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[l] at 7/1/20 2:45pm

The main peddlers of the alleged Russian-sponsored bounty-hunter scheme in Afghanistan against U.S. troops are the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. All three have excelled in publishing a series of pulp fiction-style stories over the past four years to discredit President Trump and demonize Russia.

From Russian meddling in elections to Putin having blackmail on “agent Trump” thanks to hookers in a Moscow hotel. And much more besides.

That dubious record of propaganda-as-journalism serves as foghorn alert about the latest yarn without even delving into the details.

The story “broke” on Friday with the Times claiming that anonymous “U.S. officials” informed the outlet that Russian military intelligence were paying militants in Afghanistan to assassinate American troops, and that President Trump had been briefed on the matter as far back as March but didn’t do anything about it.

In “follow-up” reports, the Washington Post and CNN are reporting that the alleged Russian bounty-hunter scheme did result in American casualties. Trump is being accused of treachery for allegedly ignoring warnings on security, and that – conveniently – piles the pressure on the White House and the Congress to get tough on Moscow.

Democrat presidential rival Joe Biden has fulminated that it is a “truly shocking” dereliction of duty by Trump whose presidency, says Biden, is “a gift” to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The Democrat vows to confront Moscow if he is elected to the White House in November.

Republican lawmakers have also jumped on the bandwagon assailing Trump for treacherous neglect over allegedly not acting on the alleged intelligence. (Apologies to readers for the repetition of “alleged”, but it is necessary for clarity and factualness.)

As the story gathers some legs, it soon runs at breakneck speed. British media reports are quoting anonymous British security officials who “confirm” that the U.S. intelligence claims about Russia bounty-hunting in Afghanistan. What’s more, the British “sources” are saying that the alleged Russian operation is being run by the same military intelligence team that allegedly organized the alleged poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March 2018.

Pulp fiction stories are thus being referenced supposedly as confirming precedents for the latest episode in Afghanistan. That’s like building an edifice from straws.

Denials and declined comments can be revealing. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the bounty-hunter reports “lies”. The Russia foreign ministry said it was an “unsophisticated fabrication”.

A spokesman for the Taliban militants in Afghanistan derided the U.S. claims, saying the militants did not need any foreign help to defeat the Americans.

President Trump in his usual fashion slammed the media reports as another “Russia hoax”. He says he was never briefed on the alleged intelligence and neither was Vice President Mike Pence of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

John Ratcliffe, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, has poured cold water on the reports, saying that Trump was not briefed.

The Pentagon, as well as the CIA and National Security Council, have declined to make any comment on the allegations.

It seems significant that the New York Times described its sources as “U.S. officials who were briefed on the matter” and not as “U.S. intelligence” sources. That way, the newspaper avoids any potentially embarrassing rebuttal from intelligence agencies. The choice of words “U.S. officials” is suitably vague and uncompromising.

A second dodgy detail is the claim that the alleged “recovery of large amounts of American cash” in a raid by U.S. special forces on some Taliban base provided the basis for the concept that Russian military intelligence was organizing the scheme for paying militants to assassinate American troops. It is also claimed that U.S. intelligence gained information on the pay-for-kill plot from “interrogation of captured militants”.

That’s an incredible admission of how poor the basis for the report and its claims are.

Seriously, finding a suitcase of U.S. dollars in a Taliban hideout is cited as implicating the involvement of Russian hit squads.

It is speculated that the Kremlin is waging a “shadow war” against the U.S. in Afghanistan as “revenge” for Washington’s sponsoring of the mujahideen forerunners of the Taliban who dealt defeat to Soviet troops during the 1980s.

A propaganda wheeze always has tell-tale gas-lighting effects whereby thoughts and speculation appear to easily (too easily) flow from one to the other as desired by the orchestrator.

What Joe Biden and others should find “truly shocking” is the flimsy detail that supposedly holds up a “blockbuster” story.

It has the hallmark of an electioneering ploy to undermine Trump’s support among rank-and-file members of the U.S. armed forces. They are seen as a bedrock for Trump votes in the November elections. What better way to alienate the military ranks than accuse Trump of turning a blind eye to intelligence reports of Russian-assisted murder of troops in Afghanistan?

On top of that, to boot, there is also the desired bipartisan outrage among Democrats and Republican lawmakers demanding more sanctions to “punish” Russia and “hold Putin to account”.

[Category: Americas, World, Afghanistan, Fake News, Propaganda, Russia, Taliban, United States]

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[l] at 7/1/20 2:00pm

There seems to be a lack of sourcing and a big whiff of politics, say former intelligence officers.

Barbara BOLAND

Abombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper’s reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow’s provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report—or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence “were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday.”

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible.“Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP” Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration’s lack of response.

“He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it,” said Bolton.

Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton’s credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump’s blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was “unconfirmed.” She didn’t say the intelligence wasn’t credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was “no consensus” and that the “veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated,” which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House’s National Security Council.

Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had “not been briefed on the matter.”

“He was not personally briefed on the matter,” she said. “That is all I can share with you today.”

It’s difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany’s statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed “American intelligence officials.” The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles “confirming” the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like “if true” or “if confirmed.”

Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based “on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals.”

That’s a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002.

“When you capture a prisoner, and you’re interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear,” he said in an interview with The American Conservative. “There’s no evidence here, there’s no proof.”

“Who can forget how ‘successful’ interrogators can be in getting desired answers?” writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

“We don’t know who the source is for this. We don’t know if they’ve been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?”

If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

With this story, it’s important to start at the “intelligence collection,” said Kiriakou. “This information… appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn’t put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB.”

“If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn’t have been briefed to Trump. It’s not vetted, and it’s not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold.”

2. What purpose would bounties serve?

Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

“He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times,” he said. “So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we’re about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?”

That’s leaving aside Russia’s own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

“These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless—our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times. “That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.”

The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting “fake news.”

While the Russians are ruthless, “it’s hard to fathom what their motivations could be” here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. “What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don’t know. I can’t string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I’m not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing.”

3. Why is this story being leaked now?

According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House “were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans” in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

This story is “WMD [all over] again,” said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President’s Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

The stories “are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans—which seems to have been the main objective,” writes McGovern. “There [Trump] goes again—not believing our ‘intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.’”

“I don’t believe this story… and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President,” said Kiriakou. “Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states.”

If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

But the timing here, “kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump,” he said. “It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did.”

The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is “tough,” which may have motivated the leakers.

It’s certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

theamericanconservative.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Afghanistan, Fake News, Mass Media, Propaganda, Russia, Taliban, United States]

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[l] at 7/1/20 1:27pm

When President Donald Trump belatedly but wisely fired John Bolton as his National Security Adviser in September 2019, I wrote in these columns that Bolton relinquished power with all the grace of a cockroach. Now, as I also predicted, he has published his memoirs turning on his benefactor with all the loyalty and gratitude of a scorpion.

There is indeed nothing unexpected whatsoever in Bolton exceptionably badly written – and yet for that very reason, extremely entertaining – new book. It certainly will go down in history as the worst written, gloriously inept and therefore unconsciously revealing American political memoir since Hillary Clinton’s account of her own hilariously bungled 2016 presidential campaign “What Happened” (which of course should have had a question mark to complete the title as Clinton revealed that she too didn’t have a clue what had really happened and why.).

For just like Clinton, Bolton is a self-absorbed, narcissistic psychopath – always the surest path to power, respect and fawning praise from the media in Washington. And unlike Kevin Spacey’s President Frank Underwood in the Netflix TV series “House of Cards,” he is an entirely unselfconscious and unaware one.

Also like Hillary Clinton (who may yet be elected President of the United States), Bolton brilliantly confirms the legitimacy of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in psychiatry. It is always the most stupid, incompetent and useless people who are the most convinced that they are the most brilliant.

Bolton’s new memoir, “The Room Where It Happened,” reflects this sublime egotistical and unimaginably narcissistic dream state from beginning to end. No title could be more inappropriate and more hilariously revealing.

For John Bolton, during his 17 months as National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, supposedly one of the most powerful and important positions on the planet, was never in The Room Where It Happened. He wa salways kicked into the nearest convenient toilet – the Room Where It Didn’t Happen. Bolton was only at the center of affairs in his own imagination: In all his career that was the only thing which never faltered, never let him down and never failed him.

But in that other dimension which the rest of humanity frustratingly and inexplicably (to Bolton) calls “The Real World,” it was a very different story.

For no National Security Adviser in U.S. history has been so un-influential and inept, and so cut out from the actual decision-making process as John Bolton.

It is wrong to suggest, as many have done, that Bolton owed his rise primarily to the Israel Lobby and the financial clout of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Without doubt they both played their part, but Bolton clearly owned his inflated reputation in Trump’s eyes to his endless appearances on the Fox News Channel. If any other human being deserves the primary blame for his bizarre rise, it is clearly the late Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News for 20 years from 1996 to 2016 who promoted him so shamelessly for so long. But even Trump quickly discovered that to be a superficially impressive talking head on a platform dedicated to promoting him, Bolton did not need to actually have a functioning brain.

Bolton’s extraordinary record of unrelieved fiasco, failure and stupidity as national security adviser was clear at the time and his memoir adds nothing new to or surprising to it.

Nor is there anything original or worthwhile in Bolton’s supposedly frank and outspoken endless insults and slanders of Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and current incumbent Mike Pompeo. All they reveal is that Bolton was bound to be an utter failure in any position of government because he could not work with or respect anyone and no one could ever trust him.

What this book does do is to reveal the Real John Bolton – an egotistical idiot who imagines that he is always right about everything and that everyone else is unimaginably stupid and inferior to him and therefore always wrong about everything.

In Bolton’s imagination the Room where he is always the Only Room That Matters. He is incapable of realizing that he has always been shunted aside into the nearest convenient lavatory so everyone else can get on with serious business.

Far from being the wisest and shrewdest of policymakers, as Bolton imagines himself to be, the value of his testimony comes because he is so stupid, so innocent and so sublimely unaware of what is really happening.

This extraordinary naiveté is what will make Bolton’s memoir of enduring significance. It is an unintentional comic masterpiece.

A thousand years from now, “The Room Where It Happened” may yet survive as a compelling explanation for why the great world-spanning American Empire collapsed so suddenly. For no society that elevates a figure of such exceptional comic ineptitude to such eminence, after swallowing the fantasy of his supposed “brilliance” for so long can possibly endure.

[Category: Americas, World, John Bolton, United States]

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[l] at 7/1/20 1:22pm

Caitlin JOHNSTONE

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News’ Freedom Watch, John Bolton and the show’s host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications, and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

“Do you really believe that?” asked an incredulous Napolitano.

“Absolutely,” Bolton replied.

“You would lie in order to preserve the truth?” asked Napolitano.

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton answered.

“Why do people in the government think that the laws of society or the rules don’t apply to them?” Napolitano asked.

“Because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the Constitution,” Bolton replied. “They are dealing in the anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

“But you took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness,” Napolitano protested. “You’re willing to do away with that in order to attain a temporary military goal?”

“I think as Justice Jackson said in a famous decision, the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Bolton said. “And I think defending the United States from foreign threats does require actions that in a normal business environment in the United States we would find unprofessional. I don’t make any apology for it.”

I am going to type a sequence of words that I have never typed before, and don’t expect to ever type again:

John Bolton is right.

Bolton is of course not right in his pathetic spin job on the use of lies to promote military agendas, which just looks like a feeble attempt to justify the psychopathic measures he himself took to deceive the world into consenting to the unforgivably evil invasion of Iraq. What he is right about is that conflicts between nations take place in an “anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

Individual nations have governments with laws that are enforced by those governments. Since we do not have a single unified government for our planet (at least not yet), the interactions between those governments is largely anarchic, and not in a good way.

“International law”, in reality, only meaningfully exists to the extent that the international community is collectively willing to enforce it. In practice what this means is that only nations which have no influence over the dominant narratives in the international community are subject to “international law”.

This is why you will see leaders in African nations sentenced to prison by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, but the USA can get away with actually sanctioning ICC personnel if they so much as talk about investigating American war crimes and suffer no consequences for it whatsoever. It is also why Noam Chomsky famously said that if the Nuremberg laws had continued to be applied with fairness and consistency, then every post-war US president would have been hanged.

And this is also why so much effort gets poured into controlling the dominant international narrative about nations like Russia which have resisted being absorbed into the US power alliance. If you have the influence and leverage to control what narratives the international community accepts as true about the behavior of a given targeted nation, then you can do things like manufacture international collaboration with aggressive economic sanctions of the sort Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently calling for in response to the the completely unsubstantiated narrative that Russia paid Taliban fighters bounties to kill occupying forces in Afghanistan.

Sen. Schumer: “We need in this coming defense bill… tough sanctions against Russia.” pic.twitter.com/L3M9hZg0Xm

— The Hill (@thehill) June 28, 2020

In its ongoing slow-motion third world war against nations which refuse to be absorbed into the blob of the US power alliance, this tight empire-like cluster of allies stands everything to gain by doing whatever it takes to undermine and sabotage Russia in an attempt to shove it off the world stage and eliminate the role it plays in opposing that war. Advancing as many narratives as possible about Russia doing nefarious things on the world stage manufactures consent for international collaboration toward that end in the form of economic warfare, proxy conflicts, NATO expansionism and other measures, as well as facilitating a new arms race by killing the last of the US-Russia nuclear treaties and ensuring a continued imperial military presence in Afghanistan.

We haven’t been shown any hard evidence for Russians paying bounties in Afghanistan, and we almost certainly never will be. This doesn’t matter as far as the imperial propagandists are concerned; they know they don’t need actual facts to get this story believed, they just need narrative control. All the propagandists need to do is say over and over again that Russia paid bounties to kill the troops in Afghanistan in an increasingly assertive and authoritative tone, and after awhile people will start assuming it’s true, just because the propagandists have been doing this.

They’ll add new pieces of data to the narrative, none of which will constitute hard proof of their claims, but after enough “bombshell” stories reported in an assertive and ominous tone of voice, people will start assuming it’s a proven fact that Russia paid those bounties. Narrative managers will be able to simply wave their hands at a disparate, unverified cloud of information and proclaim that it is a mountain of evidence and that anyone doubting all this proof must be a kook. (This by the way is a textbook Gish gallop fallacy, where a bunch of individually weak arguments are presented to give the illusion of a single strong case.)

