activities for many, many years beyond making a number of “conspiracy theory” videos. Both al-Zawahiri and al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden were, at the times when they were assassinated by the US, leading quiet lives with little protection even though they allegedly continued to be nominal leaders of al-Qaeda, an organization that had lost its raison d’etre years before. Al-Zawahiri’s record as a terrorist comes largely from US and UK intelligence sources as well as media innuendo, which should be automatically considered unreliable. Recall for a moment the lying that the George W. Bush administration engaged in to go to war with Iraq, with folks like Condoleezza Rice speaking of mushroom clouds spewing radiation over the US and a shop in the Pentagon run by a group of neocons producing fabricated intelligence reports. What has been confirmed from independent sources is that al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian medical doctor, was savagely tortured by the secret police during a crackdown on political dissidents initiated by US puppet President Hosni Mubarak. The torture reportedly radicalized him, and he joined Osama bin Laden’s underground group, later apparently becoming its nominal leader after bin Laden was himself killed in May 2011 by US Navy Seals. Much of the rest of al-Zawahiri’s presumed biography relies on little in the way of actual evidence. What actually happened on 9/11 and who was behind it remains somewhat a mystery as all the apparent perpetrators of which might have occurred are dead. Consider for a moment that Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri never actually admitted that their group al-Qaeda was the perpetrator of the attack. In fact they denied it, sometimes attributing it to other radicalized Saudi Arabian underground groups. Nor is there any actual evidence that they planned the attack. They were accused because they had the claimed track record, resources, motive and possible access to carry out the incident, not because there was any real evidence that they had done the deed. When the US approached the Taliban government of Afghanistan in late 2001 and demanded that bin Laden be turned over to American law enforcement, the Afghans responded that bin Laden was a guest in their country, but they would surrender him if Washington could demonstrate that he had organized and ordered the attacks. George W. Bush’s Pentagon and the CIA apparently could not make that case based on actual evidence, leading to the decision to go to war instead. Also, of all the hundreds of “terrorist” prisoners that have been recycled through the US military prison at Guantanamo only five have ever been charged with any involvement in 9/11. They are still being held but have never been tried and it is quite possible the case against them can never be made. They might even be completely innocent. And there is more to the story. Bin Laden could have been arrested and tried but the Barack Obama administration decided to kill him and dump his body at sea, presumably to avoid a courtroom drama that would reveal government malfeasance. And then there are Anwar Nasser al-Awlaki and his son Abdulrahman, both of whom were American citizens killed by CIA drones in Yemen, where their family originated. The al-Awlakis may or may not have been actual members of al-Qaeda, but the elder al-Awlaki’s sermons and writings certainly inspired groups that opposed US foreign policy’s hostility towards Muslims. It is widely believed that Anwar al-Awlaki could have been captured and tried in the US if an attempt to do so had been pursued, but instead the Obama Administration again decided that he should be killed. Finally, there is the death by drone of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January 2000 under President Donald Trump. In a recent book, Trump’s Defense Chief Mark Esper claims that Trump lied after the assassination was criticized by saying that Soleimani was actively preparing “terror” attacks on four American Embassies in the Mideast region. Esper confirms that there was no intelligence to back up that claim, but interestingly goes beyond that to make clear that there was no specific intelligence at all suggesting that such an attack was imminent or even being planned. There were only generic regional security threats that many embassies in the world respond to and make preparations to defend against. The Esper claim is supported by the Iraqi government itself, which declared that Soleimani, widely regarded as the second most powerful official in Iran after the Ayatollah, was in Baghdad to discuss peace arrangements and that the US Embassy had been informed of his planned trip and had raised no objection to it. Instead, the US used the opportunity to launch an armed drone to kill him and nine Iraqi militia members that were accompanying him from the airport. In other words, there was no imminent threat, nor even a plausible threat, and the US went ahead anyway and killed a senior Iranian government official in a targeted assassination. So, the United States and Israel have a formula down pat whereby they can kill anyone anywhere without any due process or rule of law, even if they don’t know who you are as in the cases of the “signature” or “profile” executions by drone in Afghanistan. And all the presidents and senior officials know that no matter what they do there will be no accountability. All one has to do is call it terrorism prevention, which might include citing terrorist attacks that can in no way be linked by way of actual evidence to the person being killed. Once a terrorist, always a terrorist, repeat as needed, and the public and media will swoon with pleasure at being so well-protected. And, as the Israeli general described it, the end result will be “really clean, very nice” an “exceptional achievement.” unz.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Pentagon, Taliban, Terrorism, United States]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/16/22 12:19pm
By Alan MACLEOD Most of the fact-checking organizations Facebook has partnered with to monitor and regulate information about Ukraine are directly funded by the U.S. government, either through the U.S. Embassy or via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an information war as bitter as the ground fighting has erupted, and Meta (Facebook’s official name) announced it had partnered with nine organizations to help it sort fact from fiction for Ukrainian, Russian and other Eastern European users. These nine organizations are: StopFake, VoxCheck, Fact Check Georgia, Demagog, Myth Detector, Lead Stories, Patikrinta 15min, Re:Baltica and Delfi. “To reduce the spread of misinformation and provide more reliable information to users, we partner with independent third-party fact-checkers globally,” the Silicon Valley giant wrote, adding, “Facebook’s independent third-party fact-checkers are all certified by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The IFCN, a subsidiary of the journalism research organization Poynter Institute, is dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide.” The problem with this? At least five of the nine organizations are directly in the pay of the United States government, a major belligerent in the conflict. The Poynter Institute is also funded by the NED. Furthermore, many of the other fact-checking organizations also have deep connections with other NATO powers, including direct funding. STOPFAKE Perhaps the most well-known and notorious of the nine groups is StopFake. Established in 2014, StopFake is funded by NATO’s Atlantic Council, by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Embassy in Ukraine and the Czech Foreign Ministry. It has also received money from the U.S. via the National Endowment for Democracy, although that fact is far from trumpeted by either party. One potential reason for this was alluded to in a 2016 article reprinted by StopFake itself. As the article notes, “in the case of StopFake.org when opponents want to insult the project, they immediately invoke National Endowment for Democracy donor support as evidence of U.S. government and CIA involvement.” In the wake of the Russian invasion, the NED pulled all public records of their Ukraine projects from the internet. Nevertheless, incomplete archived copies of those records confirm a financial relationship between the groups. StopFake was explicitly set up as a partisan organization. As a glowing report on them from the International Journalists’ Network notes, the majority of StopFake’s fact-checks are on stories from Russian media, and the motivation for its creation was “Russia’s 2014 occupation of Crimea and a campaign to portray Ukraine as a fascist state where anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia thrived.” While it is indeed incorrect to label Ukraine a fascist state, the country clearly has one of the strongest far-right movements anywhere in Europe. And unfortunately, StopFake itself is far from an apolitical bystander in that rise. Multiple established Western media outlets, including The New York Times, have reported on StopFake’s ties to white power or Nazi groups. When local journalist Ekaterina Sergatskova exposed these links, death threats from far-right figures forced her to flee her home. Indeed, according to some, one of StopFake’s primary functions appears to be to promote the far-right. A long exposé by Lev Golinkin in The Nation cataloged what it called StopFake’s history of “aggressively whitewashing two Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups with a long track record of violence, including war crimes.” Surely StopFake’s most famous former host is Nina Jankowicz. Jankowicz was briefly head of President Biden’s newly formed Disinformation Governance Board before public uproar caused her to resign. Dubbed the “Ministry of Truth”, both the board and Jankowicz generated strong opposition. Yet few mentioned the fact that, while at StopFake, Jankowicz herself had, on camera, enthusiastically extolled the virtues of multiple fascist paramilitaries. In a 2017 TV segment about the Aidar, Dnipro-1 and Azov Battalions, Jankowicz presented the groups as heroic volunteers deafening Ukraine from “further Russian separatist encroachment.” As she stated, The volunteer movement in Ukraine extends far beyond military service. Volunteer groups are active in supporting Ukraine’s military with food, clothing, medicine, and post-battle rehabilitation, as well as working actively with the nearly two million internal refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine,” This framing jars with multiple reports from human rights groups such as Amnesty International, who claim that the Aidar Battalion is guilty of a litany of abuses, “including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions.” Amnesty also accuses Aidar and Dnipro-1 of “Using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.” Azov, meanwhile, is the most infamous organization of the lot. The group’s insignia is directly lifted from the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division, a unit responsible for carrying out some of the worst crimes of Hitler’s holocaust. The Azov Battalion also dip their bullets in pig fat before battle as a calculated hate crime, attempting to block Jewish or Muslim enemies from a better afterlife. Andriy Biletsky, the group’s founder, said in 2010 that he believes Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen” – the word Hitler used to describe Jews, Poles, Ukrainians and other peoples he designated for extermination. In February, Facebook announced that it was changing its rules on hate speech to allow praise and promotion of the Azov Battalion. Was this on StopFake’s recommendation? MintPress asked Meta/Facebook for comment on their fact checking partner’s ties to far right groups and if StopFake had influenced their decision to allow pro-Nazi content on their platform, but did not receive a reply. As Golinkin noted in his article for The Nation, StopFake has also defended C14, another fascist paramilitary, describing it merely as a “community organization”, citing C14’s own denial of its pogroms against Roma people as “evidence” of its innocence. This designation clashes even with the U.S. State Department, which classifies C14 as a “nationalist hate group.” The “14” in its name refers to the “14 words” white supremacist slogan. StopFake has made a number of controversial claims, including that the rise in anti-semitism in Ukraine is “fake” – even going so far as to brand well-established outlets like NBC News and Al-Jazeera as printing fake news about the Azov Battalion’s role in this. In an article entitled “Russia as Evil: False Historical Parallels. Some peculiarities of Russian Political Culture,” it also insisted that Hitler’s concentration camps were modeled on Russian ones set up by Vladimir Lenin. In reality, the German government pioneered the use of concentration camps during their genocide of the Herero and Namaqua peoples between 1904 and 1908 in Namibia. The British and Spanish were also early adopters. In addition, StopFake has close links with The Kyiv Post, a Ukrainian outlet directly funded and trained by the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 2016, the Post has published 191 StopFake reports. WHO IS THE NED? Why receiving funding from the National Endowment for Democracy should immediately raise suspicions of any organization is because the NED was explicitly established by the Reagan administration as a front group for the Central Intelligence Agency. Although it is funded by Washington and staffed by state officials, it is technically a private company and therefore not subject to the same legal regulations and public scrutiny as state institutions. The CIA has used the NED to carry out many of its more controversial operations. In recent years, it has trained and funneled money to the leaders of the Hong Kong protesters to keep the insurrection alive, fomented a nationwide campaign of demonstrations in Cuba, and helped attempts to topple the government of Venezuela. Perhaps most importantly for this story, however, the NED was also involved in the 2014 coup that removed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from power. Regime change is, in short, one of its primary functions. The NED does this by establishing, funding, supporting and training all manner of political, economic and social groups in target countries. According to its 2019 annual report, Ukraine is the NED’s “top priority”. The agency has (officially) spent over $22 million in Ukraine since 2014. In their more candid moments, NED leaders are explicit about the organization’s role. “It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA,” Carl Gershman, NED president from 1984 to 2021 said, explaining why his organization was set up. NED co-founder Allen Weinstein agreed: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” he told The Washington Post. VOXCHECK VoxCheck receives substantial monetary assistance from the U.S. government through both the NED and the U.S. Embassy. It is also funded by the Dutch and German governments. Incomplete NED records show VoxCheck receives substantial yearly grants and has accepted around $250,000 in total. That sort of money goes an extremely long way in Ukraine, which is by quite some way the poorest nation in Europe. The country’s GNI per capita of $3,500 per year is well below that of even Russia, which stands at $10,700. One $15,000 NED grant given to a Ukrainian media foundation, for instance, was enough to pay for over 100 articles to be written. Despite its funding, Western media portray VoxCheck extremely positively. The Washington Post, for example, describes them as “a small group of independent fact-checkers.” In common parlance, the word “independent” is usually reserved for any media group not owned or funded by governments (as if that is the only type of dependence). But even at this extremely low bar, VoxCheck falls. An NED document shows a 2020 grant given to VoxUkraine In the article, the Washington Post describes VoxCheck’s fact-checking process, which largely consists of “sourcing credible news sources – such as a BBC article,” and then labeling Russian claims as false on this basis. In other words, the official state mouthpiece of the British government – one that was instrumental in promoting the lies which led to the invasions of Iraq and Libya – is considered sacrosanct. What comes across in the Post’s glowing exposé is that VoxCheck staff have few pretensions about being neutral and see themselves as digital foot soldiers in a crusade against Russia. As one employee said, the mission is to “prevent someone from falling into Russian lies and manipulation.” Indeed, one of the staff quit his job to volunteer for the Ukrainian Army. Other VoxCheck employees revealed that they felt guilty for not doing so themselves and only contributing virtually to the fight. Of course, Russia has lied constantly during this war; the entire invasion was based on a lie. Throughout the winter, Russian officials consistently repeated that they had no intention of invading Ukraine. Russian media, meanwhile, claimed that President Zelensky had fled the country in the wake of the invasion. But in war, all sides lie. And when a fact-checking operation constantly critiques only one side and stays largely quiet about the other, it has clearly taken a side in the conflict and is therefore acting in a partisan fashion. People interested in thinking critically should be scrutinizing claims made by all sides. FACT CHECK GEORGIA Fact Check Georgia describes itself as “an independent and non-partisan website which offers readers researched, verified and evidence-based information.” Yet it is bankrolled by a litany of dubious organizations, including the NED and the U.S. Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, the Dutch government and the European Endowment for Democracy, a European government-funded “private” organization explicitly modeled on the NED. Fact Check Georgia’s “About Us” section reveals just how independent the fact checking organization really is Fact Check Georgia’s independence is potentially undermined by the fact that at the bottom of every page of its website, it displays the crests of both the NED and the U.S. Embassy in Georgia. This is accompanied by the disclaimer, “The views and opinions expressed on this website belong to Factcheck.ge and are not the views and opinions of project support organizations” – a sentence that would not be necessary to attach if an organization was truly independent. Furthermore, some of its staff have notable backgrounds. The first person listed on Fact Check Georgia’s “our team” section was formerly the Deputy Minister of Defense for Georgia – a country that fought a war against Russia in 2008. MYTH DETECTOR Another Georgia-based company, Myth Detector, was funded by the U.S. Embassy to the tune of €42,000 in financial year 2021. German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle contributed €41,000. Also donating €41,000 last year, according to Myth Detector’s financial report, is a group called “Zinc.” This is quite possibly the Zinc Network, a shadowy intelligence firm that conducts information warfare operations on behalf of the U.K. and U.S. governments. DEMAGOG Not only is the U.S. Embassy in Poland funding Demagog, it is also carrying out training in how to think. Demagog’s website notes that the embassy established a “fact-checking academy” on “how to deal with false information.” “Thanks to the [embassy] cooperation,” it notes, “classes were conducted for students and teachers on fake news, reliable sources of information and fact-checking.” Alongside the U.S. government, Demagog also receives money from Polish government, European Union and European Economic Area organizations. Together, these five organizations’ operations are all directly bankrolled by Washington. However, many of the other fact-checking groups Facebook pays to serve as content police on their platform have similarly close connections to Western state power. Indeed, the only one of the nine that appears relatively free from direct government collaboration is self-funded outlet Lead Stories. PATIKRINTA 15MIN Lithuanian outlet Patikrinta 15min insist that they are an independent, non-partisan group. As their “About” section states: “Sponsors of Patikrinta 15min cannot be political parties, politicians, state organizations or companies or organizations related to politicians.” They do, however, accept funding from the Poynter Institute, the journalism group that owns U.S. fact-checking organization Politifact. Since 2016, the Poynter Institute has sought for and received at least seven grants from the National Endowment for Democracy, totaling well over half a million dollars. Notably, some of these grants are clearly a way of funneling cash to Eastern European fact-checking groups. As one NED grant summary for $78,000 notes, the goal of the money is to “promote the use of fact-checking websites as an effective accountability tool in Central and Eastern Europe, and strengthen the global fact-checking community.” The NED goes on to note that Poynter will bring over 70 journalists to a training summit and afterward continue to “train” “mentor,” “support,” and help them and their organizations with “capacity building.” One of several grants given to the ostensibly neutral Poynter Institute by the US State Dept’s NED A cynic might conclude that the NED was simply trying to launder its money through Poynter. MintPress asked Patikrinta 15min to confirm or deny whether they were one of the Eastern European groups mentioned in the NED filings but has not received a response. Like other groups, Patikrinta 15min’s non-partisan veneer frequently slips. This can be seen in headlines such as “Russian cynicism knows no bounds” and the fact that they frequently defend Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion. Like StopFake, n 15min has argued that Azov’s use of the Waffen SS symbol is coincidental. It also presented Azov as an apolitical organization and has used quotes from Azov founder Andriy Biletsky – possibly the world’s most infamous living neo-Nazi – as “proof” that charges against it are Russian disinformation. RE:BALTICA While there is no evidence that Re:Baltica has a financial relationship with the United States government, the lion’s share of its funding still comes from the West. As they note on their website, around two-thirds of their funding comes “from the institutions based in EU/NATO countries.” They also list “the Kingdom of the Netherlands” as one of their “friends” – i.e., donors. Re:Baltica is generously funded by western govt’s and NGOs, including George Soro’s Open Society Foundation DELFI Delfi is a major web portal in Eastern Europe and the Baltic. The company does not disclose if it receives foreign funding. It does, undeniably, however, have a close relationship with the NED. In 2015, Delfi interviewed Christopher Walker, a senior NED manager about the best way they could counter Russian propaganda. Two years later, NED President Gershman addressed the Lithuanian parliament, revealing that his organization had, [W]orked with Lithuania in countering Russian efforts to subvert and destroy democracy in Lithuania, in Europe, and in Russia itself. We have supported the work of the Lithuania-based Delfi and the East European Studies Center in monitoring, documenting, and combatting Russian disinformation in Lithuania and the Baltic states.” Later that year, Delfi teamed up with the NED to hold the 1st Vilnius Young Leaders Meeting, whereby handpicked young activists were invited to rub shoulders with journalists and spooks from across Europe and the United States, in the hope of building up a Western-friendly force in civil society. A chart showing the leadership structure of the EXPOSE network published as part of the Integrity Initiative Leak 7 Delfi, Re:Baltica and StopFake were all identified as proposed members of a “counter”-propaganda network hoping to be established by the EXPOSE Network. EXPOSE was allegedly a secret U.K.-government funded initiative that would have brought together journalists and state operatives in an alliance to shape public discourse in a manner more conducive to the priorities of Western governments. As EXPOSE wrote, “An opportunity exists to upskill civil society organizations around Europe, enhancing their existing activities and unleashing their potential” to be the next generation of activists in the fight against Kremlin disinformation.” “Coordinat[ing] their activities,” wrote EXPOSE, “represents a unique opportunity” for the British government in their fight against Russia. Unfortunately, they lamented, StopFake’s “monomaniacal fixation” on Russia had hurt its credibility. Remarkably, EXPOSE also wrote that, “Another barrier to combating disinformation is the fact that certain Kremlin-backed narratives are factually true” – an admission that underlines that, to many governments and media outlets, “disinformation” is rapidly coming to simply mean “information we disagree with.” The names of those individuals listed as potential employees of this network are a who’s who of state-linked operatives, including the Zinc Network, multiple individuals from NED-funded investigative journalism website Bellingcat and Ben Nimmo, a former NATO spokesperson who is now head of global intelligence for Facebook. FACEBOOK’S CYBER WAR Nimmo is only one of a great many former state agents now working in the higher echelons of Facebook, however. Last month, MintPress published a study revealing that the Silicon Valley giant has hired dozens of ex-CIA personnel into influential positions within the company, especially in security, content moderation and trust and safety. Given how influential Facebook is as a media and communications giant, this sort of relationship constitutes a national security issue to every other country in the world. And this is not a hypothetical threat either. In November, Nimmo led a team that effectively attempted to swing the Nicaraguan elections away from the ruling Sandinista party and towards the U.S.-backed candidate. In the days leading up to the election, Facebook deleted hundreds of accounts and pages of pro-Sandinista media. This action underlines the fact that Facebook is not an international company existing only in the ether, but an American operation bound by American laws. And increasingly, it is moving closer to the U.S. government itself. WHO WILL GUARD THE GUARDIANS? Fake news abounds online, and we as a society are wholly unprepared to counter it. A study conducted by Stanford University found that the vast majority of people – even the digitally savvy youth – were unable to tell factual reporting from obvious falsehoods online. Many will fall for Russian propaganda. Russian media is indeed pumping out misleading information constantly. But so are NATO countries. And if the fact-checkers who have volunteered to sort truth from fiction for us relentlessly attack Russia but are quiet on their own side’s spin, many more will fall for Western propaganda. The implicit outlook of many of these fact-checking groups is that “only Russia lies.” This is the position of a partisan organization, one that cares little about truth and more about imposing control over the means of communication. And this is all being done in the name of keeping us safe. Who is fact-checking the fact-checkers? Unfortunately, it is up to small, independent media outlets to do so. However, MintPress has faced constant suppression for doing so, being blocked from communicating with our 400,000+ Facebook followers, suppressed algorithmically by the Silicon Valley giants, and being removed from financial transaction services like PayPal. The solution is to teach and develop critical media literacy. All media outlets have biases and agendas. It is up to the individual to learn these and constantly scrutinize and evaluate everything they read. However, governments do not want their populations thinking critically; they want their message to be dominant, one reason why the NED has been quietly bankrolling so many fact-checking organizations to do its work for it. mintpressnews.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Facebook, Fake News, Mass Media, NED, Social Media, Ukraine]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/16/22 12:05pm
North Koreas offer to send 100,000 peace workers to Eastern Ukraine is as much a game changer as was the appearance of the Red Armys Siberian Divisions during the 1941-2 Battle of Moscow. North Koreas offer to send 100,000 peace workers to Eastern Ukraine is as much a game changer as was the appearance of the Red Armys Siberian Divisions during the 1941-2 Battle of Moscow when Hitlers exhausted Wehrmacht seemed on the verge of victory. Irrespective of whether Russia takes them up on the offer or not, because North Koreas offer to trade their brawn for oil and grain has changed the status quo not only in Ukraine but in Syria, Iran and all other front line states as well, their offer is worth studying in more detail than that Newsweek and other discredited NATO outlets gave it. In doing some basic math, lets treat this proposal like the path breaking 1981 win-win swap between IBM and the World Bank. We have, thus, two key sides to this transaction, North Korea, which has an impressive work force to offer in exchange for scarce resources Russia, thanks to NATOs criminal sanctions, has in abundance. Working at a price of $100 for a mixed basket of oil and grain, we see that Russia would be contracted to supply 100,000 baskets per stipulated time period when the North Korea work force reaches its full complement in Donbas, Damascus or wherever else they are deployed. Taking it from a different angle, North Korea could be contracted on a piecemeal basis, with per diem allowances and other such perks offered. Lets take the farmyards of Latakia in Northern Syria as an important illustrative example. North Koreans could plant and harvest crops, with a substantial, stipulated amount being fermented for better nutritional effect before being shipped off to North Korea. Such agreements would have the added benefit of resurrecting Northern Syrias agricultural sector which NATOs murderous sanctions and ongoing thefts by the U.S. military have all but destroyed. More to the point, with Chinese financial backing, this proposal would supply the necessary lubricant needed to allow Syrians and North Koreans to once more have full stomachs. Currently, Syrian farmers cannot hire staff as NATO dragooned many of the workers, who formerly did such work, into their terrorist proxy gangs and the farmers lack both the finances to hire replacement workers and the markets to sell their products into as NATO has destroyed all of that. North Korean labor and Chinese seed finance, to be repaid both in cash and in kind over time, would solve those problems. To see how this would work in both Donbas and Syria, lets consider hypothetical building projects in Syria where the cement and glass industries were such high priority targets of NATOs rebel proxies that they were a major catalyst for early stages of their entire campaign. Under this proposal, China, the worlds biggest cement producer, and Iran, whose cement exports have been hard hit by NATOs criminal sanctions, would supply the raw materials by both exporting them and reinvigorating local Syrian (Donbas) production. Those houses, apartments and basic infrastructure the North Koreans build in Syria (Donbas) would be paid for by a mixture of cash and kind. The value of a house is, in communities like those of Donbas and Syria, in its rental value, which is determined by such factors as its access to employment opportunities and basic services, such as schools, shops and so on. If we assume, for exemplary purposes, the monthly rental value of an apartment is $100, this can be decreased by government grants and the renter paying for some of the rent in kind. If, for example, Chinese retail outlets were to be given franchises in these developments, then war widows, war veterans and the like could be hired in their outlets, with some of their pay being in kind. Although similar schemes have worked in post War Japan and other countries as well, the key point for now is to concentrate on the dynamics of North Koreas proposal and let the various parties to its implementation hammer out the details as to who does what and for how much, which are crucial in all such joint ventures. That said, because North Koreas proposal has advantages for all sides, it deserves serious consideration. Because it is based on barter and not on the U.S. $, it can act as a deflationary measure, a not inconsiderable attribute, given todays current economic implosion of the NATO block. It also plays directly into Chinas Belt and Road Initiative which, to be as successful as one might wish it to be, must lift all the boats, those of Syria, Donbas and North Korea included. We have, of course, other noteworthy precedents. Sanctioned Cuba has earned crucial foreign exchange by sending medical teams overseas and the German Democratic Republics Afrika Corps left a marked impression on the many African armies it trained. Perhaps the North Koreans, with Chinese logistical help, can do something similar. Plus, if we are totally honest, North Koreas proposal tweaks NATOs tail in the most delightful of ways. Although the North Koreans will not be quite turning the swords of Iran, China and Russia into Syrian ploughshares, they will be showing that, for all NATOs war crimes in Ukraine, Syria and Korea itself, there is an alternative, more civilized way to do things and those, like the Koreans, who have suffered the most from NATO criminality are still in the fight and will be until NATO gets off their backs.

[Category: Asia-Pacific, World, China, Donbas, North Korea, Russia, War]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/16/22 11:54am
Trump is merely a messenger attempting to wake us to an evil that threatens to destroy everything good and decent in the world, Robert Bridge writes. Let’s begin this brief foray into futility by putting aside our tortured feelings over Donald Trump and admitting one thing: the FBI raid on Mar-A-Lago proves that the establishment has the power to crush with impunity any person – even former/future presidents – who threatens the globalist agenda. This has implications not just for Americans, but for every person on this unholy planet. Facing the grim prospect of imminent defeat in the upcoming midterm elections, the cunning Democrats are doing what they do best, which is, first, to cheat like hell. Second, to unleash all the tools of oppression at their disposal against their political enemies, namely Donald Trump, the DC outsider who once promised to ‘drain the swamp.’ Florida Governor summed up the latest crackdown against conservatives as yet another example of “the Regime weaponizing federal agencies” to its political advantage, which could very well become permanent barring a second Battle of Gettysburg. Yet, it would be a mistake to think that those “political opponents” are only those of a homegrown American variety. The Cabal’s war is undeniably international; and more on that in a moment. To put things into their proper perspective, how is it possible that Joe’s prodigal son Hunter and his lurid laptop, which purportedly houses every illicit activity imaginable – from sex with minors, to drug use, to the blackmail of foreign leaders, possibly with the blessing of the ‘Big Guy’ himself, escaped a visit by a SWAT team? And what about Hillary and those 33,000 missing emails, sent on her home computer? Where were the black helicopters to swoop down on the Clinton Foundation, the White House or Hunter’s personal crack house? Missing in action, as usual, and that’s no accident. Such double standards at the highest levels of government can only be explained one way: the Democrats have acquired absolute control of the United States, lock, stock and barrel. Every institution, with the exception of the National Rifle Association and the 700 Club, now fall under the insidious sway of liberal ideology. How such a shocking thing came to pass in God’s Country is another question, but the reality remains: a battle is currently raging – call it a bloodless civil war – between the red-blooded American people, armed with nothing more than the Constitution and 6 million firearms, and ‘The Godforsaken System.’ Thus far, thanks to the power of censorship, deception and outright criminality, which defines the modus operandi of the Deep State, the latter is winning hands down. And here is where “the world” comes into play. You see, these power-crazed liberals, in case anyone has failed to notice, are not content to keep their weird idiosyncrasies locked away in their bedroom closets like other respectable folks. Hell no. These twisted degenerates feel the need to tell everyone about their sexual preferences, pronouns and disgust for masculine men. They don’t even have the decency to spare school kids from the untested messaging, as though Johny and Mary have nothing better to think about at the age of five than if they were born into the correct bodies. In fact, school libraries now contain, thanks to Soros-appointed liberal judges, titles that leave little to childrens impressionable minds (take a peek between the covers of ‘Lawn Boy’ and ‘Gender Queer’ if boys performing fellatio on grown men is your thing), devoted to the endless joys of pedophilia where history books once proudly stood. Meanwhile, fully indoctrinated parents, the wide-eyed freaky types who find it necessary to hype their mental diseases over TikTok, are leading their kids straight into the belly of Babylon, actually letting Drag Queens instruct their young ones how to stick dollar bills into their jock straps and Lord knows where else. At this point, a question naturally rises to the surface of this poisoned river: why? Why will these psychopaths not rest easy until every single child and adult signs up to transgenderism, critical race theory, and the white-man-is-the-bane-of-earth shtick? And why is it necessary for this sheer madness to go global? Biological men are already competing alongside the ladies at the Olympic Games. What next? Perhaps these psychopaths are still sane enough to understand that unless they (i.e. the normal countries) also succumb to the disease of liberalism, they will eventually wage a counter-offensive against these demonic ideas, as is now happening in conservative strongholds like Russia, for example, where anti-LGBTQ laws are on the books and Orthodox churches are being hastily constructed across its 11 time zones. If there is anything that could makes a liberal lose their last marble, aside from listening to a Trump stump speech, it’s a country that is firmly grounded in biblical teachings. Now for the $50 billion dollar question: Who is responsible for spreading this filth around the world? Some people will be quick to answer ‘the vapid liberal politicians’ that now hold sway over much of the brain-dead and godless Western hemisphere. That’s only half of the answer, and probably much less. The reason I say this is because the maggots have penetrated so deep into the foundation – not just in politics, but in the world of business, academia, media and law enforcement — that some other force must be at play. The answer can be found in those fraternal organizations, popularly known as ‘secret societies,’ that are completely unbound from the tedious formalities of democratic procedure. Nothing else can explain the ideology spreading so rapidly throughout every branch of Western society. It seems that word has gone out at international lodges, which would include not only the well-known members-only clubs, like Davos and the Council on Foreign Relations, but the lesser talked about but no less influential ones, like Bohemian Grove, Skull and Bones and the Freemasons. Here, dear reader, is the very blood of the ‘deep state,’ the grease that keeps the many parts of the assemblage grinding inexorably forward on its iron track. Now, to the distant reader muttering ‘conspiracy theorist,’ it’s important to remember that these secret societies play a powerful role in Western society. They are the puppet masters who write the scripts that our leaders feel very compelled to follow — or else. And that is why the powers-that-be are doing everything in their power, which is truly awesome indeed, to ensure that Trump’s political career is crushed once and for all – they will not allow anyone to offset their diabolical plans, which are in the final stages of fruition. Below is a video put out last year by the U.S. Army celebrating the new progressive ideology that now dominates not just the military ranks, but the whole country. The message, it would appear, has been endorsed by the abovementioned secret societies, as evident by the All-seeing eye that is visible inside of the pyramid – a symbol that appears on the back of the world’s most popular note, the U.S. one-dollar bill. It is displayed for a split second on the soldier’s face at precisely the 6-second mark.ro The people who dominate these shadowy organizations have one objective in common, which is to destroy Christianity and the nuclear family, thus leaving the world wide open to the seduction of their Satanic ideas, most of which are based on the empty promises found in science and technology that is now leading humanity blindly to digital-powered Fourth Industrial Revolution, which hopes to turn men into automatons, slaves. Wake up, people. Donald Trump is not the enemy. He is merely a lowly messenger, one of many mortals that have come and gone through the years – JFK was another – attempting to wake us to an evil that threatens to destroy everything good and decent in the world. Forever.

