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[l] at 7/8/20 5:15pm
F. William Engdahl breaks down the Anglo-colonial history behind China-India-Pakistan border disputes and how they fit into modern geopolitics.

July 4, 2020 (F. William Engdahl - NEO) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent video conference suggested that the US might move some of its troops from Germany to the region around India, citing growing US security concerns in the Asian region. Given the dramatic rise in tensions between India and China over disputed borders in the region of Nepal and Bhutan where several soldiers from both sides reportedly died in hand-to-hand combat, the question is whether Washington is deliberately trying to fan fires of war between the two Asian giant powers. As unlikely as that might be at present, it indicates how unstable our world is becoming amid the ‘coronavirus economic depression’, and the perceived power vacuum of a US in retreat.


Speaking to a virtual Brussels German Marshall Fund Forum on June 25,Secretary of State Pompeo was asked about recent statements that the US military planned withdrawing a contingent of its forces from Germany. He replied that the Chinese threat to India and Southeast Asian nations was one of the reasons America was reducing its troop presence in Europe and deploying them to other places. He cited unspecified recent Chinese actions as “threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia and the South China Sea challenge,” adding, “We are going to make sure the US military is postured appropriately to meet the challenges.”

The Radcliffe Line
The borders between China and India and Pakistan are one of the most complex and arguably most sensitive regions for potential conflict ever since in 1947 British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten partitioned the British Indian Empire into a dominantly Muslim Pakistan and a dominantly Hindu but secular India.

That partition was opposed by Gandhi and other political leaders in India, who argued instead for a unified federal India with majority Muslim states or Hindu states retaining significant autonomy within a unified India. Mountbatten instead unveiled the secretly-drawn borders of a new Pakistan and India in a manner that fed a devastating slaughter between Hindu and Muslim as 14 million people were suddenly displaced based along the so-named Radcliffe Line that arbitrarily split the Punjab and Bengal provinces of British India between the new Pakistan and India. At the same time, as Mountbatten went back to England, he deliberately left the status of Jammu and Kashmir unresolved. That insured a permanent tension and potential war trigger between the two former parts of British India. Radcliffe, who had never before been in India, was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1948 for his service.

Now we turn today to the unresolved region which has been a constant point of friction since the British partition, namely Kashmir.


Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh

In 1972 both countries, India and Pakistan, agreed on a provisional line of control in Kashmir which ceded Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to Indian administration, and the Northern Areas to Pakistan. Since the 1962 Sino-India War, China has claimed the northeastern part of Ladakh. Here is where we have the intersection of China, China’s major Belt, Road Initiative partner Pakistan, and India, which has remained steadfastly outside the BRI project. All three are nuclear powers as well.

Until 2019, Ladakh was a region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Then in August 2019, the Parliament of India passed an act by which Ladakh became a union territory of India on 31 October 2019. That did not meet with applause in Beijing. Because Ladakh is part of the strategic Kashmir region the Indian Army maintains a strong presence there.

China charged India with illegally building defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region of Ladakh. The PLA responded by building its presence in the region. Beijing claimed that India was also planning an airbase in Ladakh, something regarded as a strategic threat, as India has a military agreement with the USA which could allow US access to that airbase in a war situation. At that point reportedly, China began moves to block Indian plans in Ladakh.

Despite the fact Modi and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to talks to de-escalate matters, on June 13 the situation in Ladakh exploded into deadly clashes between Indian and Chinese PLA soldiers with numerous dead on both sides in hand-to-hand combat. That was the context in which Pompeo declared, “The PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has escalated border tensions with India, the world’s most populous democracy. It’s militarizing the South China Sea and illegally claiming more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes.” At the same time as tensions between Beijing and Washington escalate, three US aircraft carrier strike groups have been deployed in the Indo-Pacific zone, and there are plans to deploy American missiles in Asia, including India, as Washington looks to establish more bases in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indian journalists say that India’s Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road infrastructure project in Ladakh is seen by the Chinese as a tool by India to offset the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor of the BRI. They claim that China attempted to capture the Galwan Valley as a pre-emptive measure to stall this DBO Road infrastructure project in Ladakh. According to this report, “China wants to stall the construction of the winding 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie road that would give the Indian army easy access to the last military post south of the dominating Karakoram Pass. The Indian side is, however, determined to complete construction of the entire stretch by this summer including the 60-metre bridge across the Galwan rivulet or nallah near the point of its confluence with Shyok river. “ The legacy of the British partition of 1947 today is stark.

India’s ‘Chicken Neck’

As the clashes in Ladakh between China and India were still fresh, reports emerged that Chinese construction of key facilities inside the India-claimed disputed territory of Arunchal Pradesh, in the far northeast of India bordering China, was underway. According to a BJP member of Indian Parliament, Tapir Gao from Arunchal East, Chinese workers from the PLA were building concrete bridges, hydro-electric projects, helipads some 12 kilometers inside the Indian side of the demarcated McMahon Line of Arunachal Pradesh in an area once occupied by the Indian Army.

In recent years India has also accused China of making illegal encroachments on its perimeter in Bhutan and Nepal, further straining relations. Nepal, historically a predominantly Hindu buffer country between Imperial China and British India, underwent a ten-year bloody civil war led by the Communist Party-Maoist of Nepal. In 2007 the Nepal monarchy officially ended and a secular republic was established in 2008.

In recent years China has initiated a number of economic projects in Nepal. During a 2018 visit to Beijing, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, from the Communist Party-Maoist, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for construction of a railway linking Shigatse in Tibet with Kathmandu. Oli also signed on to Beijing’s Belt Road Initiative. That marked a major departure for Nepal which previously was considered by China as India’s sphere of influence, separated from China by the high mountain barrier. The same year China also agreed to allow Nepal use of four Chinese ports to end the country’s trade dependence on India. Under Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, relations with India have deteriorated as Oli’s ties to Beijing have strengthened.

Bhutan is another strategic buffer state between India and China. In 2017 India and the Royal Bhutanese Army accused China of constructing a road in the disputed territory towards Doklam plateau. India intervened then, supporting Bhutan’s stand and asking China to halt its construction work. As one Indian analyst describes it, “The valley holds strategic significance for India, China as well as Bhutan. India sees it as a dagger pointed towards its so-called ‘chicken’s neck’ sector in the Northeast and rapid Chinese road construction in Tibet could make things difficult for India.”

As seen from New Delhi, the combined actions of China around its perimeter bordering Tibet in China ominously reminds them of the 1950 declaration by Mao that considers Tibet to be China’s right hand palm, with five fingers on its periphery: Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Arunachal Pradesh, and that it is China’s responsibility to “liberate” these regions. This, known as the Tibet Five Fingers Policy, one never appearing in print apparently, is causing considerable tension in Indian strategic circles.

Seen from Beijing, as relations with Washington become more overtly hostile in recent years and as India and the US appear to be drawing closer together, Chinese actions along India’s perimeter from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh seem to be prudent steps to secure Chinese borders as well as China’s strategic BRI corridor in Pakistan from any future Indian threat. Into this nuclear minefield now, the US Secretary of State has hinted at increasing military support for India, hardly a peace-making move. By contrast, Russia, who enjoys constructive relations both with China and with India has offered to mediate. The crisis on the Indian sub-continent looks primed to continue.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, Engdahl, india, Pakistan]

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[l] at 7/8/20 4:40pm
June 29, 2020 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - For the Southeast Asian state of Myanmar, the decision to expand ties with China despite Western pressure was a no-brainer. Significant economic ties have been expanded and the prospect for several large-scale infrastructure projects have been firmed up.


Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Myanmar could be considered a victory lap of sorts; the cementing of long-standing and ever-expanding ties between Myanmar and China and the final displacement of significant US and British influence in the former British colony. 

An op-ed on China's CGTN website titled, "Xi's New Year visit to Myanmar: A milestone in bilateral relations," would help frame the significance of President Xi's visit while comparing and contrasting Myanmar's ties with China and the US.

The op-ed would note that President Xi's trip to Myanmar was his first major trip abroad made during 2020. It is also the first major visit by a Chinese leader to Myanmar in nearly 20 years.

Even US Proxies Can't Deny America's Decline 

The op-ed also noted that Myanmar's State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, picked China for her first major visit abroad after her National League for Democracy party came to power in 2016.

To understand the significance of this it is important to understand that Suu Kyi and her rise to power was primarily driven by support from Washington.

She and her political party along with a large army of US government-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and US-funded media networks were selected and groomed for decades by Washington to seize power and serve as a vector for US special interests both in Myanmar itself and as a point of leverage versus Beijing.

However, despite America's expertise in political meddling, what it lacks is, as the op-ed calls it, any concrete economic pillars; something China does have on offer.

No matter how much covert or overt financial and political support any client regime in Myanmar may receive from Washington it does not address the genuine need for real development within Myanmar itself. Without such development and the financial and economic incentives it brings with it, enemies and allies of the client regime alike will turn towards those who can offer such incentives.

Xi's Visit Focused on Pragmatism, Not Politics 

The CGTN op-ed noted the focus of President Xi's visit which centred around major political issues plaguing Myanmar including the ongoing Rohingya crisis and border conflicts with neighbouring Bangladesh resulting from the crisis.

The focus was not on feigned concerns for human rights however, but rather on establishing stability since Myanmar and Bangladesh are both partners with Beijing and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The visit also focused on pushing forward stalled infrastructure projects that have been held up by US-funded fronts hiding behind human rights and environmental concerns.


The op-ed would conclude by noting:
China is reaching out to Myanmar proactively at the start of 2020. Hopefully, Myanmar will return the favor by cooperating more closely with China and pushing forward financially bankable and locally empowering BRI projects in Myanmar more resolutely. 
Only time will tell whether or not Myanmar will follow through and reciprocate to Beijing's overtures, but owing to the lack of alternatives offered by Washington, a US client regime or not, Myanmar's government seems to have a very simple choice to make.

US Denial and Revisionism Ensures Continued US Decline in Asia 

A Western-centric rebuttal over the impact of President Xi's visit to Myanmar was offered up by The Diplomat in its article, "Has the US Lost Myanmar to China? Xi’s visit bolstered China-Myanmar ties, but the West can still compete."

The Diplomat's piece claims (my emphasis):
Chinese leader Xi Jinping just wrapped up a two-day visit to Myanmar from January 17-18, the first trip by a Chinese head of state since Jiang Zemin traveled to Burma in 2001. Xi’s visit notably occurred in the 70th anniversary year of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations and further cemented bilateral relations, which have been in general extremely positive since the West turned away from the embattled country in light of the Rohingya migrant crisis that erupted in 2017.
The Diplomat here ignores an important reality. The Rohingya crisis was precipitated deliberately by the US and its British partners. It was meant to destabilise the very region China was building logistical hubs for the BRI.

The crisis was also meant to serve as leverage against the US client regime, ensuring it remained in line with Washington's interests or suffered at the hands of the West's massive industrial-scale human rights complex; a network of fronts used to manipulate, coerce and defame targeted nations and governments under the pretext of defending human rights.

The US didn't turn away from Myanmar because of the Rohingya crisis. It attempted to leverage it after deliberately engineering it, and upon failing to materialise any tangible gains, saw its influence in Myanmar fade.

The Diplomat article also blames Myanmar's "mixed political system" claiming that pressure has been put on an otherwise promising democratic government to pivot toward Beijing at Washington's expense. In reality, the pivot is jointly beneficial both to Washington's enemies in Myanmar and its allies.

The Diplomat fully acknowledges the importance of Myanmar to China's regional and global rise, stating:
Myanmar is of special significance to Beijing’s geostrategic plans. The country provides China with access to the Indian Ocean and offers a vital hub for containing its rival rising power India, with whom it has clashed on their shared border. The Indian Ocean provides major shipping lanes for China’s imports of crude oil from the Middle East. Overland routes now in use (oil and gas pipelines in Kyaukphyu began pumping oil in 2017 and gas in 2013) across Myanmar and all the way to Kunming in southern China’s Yunnan province allow Beijing to circumvent the South China Sea and strategically vulnerable Malacca Strait, which is susceptible to maritime frictions with other major powers including Japan and the United States. 
If Myanmar's cooperation with China is this important to Beijing's regional and global plans, then it is easy to understand why ruining Myanmar's capacity to cooperate has taken priority amid Washington's policy toward Myanmar.

The article openly admits that Washington's means of regaining influence in Myanmar depends on "soft power" or what would be considered by anyone else as coercion, manipulation and political interference.

The article itself admits:
...the United States still has important policy tools and untapped reserves of soft power that it can utilize if wielded skillfully. As I’ve written before, American companies and investors still enjoy major reputational advantage over Chinese counterparts. Young Burmese people still flock to the American Center in Yangon, the cultural and educational hub sponsored by the U.S. Department of State next to the American Embassy. In fact, Washington opened a gleaming new American Center in 2018 at a busy intersection just down the street from Aung San Suu Kyi’s residence. There, Burmese can come to learn English, use computers, and access the library to study democracy and tools of civic engagement.
What's absent from Washington's "solution" is any tangible economic or financial incentive for the population of Myanmar to get behind US interests. America's inability to offer genuine economic benefits to Myanmar or build essential infrastructure like the pipelines, highways, railways and ports China is currently working on across the country means that America's decline will only continue.

Doubling down on a losing strategy should be interpreted by Myanmar's elite as American capitulation and a detriment to Myanmar's future. The Diplomat concludes by more or less admitting that Washington will continue to focus on a divide and conquer strategy to disrupt stability in Myanmar in order to render concessions from Myanmar's government rather than simply and constructively outcompeting Chinese investments and infrastructure projects.

If anything, Washington's current strategy should serve as impetus for Myanmar and other nations along China's peripheries to fully uproot US "soft power" from within their territory and conditionally do business with US firms only if they are ready to really do business rather than substitute meddling and interference where genuine and mutually beneficial cooperation should be; a space China has consistently proven it can fill, and a space America has shown no interest in competing in.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.   

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, myanmar]

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[l] at 7/8/20 3:35pm
A convergence of corrupt special interests are rushing to push untested and incredibly dangerous vaccines on the public before anyone has time to realize what is really happening or stop it. 
May 19, 2020
(F. William Engdahl - NEO) - The US White House has appointed a coronavirus “Vaccine Czar” from Big Pharma to oversee something dubbed Operation Warp Speed. The goal is to create and produce 300 million doses of a new vaccine to supposedly immunize the entire US population by year-end against COVID-19. To be sure that Big Pharma companies give their all to the medical Manhattan Project, they have been fully indemnified by the US government against liabilities should vaccine recipients die or develop serious disease as a result of the rushed vaccine. The FDA and NIH have waived standard pre-testing on animals in the situation. The US military, according to recent remarks by the US President, is being trained to administer the yet-to-be unveiled vaccine in record time. Surely nothing could go wrong here?

Warp speed is a term out of the sci-fi Star Trek media, defined as a speed faster than the speed of light. In recent weeks billions of dollars have been pledged from governments, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others to fast-track a vaccine as well as test medical treatments to combat the VODIV19 illness said to originate from a novel coronavirus first discovered late 2019 in Wuhan China. This rush to create a “miracle” vaccine is ominous and suggests some hidden agenda.

The Conflicted Czar

Washington’s Operation Warp Speed is reportedly the brainchild of Presidential Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. It is being formally run by the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper who will work with a new Vaccine Czar. The Vaccine Czar selected for Kushner’s Operation Warp Speed is former GlaxoSmithKline Chairman of its Vaccines Division, Morrocan-born US citizen, Dr. Moncef Slaoui. From 2006 through 2017 Slaoui was Chairman of Global R&D and Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline and sat on the company’s Executive team and Board of Directors.