This is all because “international law” only exists in practical terms to the extent that governments around the world agree to pretend it exists. As long as US-centralized empire is able to control the prevailing narrative about what Russia is doing, that empire will be able to continue to use the pretext of “international law” as a bludgeon against its enemies. That’s all we’re really seeing here.

medium.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, John Bolton, Propaganda, Russia, United States]

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[l] at 7/1/20 12:52pm

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”

Benjamin Franklin

July 1st is a strange day in Canada. From Pacific to the Atlantic coast, Canadians have made it an annual practice to paint maple leaves on their faces and party like there was no tomorrow.

But what exactly does this day signify?

It may be a bit of a bitter pill to swallow for some, but as I outlined in my Missed Chance of 1867, and the True Story of the Alaska Purchase, the original founding of Canada on July 1st, 1867 was designed by British Geopoliticians for the explicit purpose of keeping Canada locked into the British Empire as a wedge separating the potential U.S./Russia alliance that had the power of breaking the system of empire forever. During this 1863-1867 period, Canada’s pro-Lincoln statesmen under the influence of Les Rouges in Quebec and Isaac Buchanan in Ontario had lost their grip on power and the nation lost a vital chance of becoming a participant in a new world of win-win cooperation, rail and industrial growth outside of systems of empire.

This failure of 1867 was not the first, but rather the third time in 90 years that Canada missed its chance to break free of the Empire and become a genuine nation state.

Here, I would like to review the first of two pre-1867 “missed chances”.

1774 and the Ben Franklin Challenge

Many Canadians (and Americans) find themselves shocked when confronted with the fact that Canada’s first postal service and first newspaper were both created by… Benjamin Franklin!

Established in 1753 in Halifax as part of Franklin’s overhaul in communications infrastructure in the Americas, mail services were extended to Quebec City and Montreal after the French were defeated in the Seven Years’ War in 1763 as France’s colony north of Vermont fell to the British. Franklin had been made Post-Master General in 1753 (the same year his famous kite experiment made him an international sensation).

Montreal’s Gazette was founded by a French republican named Fleury Mesplat recruited by Franklin in order to help counteract the destructive effects the French feudal system had on the cognitive powers of the Quebec colonists whose rampant illiteracy dovetailed their non-existent appetites for representative government or freedom. In this feudal culture, blind obedience to authority (whether political or religious) was seen as preferable to thinking for oneself.

Although Franklin created these cultural milestones and was an active diplomat working to persuade the Quebecois of the importance of becoming a 14th member of the united colonies, his mission failed due to a series of bribes, acts of treason and short sighted thinking by men who should have known better. Ultimately, the Quebecois chose submission to Crown rather than risking their lives for freedom.

Before we say how and why this happened, some additional words on Franklin are necessary.

Getting to know the Real Benjamin Franklin

Despite the widespread mythology that the father of the American Revolution, Dr. Benjamin Franklin was merely a womanizing tinkerer and land speculator, the reality, upon closer inspection, is quite different.

Having become recognized as a world’s leading scientist during the 1750s for his discovery of the nature of electricity, Franklin became revered across Europe as the “Prometheus of America” (having stolen fire from Zeus to share with mankind, Prometheus was always seen as an anti-imperial figure by lovers of freedom since the time of Aeschylus). Franklin polarized the elite of the European nobility and strove to infuse a spirit of creative seeking and self improvement wherever he went by promoting industry, infrastructure and science.

His approach to indiscriminate acts of improvement were highly motivated by his early studies of a 1710 book by his mentor Cotton Mather called “Essays to Do Good” which Franklin described as “an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good, than on any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.”

For many years, Franklin was not in favor of a full revolution, but believed that it were possible to reform the British Empire (which had only recently been hijacked by the Venetian Party faction during the Glorious Revolution of 1688). During Franklin’s lifetime, the republican spirit of Thomas More, Erasmus and Shakespeare was still very much alive and it was this Promethean Christian spirit that he felt could be kindled to transform the Empire from a Satanic Hellfire Club operation into something viable and in harmony with humanity’s wellbeing (1).

This belief led Franklin to transform Britain itself through his creation of the British Lunar Society while acting representative to Britain in 1857. This group featured such scientists as Matthew Boulton, Josiah Wedgewood and Erasmus Darwin and uniquely drove the advancement of internal improvements (roads, canals, bridges, steam power, sewage etc), industrial growth and living standards in Britain.

In the 13 colonies of America, Franklin created the first fire department (1736), public library (1731), and founded the University of Pennsylvania. As a leading printer and later post-master general, Franklin knew that the American population of the 1730s did not yet have the moral or cognitive fortitude to induce a revolutionary positive change for the world and as such he created the influential Poor Richards Almanac which wrapped moral lessons and insights into poetry, science, astronomy and philosophy lessons with every single issue. This popular journal probably did more than anything else as a form of mass cultural education which empowered Americans to eventually think on a level sufficient to understand why concepts like Freedom were worth dying for (taxation without representation was merely one of 27 points enumerated in the Declaration of Independence).

In preparing the foundations for a reform of the world political-economic system, Franklin studied Chinese culture and strove to model western reforms on the best principles of Confucianism and the Chinese constitution.

Franklin applied the best techniques of satirist-republican Jonathan Swift and wrote countless hilarious essays under pen names like Silence Dogood, Martha Careful, Richard Saunders and Anthony Afterwit. He also followed Swift’s lead as he argued against British population control in his Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind. As early as 1729, Franklin codified a system of banking tied not to the worship of money or markets but rather internal improvements which argued for the creation of colonial scrip (not controlled by private central bankers). These insights would derive from his studies of Colbertist Dirigism and preceded the later work by his protégé Alexander Hamilton who established the American system of Political economy in his 1790-91 reports.

Most importantly, Franklin worked to coordinate an international network of collaborators among the enlightened intelligentsias of Russia, France, Germany, Prussia, Spain, Italy and even India and Morocco! In this way, the scientist/poet/statesman walked in the footsteps of the great Gottfried Leibniz who had attempted a similar grand design when Franklin was still a boy.

Back to Canada…

When he was still of the view that Britain could be reformed, Franklin wrote his famous Canada Pamphlets of 1760 which made the case that even though monetarily speaking it was more profitable for Britain to take France’s possessions in Guadeloupe due to the high price of sugar and rum, it was infinitely preferable to take Canada instead where potential for growth and improvement was boundless. Franklin knew the evil corruption of London and the European imperial powers (which had vast possessions in the Americas), but always believed that a united colonial republican movement could become the spark plug for an international new renaissance movement forecasted by John Winthrop’s City on a Hill vision of 1630.

This was the belief that underlay Franklin’s 1769 message to Lord Kames which has confused so many modern scholars as Franklin says:

“No one can more sincerely rejoice than I do, on the reduction of Canada and this not merely as I am a Briton. I have long been of opinion that the foundations to the future grandeur and stability of the British Empire lie in America; And though like other foundations they are low and little now, they are nevertheless broad and strong enough to support the greatest political structure that human wisdom ever erected.”

When it became clear that the British aristocracy was intent on crushing Franklin’s dreams of emancipation by the early 1770s, Franklin began devoting all of his energy towards a full revolution from the “mother country” and French Canada was always a high prize. Since British abuses of the French population ran rampant, and sympathy for the republican cause was widespread among Quebec subjects (though not the feudal elite), Franklin and others believed that Quebec’s eventual participation would not be a difficult affair.

By 1774, the British Empire pre-empted the inevitable participation by passing the Quebec Act giving an unprecedented array of religious freedoms to Quebec’s population which were always fearful of losing their Catholic traditions. These freedoms came however, at the cost of unquestioned loyalty to the Crown, and to accept never having representative government (only Crown appointees). The Jesuit-run clergy elite were overjoyed to keep their hold on the population, tithes and still enjoy revenue of the human cows on their lands. As an additional insurance, the Church under the control of Bishop Briand ensured that any subject who joined Washington’s rebellion would be excommunicated on the spot and thus burn in hellfire for eternity!

Ordering all parishes to accept the reign of King George, Bishop Briand stated:

“The God of armies…who extends or restricts at his pleasure the boundaries of empires, having by his eternal decrees put us under the domination of his Britannic Majesty, it is our duty, based on natural law, to be interested in all that concerns him. We order you to submit to the king and to all those who share his authority.”

A particularly dangerous part of the Quebec Act was the extension of Quebec’s Crown-controlled lands down into the Ohio River fully encircling the 13 colonies and making them subject to non-linear attacks by Jesuit-run natives. While the native population was highly wronged by all sides at different times during this conflict but the British and Jesuit collaborators used the most refined techniques of manipulation and have to the present day. The caging of the colonies onto the Pacific Coast was a far sighted maneuver to subvert the mandate of the “Continental” Congress whose name implied it’s larger goal.

On October 26, 1774 a Letter to the Inhabitants of Quebec was sent from the Continental Congress extolling the population to join in the declaration of independence and unite with the 13 colonies. While the whole letter should be read in full, it ended with this call:

“We only invite you to consult your own glory and welfare, and not to suffer yourselves to be inveigled or intimidated by infamous ministers so far as to become the instruments of their cruelty and despotism, but to unite with us in one social compact, formed on the generous principles of equal liberty and cemented by such an exchange of beneficial and endearing offices as to render it perpetual. In order to complete this highly desirable union, we submit it to your consideration whether it may not be expedient for you to meet together in your several towns and districts and elect Deputies, who afterwards meeting in a provincial Congress, may chose Delegates to represent your province in the continental Congress to be held at Philadelphia on the tenth day of May, 1775.”

The British and their French collaborators ensured that hardly any of these letters would be permitted into Quebec, and sadly for the hundreds that did arrive, the rate of illiteracy among the feudal population made it nearly impossible for most to read or understand it. Despite this problem, several hundred did risk perpetual hellfire and joined the revolutionary cause under the leadership of Clement Gosselin (later known as Washington’s French-Canadian Spy).

The Last Attempt: Franklin in Canada

The last effort to convince Quebec to join came a year later, as a delegation led by an aging Ben Franklin made their way to Montreal where they stayed for two weeks from April 29- May 6, 1776. The Continental Congress gave Franklin the following instructions:

“Inform them that in our Judgment their Interest and ours are inseparably united. That it is impossible we can be reduced to a servile Submission to Great Britain without their sharing in our Fate; and on the other Hand, if we obtain, as we doubt not we shall, a full Establishment of our Rights, it depends wholly on their Choice, whether they will participate with us in those Blessings, or still remain subject to every Act of Tyranny, which British Ministers shall please to exercise over them. Urge all such Arguments as your Prudence shall suggest to enforce our Opinion concerning the mutual Interests of the two Countries and to convince them of the Impossibility of the War being concluded to the Disadvantage of the Colonies if we wisely and vigorously co-operate with each other.

“To convince them of the Uprightness of our Intentions towards them, you are to declare that it is our Inclination that the People of Canada may set up such a Form of Government, as will be most likely, in their Judgment, to produce their Happiness; and you are in the strongest Terms to assure them, that it is our earnest Desire to adopt them into our Union as a Sister Colony, and to secure the same general System of mild and equal Laws for them and for ourselves, with only such local Differences, as may be agreeable to each Colony respectively.”

A rampant smallpox outbreak among American soldiers in Montreal (via the British spread of germ-infested blankets), mass demoralization and news of an oncoming British counterattack to regain control of Montreal put an end to that effort and Franklin returned to America empty handed.

The rest they say is history.

How the International Revolution was Subverted

While the French feudal elite were soon joined by a new set of United Empire Loyalists who left America after the Revolutionary War to establish English-speaking Canada, some traitors remained behind in the United States where they passed themselves off outwardly as friends of the revolution but always maintained a secret allegiance to the City of London and the system of hereditary powers antagonistic to the Principles of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

These traitors fomented the growth of a perverse form of manifest destiny which abolitionists like Franklin, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, Gouvernor Morris, Robert Morris, etc… fought tirelessly against throughout their lives. These traitorous bigots made every effort to spread slavery, destroy native Americans while subverting the true heritage of the republican cause from within.

One notable early representative of this group killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804 and set up the Bank of Manhattan establishing Wall Street as a City of London tentacle within America itself where this proto-deep state remained in power for the next 250 years.

In France, Ben Franklin’s allies led by Marquis Lafayette and Jean-Sylvain Bailey found their noble republican efforts of 1789-90 sabotaged by a color revolution in the form of the Bloody Jacobin terror coordinated by London’s Foreign Office and which I outlined in a recent paper: The Jacobin Terror (Just Another Color Revolution?).

In Canada, the British Foreign Office instituted a form of government which gave some limited elected positions to the plebians in 1791 but ensured that all actual power remained firmly in the hands of appointees of the Crown. During the post-1791 years, local oligarchies formed under the Family Compact of Upper Canada and the feudal elite of the Church in Lower Canada who collaborated closely in an unholy alliance. Their efforts were always driven by the need to keep the nation “un-American” by ensuring that the lands remain under-developed, the economy remain cash cropping as “hewers of wood and drawers of water”, and the population docile, ignorant and malleable.

In spite this perversion of history, growing poverty and injustices did induce a movement of resistance which began to take the form of republican “patriot movements” under the leadership of William Lyon Mackenzie in Upper Canada and Louis-Joseph Papineau in Lower Canada- both of whom would come to a head in the Rebellions of 1837-38 (aka: the second missed chance).

*The author wrote a larger series of studies under the title “Origins of the Deep State in North America parts 1-3 and an even fuller picture of this story is told in The Untold History of Canada.

(1) Franklin’s deployment as a counter-intelligence spy into the London Hellfire Clubs in the 1730s as part of Cotton Mathers’ battle against the empire is told in Graham Lowry’s How the Nation Was Won (1630-1754)

[Category: History, Benjamin Franklin, British Empire, Canada]

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[l] at 7/1/20 12:15pm

The 2020 election is sure to have a global impact on NATO’s future. Watch the video and read more in the article by Matthew Ehret.

