Archive | December 3rd, 2019

3 brothers in Nazi captivity … and little “Abdul Rahman” age not know his “mother”

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

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Illegally Nazi occupied Hebron : The father of the three prisoners confused who is crying, and in any of them is proud, putting his hand on his heart, how to distribute his love and mercy to three, all heroes, and all of whom the occupation deprived them of seeing.

The Nazi occupation forces arrested the three brothers, “Ahmed, Qasim and Mohammed Aref Asafra” from the town of Beit Kahel, west of Hebron, in addition to “Inas Asafra,” the wife of Qasim, in August last August after raiding their homes, which were demolished later.

On August 10, Nazi occupying forces stormed the house of the Asafra family. They searched the house and attacked its residents at dawn. They arrested Qassem and his wife from their house and confiscated their vehicle on suspicion of using it during an operation.

Exactly five days after the arrest of Qassem and his wife, the Israeli occupation forces again raided the family home, assaulted his brothers Ahmed and Mohammed and took them to arrest, and the family’s life was completely reversed.

The Nazi occupation forces accused Asafra of involvement in the implementation of the operation “Gush Etzion” in which the soldier “Dvir Sorek” from the settlement of “Efrat” was stabbed on August 7, near the settlement of “Migdal Oz” south of Bethlehem.

another life

3 brothers are now in prison, all married and have children, and one of them is also detained his wife, while carrying all the weight “father of the boat seventy and a mother returned to raise up again.”

Father Aref Asafra talked to Quds Al-Akhbaria about the first moments of the arrest, as large numbers of the Israeli army stormed his house at dawn, and began to beat, assault and search crazy, before taking them to arrest, as part of a campaign of arrests of relatives and youth in the region.

According to the father, the lawyer who follows the case of his three sons and identified him as “the wife of Qasim”, has been changed, and the last lawyer told him that the verdict will probably not get out of the cycle of life, while accused the wife of Qasim to cover up her husband and participate in the process. He pointed out that his sons were subjected to a harsh investigation by the occupation intelligence, and left behind “6 children” without parents.

In details, Ahmed (40 years) is the largest of his brothers detained, married with three children are “innocence and Hamza and Jannat”, followed by Qasim (35 years), and has two sons “Abdul Rahman 3 years, Mohammed 5 years”, and the youngest Mohammed (26). He is married and has “a son and a daughter born after the arrest called life.”

And about his sons, he said: “They were men, Saimin, worshipers, and obedient, high morals, not belonging to factions, belonging to Palestine, God bless them all.”

Abdul Rahman did not know his mother

Regarding family visits to their captive children, he explained that he applied to visit them but was refused in addition to preventing their mother from visiting them, pointing out that they were able to send the children of Qasim, “Abdul Rahman and Mohammed,” to visit their mother, “Inas”, with a relative in Hebron, as always They did not miss them and called them “Papa, Mama” and remind them in front of them every day.

In the visit, what happened was not expected, said their grandfather Aref: “We were surprised that Abdul Rahman little did not know his mother, after her absence for months, he looked at her and then began to flee, as if he rejects her reality and away from him, and refuses to see her behind bars, while Muhammad stood (5) Years) silent, knows that it is his mother, but does not utter a word, as if he admonishes her silence. “

“It was one of the cruelest moments for us and for Enas,” the grandfather says.“We embrace all of their children, their grandmothers take care of them, but they are tired and unable to go after the young ones.I am responsible for three families now, the pregnancy has increased, and the children will one day know that their parents are heroes. ”

The Nazi occupation forces demolished the houses of the three prisoners, in addition to the arrest of two other suspects involved in the operation, “Naseer Asafra, and Yusuf Zohour,” and demolished their homes in Beit Kahil, on November 28 last.

The words crammed in his throat, buzzing, crying: “What do I say about my children? I don’t know, but everything redeemed them.”# Asafra# Ahmed, Kassem and Mohammed# Heroes# House of ankle# Operation Gush Etzion

Fatah for “Jerusalem”: A peaceful negotiated solution encouraged the occupation to settle

Vegetable Market in Hebron …

Two analysts for “Jerusalem”: the resistance showed the fragility of the occupation and broke its prestige

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Russia-China Cooperation, The Power of Siberia Project, Strategic Gas Pipelines

By Arabi Souri

The inauguration of the Power of Siberia project to transport gas from Russia to China will strengthen Russia’s position as the world’s first gas exporter and boost economic relations between the two countries in an unprecedented way.