While at GSK Slaoui headed the development of Cervarix. Its Cervarix HPV cervical cancer vaccine was reported tied to multiple deaths or severe crippling effects in many recipients. A 2017 WHO monitoring report revealed that serious adverse effects from Moncef Slaoui’s HPV vaccine included complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that “exceeds any other vaccine.” That is not reassuring in terms of the new Czar of a rushed coronavirus vaccine.

In 2015 the Indian Supreme Court investigated charges that young Indian village girls died after being given Cervarix from Slaoui’s GSK. It was done in illegal vaccine “human guinea pig” tests of the HPV vaccine where neither the girls nor their parents were told what it was. The study was reportedly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2012 while Slaoui headed GSK global R&D and vaccine development, and sat on the GSK board, the company was fined $3 billion by the US Department of Justice, the largest ever fine against a pharmaceutical company. Among the charges was that GlaxoSmithKline deliberately withheld alarming safety data for its major-selling diabetes drug, Advandia, from the US FDA. After Advandia quietly vanished from the product list of GSK.

Slaoui also has ties to the projects of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He sat on the board of the Gates-funded International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The IAVI was initiated in 1994 at a Rockefeller Foundation conference and is backed among others by the Gates Foundation, by the US Department of Defense and by Tony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

At a May 15 White House press conference where the President introduced Slaoui as the head of the crash vaccine project, Slaoui stated, “Mr. President, I have very recently seen early data from a clinical trial with a coronavirus vaccine. These data make me feel even more confident that we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020.”

Though he did not say, he was clearly referring to Moderna and its mRNA gene-edited vaccine, the first US vaccine authorized to enter Phase I human trials after the US government gave the company a staggering $483 million of funding to fast-track the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine Czar Slaoui is well-placed with regard to Moderna. After leaving GSK from 2017 until he joined the Trump Operation Warp Speed, Slaoui was on the Moderna Board of Directors. He also still holds $10 million worth of Moderna stock options, options likely to soar in value as the Warp Speed zooms forward. This would suggest a glaring conflict of interest with Czar Slaoui, but that’s only the start of this saga, where millions of lives are potentially at threat from a novel inadequately-tested or proven genetically edited vaccine.

Moderna and Slaoui

At this point the leading US Government candidate for winning the “warp speed” race to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine is Slaoui’s Moderna Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That’s surely a coincidence?

Moderna claims that between January 11, when they got the DNA sequence of the virus from China, and January 13–in just two days–working together with Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of NIH, they managed to finalize the sequence for mRNA1273 vaccine against the novel coronavirus. At that point Fauci announced unprecedented plans to run human Phase I trials of the vaccine without prior animal studies. The FDA waived animal pretest requirements. The Moderna mRNA1273 tests were funded by the Gates Foundation-funded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The focus by Fauci on Moderna’s mRNA experimental COVID-19 vaccine while Slaoui was heading its development at Moderna is impressive to say the least. The company states that on April 16, Moderna got an award from US government agency BARDA for $483 million to accelerate development of mRNA-1273. This award will fund the development of mRNA-1273 to FDA licensure and manufacturing process scale-up to enable large-scale production in 2020 for pandemic response. At that point the stock value of Slaoui’s Moderna stock options jumped 184%. Then, on May 1, Moderna and Lonza Group announced a worldwide strategic collaboration to manufacture mRNA-1273 at a planned 1 billion doses per year. This is no small deal.

On May 6, Moderna filed a Current Report on Form 8-K with the SEC, which included an interview published by National Geographic with Anthony S. Fauci, Director of NIAID, which described his assessment of the results of testing related to the ongoing Phase 1 clinical study of mRNA-1273. It was quite positive.

So, between January 13 and March 25, Slaoui and his team at Moderna were able to design the vaccine, and to produce it in such a way that it can be injected in humans, Slaoui told a Moroccan magazine, L’Economiste. While with Moderna, Slaoui was fully involved in the development of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

On May 7 just days before Slaoui became the Trump Vaccine Czar, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the gene-edited messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, mRNA1273, to go into a Phase II human trial in the summer. On May 12, the FDA gave Fast Track Designation for Moderna’s mRNA Vaccine. Warp Speed, you know.

The FDA with the backing of Tony Fauci’s NIAID in the NIH, granted unprecedented Phase I human trials of the never-before approved mRNA vaccine on April 27. They skipped normal animal, usually rat, testing, to go directly to human guinea pig tests. Moderna says Phase II trial will assess the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of two vaccinations of mRNA-1273 given 28 days apart. They will enroll 600 healthy adults for the experiment and supposedly follow their health for 12 months after the second vaccination. The plan is to begin human vaccinations by year end.

Dangers of mRNA?

All this, despite the evidence of extreme conflicts of interest between NIAID and other agencies of the US Government with Moderna and now-Vaccine Czar and former Moderna director Slaoui, might be treated more lightly, were it not for the fact that Moderna’s mRNA gene-edited vaccine technology is entirely experimental and never before approved for use as a vaccine. The company itself admits as much. It says, “mRNA is an emerging platform… we are still early in the story. Our most advanced vaccine program (CMV) is in Phase 2 clinical testing and we have no approved drugs to date.”

Moderna and others working with the experimental gene-edited mRNA vaccines claim they are safer than the admittedly unpredictable gene-edited DNA vaccines. DNA vaccine research is thirty years old but to date, has failed to produce a single licensed DNA vaccine. Moderna is only 11 years old and the CRISPR gene-editing technology it uses is barely 5 years old. We are told mRNA is completely different and safe.

However, numerous scientists warn that once inside the cell nucleus, mRNA vaccines have a risk of permanently changing a person’s DNA in unpredictable ways. Tony Faudi’s own NIH published a scientific paper regarding the new mRNA vaccine prospects. It read in part, “innate immune sensing of mRNA has also been associated with the inhibition of antigen expression and may negatively affect the immune response. Although the paradoxical effects of innate immune sensing on different formats of mRNA vaccines are incompletely understood, some progress has been made in recent years in elucidating these phenomena.” This is highly experimental science.

Another scientific paper funded by several Chinese universities and republished by the NIH in 2019, reviewing the development of the new messenger RNA technique for vaccines sounded some sober warnings. It noted that there were “Concerns with instability and low immunogenicity.” Further that, “mRNA vaccines are efficient at antigen expression, but sequence and secondary structures formed by mRNAs are recognized by a number of innate immune receptors, and this recognition can inhibit protein translation.” Not only that, but “…several of these delivery vehicles demonstrated toxicity in vivo, which may limit their use in humans.”(emphasis added). The authors concluded that “The immune response mechanism instigated by mRNA remains to be elucidated. The process of mRNA vaccine recognition by cellular sensors and the mechanism of sensor activation are still not clear.

The US government, in a tight-knit circle all tied to Tony Fauci’s NIAID, the Gates Foundation, WHO are moving with not warp, but rather warped human priorities to deliver us a vaccine that no one can assure is in any way safe. Were Moderna so certain it is safe, they should offer to be legally liable for any mRNA damage. They don’t, nor do any vaccine companies. We need to decide if the scale of the worldwide deaths, inflated or not, alleged to be of COVID-19, warrant such a human experiment that could alter our genetics in unpredictable and possibly toxic ways.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/8/20 2:53pm
Author's note: This is part of The Covid-19 Chronicles Series covering how nations and regions are responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. 

May 14, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - With the US spiraling downward, a downward trajectory merely steepened by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, we'd expect other nations to suffer likewise. 



But China, where we are told the virus first appeared, has already bounced back. While it has significant damage to repair socioeconomically, it has not only overcome the initial outbreak, but has put into place more resilient measures and means to weather future outbreaks. 

Health Impact

China, with a population of nearly 1.4 billion, allegedly suffered between 4,000 and 5,000 deaths from Covid-19. 

Just how China, with a population as large as the US plus an extra billion, has so many fewer deaths can be explained several ways.

Some cite quick action taken by the Chinese government to contain the spread of Covid-19. But since Covid-19 clearly spread globally and likely all across China as well, another explanation is much more likely.

A Global Times article titled, " Data methods show gap between US, Chinese flu-related deaths," would note the differences between US and Chinese methods of attributing deaths to the common flu, stating: 
"The US flu mortality rate includes cases where flu causes other illnesses to worsen and lead to death, while China only counts people who die directly from flu," an observer who prefers to be anonymous told the Global Times.
A similar approach was most likely used to tally Covid-19 deaths.

Clearly, for those who took the time to look into the underlying health issues many who succumbed to Covid-19 had in the US, they would have found a wide variety of preexisting conditions ranging from morbid obesity, diabetes, heart disease, advanced age and even cancer that Covid-19 simply helped push over the edge.

Counting any and all deaths where Covid-19 was simply present as a "Covid-19 death" is inaccurate and borders on dishonest. As previously reported, many millions more in the US appear to have been infected by Covid-19 than is officially admitted with most people easily overcoming the pathogen.

China appears to have only counted cases where Covid-19 was a primary factor in death, rather than simply contributing to a cocktail of preexisting, chronic health conditions. Because of China's more moderate approach to defining Covid-19's deadliness, it was able to apply more moderate measures to respond.

Measures

Yes, China did initially crackdown heavily on cities where Covid-19 was present, locking down populations and paralyzing travel. Factories were shuttered and supply chains around the globe were impacted.

But it appears that as quick as these lockdowns were implemented, they were lifted and populations across China allowed back to work.

While US car manufacturer Tesla wages a legal and public battle against the government of California to reopen its car plant in Alameda County, Tesla's factory in Shanghai has been reopened for months now.

China is moving forward with caution, but not to the extent of paralyzing society or seizing up economic progress. The largest hurdle China's government will need to overcome is convincing other nations it does business with to return to work and reopen their borders.

Socioeconomic Impact

Because China depends on international trade as well as internal socioeconomic stability to sustain itself, no matter how quickly China itself bounced back from the Covid-19 crisis, the fact that the rest of the world (constituting China's export markets) is lagging behind with some nations like the United States seemingly collapsing before our eyes, means that China itself will suffer to some extent as well.


Closed borders and restrictions on travel have already complicated China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. As others have pointed out, this presents both challenges and opportunities, with China able to leverage existing networks to move medical assistance abroad as part of a sort of "Healthcare Silk Road."

For China itself, it is a large and dynamic society with a likewise large and dynamic economy.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2018 once famously said:
The Chinese economy is a sea, not a pond. Storms can overturn a pond, but never a sea.
Judging by how quickly China has gone back to business with the most significant damage being incurred simply by China waiting for its trade partners to likewise bounce back, this is just as true today as it was when President Xi said it two years ago.

Geopolitically, China faces backlash in the form of US propaganda aimed at scapegoating the nation for America's own shortcomings both in the form of its self-inflicted lack of preparations for any sort of healthcare crisis and for its already downturned economy taking yet another hit.

The US appears to be using this scapegoating to further advance its agenda of isolating and undermining China upon the global stage as well as redirecting public ire at home abroad against Beijing rather than at those in Washington chiefly responsible for America's growing crisis.

Covid-19, whatever it actually is, be it a genuinely dangerous pathogen or a dangerous exercise in stoking and exploiting public panic, will define all nations depending on how they weather the crisis and how they bounce back from it.

China appears to have already bounced back and is fully prepared to weather future outbreaks, be they pathogens or in the form of propaganda. For China's competitors, it is clear that tricks are no substitute for actual economic and geopolitical mettle. Those relying on tricks will find themselves swept away by crises like Covid-19, while those relying on economic and geopolitical mettle will prevail.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/8/20 1:56pm
Author's note: This is part of The Covid-19 Chronicles Series covering how nations and regions are responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. 

May 13, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The US is claimed to be hardest hit by Covid-19 with, at the time of writing, over 80,000 deaths attributed to the virus. The nation is also suffering from socioeconomic disaster as lockdowns have driven millions of Americans into not only unemployment, but predictable poverty and hunger as a result.


The crisis has been pounced upon by special interests to help propel various sociopolitical and economic agendas rather than confront and overcome the crisis, leading many to suspect the crisis itself has been deliberately overblown.

Health Impact

At face value the US would seem to be hit by an unprecedented health crisis. Hysteria spread by the mass media focusing on the numbers of infected and dead are provided to a panicked public without context.

Indeed, over 80,000 people have so far died with infections at nearly 1.5 million (confirmed).

Yet a quick look at basic statistics provided by the US government's own Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that Covid-19's impact on human health including total deaths has not even surpassed recent flu season burdens. For example, according to the CDC's website, the 2017-2018 flu season (running from December 2017 to March 2018) left anywhere between 46,000 to 95,000 dead.

Deaths attributed to Covid-19 have been recorded for 2 full months longer with questionable methods used to attribute Covid-19 as the cause for death.


The death rate has been reported at anywhere between 1% to as high as 5% to 6%. Missing from these seemingly concerning numbers is the fact that widespread testing has not been undertaken. The few instances where it has been done has shown that the number of infected is many times higher than official reports. This means that the death rate is much lower and more comparable to the annual flu than any sort of novel and particularly dangerous pathogen.

Testing in California and New York have revealed that in these states alone millions are likely to have been infected by Covid-19 and simply showed little to no symptoms.

A CBS article titled, "Study shows 13.9% of people tested in New York state have coronavirus antibodies, Cuomo says," admits:
New York's first survey of coronavirus antibodies shows that 13.9% of those tested in the state had coronavirus antibodies in their system, meaning they have contracted and recovered from the virus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That suggests that 2.7 million people have been infected statewide.
In other words, there are likely more people infected in New York state alone than infected nationwide according to "official" reports.

If information regarding how widespread Covid-19 actually is and how dangerous it is or isn't, is not accurate, how can the United States formulate appropriate measures to respond to the outbreak?

Measures

Despite what appears to be nothing more than a bad cold or flu, the US has ground its society to a halt with lockdowns and social distancing measures.

"Non-essential" occupations have been encouraged to work from home or to not work at all. The food and beverage industry for example, the second largest employer in the United States, has been ground to a halt with employees furloughed for what has now been weeks or even months. Many of these employees do not expect to return to work until at least June.

In Los Angeles, county officials have extended "stay at home" measures for another 3 months meaning that people will have been shut in for nearly half a year if and when in late August people are allowed to return to their normal lives!

Social distancing is being enthusiastically enforced by police around the nation. In New York City, in order to "protect" people, those not practicing social distancing have been beaten, tased and even arrested. The physical and legal damage done "saving" the public from Covid-19 appears to be more extreme than the actual threat of Covid-19 itself.

Since most New Yorkers (and most people around the entirety of the United States) likely have been infected by the virus anyway, social distancing and lockdowns are more of a psychological exercise than one of isolating the pathogen and stopping its spread, an exercise aimed at addressing public panic, but public panic deliberately fuelled by the media and the government.

Socioeconomic Impact

For the United States, a nation's whose economy was already in steep decline and losing ground to emerging economies around the globe, most notably China, these lockdowns amount to a self-inflicted mortal wound no conceivable plan of action can reverse.

Had Covid-19 been the deadly pathogen many may believe it is owed to mass media misinformation, the United States stood ill-prepared for it. This was not merely the doing of the current US administration, but a problem known for well over a decade with US presidents from George Bush Jr. to Barack Obama to current US President Donald Trump taking turns ignoring it.