[Category: British Empire, History, NATO]

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[l] at 6/30/20 2:00pm

New revelations now appearing in the German press via a chief suspect raise a number of alarming questions about how the British police and the journalists who worked alongside them were complicit in a Portuguese cover-up.

German prosecutors claims to hae the culprit of the kidnapping and possible murder of the most famous case of a missing person ever, Madeleine McCann – who was just three years old when she disappeared in a Portuguese family holiday resort in 2007.

A convicted paedophile, Christian Brueckner, who has a history of sex offender’s charges, drug dealing, theft and rape and is reported to be linked to a number of missing children across Europe, looks like the perfect culprit. But as from the very beginning of the case, governments are not being honest about what they know and what they are covering up in a depraved game of international politics, which protects inept or corrupt police officers and only fuels speculation for years ahead – ensuring that the case becomes fiction, like a conspiracy theory, rather than a real, up and running missing person’s case.

Indeed, until now, the case has been polarised by two distinct theories. One is abduction, from an assailant who entered the holiday flat probably looking to burgle; the other is simply that no such abduction took place because the McCanns themselves covered up the accidental death of their own daughter.

The Portuguese, since the beginning, have stuck fervently to the former, in support of their leading investigator, while a growing number of journalists and conspiracy theorists lean towards the McCann culpability – especially given the opaque facts about Madeleine’s whereabouts in her last hours, the inconsistency of witness statements and the proximity of the McCann’s to former UK prime minister Gordon Brown.

But now the Germans have a new lead, which breathes new life into the former theory of abduction.

They are being very cagey about giving details, just stating that they believe Brueckner is guilty and that they also believe Maddie is dead. It’s a curious way to proceed and has set many speculating why they should choose such a strategy – rather than opt to cooperate with the Portuguese or British police. Holding back info and continuing with forensics, gives them the legal basis to work in Portugal, it might be argued, rather than sharing evidence which would then give new impetus to the Portuguese case.

Indeed, even more confusing is the stoic statement from the Germans that they are sure Madeleine is dead – which is then accompanied by an appeal with a reward offered to those who can come forward with information leading to her whereabouts. Or indeed, that their accusation against Brueckner is followed by statements in the German press that he is shortly due to be released from prison.

“Perfect suspect”

Accompanying the reports in the German press are others which focus on a key witness who was a friend of Brueckner, who stayed with him in Portugal and was recently interviewed in Austria by authorities there. This, in turn, has thrown a spotlight for journalists back on the original bumbling Portuguese policeman, who admitted that Brueckner was not pulled in for questioning, although colleagues made a half-hearted attempt to knock on his door to find him. It’s a startling revelation of incompetence given that Goncalo Amaral, also admits that Brueckner was known to them for a previous sex office against a teenager. Amaral, who was ultimately taken off the case, believed fervently that there was no abduction and that Madeleine’s parents had covered up her accidental death. He was ultimately sued for defamation by the McCann’s but still clings on to this notion even today and struggles to contain his loathing for them as irresponsible parents. Curiously though, while Brueckner seems the perfect fit for the Madeleine abduction, Amaral seems to be the apt choice for an incompetent police officer to mess up a case. If corruption in Portugal is the heart of the Maddie case, then it fits perfectly that those with power would choose a fool to run to investigation. It’s pretty standard procedure. In the UK, the Lord Lucan enquiry in 1974 was headed by an apparently stupid detective, who was never expected to gather evidence against the upper-class freemason but more bungle the case from day one, which he managed to do, admirably.

Amaral even alludes to corruption on both a Portuguese and German level, now in retirement which throws up more questions. In an interview he hints that there is a bigger game of international corruption going on as he doesn’t believe that Brueckner is really guilty of Maddie’s disappearance. He calls him the perfect a “perfect suspect. All that’s lacking for him to become the perfect suspect is for him to be dead.”. Focus is put again on a VW camper van owned by Brueckner and believed to have been critical to finding evidence. Astonishingly, Amaral accuses the Portuguese authorities themselves of deliberately photoshopping out distinctive markings on the VW van, which would have certainly led witnesses to contact the police immediately after the abduction in May 2007 when the photo was circulated.

Amazingly, recent reports have also surfaced of satellite photos showing the van, the day after the abduction, being parked at Brueckner’s previous home, which he left months earlier. The police were believed at the time to have done a cursory search of the property but it is believed that well shafts were not checked. Why did Amaral return to the property which he has left in a hurry previously, presumably after not paying rent after a six month spell in prison had led him penniless and a stash of stolen passports were also taken by a friend who found them hidden their while Brueckner was inside? Could it have been to dump a body or to place Maddie in the house, locked in a room?

Neither investigators nor journalists looked at such evidence at the time, but focused on the histrionics of the Portuguese investigation, the accusations levelled against the McCanns, the wrongful arrests, the red herrings and the international politics of how Portugal and the UK could not work together.

Was corruption a factor on the Portuguese side? Did its government want the whole thing covered up and buried so as to not disrupt the EU’s Lisbon Treaty being agreed by EU governments, including Britain? And the fact that it took a media campaign in Britain in 2011 to force David Cameron to investigate the Portuguese police findings?

Long road trip

How did Brueckner escape detection in such a small place? There is no evidence to suggest that he fled, indeed, a short while after the abduction – around three weeks – his friend at that time tells Austrian police that Brueckner drives an American camper van to a location in Southern Spain.

Michael Tatschl, a carpenter and a former convict who went to jail in Portugal with Brueckner, tells Austrian police that he moved to a villa near Andalusia and that Brueckner arrived with the huge camper, just a matter of days after the Maddie abduction. Tatschl’s testimony should not be taken as the whole truth as, now that Brueckner has a media spotlight on him for Madeleine, it would be normal that the Austrian carpenter would want to point the finger for the first time. And Tatschl does that certainly, accusing Brueckner straight out of being a paedophile who was easily capable of stealing a little girl with further claims that Brueckner dreamt of making a million dollars by selling children to criminal gangs in Morocco.

Was Tatschl an accomplice? Has he moved quickly to accuse Brueckner to provide a ring of respectability around himself of someone who claims to have not realised that he was sharing a house with a maniac paedophile? Or is it that he assumed that Brueckner travelling to Spain to visit Tatschl would be unearthed sooner or later?

Indeed, British journalists and even police, who completely missed Brueckner in their investigations, are still not putting the pieces together. As with all witnesses, especially criminals, there is always some truth buried in the labyrinth of lies. A number of key elements to Tatschl’s claims need to be examined.

  1. Why did Brueckner acquire a massive American RV camper van and drive to Tatschl in Spain?
  2. Why did Brueckner on the day after Maddie’s abduction, change the registration details in Germany of a Jaguar car he owned?
  3. Why did Portuguese police not do a thorough search of Brueckner’s house, even if he wasn’t there when they came?
  4. Why did it take until now for a satellite image of Brueckner’s van to emerge as evidence?
  5. The Morocco angle – just a distraction?
  6. And perhaps crucially, were British police told about Brueckner in the days after?

This last point is a bombshell, which none of the UK dailies want to tackle as it risks putting their own relationships in peril with cops, if it turns out that British police knew. In 2007, there was no British police investigation but we can assume there was some contingent of communications between Portugal and Britain on the case – as British cops were allowed to propose questions to suspects via the Portuguese. If Brueckner’s arrest in Portugal was registered on an EU database, then there was nothing stopping British police in the UK searching for known child sex offenders in the area.

What sticks out is, in fact, British police did know about Brueckner. In fact, in 2007 and later in 2018, they were aware of Brueckner. In 2007 if British cops knew of Brueckner, then why did a number of astonishing events which followed Maddie’s death, not raise alarm bells?

The circumstances, for example, of why and how Brueckner travels to visit his friend near Andalusia, where he stays with him for a number of days. Why drive the ridiculously large RV van when the four-hour journey could have been done in more comfort with the Jag, unless of course he was hiding something in the RV?

The Morocco file

According to the Daily Mail, Tatschl himself unwittingly provides the answers. He says that Brueckner needed him as his friend who “had connections” in the criminal underworld. Tatschl also speaks about Brueckner talking of selling children to gangs in Morocco. The Morocco element is important as Tatschl may well have been Brueckner’s link to the criminal world to sell all of his stolen loot, everything from passports to expensive watches which he robbed from holiday homes in the region. Did Tatschl pay Brueckner with hashish which he himself acquired off criminal gangs in Spain? When talking about criminal gangs in Spain, we are, of course talking about the Morocco network which has been installed in Marbella for decades and has expanded its business from merely hashish to trafficking and even gun running. All roads lead to Marbella and Moroccan gangs.

The Moroccan side to this investigation is both a scapegoat to corrupt police officers like Amaral, but also perhaps part of its truth. In November 2007, I was living in Morocco and was called by a UK tabloid editor to tell me that the newspaper – along with others – had gone alone with the “Maddie kidnapped by child sex ring in Morocco” lead, which was based on a very dubious testimony of an unemployed single Moroccan mother who claimed she saw Maddie in Northern Morocco and a very dodgy photo acquired by El Mundo.

Where did this Moroccan lady live? Marbella. Was she paid to go to Morocco and contact the press with this story as a smoke screen to divert the attention away from Iberia? Or was it a Moroccan gang which was jealous of another one and wanted to incriminate their competitors?

I tried in vain to convince the editor and subsequently the journalist that the blond baby story was false and offered my services as a researcher or translator. They were flatly rejected as the story had already been written in London before the journalist arrived. All he had to do search for people to corroborate it. Of course, he failed as, although Morocco has sex rings, has even sex trafficking by criminal gangs, any evidence to support that Moroccan gangs trafficked European kids back into Morocco, was unheard of; most of the “sex trafficking” was with young Moroccan girls being forced into being maids, where they were sexually abused. The UN, the State Dept and others have pointed out in various reports however that there is some evidence of young girls being forced into sex slavery for rich clients in Gulf Arab countries.

But the tabloid went even further with its ludicrous claims and suggested that Maddie had been sold to penniless peasants for a few coins to live her early days on the back of a woman working in the fields. You couldn’t make it up and I’m only glad that the journalist turned down my offer, as the tabloid man made it all up, actually. My protestations to the editor was backed up months later by the McCann’s own investigator who came on the wild goose chase here in Morocco only to discover hundreds of blond kids on the backs of women. And so the Morocco lead was buried.

But perhaps it shouldn’t have been so quickly dismissed.

Since Tatschl’s evidence which spoke of Brueckner’s wishes to work with gangs in Morocco, police and journalists should pause and ponder the Maghreb. It is almost certain that Tatschl was working with Moroccans in Spain and where he was living was only 1.5-hours drive to Marbella, their epicentre of criminality and debauchery. Is Tatschl panicking and worried that German police will discover that in fact, Brueckner, delivered Maddie to him in return for a large quantity of hashish, for which he would sell on as part of his regular occupation in Praia da Luz? Is this why Brueckner made the long journey and in the absurdly huge RV? If we are to assume that Maddie is still alive and not dead as Brueckner insists, then it is far from far-fetched to assume she could have been sold to a Moroccan gang in Marbella who would sell her on to a contact in the Middle East. She would have almost certainly been drugged. It is my own research into such gangs I discovered they had a prolific competence and understanding of a myriad of modern day drugs, even using some which wipe the victim’s memory clean, leaving him unable to testify against others.

The Morocco angle is viable and should be examined by UK police. Or was it already and deemed too sensitive? Unbeknown to tabloid journalists from the UK who come here on awaydays, British secret service officers have excellent relations with Moroccan gangs running hashish shipments between Morocco’s Mediterranean coast and Spain’s – due largely to the worry in London that the same channels will be exploited for narcotics from south America, arms, explosives and people trafficking. It really wouldn’t take anything for UK security services to use their connections with gangs in Marbella to find out if a three year-old was sold to the Gulf States in 2007. And why hasn’t Tatschl been interviewed by UK police? The real story of Madeleine McCann is that British media doesn’t have the journalists with the requisite skills to investigate on the ground, and both UK and Portuguese police forces seem determined not to find her abductor.

[Category: Society, Criminal, Journalism, Morocco, Portugal, United Kingdom]

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[l] at 6/30/20 1:30pm

James BOVARD

President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands charged Thaci and nine other men with a “war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.” Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” and the indictment involved “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.” But the American media’s ludicrous bias and/or incompetence on that war continues. The New York Times responded to Thaci’s indictment with a tweet declaring that “Serbia’s leader was indicted for war crimes.”

Hashim Thaci’s tawdry career illustrates how anti-terrorism is a flag of convenience for Washington policymakers. Prior to becoming Kosovo’s president, Thaci was the head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), fighting to force Serbs out of the Kosovo. In 1999, the Clinton administration designated the KLA s “freedom fighters” despite their horrific past and gave them massive aid. The previous year, the State Department condemned “terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.” The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden.

But arming the KLA and bombing Serbia helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many shameless members of Congress anxious to sanctify U.S. killing. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CN) whooped that the United States and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.” And since Clinton administration officials publicly compared Serb leader Slobodan Milošević to Hitler, every decent person was obliged to applaud the bombing campaign. (Alexander Cockburn was one of the few journalists who condemned the unjust war at the time; this 1999 Los Angeles Times column set the gold standard for calling out Clinton’s BS on Serbia.)

Both the Serbs and ethnic Albanians committed atrocities in the bitter strife in Kosovo. But to sanctify its bombing campaign, the Clinton administration waved a magic wand and made the KLA’s atrocities disappear. British professor Philip Hammond noted that the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorize the country into surrender.” NATO repeatedly dropped cluster bombs into marketplaces, hospitals, and other civilian areas. Cluster bombs are anti-personnel devices designed to be scattered across enemy troop formations. NATO dropped more than 1,300 cluster bombs on Serbia and Kosovo and each bomb contained 208 separate bomblets that floated to earth by parachute. Bomb experts estimated that more than 10,000 unexploded bomblets were scattered around the landscape when the bombing ended and maimed children long after the ceasefire.