Thanks to the US politicians getting busy with their inner fights over who won the presidency and later over who is more corrupt with power in a newly controlled country (Ukraine), the excessive use of sanctions, and the anti-‘free trade’ war, other global superpowers are solidifying their positions and leaping ahead in steady growth.

Destroying Syria by the US-led War of Terror was partly because the Syrian President Bashar Assad rejected to isolate Russia and Iran by severing the relations with them and by allowing a Qatari gas pipeline through Syria to Europe which would have starved both the Russian and Iranian nations.

Toppling the Ukrainian state, destroying the country’s economy, and installing puppets there by the US was in part to control the Russia – West Europ gas pipeline.

From here comes the added importance of this project that would supply the Chinese economy with flowing energy source for the coming 3 decades, provide the Russian economy with a considerable steady income for the coming 3 decades, and hurting further the US dollar as this ‘energy’ project uses the currencies of both nations and not the currency that controlled the energy production and trade for at least half a century.The US-Russia Economic War Heats Up. Coordinated with Pentagon-NATO Deployments

Oddly enough it didn’t seem to be of concern to the US politicians and usual Pentagon propagandists to start with demonizing it and then analyzing their losses from creating enemies around the globe instead of engaging positively with the world, especially the established civilizations.

The following report by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel sheds some light on the global event:

It is a historic event according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the opening of the Power of Siberia pipeline between Russia and China will bring about a change in the world’s energy projects, not just between the two countries.

The inauguration, with the participation of the two heads of state on both sides of the border, was accelerated after the completion of the first phase of the project ahead of schedule, a phase, costing an estimated $ 20 billion out of $ 400 billion, the total cost of the Power of Siberia project.

This huge 30-year project was agreed between Moscow and Beijing via Russia’s Gazprom and China National Oil and Gas Company in 2014, it is the largest project to transport gas from eastern Russia to China, 4,500 kilometers of pipelines produced with a new and innovative technologies are supposed to transport 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas annually to China, this puts Russia at the forefront of natural gas providers for this country, which is the fastest-growing economy in the world today.

The Power of Siberia is one of 40 strategic economic agreements between the two countries over the past five years to enhance their cooperation in various fields, the level of cooperation in military production between them has risen in an unprecedented way, Russian and Chinese banks have given financial guarantees for trade using the currencies of the two countries amounting to tens of billions of dollars, the trade between the two neighbors, which share about 4,000 kilometers borders, jumped to $ 100 billion last year alone, this figure is expected to double over the next year.

Posted in China, Russia0 Comments

Medical Error: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

Medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel assess its contribution to mortality and call for better reporting

By Prof. Martin MakaryMichael Daniel, and Dr. Gary G. Kohls

Introduction

“2.6 million people die annually in low-and middle-income countries from medical errors, and that most of those deaths are related to misdiagnosis and administration of pharmaceutical products…Medication errors alone cost an estimated $42 billion (US dollars) annually. Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients resulting in 1 million deaths during or immediately after surgery annually…Four out of every ten patients are harmed during primary and ambulatory health care. The most detrimental errors are related to diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines.” — The World Health Organization

Below is a medical online article that concluded that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. The study, published in 2016 in the British Medical Journal, was authored by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The authors calculated that medical errors accounted for > 250,000 deaths every year in the US, which made iatrogenic (= physician, drug or vaccine-caused) deaths the third leading cause of death in the US, surpassed only by #1 heart disease (647,457) and #2 cancer (599,108) (2018 CDC data).

It is important to note that medical errors and adverse effects from prescription drugs that have caused deaths or illnesses are rarely listed by physicians on death certificates or in rankings of causes of death or illnesses. The online article calls for better reporting by physicians. 

Also be aware that the study – as has been the case of ALL such studies of causes of death, acute illnesses, chronic illnesses or adverse drug effects – did NOT evaluate vaccine-induced deaths or injuries, mainly because virtually every physician, in every country (where powerful, for-profit pharmaceutical/vaccine corporations control the practice of medicine, most medical school curricula and most major media outlets), consistently fails – or refuses to acknowledge – even the most obvious vaccine injuries or deaths as worthy of being reportable diseases or worthy of being listed in their differential diagnostic impressions, discharge diagnoses or death certifications.