The New York Times reported that things like ventilator shortages were known for at least 13 years and instead of rectifying the problem, large biomedical corporations were allowed by the US government to buy out small contractors tasked with fixing the shortage and ending programs to develop cheap ventilators in order to maintain artificial scarcity and the high prices (and profits) associated with it.

While Covid-19 appears to be far less dangerous than claimed by the mass media, the impact of measures taken by the US government and local state governments has created what is a disaster now being compared to the Great Depression.

Rather than rectifying it by simply rolling back lockdowns and social distancing measures, or even finding ways to aid the millions left unemployed, special interests are taking turns exploiting the crisis by blaming political opponents or even international competitors (like China). They are also looking for ways to cash in, with America's deeply corrupt pharmaceutical industry being the most prominent example already teeing up massive profiteering by offering "vaccines" to solve Covid-19 fears.

The US, rather than uniting and overcoming whatever Covid-19 actually is, be it a pathogen or an unprecedented wave of widespread panic, has instead allowed itself to become divided and distracted, as well as exposed to the very worst sort of socioeconomic predators lurking amid America's economic and political landscape.

It is difficult to predict what will happen in the weeks, months and even years to come regarding the state of America socioeconomically considering just how widespread and deep the damage being done now is. A nation as large as the United States plunging so quickly has never historically boded well for that nation nor the world it finds itself free falling in. The US already faced many challenges regarding its decline both at home economically and abroad geopolitically.

Covid-19 has simply exposed and accelerated the process, compounding an already uncertain future with a new degree of damage, danger and desperation.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: americas, HealthGenetics, US]

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[l] at 7/8/20 12:53pm
In America's war on Chinese telecom, instead of promoting and showcasing American ingenuity, Washington opts to announcing its latest substitution for it.

July 9, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - For Washington, Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei presents a nearly unsolvable problem. We can draw this conclusion by looking at how the US has chosen to compete, or rather, what it is substituting instead for what should be competition. 

CNET in an article titled, "White House reportedly considering federal intervention in 5G," would explain:
5G networks across the US could get a boost from the federal government, according to a report Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. Trump administration officials are considering the move so they can compete better against Huawei globally, the report says.

The Trump administration has reportedly met with US networking companies including Cisco to discuss the acquisition of Western European networking giants Ericsson and Nokia. It's also looking into giving tax breaks and financing to Ericsson and Nokia, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
The article notes that the US government also sought to organize a meeting with other tech giants in addition to Nokia and Ericsson including Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung to discuss "combatting" Huawei.

It is unclear how acquiring foreign networking companies already being outcompeted by Huawei would tip the balance in Washington's favor or how companies like Ericsson and Nokia with respectable market shares would benefit from being drawn into economic warfare between the US and China, two nations both companies currently enjoy doing business in.

Even in the best-case scenario it is unlikely US efforts would materialize and begin showing results fast enough to significantly or permanently set Huawei back.

A Need for Competition, Not Coercion 

The US appears to have done everything in its power to fight Huawei besides actually competing against it.

Competition would involve the creation of technology similar or superior to Huawei's either in terms of performance or cost, or both.

The US is unable to do this as even its own largest smartphone manufacturer, Apple, has all of its phones made in China. The fact that the US' most recently announced and perhaps most drastic measures so far against Huawei involve "investments," "equity firms," "acquisitions" and "holding companies" rather than improving education in relevant fields, domestic manufacturing and technical expertise, reflects a fundamental inability for the US to compete against China on equal terms.

As long as the US insists on facing its growing problems by moving numbers around on financial ledgers rather than picking and placing components on circuit boards inside the US, it may temporarily delay Huawei's rise but in no way stop it.

If anything, these roadblocks force Huawei and others to restructure themselves in more resilient ways that will make it even more difficult in the future when and if the US ever decides to take on China through actual competition.

Another note; Huawei's 5G technology will undoubtedly do more than merely build Huawei up as a telecommunications company. It will give nations deploying Huawei's 5G infrastructure an edge across a multitude of IT-related economic activities, giving them an advantage over other nations forced to settle on alternatives because of US pressure to do so.

If these alternatives truly suit a nation's telecommunications infrastructure and serve its economic potential that is one thing, but if these alternatives were picked because of political reasons it will cost these nations not only politically with China, but also economically.

US vs. Huawei: Real Security Concerns or a Smear Campaign? 

The CNET article would also repeat the justification for Washington's growing hostility and aggressive tactics turned toward Huawei, claiming:
Huawei was blacklisted last year by the US when it was added to the United States' "entity list". In addition, President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.  
These "national security concerns" have been expressed now for years by the US yet no evidence has been presented.

It is interesting that even attempts across the US-European and even Australian media to explain Washington's growing obsession with Huawei generally admit these concerns are just an excuse and that protecting US dominance over global technology and the economic power and influence it provides, is the real goal.

ABC (Australia) in its article, "Huawei and Apple smartphones are both made in China, so what is the difference?," would note:
Professor Clive Williams from the Australian National University's Centre for Military and Security Law told the ABC that to his knowledge, no evidence has yet been provided of Huawei conducting espionage.

"Huawei is ahead of the field in 5G research so it could be an uncheckable way of reining it in and limiting its market share.
Uncheckable accusations (or later, proven-to-be-false accusations) have become the bread and butter of US foreign policy helping to grease the wheels of everything from economic warfare to literal wars.


Interestingly enough, there is real evidence that US intelligence agencies have infiltrated and compromised both software and hardware made in the West which could easily justify the same sort of measures the US is currently taking against Huawei to be turned back against US companies by the rest of the world.

MIT's Technology Review magazine in a 2013 article titled, "NSA’s Own Hardware Backdoors May Still Be a “Problem from Hell”," would admit (my emphasis):
In 2011, General Michael Hayden, who had earlier been director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, described the idea of computer hardware with hidden “backdoors” planted by an enemy as “the problem from hell.” This month, news reports based on leaked documents said that the NSA itself has used that tactic, working with U.S. companies to insert secret backdoors into chips and other hardware to aid its surveillance efforts.
In other words the US is in fact guilty and has been for quite some time of exactly what it is accusing Huawei of allegedly doing. Yet nations around the globe have not attempted to cripple or shutter US tech companies or even ban them from their markets.

Government organizations around the globe may prudently opt for domestically produced telecommunications equipment, but in general, the world has been fairly lenient on the US despite just how compromised its tech industry is by intelligence agencies and the special interests they work for.

Not only does the US fall short in creating viable alternatives to Huawei products, the products it does have and the corporations making them are as tainted in reality by ties to Washington's intelligence agencies as it claims (without evidence) Huawei is with the Chinese government.

It would appear that, like Washington's many literal wars around the globe burning US cash and its reputation upon the global stage, Washington's economic battles are also doomed to failure. Until constructive competition takes precedence over conquest and coercion, the US will continue down this unfortunate path where instead of promoting and showcasing American ingenuity, Washington opts to announcing its latest substitution for it.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, economics, huawei]

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[l] at 7/6/20 10:51pm
Iraq continues to find itself in the middle of Washington's ongoing struggle to reassert itself in the region. Can the new Iraqi PM free himself of his checkered pro-Western past? Or will he allow the US a foothold to further draw out Iraq's (and the region's) unending turmoil? 

June 26, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Despite what appears to be a terminal decline of US influence over the Middle East, Washington has no intentions of gracefully abandoning its aspirations of regional hegemony.


Air strikes carried out against Syria by Washington's Israeli proxies, a mysterious explosion near Tehran, and the current Iraqi Prime Minister's decision to round up leaders of Iranian-backed militias who helped defeat the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS) unfolded in quick succession in an apparent coordinated campaign aimed at Iran and its allies.

The Washington DC-based Al Monitor in an article titled, "Suspected Israeli airstrikes hit various locations in Syria," would claim:
Suspected Israeli airstrikes hit Syrian military and Iran-backed militia sites Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. There are differing reports on the casualties.

This morning’s aerial assault targeted Syrian military sites outside the central city of Hama.
Days later, under orders by Iraq's new prime minister - Mustafa Al-Kadhimi - Iraqi security forces raided the headquarters of an Iranian-backed militia detaining several leaders.

Reuters in its article, "Iraqi forces raid Iran-backed militia base, detain commanders: government sources," would claim:
Iraqi security forces raided a headquarters belonging to a powerful Iran-backed militia in southern Baghdad late on Thursday, seized rockets and detained three commanders of the group, two Iraqi government officials said.

The officials said the militia group targeted was the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah, which U.S. officials have accused of firing rockets at bases hosting U.S. troops and other facilities in Iraq.
Iraq has been under significant pressure from the US to roll back growing ties with Iran and still hosts thousands of US troops illegally occupying its territory as well as a myriad of militant groups the US and its regional allies back either openly or covertly including Al Qaeda and ISIS itself.

More recently, a massive explosion took place just southeast of Iran's capital, Tehran. While Iranian officials claim it was an accident at a civilian gas storage facility, pro-war elements across the West have insisted it was the result of an attack on a military complex located in the region.

Should it turn out to be an attack - US proxies - either Israel or US-backed terrorists operating inside Iran are most likely responsible representing a strategy laid out by US policymakers as early as 2009 in their own papers - particularly and explicitly in the Brookings Institution's 2009 paper, "Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran" (PDF) under chapters including, "Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike," and "Inspiring an Insurgency: Supporting Iranian Minority And Opposition Groups."

The timing of the explosion, following two highly provocative moves made against Iran and its allies in the region suggest the US is attempting to escalate tensions with Iran to save its fading influence in the Middle East.

New Iraqi Prime Minister's Checkered Past 

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi took office in May 2020.


While he has warned about deepening relations with Iran he has concurrently stated the importance of US backing - despite the US having illegally invaded, destroyed, and since occupied Iraq starting in 2003. 

His past - including his exile in London and his US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) linked Iraq Memory Foundation as well as his regular contributions to the above mentioned Washington DC-based Al Monitor call into serious question his ability to protect Iraq's sovereignty as well as Iraq's best interests.

On the Iraq Memory Foundation's own website under "About," it admits its genesis as a spin-off of a US NED funded Harvard-based front called the Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP). The website claims (emphasis added):
The Memory Foundation is an outgrowth of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP), founded by Kanan Makiya at the Center of Middle East Studies at Harvard University in 1992. In 1993, the IRDP developed a plan to create an archive that would organize and preserve the documents already in its possession for more long-term scholarly purposes. Utilizing a 1993 grant from the Bradley Foundation, followed by a 1994 bridging grant from the National Endowment for Democracy, the IRDP began its work processing the small collection of documents in Makiya’s personal possession and transcribing interviews conducted with Iraqi refugees. The IRDP continued to receive and process small datasets over the next ten years.
Regarding Al-Kadhimi himself, the website notes that he previously worked as:
the director of programming for Radio Free Europe’s Iraq service from 1999 to 2003. He also participated in launching the Iraqi Media Network as the Director of Planning and Programming immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. Since leaving Al-Iraqiya he has worked with the Iraq Memory Foundation, researching, directing and producing numerous filmed oral history testimonies with survivors of the Saddam Hussein regime.
Radio Free Europe - according to its own website - "is funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM)."

In an age where simply holding views similar to that of nations like Russia earn among the Western media labels like "Russian agent," Iraq's current prime minister was literally on the payroll of the US government. The website also notes that he produced documentaries for British state programming including the BBC.

All of Al-Kadhimi's efforts fed directly into US war propaganda used to justify Washington's military aggression against Iraq for decades.

Al-Kadhimi also was a regular contributor to Al Monitor - which despite attempting to appear as a Middle Eastern news source - is actually based in Washington DC and headed by American corporate-funded think tank staff and lobbyists.

Al Monitor's president and chief content officer - Andrew Parasiliti - for example has an extensive background in US corporate-funded foundations and lobbying groups which regular receive money from big-oil, defense contractors, and other multi-billion dollar multinational interests to engineer and promote wars and interventions abroad.


The Al Monitor's biography for Parasiliti states:
He previously served as director of RAND’s Center for Global Risk and Security and international marketing manager of RAND’s National Security Research Division; editor of Al-Monitor; executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies-US and corresponding director, IISS-Middle East; a principal at the BGR Group; foreign policy advisor to US Senator Chuck Hagel; director of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and director of programs at the Middle East Institute.
Al Monitor clearly serves as yet another vehicle for promoting US intervention and influence abroad.

And it was in Al Monitor that now Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi wrote articles like his 2015 piece, "US-Iraqi relations need a reset," in which he presented a skewed version of history from 2003 onward - ignoring the false pretense used by the US to invade Iraq in the first place and the utter destruction and division sown throughout the country ever since.

He also mischaracterizes the appearance of ISIS in 2014 - failing to link America's supposed withdrawal from Iraq and the serendipitous appearance of the terrorist organization and the opportunity it provided the US to reoccupy Iraq on terms more favorable to Washington. Nothing about ISIS' US and Saudi funding and arming was mentioned.

He concluded the piece claiming:
US-Iraqi relations since 2003 demonstrate that when ties between the two countries become weak or marginal, it paves the way for external actors to enter and jeopardize common US-Iraqi regional interests. Thus, Washington and Baghdad need to reassess their relationship to develop an effective strategy to help restore the balance of power in the region and ensure their mutual interests.   
When Iraq's current PM Al-Kadhimi talks about "restoring the balance of power in the region" he is referring to the balance of power the US created and whose benefits only the US and its closest proxies enjoy, all at the cost of everyone else. Al-Kadhimi also made reference in his Al Monitor op-ed to the US propaganda vehicle "the axis of evil" - years after even the US abandoned it as a viable excuse to remain militarily engaged in the region.

While it is difficult to say what sort of leader Al-Kadhimi will ultimately be, his checkered past and his unpromising start signal a period of heightened conflict and instability within Iraq as this previously eager US proxy attempts to steer Iraq in a direction its people and its national economic and political ties do not and cannot go.

US Middle East War is Unwinnable, but Far from Over 

The US and its allies provide Iraq with no genuine political or economic ties or development - and are using the nation as a base for sowing conflict throughout the region - conflict that will ultimately negatively impact Iraq's own political and economic stability.

It is an unsustainable strategy since the vast majority of Iraqis - whether they are pro-Iranian or not - would chose political and economic stability over being an expendable pawn in Washington's overseas aggression.

The entire region is attempting - somewhat successfully - to move out from under the shadow of US hegemony and its corrosive effects. While in recent years the US has suffered multiple failures and is incrementally being uprooted from the region - it remains a dangerous hegemon with formidable military, political, and economic weapons arrayed against the Middle East.

Washington's desperation is highlighted by its increasing need to resort to increasingly less effective violence as the deterrence of its once global might fades and nations begin testing and rolling back the edges of its crumbling hegemony.

It will take time and patience to weather the parting blows of the "American Empire" and its presence in the Middle East - a parting that will take many more years to come and one in which acts of desperation could still lead to catastrophic, open regional war.

Despite the past of characters like Iraqi PM Al-Kadhimi - there is always the possibility that events on the ground will sway policies to continue away from American meddling and aggression and toward peace and stability - something Al-Kadhimi and everyone else in Iraq will benefit from far more than maintaining unawarded loyalty to Washington.