[Category: Americas, World, Deep State, Democratic Party, Donald Trump, Establishment, Justice, United States]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/15/22 2:10pm
Why did Nancy Pelosi go to Taiwan? Philip GIRALDI A good friend of mine, learning of the impending visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, recalled Homer’s description of Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the towers of Ilium.” Well, Nancy ain’t no Helen of Troy, but she might nevertheless be in the business of launching warships and burning cities due to her bizarre interpretation of her foreign policy prerogatives as Speaker. It is like watching a train wreck developing in slow motion. Witnessing the highly dangerous behavior of the Biden Administration and its acolytes in power like Pelosi, one feels compelled to ask whether the White House and Congress are now setting the stage for the elevation of China to the status of foreign enemy number one? Indeed, if one has been hanging around Washington for the past twenty-five years or so, it was hard to miss the often-surfaced bipartisan contention that China is America’s major over-the-horizon adversary, or even enemy, with its growing economy, its successful geopolitics, and its huge industrious population. I can still recall my shock at hearing Democratic Senator Jim Webb, an honorable and highly intelligent Iraq War critic, telling a conservative gathering in 2015 that the real future threat to the United States would be coming from China. Fear of China, sometimes dubbed in racist language as the “Yellow Peril,” has a long tradition in the United States and in Europe. In the current context, the US government is certainly apprehensive about where the increasing rapprochement between China and Russia is going, summed up by Secretary of State Tony Blinken as “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.” Ironically enough, that development stems from the inept US diplomacy exemplified by Blinken’s tunnel vision that most recently allowed a negotiable crisis to develop into a full-fledged war over Ukraine. But a much more significant development stems from the Chinese success when playing at what might be called the global geostrategy game. The Chinese Silk Road project threatens to create a new economic reality for Eurasia, squeezing the US out and creating unique networks for marketing, transportation, and the contractual exploitation of third world natural resources. Again ironically, the US was once upon a time the master at creating such networks to benefit the American economy and workers, but unmanageable debt plus inflation combined with outsourcing and lack of any industrial policy means that that advantage has largely vanished. To put it bluntly, China has outcompeted the United States, and whether that constitutes a threat depends on which side of the fence one is standing on. NATO alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is also part of the gamesmanship, observing how “China is substantially building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors, threatening Taiwan … monitoring and controlling its own citizens through advanced technology, and spreading Russian lies and disinformation.” Stoltenberg and Blinken’s indictment of China was followed by a NATO issued “strategic concept” document that declared for the first time that China poses a “systemic challenge” to the alliance and declarations by the heads of the CIA and MI6 that China constitutes the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.” One would not expect China to be silent when confronted by the threats from the West and, indeed, Beijing has made clear that that Washington is “playing with fire” and that there would be “consequences.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian observed that the “so-called rules-based international order is actually a family rule made by a handful of countries to serve the US self-interest,” adding that “[Washington] observes international rules only as it sees fit.” It would be correct to describe the US-China relationship as currently occupying a low point. The result has been to create an international crisis where there was none to start with, and it goes on. There have been two more interesting developments in the US versus China saga in the past two weeks. First came a video-link two hour and seventeen minute “summit” between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Biden’s declared mission was to address those issues that impeded a more manageable relationship between the two countries, or at least that is how it was described. The issues discussed by Biden and Xi included not taking any steps that would challenge the status quo re Taiwan as well as Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which the US maintains have inhibited “freedom of the seas” for foreign vessels transiting the area. China has responded that it is only exercising its sovereignty and stresses that its international presence is largely derived from its perfectly legal commercial and business activity. Other issues under discussion included what to do about climate change and the evolving situation in Ukraine. The possibility of rolling back some tariffs imposed by Donald Trump apparently was not discussed. More provocative by far than the Biden phone call, which at least was ostensibly intended to mend fences, is the decision by Nancy Pelosi to make an August trip to Taiwan, which has now been completed. It was the first visit by an American official at that level since 1997 and it sought to confirm the US total commitment to defend the Taiwanese if China were to seek to establish full control of the Island. The proposed visit had been linked to moves by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who shifted US military resources in the Far East to provide possible protection for Pelosi’s travel on a US Air Force plane if the Chinese were to attempt to block her by declaring a no-fly zone over the island. Austin ordered the Commander of US Forces in the Indo-Pacific region (aka INDOPACCOM) to send the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group into the South China Sea as a “show of force,” which was construed as a deliberate demonstration to the Chinese that they have no actual sovereignty over Taiwan. In the event, China responded to the Pelosi visit with a live fire military exercise in the air space and in the waters around Taiwan and whatever takes place next will have to be dealt with by the Taiwanese. The Pentagon is reportedly preparing “options” if China actually does choose to invade. But nevertheless, the visit, which cost the US taxpayer $90 million, was clearly intended to send certain signals to Beijing and those signals were not only not friendly but even threatening. Pelosi assured Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, that there would be US support despite threats from China, saying “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It is also language that is largely intended to appeal to the domestic audience in the US with midterm elections coming up in November. It always is popular to take cheap shots at Russia, Iran or China. Interestingly, President Joe Biden, apparently supported privately by Austin, actually opposed the Speaker’s trip as it reportedly could disrupt his intention to actually meet Xi face-to-face at some point in the future. Pelosi, who lacks having any actual constitutional foreign policy role apart from approving budgets, has provided ammunition for those among the Chinese leadership who have come to believe that the United States cannot be trusted to honor any agreement made with a foreign government. The Speaker clearly had not heard about or understand the “One China Policy” and the “strategic ambiguity” that governs the relationship between China and the US over Taiwan to avoid any military escalation regarding that issue. Joe Biden, admittedly, has also muddied the waters by declaring three times that the US might have to use force to defend Taiwan if it is attacked as Ukraine was, even though he and his aides later insisted that he was not changing policy. The US, for its part, actually concedes the island is part of China, though “strategic ambiguity” has meant that Beijing has not yet sought to assert direct political control over it. Given that status and the threatening moves by Austin to protect Pelosi’s trip, one might imagine what the American reaction would be if China were openly making plans to fly its fighter jets into US airspace in order to forcibly land a senior Chinese official without an invitation from the State Department. As always, there have been other possible developments, including reports that the US-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is active in currently unstable Myanmar (Burma), fomenting trouble to distract China in its own backyard. NED is notorious for its role in regime change operations that were once the responsibility of the CIA, including the 2014 Maidan revolt in Ukraine. China is surely aware of the American involvement in regional meddling. Pushing from the other direction, North Korea is threatening to use nuclear weapons if it is attacked by the US and South Korea, which will inevitably involve China. Pyongyang was responding to reports that Seoul and Washington are planning war games that will include a “decapitation exercise” simulating the assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. On balance, the United States has little to gain and much to lose by ratcheting up the pressure on China and its leadership in an attempt to create the “Pearl Harbor Moment” so much desired by the neocons and the hardliners in government. On the contrary, Nancy Pelosi should have stayed home and the White House should be working even harder to identify and pursue those opportunities for cooperation between the two countries. The ongoing bipartisan framing of China as an enemy of both the United States and of NATO is not the way to go, as it will literally force the Chinese to respond in kind. If one considers what is going on with Russia in terms of disruption of international trade, just imagine what would happen if the world’s biggest economy in China were to begin its own round of sanctions and selective withholding of manufactured goods. And then there is the risk of igniting yet another needless war, one that also comes with nuclear weapons as a last resort if either side were to perceive that it was “losing.” It is just not worth it, is it? But then again, it never is. unz.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, China, Diplomacy, Nancy Pelosi, Taiwan]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/15/22 1:43pm
By Kit KLARENBERG By now, many will be familiar with Project MKULTRA. For decades, the CIA conducted highly unethical experiments on humans in order to perfect brainwashing, mind control and torture techniques. Perhaps the program’s most notorious aspect was the administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs to targets, particularly LSD. These substances were brought to Langley’s attention in 1948 by Richard Kuhn, one of 1,600 Nazi scientists covertly spirited to the U.S. via Operation Paperclip following World War II. When MKULTRA was formally established five years later, some individuals consulted directly on the project. The unwitting dosing of U.S. citizens with LSD is infamous; among those spiked were CIA operatives themselves. That the Agency exploited mental patients, prisoners, and drug addicts for the purpose – “people who could not fight back,” in the words of an unnamed Agency operative – is less well-known. A study by academics at the University of Ottawa’s Culture and Mental Health Disparities Lab sheds significant new light on this underexplored component of MKULTRA and illuminates a hitherto wholly unknown dimension of the program; people of color, overwhelmingly Black Americans, were disproportionately targeted by the CIA in its service. SPOKEN OF AS ANIMALS AND TREATED AS SUCH In 1973, due to fears CIA covert action might be officially audited in the wake of the Watergate scandal, then-Agency chief Richard Helms ordered all papers related to MKULTRA destroyed. Tens of thousands of documents somehow survived the purge. Even more conveniently, a significant portion of the research yielded by the project’s experiments was published in freely-accessible, peer-reviewed scientific journals, as over 80 private and public universities, prisons, and hospitals – whether knowingly or not – conducted psychedelic drug experiments on behalf of the CIA. While LSD was the preponderant substance of interest, the effects of DMT, mescaline, psilocybin, and THC were also extensively explored. In all, the University of Ottawa team analyzed 49 of these papers, published from the 1950s to the 1970s. Forty percent related to experiments conducted at the Addiction Research Center in Kentucky, which the CIA directly managed. The site included a prison for individuals charged with violating narcotics laws, a “special ward” for drug research, and a prison populated by purported “addicts.” Researchers employed there avowedly preferred to perform tests on former and current drug users, as they were considered to be “experienced” in the effects of illicit substances and therefore better able to give informed consent than the abstinent. In practice, the CIA’s guinea pigs frequently had no idea what was being administered. In analyzing available literature, the academics examined participants’ stated race and ethnicity, recruitment strategies, methodology, and potential dangers to participants. All studies used captured, incarcerated test subjects, coercive incentives for participation, unsafe dosing levels, and had questionable scientific merit. In almost 90% of cases, at least one ethical violation was identified, over three-quarters employed a high-risk dosing schedule that would be unacceptable under modern guidelines, and 15% used participants with psychotic disorders. Roughly 30% exploited people of color. While in many studies, the race or ethnicity of test subjects was not recorded, further investigation by the Ottawa academics revealed Black Americans were significantly overrepresented in the recruitment sites from which test subjects were drawn. It is inevitable that the actual number of MKULTRA studies that abused people of color is far larger. For example, while people of color constituted just 7% of Kentucky’s population at the time of experiments at the Addiction Research Center, Black and Mexican Americans represented 66% of the site’s inmate population. Culture and Mental Health Disparities Lab | University of Ottawa In any event, that people of color suffered to a far greater degree than White test subjects at the proverbial hands of the CIA is starkly set forth in the experiments’ bloodcurdling details. For instance, a 1957 study records how numerous vulnerable individuals were psychologically and physically tortured, in particular one Black participant, who was described by researchers as if he were an animal and treated accordingly. Dosed with LSD, he exhibited a “wild frightened look” and asked for “medicines to relieve his fear.” Their response was to place him in restraints and administer a further cocktail of drugs at far higher doses than other participants – whose race was not recorded – and to continue doing so against his will. Similarly, the previous year, an experiment was conducted in which Black participants were given 180 micrograms of LSD each day for 85 days, while White participants received 75 micrograms each day over just eight days. One Black subject had a “very severe” reaction to their dosage and asked to drop out of the study once they had recovered. After “considerable persuasion,” however, they agreed to continue. Undue influence was a recurrent theme identified by the academics across the papers analyzed. A variety of coercive techniques were frequently employed to solicit and maintain participation in brutal and, at times, life-threatening examinations. For example, Addiction Research Center inmates were offered a choice of reduced sentences, or drugs such as heroin, in return for volunteering. These drugs could be taken upon completion of a study or saved in a “bank account” for subsequent “withdrawals.” Test subjects almost always chose to feed their addictions rather than get out of prison earlier. ‘DR. X, THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS….’ The settings in which participants were experimented upon also differed wildly according to race – even in the same study. One in 1960 observed side-by-side the effects of LSD on a group of “Negro” men convicted of drug charges, who were dosed in a prison research ward, and another comprised of professional White Americans, who freely volunteered and received their doses in the cozy confines of the principal investigator’s home, “under social conditions designed to reduce anxiety.” Such cases give the appearance of having been expressly conducted to gauge potentially varying reactions to psychedelic drugs in Black and White participants, which raises the obvious question of whether the CIA had a specific – or indeed greater – interest in the effect of certain drugs on people of color, rather than the civilian population in general. A volunteer undergoes LSD research project at an honor camp in Viejas, California, Sept. 6, 1966. Photo | AP   Dana Strauss, who led the Ottawa University investigation, argues that the disproportionate representation of Black Americans in MKULTRA experiments, while intensely racially charged, was simply a reflection the ethnic compositions of the institutions targeted by the CIA – although she’s certain that if the Agency’s researchers did not have a readily available prison population at their disposal, they would still have opted to targeted people of color, in the manner of the Tuskegee syphilis study. As Strauss explained to MintPress: Prisons were already filled with Black bodies. They could have experimented on free individuals, but they would not have been able to get away with these kinds of experiments. There were no protections at this time for vulnerable populations such as incarcerated research participants, so the researchers could basically do what they wanted…These people were targeted for these dangerous studies specifically because they were Black and prisoners and therefore less valued.” Just as the closed environments of Nazi concentration camps permitted monsters like Josef Mengele to conduct callous, horrific experiments on humans with no regard for health or safety, so too did incarcerated and/or institutionalized people of color afford the CIA an endless supply of test subjects “who could not fight back,” to be exploited and violated however Langley wished, without scrutiny or consequence. In the process, Strauss says, researchers tested human responses to psychedelic drugs to the absolute limit. Yet while MKULTRA researchers did not quite match the evil and barbarity unleashed in Auschwitz, at least as far as we know, a comparable contempt for test subjects is evident in several studies. Such disregard may account for the wanton and excessive nature of certain experiments, which served no clear purpose and the scientific value of which was far from clear. In 1955, a team of researchers conducted a study on four schizophrenic patients at Spring Grove State Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland, a now majority Black city. The test subjects were given enormous amounts of LSD over an extended period – 100 micrograms per day for two weeks, which was increased by a further 100 micrograms daily thereafter to combat rising tolerance levels. For comparison, current psychedelic research guidelines mandate a 200 microgram dose of LSD as an absolute maximum per day, and warn against extended dosing periods. All along, the researchers monitored participants without compassion, disrespecting and dehumanizing them. Objectifying language in their resultant report reflected this depraved outlook. Their perverse voyeurism extended to observing “toilet habits” and “eroticism”, and reporting on how often the four “soiled themselves” and “smeared feces”. They also noted how often the patients “masturbated or talked about sex,” and even recorded how one patient protested desperately about their mistreatment: “Dr. X, this is serious business…we are pathetic people… don’t play with us.” “GLARING RESEARCH INJUSTICES” For Strauss, that MKULTRA’s racial component remained unacknowledged and hidden in plain sight so long “speaks to where we are as a society.” Just as CIA researchers devalued the lives of Black Americans and prison inmates, so to have academics ever since, even if unconsciously. Contemporarily, Strauss notes, scholars remain intensely uninterested in how non-White individuals respond to mental health treatments. She points to a recent study