Dr. Gary G. Kohls, December 4, 2019

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Medical Error: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

By Martin A Makary and Michael Daniel 

British Medical Journal, May 2016

The annual list of the most common causes of death in the United States, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), informs public awareness and national research priorities each year. The list is created using death certificates filled out by physicians, funeral directors, medical examiners, and coroners. However, a major limitation of the death certificate is that it relies on assigning an International Classification of Disease (ICD) code to the cause of death.[1] As a result, causes of death not associated with an ICD code, such as human and system factors, are not captured. The science of safety has matured to describe how communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill can directly result in patient harm and death. We analyzed the scientific literature on medical error to identify its contribution to US deaths in relation to causes listed by the CDC.[2]

Death from medical care itself

Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either of omission or commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome,[3] the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning),[4] or a deviation from the process of care that may or may not cause harm to the patient.[5] Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual or system level. The taxonomy of errors is expanding to better categorize preventable factors and events.[6] We focus on preventable lethal events to highlight the scale of potential for improvement.

The role of error can be complex. While many errors are non-consequential, an error can end the life of someone with a long life expectancy or accelerate an imminent death. The case in the box shows how error can contribute to death. Moving away from a requirement that only reasons for death with an ICD code can be used on death certificates could better inform healthcare research and awareness priorities.

How big is the problem?

The most commonly cited estimate of annual deaths from medical error in the US—a 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report[7]—is limited and outdated. The report describes an incidence of 44 000-98 000 deaths annually.[7] This conclusion was not based on primary research conducted by the institute but on the 1984 Harvard Medical Practice Study and the 1992 Utah and Colorado Study.[8][9] But as early as 1993, Leape, a chief investigator in the 1984 Harvard study, published an article arguing that the study’s estimate was too low, contending that 78% rather than 51% of the 180 000 iatrogenic deaths were preventable (some argue that all iatrogenic deaths are preventable).[10] This higher incidence (about 140 400 deaths due to error) has been supported by subsequent studies which suggest that the 1999 IOM report underestimates the magnitude of the problem. A 2004 report of inpatient deaths associated with the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Patient Safety Indicators in the Medicare population estimated that 575 000 deaths were caused by medical error between 2000 and 2002, which is about 195 000 deaths a year (table 1).[11] Similarly, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General examining the health records of hospital inpatients in 2008, reported 180 000 deaths due to medical error a year among Medicare beneficiaries alone.[12] Using similar methods, Classen et al described a rate of 1.13%.[13] If this rate is applied to all registered US hospital admissions in 2013[15] it translates to over 400 000 deaths a year, more than four times the IOM estimate.

Similarly, Landrigan et al reported that 0.6% of hospital admissions in a group of North Carolina hospitals over six years (2002-07) resulted in lethal adverse events and conservatively estimated that 63% were due to medical errors.[14] Extrapolated nationally, this would translate into 134 581 inpatient deaths a year from poor inpatient care. Of note, none of the studies captured deaths outside inpatient care—those resulting from errors in care at home or in nursing homes and in outpatient care such as ambulatory surgery centers.Drug-Induced “Iatrogenic” Disorders: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US and Britain

A literature review by James estimated preventable adverse events using a weighted analysis and described an incidence range of 210 000-400 000 deaths a year associated with medical errors among hospital patients.[16] We calculated a mean rate of death from medical error of 251 454 a year using the studies reported since the 1999 IOM report and extrapolating to the total number of US hospital admissions in 2013. We believe this understates the true incidence of death due to medical error because the studies cited rely on errors extractable in documented health records and include only inpatient deaths. Although the assumptions made in extrapolating study data to the broader US population may limit the accuracy of our figure, the absence of national data highlights the need for systematic measurement of the problem. Comparing our estimate to CDC rankings suggests that medical error is the third most common cause of death in the US (fig 1).[2]

Better data

Human error is inevitable. Although we cannot eliminate human error, we can better measure the problem to design safer systems mitigating its frequency, visibility, and consequences. Strategies to reduce death from medical care should include three steps: making errors more visible when they occur so their effects can be intercepted; having remedies at hand to rescue patients [17]; and making errors less frequent by following principles that take human limitations into account (fig 2). This multitier approach necessitates guidance from reliable data.

Currently, deaths caused by errors are unmeasured and discussions about prevention occur in limited and confidential forums, such as a hospital’s internal root cause analysis committee or a department’s morbidity and mortality conference. These forums review only a fraction of detected adverse events and the lessons learnt are not disseminated beyond the institution or department.