It will be a matter of nations like Iran and its allies keeping doors and avenues open for characters like Al-Kadhimi to escape through - tempting them in the right direction and away from the fate of other "successful" US regime change projects in places like Libya and Ukraine.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Iraq, middle east, MiddleEast]

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[l] at 7/6/20 10:19pm
While America's "Woke" revolution topples statues and hunts down fictional characters at home, corporate America continues to engage in the mass murder and enslavement of blacks abroad. 

July 7, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - To drive home just how superficial and empty recent protests in America are and how little besides further division and destruction will become of them - take the fate of two fictional characters recently put in the spotlight by baying activists - PepsiCo's "Aunt Jemima" breakfast food brand and Mars Incorporated's "Uncle Ben's" rice products.


Both came into the crosshairs of "woke" America. Both fictional characters will now no longer be used.

It might appear like a huge victory for "woke" America.

CNN in their article, "The Aunt Jemima brand, acknowledging its racist past, will be retired," would claim:
Quaker Oats is retiring the more than 130-year-old Aunt Jemima brand and logo, acknowledging its origins are based on a racial stereotype.

"As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations," the Pepsi-owned company said in a statement provided to CNN Business.  
And the London Guardian in their article, "Uncle Ben's rice firm to scrap brand image of black farmer," would claim:
The rice company Uncle Ben’s is to scrap the image of a black farmer the brand has used since the 1940s and could change its name, as companies react to growing concerns over racial bias and injustice.

The parent company, Mars, said Uncle Ben was a fictional character whose name was first used in 1946 as a reference to an African American Texan rice farmer.
While there is no doubt that both fictional characters represented stereotypes and are rooted in America's racist past - "woke" America's belief that somehow this was a priority or some form of victory begs belief. So does the fact that those opposed to expanding mobs and their "cancel culture" have crafted the most anemic counterpoints.

Some claim that the fictional characters were either inspired or portrayed by real African Americans who profited from the branding.

What neither side mentioned was the very real abuses both companies are guilty of - abuses that are both inhumane and rooted in extraordinary, inexcusable, and thus far utterly unaddressed racism.

PepsiCo and Mars Sponsor/Profit From Slavery and Mass Murder 

Both "woke" America as well as those trying to form opposition to it have entirely missed the fact that PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - two multi-billion dollar businesses - are literally engage in modern day slavery to create their products while sponsoring policy think-tanks that have engineered wars targeting African nations, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands and open-air slave markets where black people - today - are sold into bondage.


This would seem to be a much greater transgression against black people than their crude depictions in company branding and demand much more serious action than merely adjusting marketing strategies - such as demanding boards of directors to resign or full-spectrum, permanent boycotts for these businesses and their many subsidiaries and brands.

Unfortunately for "woke" America, fictional characters are a priority taken head-on all while activists blissfully munch on chocolate bars made by cocoa harvested by African slave labor and sip on drinks made by a corporation who sponsors US wars abroad in which blacks are mass murdered and enslaved.

Your Mars Inc. Chocolate Comes from Slave Labor

If you enjoy chocolate snacks like 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Mars, and Milky Way bars, the chocolate you ate most likely came from a developing nation with dismal working conditions and in many cases, child and slave labor.

Mars Inc. along with Nestle, Hersey, and many other chocolate companies, source cocoa from Africa and specically the nations of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.


A Washington Post article published just last year titled, "Cocoa’s child laborers," would note:
Mars, Nestlé and Hershey pledged nearly two decades ago to stop using cocoa harvested by children. Yet much of the chocolate you buy still starts with child labor.
The article elaborated, noting:
About two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where, according to a 2015 U.S. Labor Department report, more than 2 million children were engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.

When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor.
Black children used as labor and under conditions and for wages bordering slavery to produce cocoa Mars Inc. knowingly uses in its products - and makes billions of dollars off of - seems like a much bigger issue than what is undoubtedly offensive labelling practiced by Mars Inc. through its "Uncle Ben's" brand.


Indicative of the carefully controlled nature of ongoing protests is how the Washington Post has reported on Mars Inc.'s genuinely offensive, even criminal predation on black labor in Africa in the past as well as Mars Inc.'s offensive branding more recently, but failed to link the two in its most recent reporting - thus artfully avoiding a genuinely "woke" readership and any genuine damage real protests and boycotts would have on Mars Inc. and other corporations whose interests Washington Post regularly serves as a voice for.

Big-Biz like PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are an Affront to All

Mars Inc. - alongside PepsiCo, Nestle, and Hersey - was also involved in funding anti-labelling campaigns to prevent legislation from passing that would force food manufacturers to inform consumers their products contained genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Corporations spending money to hide dangerous ingredients from consumers endangers everyone's health - black and white, left and right.

Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others defend such campaigning, claiming that such legislation would be "costly" - as would ensuring  all of their ingredients are ethically procured and free of child and/or slave labor.

Yet Mars Inc., PepsiCo, and others are multi-billion dollar businesses. The Mars family which owns Mars Inc. consists mostly of family members who are billionaires - not mere millionaires - but billionaires.

Their daily "concerns" include ensuring their sprawling 82,000 acre ranches have enough water and that they receive the most lenient penalties when crashing their Porsche SUV's into vans carrying families.

Mars Inc. and other multi-billion dollar businesses can afford to do better, simply at the cost of being slightly less well-off billionaires or perhaps even being demoted to millionaires - yet they simply and deliberately choose to profit off the backs of poorly informed consumers at home and exploited/enslaved labor abroad.

If what Mars Inc. and PepsiCo contributed too was only limited to cultivating ignorant consumers at home and using slave labor abroad it would be bad enough. And if America's "woke revolution" was serious about justice, Mars Inc. and PepsiCo would be on the chopping block for much more than their crude, racist marketing, and would have more demanded of them.

But that is not all Mars Inc. and PepsiCo are contributing to.

Sponsoring Warmongering and Mass Murder in Africa (and everywhere else)   

Both PepsiCo and Mars Inc. are sponsors of policy think tanks like the Brookings Institution whose "scholars" and "fellows" churn out the blueprints for US wars which are then rubber stamped by the US Congress and sold to the public by the corporate media.

Even as recently as Brooking Institution's 2019 annual report (PDF) both companies - PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - are listed as sponsors as were both companies in 2011 (PDF).

Brookings and its corporate-sponsored staff worked diligently in 2011 to help sell the US military intervention in the North African nation of Libya. It was a key institution involved in creating and spreading the notion of "R2P" or the "responsibility to protect" used as flimsy cover for a long-planned US desire to effect regime change in Libya.

As early as February 2011, the Brookings Institution published articles and papers like, "United States Must Take Lead on Libya," in which Brookings "Senior Fellows" - funded by the likes of PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - made the nascent calls for US military intervention that would eventually lead to the US arming militants openly and carrying out air strikes across the nation.


Indeed, the US armed militants in eastern Libya - a hotbed for racism and extremism and the epicenters of Al Qaeda in the country - as well as provided roving bands of armed gangs air support as they swept the nation.

When Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was violently swept from power later that year, the estimated 2.5 million Africans from across the continent he took in, providing housing and living wages to, found themselves being hunted by US-backed militants.


To explain the blatant and explosive racism that predictably swept Libya in the wake of the US-backed war, articles like the CS Monitor's "How Qaddafi helped fuel fury toward Africans in Libya," would claim:

Many experts – and African migrant workers themselves – say the animosity stems from anti-African racism found throughout the Arab world. But some say the anger has been made much worse by Mr. Qaddafi's moves to buy the loyalty of black Libyans from the south of the country as well as his decades-long efforts to build Africa-wide patronage networks at great cost to the country's Arab majority.
In other words - the CS Monitor and the Western "experts" it cited claim Qaddafi "fueled fury toward Africans" by merely spending resources to help them. It is an oblique attempt to justify the racism-driven genocide US-backed militants carried out during their "victory lap" in Libya.

Black Africans living in Libya were either driven out of the country, across the Mediterranean and into Europe to face hardship and racism there or either mass murdered in Libya or rounded up and enslaved.



The Western media - partners with institutions like Brookings - denied this at first - or attempted to excuse it like the CS Monitor - but eventually covered the fallout US military intervention in Libya and its long-planned regime change agenda triggered.

Reuters in their article, "African workers live in fear after Gaddafi overthrow," would admit:
Tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled Libya since the armed revolt against Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule began in February, with Africans afraid they have become targets for fighters who accuse them of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.

This antipathy appears to have spread to all Africans, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, robbery and other abuse by the gun-toting, mostly young, fighters who ousted Gaddafi.

Identity cards of nationals from Chad, Niger, Mali, Sudan and other African states have been found on the bodies of gunmen who anti-Gaddafi fighters say were paid to confront them.
The BBC in its article, "Libya migrant 'slave market' footage sparks outrage," would admit:
Migrants trying to reach Europe have spoken of being held by smugglers and forced to work for little or no money.

The footage released by CNN appears to show youths from Niger and other sub-Saharan countries being sold to buyers for about $400 (£300) at undisclosed locations in Libya.
While these media sources covered the fallout of the 2011 US military intervention, they were careful not to link the fallout directly to the intervention.

The US war against Libya was a humanitarian catastrophe deliberately engineered by Western think tanks funded by big-business like PepsiCo, Mars Inc., and many others, rubber stamped by politicians in Washington - both Democrat and Republican - and eagerly sold to the public by the corporate media.

And even as recently as 2016, Brookings "Senior Fellow" Shadi Hamid in a piece published on Brookings' site titled, "Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong," would remain insistent in defending the US-led war and the decimated, racist, and dysfunctional Libya left in its wake.

He argues that if the US didn't intervene, Qaddafi would have successfully eliminated the racist extremists in eastern Libya and particularly in Benghazi who would eventually carry out genocide against Libya's black population. Hamid simply omits any mention of this or who actually was based in Benghazi and instead refers to them merely as "protesters."

Thus, PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - alongside oil corporations and weapons manufacturers - are funding an institution that not only engineers and eagerly promotes wars, they fund an institution that is utterly unapologetic about the calamity these wars cause - including wars like in Libya ending tragically for 2.5 million black Africans.

"Woke" America needs to be conscious enough to recognize the true injustice underpinning American society. It is very likely that as protesters in America and online around the globe rail against "Aunt Jemima" and "Uncle Ben's" many activists are eagerly enjoying many of the other products produced by and profiting PepsiCo and Mars Inc. - oblivious to the fact that the ingredients are procured through child and slave labor in Africa and the profits are directed into promoting wars that leave blacks abroad dead, displaced, or enslaved.

And as long as this is the case, nothing of any genuine substance will ever change in America or across the wider Western World.

If real justice is what Americans - all Americans - want, they need to truly wake up to this fact first.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: US]

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[l] at 7/4/20 9:00am
June 24, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - A recent border dispute between China and India have resulted in multiple casualties including deaths. It is the first time in decades that this scale of violence has been seen between the two nations. Western headlines have immediately tried to play up the notion of conflict between China and India, but to what end?


China and India respectively have the two largest populations. Both find themselves within the top 5 largest economies on Earth. Both have tremendous historical, cultural, and political influence regionally as well as growing influence globally.

Recent headlines have focused on a simmering conflict along China and India's borders, but at other times in recent years, Chinese and Indian cooperation have been on the rise - a fact conveniently underreported in many articles.

Of course, neither China nor India as nations benefit from armed conflict between one another. Both nations possess large conventional armed forces and both nations possess nuclear weapons. Both nations have suffered from the impact of COVID-19 economically. A large-scale conflict would be costly and catastrophic for China and India.

China has maintained that it was merely responding to Indian aggression along the border and claims it seeks to quickly deescalate tensions.

China's CGTN in an article titled, "China's military urges India to stop provocative actions along border areas," would claim:
China's military voiced strong dissatisfaction and opposition Tuesday to India's provocative actions on Monday evening in the Galwan Valley region, which caused severe clashes and casualties. It urged India to go back to the right track in properly managing disputes.
Conversely, India's media tells a different tale. The violence has been immediately leaped upon by hawks to bolster entirely unrelated issues involving China's "challenge" to the international "status quo." It is a narrative that sounds torn straight from a Washington-based think tank's white papers.

The Indian Express in an article titled, "Explained: What the clash in Ladakh underlines, and what India must do in face of the Chinese challenge," cites Indian politicians, explaining that the incident serves as impetus to create a wider confrontation with China in a bid to roll back not only its regional influence - but its growing global reach.

It claims (emphasis added):
According to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress leader in Lok Sabha, this escalation “underlines the scale of the problem and the challenge ahead” for New Delhi in its dealings with Beijing. Chowdhury argues in The Indian Express that “China has clearly twisted the crisis into a strategic opportunity by taking advantage of the geo-political distraction”.

That China is becoming more belligerent across strategic theatres, challenging the status quo, is supported by multiple examples from the South China Sea. For the Government of India, this is a moment to guard against complacency, fostered by decades of nimble diplomacy that led to equilibrium, however precarious, on the border issue with China.
The issue regarding the South China Sea is one entirely manufactured out of Washington, with many of the actors involved - including the Philippines - having long since distanced themselves from the potential conflict in favor of building better ties with Beijing.

For certain Indian politicians to cite Washington's game in the South China Sea, and to then lump it in with this most recent border dispute - rather than simply seeking to deescalate tensions is highly suspicious.


British state media - the BBC - in its article, "India-China clash: An extraordinary escalation 'with rocks and clubs'," would claim:
Mr [Shivshankar] Menon, who served as India's ambassador to China, believes that China is resorting to strident nationalism, due to "domestic and economic stresses" at home. "You can see it in their behaviour in Yellow Sea, towards Taiwan, passing laws without consulting Hong Kong, more assertive on India's border, a tariff war with Australia."
The BBC fails to point out that China's policies toward Taiwan, Hong Kong, and recent trade disputes with Australia are all - without exception - owed to US meddling in China's internal affairs. The US which officially recognizes Taiwan as China's territory has all but worked to carve it off from China and establish it as a US foothold on China's doorstep.

The same can be said of Hong Kong with recent violence there openly sponsored by the US.

Australia - who counts China as its largest trading partner - and whose government is increasingly friendly with Beijing, has recently caved to US pressure and joined in political campaigns accusing China of unleashing COVID-19 - thus kicking off renewed tensions between the two nations.

If Indian politicians and diplomats see the recent border incident as "related" to US-driven conflicts aimed at encircling and containing China - does that mean this most recent border incident and the decidedly more aggressive reaction by some of India's politicians falls into the same category?

Cui Bono? 

China and India have had border issues in the past. Total war has been avoided and the conflicts have done little to change any significant aspects of either nation's regional or global influence. In other words, even if India felt it was losing out to China's rise - using a border incident to start a wider conflict would harldy help India change this fact.

For India - seizing on this conflict regardless of who really initially provoked it - does nothing to serve India's interests in the short, intermediate, or long-term. They do - however - perfectly serve the interests of the United States who would prefer neither China nor India rise as regional powers - and would find it as ideal for both nations to destroy one another partially or entirely while the US reasserts itself across the region.

Provocations and those attempting to exploit them may represent Washington's best interests, but they do not represent India's or China's. Those involved are hawkish and decidedly pro-Washington serving US interests at India's expense.

Meanwhile, other Indian leaders and their Chinese counterparts have worked since the conflict arose to deescalate and resolve border issues - or at least resolve them to where military exchanges are no longer an option.