In the final days of the bombing campaign, the Washington Post reported that “some presidential aides and friends are describing Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” The Post also reported that according to one Clinton friend “what Clinton believes were the unambiguously moral motives for NATO’s intervention represented a chance to soothe regrets harbored in Clinton’s own conscience…. The friend said Clinton has at times lamented that the generation before him was able to serve in a war with a plainly noble purpose, and he feels ‘almost cheated’ that ‘when it was his turn he didn’t have the chance to be part of a moral cause.’” By Clinton’s standard, slaughtering Serbs was “close enough for government work” to a “moral cause.”

Shortly after the end of the 1999 bombing campaign, Clinton enunciated what his aides labeled the Clinton doctrine: “Whether within or beyond the borders of a country, if the world community has the power to stop it, we ought to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing.” In reality, the Clinton doctrine was that presidents are entitled to commence bombing foreign lands based on any brazen lie that the American media will regurgitate. In reality, the lesson from bombing Serbia is that American politicians merely need to publicly recite the word “genocide” to get a license to kill.

After the bombing ended, Clinton assured the Serbian people that the United States and NATO agreed to be peacekeepers only “with the understanding that they would protect Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians and that they would leave when peace took hold.” In the subsequent months and years, American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serb civilians, bombing Serbian churches and oppressing any non-Muslims. Almost a quarter-million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Mr. Clinton promised to protect them. By 2003, almost 70 percent of the Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999 had fled, and Kosovo was 95 percent ethnic Albanian.

But Thaci remained useful for U.S. policymakers. Even though he was widely condemned for oppression and corruption after taking power in Kosovo, Vice President Joe Biden hailed Thaci in 2010 as the “George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe report accused Thaci and KLA operatives of human organ trafficking. The Guardian noted that the report alleged that Thaci’s inner circle “took captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.” The report stated that when “transplant surgeons” were “ready to operate, the [Serbian] captives were brought out of the ‘safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.”

Despite the body trafficking charge, Thaci was a star attendee at the annual Global Initiative conference by the Clinton Foundation in 2011, 2012, and 2013, where he posed for photos with Bill Clinton. Maybe that was a perk from the $50,000 a month lobbying contract that Thaci’s regime signed with The Podesta Group, co-managed by future Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, as the Daily Caller reported.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo where a statue of him was erected in the capital, Pristina. The Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.” It would have been a more accurate representation to depict Clinton standing on a pile of corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

In 2019, Bill Clinton and his fanatically pro-bombing former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, visited Pristina, where they were “treated like rock stars” as they posed for photos with Thaci. Clinton declared, “I love this country and it will always be one of the greatest honors of my life to have stood with you against ethnic cleansing (by Serbian forces) and for freedom.” Thaci awarded Clinton and Albright medals of freedom “for the liberty he brought to us and the peace to entire region.” Albright has reinvented herself as a visionary warning against fascism in the Trump era. Actually, the only honorific that Albright deserves is “Butcher of Belgrade.”

Clinton’s war on Serbia was a Pandora’s box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and most of the media portrayed the war against Serbia as a moral triumph, it was easier for the Bush administration to justify attacking Iraq, for the Obama administration to bomb Libya, and for the Trump administration to repeatedly bomb Syria. All of those interventions sowed chaos that continues cursing the purported beneficiaries.

Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush’s conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America’s political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?

counterpunch.org

[Category: Editor's Choice, Bill Clinton, Interventionism, Kosovo, Mass Media, Serbia, Terrorism, Yugoslavia]

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[l] at 6/30/20 12:27pm

On June 15th, Breaking Defense headlined “Japan Halts $2.1B Aegis Ashore Work; New Black Eye For Struggling Program” and reported that Japan’s defense minister, Taro Kono, announced: “Due to considerations of cost and timing, we have stopped the process of introducing the Aegis Ashore system.” This is the Lockheed Martin anti-ballistic-missile system that the U.S. is installing at many places surrounding Russia in order to be able to eliminate or at least greatly reduce Russia’s ability to strike back effectively against the U.S. and its allies if and when the U.S. decides to culminate its U.S. strategic objective called “Nuclear Primacy,” which is for America to achieve and execute the ability to ‘win’ a nuclear war against Russia by eliminating or neutralizing Russia’s ability to strike back effectively against a sudden blitzkrieg nuclear first-strike attack by the U.S. Eliminating the ability of Russia’s nuclear weapons to leave Russian airspace (this Aegis Ashore “missile shield” destroying the retaliatory weapons) is a crucial aspect of America’s Nuclear Primacy plan, in order to use America’s nuclear arsenal for the purpose of winning a nuclear war against Russia, instead of for any purpose of preventing a nuclear war against Russia.

In 2006, the mega-strategy of Nuclear Primacy was announced in America’s two most influential journals of international relations: Foreign Affairs, from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security, from the Belfer Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Goverment at Harvard University. This meta-strategy is a replacement of the long-standing “Mutually Assured Destruction” or “MAD” meta-strategy that the concept of “nuclear deterrence” was based upon. Nuclear Primacy aims for victory, not for peace. It was presented in both journals as being not only a realistic goal but a desirable goal, though the authors did acknowledge that this meta-strategy would require bold American leadership in order to culminate (i.e., to conquer Russia and subsequently control the entire world without any possibility of resistance).

Japan’s reversal of its commitment to be part of this plan is significant, and not only because Japan’s cancellation would negatively affect decisions of America’s other allies to stay with the U.S. in its plan to conquer Russia, but also because Japan actually has more reason to protect itself against North Korea than to protect itself against Russia. In fact, if the United States nuclear-blitzes Russia, then both North Korea and China might be very unpredictable, and maybe Japan would be safer as a neutral nation.

Furthermore, on 1 March 2017, three of America’s leading physicists and experts on nuclear weapons, Hans Kristensen, Matthew McKinzie, and Theodore Postol, published a study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which concluded that.

This vast increase in US nuclear targeting capability, which has largely been concealed from the general public, has serious implications for strategic stability and perceptions of US nuclear strategy and intentions.

Russian planners will almost surely see the advance in fuzing capability as empowering an increasingly feasible US preemptive nuclear strike capability — a capability that would require Russia to undertake countermeasures that would further increase the already dangerously high readiness of Russian nuclear forces. … [And this technological capability that the U.S. has] creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

What was remarkable is that this statement came from America’s experts, not from Russia’s.

Moreover, since that time, America has unilaterally terminated almost every nuclear arms control agreement it had had with Russia and its predecessor Soviet Union. This too is consistent with America’s objective being to develop a crushing nuclear advantage against Russia so as to place itself in a position to dictate terms of surrender.

The Breaking Defense article noted that, “The $2.1 billion program had been sputtering even before Kono’s announcement, after Tokyo said last month it would scrap the Akita [Prefecture] system in the wake of sustained local protests against it,” and stated that two other planned sites for the Aegis Ashore systems, the ones in Poland and Romania, were running behind schedule and over budget.

America’s adoption of the Nuclear Primacy meta-strategy (aiming for nuclear-weapons victory) replacing its prior MAD meta-strategy (aiming for nuclear-weapons balance and international peace) might even be an extension of America’s actual meta-strategic intention regarding nuclear weapons during the pre-1991 overt and ‘ideological’ (communism versus capitalism) Cold War against the Soviet Union. For example, an indication of this intention was America’s public refusal to accept as being anything other than ‘communist tricks’ the repeated efforts by the Soviets to restore the U.S.-U.S.S.R. joint national-security cooperation that had existed when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was America’s President. America’s responses during the post-World-War-II period were insults, instead of to welcom the Soviet proposals and work behind the scenes with them to obtain progress toward the type of world order, global cooperation, that FDR had intended — a world order which he intended would be policed by the United Nations, not by the United States. For example, on 19 September 1959 at the U.N. General Assembly, the Soviet Representative headlined “Declaration of the Soviet Government on General and Complete Disarmament” and presented a series of proposals including:

https://undocs.org/A/4219

“Declaration of the Soviet Government on General and Complete Disarmament”

September 19, 1959

P. 14:

The Soviet Government proposes that the programme of general and complete disarmament should be carried out within as short a time-limit as possible — within a period of four years.

The following measures are proposed for the first stage:

The reduction, under appropriate control, of the strength of the armed forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China to the level of 1.7 million men, and of the United Kingdom and France to the level of 650,000 men;

The reduction of the armed forces of other states to levels to be agreed upon at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly or at a world conference on general and complete disarmament;

The reduction of the armaments and military equipment at the disposal of the armed forces of States to the extent necessary to ensure that the remaining quantity of armaments corresponds to the level fixed for the armed forces.

The following is proposed for the second stage:

The completion of the disbandment of the armed forces retained by States;

The elimination of all military bases in the territories of foreign States; troops and military personnel shall be withdrawn from the territories of foreign States to within their own national frontiers and shall be disbanded.

The following is for the third stage:

The destruction of all types of nuclear weapons and missiles;

The destruction of air force equipment;

The entry into force of the prohibition on the production, possession and storage of means of chemical and biological weapons in the possession of States shall be removed and destroyed under international supervision;

Scientific research for military purposes and the development of weapons and military equipment shall be prohibited;

War ministries, general staffs and all military and paramilitary establishments and organizations shall be abolished;

All military courses and training shall be terminated. States shall prohibit by law the military education of young people.

In accordance with their respective constitutional procedures, States shall enact legislation abolishing military service in all of its forms — compulsory, voluntary, by recruitment, and so forth. …

(4) Conclusion of a non-aggression pact between the member States of NATO and the member States of the Warsaw Treaty;

The U.S. response came a few months later at the “Conference of the Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament”:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/documents/library/conf/TNCD-PV6.pdf

“Conference of the Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament”

22 March 1960

Final Verbatim Record of the Sixth Meeting

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

P. 36:

Mr.  Eaton (United States of America): I have no intention of entering into this discussion on foreign bases. I think the discussions that we have had here this morning have indicated that we shall run into political problems at the very earliest stage, problems on which earlier conferences have foundered. I would only say that the forces of my Government are only employed outside my own country and within my own country for the purpose of defending both ourselves and those of our allies who wish to be associated with us, who welcome our troopos as a part of theirs and as a part of the allied defences, and for no other reason. Whenever the time comes when these troops need not be employed, for defensive puroses only, there need be no doubt in gthe mind of anyone here that those forces will be withdrawn.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/documents/library/conf/TNCD-PV46.pdf

“Conference of the Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament”

24 June 1960

Final Verbatim Record of the Forty-Sixth Meeting

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

  1. 4:

Mr. Nosek (Czechoslovakia): What did Mr. Eaton propose? He proposed the introduction of control measures. … exclusively with measures of control, that is with the old and well-known requirement of the United States — the introduction of control over armaments. Apparently with a view to misleading world public opinion, which requires a concrete discussion of general and complete disarmament, the United States representatives are beginning to prefer — for tactical reasons — to call those measures not “partial measures” but “initial steps” on the road to general and complete disarmament under effective international control.

https://b-ok.cc/book/5398150/073f73

“The United Nations and Space Security: Conflicting Mandates”

P. 17:

This [obfuscation and evasion by the U.S.] ultimately led to the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania not attending the 48th meeting of the Ten-Nation Committee, which signalled the end of these discussions in the Committee.

Who benefited from America’s refusal even to discuss what had been U.S. President FDR’s aim for the post-WW-II world? The beneficiaries are what Eisenhower when leaving office on 17 January 1960 called the “military industrial complex” (which he had actually served as President though he publicly condemned it in his Farewell Address) and these beneficiaries are basically America’s hundred largest military contractors, especially the owners of the largest weapons-manufacturing firms such as Lockheed.

So, America’s being controlled by its MIC might have long preceded merely 2006.

In any case, the possible withdrawal of Japan from its existing anti-Russian alliance with the U.S. could turn out to be yet another indication, beyond merely such phenomena as America’s performance regarding the coronavirus challenge and other factors, which might indicate that The American Century is in the process of ending.

[Category: Arms Control, Security, Arms Race, Japan, Missile defense, Nuclear Weapons, United States]

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[l] at 6/30/20 11:58am

Caitlin JOHNSTONE

All western mass media outlets are now shrieking about the story The New York Times first reported, citing zero evidence and naming zero sources, claiming intelligence says Russia paid out bounties to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan for attacking the occupying forces of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. As of this writing, and probably forevermore, there have still been zero intelligence sources named and zero evidence provided for this claim.

As we discussed yesterday, the only correct response to unsubstantiated claims by anonymous spooks in a post-Iraq invasion world is to assume that they are lying until you’ve been provided with a mountain of hard, independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The fact that The New York Times instead chose to uncritically parrot these evidence-free claims made by operatives within intelligence agencies with a known track record of lying about exactly these things is nothing short of journalistic malpractice. The fact that western media outlets are now unanimously regurgitating these still 100 percent baseless assertions is nothing short of state propaganda.

The consensus-manufacturing, Overton window-shrinking western propaganda apparatus has been in full swing with mass media outlets claiming on literally no basis whatsoever that they have confirmed one another’s “great reporting” on this completely unsubstantiated story.

We have confirmed the ⁦@nytimes⁩ scoop: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan. From ⁦@nakashimae⁩ ⁦@missy_ryan⁩ me and ⁦@shaneharrishttps://t.co/R9tQf89L7G

— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) June 27, 2020

“The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have confirmed our reporting,” the NYT story’s co-author Charlie Savage tweeted hours ago.

“We have confirmed the New York Times’ scoop: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan,” tweeted The Washington Post’s John Hudson.

“We matched The New York Times’ great reporting on how US intel has assessed that Russians paid Taliban to target US, coalition forces in Afg which is a pretty stunning development,” tweeted Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Lubold.

All three of these men are lying.

John Hudson’s claim that the Washington Post article he co-authored “confirmed the New York Times’ scoop” twice uses the words “if confirmed” with regard to his central claim, saying “Russian involvement in operations targeting Americans, if confirmed,” and “The attempt to stoke violence against Americans, if confirmed”. This is of course an acknowledgement that these things have not, in fact, been confirmed.