There are several possible strategies to estimate accurate national statistics for death due to medical error. Instead of simply requiring cause of death, death certificates could contain an extra field asking whether a preventable complication stemming from the patient’s medical care contributed to the death. An early experience asking physicians to comment on the potential preventability of inpatient deaths immediately after they occurred resulted in an 89% response rate.[18] Another strategy would be for hospitals to carry out a rapid and efficient independent investigation into deaths to determine the potential contribution of error. A root cause analysis approach would enable local learning while using medicolegal protections to maintain anonymity. Standardized data collection and reporting processes are needed to build up an accurate national picture of the problem. Measuring the consequences of medical care on patient outcomes is an important prerequisite to creating a culture of learning from our mistakes, thereby advancing the science of safety and moving us closer towards the Institute of Medicine’s goal of creating learning health systems.[19]

Health priorities

We have estimated that medical error is the third biggest cause of death in the US and therefore requires greater attention. Medical error leading to patient death is under-recognized in many other countries, including the UK and Canada.[20][21] According to WHO, 117 countries code their mortality statistics using the ICD system as the primary indicator of health status.[22] The ICD-10 coding system has limited ability to capture most types of medical error. At best, there are only a few codes where the role of error can be inferred, such as the code for anticoagulation causing adverse effects and the code for overdose events. When a medical error results in death, both the physiological cause of the death and the related problem with delivery of care should be captured.

To achieve more reliable healthcare systems, the science of improving safety should benefit from sharing data nationally and internationally, in the same way as clinicians share research and innovation about coronary artery disease, melanoma, and influenza. Sound scientific methods, beginning with an assessment of the problem, are critical to approaching any health threat to patients. The problem of medical error should not be exempt from this scientific approach. More appropriate recognition of the role of medical error in patient death could heighten awareness and guide both collaborations and capital investments in research and prevention.

Contributors and sources: MM is the developer of the operating room checklist, the precursor to the WHO surgery checklist. He is a surgical oncologist at Johns Hopkins and author of Unaccountable, a book about transparency in healthcare. MD is the Rodda patient safety research fellow at Johns Hopkins and is focused on health services research. This article arose from discussions about the paucity of funding available to support quality and safety research relative to other causes of death. Competing interests: We have read and understood BMJ policy on declaration of interests and declare that we have no competing interests. Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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Martin A Makary is a professor, Michael Daniel is a research fellow, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

Notes

1 Moriyama IM, Loy RM, Robb-Smith AHT, et al. History of the statistical classification of diseases and causes of death. National Center for Health Statistics, 2011.

2 Deaths: final data for 2013. National vital statistics report. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/ leading-causes-of-death.htm.

3 Leape LL. Error in medicine. JAMA 1994;272:1851-7. doi:10.1001/jama.1994. 03520230061039 pmid:7503827.

4 Reason J. Human error. Cambridge University Press, 1990. doi:10.1017/ CBO9781139062367.

5 Reason JT. Understanding adverse events: the human factor. In: Vincent C, ed. Clinical risk management: enhancing patient safety. BMJ, 2001:9-30.

6 Grober ED, Bohnen JM. Defining medical error. Can J Surg 2005;48:39-44.pmid:15757035.

7 Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS. To err is human: building a safer health system. National Academies Press, 1999.

8 Brennan TA, Leape LL, Laird NM, et al. Incidence of adverse events and negligence in hospitalized patients. Results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I. N Engl J Med, 1991;324:370-6. doi:10.1056/NEJM199102073240604 pmid:1987460.

9 Thomas EJ, Studdert DM, Newhouse JP, et al. Costs of medical injuries in Utah and Colorado. Inquiry 1999;36:255-64.pmid:10570659.

10 Leape LL, Lawthers AG, Brennan TA, Johnson WG. Preventing medical injury. Qual Rev Bull 1993;19:144-9.pmid:8332330.

11 HealthGrades quality study: patient safety in American hospitals. 2004. http://www.providersedge.com/ehdocs/ehr_articles/Patient_Safety_in_American_Hospitals-2004.pdf.

12 Department of Health and Human Services. Adverse events in hospitals: national incidence among Medicare beneficiaries. 2010. http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-09-00090.pdf.

13 Classen D, Resar R, Griffin F, et al. Global “trigger tool” shows that adverse events in hospitals may be ten times greater than previously measured. Health Aff 2011;30:581-9doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0190.

14  Landrigan CP, Parry GJ, Bones CB, Hackbarth AD, Goldmann DA, Sharek PJ. Temporal trends in rates of patient harm resulting from medical care. N Engl J Med2010;363:2124-34. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1004404 pmid:21105794.