Even the BBC, at the very end of its article, admitted that despite the illusion of imminent war - China and India have enjoyed growing ties, stating (emphasis added):
"For 10 years, Sino-Indian rivalry has steadily intensified, but remained largely stable," he [Shashank Joshi] said. India and China have also been more engaged. Bilateral trade increased 67 times between 1998 and 2012, and China is India's largest trading partner in goods. Indian students have flocked to Chinese universities. Both sides have held joint military exercises.
It is unlikely that the vast majority in both China and India benefiting from constructive ties between the two nations will give in to a tiny minority who ultimately serve the interests of neither nation and instead the interests of Washington far abroad and away from the consequences of unchecked conflict.

For these reasons it's safe to say that while this conflict is dangerous and both sides need to treat it with maximum caution and care, the fact that neither side benefits from the conflict unraveling out of control means it is very unlikely to do so.

While the recent violence has been unseen in decades, it can be hoped that it is one of the last disputes between China and India that involves violence, and the last gasp of malign interests seeking to sabotage and set back both nations.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china, india]

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[l] at 7/4/20 7:57am
June 19, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Chinese media highlighted a recent plea by Beijing to the US to lift sanctions against Syria.


China's CGTN in an article titled, "Chinese envoy asks U.S. to lift unilateral sanctions on Syria," would report:
A Chinese envoy on Tuesday asked the United States to immediately lift unilateral sanctions against Syria.

Years of economic blockade have caused tremendous hardships to the Syrian people, in particular women and children. The sufferings caused by the devaluation of the Syrian currency and soaring commodities prices, including food prices, fall heavily on civilians across the country, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
China's attempts to aid Syria economically and challenge American sanctions aimed at Damascus follows Russia's open opposition to the US-led proxy war against the Syrian government which included Moscow's direct military involvement in the conflict and Russia's leading role in liquidating US-armed militant groups across the country.

US sanctions against Syria have long since outlived the alleged motivation for America's involvement in the conflict - claims of supporting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people and opposing alleged human rights violations by the Syrian government.

It has been indisputably revealed that the US deliberately engineered the conflict - from organizing protests before 2011 to arming and deploying militants to the country to shift 2011 street protests into a destructive proxy war. It has also long been revealed that so-called "freedom fighters" were in fact extremists drawn from various terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and its many franchises.

Since Syria's security operations were in response to what is now revealed to have been US aggression-by-proxy and eventually direct US military aggression against the Syrian government - the sanctions themselves are revealed to be merely an economic component to US attempts to decimate the Syrian nation - not in any way aid or assist the Syrian people.


And of course US sanctions against Syria have complicated the lives of all Syrians - from the vast majority who remained in support of the Syrian government and lived in government-controlled areas of Syria throughout the conflict to even US-backed militants who eventually turn in their arms and surrender to government forces - they all collectively face economic hardship and a difficult road ahead in rebuilding their nation.

Thus the altruistic excuses the US used to first impose sanctions on Syria and its increasingly feeble excuses used to continue justifying them now are revealed as little more than propaganda and should be taken into consideration when questioning why the US has imposed sanctions on other nations.

The US engineered and executed what was a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria - one that it is still actively attempting to perpetuate for as long as possible and one now admittedly perpetuated to "make it a quagmire for the Russians." Not only is Washington's "humanitarian" justification for placing sanctions on Syria revealed as empty, but it is Washington itself who is guilty of trampling human rights in Syria.

China - and many others for that matter - have asked for these sanctions to be lifted. Washington - to no one's surprise refuses - but the inability of so-called "international" institutions to hold Washington accountable or to alleviate Syria's current crisis reveals that the "international order" these institutions serve is dysfunctional and that alternatives desperately need to be found. 

China's economic aid and efforts to reconstruct Syria will eventually be realized - it is only a matter of time and how China will get around US sanctions.

This will be done either by directly opposing them or creating global systems that are entirely independent of and insulated from American interference. Either way - if Washington insists on maintaining its current policies - a global system independent of and insulated from America is one in which America finds itself cutoff and withering - a prospect that benefits neither the American people nor even America's ruling special interests.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: middle east, MiddleEast, Syria]

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[l] at 7/4/20 7:18am
How big-business stopped cheap ventilators from making it to market, leaving nations vulnerable for over a decade to crisis shortages. 

May 12, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - When coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) began dominating headlines, it was accompanied by fears of potential shortages of critical medical equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.


Nations like Russia had large stockpiles of affordable ventilators on hand - so many that they were able to send them overseas to nations at risk of shortages.

One of those nations included the United States.

Reuters in an article titled, "Russian plane with coronavirus medical gear lands in U.S. after Trump-Putin call," would admit (emphasis added):
The State Department said that following the call between the two leaders, the United States “has agreed to purchase” needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia and that they were handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday in New York City.
As generous and impressive as Russia's response was - the real question was - why was it necessary in the first place?

America's Ventilator Shortage: Known for Over a Decade  

While many may believe America's ventilator shortage was a result of being blindsided by the speed Covid-19 spread, the truth is America's shortage was know for at least a decade.

A 2010 MIT student project would set out to design a cheap, easily manufactured, and portable ventilator to address the shortage. The project paper  titled, " Design and Prototyping of a Low-cost Portable Mechanical Ventilator" (.pdf)) ,  would note: 
While there are enough ventilators for regular use, there is a lack of preparedness for cases of mass casualty such as influenza pandemics, natural disasters and massive toxic chemical releases. The costs of stockpiling and deployment of state-of-the-art mechanical ventilators for mass casualty settings in developed countries are prohibitive. According to the national preparedness plan issued by President Bush in November 2005, the United States would need as many as 742,500 ventilators in a worst-case pandemic. When compared to the 100,000 presently in use, it is clear that the system is lacking.
The New York Times would also note just how long the shortage of ventilators in the US loomed in an article titled, "The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed," which reported: 
Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

The breathing-assistance machines tended to be bulky, expensive and limited in number. The plan was to build a large fleet of inexpensive portable devices to deploy in a flu pandemic or another crisis.
The NYT article explains that the plan fell apart - specifically because the company that was eventually contracted to build the fleet of inexpensive, portable ventilators was bought out by a multi-billion dollar medical device manufacturer.

It is only 30 paragraphs into the NYT article that the company is named - Covidien. After the buy out, Covidien not only demanded more money to develop the ventilator, but also demanded a higher price for them once developed. They also reassigned staff working on the project, essentially shelving the effort. The motivation was simple - the company already sold much more expensive ventilators whose market position would be threatened by the development and deployment of cheaper alternatives.


Many more paragraphs later it is reported that Covidien has since been acquired by Medtronic - a US company based overseas to avoid paying US taxes and which made headlines recently when it waffled on releasing the designs of its ventilator to help aid in the shortages the company it acquired helped precipitate in the first place.

What emerges is a story of systematic corruption, monopolization, profiteering, and indifference by not a single company - but an entire industry - indifference to the actual purpose of human healthcare which is preserving human health.

The highjacking of human healthcare in the United States profit-driven corporations not only created an easily remedied ventilator shortage, but did so to the extent of leaving the US at the mercy of supposed "enemies" like Russia.

While Washington's current adversarial footing with Russia is based on perpetuating American hegemony rather than any actual threat Russia poses, the fact that the greed of American corporations driving US foreign policy has in this case undermined US objectives and its leverage against Moscow helps illustrate how America's current power structure is its own worst enemy.

For the average American the problem of national healthcare being highjacked by greedy corporations leaving them at the mercy of unaccessible, overpriced, and often ineffective medication and medical equipment is obvious and immediate. Growing numbers of Americans are investing their time and energy into opensource alternatives which - while unlikely to solve immediate problems - is creating an ecosystem of innovation that may eventually help replace existing monopolies.

For those invested in American hegemony - the fact that it is demonstrably unsustainable and often counterproductive should encourage serious rethinking.

For nations abroad targeted by American special interests, using alternative media to raise awareness of cheaper and more effective alternatives - helping Americans understand that the current state of US healthcare is neither tolerable nor necessary - will help undermine these corrosive special interests and make room for more honest and productive interests - interests that will better serve the American people and better serve America's relationship with the rest of the world.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/4/20 6:46am
June 17, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Empire has one trick - divide and conquer. When it runs out of territory, nations, and people abroad to consume, it turns inward on itself.


The United States finds itself in a less-than-unique position of an empire in terminal decline. With nations around the globe standing up economically, militarily, and politically - closing off once lucrative avenues of exploitation - the US finds itself turning more and more inwardly upon its allies and even its own population - either to wring from it whatever wealth it can or at the very least - to prevent the displacement of America's current ruling special interests by any sort of alternative.

Geopolitical expert and analyst F. William Engdahl did an impressive job pointing out how current turmoil in the United States is being driven not by grassroots efforts to confront these special interests but by these special interests themselves.

No matter what people thought they were going into the streets for - for a nation adept at engineering revolutions abroad - there is no way it won't turn those same tools and techniques inward on unrest at home - ensuring it is channeled in the safest and most profitable way possible.

Cancel Culture's Deliberate Futility: A Tale of Two Chain-Restaurants 

To point out just how absurd America's "woke revolution" and its opponents are consider Domino's Pizza and Shake Shack. Both find themselves the targets of opposite ends of America's current turmoil. Domino's for at one point in the distant past supporting people who now find themselves among US President Donald Trump's administration, and Shake Shack for its anemic response to allegations its employees poisoned New York City police officers.

Image: Mega-investment firm Blackrock (and Wall Street) owns it all - and they don't care what you burn down as long as you patronize one of their many other investments.
Those promising to boycott one and patronize the other to spite their political opponents never bothered to check who actually owns these two large food and beverage businesses. If they did - they'd see that the exact same handful of investment firms own both .

Investors at Blackrock, Vanguard, or State Street Global Advisors - who own significant shares and profit from both Shake Shack and Domino's - don't care which restaurant you boycott so long as you patronize another in their portfolio to spite your superficial political opponents. They are deliberately funding both sides of the turmoil to ensure that this is precisely how America's "woke revolution" plays out.

Notice no one in the spotlight is saying "Wall Street." Or saying "boycott them all." Or pointing out that while poisoning cops or supporting President Trump seems "bad," it pales vastly in the face of the injustice many of these corporations are guilty of.

It is classic divide and conquer - with Americans at each other's throats - oblivious to the common threat to their peace and prosperity literally right in front of them, consuming their paychecks every month, funneling it from mainstreet and into gargantuan concentrations of wealth and power on Wall Street.

When rebuilding begins - if it begins - it will be Americans paying through taxes, not Blackrock and others on Wall Street.

Despite the apparent chaos in America's streets, these companies will continue to profit and their investors will continue accumulating wealth and power. America's political landscape will continue to burn ensuring nothing of any significance can ever be built to change this basic fact. 

How the Rest of the World Escaped American Hegemony 

If you watch movies or listen to activists running wild in America's streets - you'd probably be inclined to believe burning down your own community and endlessly complaining is how to throw off oppression - real or imagined.


In reality, the rest of the world has begun to move out from under the shadow of America's global-spanning hegemony. They did it not by burning down their own nations or complaining endlessly to the United Nations - they did it by building superior alternatives to what the US offered the world.

China is a perfect example of a nation that offers industry and infrastructure as an alternative to America's "investments," overpriced weapons, and political meddling. China builds dams, railways, factories, and affordable weapons with no political strings attached.

Russia has provided nations around the globe with alternatives for everything from weapons and energy to political and economic alliances.

Individually, nations have begun creating alternatives to once unrivaled American monopolies. Huawei's rise - first out from under Apple - than far above it - is a perfect example. Russia positioning itself as a key partner for Middle Eastern nations exhausted from America's "stewardship" of the region is another.

Even in smaller nations the idea of creating alternatives to things like social media platforms monopolized by the US is taking hold - empowering these nations, keeping income local, and displacing America's unwarranted influence within their borders.

America's problem is that it has long since abandoned building and making things and instead has focused on coercion, exploitation, thievery, schemes, and moving numbers around on ledgers. This only works as long as no one else starts building and making things and as long as no one attempts to insulate themselves from financial trickery by creating alternative systems for investing in tangible progress.

This process - in fact - of doing just that has dominated the topic of geopolitics for years as America declines and lashes out and as nations patiently and systematically create these very sort of alternatives. Collectively it is called the "multipolar world order" and is one built on physical infrastructure like factories and railways - not spreadsheets and ticker symbols.

At Home: Build the Community You Want to Live in

Wall Street has no problem with "woke" activist burning down businesses across the country - even ones they own. They know whatever investments they have that are found to be "offensive" - they have 10 more that the "woke" community will continue paying into.

What Wall Street doesn't want is for communities to boycott  all  of the businesses they own and creating local alternatives that keep wealth inside communities. The concentration of wealth on Wall Street and all the power and influence it buys would thus be spread more evenly across the country.

Fake socialism is offered as a solution - something Wall Street can keep in Washington close by and under their control - rather than any genuine distribution of wealth the people themselves control by actually owning businesses, land, and the means of production by building and operating local factories.

If money is power - asking or even demanding it from those who have it to give it back is not the answer. By no longer giving it to them willingly and instead keeping it in communities is the only way to redirect that money and its power to work for the people rather than Wall Street.

If Americans want a better society to live in - they are going to have to build it - not ask for it from those who have nothing to gain by giving it to them. Those who are burning instead of building, complaining instead of collaborating - are either deliberately attempting to obstruct real reform and progress in the US, or have fallen into traps laid by those who are.

Protesting has its place - particularly when used to protect what is being built. But as far as a medium for change in and of itself - history is devoid of a single example where blind violence and loud complaining alone changed anything of significance.

The "woke revolution" will most certainly not be any sort of exception. With many protesters citing things like the "French Revolution" - this is painfully clear. The French Revolution of course ended with one monarchy overthrown, and another - much larger one headed by Napoleon Bonaparte - taking its place.

Image: The "French Revolution" didn't bring progress, it simply handed tyranny off to another handful of self-appointed elites.  To this day France remains controlled by unaccountable special interests and is engaged in modern day imperialism, including - and especially - in Africa. To this day France remains controlled by immense corporate-financier interests which exist far above the superficial "democracy" and "protests" of the French people. The French military remains deployed in numerous "former" colonies in Africa where it seeks to reassert itself and the wider West alongside its allies on Wall Street and in Washington.

Clearly something of more substance needs to be done than committing to mindless mayhem in the streets and endless complaining across the media. If people want power, they need to possess the means to acquire it - money. To do so they need to stop handing their paychecks over to Wall Street and keep it in their communities. That is how China and Russia and the rest of the multipolar world has changed things globally and it is the only way things will change for Americans domestically. 

Abroad: Now is the time to Judo-Throw America's Hypocrisy 

In Judo, the energy of an attacking enemy is turned against them - generally in the form of a spectacular throw.

For the rest of the world - now is a perfect time to capitalize on the wall-to-wall hypocrisy of a nation that has for decades lectured the world regarding "democracy," "human rights," and "free speech" while it now openly crushes all of the above at home.

Fronts funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) operating overseas find themselves in the very unenviable position of taking money from a nation being exposed as chronically ill, systemically racist, divided, and increasingly violent.

How are these NED-funded fronts going to claim they are advancing "democracy" or "human rights" abroad for the US and thanks to generous US funding when democracy and human rights  in  the US is exposed as dysfunctional at best and nonexistent at worst?

Nations plagued by US meddling could easily make a case to sweep from within its borders fronts funded by a divided, racist, violent, and increasingly hypocritical US - that is - if foreign-funded subversion isn't already a good enough reason to do so.