The Wall Street Journal article co-authored by Gordon Lubold cites only anonymous “people”, who we have no reason to believe are different people than NYT’s sources, repeating the same unsubstantiated assertions about an intelligence report. The article cites no evidence that Lubold’s “stunning development” actually occurred beyond “people familiar with the report said” and “a person familiar with it said”.

The fact that both Hudson and Lubold were lying about having confirmed the New York Times’ reporting means that Savage was also lying when he said they did. When they say the report has been “confirmed”, what they really mean is that it has been agreed upon. All the three of them actually did was use their profoundly influential outlets to uncritically parrot something nameless spooks want the public to believe, which is the same as just publishing a CIA press release free of charge. It is unprincipled stenography for opaque and unaccountable intelligence agencies, and it is disgusting.

“The Washington Post and the WSJ were called up by the same unnamed ‘officials’ as we were.
They were told the same evidence free fairytale.
Their stenographers, like ours, wrote it dutifully down.
All of us proudly published it!”#confirmation https://t.co/bEZ2OYgsxb

— Moon of Alabama (@MoonofA) June 27, 2020

None of this should be happening. The New York Times has admitted itself that it was wrong for uncritically parroting the unsubstantiated spook claims which led to the Iraq invasion, as has The Washington Post. There is no reason to believe Taliban fighters would require any bounty to attack an illegitimate occupying force. The Russian government has denied these allegations. The Taliban has denied these allegations. The Trump administration has denied that the president or the vice president had any knowledge of the spook report in question, denouncing the central allegation that liberals who are promoting this story have been fixated on.

Yet this story is being magically transmuted into an established fact, despite its being based on literally zero factual evidence.

Outlets like CNN are running the story with the headline “Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops”, deceitfully presenting this as a verified fact. Such dishonest headlines are joined by UK outlets like The Guardian who informs headline-skimmers that “Russia offered bounty to kill UK soldiers”, and the Murdoch-owned Sky News which went with “Russia paid Taliban fighters to attack British troops in Afghanistan” after “confirming” the story with anonymous British spooks.

Western propagandists are turning this completely empty story into the mainstream consensus, not with facts, not with evidence, and certainly not with journalism, but with sheer brute force of narrative control. And now you’ve got Joe Biden once again attacking Trump for being insufficiently warlike, this time because “he failed to sanction or impose any kind of consequences on Russia for this egregious violation of international law”.

You’ve also got former George W Bush lackey Richard Haas promoting “a proportionate response” to these baseless allegations.

Russia is carrying out covert wars vs US troops in Afghanistan and our democracy here at home. A proportionate response would increase the costs to Russia of its military presence in Ukraine & Syria and, using sanctions & cyber, to challenge Putin at home. https://t.co/c0Mc7sLriO

— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) June 27, 2020

“Russia is carrying out covert wars vs US troops in Afghanistan and our democracy here at home,” Haas tweeted with a link to the New York Times story. “A proportionate response would increase the costs to Russia of its military presence in Ukraine and Syria and, using sanctions and cyber, to challenge Putin at home.”

Haas is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, a wildly influential think tank with its fingers in most major US news outlets.

And indeed, the unified campaign to shove this story down people’s throats in stark defiance of everything one learns in journalism school does appear to be geared toward advancing pre-existing foreign policy agendas which have nothing to do with any concern for the safety of US troops. Analysts have pointed out that this new development arises just in time to sabotage the last of the nuclear treaties between the US and Russia, the scaling down of US military presence in Afghanistan, and, as Haas already openly admitted, any possibility of peace in Syria.

“This story is published just in time to sabotage US-Russia arms control talks,” Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp noted on Twitter. “As the US is preparing for a new arms race — and possibly even live nuclear tests — the New York Times provides a great excuse to let the New START lapse, making the world a much more dangerous place. Russiagate has provided the cover for Trump to pull out of arms control agreements. First the INF, then the Open Skies, and now possibly the New START. Any talks or negotiations with Russia are discouraged in this atmosphere, and this Times story will make things even worse.”

“US ‘intelligence’ agencies (ie, organized crime networks run by the state) want to sabotage the (admittedly very inadequate) peace talks in Afghanistan,” tweeted journalist Ben Norton. “So they get best of both worlds: blame the Russian bogeyman, fueling the new cold war, while prolonging the military occupation. It’s not a coincidence these dubious Western intelligence agency claims about Russia came just days after a breakthrough in peace talks. Afghanistan’s geostrategic location (and trillions worth of minerals) is too important to them.”

We’re seeing in real time how Western intelligence agencies are derailing peace talks aimed at ending the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan.

First anonymous US spies spread this rumor. Now anonymous European spies are doing the same. And the corporate media eats it up like candy https://t.co/l6Rze37MZx

— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) June 27, 2020

All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

medium.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Afghanistan, Mass Media, Propaganda, Russia, War]

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[l] at 6/30/20 11:42am

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is no longer united, as most recently illustrated by the vastly dissimilar tactics to control the Covid-19 pandemic taken by England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This follows the differences of opinion in each region concerning the disastrous Brexit decision to quit the European Union, as Scotland, for example, strongly supported remaining in the EU, and now 51 percent of Scots have indicated they would vote for independence from Britain — if they were permitted to have a vote on the matter. The citizens of Northern Ireland indicated their preference to remain in the EU by a majority of 56% to 44% and although 52.5 per cent in Wales voted to leave, there has been growing realisation that Brexit is a potential economic disaster, and in June the Welsh government announced that it will campaign for the UK to remain in the EU.

There is no unifying influence being exerted by the central government in London, which is obsessed with severing all ties with the EU. Indeed it was reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared yet again that the finalisation of Brexit would mark a moment of “national renewal,” after which the UK would be “a great European power, and truly global in our range and ambitions.”

Yet on June 24, when the Guardian newspaper interviewed David Sassoli, the president of the European parliament, who had been video conferencing with Johnson and the presidents of the European commission and European council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, he said “we are very worried because we don’t see great enthusiasm from the British authorities and we don’t see a strong will to get to an agreement that satisfies all parties.”

The Europeans’ reaction to London’s posture is entirely understandable, because the government of the UK (as we may still refer to it, for convenience) is inflexible concerning the UK’s negotiating stance, which is uncompromisingly superior and appears to stem from the belief that Britain is the more important party and the EU must therefore bend to its will. The government in London ignores the fact that it was the UK that demanded to leave the European Union and that the EU therefore owes it nothing.

Originally, it was possible there could be an extension of the Brexit transition period beyond December 31, 2020, meaning that negotiations could continue until mutually-beneficial compromises were reached, but on June 15 the British side pulled the plug and declined to extend the transition. The result of that decision is that if there is no agreed solution by the end of this year, there will be a “no-deal” Brexit and all agreements will be annulled. Unfortunately, it is apparent that the government could not care less about this outcome and that many British citizens are unaware of the consequences, which promise to be calamitous.

The conviction that Britain can be “a great European power” is the base, the essence, of the strange manifestation of national superiority that has led the UK to its present parlous condition. But it has to be realised by Britain that it is a middle-ranking economic and military “power” whose recent performance concerning control of the Covid-19 crisis has given no cause for optimism. As The Economist headlined on June 20, “The British state shows how not to respond to a pandemic. It faced difficult circumstances. And has so far failed to rise to them.” The response to a no-deal Brexit will be equally lamentable.

The Financial Times notes that the UK has “the Brexit delusion of taking back control” but that the European Union had “no significant influence over the UK’s spending on (or policies towards) health, education, housing, pensions, welfare, infrastructure, culture or, for that matter, defence and aid.” In short, the absurd nationalistic slogans that encouraged the British people to distrust and even hate the European Union had no basis in fact, but were designed specifically as part of the Vote Leave campaign in order to whip up antagonism towards a valuable trading partner.

Independent international analyses have shown that post-Brexit consequences for Britain will be economically damaging. For example, the RAND Corporation’s assessment is that “The failure of the UK to achieve an open trading and investment with the EU post-Brexit would have negative implications for the UK and EU” and if there is a ‘no-deal’ then “trading under World Trade Organisation rules would reduce [the UK’s] future GDP by around five per cent ten years after Brexit, or $140 billion, compared with EU membership.” This is fair warning of disaster, one would think, especially when the chief executive of the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told the BBC on June 23 that “It is vitally important that the government achieves its ambition, which is a trade agreement before the end of the year” — but if there is no deal, then UK car manufacturers could not afford to pay import tariffs on foreign components, as the cost would be more than their profit margin.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association Fact Sheet is concise in stating that “The impact of a no-deal Brexit on the automobile industry would be potentially catastrophic. There is no other industry that is more tightly integrated than the European automotive industry, with highly complex supply chains stretching across Europe and production relying on ‘just-in-time’ delivery.” Chaos looms. And not only in the massive car manufacturing and distribution industry, but right across the board.

The UK publication The Week points out that, for the moment, trade between the UK and EU is tariff-free, “But the Confederation of British Industry predicts that no-deal would mean that 90% of the UK’s goods exports to the EU would be subjected to tariffs.” On June 17 the British Parliament’s research and information service published ‘Statistics on UK-EU trade’ which among other things stated that “the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2019, UK exports to the EU were £300 billion (43% of all UK exports).”

In spite of the black clouds of impending doom, the government in London continues to ignore the imminent economic catastrophe, and is spending 40 billion pounds (50 billion dollars) on building four Dreadnought nuclear weapons submarines. It is notable that studies by the independent Nuclear Information Service indicate that the UK defence ministry’s (MOD) estimates are incorrect and that the true cost is in the region of £172 billion, but no matter the number of billions the stark fact is that Britain cannot afford to indulge itself in operating a nuclear weapons force and should concentrate on solving its enormous economic problems. The country’s government is existing in a world of fantasy in which, for example, the defence minister announced that “wherever I go in the world I find that Britain stands tall.” He believes that “Brexit has brought us to a moment. A great moment in our history. A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass”, which is not only a delusion but a most dangerous military mindset. (And imagine the hysteria if such a policy had been declared in Moscow or Being.)

The British government should concentrate on uniting its own country, engaging with the European Union in order to maintain existing favourable trade agreements, and cancelling the grandiose and preposterously expensive nuclear submarine project. It owes this to the British people who are watching their country reeling in disorder and facing a dreadful decline.

[Category: Europe, World, Brexit, European Union, Pandemic, Scotland, United Kingdom]

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[l] at 6/29/20 1:15pm

The 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade took place in Moscow’s Red Square on June 24, 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of both the capitulation of Nazi Germany in the Second World War and the historic Moscow Victory Parade of 1945. Some of the military equipment were demonstrated to the broad public for the first time ever. Below is a brief guide to these magnificent first-timers.

[Category: INFOGRAPHICS, History, Russia, Russian Army, Victory Day]

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[l] at 6/29/20 11:31am

The American university is restructuring itself along the lines of Liberal foreign policy in that it seeks to utterly destroy the enemy – in this case, conservatism and nationalism. The strategy depends upon a take-no-prisoner approach that shuns debate and crucifies dissenters in order to turn America into an authoritarian socialist state.

It has become something of a cliché among many American parents to relay stories about the moment when their children return home from their first semester at college. These radicalized youth, exposed to the social justice curriculum of leftist teaching, shock their elders with a sense of shame, anger and guilt not only over their history and country, but, if they happen to be white, their own skin color. As a result, Thanksgiving dinner with our freshly woke offspring has become mission impossible, and with the latest shaming of Jesus Christ it looks as though the yearly ‘White Christmas’ festivities will soon be just as tedious.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the immediate priority is to survive the current season of discontent, which, following the killing of George Floyd by a white cop, has witnessed violent protests, complete with the toppling of ‘white supremacist’ statues, and a call to defund and disband police forces. It would be premature to blame the current madness on ‘racism in America’ – not nearly as bad as the sensationalist media would have us believe, especially when it is considered that almost 50 percent of the enrollment in Black Lives Matter derives from white members. The far more likely culprit is simply poor policing methods and training. So what is the real source for this outpouring of hatred aimed at ‘the patriarchy’ and ‘white privilege’? It derives directly from our liberal universities, the breeding ground for ‘Cultural Marxism’ that has conquered college campuses with its diabolical message. But what does that term actually mean, and from where did it derive?

A radical arrival

At the height of World War II, a group of social scientists from the Frankfurt School made their way from Nazi Germany to the United States. Much to their dismay, however, they realized that the possibility of triggering a worker’s revolution in their new homeland would be nearly impossible. Americans were simply too content. In the post-war ‘golden age,’ the U.S. middle class, protected from the voracious capitalists by vibrant worker unions and decent factory jobs, was beginning to enjoy the material benefits of capitalism. In other words, the Marxists needed to find a new method for ‘flipping’ the country.

Instead of manipulating the timeless owner-worker schism, capitalism’s Achilles heel, these radical philosopher-revolutionaries from the Frankfurt School (also known as ‘Critical Theory’) devised a ‘philosophy’ to fracture society along its many various cultural lines in order to usurp the capitalist order.

Wendy Brown, professor of political theory at the University of California, Berkeley, explained that the Critical Theory of the new arrivals “exceeded the Marxist emphasis on the realm of production to include language, the psyche, sexuality, aesthetics, reason, and thought itself.”

Speaking about the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse, one of the luminaries of the movement, Brown explained that he undertook to work against “masculinist radical politics” and a “dreamless liberal egalitarianism.”

“This unemancipatory rationality was the terrain that the Frankfurt School worked from every direction, as it upturned the myth Enlightenment reason … attacked positivism as an ideology of capitalism, theorized the revolutionary potential of high art, plumbed the authoritarian ethos and structure of the nuclear family … and took philosophies of aesthetics, reason, and history to places they had never gone before,” Brown wrote.

Reading that line it is not difficult to see where the first seeds of identity politics and political correctness got its start.

Marcuse, in one of his discussions on the subject of the women’s liberation movement, which went on to inflict untold damage on sexual relations, summed up feminism as a “revolt against decaying capitalism.” This is a slight variation on another pithy communist slogan that promised the proletariat would eventually “control the means of production.”

Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019

So where is feminism today, to say nothing about the proletariat? Both have been consumed by the very ideology that gave them birth. Women and their assumed ‘oppressed’ status have served their purpose and have now been displaced by another project of the Cultural Marxists known as the transgender movement. Feminism has come full circle as the females who once heaped criticism on their male ‘oppressors’ are now the subject of scorn by ‘transgender women,’ that is, biological males who now identify as females. The progress that women were making in various fields, like in business and sports, is threatened to be overtaken by transgender women. Now the feminists are in the rather strange position of being forced to align themselves with conservatives in an effort to separate transgender women from biological women in places as diverse as the bathroom and changing facilities to the boardroom.

And woe to anyone who challenges the leftist consensus on the matter. But the main point here is how the Cultural Marxists were so quick to alienate one of their primary ‘clients’ once another victim group arrived on the scene. These purportedly oppressed groups were only used to further alienate and atomize Americans, as well as create additional fissures in society that will ultimately serve the means to the end, which is the destruction of the ‘American way’ in favor of a socialist authoritarian state.

Had the college campuses not been adverse to discussion and debate, they would have possibly been reminded about several critical chapters of American history when the ‘white supremacists’ freed the slaves, granted suffrage to minorities, threw their massive support behind the civil rights movement, as well as endorsing Affirmative Action and the Welfare State. While none of that will ever expunge the stain of slavery from America’s past, it does prove that racism in America is a grossly exaggerated lie, put in motion by individuals and their protégés who have no other wish than to destroy the nation.

[Category: Americas, Society, World, Crisis, Protests, Science, United States]

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[l] at 6/29/20 9:00am

Around $24 billion of Venezuelan public money was looted by the US government, and the Trump administration has used at least $601 million of it to construct a militarized wall on the US-Mexico border.

Ben NORTON

Since the United States initiated a coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected leftist government in January 2019, an estimated $24 billion worth of Venezuelan public assets have been stolen by Washington and member states of the European Union.

President Donald Trump’s administration has used at least $601 million of that looted Venezuelan money to fund construction of its border wall with Mexico, according to government documents first reviewed by Univision.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump insisted countless times that he would “make Mexico pay” to build a gargantuan wall covering all of the roughly 2,000 miles (3,145 kilometers) of its northern border.

Unable to force Mexico to fund his $18 billion pet project, which has already cost an estimated $30 million per mile in southern Texas, Trump has turned to other questionable sources of financing.

Univision reviewed US congressional records and court documents and found that the Trump administration tapped into $601 million of the Treasury Department’s “forfeiture fund” to supplement the wall construction.

The United States has seized at least $1 billion of Venezuelan public funds that Washington in turn claimed were supposedly being stolen by government officials, according to Univision. This is in addition to the billions more worth of Venezuelan state assets that have been illegally taken over by the Trump administration, the most important of which is Caracas’ crown jewel, the oil refinery Citgo.

“None of that money… has been returned to the Venezuelan people,” Univision reported. “Instead, most of the money is being collected by the U.S. Justice and Treasury Departments and held in special forfeiture funds used mostly to fund law enforcement investigations.”

Right-wing opposition upset Trump didn’t give Guaidó gang all stolen Venezuelan money

The Trump corruption scandal has been almost entirely ignored by mainstream corporate media outlets. Univision buried its own scoop deep in a report that advanced the talking points of Venezuela’s US-backed right-wing opposition and reffered to the elected government of President Nicolás Maduro as a “widely repudiated regime.”

Univision, the largest corporate media network in the United States that focuses on Latino issues, is owned by billionaire-controlled private equity firms, one of the most prominent of whom is the Israeli-American oligarch Haim Saban.

Based in Miami, the de facto capital of the Latin American right, this massive media conglomerate acts as a mouthpiece for conservative forces and corporate interests across Central and South America.

The Univision article, titled “Legal battle over Venezuela’s looted billions heats up,” refers to unelected US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó as the leader of the country’s supposed “interim government.”

Univision also absolved the US and European countries of stealing billions of dollars of Venezuelan public money, justifying the theft with allegations of Venezuelan government corruption.

However, the fact that the report saw the light of day reflects a growing schism between supporters of the Venezuelan opposition and their imperial patrons in Washington. Univision was clearly upset that the Trump administration had not given the self-declared “Guaidó government” the money that it stole from Caracas.

“However, when it comes to who gets to keep the money from those looted assets, the U.S. appears unwilling to relinquish the cash,” Univision wrote in frustration.

The Guaidó gang’s blatant corruption

What Univision did not mention in the report was that the Juan Guaidó coup administration had already been exposed for numerous acts of corruption.

Top Guaidó operatives spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of supposed “humanitarian aid” money on fancy hotels, nightclubs, dinners, and clothes during a US-led coup attempt on the Colombia-Venezuela border in February 2019.

The Grayzone’s Anya Parampil also exposed how Guaidó allies oversaw a scam to liquidate Citgo, Venezuela’s most valuable foreign asset, essentially selling it off to North American corporations.

As for the billions of dollars of Venezuelan public assets stolen by Western governments, there is no sign of that money ever being returned to the Venezuelan people.

In his new book “The Room Where It Happened,” former Trump administration national security advisor John Bolton boasted that the British government “was delighted to cooperate on steps they could take” to assist in Washington’s coup efforts, “for example freezing Venezuelan gold deposits in the Bank of England, so the regime could not sell the gold to keep itself going.”

The Bank of England still holds approximately $1 billion of gold that it stole from the Venezuelan government, and has refused to give it back.

According to Trump’s former National Security Advisor, UK’s Foreign Minister was happy to cooperate with the US in applying pressure to Venezuela by freezing our gold deposits in the Bank of England. Evidence showing Venezuela is being illegally robbed keeps surfacing. pic.twitter.com/QoX7rfHFB8

— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 20, 2020

thegrayzone.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Corruption, Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, Latin America, United States, Venezuela]

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[l] at 6/29/20 8:00am

There are few men in modern American history more venal than Former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Calling Bolton a relic of the Cold War in his outlook on foreign policy is a kindness.

Bolton is a dangerous and pathetic creature whose entire life is an example of how incomplete men with a talent for violence can rise in a late-stage cesspit of political corruption.

He is simply someone who has never been in a fight in his life who lusts for the power to kill, main and destroy anyone who dares challenge him. A pathology he’s had the dubious distinction of being able to act out in the real world on more than one occasion.

This will, hopefully, be the last article I write about his cretin because once his last fifteen minutes of fame are used up attacking President Trump in slavish interview after interview supporting his book, Bolton will be finished in Washington D.C.

This book is his gold watch for being a lifelong soldier in the service of the American empire and the neoconservative/neoliberal dream of global conquest. $2 million, a handful of residuals and a final victory lap for a life spent in pursuit of the subjugation of those he considers sub-human.

President Trump’s recent tweet about Bolton is a masterful bit of brevity being the soul of wit.

I gave John Bolton, who was incapable of being Senate confirmed because he was considered a wacko, and was not liked, a chance. I always like hearing differing points of view. He turned out to be grossly incompetent, and a liar. See judge’s opinion. CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020

And while Bolton spent the balance of his career in D.C. working nominally for Republicans, his lust for war served both parties equally well. That war lust was in service of the empire itself when Bolton was fired, and he turned against President Trump.

He was welcomed as a Hero of the Resistance by Democrats intent on impeaching the President after he was fired last year, one of the few good moments in Trump’s nearly four years at the helm of U.S. foreign policy. Given his involvement with Fiona Hill and Eric Chiaramella, the whistleblower whose testimony created the impeachment charges, Bolton really could be thought of as the architect of that process.

So, it’s no surprise that his book is welcomed as the gossip event of the summer by the media. But remember, this is a guy who refused to testify against Trump for Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff and that’s because he would have never stood up to cross-examination.

This is because, ultimately, John Bolton is a coward. And he’s the worst kind of coward. He’s the kind of man who deals underhandedly while hiding behind rhetoric in controlled environments to pursue his fever dreams of suppressing the Untermensch.

What we know now, thanks to Bolton’s unwillingness to keep his trap shut, is that things were as we suspected while he was in the White House. Every event that occurred was an excuse for Bolton to tell Trump to go to war. And every time Trump was led up to that trough to drink, he backed away causing Bolton’s mustache the worst case of sexual frustration.

Worse than that, Bolton sabotaged any hope of détente with Russia, North Korea and improving the situation in the Middle East. While he was right to hate Jared Kushner’s Deal of the Century for Israel/Palestine, he was instrumental in getting Trump to stay in Syria rather than turn over what’s left of its suppression to the people who actually want it to continue – Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In the end Bolton is really the best example I can come up with for the monolithic thinking that permeates D.C. Despite his best instincts, Trump took Bolton on because the potential talent pool is so thin.

Anyone with original ideas, such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, are more valuable in their current position rather than coming into an administration that is hamstrung by a permanent bureaucracy unwilling to change, or in open revolt.

There’s no profit for them to make the jump even if they wanted to.

This point has been in effect since before Trump took office when he wouldn’t stand behind his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who is still embroiled in the worst The Swamp can throw at a person.

Progressives, liberals and anti-imperalists I implore you to stop allying with this creature of The Swamp in his quest to do damage to a president you hate. Because by doing so you are strengthening the very people who are the architects of the empire you believe you are fighting against.

Because that’s who John Bolton wrote this book for.

He didn’t write it for you.

Bolton will ultimately be a foot note in the history books. A man whose only claim to fame was failing to allow a president to make some peace with North Korea and set the U.S. on a path to complete alienation with the rest of the world.

Because of the neoconservatives’ intense war lust, as embodied by Bolton, it pushed Trump, already an arch-mercantilist, even farther along the path of using economic pressure to force change on the world stage.

But, as I’ve been saying for years now, that is a strategy just as ruinous in the long run for the U.S. as Bolton’s cowardice urging use of a military — which he refused to serve in — to do his dirty work for him.

These are both expressions of an empire which refuses to accept that it is in decline. And it has invited the chaos now evident in cities all across the U.S. as our wealth has been squandered on endless wars for regime change overseas while building a regulatory police state at home.

That helped pushed the militarization of our local police, further putting them in conflict with a domestic population growing more desperate and reactionary on both sides of the political aisle.

Bolton’s projection of all the U.S.’s ills onto countries with no real ability to harm us physically ultimately was not only his undoing with Trump but the U.S.’s undoing as a leader of the post-WWII order.

[Category: Americas, World, John Bolton, United States, US National Security]

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[l] at 6/29/20 7:00am

Patrick COCKBURN

The government’s controversial Prevent programme aims to stop individuals becoming terrorists, but it would be much more effective if it taught British political leaders not to engage in wars that become the seed-beds of terrorism.

Consider the case of Khairi Saadallah, the suspect in the killing of three people in a park in Reading who came to the UK as a refugee from Libya in 2012 and was granted asylum in 2018. An ID card reportedly shows that he had been a member of the Union of the February 17 Revolution, one of the paramilitary groups that had fought Muammar Gaddafi the previous year. Police and intelligence agencies say they have not discovered any current link between Mr Saadallah and jihadist organisations.

But that is not really the point: if David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Hillary Clinton had not launched the Nato-led war to carry out regime change in Libya in 2011, it is unlikely that refugees like Saadallah would have come to Britain the following year.

The same is true of Salman Abedi, the Libyan suicide bomber who killed 22 and injured 139 people, mostly children, in the Manchester Arena in 2017. Abedi was personally responsible for this slaughter, but the British government had relaxed controls on the movements of jihadi groups like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group because MI6 saw them as useful local allies in getting rid of Gaddafi.

It is disgusting how leaders like David Cameron continue to defend the launching of the 2011 Nato intervention in Libya. It was this that led to the ongoing nine-year-long war and the chaos that produced a wave of refugees who needed help and turned the country into a haven for jihadis like Abedi. Yet this predictable consequence of foreign intervention, be it in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, scarcely receives a mention in the wall-to-wall coverage of murders such as those in Manchester, Reading or London Bridge. The media emphasis is on grief and “communities coming together”, a highly convenient response from the point of view of the British government as its own blundering role in turning Libya into place of permanent war is forgotten or is considered irrelevant.

Gaddafi was a dictator but however horrific the conditions under his rule, Libyans are now at the mercy of merciless local warlords who are proxies for foreign powers pursuing their own egocentric interests. This week Turkey and Egypt, and the coalitions they lead, are close to an all-out proxy war as they face off against each other at Sirte, close to where Gaddafi was killed.

This all-consuming violence is not mentioned by the leaders who did so much to bring it about. David Cameron boasts in his autobiography For The Record that, thanks to his efforts, American, British and French aircraft stopped the advance of Gaddafi’s tanks. “Benghazi was saved,” he writes, “and a Srebrenica-style slaughter was averted.”

Cameron has not noticed that Benghazi was not saved at all. Its centre is now a sea of ruins, destroyed in the fighting between the anti-Gaddafi warlords. Cameron’s claim that Gaddafi’s forces were about to carry out mass killings in Benghazi was always dubious. A report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee said that the belief that Gaddafi would “massacre the civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.” His forces had reoccupied other rebel-held towns and there had been no massacre.

Cameron and Britain were not alone in destroying Libya. In a piece of self-glorifying bombast as revolting as anything said by Donald Trump, the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton crowed after the death of Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”

So did tens of thousands of other Libyans, but is it naïve to imagine that Clinton, Cameron and Sarkozy ever cared much about what happened to the seven million Libyan population? They were equally blind in looking after the interests of their own countries when they replaced a broadly secular authoritarian state in Libya with murderous anarchy.

These three politicians and other interventionists like Tony Blair and George W Bush defend themselves by saying that this is all hindsight. But it was not. I was in Benghazi and Tripoli during the six-month war to overthrow Gaddafi and it was patent that the violence would not end when he was dead. In the week that Britain recognised the rebel leadership in Benghazi as the legitimate government, the rebels had killed, and by some accounts tortured to death, their chief military commander, General Abdel Fattah Younis. Western governments and media had presented the opposition as liberally minded democrats. but an early proposal of the incoming post-Gaddafi transitional government was to put an end to the ban on polygamy.

Western leaders never suffered much political damage from their unforced errors in these wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The countries that were supposedly saved by foreign intervention might be wracked by endless conflict but they had disappeared from the news agenda. Voters at home never connected up terrorist butchery in their streets with wars fought in their name in far away places. I always thought it unjust yet probably inevitable that incompetent ignorant leaders, particularly in Britain, would never pay much of a price for what they had done.