that found over 80% of participants in modern psychedelic research studies are non-Hispanic White. “Psychedelic research, psychology and academia as a whole are still White-dominated fields. In 2015, over 85% of psychologists in the U.S. were White, and less than 5% were Black. A Black psychologist, Dr. Monnica Williams, was the first to investigate the research abuses and ethical violations in MKULTRA,” Strauss tells MintPress. “I think the real question is, why didn’t anybody else investigate these glaring research injustices?” Even more shockingly, while the morality of scientists and medical professionals using inhumane and illegal Nazi research continues to be hotly debated, no such concerns are apparent in respect of the highly unethical and fundamentally racist MKULTRA studies examined by Strauss and her team; they continue to be cited as legitimate academic work today. Chemist Cecil Hider displays a sample of LSD during testimony in March 1966 about the control of hallucinogenic drugs. Walter Zeboski | AP Strauss hopes their paper will trigger a wider debate about the ways in which research abuses have impacted and continue to impact people of color and how mental health research can become more socially responsible and culturally competent. More generally, there is clearly a pressing need for an official MKULTRA truth and reconciliation committee. No CIA official or participating academic was ever held accountable or punished in any way for any of the countless crimes against humanity committed under its auspices, and the Project’s full extent remains opaque and mysterious. All the time, though, in spite of ongoing obfuscation, we learn ever more about the sinister secret program, including its overseas component, MKDELTA. In December 2021, it was revealed that for decades, the CIA had conducted invasive experiments on Danish children, many of them orphans, without their informed consent. When one of the victims attempted to access locally-held documents on the macabre connivance, authorities began shredding the papers. Questions abound as to where else in Europe the Agency may have undertaken similar efforts. Evidently, the coverup continues – suppression surely not only motivated by a reflexive desire to conceal historic crimes, but because such records may well have relevance to CIA activities in the present. As MintPress revealed in April, many of the techniques of torture and mental manipulation honed by the Agency over the course of MKULTRA’s official existence were employed to devastating effect on the inmates of Guantanamo Bay. There is no reason to believe they aren’t still in use elsewhere now or won’t be in the future. Richard Helms’ fears of congressional probes into MKULTRA eventually came to pass in 1977. Among those who testified was Edward M. Flowers, the only surviving prisoner participant of CIA mind control experiments to have been located. Flowers took part in psychedelic tests at the Addiction Research Center in the 1950s while incarcerated. While the hearings granted him a new, disquieting understanding of what had been done to him in the name of science, nothing came of it. “I really got a first-hand insight about some things when we had the hearings…I got in touch with the fact that the CIA was behind all this…They used my ass and took advantage of me,” he recalled many years later. “I went back up on The Hill a second time. I sat down with a couple of people, and they talked about some things that had to do with compensation…and that was the last I heard of it.” By contrast, in November 1996, as the furor over allegations the CIA had facilitated the sale of crack cocaine in California in order to finance covert operations in Nicaragua reached a crescendo, then-Agency chief John Deutch was compelled to field difficult questions from residents of Los Angeles about the reported conspiracy at an unprecedented face-to-face meeting. There is no reason that public outcry over the Ottawa University study’s findings could not again pressure Langley representatives to explain themselves in public. And every reason that it should. mintpressnews.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, CIA, Culture War, Narcotics, Public Health, Racism, Torture]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/15/22 1:31pm
The modus operandi of the West’s “elites” is that it’s not the truth that matters but successfully managing the hypocrisy so that it doesn’t appear too painfully obvious. Soon after Nancy Pelosi’s recent descent on Taiwan, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called out Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China, for “keeping an embarrassed silence” regarding Madame Speaker’s “brash and insolent stunt.” Burns’ silence was quite a change from a mere month back at the World Peace Forum in Beijing, where he “demanded that China stop supporting the war in Ukraine or relaying ‘Russian propaganda’.” Even more brazenly, Burns used that opportunity to flatly accuse the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson of “telling lies about American bioweapons labs, which do not exist in Ukraine.” But that was then and this is now in the West’s “rules-based order,” where each occasion requires a new set of rules. Thus, it goes without saying that, for the time being, Burns is also keeping an “embarrassed silence” about another potentially tectonic event – the latest, even more damning evidence of the work of U.S.-run biolabs in Ukraine offered by the Russian Defense Ministry on August 4, including involvement in the Covid-19 pandemic, highly suspicious U.S.-funded research of the monkeypox, West Nile fever and African swine fever pathogens, and even U.S. involvement in the death of ex-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. The reason for Burns’ silence is not difficult to discern: since the “free” Western mass media have massively ignored the latest proof that Victoria Nuland’s March reluctant admission that the U.S. was indeed running “biological research facilities” in Ukraine was just the tip of the iceberg, neither Burns nor any other U.S. official are going to do anything to force their “free” /media to even broach the subject. And now that Twitter has suspended the Russian Foreign Ministry account for daring to quote key parts of the Russian defense ministry’s sensational presentation, Burns and company dont have to say anything at all. If its memory-holed by the free social media, then it must not exist. At least until such time that it can be properly “genetically engineered” and made “safe” for consumption. That’s the modus operandi of the West’s holier-than-thou liberal “elites” – it’s not the truth that matters but successfully managing the hypocrisy so that it doesn’t appear too painfully obvious even to minds numbed by the sheer inanity of Western mainstream narratives. Or to paraphrase former Clinton advisor James Carville’s snowclone about the economy – it’s the West, stupid. They think they can do whatever they want. Perhaps we should remind ourselves of the post-Cold War Western formula announced during the heady days of the early 2000s, an era marked by another famous American political quote, Carl Rove’s “we’re an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality.” As Tony Blair’s policy adviser Robert Cooper nonchalantly put it on the pages of the London Guardian in April 2002: “The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle.” Two decades later, despite the rise of both China and Russia and the world’s inexorable evolution to multipolarity, imperial habits die hard – usually until they hit a wall of reality, as is currently happening in Ukraine and is bound to happen in Taiwan. Although, firmly caught in its Thucydides Trap, West still simply can’t help itself, as the EU’s foreign-policy chief Josep Borrel was recently forced to admit (“international politics is to a large degree about applying double standards”) while bumbling to explain the difference between the EU’s approach to Ukraine and Palestine. But back to Burns for a moment. He’s far from new in being a poker-faced double-standards enforcer. Before his present work on poking the Dragon regarding Taiwan and the Bear regarding just about everything, he distinguished himself as a partisan and apologist of NATO’s illegal aggression against Serbia and the resulting unilateral secession of its Kosovo province nine years later. Back in 2009, when he was the U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Burns explained to the media that the recognition of the independence of Serbia’s spiritual and historical cradle was in fact an expression of the U.S.’s “interest in good relations with Serbia.” It’s a safe bet that he’d be perfectly happy to express himself similarly vis-à-vis China and Taiwan should the U.S. drop all pretense and openly recognize Taipei’s secessionism. For, outside the West, it’s all still a “jungle” to Burns and his ilk, and the “natives” are to be dealt with accordingly. Thus, in Burnstalk, Pelosi’s Taiwan sojourn and pledge of continuing U.S. support for the island is actually a sign of the U.S.’s interest in good relations with China. Got it? Another of the usual Anglo-American suspects scavenging the fertile Kosovo-China-Ukraine crisis landscape is the rather ironically surnamed Englishman Geoffrey Nice, who gained international notoriety as a prosecutor of the kangaroo court officially known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), whose sole purpose was to shift the blame for the Western-inspired bloody breakup of that multinational country onto the Serbs, whose sin of being independent-minded and friendly towards Russia is irredeemable in the eyes of the (geo)political West. In addition to his unsuccessful prosecution of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, Nice’s ICTY legacy also includes being accused of having destroyed evidence related to human organ trafficking in Kosovo. Nice subsequently offered his legal services to former “Kosovo” president and KLA terrorist Hashim Thaci, one of the main suspects in not just the trafficking but the “forcible extraction” of human organs of still-living, mostly Serb prisoners, as outlined in the stunning Council of Europe 2011 report, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.” Nice’s subsequent attempt to discredit the report was, however, brilliantly dissected and exposed by American journalist Diana Johnstone as just another attempt by a representative of “self-righteous Western democracies” to reserve the privileges of a “culture of impunity” exclusively for themselves and their clients. Of course, the clients from the “jungle” still have to pay for the imperial “double standards” umbrella, so in the end Nice publicly accused Thaci of owing him “almost a half a million euros” for his work for the “Kosovo” government,. This included “help” with Thaci’s biography, which could presumably use some whitewashing from the serious charges contained in the COE report, which, along with the extraction of living human organs, also included “violent control over the trade in heroin and other narcotics.” Maria Zakharova just recently more fully described the house of horrors over which Thaci presided and whose cause Nice has taken up over the years: “Kosovo is the territory of ‘black’ transplantation. People were dissected alive, taking out internal organs for sale to those people in the West… In the West they stood in line for organ transplant operations. And they began to receive these organs when Kosovo turned into a terrible black hole in which people disappeared, who were not just killed, but killed to sell their internal organs.” In today’s postmodern, post-historical and, indeed, increasingly post-human West, active support for such unadulterated evil served as a natural recommendation and platform for Nice’s subsequent forays into both the Ukrainian conflict and China’s internal affairs. During 2020, Nice chaired something called the Uyghur Tribunal, which the BBC referred to as “independent” with a straight face. However, for those familiar with Nice’s ICTY work, it was a foregone conclusion that the entire purpose of setting up this latest in the line of Western pseudo-judicial international bodies – in the “neutral” setting of London, to boot – was to produce a pre-ordained verdict that could then be uncritically hung around China’s neck by the appropriate mass-media narrative masters. Thus, the “Tribunal” proclaimed China as “guilty” of “genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang,” using “birth control and sterilisation measures” to bring about long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations.” Naturally, the “verdict” was reached on the basis of hearsay evidence” and, in Nice’s own words, the Tribunal itself operated with “no rules of procedure,” and on the basis of “free evaluation of evidence, unrestricted by technical rules on admissibility.” In other words, it operated according to the rules of the jungle. Naturally, China rejected the “pseudo tribunal’s” conclusions, calling it a “political tool used by a few anti-China elements to deceive and mislead the public,” which was in fact putting it mildly. Now, however, as the Taiwan-related crisis develops, it’s even more obvious that the true purpose of such a “tribunal” was certainly not justice, but part of a well-organized effort to maximally discredit China as a prelude to the current escalation. And, as expected, Nicholas Burns has readily taken up the baton from Nice, recently expressing his “profound concerns” about China’s human rights record in Xinjiang. It’s a tried-and-true recipe, straight from the Nazi kitchen of repeating lies a thousand times until they are accepted as “truth” and dehumanizing the future enemy in order to better justify pre-planned aggression. Needless to say, Mr. Nice has managed to throw in his two cents’ worth regarding Ukraine as well, opining in April that Russians “could be tried for war crimes over their actions in Ukraine.” Admittedly, it might prove a bit more difficult to arrest and bring in Vladimir Putin to face Mr. Nice’s idea of “justice,” but even the most unrealistic hopes of dreamed-of regime change in Moscow, like decadent empires, also die hard. The important thing to observe is that, in Nice’s eyes, with all its biolabs, use of human guinea pigs neo-Nazi paramilitaries and use of civilians and residential areas as shields – Ukraine nevertheless “holds the moral high ground.” To paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt’s immortal words justifying U.S. support for Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, they may be sons of bitches, but they’re the West’s sons of bitches. Nicholas Burns and Geoffrey Nice are but two case studies of the type of shady figures representing the West in the current Western-induced Kosovo-Ukraine-Taiwan crisis-triangle, not only cheerleading the empire’s “SOBs” but projecting the empire’s aggressive motives onto its present and future targets. They have perfected FDR’s pragmatic approach into a dark art. One that is currently shaking the world to its foundations.

[Category: Security, War and Conflict, Biological Weapons, China, Diplomacy, Kosovo, Politics, U.S. Department of State, Ukraine, West]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/15/22 12:14pm
Alastair Crooke continues to explore the origins of concealed totalitarianism within European culture. (Part One of these two articles traced the origins of this concealed totalitarianism within European culture. This second piece takes the story and its implications further) For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all that would be. (Alfred Lord Tennyson) The Birth of Tragedy (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1872) defined the twin leaves of human Nature – its polarity – as comprising the (supposedly) Apollonian virtues of reason and order being in violent psychic opposition to the (Dionysian) chaotic forces of unleashed, primal human energy (symbolised as fire). In Nietzsche’s view (as well as for the Ancients), both poles were necessary for balance and harmony in human affairs. However, the secular erasure of transcendency, by which humankind could find meaning through uplift to a different level of ‘understanding’, simply punched the ‘on’ button to a conveyor-belt, ending in Tragedy. The tragedy then – Nietzsche’s ‘vision of the world, and all that would be’ – was that Rationality, absent a Dionysian ‘undoing’ of its sharp destructive edge, would tend to capsize into a tool which can be used for the sake of chaos and barbarism, as much as order and civilisation. He discerned that the seemingly triumphal march of European progress was heading for a cataclysmic fall. He feared an era of great wars, which – as he himself drifted into madness – may have come with the realisation that, like his illness, the madness that he diagnosed for the World was fated to run its course. A nice diversion, but what on earth has this anecdote to do with the West today? Well, a lot really. Nietzsche was the son of a Pastor (a Protestant clergyman). He was a committed missionary for universal Utopia; but since for him ‘God was dead’, he became enmaddened and more frustrated as he strived to envision how a secular Redemption of mankind could be mounted. Eventually, it pushed him over the edge into madness. His is, in a way, the story of today’s unfolding Tragedy. If the West’s ‘fall’ had its gestation in the totalitarian counter-culture of the French Revolution (see Part One), we saw its birth in the implosion of the Soviet Union. Simply, dialectic argument has a thesis and a counter-thesis which ultimately is expected to produce synthesis. So, with the Soviet Union’s implosion, the Western thesis defined in terms of its antithesis (the USSR) lost its rationale. Suddenly and dramatically, its antithesis evaporated! And with western methodological thinking’s anchor gone, triumphalist élites took flight from reality, and in a succession of missionary attempts to remake the world in their image, embraced an ideology that purports to be exactly what it is not. Or, in other words, it both proclaims liberty and the individual, whilst concealing within its language, a totalitarianism inherited from the Jacobins and the Fabian movement (see my earlier piece, Part One). The latter’s ‘shape of things to come’ (borrowed from H G Wells, 1933) and extended in the early 1900s, was to be ‘ultimate revolution’ – a last revolution amidst systemic collapse (‘last’, as everyone thereafter would be supposedly content within the controlled reality that shapes their caste). This was European nihilism collapsing toward more extreme ‘Bolshevik’-type scientific ‘reform of humanity’. How did this eerie fantasy disgorge itself into contemporary American politics? David Brooks, author of Bobos in Paradise, (himself a liberal New York Times columnist), argued that every once in a while, a revolutionary class comes into being which disrupts old structures. This new class, he avers, didn’t set out to be an élite, dominating class: It just happened. It initially was supposed to foster progressive values and economic growth. But instead, it grew like ‘topsy’ to birth resentment, alienation, and endless political dysfunction. The Bourgeois Bohemians – or ‘bobos’ – were ‘Bohemian’ in the sense of coming from the narcissistic Woodstock generation; and were ‘bourgeois’ in the sense that – post Woodstock – this ‘liberal’ class later evolved into the mercantilist top echelons of cultural, corporate and Wall Street power paradigms). Brooks admits that initially he had looked favourably on these (liberal) bobos. That, however, turned out to be one of the most naïve analysis he had written, he admits: “Whatever you want to call them, [the bobos] have coalesced into an insular, intermarrying Brahmin élite that dominates culture, media, education, and tech”. This class, who were accreting enormous wealth and were congregating into America’s large metro areas also came to dominate left-wing parties around the world that were formerly vehicles for the working class. “We’ve pulled these parties further left on cultural issues (prizing cosmopolitanism and questions of identity), while watering down or reversing traditional Democratic positions on trade and unions. As ‘creative-class’ people enter left-leaning parties, working-class people tend to leave”. These polarising cultural and ideological differences, now precisely overlay economic differences. If Republicans and Democrats talk as though they are living in different realities, it is because they are: “I got a lot wrong about the bobos”, Brooks says. “I didn’t anticipate how aggressively we would move to assert our cultural dominance, the way we would seek to impose elite values through speech and thought codes. I underestimated the way the creative class would successfully raise barriers around itself to protect its economic