With US tech-firms hand-in-glove with the government purging thousands of accounts from platforms like Facebook and Twitter for allegedly being involved in "coordinated inauthentic behavior" it is an easy case to make that NED is the king of coordinated inauthentic behavior and should likewise be "purged."

With all the energy the US has invested in meddling abroad - that energy has never been more vulnerable and likely to be thrown back against the US.

Empire's End is Inevitable 

But nations could just as easily patiently wait.

The US is an empire eating itself.

As long as the rest of the world remains determined to continue building better alternatives to America's "international order" it will continue to displace American hegemony around the globe. Most nations desire greatly to work with the American people themselves - 99.999% of whom are likewise victims of Wall Street and Washington - whether they realize it or not. This helps explain the almost endless patience of nations like Russia and China in the face of daily provocations by the West.

For Americans, it is up to them regarding what kind of nation they will live in once the dust settles.

One where power and wealth is still very-much concentrated on Wall Street and the violence sown helps justify an even bigger police state than ever before? Or one in which Americans learn that no one in Washington, on TV, or with blue check marks next to their names on Twitter are on their side and start thinking and acting for themselves?

Only time will tell. 

[Author: Land Destroyer]

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[l] at 7/4/20 6:14am
US-backed mobs seek to exploit economic damage of COVID-19 impact.

June 12, 2020 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The Kingdom of Thailand plays a central role in the Southeast Asian ASEAN economic bloc. It has a population of nearly 70 million, the second largest economy in the region and hosts a key leg of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative including high speed rail that will connect China (via Laos) to Malaysia and beyond.


Thus, regional recovery in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) depends on central nations like Thailand's quick and orderly recovery.

COVID-19's Impact

For Thailand, the impact of COVID-19 has been mostly socioeconomic. The disease itself had a minimum health impact with health services easily accommodating the approximately 3,000 cases with less than 60 resulting in deaths. The deaths themselves were linked to serious pre-existing chronic illnesses and advanced age.

Regardless, the government took quick action, instating curfews, lockdowns and restricting both internal travel and international arrivals. Coupled with measures taken by China to restrict departures of tour groups, Thailand's tourist industry took a particularly hard hit considering arrivals from China make up the vast majority of Thailand's tourism business.

Thai businesses big and small also depend heavily on Chinese manufacturing for both components and for retailing. The temporary closure of Chinese factories created the first of two major setbacks for Thai businesses hitting supply, while lockdowns and curfews hit demand.


However, Thailand possesses a massive "informal economy" with myriad small independent businesses which have proven over the years to be exceptionally agile even in times of crisis. The use of modern telecommunication and IT technology (particularly online shopping and delivery apps) together with delivery services allowed to continue operating by the government during lockdown, many food, beverage and retail businesses continued operating, allowing many Thais to continue making a living despite restrictions.

Recovery

The Thai government is investing heavily in breathing life back into the Thai economy, having already provided several programmes to aid those temporarily unemployed during the lockdown now being lifted incrementally across the country.

This includes a stimulus package aimed at helping businesses recover from the extended period of shuttered or partially shuttered business. State enterprises are also being restructured to prevent massive disruptions and losses in the event something like COVID-19 occurs again.

Because Thailand has strong economic fundamentals including a strong agricultural and manufacturing base as well as strong trade ties within both Southeast Asia and wider Asia including China who is itself on its way to recovery, Thailand will likely succeed in restoring economic stability and the return to normality in short order.

Thailand is also looking into ways of heading off similar disruptions in the future by looking for ways to bolster domestic economic activity in the event that foreign trade and tourism is ever cut off again.


Complications

While the majority of Thailand is eager to get back to business there is a small but loud minority eager to seize upon the crisis to compound Thailand's situation. This includes the US-backed political opposition led by the now defunct "Future Forward Party" (FFP) disbanded for blatant election law violations.

Despite being cast out of politics, FFP's leader, nepotist billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit continues to fund and organise disruptive street activities mirroring efforts in nearby Hong Kong to complicate and corrode stability in China. He does so with extensive support from the US and European media as well as US-European funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations.

"Student" protesters have vowed to resume street protests despite the party they support having already run in and lost elections in 2019, with FFP coming in distant 3rd with some 2 million fewer votes than the currently ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

But just as is done elsewhere by the US, struggling opposition groups with minimal prospects of ever coming to power on their own are searched out and built up either to seize power and serve as a client regime or to create enough instability to exact concessions from a nation's ruling government.

In Thailand's case the US seeks to place a divide between it and China, complicating China's OBOR ambitions and removing from China's foreign trade ties a large and constructive economic partner. Thailand's recent military acquisitions have also been largely from China which has been followed by growing Thai-Chinese military cooperation, replacing Thai-US cooperation that had been cultivated by Washington since the Vietnam War.

For all of these reasons and more, the US and the opposition it funds and backs in Thailand are bent on complicating Thailand's return to normal in the wake of COVID-19 to in turn complicate China's recovery and in a much longer-term effort, complicate China's rise as a global power.

While Thailand and other nations around the globe work both on their own and in cooperation with each other to return stability and prosperity to their respective societies, the United States and its partners are determined to draw out the damage as long as possible and in the hopes of leveraging it to their advantage.

This more than anything else helps reveal what is behind supposed "pro-democracy" protests who seem to have endless resources and time even as the rest of society struggles to return to work and make a living.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.   

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, Thailand]

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[l] at 7/4/20 5:44am
June 6, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - There is no doubt that colonialism and racism sit at the root of America's domestic problems. The push to dominate others abroad is directly linked to the belief that those who are different at home should also be dominated.

There are still Americans alive today that remember segregation laws that denied black Americans their basic rights and dignity. Before that, there was outright slavery.


Even today, racism is still institutionalized. It also permeates American culture, laying just beneath a superficial layer of tolerance and equality.

This is not just about white people who remain racist against blacks and other minorities - a product of America's terminally ill culture - it is also about fundamental racism that still very much sits at the heart of American foreign and domestic policy - against not only blacks, but virtually every race on the planet from Africans to Asians to even Slavs.

The US is a nation that encourages its people to hate entire groups of people abroad to help justify otherwise unjust wars. Arabs, Chinese people, Russians - are all vilified with bigotry and hatred sanctioned by mainstream American culture. It isn't hard to see why in a nation like this, hatred for other groups is easily justified in the minds of racists and the unjust. 

Not Just Police in America - Racism is a Key Feature of US Foreign Policy 

It was under US President Barack Obama that the US decimated the North African nation of Libya, deposing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi - a champion of African dignity and progress and the champion of tens of thousands of blacks from all over Africa who travelled to Libya to find work and a better life - work and a better life Gaddafi provided them until he was brutally murdered and his government replaced by heavily armed, racist terrorists backed by the US and its European allies.


US-backed militants in Libya would hunt down Libya's black population, killing them, torturing them, and even enslaving them in open air slave markets - a spectacle one might have believed was unthinkable in the 21st century - but something made possible by America, its foreign policy, and its deeply rooted racism and sense of supremacy - despite having a "black" president at the time.

President Obama is hardly the only one to blame - he simply picked up where others left off - and his successor, US President Donald Trump is simply next in line to carry forward systemic US injustice worldwide. The fact that President Obama was black made no difference and simply helps illustrate how while superficial milestones are waved in America's face - the fundamental rot of injustice, racism, and supremacist thinking persists.

When a nation is able to justify denying one group of people their dignity, worth, and rights as human beings it is a slippery slope that easily leads to other groups likewise being stripped of their humanity and abused.

If Black Lives Matter - They Must Always Matter, Everywhere, All the Time 

Any case of police brutality is tragic and needs to be addressed -a problem in its own right. If officers killed George Flyod because he was black, it represents an additional problem that must also be addressed.

If Americans genuinely believe black lives matter - then they need to commit to fighting injustice against them, and all other victims of American racism and supremacy. If they speak up only when it is popular and "trending" it's as good as not speaking up at all.

If they are silent when America is mass murdering blacks overseas, killing brown people across the planet, or attempting to normalize racism against Asians - Chinese people in particular - they are complicit in the very sort of deeply rooted, institutionalized racism that underpins US foreign policy and the globe-spanning industrialized injustice it represents - and the very sort of racism that manifests itself as injustice against blacks at home.

America needs genuine opposition to racism. Not opportunistic posturing.


US politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pose as dedicated to racial equality and fighting racism - yet she regularly finds herself in support of US military aggression abroad which exclusively targets nations populated by black, brown, and Asian people.

Her most recent display of supreme hypocrisy was her support of US meddling in Hong Kong - an extension of the British Empire's seizure from and subjugation of this Chinese territory.

The British Empire - of course - also pursued its foreign policy based entirely on the belief that white Westerners were superior to all others and that it was their right - even duty - to impose British "civilization" upon "heathen" races - China was no exception to this belief.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may or may not appreciate that her support for US meddling in Hong Kong helps continue this disgraceful tradition and agenda - believing instead that supporting "democracy" in Hong Kong is not simply the same brand of Anglo-American racism merely repackaged for more sensitive global audiences. But she is supporting racism, supremacy, and hegemony all the same.

Black lives will never matter as long as "Black Lives Matter" remains a hollow political slogan shouted by interests easily able to ignore or even support injustice purveyed by the US against others abroad - including blacks.

Deeply rooted racism in the US is just one of many symptoms of an overall desire for hegemony and the notions of racial, political, and cultural supremacy that underpin it. Until this is addressed, racism will continue, with only the most superficial and unsustainable efforts made to stop it.

As long as America believes it is better than all others abroad - able to justify exploitation, coercion, and even military aggression to assert itself and pursue its "interests" - racism and injustice will persist at home. The same corporate-financier interests driving US injustice abroad see the US population - white and black - as merely another market segment to use and abuse - to divide and conquer - to put under itself for its own benefit.

Black lives matter, whether they are being strangled by a racist white cop in America or being bombed by US warplanes in Libya. Once Americans can unite in both understanding and opposing this across-the-board racism and injustice, something might actually be done about it besides kicking the can down the road for a few more months until the next video of police abuse emerges online.

America will not heal its domestic hatred and divisions if it remains built entirely on projecting and profiting from hatred and division abroad. It was no coincidence that legendary champions for equality like Martin Luther King Jr. were both opposed to racism and injustice at home and ceaselessly opposed  to American aggression and hegemony abroad. The two are linked by the common thread of fundamental injustice. Until they are both exposed and smashed completely, they will both continue.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: US]

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[l] at 7/4/20 5:02am
June 4, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - Western Europe (we'll define as France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, and Austria) shows how regions of the world with existing socioeconomic problems have seen Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) simply amplify them while in other regions where fundamentals have been stronger (China and ASEAN), have simply been temporarily setback.


Even within nations, this is also the case, where sectors and industries performing well have merely been set back while others already struggling long before COVID-19 showed up have been dealt a severe blow.

Health Impact 

Just looking at the reported number of cases and the reported number of deaths tells us that even deep in the heart of the European Union there is some disparity, whether it is via how testing is done, statistics are gathered and reported, the state of healthcare in each respective nation or some sort of demographic factor being responsible.

Germany and France, for example, had nearly the same number of reported COVID-19 cases, yet France had many, many more reported deaths.

France: 182,942 cases, 28,432 deaths
Germany: 180,789 cases, 8,428 deaths
Spain: 282,480 cases, 26,837 deaths
Belgium: 57,342 cases, 9,312 deaths
Portugal: 30,788 cases, 1,330 deaths
Austria: 16,539 cases, 641 deaths

Fears of overburdened healthcare infrastructure stemmed from predictions and models of a pathogen that would spread faster and have a greater impact on public health than COVID-19 actually did.

As testing continues to expand, the number of infected appears to have been vastly larger than previously reported meaning that the mortality rate of COVID-19 is thus much lower.


Measures

Western Europe quickly enacted restrictions on movement both within their borders and beyond them. Non-essential activity was restricted, public venues closed including sporting events and schools, regulations regarding the use of masks when out in public put into place and even local elections becoming a subject of debate on whether they'd move forward or not.

In France, municipal elections were held despite the outbreak. They were completed just before widespread public restrictions were put into place.

Much like the rest of the world, the damage done in Western Europe stems from the measures put in place, grinding business to a halt, and the socioeconomic impact it had rather than on any damage caused by the pathogen itself upon the public.

Socioeconomic Impact 

The European Union has already seen its fair share of socioeconomic chaos brought on by the 2008-2009 economic crisis it was just barely recovering from before COVID-19 hit, and a series of other events marking Western Europe's decline upon the global stage.

With restrictions grinding to a halt what economic activity was taking place across Europe, nations now face recessions.

Germany, according to the Guardian, is now in recession, marked by two consecutive quarters of losses on economic growth. Interestingly enough however, is that the first quarter of downturn occured before the impact of COVID-19. Thus the pathogen and the region's response to it only helped compound economic troubles.

France is suffering from similar economic woes, both before and now certainly after COVID-19.

France24 in an article titled, "Covid-19: French economic activity down 33 percent, Insee says," would note:
Economic activity in France picked up slightly over the last two weeks as the country prepares to emerge from a coronavirus lockdown, but it remains a third below normal levels, the INSEE official statistics agency said on Thursday.
The article also noted the impact on unemployment and measures the French government has attempted to take in order to address it:
The government has rolled out a 110 billion euro ($118.9 billion) package of crisis measures to see companies through the lockdown and heavily subsidise furloughs for more than one out of two private sector workers to avoid a wave of permanent layoffs.

Even with massive use of the furlough scheme, the French economy shed 453,800 workers in the first quarter as companies did not renew temporary workers contracts en masse, INSEE said on Thursday.
It is a scenario playing out all across Europe.

Nations already suffering because of weak economic fundamentals are going to find it exceptionally difficult to recover from the impact of measures put in place during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nations like France engaged in military adventurism overseas in aid of US hegemony, will find themselves needing to explain to the public now more than ever why money can still be found to fund aggression overseas but not on building up the nation at home.

Other nations in Western Europe still paying into NATO and its growing militaristic posture versus Russia will have to explain why the funding to do so isn't being redirected toward more essential, domestic concerns.

Governments tempted to favor expensive shale oil from the United States over cheaper gas from Russia will have to explain why political motivations are winning out over socioeconomic reconstruction post-COVID-19.

While the Western media likes to talk about the "new normal" that will emerge in the wake of COVID-19 it appears there are few rays of hope for Western Europe. What this "new normal" will most likely mean is that in the future (perhaps for COVID-20 or COVID-21) any street protests or growing discontent that develops as Western Europe continues to sink economically can be swept off the streets with "lockdowns" and "quarantines" while many Europeans will find themselves more dependent on government programs, as independent employment becomes more difficult to find.

Some Western European leaders may be tempted to follow America's lead in scapegoating COVID-19 to explain national and regional ills, or even shift the blame to China, but the truth is Western Europe was already suffering before COVID-19, suffered more during COVID-19 and will continue suffering until Western Europe's economic fundamentals themselves are addressed rather than covered up or explained away.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.    

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: EU, Europe, HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/4/20 4:20am
May 30, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Judging by US foreign policy - China is a massive global threat - and by some accounts - the "top" threat. But a threat to what? 