But I was wrong. The same sort of over-confident amateur leadership that I had witnessed committing serial blunders from Basra to Benghazi finally had to face a real crisis in the shape of Covid-19. Their performance was as dismal at home as it had been abroad. Boris Johnson’s shambolic response to the pandemic, producing the worst death toll from the illness in the world aside from the US and Brazil, was foreshadowed by what David Cameron had done before in Libya. In both instances, unnecessary mistakes had calamitous consequences.Perhaps the British political class had become so used to piggy-backing on US political and military power that it no longer knew what to do when that power stumbled over the last twenty years or finally imploded under Trump.

Competence takes a long time to create and its disintegration can also be imperceptibly slow. Nobody in Britain was much interested in the fate of Libya as it was torn apart in an escalating civil war. Even when Britain is the victim of a small proportion of that violence, there is a reluctance to put any of the blame on past British actions. The pretence is that somehow shouldering any responsibility lets the perpetrators off the hook. In reality, both the relatively limited number of British casualties stemming from its Middle East wars and the horribly large loss of life because of coronavirus have a common source: a political class that is hollowed out and no longer copes successfully with real crises.

counterpunch.org

[Category: Editor's Choice, Gaddafi, Hillary Clinton, Libya, Terrorism, War]

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[l] at 6/29/20 5:47am

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty, never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an ‘Exact Science of Human Nature’, which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences. Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today’s world, such social ‘laws’ are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination (‘End of Times’) is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill’s was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human ‘destination’ does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe’s 30-years’ civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power. In Mill’s day, the civilisational claim served Europe’s need for colonial validation. Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

However, with America’s Cold War triumph – that had by then become a cynical framework for U.S. ‘soft power’ – acquired a new potency. The merits of America’s culture, and way of life, seemed to acquire practical validation through the implosion of the USSR.

But today, with America’s soft power collapsed – not even the illusion of universalism can be sustained. Other states are coming forward, offering themselves as separate, equally compelling ‘civilisational’ states. It is clear that even were the classic liberal Establishment to win in the November U.S. elections, America no longer has claim to path-find a New World Order.

Yet, should this secularised Protestant current be over – beware! Because its subterranean, unconscious religiosity is the ‘ghost at the table’ today. It is returning in a new guise.

The ‘old illusion’ cannot continue, because its core values are being radicalised, stood on their head, and turned into the swords with which to impale classic American and European liberals (and U.S. Christian Conservatives). It is now the younger generation of American woke liberals who are asserting vociferously not merely that the old liberal paradigm is illusory, but that it was never more than ‘a cover’ hiding oppression – whether domestic, or colonial, racist or imperial; a moral stain that only redemption can cleanse.

It is an attack – which coming from within – forecloses on any U.S. moral, soft power, global leadership aspirations. For with the illusion exploded, and nothing in its place, a New World Order cannot coherently be formulated.

Not content with exposing the illusion, the woke generation are also tearing down, and shredding, the flags at the masthead: Freedom and prosperity achieved via the liberal market.

‘Freedom’ is being torn down from within. Dissidents from the woke ideology, are being ‘called out’, made to repent on the knee, or face reputational or economic ruin. It is ‘soft totalitarianism’. It recalls one of Dostoevsky’s characters – at a time when Russian progressives were discrediting traditional institutions – who, in a celebrated line, says: “I got entangled in my data … Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism”.

Even ‘science’ has become a ‘God that failed’; instead of being the path to liberty, it has become a dark soulless path toward unfreedom. From algorithms that ‘cost’ the value of human lives, versus the ‘costing’ of lockdown; from secret ‘Black Box’ algos that limit distribution of news and thinking, to Bill Gates’ vaccination ID project, science now portends despotic social control, rather than a fluttering standard, hoist as the symbol of freedom.

But the most prominent of these flags, torn down, cannot be blamed on the woke generation. There has been no ‘prosperity for all’ – only distortions and warped structures. There are not even free markets. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury simply print new money, and hand it out to select recipients. There is no means now to attribute ‘worth’ to financial assets. Their value simply is that which Central Government is willing to pay for bonds, or grant in bail-outs.

Wow. ‘The God who failed’ (André Gide’s book title) – a crash of idols. One wonders now, what is the point to that huge financial eco-system known as Wall Street. Why not winnow it down to a couple of entities, say, Blackrock and KKR (hedge funds), and leave it to them to distribute the Fed’s freshly-printed ‘boodle’ amongst friends? Liberal markets no more – and many fewer jobs.

Many commentators have noted the wokes’ absence of vision for the future. Some describe them in highly caustic terms:

“Today, America’s tumbrils are clattering about, carrying toppled statues, ruined careers, unwoke brands. Over their sides peer those deemed racist by left-wing identitarians and sentenced to cancelation, even as the evidentiary standard for that crime falls through the floor … But who are these cultural revolutionaries? The conventional wisdom goes that this is the inner-cities erupting, economically disadvantaged victims of racism enraged over the murder of George Floyd. The reality is something more … bourgeoisie. As Kevin Williamson observed last week, “These are the idiot children of the American ruling class, toy radicals and Champagne Bolsheviks, playing Jacobin for a while, until they go back to graduate school”.

Is that so? I well recall listening in the Middle East to other angry young men who, too, wanted to ‘topple the statues’; to burn down everything. ‘You really believed that Washington would allow you … in’, they taunted and tortured their leaders: “No, we must burn it all down. Start from scratch”.

Did they have a blueprint for the future? No. They simply believed that Islam would organically inflate, and expand to fill the void. It would happen by itself – of its own accord: Faith.

Professor John Gray has noted “that in The God that failed, Gide says: ‘My faith in communism is like my faith in religion. It is a promise of salvation for mankind’’. “Here Gide acknowledged”, Gray continues, “that communism was an atheist version of monotheism. But so is liberalism, and when Gide and others gave up faith in communism to become liberals, they were not renouncing the concepts and values that both ideologies had inherited from western religion. They continued to believe that history was a directional process in which humankind was advancing towards universal freedom”.

So too with the wokes. The emphasis is on Redemption; on a Truth catharsis; on their own Virtue as sufficient agency to stand-in for the lack of plan for the future. All are clear signals: A secularised ‘illusion’ is metamorphosing back into ‘religion’. Not as Islam, of course, but as angry Man, burning at the deep and dark moral stain of the past. And acting now as purifying ‘fire’ to bring about the uplifting and shining future ahead.

Tucker Carlson, a leading American conservative commentator known for plain speaking, frames the movement a little differently: “This is not a momentary civil disturbance. This is a serious, and highly organized political movement … It is deep and profound and has vast political ambitions. It is insidious, it will grow. Its goal is to end liberal democracy and challenge western civilization itself … We’re too literal and good-hearted to understand what’s happening … We have no idea what we are up against … These are not protests. This is a totalitarian political movement”.

Again, nothing needs to be done by this new generation to bring into being a new world, apart from destroying the old one. This vision is a relic – albeit secularised – of western Christianity. Apocalypse and redemption, these wokes believe, have their own path; their own internal logic.

Mill’s ‘ghost’ is arrived at the table. And with its return, America’s exceptionalism has its re-birth. Redemption for humankind’s dark stains. A narrative in which the history of mankind is reduced to the history of racial struggle. Yet Americans, young or old, now lack the power to project it as a universal vision.

‘Virtue’, however deeply felt, on its own, is insufficient. Might President Trump try nevertheless to sustain the old illusion by hard power? The U.S. is deeply fractured and dysfunctional – but if desperate, this is possible.

The “toy radicals, and Champagne Bolsheviks” – in these terms of dripping disdain from Williamson – are very similar to those who rushed into the streets in 1917. But before dismissing them so peremptorily and lightly, recall what occurred.

Into that combustible mass of youth – so acultured by their progressive parents to see a Russian past that was imperfect and darkly stained – a Trotsky and Lenin were inserted. And Stalin ensued. No ‘toy radicals’. Soft became hard totalitarianism.

[Category: Americas, Society, World, Ideology, Neoliberalism, Protests, United States]

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[l] at 6/28/20 9:00am

NATO secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent announcement of a NATO 2030 anti-nation state vision to extend the spheres of NATO’s jurisdiction into the Pacific to contain China demonstrates a disturbing ideology which can lead nowhere but World War III if not nipped in the bud soon.

In my previous article NATO 2030: Making a Bad Idea Worse, I promised to shed light on the paradoxical situation of NATO’s unabashed unipolar agenda on one hand and the many examples of President Trump’s resistance to NATO witnessed by his removal of 9500 American personnel from Germany announced on June 11, his cutting of American participation in NATO military exercises, and his recent attacks on the military industrial complex.

The paradox: If NATO is truly a wholly owned tool of the American Empire, then why would the American Empire be at odds with itself?

Of course, this only remains a paradox to the degree that one is committed to the belief in such a thing as “The American Empire”.

Please do not get me wrong here.

I am in no way saying that America has not acted like an empire in recent decades, nor am I romantically trying to whitewash America’s historic tendencies to support colonization and defend systemic racism.

What I am saying is that there are demonstrably now, just as there have been since 1776, TWO opposing dynamics operating within America, where only one is in alignment of the ideals of the Constitution and Declaration of independence while the other is entirely in alignment with the ideals of the British Empire and hereditary institutions from which it supposedly broke away.

One America has been defended by great leaders who are too often identified by their untimely deaths while in office, who consistently advanced anti-colonial visions for a world of sovereign nations, win-win cooperation, and the extension of constitutional rights to all classes and races both within America and abroad. The other America has sought only to enmesh itself with the British Empire’s global regime of finance, exploitation, population control and never-ending wars.

Lord Lothian and the White Man’s Burden

These two Americas frustrated Round Table controller Sir Philip Kerr (later “Lord Lothian”) in 1918 who wrote to his fellow Round Tabler Lionel Curtis explaining the “American problem” with the following words:

”There is a fundamentally different concept in regard to this question between Great Britain … and the United States …. as to the necessity of civilized control over politically backward peoples…. The inhabitants of Africa and parts of Asia have proved unable to govern themselves … because they were quite unable to withstand the demoralizing influences [i.e. their desire for modernization and independence–ed.] to which they were subjected in some civilized countries, so that the intervention of an European power is necessary in order to protect them from those influences. The American view… is quite different… The extent of this work after the war, sometimes known as the white man’s burden, will be so vast that it will never be accomplished at all unless it is shared… Yet America not only has no conception of this aspect of the problem but has been led to believe that the assumption of this kind of responsibility is iniquitous imperialism. They take an attitude towards the problem of world government exactly analogous to the one they [earlier] took toward the problem of the world war…. “If they are slow in learning we shall be condemned to a period … of strained relations between the various parts of the English-speaking world. [We must] get into the heads of Canadians and Americans that a share in the burden of world government is just as great and glorious a responsibility as participation in the war” (1)

At the time of Kerr’s writing, the British Roundtable, led by Lord Milner had just orchestrated a British coup in 1916 ousting Labour’s Herbert Asquith in order to bring Milner’s Round Table group into dominance as a shaper of imperial foreign policy at a pivotal moment in history. This coup allowed this group to define the terms of the Post-war world at Versailles).

These imperialists were obsessed with ending the dangerous spread of anti-colonial feelings from India, Ireland, Africa and other nations who firmly believed their sacrifices in WWI merited their independence. Most dangerous of all was that their sentiments were very much shared by many leading members of the American government who rejected the evil philosophical roots of the “white man’s burden”.

Sir Philip Kerr (who later took on the name Lord Lothian before becoming ambassador to America during WWII) and his Round Table gang did everything they could to control the terms of Versailles in 1919 which involved the creation of the League of Nations as a new global political/military hegemon powerful enough to destroy sovereign nation states forever under a new British-run empire.

American resistance to this agenda was so strong that Lothian, Milner and the other leaders of the Round Table soon established a new organization called the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) in 1919 with branches soon set up across what later became the Five Eyes Anglo-Saxon nations. This network would coordinate and adapt 19th century British Imperial policy using new 20th century techniques.

In America, the Round Table decided that the name “American Institute for International Affairs” was a bit too conspicuous and chose instead the name “Council on Foreign Relations” (CFR) in 1921. Canadian, and Australian Institutes for International Affairs were created in 1928 and 1929 accordingly known as the CIIA and AIIA, but for all their efforts, the pro-nation state dynamic within America could not be broken, and the League of Nations soon collapsed along with its ambitions for a global military and banking monopoly (the latter attempt having been officially destroyed by FDR who sabotaged the London Economic Conference of 1933).

The rise of NATO in the wake of WWII and the death of anti-colonialist Franklin Roosevelt can only be understood by keeping this historical dynamic in mind.

NATO’s Birth was August 1947… NOT April 1949

It is popularly believed that NATO was set up on April 4, 1949 as a tool of the American colonialism. The truth is a bit different.

As Cynthia Chung reported in her recent paper “The Enemy Within: A Story of the Purge of American Intelligence”, 1947 was a very bad year for America as a new intelligence agency was created with the birth of the CIA, now purged of all pro-FDR influences who had formerly dominated the OSS. National Security Council paper 75 (NSC-75) was drafted calling for America to defend the possessions of the British Empire under the new Cold War operating system, leading to a new era of Anglo-American assassinations, wars and regime change.

On March 4th, 1947, the Anglo-French Treaty of Dunkirk established a collective defense pact extending itself the next year to include Belgium, France, Luxemourg and the Netherlands under the guise of the Brussels Pact. Both collective defense pacts operated outside of the UN structure but lacked the military teeth needed to give them meaning- all nations of the time having been crippled by the devastation of WWII. Only America had the military might to make this new alliance meaningful as global military force capable of subduing all resistance and usher in world government.

Escott Reid’s NATO Vision of 1947

In a memorandum called “The United States and the Soviet Union” written in August 1947, a highly influential Oxford Rhodes Scholar and radical promoter of global governance named Escott Reid, then Deputy Undersecretary of External Affairs of Canada “recommended that the countries of the North Atlantic band together, under the leadership of the United States, to form ‘a new regional security organization’ to deter Soviet expansion.”