privilege … And I underestimated our intolerance of ideological diversity. When you tell a large chunk of the country that their voices are not worth hearing, they are going to react badly—and they have”. The bobos effectively are channelling H G Wells (1901): “It has become apparent that whole masses of human population are, as a whole, inferior in their claim upon the future, to other masses, that they cannot be given opportunities or trusted with power as the superior peoples are trusted, that their characteristic weaknesses are contagious and detrimental to the civilizing fabric”. Something changed around 2015-2016 – a reaction began. Was it the surprise election of Donald Trump? Trump was probably incidental. It was more likely the dramatic shift among American conservatives to a more liberty-oriented standing. Ron Pauls 2008 and 2012 campaigns had a lot to do with this change among Republican voters. Conservatives and liberty minded independents were returning to their foundations of small government, constitutionalism, independent thought, meritocracy and decentralization. This represents the counter-pole. It was at this point that the U.S. corporate world decided to go full bore ideological. A prescient American cultural historian, Christopher Lasch, had foreseen this. He wrote a book – Revolt of the Élite – to describe how, already in 1994, he had ‘dipt into the future’. He saw a social revolution that would be pushed to the cusp by the radicalised children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology. One of Lasch’s key points of insistence was that future young American Marxisants would substitute culture war for class war. He added that an enlightened élite (as it thinks of itself), “does not deign to persuade the majority (‘Flyover’ America) … by means of rational public debate – but nonetheless, maintains the conceit of bearing a torch for human redemption. The new élites are contemptuous of the deplorables: A tribe that is technologically backward, politically reactionary, repressive in its sexual morality, middle-brow in its tastes, smug and complacent, dull and dowdy”, Lasch wrote. This radicalism would be resisted, he predicted, but not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, somewhat counter-intuitively, would become its facilitators and financiers. No surprise then that Big Philanthropy shares the aspirations of, and funds, today’s radicals. Big Philanthropy activities today bear no relation to philanthropic tradition. Rather, the commanding heights of American philanthropy today are revolutionary, occupied, as they are, by massive, well-heeled institutions that have nothing but contempt for that traditional idea of philanthropy. Today, the belief (in the context of what is seen as failed Civil Rights and New Deal reforms), is that a revolutionary philanthropy should be deployed to “solve problems once and for all”. The ideal is to be manifest in an effort to bring about deep structural change within society, challenging what are seen to be the fundamental institutional injustices of the economic and political orders. This means shifting power once again, away from élites, ‘who were so often white and male’ and a part of society’s structural injustice – to putting Foundation wealth directly into the hands of those who have been systematically victimized. This important ideological shift needs to be absorbed: Big Philanthropy, Big Tech and Big CEOs have been with the ‘woke’ and BLM militants, and are releasing “Big Funding” (some of these foundations have resources that eclipse those of smaller nation-states). There is a multiplier effect here too, as Big Philanthropy, Big Tech and Big Biotechnology act as an interconnected network system. They are at work building a (transhumanised) tech and AI-led future, led by a ‘multicultural aristocracy’ (i.e. ‘themselves’). Part of this aggressive rotation in ‘top jobs’ can be attributed to the ESG movement (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) – a clear appendage or tool for globalist foundations like the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum. It is also referred to as ‘stakeholder capitalism’ and ‘mission related investing’ – which effectively is just another term and methodology by which all human thinking and daily behaviour can be folded into both the like-minded units of a unitary state, and for directing how businesses should behave politically. ESG, like Big Philanthropy, is about money: loans that are given out by top banks and foundations to companies that meet the guidelines of ‘stakeholder capitalism’. Companies must show that they are actively pursuing a business environment that prioritizes woke virtues and climate change restrictions. These loans are not an all-prevailing income source, but ESG loans are highly targeted; they are growing in size (for now); and they are very easy to get as long as a company is willing to preach the social justice gospel as loudly as possible. The biomedical regime that emerged in the wake of the Covid pandemic too, rested on ESG-type moral imperative. Since the early days of the pandemic, the term ‘vulnerability’, ‘solidarity’, and ‘care’ were consolidated into this ESG type, ‘collective safety’. The idea of vulnerability was nothing new. Formerly, it had been thought it was the working class that needed protection. But in line with Big Philanthropy ideology, it is identity groups, the racially marginalized and the sexually excluded who became ‘vulnerable subjects’. The narrative has been assimilated into the wider ‘sacrifice politics’ meme, whereby we are ready to sacrifice our freedoms for the lives of other people: [to] protect vulnerable groups, because that is our solidarity. Individual freedom ends, in other words, where collective freedom begins. Work life has become a constant self-sacrifice, a “walk of shame”. Ever-more absurd efforts are demanded of workers to prove themselves worthy of even having a job. Mass self-flagellation sessions at workplaces, universities and schools – anti-racism workshops, LGBTQ language-policing, ‘climate-consciousness’ trainings, all imposed from above – have become firmly entrenched rituals. No wonder, then, that a recent Lancet study of 10,000 adolescents and young adults revealed that more than half felt “sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty” about climate change. In short, people are following Nietzsche, and quietly going mad. The Establishment simply has no message for such voters in the face of coming hardship. The only vision for the future it can conjure up is Net Zero – a dystopian agenda that takes the sacrificial politics of austerity and financialisation of the world economy to new heights. There is a film about a German anthropologist who travels to Columbia, Embrace of the Serpent, set in an earlier era. In it, the explorer is in search of a rare, but celebrated Amazonian healing plant. An earlier German explorer, looking for this vital plant, set off up the Amazon, but never returned. In this true tale, the anthropologist meets a Shaman, who thinks he remembers the plants’ whereabouts. It is an arduous and perilous journey in a small canoe, made of skin, barely wide enough to sit. The Shaman, whose only possessions are a loin cloth and paddle, asks why it is that Europeans ‘have so much baggage’. It is simpler without, he suggests. Initially, the question is brushed aside, as the anthropologist heaves, sweating and dragging suitcases and boxes up waterfalls, and down daily from the overnight bivouacs to the canoe. But the Shaman keeps at him; the canoe is not stable, he insists. The German explorer then explains. Firstly, there are the diaries of his deceased predecessor’s earlier travels; he cannot lose those. Then there is his camera and photographs. Those are vital records of his journey. And his books, diaries and beloved gramophone player are equally precious. The journey lengthens, the river swirls and progress becomes hard. Then, one day, out of the blue, the Anthropologist throws one suitcase overboard. The Shaman grins. Then a pause; then another is tossed overboard. Then they all go overboard … and this time it is the European explorer who turns and grins with evident relief. As times get harder, we will see the same: the ESG will be overboard (it is already beginning). Then the woke film industry will slip under water (it is fast happening). Next will go the mandatory Critical Race and equity lectures, and who knows… even the Covid disciplines will disappear under the eddies of fast flowing water. And we all will grin, feeling a heavy weight lifted from our shoulders.

[Category: Society, Crisis, Culture War, Globalism, Ideology, Pandemic, West]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/14/22 2:10pm
Britain has played a key role in NATO forward troop deployments and training exercises on Russia’s borders. With war underway, the UK sends billions in arms, special forces, and volunteers to ensure escalation. TJ COLES In an effort to evade his domestic woes, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson—who may soon be replaced—has spent much time toing and froing to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the buffoonish British PM as one of Ukraine’s closest allies. If and when Johnson leaves office, he is tipped for a role as Ukraine Envoy. The Johnson-Zelenskyy relationship contrasts sharply with Zelenskyy’s experiences with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has warned the European Union (EU) and the US not to “humiliate” Russian President Putin and instead to seek diplomatic over military solutions to the conflict. But Johnson’s pastiche of Churchillian resolve has deeper roots in the Anglo-American alliance when it comes to Ukraine, and is heavily informed by Britain’s membership of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). His impulses are also dictated by Britain’s post-World War Two-era role in the global order: to serve the interests of the US state. From 2015 to this year, the UK has trained over 22,000 Ukrainian military personnel as part of the Maritime Training Initiative and Operation Orbital. The UK pushes Ukraine as a gateway to NATO In my book Britain’s Secret Wars, I documented how the UK spent years training the Ukrainian military, long before the 2014 coup, and even when the Ukrainian military was under the command of Russian-oriented governments. “We believe that Ukraine, as a European country, should have the right, under existing treaties, to join the EU once it has fulfilled the criteria for accession.” These are the words spoken in 2011 by Leigh Turner, Ambassador to Austria and the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Turner went on to say: “I’ve actually spent several chunks of my career in and around Central and Eastern Europe, starting off with a year in 1980 as a civil servant at the headquarters of the British Northern Army Group in Rheindahlen in Germany.” Turner continued: “We always used to joke nervously that this would be the target of the first Soviet tactical nuclear missile to launch hostilities in Europe.” Nothing quite puts you in the mood for political work like a few wisecracks about the apocalypse. Turner said that the UK should continue to focus on Ukraine as a weapon against Russia: “Ukraine could have a big demonstration effect in the region.  Indeed, there is an argument that a successful Ukraine could be a swing-state for the whole of the FSU [former Soviet Union].” “Conversely, if Ukraine fails, it would be easy for unelected or undemocratic leaders in the region to claim that ‘western’ style governance has no place around here.” Turner and his colleagues hoped that they could nudge Yanukovych in the pro-Western direction. “Before the election of President Yanukovych, he was often depicted as being ‘pro-Russian’.  This is too simple,” Turner explained before laying out the economic “reforms” being undertaken. To quicken the process, Turner saw the UK’s role as Ukraine’s gateway to NATO: to establish Ukraine as a NATO proxy but without giving it the benefits and collective protection guarantees of NATO members. As he said, “There’s a lot the UK can continue to do to work closely with Ukraine to help its armed forces to reform and to make them more capable of integrating into, and working with, NATO forces.” British proposals included appointing a special Defense Adviser, providing language training, and naval integration. Turner’s follow-up statement, also in 2011, noted that 17 staff and students from the UK Royal College of Defence Studies visited Ukraine, while 20 personnel from the Ukrainian National Defense University came to Britain. As part of so-called Partnership for Peace programmes, British paratroopers trained their Ukrainian counterparts. But according to John Kampfner, this was not enough. “When Russia invaded Donbas and annexed Ukraine in 2014, the UK was happy to fall in behind efforts by France and Germany to negotiate a settlement with Moscow and Kyiv under the Normandy Format, which ultimately failed,” writes the journalist and author, who neglects to mention why the negotiations failed. Kampfner is now Executive Director of the UK in the World Programme: a project of the Royal Institute for International Affairs think tank that seeks to formulate Britain’s neocolonial doctrines. A House of Commons research briefing states that, at the time, the EU’s major powers, France and Germany, opposed sending military equipment to Ukraine. This was in contrast to the US position under US President Barack Obama. Britain bolstered the US position while compromising with its European neighbors by sending so-called non-lethal equipment. “Win-wins for NATO” In 2015, Britain established Operation Orbital to train Ukrainian forces. From 2017 to 2020, various branches of the government, including the Foreign Office and Department for International Development (which later merged), spent over £30 million of taxpayers’ money on the so-called Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). In addition to Orbital, the funds contributed to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The House of Commons research briefing says that a year later, Ukraine and Britain signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue military training and arms exports. “In 2018 training teams consisting of Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel were deployed to deliver training to the Ukrainian Navy.” In late-2020, it was reported that 100 soldiers from the 3rd Rifles and 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 Scots) “are in Ukraine providing training to Ukrainian Force.” In 2021, the UK pledged £1.7bn in financing to support the Ukrainian Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme. In June of that year, the military contractor Babcock signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding with the UK and Ukrainian governments to regenerate Ukraine’s naval ports. “Babcock will be supported by several other companies with a strong UK presence, including MBDA, Thales, and Royal Haskoning DHV.” In August 2021, Soldier magazine reported that British forces had “been training with their Ukrainian counterparts as part of a multinational package that also involved Canadian, US and Swedish personnel.” The 400 person battle group mainly consisted of personnel from 4 Scots who were deployed to Ukraine “with the aim of developing mutual relations, joint planning and battalion and tactical operations.” The report notes how personnel practiced live-fire drills with Ukraine’s 54th Mechanized Brigade, “which has completed multiple tours in the volatile Donbas region.” Commenting on Exercise Cossack Mace, Lt. Col. Alasdair Hempenstall of 4 Scots said of his men: “They have learnt how the Ukrainians operate from a military perspective, as well as experiencing a taste of their culture and heritage.” A British Army Review publication from summer 2021 states: “Ukraine and Estonia have evolved more from support to (UK) Operations ORBITAL and CABRIT”, the UK deployment to Estonia as part of NATO’s Forward Presence. “These are also win-wins for NATO, which is coming neatly into alignment.” Lt. Col. Glen Grant (ret.) is a Riga (Latvia)-based British military advisor in Ukraine and graduate of various institutions, including the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. A Northern Ireland war veteran (i.e., counterinsurgency specialist) and military-intelligence operative in 1990s’ Bosnia and Iraq, Grant has advised most of the militaries of Eastern Europe/the Baltic and Balkans regions. Consider the background: In the 2010s, the US Agency for International Development – the State Department’s privatization and astroturf wing – helped Ukraine’s so-called Democratic Alliance; one of many groups pushing for pro-Western “reforms” and an entity prominent in the Euromaidan protests that escalated into the 2013-14 coup. One prominent Democratic Alliance leader was politician and advisor Victor Andrusiv, who went on to lead an entity called the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF), founded by figures like ex-military officer and businessman, Anatoliy Amelin, founder of one of Ukraine’s largest investment companies, Altani Capital. Another UIF founder, Taras Berezovets, is a graduate of Britain’s Royal College of Defence Studies who became head of the UIF’s National Security and Defense section. The late Oleksiy Skrypnyk was Deputy Chairman of the Permanent Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, who during the Trump years successfully “lobbied the United States to supply Ukraine with sophisticated Javelin anti-tank missiles.” Lt. Col. Grant works as a security and defense expert at the UIF, “where he is supporting the Parliamentary Defence Committee” and leads military volunteers and army officers. Grant is also a senior fellow at the Institute for Statecraft (IfS): the notorious military-intelligence front organization set up in 2005 and registered to a derelict-looking mill in Scotland. As has been well-documented elsewhere, the IfS spun out a British Foreign Office-funded organization called the Integrity Initiative, which created covert “clusters” of journalists, academics, and other anti-Russian influencers. Earlier in 2022, the UK-led Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) completed its year-long tenure as NATO’s combat corps headquarters. Training teams later deployed to Estonia and Ukraine. The ARRC also partners with the Romanian-led Multinational Corps South-East. This March, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that Britain deployed to Poland the Sky Sabre medium-range, anti-aircraft system, which consists of radar and trucks carrying missiles, including 100 personnel. Troops from the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery operate the weapon. Others from the Regiment have been at a base on Baker Barracks, Thorney Island (on the English Channel), ready to deploy to Poland. Starstreak, meanwhile, is described as a high velocity anti-craft missile, which was sent to Ukraine. “Diplomacy is the only path,” UK Defense Secretary declares while promising escalation in Ukraine In September 2021, MoD personnel met with the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), a wing of the Ukrainian military providing the umbrella for notorious battalions of neo-Nazi activists and criminal elements.  Operation Orbital’s Lt. Col. Andy Cox Deputy commander said: “We will start this work with the inclusion of NGU representatives in the training activities that are already being conducted by British instructors in some units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” Classified in the UK, the information was posted on the NGU website, prompting denials from the MoD. In February 2022, the Royal Welsh Battlegroup left its base in Germany to travel to Estonia as part of Operation Iron Surge, which included a convoy of Warrior infantry fighting vehicles and Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Other entities involved included the 1st Aviation Brigade Combat Team of the Army Air Corps. Britain’s daffy Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who later fell for a state secret-spilling prank, said: “Alongside our NATO Allies, we are deploying troops and assets on land, sea and air to bolster European defences in response to the build-up of Russian military forces on the border of Ukraine.” He added: “De-escalation and diplomacy remain the only path out of this situation,” as he continued to escalate the situation and quash efforts to negotiate a settlement. Video-prank with British Defense Minister Ben Wallace On March 17, 2022, Vovan and Lexus held a video conference with British Defense Minister Ben Wallace on behalf of Prime Minister of Denis Shmyhal. Wait for the full version of the conversation in a few days on our channel. pic.twitter.com/siq9FYKvFE — Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil (@ivan_8848) March 23, 2022 Also in February, it was reported that a team of Special Air Service (SAS) veterans who had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq were receiving money funneled through an unnamed private company via an unnamed European country. Veterans include warrant officers, sergeants, corporals, and snipers who will reportedly kill Russian spotters. The veterans are expert Javelin and Stinger missile operators, suggesting that they training the Ukrainians how to use such weapons. In addition, the US Joint Special Operations Group and SAS reportedly have an evacuation plan for high-ranking politicians, including Zelenskyy. A month later, four British soldiers went AWOL to fight Russians. This prompted an official ban on personnel traveling to Ukraine. In April, the UK hosted the Ukrainian delegation to the Salisbury Plain Training Area. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Volodymyr Havrylo, witnessed the British Army’s 3rd Division and Royal Marines demonstrating “a range of equipment and options for further military support, including defensive missile systems and protected mobility vehicles.” James Heappey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defense, confirmed that 120 armored vehicles were being manufactured/sent to Ukraine and that Ukrainian forces would be trained to use them in the UK. Special Forces arrived in Obolon, Kyiv, to train the Ukrainian 112th Battalion in how to use NLAW anti-tank missiles.  Later that month, it was alleged that around 20 sabotage experts from the SAS had arrived in Lviv, western Ukraine. The Mirror reported that a squadron of serving SAS troops in Poland trained Ukrainians in sabotage. By May, Britain had sent Ukraine 4,000 NLAWs, an undisclosed number of Javelin missiles, 3,000 sets of body armor, 2,000 helmets, and 4,000 (presumably pairs of) boots. Thousands of grenades, claymore anti-personnel devices, heavy machine guns, high-velocity sniper rifles, and 66mm anti-tank weapons had been sent via NATO countries. And by the end of that month, the UK taxpayer had forked out a stunning £2.8 billion to Ukraine in so-called aid programs and military equipment, including 6,500 anti-tank missiles. In June, reservists from the UK’s 4th Battalion, Mercian Regiment, trained with the Lithuanian Army’s Iron Wolf Brigade. The 3,500-troop exercises included forces from 14 different countries, including Ukraine. The 1st Regiment Army Air Corps provided four Wildcat helicopters. Heappey, the Under-Secretary of State for Defense, said: “The UK plans to deploy 1,050 UK Service personnel to facilitate the training of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is estimated that 900 of these will be responsible for the training aspect of the programme.” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss encourages British citizens to fight in Ukraine In October 2015, Foreign Policy reported: “When separatists started a war in eastern Ukraine, hundreds of Russians, Belarusians, and other foreigners came to Kiev’s defense. Now they’ve been abandoned.” Flash forward to the present, and the British government and elements of the media are openly encouraging volunteers to kill and die in Ukraine, even though young men are returning and warning others that they are being used for “suicide mission[s].” In April, when asked by the BBC about British people volunteering in Ukraine, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who is likely to replace Johnson as PM, said: “I do support that, and of course, that is something that people can make their own decisions about.” It was reported that Truss’s comments provoked Russia to put its nuclear weapons on high-alert. Just did a quick screen-cap of the Liz Truss interview supporting Brits going to fight in Ukraine. #UkraineRussiaWar #RussiaUkraineWar #russianinvasion Perhaps some de-badged special forces? Just sayin. pic.twitter.com/hW5sbfBN4u — Todd J Harrison  #Socialist #GTTO #ProEU #Ally (@ToddJHarrison1) February 27, 2022 The Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, immediately contradicted Truss: “We’ve been very clear that it’s unlawful as well as unhelpful for UK military and for the UK population to start going towards Ukraine in that sense.”  Johnson’s spokesperson said: “We currently advise against travelling to Ukraine.” By June, a reported 20,000 volunteers were fighting in Ukraine, of whom 3,000 were British. Up to 80 percent pass through the Georgian Legion, which operates under Ukrainian command where the volunteers are supposedly vetted. “You’re more of a hindrance than a help,” says veteran Martin Dunwoody, who went to give humanitarian aid but ended up advising the inexperienced combat volunteers he encountered. Former soldier Matthew Robinson travelled to Ukraine’s Yavoriv over the nearby Polish border in transport arranged by the International Legion. On March 9, the base was hit and 35 people killed, including three former British Special Forces operatives. Robinson trained and vetted volunteers. Ex-Royal Marine Scott Sibley died and volunteer Andrew Hill was captured and paraded on Russian TV. Aiden Aslin and ex-Royal Anglian soldier, Shaun Pinner, were captured and sentenced to death. Having fought ISIS on the side of Kurds, an alleged Conservative Councillor and city trader “Macer Gifford” (nom de guerre) went to fight in Ukraine. Exclusive Interview by Graham Philips of Aiden Aslin, a British Mercenary fighting in Ukraine against Russia, Captured in Donbass, Mariupol 1/4 on the brutal war crimes committed by Ukrainian soldiers and AZOV Battalion against Russian prisoners of war pic.twitter.com/O2kXnhWM6k — StarBoy  (@StarboyHK) April 19, 2022 Former Royal Navy engineer, “Curtis,” joined other foreign fighters via the base in Yavoriv, explaining: “There was absolutely no structure to it at all, nothing at all.” He fought in Irpin, near Kyiv City. “Most of the ex-serving, whether it’s Navy, Army, Marines, even the Air Force, some guys were there – they were within a decent age, 30 and above, but there were a lot of young guys who had never been in any serving military, had no  military training at all, kind of Call of Duty-type people.” Curtis reckoned that over 20 Britons had already died in Ukraine: “We were using essentially supermarket radios, which are not at all decent for fighting with, Russians can listen to everything we were saying and it was highlighted many times.” Anton Vybornyi, a British citizen and businessman, was pictured in Korczowa, Poland, on the border with Ukraine with his van full of military equipment. “It includes body armour” and his team, Alexei Kalmikov and Andrius Dargis. Vybornyi raised £25,000 to assist the volunteers. CONCLUSION: TRUTH IN THE RECORDS As usual, government and military records reveal the opposite of statements by politicians and their media echo-chambers about the events that precipitated the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. A British House of Commons research briefing contains a timeline which notes that in February 2019, Ukraine’s constitution was amended to set its NATO membership application into motion. In June 2020, Ukraine was granted NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status. In September, President Zelenskyy adopted a National Security Strategy, which included provision for joining NATO. In April 2021, Russia announced a troop build-up and exercises on the border. Notice the chronology. Later that month, Russia “re-deployed its forces back to their home bases.” In October of that year, the Ukrainian military used a drone in eastern Ukraine, “angering Russia.” After amassing troops on the border, Russia in December 2021 demanded security guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO. Putin then presented draft proposals to the United Nations Security Council. The House of Commons briefing makes no reference to Britain or America’s responses – or lack thereof – to the proposals. In January this year, US President Biden seemed to invite Russia’s invasion by referring to the impending events as a potential “incursion” not invasion, which Putin took to be a signal that the US would not react harshly. Another House of Commons Library research briefing states: “Russia is seeking longer term security guarantees from the Alliance that Ukraine will not be admitted as a Member State and that NATO military infrastructure will not be deployed in the country.” The briefing paper also notes that NATO had escalated around Ukraine: “NATO allies have moved to shore up the defence of eastern Europe with the deployment of additional ships and fighter aircraft to the region.” The 2014-15 Minsk Agreements remain “largely unimplemented by both sides.” The combination of hubris, intransigence and militarism reflected in these official UK documents helps explain how the stage was set for a mad confrontation between nuclear powers. thegrayzone.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Special Forces, Ukraine, United Kingdom, War]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/14/22 1:57pm
By Caitlin JOHNSTONE In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, immortal Hague fugitive Henry Kissinger says the US is acting in a crazy and irrational way that has brought it to the edge of war with Russia and China: Mr. Kissinger sees today’s world as verging on a dangerous disequilibrium. “We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he says. Could the U.S. manage the two adversaries by triangulating between them, as during the Nixon years? He offers no simple prescription. “You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose.” On the question of Taiwan, Mr. Kissinger worries that the U.S. and China are maneuvering toward a crisis, and he counsels steadiness on Washington’s part. “The policy that was carried out by both parties has produced and allowed the progress of Taiwan into an autonomous democratic entity and has preserved peace between China and the U.S. for 50 years,” he says. “One should be very careful, therefore, in measures that seem to change the basic structure.” Mr. Kissinger courted controversy earlier this year by suggesting that incautious policies on the part of the U.S. and NATO may have touched off the crisis in Ukraine. He sees no choice but to take Vladimir Putin’s stated security concerns seriously and believes that it was a mistake for NATO to signal to Ukraine that it might eventually join the alliance: “I thought that Poland — all the traditional Western countries that have been part of Western history — were logical members of NATO,” he says. But Ukraine, in his view, is a collection of territories once appended to Russia, which Russians see as their own, even though “some Ukrainians” do not. Stability would be better served by its acting as a buffer between Russia and the West: “I was in favor of the full independence of Ukraine, but I thought its best role was something like Finland.” I don’t know about you, but to me this warning is much, much more ominous coming from a bloodsoaked swamp monster than it would be from some anti-imperialist peace activist who was speaking from outside the belly of the imperial machine. This man is a literal war criminal who, as a leading empire manager, helped to unleash unfathomable horrors all around the world the consequences of which are still being felt today. And as far as you can tell from his own comments, he remains completely unreformed. “Looking back over his long and often controversial career, however, he is not given to self-criticism,” The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Secor writes. “I do not torture myself with things we might have done differently,” Kissinger tells her. So Kissinger remains an unapologetic warmongering psychopath. But if he hasn’t changed as a person, what has? Why is he now cautioning against US aggression and warning that the empire has taken things too far? Well, if Kissinger hasn’t changed, we can only surmise that it is the US empire itself that has changed. Its behavior is now so insane and illogical that it is making a 99 year-old Henry Kissinger nervous. Which, if you really think about it, is one of the scariest things you could possibly imagine. The empire’s departure from the Henry Kissinger iteration of murderous madness to its new form of insanity appears to have begun around the turn of the century, when the influx of neoconservatives into the White House combined with the jingoism which followed 9/11 to usher in an era of interventionism and military expansionism of such brazenness and recklessness that many from the old guard balked. Kissinger was supportive of the 2003 Iraq invasion, but well before it began he was already saying that he had serious misgivings about the lack of clear thinking and forward planning he was seeing on that front. The neoconservative goal of US planetary hegemony at any cost which led to that invasion (and the planning of many more) has since become the mainstream Beltway consensus perspective on US foreign policy, and it is responsible for the escalations that Kissinger is now warning about. “The PNAC plan envisions a strategic confrontation with China, and a still greater permanent military presence in every corner of the world,” wrote Michael Parenti in his 2004 book Superpatriotism. “The objective is not just power for its own sake but power to control the world’s natural resources and markets, power to privatize and deregulate the economies of every nation in the world, and power to hoist upon the backs of peoples everywhere — including North America — the blessings of an untrammeled global ‘free market.’ The end goal is to ensure not merely the supremacy of global capitalism as such, but the supremacy of American global capitalism by preventing the emergence of any other potentially competing superpower.” By “PNAC plan” Parenti means the plans of the neoconservatives behind the notorious Project for the New American Century think tank, whose unipolarist militaristic agendas they explicitly advocated. Henry Kissinger is warning about the dangers of US warmongering not because he has gotten saner, but because the US war machine has gotten crazier. That we are now hurtling toward confrontations that don’t appear rational to someone who has spent the majority of his life watching the mechanics of empire from inside its inner chambers should concern us all. When you are talking about brinkmanship between major world powers, especially nuclear brinkmanship, the last thing you need is for one of the parties involved to be acting erratically and nonsensically. We need de-escalation and detente, and we need it yesterday. If you’re too hawkish for Henry Kissinger, you’re too motherfucking hawkish. caityjohnstone.medium.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger, Imperialism, United States]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/14/22 1:38pm
Though racism should be kicked out of football, so too should the Blatters, Platinis and Zelenskys of this world who insist on Ukraines sullied flag dominating their games worldwide, Turkish football side Fenerbahce are in the soup. Football governing board UEFA have just fined them 50,000€ for chanting Putins name to antagonize rival team Dynamo Kiev. If football hooliganism is a little beneath you, let me be your guide. UEFA, like FIFA, footballs other governing body, is even more corrupt than either the Ukrainian or American regimes. That is why the 2022 World Cup is being held, sans Russia, in the bakers oven that is Qatar, whose team would be hard pushed to beat the postage stamp states of Andorra, San Marino or the Vatican, none of which are in the running to host future tournaments. It is also the reason Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, the bosses of those outfits, face trial for mass embezzlement. Footballs governing bodies are thus the last people who should be allowed to accuse anyone of anything. As regards antagonizing rival teams and supporters, as the English and Scottish leagues have just begun their seasons, teams from Lands End to John o Groats will be hurling out abuse that would make even Galatasray, Turkeys most infamous team, blush. Though chanting is, for good and just as often for bad, an integral part of the game, there is but one British team that regularly gets fined for such laddish behavior. That team is Glasgow Celtic, whose supporters regularly voice their support for Palestine, which they also generously financially support. The snowflakes of Dynamo Kiev are worth a mention. Once one of the Soviet Unions greatest teams and the inspiration for Escape to Victory and a number of other movies, this once mighty team is one of a number of Ukrainian teams that has degenerated into a recruiting ground for Azov Nazis ever since the CIAs Maidan coup. And Nazis, of course, are notoriously thin skinned and easily triggered, not least when Putin is put into the frame. Not that Dynamo Kievs Ultras will be too worried as their team won 2-1 and the tears a few hostile chants in Istanbul may cause will be forgotten as they celebrate by strapping some more undesirables to the lampposts around their stadium. Football is supposed to be the beautiful game and there is indeed some beauty in watching children adore their idols and grown men support the same team through thick and thin from childhood into old age. But the beautiful game has its dark side, not only with gangsters like Blatter and Platini but with more sinister figures like Mussolini, Hitler, Zelensky and Franco, none of whom were sportsmen of any note. Mussolini promoted the Italian national team as a means of promoting himself. Franco did something similar with the great Real Madrid teams of the 1950s and 1960s and Hitlers 1936 Olympic Games were the definitive master class in propaganda. Zelensky, alas, is left with the droppings of the Eurovision Song Contest and with the dregs of Dynamo Kievs Ultras, who spearhead a national and international network of like minded thugs one trifles with at ones peril. Although Dynamo Kievs Ultras are now preoccupied with strapping children to lampposts, in more halcyon days, they delighted in dressing up in the robes of the Ku Klux Klan to wind up blacks playing on opposing Ukrainian teams, whose supporters sported banners proclaiming the greatness of Adolf Hitler, as UEFA officials smiled benignly at their banter. Such happy days are gone, alas, like our youth too soon. Still, the innocent joys of youth must give way to the responsibilities of adulthood and the Ultras of Dynamo Kiev have now joined their fellow thugs from Shakhtar Donetsk in committing the sorts of atrocities their forefathers got up to during the Nazi occupation. And, when waxing about Ukraines footballing heritage, lets not forget Karapty Lviv, the Pride of Galica, who famously won the 1969 Soviet Cup in true Roy of the Rovers style but which has since degenerated into being the plaything of Zelenskys corrupt oligarchs and the fascist militias they control. For sport has always had a militaristic air to it, not only from ancient Olympic times but more recently when the British and French armies codified most of todays popular games and in the Second World War when the Waffen SS used sport to bond their last bunch of recruits, before sending them into the Battle of the Bulge, Hitlers last throw of the dice. Hitler is not the only buffoon who has lost big at the roulette table. Ukraines Ultras, led by the nose by Zelenskys corrupt oligarchs, now share that distinction with their Austrian idol and, though many of them have recently died fighting for the honor of Zelenskys bank balance, the tragedy is that Zelenskys backers, like Hitler at wars end, are still at large to sacrifice more innocents on the altars of their greed and their selfishness. Though football, as its best pundits continually attest, is, at heart, a simple game, because it is needlessly complicated and sullied by those gangsters who stand behind UEFA and Ukraines various fascist crews, Turks shouting support for Putin is the least of its problems. Even the Guardians Luke Harding, who is closer to the heart of Britains intelligence network than a Dynamo Kiev ultra is to the Azov criminals, has said as much, when he was forced to admit that Ukraines football fans are the dangerous, violent bunch of fascist thugs the world and its mother knows them to be. Though racism should be kicked out of football, so too should the Blatters, Platinis and Zelenskys of this world who insist on Ukraines sullied flag dominating their games worldwide, who are fine with Ukraines Ultras strapping children to lampposts, who insult and harrangue every known minority group but who throw a 50,000€ tizzy when a Turkish team most of us have never heard of wind up a bunch of traveling Ukrainian Nazis with an innocuous chant that would not pass muster on the terraces of Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool or London.