AFP would report in its article, "Trump nominee to lead intel community sees China as top threat," that: 
President Donald Trump's pick to lead the US intelligence community said Tuesday that he would focus on China as the country's greatest threat, saying Beijing was determined to supplant the United States' superpower position.
Were China doing this by using news agencies like AFP to lie to the public to justify invading Middle Eastern nations, killing tens of thousands of innocent people, installing client regimes worldwide, and using its growing power to coerce and control nations economically and politically when not outright militarily - US President Donald Trump's "pick" - John Ratcliffe - might be justified in focusing on China and its "determination" to "supplant the United States' superpower position."

However, this is not what China is doing.

China Building Rather than Bombing 

China is - instead - using economic progress to rise upon the global stage. It makes things. It builds things. It creates infrastructure to bring these things to others around the globe who need or want them, and enables other nations to make, build, and send things to China.

One example is China's One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR) also referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This includes a series of railways, highways, ports, and other infrastructure projects to help improve the logistical connections between nations, accelerating economic development.

Only in the US could the notion of building railways connecting people within and between nations seem like a dangerous idea.

By building such networks, people are better empowered to trade what they are making and what they seek to buy and sell. China, which possesses the largest high-speed railway network on Earth carrying 2 billion passengers a year, is extending this network beyond its borders - deep into Southeast Asia and even across Eurasia via Russia and beyond. Alongside it are a raft of other projects ranging from ports to power plants, and more.

The political and economic power China is gaining by expanding real economic activity both within its borders and beyond them, and both for China itself as well as for its trading partners - represents a global pivot away from America's century-long unipolar global order and closer toward a now emerging multipolar world order.

The US with a population of over 300 million and some of the best industrial potential in the world could easily pivot with this sea change - but entrenched special interests refuse to do so. Paying into a genuinely pragmatic method of generating wealth and stability exposes Washington and Wall Street's various rackets, making them no longer tenable. So instead, US special interests are labeling China's One Belt, One Road initiative a global threat and China itself as one of America's chief adversaries.


Fighting Fire with Fire or Pushing Rope Uphill? 

To combat this adversary - the US is not building bigger and better global networks to facilitate economic progress - but is instead marshalling the summation of its "soft power" to hinder and sabotage it. It has ringed China with a series of sociopolitical conflicts, cultivating opposition groups in various nations aimed at destabilizing them and spoiling them as constructive economic and infrastructure partners for Beijing.

The US is leveraging its still massive media monopolies to portray these political conflicts as otherwise inexplicable opposition to closer ties with China and against infrastructure projects jointly developed with China.

In some nations  - like Cambodia - this has all but failed with swift and definitive action taken by the Cambodian government against US proxies to clear them from Cambodia's media, political, and public space. In nations like Thailand, the opposition has been left to linger - neutralized at the moment but ever threatening to overturn sociopolitical stability if given the opportunity.

Nations like Japan, South Korea, and even Australia - who are generally perceived as being staunch US allies - have even begun slowly but surely shifting their foreign policy to benefit from the economic rise of China.

Australia - for example - has even been recently threatened by the US after the state of Victoria signed a trade deal with China.

An ABC article titled, "US threatens Australia’s intelligence ties over Victoria’s ‘Belt and Road’ pact with China," would report:
The US Secretary of State has said his nation could “simply disconnect” from Australia if Victoria’s trade deal with Beijing affects US telecommunications.
Mike Pompeo said while he was unaware of the detail of Victoria’s agreement, he warned it could impact the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partnership with Australia.
Of course, the "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing partnership is an abusive combine of invasive surveillance used to enhance the power and profits of the special interests that created it - not to actually protect the people living in any of the "Five Eyes" partner nations.

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hints at possible security risks associated with doing business with China and its telecom giant Huawei - "Five Eyes" governments have regularly been exposed and confirmed to be partnering with Western tech giants to violate privacy and spy on innocent people.

It is just one example of how the US seeks to shape the world and bend nations into joining or doubling down on its abusive axis and steering them away from constructive partnerships.

Australia's economic trade is mainly done within Asia - not with the West. As China continues to rise, common sense will compel Australia to continue building better and more constructive ties with Beijing and divesting from otherwise costly and unconstructive alliances with nations like the US built on military intervention, spying, and political subversion.

The US finds itself pushing the geopolitical rope of hegemony up hill - offering up unconvincing criticisms of China and its foreign policy while offering no viable alternative.

Delusion is the Worst Defense 

Op-eds like Foreign Policy's "One Belt, One Road, One Big Mistake," help illustrate the West's thinking regarding China's rise and its OBOR project.

The article claims:
This might not matter if BRI projects were driving favorable political outcomes. They aren’t. Prolonged exposure to the BRI process has driven opposition to Chinese investment and geopolitical influence across the region.
FP can make this claim because it entirely omits any mention of the vast sums of money and effort the US has spent to create this opposition. The example FP uses is the Maldives - never mentioning that the pro-Beijing government there was overturned by a convicted criminal literally hiding in Western Europe and fully supported by the US State Department in his bid to return to power.

Thus - this isn't an example of OBOR failing to create a favorable political outcome for Beijing - it is an example of US soft power overturning these favorable political outcomes nonexistent American alternatives to OBOR are incapable of doing. How durable these US successes are is a matter of debate.

The article also claims:

Far from being a strategic masterstroke, the BRI is a sign of strategic dysfunction. There is no evidence that it has reshaped Asia’s geopolitical realities. The countries that have benefited most from it are those that already had strong geopolitical reasons for aligning themselves with Chinese power, such as Cambodia and Pakistan.
Here again - FP depends on omitting facts including the fact that many nations previously bent to US foreign policy are exiting out from under it via China's One Belt, One Road.

Thailand is a perfect example of this - having recently replaced much of its US military hardware with Chinese alternatives including tanks, armored personnel carriers, ships, and even submarines. Thailand is also in the process of building a joint high-speed railway with China that will connect it to China via Laos to the north and with Malaysia to the south. 
It's not that the Western media doesn't know this - they choose simply to ignore this reality and shield its readership from it - a bit of delusion in hopes its soft-power methods can continue gaining them victories and reversing China's gains faster than China can make and cement them.


As to what the US is doing to counter OBOR, Foreign Policy and many others populating the West's echo chambers feel criticism - however baseless - as well as brushing off the sea change OBOR is slowly creating - is good enough.

Of course it is not. In an international order where might makes right, the US finds itself with diminishing might and a growing inability to convince the world it is "right." Luckily for the US and much of Western Europe strong-armed into following Washington's cues, the rest of the world still seeks to constructively work with the West and inevitably will do so.

It will just be a matter of weathering the damage being done by the current circle of special interests still dominating Western foreign policy, waiting for them to wane and disappear from positions of power and authority and be replaced by leadership willing and able to move the West into a constructive role amid a multipolar world.

Either way, OBOR will connect the rest of the world together leaving the West just beyond its terminus. It will be up to Western leaders - particularly in Washington - whether or not they choose to benefit from the wealth left just beyond their doorstep or not.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Asia, china, OBOR, US]

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[l] at 7/4/20 3:43am
Author's note: This is part of The Covid-19 Chronicles Series covering how nations and regions are responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. 

May 28, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - Like much of Asia, Eastern Europe appears to have weathered the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis relatively well, at least in terms of overcoming a health crisis. 



Total reported infections and deaths have been much lower across these nations, and the Western media has taken turns wondering just how this is possible.

Health Impact

Statistics indicate that Covid-19 has impacted Eastern European nations in about the same manner as the annual flu or common cold. Nations like Belarus have in fact been hit harder by the annual flu than by the recent Covid-19 outbreak. 

While headlines claimed nations would be scrambling for critical medical equipment including ventilators, Eastern Europe has since had no widespread or widely reported shortages nor reports of overcrowded or overwhelmed healthcare facilities. 

The table below gives a quick look at the impact of Covid-19 nearly half a year into the supposed "pandemic" and is easily comparable to annual flu burden in each respective nation. 

Belarus: 27,730 infections, 156 deaths
Bulgaria: 2,174 infections, 105 deaths
Czechia: 8,406 infections, 295 deaths
Hungary: 3,473 infections, 448 deaths
Poland: 18,016 infections, 907 deaths
Moldova: 5,745 infections, 202 deaths
Romania: 16,437 infections, 1,070 deaths 
Russia: 262,843 infections, 2,418 deaths
Slovakia: 1,480  infections, 27 deaths 
Ukraine: 17,858 infections, 497 deaths

The health impact has been minimal with Eastern European nations imposing measures that ranged from the extreme to, in Belarus' case, very minimum in the face of global panic over the virus.

Measures 

Eastern European nations did indeed put measures in place including the closure of public venues, issuing guidelines regarding social distancing and the use of facemasks. Poland had closed public venues and businesses,  restricted  public activities including gatherings and instituted the use of face masks, but has since begun easing such measures. 

In other instances, measures have been so lax that it incurred complaints from neighboring nations. 

Belarus, for example, has been accused by Lithuania of hiding the impact of Covid-19 on its population and responding inadequately . 

US State Department propaganda Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in an article titled, " COVID-19: WHO Urges Belarus To Implement Distancing Measures; Georgia To Extend State Of Emergency," would complain about Belarus' insistence on not caving in to what Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka called "mass psychosis."


Western media is condemning several Eastern European nations for not being "serious" enough about Covid-19. What measures have been put in place are in turn targeted by the same Western media as "abuse of power," indicating that Western concern is rooted more in political motivation than out of any genuine concern for the health of Eastern Europeans.

Questioning the measures put in place by some Eastern European nations and their gathering of Covid-19 related statistics has also become a political tool used to place pressure on governments unpopular with the West long before Covid-19 appeared on the horizon.

Ultimately it seems President Lukashenka was right for not paralyzing his nation socioeconomically for a pathogen apparently no more dangerous than the annual flu. While ordinary flu cases coupled with Covid-19 cases could present extra burden to national healthcare infrastructure, it is still not a crisis big enough to justify the self-inflicted socioeconomic calamity Western nations have subjected themselves to and are now mired in.

Socioeconomic Impact 

Despite the minimum health impact and in many cases, a minimum response in terms of measures, nations like Belarus are still applying for loans from international financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Many Eastern European nations depend on international trade, especially with Western Europe. If Western Europe has shuttered their economies, the impact on Eastern Europe will be felt regardless of how it itself overcame Covid-19.

Just as is the case for much of Asia, Eastern European businesses will face a choice between waiting for the West to recover and reopen, or expand into markets Eastward. Either way, it will be difficult and Eastern European governments find themselves nonetheless implementing a raft of policies in response to reduced business or even unemployment associated with Covid-19.

Eastern Europe represents another example of how Covid-19 the pathogen failed to live up to chaos Covid-19 the panic triggered. The damage being done is socioeconomic and political rather than health-related and should give Eastern European governments pause for thought about how they move forward safely into a future where another "Covid-19 pandemic" may unfold and threaten their individual and collective socioeconomic stability.

The creation of policies, infrastructure and economic relations with other like-minded nations who agree upon a common structure for responding to and overcoming future outbreaks will be necessary to ensure there is not another repeat of the Covid-19 crisis. Only time will tell if Eastern Europe, along with other regions like Asia, are able to do so.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: Europe, HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/4/20 2:56am
May 26, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - When the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) withdrew from a Huawei-sponsored Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) webinar - the ethical grounds it allegedly did so on were ill-defined at best.



The NABJ seemed to hint it was actually pressure on it from various other groups to cancel the webinar that spurred the decision and not any concerns the NABJ itself had with Huawei.

Articles like the Washington Examiner's, "'Become a distraction': National Association of Black Journalists cancels webinar sponsored by Huawei," would report:
Huawei, a Chinese-based telecommunications firm that has been indicted for racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets, was partnering with the NABJ on an event called “The Rise of Misinformation,” which was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. After receiving pushback for the partnership, the NABJ released a statement on Tuesday announcing the webinar's cancellation after it had "become a distraction."
The article would also complain regarding Huawei that:
The Department of Justice has been wary of Huawei and has urged allies not to work with the company, which the United States alleges violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In its February indictment, the DOJ pointed to the company’s “long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology" from U.S. counterparts and revealed new details about Huawei’s deceptive efforts to evade U.S. sanctions when doing business in North Korea and Iran. 
Of course - besides being baseless - US accusations against Huawei stem from the fact the Chinese tech-giant is overtaking US corporations - outperforming them technologically and taking over market shares around the globe from once deeply entrenched US monopolies.

Another complaint is Huawei's alleged violation of illegal sanctions the US has levelled against Iran as part of its attempts to trigger war against Tehran or overthrow the government residing there, triggering yet another endless and destructive - not to mention costly - war in the Middle East.

"Woke" Personalities Suspiciously Mindless, Racist Regarding China 

More confusing was political commentator and CNN contributor Van Jones chiming in - applauding the decision to cancel the webinar and insisting he would not have agreed to participate had he known Huawei was a sponsor.

Jones never explains why Huawei's sponsorship was a problem.

For a man who works for a news network guilty of lying the American people into serial wars over the past three decades costing the lives of thousands of US soldiers, the lives of millions of innocent people from North Africa to Central Asia, and squandering trillions of  US tax dollars - political motivations rather than any sort of "ethical" concern likely spurred Jones' stance.


Ultimately what the cancelled panel proves is that rather than actually discussing Covid-19 and the impact Washington's mismanagement of it is having on communities around the United States - attention has been redirected to a "common enemy" overseas - with white and black Americans uniting in scapegoating China for their collective woes. It is something that can only be described as decidedly "un-woke."

A nation with this sort of mindset - or at least a nation with media conglomerates promoting such a mindset - is a nation mired in the murkiest of swamps. The irony of US President Donald Trump promising to "drain the swamps" of US special interests only to see them at their thickest, deepest, and boggiest amid the Covid-19 outbreak speaks volumes as to why Huawei may have seen it necessary to support an event combating disinformation within the US and why it was ultimately cancelled.

Of course, foreign sponsors involving themselves in the internal affairs of any other given nation is problematic. But that was not the concern expressed regarding Huawei - nor is it a concern mentioned by people like Van Jones or CNN when the US likewise meddles abroad in a similar or much more intrusive manner.

As many others have pointed out and as is becoming increasingly self-evident - Covid-19 isn't breaking America - America is already broken. Covid-19 is simply amplifying and accelerating problems long rotting the foundation of American society. Those like Van Jones and CNN are committed to maintaining a status quo allowing this rot to continue and organizations like the NABJ find themselves subjected to irresistible pressure to likewise ignore the rot and focus attention elsewhere.

The NABJ's decision, the agenda of those that pressured it to make that decision, and Van Jones' dishonesty will neither address the damage Covid-19 hysteria is having across America nor do anything at all to address the reality that China is overtaking the US economically and upon the global stage.

Until Americans are ready to have a real conversation about what needs to be done and until Americans are ready to do it - China's rise and America's decline will only continue - with crises like Covid-19 accelerating the process exponentially.

Finally, the "woke" movement in the US appears to be little more than another brand of mainstream corporate propaganda, simply repackaged to appeal to yet another target market. In this example, we see the "woke" movement dovetailing in with mainstream anti-Chinese sentiment based entirely preserving US hegemony and attacking anything at all that threatens it.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: china, propaganda]

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[l] at 7/4/20 2:24am
Author's note: This is part of The Covid-19 Chronicles Series covering how nations and regions are responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis. 

May 20, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson - NEO) - The ten Southeast Asian states of ASEAN with a collective population of 622 million people has weathered the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) relatively well. 



A combination of quick reactions, a hesitation to overreact and strong preexisting economic fundamentals, the region looks well on its way to returning to normal, that is, if it is able to resist the "new normal" the West seeks to impose globally. 