The motive for this memorandum was to escape the Soviet Union’s veto power in the U.N. Security Council, which prevented the British Great Game from moving forward. The goal was to establish an instrument powerful enough to bring about an Anglo-American Empire as desired by Cecil Rhodes and Winston Churchill and which the League of Nations failed to accomplish.

Escott Reid extrapolated upon his thesis for the creation of such an institution at an August 13, 1947 Canadian Institute of Public Affairs (2) Conference at Lake Couchiching when he stated:

“The states of the Western world are not…debarred by the Charter of the United Nations or by Soviet membership in the United Nations from creating new international political institutions to maintain peace. Nothing in the Charter precludes the existence of regional political arrangements or agencies provided that they are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, and these regional agencies are entitled to take measures of collective self-defence against armed attack until the Security Council has acted.”

This new anti-Soviet military organization would have the important feature of creating a binding military contract that would go into effect for all members should any individual member go to war. Reid described this intention as he wrote:

“In such an organization each member state could accept a binding obligation to pool the whole of its economic and military resources with those of the other members if any power should be found to have committed aggression against any one of the members.”

It was another year and a half before this structure gained the full support of External Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson, and British Prime Minister Clement Atlee. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be formed on April 4, 1949 with its headquarters on 13 Belgrave Square in London.

Escott Reid and Lester B. Pearson: Both Roundtable Oxford Men

Reid had made a name for himself serving as the first Permanent Secretary of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs (CIIA), also known as the Canadian Branch of Chatham House/Roundtable Movement of Canada under the direction of CIIA controller Vincent Massey. Massey was the protégé of racist imperialist Lord Alfred Milner and the controller of the Rhodes Scholar groups of Canada throughout a career that saw him act as Canadian Ambassador to Washington (1926-1930), Liberal Party President (1930-1935), Ambassador to Britain (1935-1945) and Head of State (aka: Governor General of Canada (1952-1959). Reid himself was the founder of the self-professed “Canadian Fabian Society” alongside four other Rhodes scholars known as the eugenics-promoting technocratic League of Social Reconstruction (LSR) in 1932, whose name changed to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1933 and again later to the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961 (3).

Reid spent years working closely with fellow Oxford Massey Scholar Lester B. Pearson, who himself was Vincent Massey’s assistant in London before becoming a controller of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Racist Agenda Behind the Rhodes Trust

It is vital to remind ourselves that these networks were driven by the design outlined by genocidal diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes, who wrote the purpose for the Scholarship that was to receive his name in his First Will (1877):

“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…”

Later in that will, Rhodes elaborated in greater detail upon the intention which was soon to become official British foreign policy.

“The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labor and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire continent of Africa, the Holy land, the valley of Euphrates, the islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British empire. The consolidation of the whole empire, the inauguration of a system of colonial representation in the Imperial parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the empire”

The “recovery of the United States” should seriously resonate with anyone with doubts over the role of the British Empire’s ambition to undo the international effects of the American Revolution and should also cause honest citizens to reconsider what nationalist Presidents like John F. Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle were actually struggling against when they stood up to the power structures of NATO and the Deep State. This should be kept in mind as one thinks of the British-steered networks that ran the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King in 1968, as well as the attempted Russia-Gating of Donald Trump in our modern day.

Notes

(1) Lothian to Lionel Curtis, Oct. 15, 1918, in Butler, Lord Lothian, pp. 68-70.

(2) The Canadian Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) was created in 1935 as an affiliate to the Canadian Round Table in order to shape national internal policy while the CIIA focused upon Canada’s foreign policy. Original featured speakers were the CIIA’s Norman Mackenzie, and the eugenicist leader of the newly created CCF Party J.S. Woodsworth. It would be another 20 years before both organizations began to jointly host conferences together. Today, CIPA exists in the form of the Couchiching Conferences and their regular brainwashing seminars have been broadcast across the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for over 70 years.

(3) Reid’s other Rhodes Scholar co-founders of the LSR were Eugene Forsey, F.R. Scott, and David Lewis. Frank Underhill was a Fabian Society member. Rhodes Scholar F.R. Scott became a leading mentor of a young recruit of the Fabian Society named Pierre Elliot Trudeau upon the latter’s 1949 return from the London School of Economics in order to work in Ottawa’s Privy Council Office. This Trudeau went on to groom himself as a CCF member before being selected to take over the Liberal Party after the ouster of pro-nationalist forces who had led the Liberals from 1935-1958.

* All Reid quotes are taken from Escott Reid, Couchiching and the Birth of NATO by Cameron Campbell, published by the Atlantic Council of Canada.

**The author wrote a larger series of studies on this Round Table-driven world history under the title “Origins of the Deep State in North America parts 1-3 and an even fuller picture is told in volume 4 of The Untold History of Canada.

The author can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

[Category: Security, War and Conflict, British Empire, Chatham House, Colonialism, Imperialism, NATO, World War II]

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[l] at 6/28/20 8:00am

Patrick J. BUCHANAN

Some polls now have Joe Biden running ahead of Donald Trump by 10 points and sweeping the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. This vindicates the strategy Biden’s advisers have adopted:

Confine Joe to his basement, no press conferences. Trot him out to recite carefully scripted messages for the cameras. Then lead him back to his stall.

This enables Biden to avoid the blazing questions that are dividing not only Democrats and Republicans but liberals and leftists. And most of these issues touch on the explosive subject of race.

Consider. California’s legislature just voted to put to a statewide ballot in November a return to the racial preferences that were banned as discriminatory in a statewide referendum, 25 years ago.

The proposal would reverse the 1995 constitutional amendment, approved by 55% of voters, which outlawed “preferential treatment” based on “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

If the measure carries, California returns to a racial spoils system.

Race preferences are being pushed because they are needed to bring about greater representation of Blacks and Hispanics in the student bodies of elite schools of the state university system like UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley.

Asian students are today “overrepresented” in these prestigious schools, because of their superior test scores.

Where does Biden stand on anti-Asian discrimination?

Earlier this June, the California Assembly voted to establish a task force to make recommendations for reparations for slavery.

Now, California did not enter the Union until 1850, and slavery was outlawed in the state constitution, though several thousand slaves were brought there during the 1849 Gold Rush.

Where does Biden stand on reparations for slavery?

Many of the recent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death have involved the desecration and destruction of monuments.

What does Biden think about tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee? Where does Biden stand on destroying statues of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt?

What did Biden think of the removal of the statue of Caesar Rodney, Delaware statesman and slave owner, who, despite a grave illness, rode to Philadelphia to sign Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and cast his lot with the American Revolution?

Understandably, Biden would prefer not having to choose between Caesar Rodney and BLM.

Black men are arrested and incarcerated more often than whites because of the systemic racism of law enforcement officials, we are told.

Does Biden believe white cops are congenital racists?

In the great cities where the killing of Black men is today all too common, the regimes that have ruled them for decades have been almost wholly Democratic.

Does Biden believe there is systemic racism in the ruling circles of all these Democratic-run cities?

Over the last month, there has been an explosion of shootings and killings. In Chicago, over Memorial Day, 84 people were shot, 24 mortally.

Last weekend in Chicago, 106 people were shot and 14 killed. New York City is experiencing the worst shooting violence in a quarter century.

Is there systemic racism in the police departments of our great cities? Again, who has been running those cities, if not Democrats?

Is there inequality in wealth between Black and white America because of systemic racism? If so,  why did that inequality persist through two terms of our first Black president, with Biden as his VP?

Does Biden believe, with Elizabeth Warren, in wealth taxes on the rich and wealth transfers to close the Black-white wealth gap?

Is there systemic racism in American media?

Our dominant media institutions include The Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC. All are controlled by liberals.

Is there systemic racism in our great universities and colleges? Yet, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the rest of the Ivy League have long been run by an entrenched liberal elite.

Is our huge federal workforce permeated by racism?

Though African Americans are 13% of the U.S. population, they occupy 18% of all federal jobs.

Is there systemic racism in our public schools? Who controls the teachers unions? Who fills almost all of the teaching positions?

Is there systemic racism in California? If so, who is at fault? The governor, both senators, both houses of the legislature, all statewide offices, and 46 of 53 U.S. House seats in California are held by Democrats.

If Biden emerges, then he will have to answer why all these institutions where his party and people are predominant — the media, Hollywood, the academic community, public schools, big-city governments, the big foundations, the federal bureaucracy — are apparently shot through with systemic racism after decades of Democratic dominance.

And, more precisely, what he intends to do about it.

Perhaps it’s better to shelter in place in the basement.

lewrockwell.com

[Category: Editor's Choice, Democratic Party, Elections, Joe Biden, Mass Media, United States]

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[l] at 6/28/20 7:00am

Surprise, surprise, the European Commission (EC) had a “Roadmap on Vaccination” ready months before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

The Roadmap should lead to a “commission proposal for a common vaccination card / passport for EU citizens by 2022”.

Last updated during the third quarter of 2019, the 10-page document was followed, on September 12th, by a “global vaccination summit” jointly hosted by the EC and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Under the header “Ten Actions Towards Vaccination for All – Everyone should be able to benefit from the power of vaccination”, the summit manifesto laments that:

“Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, lack of access, vaccine shortages, misinformation, complacency towards disease risks, diminishing public confidence in the value of vaccines and disinvestments are harming vaccination rates worldwide.”

And with them, arguably, the pharmaceutical companies’ profits.

In July 2017, for example, Italy made 12 vaccinations compulsory for children. In the aftermath, the prices of these very vaccines went up by 62%: from an average price per dose of € 14.02 up to € 22,74.

The global vaccination market is currently worth USD 27 billion a year. According to WHO estimates, it will reach USD 100 billion by 2025.

Since the EC-WHO global vaccination summit also discussed a renewed immunization agenda for 2030, the big pharma’s shareholders need not worry for the long-term performance of their stock.

One ought really not to “harm vaccination rates worldwide”.

The manifesto of the global vaccination summit goes on to list 10 “lessons (…) and actions needed towards vaccination for all”.

Each “lesson” is a gem of what the Italian neo-Marxist philosopher Diego Fusaro calls “the therapeutic capitalism”.

The wording is peremptory and leaves no room for nuance and debate. Adjectives such as “all” “everyone” “indisputably” abound. Statements in the conditional mood are absent.

More than a cautious, scientifically inspired and open-to-doubt plan of action, the tone – “to protect everyone everywhere”, “to leave no one behind” – is unsuitably messianic.

What about those who do not want to be “protected” that way? In Germany alone, roughly 10% of the whole population, or 8 million people, are strongly against a Corona vaccination.

But let’s look at what we can learn, so to speak, from these “lessons”.

Lesson 1 begins with: “Promote global political leadership and commitment to vaccination” – this seems what we are witnessing now, with governments worldwide suggesting that masks and social distancing will remain in place until a vaccine for Corona-Sars2 is found.

And what about those politicians who are against vaccinations?

Will their voters be told, as the EU budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger (in)famously did with Italian Lega voters in 2018, that “markets will teach them to vote for the right thing?”.

Will a new pandemic break out to teach people to vote for the right thing?

Lesson 4, “Tackle the root-causes of vaccine hesitancy, increasing confidence in vaccination,” looks like the blueprint for a major propaganda campaign, one that foresees – we read on the EU Roadmap on Vaccinations – the “development of e-learning training modules targeting GPs and primary healthcare providers focused on improving skills to address hesitant populations and promote behavioral change”.

Lesson 5, “Harness the power of digital technologies, so as to strengthen the monitoring of the performance of vaccination programs”, raises, in times of tracing apps and electronic wristbands, legitimate concerns over the further encroachment of technology in our lives – and bodies.

Which digital technologies are we talking about? Maybe a subcutaneous chip, like the one recently patented with the satanic-sounding number 060606 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?

Lesson 9 is, for the non-mainstream journalist, and for freedom of speech in general, the most threatening [the bolded type is mine]:

“Empower healthcare professionals at all levels as well as the media, to provide effective, transparent and objective information to the public and fight false and misleading information, including by engaging with social media platforms and technological companies.”

There we go: the fight against so-called Fake News is back. More work for Facebook’s self-appointed “Facts-Checkers”.

Fake News is of course Orwellian Newspeak for any non-aligned information, no matter its contents, origins and verifiability.

Indeed, the global vaccination manifesto provides no definition for “objective information”, or for “false and misleading information”.

If vaccines are as safe as the EU and WHO claim without offering any evidence, why then did the U.S. government create, already in the 1980’s, a body called National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?

To provide, we read in the VICP’s official website, “a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.”

Quite successfully, it would seem.

In the period between 10/01/1988 (when the VICP begun awarding damage compensation) and 06/01/2020 (last available data), the VICP has awarded a total of USD 4,385,672,580.43 in compensation.

This figure excludes the compensation resulting from actual legal action, notably class actions, against Big Pharma.

But, as the Italian documentary-maker Massimo Mazzucco explains, the U.S. authorities did not stop there to protect Big Pharma from legal action.

In 2010, a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court quoted the U.S. Code Title 42 thus:

“The Act eliminates manufacturer liability for a vaccines unavoidable, adverse side effects.”

The same ruling further elaborates:

“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after Oct.1, 1988…

…if the injury or death resulted from side-effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings”

1988 was of course the year in which the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program begun awarding compensations to the victims of vaccine injury – sparing legal headaches to Big Pharma in the process.

As system biologist Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai points out, the impossibility to sue pharmaceutical companies over vaccines, combined with falling profits from drug sales, turned vaccines into Big Pharma’s new business model.

And now the EU and the Bill Gates-financed WHO go along with it.

“The government of the modern state,” Karl Marx famously wrote in his Communist Manifesto, “is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”.

Were Marx alive today, he might have concluded that governance by international organization is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the global elites.

[Category: Europe, World, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Bill Gates, European Union, Medicine, Pandemic, WHO]

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[l] at 6/28/20 6:30am

Why do we tolerate the government violating our privacy? Because cellphones are useful, and their spying is completely imperceptible.

[Category: Big Tech, Democratic Party, Elections, United States]

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