[Category: Society, Football, Racism, Sports, Turkey, UEFA, Ukraine]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/14/22 12:05pm
It isn’t often that a generation lives through a systemic breakdown crisis. It isn’t often that a generation lives through a systemic breakdown crisis. While many shallower minds are quick to lay blame to the cause of their troubles on a convenient scapegoat (1), the fact is that these sorts of systemic collapses take time and the root causes are to be found in something both more universal and more subjective. Many generations of bad ideas must be embraced without self-criticism or correction before a foolish society unwilling to break from popular delusions faces the consequence of their folly. Machiavelli once noted in his Discourses on Livy (investigating the causes of the decay and collapse of Rome published in 1517 AD) that unless a wayward republic returns to its founding principles, it isn’t long for this world. Such was the world of the late 4th century when a young Manichean teacher of Rhetoric hailing from North Africa had decided to convert to the new religion of Christianity in 386 AD under the influence of a powerful church leader named St Ambrose (340-397 AD). A World on the Brink of Collapse Even though Christianity had been adopted as a state-supported religion in 381 AD, old habits die hard, and just as the Roman elite often simply adapted their pagan rites and rituals into new Christian wineskins, the lessons of Christ were not necessarily high priorities even for many of the Roman converts within the general population who valued personal comfort and stability over the higher message of loving God and loving your fellow man as you love yourself outlined by Christ. What made this more complicated is that Rome had over-extended itself several times over and had little capability to maintain its international concessions with a capital that had long found itself addicted to ever greater spoils of pillage and slave labor from the subdued peoples of the world. The governing class, military leaders and administrative managers had all glutted themselves in a corrupt system of governance which had grown fat with lethargy and arrogance over the centuries. Amidst this decay, a growing armada of organized Germanic forces among the Goths, Huns and Visigoths were growing in influence pressing ever harder on Rome’s borders. With the death of Theodosius in 395 AD, any remnant of stabilizing influence in the Roman empire had disappeared, and the disorganized, undisciplined forces of Rome became increasingly incapable of organizing any resistance to the growing assaults of Alaric (leader of the Visigoths). After Theodosius died, Rome was divided into Eastern and Western segments with the west the least manageable. By 410 AD, the walls of the capital were breached for the first time in history and the first sacking of Rome occurred with a ferocity that none had imagined possible. From the moment of his conversion to his final breath, Augustine’s leadership skills, mastery of the Platonic method and power of rhetoric made him an organic leader within a beleaguered Church. Not only was Rome in an existential crisis on a geopolitical level, but the very church itself had faced an internal rot with splintered heresies breaking away as cults and sub-cults, each declaring themselves the one true heir to Christ’s mission. After the first sacking of Rome in 410 AD, things were looking rather bleak and the desperate population was looking for a scapegoat to absorb their hate. Were the gods punishing the people for having abandoned them when Rome stopped trying to wipe Christianity off the map and instead chose to embrace it as the official state religion? Augustine found himself doing battle with this trend and the City of God was his defense of Christianity which he began in 412 AD and finished in 426 AD. Its lessons have as much application in diagnosing today’s systemic crisis as they did 1600 years ago. Augustine’s Defense of Christianity In the City of God, Augustine described how the mob of Rome was quickly turning on the Christians in the following remarks: “Rome having been stormed and sacked by the Goths under Alaric their king, the worshipers of false gods, or pagans, as we commonly call them, made an attempt to attribute this calamity to the Christian religion, and began to blaspheme the true God with even more than their wonted bitterness and acerbity. It was this which kindled my zeal for the house of God and prompted me to undertake the defence of the City of God against the charges and misrepresentations of its assailants.” Within the City of God, Augustine argues that it isn’t Christianity that is to blame for the collapse of Rome, but rather Rome itself which had fallen from obedience to Natural Law upon whose adherence the survival of societies absolutely depends. While God allows for a certain degree of flexibility to his wayward children who fall into corruption- patience is not infinite and the disobedience to Natural law devoid of redemption can only be tolerated for so long. Citing Cicero (106 – 43 BC), Augustine’s insight into the true causes of Rome’s downfall hinged on the positive conception of a healthy society which is in harmony with the mandate of the ideal City of God. This is a society which has wisely rejected the law of “might makes right” of empire. In the case of Rome, Augustine makes the point that the seeds of her own destruction were sewn long before the birth of Christ. Even before the debauched revelries normalized under the oversight of the Roman imperial cults of the Committee of 15 which interpreted the oracular gobbledygook in the Sibylline Books of Apollo, and before the hegemony of the cults of Cybele and Mithras which saw a total collapse of the minds and morals of both Roman plebians and elites alike, and before the age of bloodlust that the coliseum’s gore entailed as “popular entertainment”, Cicero perfectly diagnosed Rome’s spiritual self-destruction in his Commonwealth. Citing Cicero, Augustine defines a healthy community saying “a community of commonwealth is not an association of units, but an association united by a common sense of right and a community of common interest”. Continuing to cite Cicero’s 64 BC opus, he writes “the morality has passed away and we are bound to be called to account for the disaster… for we retain the name of a commonwealth, but we have lost the reality long ago, and this was not through any misfortune, but our own misdemeanors”. The key moment cited by both Cicero and Augustine that saw Rome embrace her tragic destiny was located in the events surrounding the Third Punic War of 149-146 BC. How Rome Lost the Mandate of Heaven The third Punic war with Carthage was a moment not unlike the choice which the American elite made to launch into the Vietnam War and the murder of Cicero was not unlike the same decision those same elite made to stay silent and coverup the truth of John Kennedy’s murder in 1963. It also saw parallels to the collapse of Athens into empire with the judicial murder of Socrates in 399 BC and her embrace of wars with the Delian league in the 5th century BC. It was during this war that Rome’s once loyal ally Carthage found herself the target of total destruction as Roman ships landed on the coasts of today’s Libya in 149 BC. Rome’s General Scipio Aemilianus had one mission to carry out which was immortalized in his words “Carthage delenda est”… Carthage must be destroyed. The Carthaginians were desperate to avoid another war, and quickly offered to lay down her weapons and engage in terms of surrender. Sadly, their placation fell on deaf ears and the oligarchy managing Rome had decided that her large territories stretching across Africa, the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia had to be consolidated. After two years of war, Carthage’s capital was sieged, ending with every last man, woman and child killed or sold into slavery. The oligarchical system of families and cults which had once used Persia as their enforcer of global controls had found a new host on whom to exert their influence, and once-proud Roman republic was set there upon a new and darker destiny. Augustine writes: “After the destruction of Carthage and before Christ’s coming, the degradation of traditional morality ceased to be a gradual decline and became a torrential rush.” Augustine makes the point that “if the values of Christ’s teaching had been practised rather than license, Rome would be prospering. But now there is despair and even the true Christians must submit to endure the wickedness of an utterly corrupt state and by that endurance to win themselves a place of glory in that holy and majestic assembly as we call it on the Heavenly Commonwealth whose law is the Will of God”. Here it is important to note, that Augustine is not saying that Rome needed to convert to Christianity in order to be saved, for Rome did just that, and it was not saved. More important than simply being Christian in name, Augustine makes clear that Rome could have redeemed herself even before Christ was born by following the universal values contained in Christ’s teachings both on the individual level and the broader governmental level. Augustine’s City of God is in many ways his attempt to do what Plato laid out in his life’s work and especially his Republic (published in 375 BC) and also what Cicero did in his Commonwealth published in 64 BC. In both cases the great philosopher/statesmen laid out their solutions to their nations’ slide into empire. All three noted that whenever societies fall into decadence which empire entails, the love of wisdom is replaced for the love of hedonism and other ephemeral pleasures. Love of the other is replaced with love of the self and considerations of the wellbeing of the whole community are reduced to the wellbeing of the individual member with power to impose their will onto the masses. What is needed for a society to break free of the cyclical collapses which such a corrupt society is destined to face? The solution offered by Plato, Cicero and Augustine amounts to simply recognizing that government exists to advance the happiness of a people. This simple concept is much deeper than it appears. True Happiness and the Pursuit of Philosopher Kings Augustine writes “If Plato says that the wise man is the man who imitates, knows and loves God, and that participation in this God brings man happiness, what need is there to examine the other philosophers? There are none who come nearer to us than the Platonists… Plato defined Sovereign Good as the life in accordance with virtue and he declared that this was possible only for one who had the knowledge of God and who strove to imitate him; this was the sole condition of happiness.” As you can see, this idea of happiness is much higher than the lowly notion of happiness among today’s popular philosophers who attempt to define the sentiment within narrow egotistical terms of “satisfying my desire to do what I want to do”. Instead, Plato, Cicero and Augustine raise the concept along with later thinkers like Thomas More and Erasmus, to a standard of spiritual pleasure contained in the pursuit, acquisition and sharing of truth (aka: wisdom). Plato, Cicero and St Augustine All things are designed by God to have loves that are premised on their natures. Just as a plant yearns for water, nutritious soil and CO2 (sorry Greta), and just as a body yearns for food, water, warmth so too does the soul have its own loves towards which it yearns to be made more healthy. The absence of the loves of each thing cause pain, disease and decay for their subjects, and this is the case for the soul whose food is wisdom, without the which no durable happiness were ever attainable. Here Augustine notes “in all cases where love is rightly bestowed, that love is itself loved even more. For we are justified in calling a man good not merely because he merely knows what is good but because he loves the Good.” Hammering at the lessons of Paul’s 1 Corinthians 13 which emphasizes the importance of love’s substance over the mere shadows of behavior Augustine clarifies his position: “When a man’s resolve is to love God and to love his neighbor as himself, not according to man’s standards but according to God’s, he is undoubtedly said to be a man of good will, because of this love. This attitude is more commonly called ‘caritas/agape’ in holy scripture; but it appears in the same sacred writing under the appellation ‘Love’. When the apostle is giving instructions about the choice of a man to rule God’s people, he says that such a man should be a lover of the Good… There is indeed a love which is given to what should not be loved and that love is hated in himself by one who loves the love which is given to a proper object of Love. For these can both exist in the same man and it is good for man that what makes for right living should increase in him and what makes for evil should die away until he is made perfectly sound and all his life is changed into good.” This idea was expressed nearly a thousand years earlier at the other edge of the world island by none other than Confucius who wrote: “At 15 I set my heart on learning; At 30 I firmly took my stand; At 40 I had no delusions; At 50 I knew the Mandate of Heaven; At 60 my ear was attuned; At 70 I followed my hearts desire without overstepping the boundaries of right.” Even Christ’s golden rule was a focal point of Confucian thought as the old sage stated “do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you”. The Christian notion of Natural Law as outlined in Augustine’s City of God also finds its parallel expression in Chinese thought vis a vis the concept of Tianming (aka: Mandate of Heaven) whose disobedience by a ruler is sufficient cause for a people to overthrow said ruler in favor of a new government better suited to maintaining the general welfare. Although Augustine never saw the redemption of society in his lifetime, having died in 430 AD amidst a siege held by the Vandals in the former colony of Hippo located in today’s Algeria, the infusion of Augustine’s Platonic Christian outlook provided the basis for several major renaissances in the centuries after his death. A New Hope for Humanity It was a young Augustinian monk named Patrick who successfully launched a major transformation of Ireland into a Christian nation as outlined in Thomas Cahill’s ‘How the Irish Saved Civilization’ and it was an Irish Augustinian missionary named Saint Columba who finally returned to mainland Europe after several generations of war, decay and famine had reduced the continent to squalor. Starting in 565 AD, St. Columba led the largest Christianizing movement far outside the clutches of the Holy See’s control in the form of the Hiberno-Scottish mission which used Scotland as a new springboard for a mass organizing campaign across all Europe. When St. Columba arrived on the mainland in 590 AD there was very little of substance to be found within the highly fragmented world of Europe. The entire domain of the former western Roman Empire had been ravaged by territorial warlords fighting for terrain in a similar pattern that was experienced by China during the 480 year dark age that came in the wake of the Han Dynasty’s fall in 200 AD. Just as the rediscovery and application of Confucian principles animated the Tang Dynasty’s revival of the Silk Road and unification of the divided land in 680 AD, so too did the rediscovery of Plato via the Augustinian Christian movement then sew the seeds for the re-unification of Europe under the Frankish King Pepin the short and his son Charlemagne who ended the age of Europe’s warring states and established the Carolingian Empire. This story is covered extensively by Professor Pierre Beaudry in Charlemagne’s Ecumenical Principle. Among the most celebrated and widely transcribed books in Charlemagne’s court were Augustine’s City of God and On Christian Education which were read to Charlemagne extensively by the grand strategist Alcuin. Under Charlemagne, an age of internal improvements were launched the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Alexander the Great. Besides the canals, roads, schools and new cities, we also see a mass education of children, social welfare reforms, economic reforms and perhaps most importantly, peace treaties and commercial ties with the Abbasid Dynasty of Haroun al Rashid, and the northern Jewish empire of Khazaria. It was this northern kingdom that served as a key strategic gateway of the Steppes Silk Road between China and Europe. This Confucian-Christian-Muslim-Jewish alliance set an example which the oligarchy has been desperate to scrub from humanity’s collective memory for 1300 years. For anyone who thinks that this potential alliance only involved the western branch of Catholic Christianity, and ignored the eastern orthodox Christian movement dominant in the Byzantine eastern Roman Empire of the day, it is worth noting that after Charlemagne had made an important maneuver to avoid war with Byzantium in 801 AD by asking Empress Irene of Athens her hand in marriage. The fact that Irene accepted the offer at this moment presents the mind of a historian with an incredible sense of the possibilities of a world united by all major civilizations under an ecumenical alliance of cooperation. Could Christianity have re-united under a policy of cooperation with both itself and with the diverse civilizations surrounding her instead of embarking upon a new age of Balkanization within and inter-civilizational wars without? Would the leading factions of the ruling Roman oligarchical families centered in Venice, Rome and Byzantium have been able to subvert such an alliance of the forces of humanity? Sadly, with the palace coup that overthrew Irene in 802, such potentials were destroyed forever and the world will never have an answer to such questions. From Dante to the League of Cambrai Despite the eventual sabotage of the ecumenical alliance of great civilizations after the 10th century, the Augustinian current of Christianity again found its champion in the form of Dante Alighieri who did much to revive St. Augustine’s thesis in his De Monarchia published in 1312 AD. Augustinian Christian leaders around Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464 AD) organized a unification of the church during the 1438 Council of Florence (again, soon sabotaged with the 1452 destruction of Constantinople) and again Augustinian Christians regrouped and set the stage for the Golden Renaissance. It were these same leaders who organized the 1509 League of Cambrai which nearly finished the job begun by Alexander the Great by wiping the central command of the oligarchy from the face of the earth. Despite its eventual subversion, European philosophers continued to rise into positions of power who looked to Plato, Cicero, and Augustine as the basis of Europe’s moral salvation. It should be here noted that a perverse effort to restore Charlemagne’s empire in the form of an expansionist program of war and tyranny also grew across the centuries and justified the eventual creation of the European Union in the late 20th Century. This nasty movement should not be confused with the genuine heirs of Charlemagne who saw the basis of their power not on might-make-right, but on the opposing idea of right-makes-might. Among the most noteworthy of these leaders were France’s King Louis XI, England’s King Henry VII, Sir Thomas More, Erasmus of Rotterdam, King Henry IV of Navarre, Cardinal Jules Mazarin of France, Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and the great scientist/statesman Gottfried Leibniz (1649-1716). Leibniz’s Augustinian Vision On top of organizing many of the greatest reforms in administration, law and science policy within both Prussia and Russia (serving as Privy Councillor to Peter the Great), Gottfried Leibniz organized to unify the splintered branches of Christianity around a renewed Augustinian reform, and a broader age of reason by looking beyond the limits of the corrupted European courts to… China and Russia. Corresponding with leading missionaries and advisors to the Kangxi emperor of China, Leibniz created the first major journal on Chinese thought and politics called Novissima Sinica (News from China) in 1696 where he laid out his grand design writing: “I consider it a singular plan of the fates that human cultivation and refinement should today be concentrated, as it were, in the two extremes of our continent, in Europe and in China, which adorns the Orient as Europe does the opposite edge of the Earth. Perhaps Supreme Providence has ordained such an arrangement, so that as the most cultivated and distant peoples stretch out their arms to each other, those in between may gradually be brought to a better way of life. I do not think it an accident that the Russians, whose vast realm connects Europe with China and who hold sway over the deep barbarian lands of the North by the shore of the frozen ocean, should be led to the emulation of our ways through the strenuous efforts of their present ruler [Peter I].”        It is no coincidence that we find in the works of Leibniz and the Augustinian Christian movement, the key to the strategic thinking of Confucian Platonist Benjamin Franklin who applied the practical and metaphysical insights of Confucius, Christ and Plato into a new system of governance which he defined as a “science of happiness”. If you have made it this far and don’t yet see any of the keys to the salvation of our current society within the context of the rising multipolar alliance and Confucian renaissance which is animating China’s New Silk Road, I highly advise reading this essay again. The author delivered a lecture on this topic which can be viewed here: (1) be it immigrants, jews, Chinese boogeymen, Russians or right wing domestic terrorists, there are scapegoats catering to everyone