Health Impact

In stark contrast to reports out of the West regarding infections and deaths related to Covid-19, Southeast Asia has seen relatively fewer confirmed infections and fewer deaths. The table below illustrates just how few deaths there have been (a total of just 2,079) for a region with nearly twice the population of the United States. 

Brunei: 141 cases, 1 death
Cambodia: 122 cases, no reported deaths
Indonesia: 16,496 cases, 1,076 deaths
Laos: 19 cases, no reported deaths
Malaysia: 6,855 cases, 112 deaths
Myanmar: 181 cases, 6 deaths
Philippines: 12,091 cases, 806 deaths
Singapore: 26,891 cases, 21 deaths
Thailand: 3,025 cases, 56 deaths
Vietnam: 312 cases, no reported deaths

There have been few if any reports of overcrowded hospitals or shortages of critical medical equipment. Virtually all of the deaths reported were associated with chronic preexisting health conditions, with some cases calling into question whether Covid-19 really was the cause of death rather than merely a contributing factor, if even.

While everything from ASEAN's warmer climate to quick measures put into place cited by commentators and analysts, it is much more likely that Covid-19 simply is not as dangerous as the Western mass media has claimed and that the governments in ASEAN simply did not respond to nor feed into the wave of panic triggered by sensationalist Western headlines and overreactions in Western capitals.

Despite this, measures were put into place and these measures, more than the pathogen itself, are responsible for the impact Covid-19 is having on the region.

Measures 

While the actual impact of the pathogen was minimal, the international "peer pressure" to close borders, lockdown populations and otherwise grind national economies to a halt triggered a series of measures across ASEAN.

Restricted travel between ASEAN states and between China and ASEAN had been imposed but since, incrementally rolled back.

"Stay at home" measures have been put in place as well as "social distancing" measures monkeying those put in place across the West. Mandatory use of masks has been imposed both by private businesses and by both national and regional governments. Schools had been closed and many "non-essential" businesses had also been closed, but also are now incrementally being reopened.


As businesses and public venues are slowly allowed to reopen, measures are being kept in place to encourage "social distancing" and the continues use of masks despite a lack of evidence proving any of these measures address the actual spread of Covid-19 rather than simply give a panicked public peace of mind.

Despite the minimum impact the actual pathogen had on ASEAN, the measures taken to stop the "spread" of Covid-19 has had a serious impact socioeconomically.

Socioeconomic Impact

Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia represent the top three largest economies in ASEAN. All three have suffered not from overtaxed healthcare facilities or stacks of dead bodies due to Covid-19 the pathogen, but rather from the impact of closing borders, shuttering businesses and otherwise paralyzing their respective populations due to Covid-19 the panic.

Millions are still temporarily unemployed and suicides associated with a lack of income, mounting personal debts and growing impatience far outweigh any news regarding the actual health impact of Covid-19.

While ASEAN slowly reopens businesses and social venues in the hopes of returning to normal, it is unclear how deep and lasting the current socioeconomic impact of shutdowns and lockdowns will be.

It is also unclear whether or not ASEAN states have any plan at all regarding future "outbreaks" and whether or not they are willing to cave to international "peer pressure" again in another round of overreactions and self-inflicted socioeconomic calamity.

Looking at the numbers, it is clear that some ASEAN states tested their populations more extensively than others, but regardless of the number of infections, overall deaths have been minimal, comparable to the common cold or the annual flu, a conclusion that falls in line with other studies including in the West finding many more people being infected than officially reported and simply overcoming the virus.

If ASEAN doesn't shutter itself for half a year every year because of other common infectious but relatively benign viruses, it makes little sense to do so again over Covid-19 and its successors.

Like China, regardless of how quickly ASEAN bounces back regionally, it still depends on exports to nations including in the West that look very unlikely to emerge any time soon from their own self-inflicted crises in the wake of Covid-19's spread.

Because China represents ASEAN's biggest and most important trade partner and considering how China and other large Asian states are already reemerging from the impact of Covid-19, what is likely to take shape is a much stronger inter-Asian trade bloc seeking to stand back up and to do so with less dependence on Western markets. ASEAN and Asia as a whole, if the region remains on track to reopen and return to normal, will be better positioned globally if other nations, including in the West insist on dragging out the Covid-19 crisis any further.

It is also worth noting that attempts by certain groups, backed primarily by Western special interests, seeking to create anti-Chinese sentiment in ASEAN associated with Covid-19 have mostly failed. In most ASEAN states solidarity has been expressed on both sides of China-ASEAN borders with both sides eager to reopen for business, tourism and cooperation including work on the One Belt, One Road initiative and various infrastructure projects associated with it.

ASEAN now finds itself tilting in the balance of returning to normal and avoiding a "new normal" imposed by the West and so-called "international institutions" mainly funded and in the service of Western special interests. It would be a "new normal" that will hinder and govern socioeconomic progress with unnecessary restrictions seeking to target growing global powers and make up for the West's increasingly flaccid economic competitiveness.

Covid-19 will end up being a defining moment in history, and not because of how nations reacted to any sort of genuine health crisis, but how it weathered attempts by malign special interests to leverage it to redefine, redivide and exploit the world and the people living in it. ASEAN will be a bellwether indicating what shape this world will take.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: ASEAN, Asia, HealthGenetics]

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[l] at 7/4/20 1:52am
Big-Pharma - guilty of lying, cheating, stealing, bribery, and a history of exposing the public to dangerous and even deadly drugs - is being given billions to develop a Covid-19 "vaccine." Would you trust your health to these criminals? 

May 1, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Coronavirus Disease 2019 or "Covid-19" hysteria is sweeping the globe - with mass media-induced public panic paralyzing entire nations, gutting economies of billions as workplaces are shutdown and the public shuttered indoors all while exposed to 24 hour news cycles deliberately fanning the flames of fear. 

The West's healthcare industry is already profiting both monetarily and in terms of artificial credibility as a panicked public turn to it for answers and safety.

Waiting to cash in on offering "cures" and "vaccines" for a virus that is essentially a bad cold - is the immensely corrupt Western pharmaceutical industry in particular - notorious corporations like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis, Bayer, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Lilly, and Gilead.
All corporations - without exception - pursuing government-funded vaccines and therapies for Covid-19 are corporations guilty and repeatedly convicted in courts of law around the globe of crimes including falsifying research, safety, and efficacy studies, bribing researchers, doctors, regulators, and even law enforcement officials, and marketing drugs that were either entirely ineffective or even dangerous. 
Government funding from taxpayers across the Western World are being funneled into supposedly non-profit organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) which are in actuality fronts created and chaired by big-pharma to avoid investing their own money into costly research and development and simply profit from whatever emerges from state-funded research.

CEPI - for example - is receiving billions in government funds from various nations that will be used for R&D that results in products sold by and profited from big-pharma. 
Novartis - Plumbing the Depths of the Despicable 
A particularly shocking and appalling example comes from Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis - who is currently attempting to ram through approval of its drug Jakafi as a therapy for severe Covid-19 patients.
A University of Pennsylvania team headed by Dr. Carl June and funded entirely by charity had developed a gene therapy that fully and permanently cured leukemia patients who had otherwise failed to respond to more traditional treatments like bone marrow transplants. During early trials in 2010-2012, one patient - a 6 year old named Emily Whitehead - was literally on her death bed before receiving the revolutionary gene therapy.

Today she is alive and well, in permanent remission. 
What is more astounding about the therapy is that it is administered only one time. That is because after administration the patient's cells are rewired permanently to fight off cancer. Old cells pass the cancer-fighting information off to new cells as they divide and multiply. 
The therapy developed by Dr. June's team is not only a one-time therapy, it is also incredibly cost effective. Under experimental conditions the procedure cost under 20,000 USD. Dr. June at a 2013 talk at The Society for Translational Oncology would state
So the cost of goods, it's interesting. The major cost here is gamma globulin. So the t-cells themselves, with us, for our in-house costs of an apheresis and so on is 15,000 dollars to manufacture the t-cells. 
The charity that funded Dr. June's team - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) - would see its work sold off to Novartis, approved by the FDA in 2017 and marketed as Kymriah. What was noted by Dr. June himself as costing 15,000 USD to produce under experimental conditions was marked up by Novartis to an astronomical half-million dollars. The New York Times article that reported the drug's cost never mentions the actual cost of the drug and instead defers to Novartis' own explanation as to why the drug was so expensive. 
The NYT had previously reported on the therapy's progress before its acquisition by Novartis, yet NYT writers failed to hold Novartis accountable or inform readers of the actual cost of the therapy and expose price gouging by Novartis. This helps illustrate the mass media's role in enabling and covering up for big-pharma's corruption.  

Upon closer examination - and no thanks to publications like NYT - it turns out LLS was and still is in partnership with Novartis and while it denied Novartis had anything to do with the gene therapy funded by LLS and ultimately sold to Novartis - the glaring conflict of interest remains and fits in perfectly with the wider pharmaceutical industry's track record of corruption, abuse, and placing profits before human life.
The Novartis example is a microcosm of how the entire industry operates and indeed - precisely how it already is exploiting and profiting from Covid-19 hysteria where hard-working researchers have their work funded by shady "charities" only to be bought up by big-pharma and dangled over the heads of the desperate for movie-villain ransoms - all in cooperation with a complicit government and mass media.        
GSK: A Bribery Racket that Rings the Globe
Another pharmaceutical corporation seeking to profit from Covid-19 is GlaxoSmithKline. What those who may be exposed to whatever products GSK markets in response to the virus should know is that GSK has been convicted on every inhabited continent of the planet for operating a global bribery racket aimed at doctors, researchers, regulators, politicians, and even law enforcement officials. 
GSK has been convicted in Asia. The New York Times in its article, " Drug Giant Faced a Reckoning as China Took Aim at Bribery ," would claim:
The Glaxo case, which resulted in record penalties of nearly $500 million and a string of guilty pleas by executives, upended the power dynamic in China, unveiling an increasingly assertive government determined to tighten its grip over multinationals. In the three years since the arrests, the Chinese government, under President Xi Jinping, has unleashed the full force of the country’s authoritarian system, as part of a broader agenda of economic nationalism.
GSK has also been convicted in North America. The London Guardian would report in its article GlaxoSmithKline fined $3bn after bribing doctors to increase drugs sales that:
The pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn (£1.9bn) after admitting bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable antidepressants to children. Glaxo is also expected to admit failing to report safety problems with the diabetes drug Avandia in a district court in Boston on Thursday. 

The company encouraged sales reps in the US to mis-sell three drugs to doctors and lavished hospitality and kickbacks on those who agreed to write extra prescriptions, including trips to resorts in Bermuda, Jamaica and California.
GSK corruption also takes place in Europe. In early 2014, the London Telegraph would report in its article, "GlaxoSmithKline 'bribed' doctors to promote drugs in Europe, former worker claims," that:
GlaxoSmithKline, Britain’s largest drug company, has been accused of bribing doctors to prescribe their medicines in Europe. 

Doctors in Poland were allegedly paid to promote its asthma drug, Seretide, under the guise of funding for education programme, a former sales rep has claimed. 

Medics were also said to have been paid for lectures in the country which did not take place.
And this is only scratching the surface of GSK's bribery racket and associated impropriety - saying nothing of the wider industry's abuse and corruption. 
GSK is currently poised to develop and deploy a Covid-19 vaccine with Innovax. Will GSK's history of bribery and corruption influence the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and its approval for public use?

There is already a convincing answer to that question. 
Big-Pharma Already Caught Faking Pandemics to Fill Their Coffers 
The last wave of hysteria regarding a pandemic came in the form of the 2009 H1N1 outbreak or the "swine flu." 
If one vaguely remembers H1N1 and needs to look it up to refresh their memory - it's probably because it was not the pandemic it was promoted as at the time by corrupt public health officials and a complicit mass media.

Among these corrupt public health officials were World Health Organization (WHO) "experts" who were in the pay of big-pharma and used their positions to declare the appearance of H1N1 as a "pandemic" justifying likewise paid-off governments to stockpile big-pharma medication for patients that never ended up needing them.  
The BBC in their article, "WHO swine flu experts 'linked' with drug companies," would admit: 
Key scientists behind World Health Organization advice on stockpiling of pandemic flu drugs had financial ties with companies which stood to profit, an investigation has found.
The British Medical Journal says the scientists had openly declared these interests in other publications yet WHO made no mention of the links.
The BBC mentions GSK by name, noting (emphasis added):
...three scientists involved in putting together the 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. 
Roche - also mentioned - currently produces Covid-19 test kits and is obviously making massive profits by selling them amid sustained hysteria over the "pandemic." It also profited when WHO officials it was paying off declared H1N1 a "pandemic" in 2009. It sold testing kits and anti-viral medication that made their way into entirely unnecessary government stockpiles. 
Reuters in a 2014 article titled, "Stockpiles of Roche Tamiflu drug are waste of money, review finds," would note: 
Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche’s flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt. 
The article also noted:
Tamiflu sales hit almost $3 billion in 2009 - mostly due to its use in the H1N1 flu pandemic - but they have since declined. 
Are we really going to allow these same corporations and the corrupt officials they are in league with among national and international bodies take the reins again amid Covid-19?

Serial Offenders Drive Covid-19 Hysteria 
The same WHO - in partnership with the same serial offenders among the pharmaceutical industry - are now leading the response to Covid-19 - and the same complicit mass media that enabled the corruption and abuse of both in the past is helping fuel Covid-19 hysteria today to hand over unprecedented profits and power to these same interests that have repeatedly proven themselves in the past to not only be untrustworthy but also obstacles to - rather than the underwriters of - human health. 
Soon, syringes will be filled with "vaccines" produced by this conglomerate of corruption and abuse, and the public told to roll up their sleeves and have themselves injected by substances created by literal criminals or else. 
Under the illusion of legitimacy, science, and medicine, people will be pressured to submit to big-pharma and their co-conspirators within regulatory bodies, advisory organizations, the government, and the media, and whatever it is they actually fill these syringes with - whether it protects the public from Covid-19 or not - and whether such a vaccine is truly necessary or not. 
While Covid-19 might be an actual pathogen, evidence suggests it does not warrant the overreaction we have seen worldwide. "Covid-19 hysteria" is - by far - having a much more devastating impact on humanity than the actual virus itself.  Amid this hysteria, the biggest genuine threat to human health - a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and their partners in the government - are poised to expand both their profits at the expense of the public, and their power over the public. 
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.     

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: HealthGenetics, propaganda]

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[l] at 7/4/20 1:21am
April 25, 2020 (21st Century Wire) -   In this follow-up interview with Stanford University’s  Dr John Ioannidis, he explains the findings from three preliminary studies, (including his latest, which shows a drastically reduced infection fatality rate); the negative health and economic effects of draconian ‘lockdown’ policies, as well as Sweden’s non-lockdown approach, Italian data, the pros and cons of testing and finally the feasibility of much touted ‘contact tracing’, and much more.

Interview by John Kirby from Press and The Public Project with  Dr. Ioannidis.  Watch:


According to their new findings, the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 is significantly lower than previously assumed. “If you take these new numbers into account, they suggest that the fatality rate for this new coronavirus is likely to be  “in same the ballpark of seasonal influenza,” says  Dr Ioannidis. Dr John P.A. Ioannidis is a professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, professor by courtesy of statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University.

[Author: Land Destroyer] [Category: HealthGenetics]

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