[Category: History, Christianity, Crisis, Religion, Roman Empire]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/13/22 2:20pm
It’s tempting to visualize the overwhelming collective West debacle as a rocket, faster than free fall, plunging into the black void maelstrom of complete socio-political breakdown. It’s tempting to visualize the overwhelming collective West debacle as a rocket, faster than free fall, plunging into the black void maelstrom of complete socio-political breakdown. The End of (Their) History turns out to be a fast-forward historical process bearing staggering ramifications: way more profound than mere self-appointed “elites” – via their messenger boys/girls – dictating a Dystopia engineered by austerity and financialization: what they chose to brand as a Great Reset and then, major fail intervening, The Great Narrative. Financialization of everything means total marketization of Life itself. In his latest book, No-Cosas: Quiebras del Mundo de Hoy (in Spanish, no English translation yet), the foremost German contemporary philosopher (Byung-Chul Han, who happens to be Korean), analyzes how Information Capitalism, unlike industrial capitalism, converts also the immaterial into merchandise: “Life itself acquires the form of merchandise (…) the difference between culture and commerce disappears. Institutions of culture are presented as profitable brands.” The most toxic consequence is that “total commercialization and mercantilization of culture had the effect of destroying the community (…) Community as merchandise is the end of community.” China’s foreign policy under Xi Jinping proposes the idea of a community of shared future for mankind, essentially a geopolitical and geoeconomic project. Yet China still has not amassed enough soft power to translate that culturally, and seduce vast swathes of the world into it: that especially concerns the West, for which Chinese culture, history and philosophies are virtually incomprehensible. In Inner Asia, where I am now, a revived glorious past may offer other instances of “shared community”. A glittering example is the Shaki Zinda necropolis in Samarkand. Shahrisabz. The ruins of the immense 15th century Ak Saray. In the background, Badass Timur who else? Photo by Pepe Escobar / https://t.me/rocknrollgeopolitics Afrasiab – the ancient settlement, pre-Samarkand – had been destroyed by the Genghis Khan hordes in 1221. The only building that was preserved was the city’s main shrine: Shaki Zinda. Much later, in the mid-15th century, star astronomer Ulugh Beg, himself the grandson of Turkic-Mongol “Conqueror of the World” Timur, unleashed no less than a Cultural Renaissance: he summoned architects and craftsmen from all corners of the Timurid empire and the Islamic world to work into what became a de facto creative artistic lab. The Avenue of 44 Tombs at Shaki Zinda represents the masters of different schools harmoniously creating a unique synthesis of styles in Islamic architecture. The most remarkable décor at Shaki Zinda are stalactites, hung in clusters in the upper parts of portal niches. An early 18th century traveler described them as “magnificent stalactites, hanging like stars above the mausoleum, make it clear about the eternity of the sky and our frailty.” Stalactites in the 15th century were called “muqarnas”: that means, figuratively, “starry sky”. The Sheltering (Community) Sky The Shaki Zinda complex is now at the center of a willful push by the Uzbekistan government to restore Samarkand to its former glory. The centerpiece, trans-historical concepts are “harmony” and “community” – and that reaches way beyond Islam. As a sharp contrast, the inestimable Alastair Crooke has illustrated the death of Eurocentrism alluding to Lewis Carroll and Yeats: only through the looking glass we can see the full contours of the tawdry spectacle of narcissistic self-obsession and self-justification offered by “the worst”, still so “full of passionate intensity”, as depicted by Yeats. And yet, unlike Yeats, the best now do not “lack all conviction”. They may be few, ostracized by cancel culture, but they do see the “rough beast, its hour come out at last, slouching towards…” Brussels (not Jerusalem) “to be born”. This unelected gaggle of insufferable mediocrities from von der Leyden and Borrell to that piece of Norwegian wood Stoltenberg – may dream they live in the pre-1914 era, when Europe was at the political center. Yet now not only “the center cannot hold” (Yeats) but Eurocrat-infested Europe has been definitely engulfed by the maelstrom, an irrelevant political backwater seriously flirting with reversion to 12th century status. The physical aspects of the Fall – austerity, inflation, no hot showers, freezing to death to support neo-Nazis in Kiev – has been preceded, and no Christianized imagery need apply, by the fires of sulphur and brimstone of a Spiritual Fall. The transatlantic masters of those parrots posing as “elites” could never come up with any idea to sell to the Global South centered on harmony and much less “community”. What they sell, via their Unanimous Narrative, actually their take on “We Are the World”, is variations of “you will own nothing and be happy”. Worse: you will have to pay for it – dearly. And you have no right to dream of any transcendence – irrespective if you’re a follower of Rumi, the Tao, shamanism or Prophet Muhammad. The most visible shock troops of this reductionist Western neo-nihilism – obscured by the fog of “equality”, “human rights” and “democracy” are the thugs being swiftly denazified in Ukraine, sporting their tattoos and pentagrams. The dawn of a new Enlightenment The Collective West Self-Justification Show staged to obliterate its ritualized suicide offers no hint of transcending sacrifice implied in a ceremonial seppuku. All they do is to wallow in the adamant refusal to admit they could be seriously mistaken. How would anyone dare to deride the set of “values” derived from the Enlightenment? If you don’t prostrate yourself in front of this glittering cultural altar, you’re just a barbarian set to be slandered, law-fared, canceled, persecuted, sanctioned and – HIMARS to the rescue bombed. We still do not have a post-Tik Tok Tintoretto to depict the collective West’s multi-wallowing in Dante-esque chambers of pop Hell. What we do have, and must endure, day after day, is the kinetic battle between their “Great Narrative”, or narratives, and pure and simple reality. Their obsession with the need for virtual reality to always “win” is pathological: after all the only activity they excel in is manufacturing fake reality. Such a pity that Baudrillard and Umberto Eco are not among us anymore to unmask their tawdry shenanigans. Does that make any difference across vast swathes of Eurasia? Of course not. We just need to keep up with the dizzying succession of bilateral meetings, deals, and progressive interaction of BRI, SCO, EAEU, BRICS+ and other multilateral organizations to get a glimpse of how the new world-system is being configured. In Samarkand, surrounded by mesmerizing instances of Timurid art coupled with a development boom that brings to mind the East Asian miracle of the early 1990s, it’s plain to see how the heart of the Heartland is back with a vengeance – and is bound to dispatch the pleonexia-afflicted West to the swamp of Irrelevancy. I leave you with a psychedelic sunset facing the Registan, at the razor’s edge of a new sort of Enlightenment that is leading the Heartland towards a reality-based version of Shangri-La, privileging harmony, tolerance and most of all, the sense of community.

[Category: Asia-Pacific, World, Central Asia, China, Eurasia, Heartland, Russia]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/13/22 1:06pm
By Doug CASEY International Man: Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and more than 130 countries agreed to set a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15%. What’s your take on this push for global taxation? Doug Casey: They say only two things in the world are inevitable: death and taxes. Both evils, to be avoided. With technology developing at its current pace, let’s discuss the inevitability of death another time. But, unlike death, taxes aren’t part of the cosmic firmament. They’re neither necessary nor desirable. Let’s go back to the basics, define the word in question, and look at the moral concepts that surround the subject. What is taxation? It’s actually theft. Why do I say that? If you look up the dictionary definition of theft, it says, “the act of stealing, specifically the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.” There is no clause that says, “unless you’re the government, then it’s taxation and not theft anymore.” Theft is theft, even if you and a few associates set yourselves up as the government and decide to call it something else. It’s still destructive, criminal, and immoral, even if you decide the theft is for a “good” purpose. The ideal in a moral society is voluntarism. Coercion is kept to a minimum. It certainly isn’t institutionalized and made part of the cultural fabric. If funds are needed or wanted, no one has a right to hold a gun to someone else’s head and steal them. How you think and feel about the subject of taxation is a reflection of your worldview, your ethical makeup, and your essential character. Do you prefer voluntary exchange or coercion? Of course, coercion is the essence of government. That’s why government should be limited to the greatest degree possible. In that light, it’s very disturbing that 130 national governments have already endorsed the notion of a 15% minimum tax. Why aren’t they, instead, talking about a 15% maximum tax? If this destructive idea is implemented, at best, we’re going to wind up another layer of bureaucracy to administer worldwide pork barrel spending. Those who are already rich, the politically connected, and the apparatchiks will be huge beneficiaries. Society at large will suffer a big drop in the standard of living. This trend is evil, destructive, and unnecessary. It should be fought against, not just because it will slow, distort, or even destroy the world economy. Taxes degrade everything, as does any form of theft. But taxes shouldn’t be fought with practical or economic arguments; they should be fought primarily on an ethical and a moral basis. International Man: So far, the US government hasn’t signed on to the OECD deal even though Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen has strongly supported the creation of a minimum global corporate tax rate. Do you think American companies and citizens will eventually be under the yoke of a global taxation regime? Doug Casey: Yes. There’s always been a move towards world government on the part of a certain type of person—the kind who thinks they know what’s best for everyone else. Busybodies who are willing to use force to ensure you do what they think is right. It’s a disastrous idea. These people are the enemies of individualism, liberty, free markets, and Western values in general. They’re actually antihuman. The ideal isn’t one world government but the opposite. Something as close as we can get to seven billion individual governments where everyone is self-governing. Or at least a world with thousands of small and relatively powerless states—Monacos, Lichtensteins, Dubais, and Hong Kongs. The problem is that government is about coercion, and in a peaceful civil society, you want to limit coercion as much as possible. You don’t want to elevate a local bully’s coercion up to a national level and then, God forbid, a world level. The people we now have in Washington, the Bidenistas, don’t want just a national stage; they want a world stage for themselves. People who want to control other people often start out as nobodies running for school council. Then they move up to becoming aldermen, then county commissioners, and state representatives. They’re little people with grandiose ambitions, interested in power and telling other people what to do. It’s natural that the most power-grabbing and venal types are most supportive of international tax initiatives and world government. Janet Yellen? An incompetent nothing/nobody, living proof of the Peter principle and affirmative action. In a depoliticized world, she wouldn’t have risen beyond slicing mortadella behind a deli counter. International Man: It may start as a global minimum corporate tax. However, what do you think the chances are that it will expand to a worldwide minimum income tax for individuals? Perhaps a global VAT (Value Added Tax) and wealth tax are in the cards too. Doug Casey: We have to remember that, long ago, when the US was actually an exceptional country, it had no tax. There was no national tax of any type, only import duties, and some excise taxes. Then, as the US mutated into a multicultural domestic empire, hundreds of taxes were imposed to finance it. The income tax is the biggest, of course, followed by Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. With annual Federal deficits now over a trillion and going to two or three trillion as the Greater Depression deepens, you can count on both a national VAT and a wealth tax in the US. The international agency that they’ll have to set up to monitor the proposed 15% minimum tax will be in a perfect position to push for an international income, VAT, and wealth taxes as well. The UN has been plumping for them for years. As I’ve often said, there are two types of people in the world: People who like to control physical reality and build things. And people who like to control other people. They’re the kind who go into government and push these ideas. International Man: Historically, certain jurisdictions have always been willing to accept people and companies looking to escape confiscatory taxation in their home countries. With most of the world turning into a “tax hell,” what are your thoughts on the future of tax havens? Doug Casey: It’s absolutely true that the whole world is going in the wrong direction from the point of view of individual liberty and personal freedom. There are very few places where you can hide. All the great tax havens have rolled over. Although Switzerland withstood being surrounded by Nazi Germany, it’s now little better than any other country in the world when it comes to privacy or avoiding taxes. Europe has been totally conquered by socialist and fascist ideologies. Uruguay has transformed from being the Switzerland of South America to just another little country bullied by globalists. That happened largely because of pressure from the US, Argentina, and supranational organizations like the OECD, the IMF, and the UN. The Orient is probably the healthiest horse on the way to the fiscal slaughterhouse because people there have a long-standing cultural tradition of putting their families way before their governments and viewing their governments as dangerous predators. The power grab that materialized with the COVID hysteria is very disturbing. It’s allowed the World Health Organization, the CDC, and similar bureaucracies to catapult themselves into prominence and power. There’s definitely a trend for NGOs—there are now hundreds of them—to be taken seriously and compete with governments in playing big shot. At the moment, the US is the only country in the world that taxes its citizens based on nationality, not residence. Even if an American leaves the country and never comes back, he has to file and pay income tax. It’s a huge disadvantage to be a US citizen in today’s world. But other countries—like France, Germany, and Canada seem to be moving in the same direction. The trend is not good. International Man: Ironically enough, even while the “elite” and top-level politicians promote a regime of global taxation for the plebs, they’re known to use offshore accounts to take advantage of tax havens. What do you think about this? Doug Casey: I think you’re referring to the Panama Papers scandal from about 2016. Officials from various countries were using what little remains of international privacy to shield themselves from their own governments. A word on government employees and politicians—even if they’re charming and sometimes say things that you like. They’re people who like to control other people and, as such, they are basically criminal personalities. They’re not the best and the brightest, as they portray themselves and as their lapdog media show them. They’re simply parasites who would much rather tax other people than produce real wealth themselves. They’re not your friends. We saw it most graphically in the Soviet Union. On top, you had what were known as the nomenklatura. They got all the privileges, lived in the mansions, and were, in effect, royalty. Surrounding and supporting them were the apparatchiks, who crunched the numbers, implemented the laws, and did what they were told. Nameless and soulless middle managers. In Nazi Germany, Adolf Eichmann is a perfect example—better known than a Soviet equivalent because Hannah Arendt used him to explain the banality of evil after he was hung by the Israelis. 95% of the people everywhere, however, just remain cogs in the wheel, what Marxist/Leninists like to call the “masses.” The world is moving in the direction of the old Soviet Union, although the Soviet Union itself is dead. Some of us are more independent than others, but the fact is that none of us can really survive on our own. We’re essentially herd animals, and there’s no way around it. And although technology has always been the friend of the individual in the long run—early on, any new technology tends to work against free agents. Why? Because the State gets hold of it and uses it first. Gunpowder eventually worked to liberate the individual—but not at first. So far, the issue is in doubt with the computer. On the plus side, there are things like Bitcoin. On the minus side, the computer has enabled the social credit system in China. We’re likely to see a worldwide social credit system. Maybe there will be no place to hide. On the other hand, the whole system worldwide is becoming unsustainable because of all the distortions, misallocations of capital, and antagonisms that these people and the system have created. Resentment is seething just under the surface with large numbers of people. I don’t doubt that the world is heading to a Great Reset, as those horrible people at the WEF like to term it. Maybe Covid 2.0 will set it off. Maybe the Greater Depression will. Perhaps climate change hysteria will get out of control. Maybe something resembling World War III will. Maybe mass migrations will. Maybe some population control movement will. Perhaps all these things at once. But we’re likely to have a genuine global Great Reset. Though, I don’t think the Great Reset will work out as neatly as Klaus Schwab and the Elite hope. Because if we keep moving in the current direction, civilization itself could collapse. Hopefully, it will just be a rough patch towards the continued Ascent of Man. internationalman.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Capitalism, Crisis, Economy, Great Reset, Society, Taxes]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 8/13/22 11:54am
By Matthew EHRET What unites the careers and psychological profiles of Maximilian Robespierre, Leon Trotsky, Steve Bannon and Miles Guo across space and time? The simplest answer is that all four men were used as controlled opposition designed to lead abused mobs of downtrodden civilians into a complete tearing down of power structures which were themselves targeted for annihilation by a supranational oligarchy. In this episode of The Great Game, I unpack Steve Bannon’s connection to fascist supranational intelligence operations associated with the highest echelons of the black nobility including Lord Nicholas Windsor, and the late Count Otto von Hapsburg. This story takes us into the dark story behind the fascist Pan European Movement which Hapsburg managed for over 40 years and which was founded by leading oligarch Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi in 1923. The Pan European Movement featured early members such as Benito Mussolini, Young Turk founder Alexander Helphand, financier Max Warburg, US social engineer Walter Lippmann, Roundtable leader Leo Amery and Nazi finance minister Hjalmar Schacht (to name a few). This organization was designed to promote a system of “benign feudalism” with a nationalist veneer, but in truth served as a right-wing counter-gang to the supranational League of Nations founded in 1919. We took an additional look at the deeper subversion of the french state and the murder of Ben Franklin’s leading collaborators during the dark years of Jacobin terror which opened the floodgates for pseudo fascist Napoleon Bonaparte by 1795 and the replication of this strategy of chaos in the fomentation of the neo-Jacobin terror operations of the late 19th-early 19th century led by Trotsky and Lenin who Steve Bannon has openly heralded as his role models. This entire story helps us understand the true nature of the Jesuits and earlier splintering of the church into warring factions after the League of Cambrai of 1508-1512, but also helps us better understand the role of Chinese Deep State operative Miles Gao, Falun Gong and the Epoch Times today. MatthewEhret · Controlled Opposition, Jesuits and Countergangs canadianpatriot.org

[Category: Editor's Choice, History, Leon Trotsky, Politics, Steve Bannon]

As of 8/19/22 1:53pm. Last new 8/18/22 5:25pm.

Next feed in category: Rand Infro. Ops.