15  American Hospital Association. Fast facts on US hospitals. 2015.http://www.aha.org/ research/rc/stat-studies/fast-facts.shtml.

16  James JTA. A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. J Patient Saf 2013;9:122-8. doi:10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182948a69 pmid:23860193.

17  Ghaferi AA, Birkmeyer JD, Dimick JB. Complications, failure to rescue, and mortality with major inpatient surgery in Medicare patients. Ann Surg 2009;250:1029-34. doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181bef697 pmid:19953723.

18  Provenzano A, Rohan S, Trevejo E, Burdick E, Lipsitz S, Kachalia A. Evaluating inpatient mortality: a new electronic review process that gathers information from front-line providers. BMJ Qual Saf 2015;24:31-7. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2014-003120 pmid:25332203.

19 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Continuous improvement and innovation in health and health care. Round table on value and science-driven health care. National Academies Press, 2011.

20 Office for National Statistics’ Death Certification Advisory Group. Guidance for doctors completing medical certificates of cause of death in England and Wales. 2010.

21 Statistics Canada. Canadian vital statistics, death database and population estimates. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/hlth36a-eng.htm.

22 World Health Organization. International classification of diseases.http://www.who.int/ classifications/icd/en/.The original source of this article is The BMJCopyright © Prof. Martin MakaryMichael Daniel, and Dr. Gary G. KohlsThe BMJ, 2019


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Posted in USA, Health0 Comments

Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Leaders currently in office rarely make an appearance before either the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court.  International law remains affixed to the notion that heads-of-state are, at least for the duration of their time in office, safe from prosecution.  Matters change once the time in office expires.  

Be that as it may, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, with an ever dwindling number of peace prizes and awards to her name for questionable responses to the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority, has a plan.  She intends to personally plead the case of her country against charges of genocide being made in the International Court of Justice.  As the Ministry of the Interior has claimed, the argument against state brutality against the Rohingya has arisen due to ignorance about “the complexities of the issue and the narratives of the people of Myanmar.”

The case itself is drawn from the well of universal jurisdiction, a concept that Henry Kissinger finds so troubling to the freedom of flexible statecraft.  The former US secretary of state, in 2001, warned that subjecting international relations to judicial procedures came with risks.

“The danger lies in pushing the effort to extremes that risk substituting the tyranny of judges for that of governments; historically, the dictatorship of the virtuous has often led to inquisitions and even witch-hunts.”

Kissinger ignores a lingering point stretching back to Roman law that universal jurisdiction, or at least the rhetoric of it, can be exercised against certain crimes that might revolt the tender conscience humanity.  Piracy, for instance, might be punished as an extra-territorial offence, though it should not be confused as being on all fours with international criminal law.  “I need not tell you the heinousness of this offence,” came the pre-deliberation address to the jury in the piracy trial of Capt William Kidd in 1701.  “Pirates are called ‘Hostes humani generis’ the enemies of the people.”

In this instance, the threat to Myanmar’s authority does not come from an internal action, but from the West African country of The Gambia as a representative of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.  Last month, a 46-page application was submitted by the Muslim-majority state to the ICJ, alleging the commission by Myanmar’s authorities of mass murder, rape and the destruction of communities living within Rakhine State, ostensibly as part of a “clearing” program. “The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group… by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses.”    UN to Resolve the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis

Some 720,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to Bangladesh in light of these operations, and the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, established by the UN Human Rights Council, revealed nothing in the way of redeeming evidence on the part of government authorities.  Its August 2018 report made special mention of the predations of the security forces in Rakhine State, though also noted the actions of armed ethnic groups in Kahin and Shan States.  More detailed findings were published the following month.   

The Mission, having designated the Rohingya to be a protected group, satisfied itself that acts of genocide had been committed.  “Perpetrators have killed Rohingya, caused serious bodily and mental harm to Rohingya, deliberately inflicted conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Rohingya, and imposed measures intended to prevent births to Rohingya.”

Enough, then, to go on in terms of mounting a legal action, albeit in slightly different circumstances.  The instance of this case is irregular, given that the ICJ usually undertakes such hearings after consulting the findings of other tribunals, be it the International Criminal Court or those of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. 

The decision by Suu Kyi to take the matter on personally in both roles as state counsellor and foreign minister is garnering mixed reviews.  In Myanmar, propaganda units have been mobilised.  Support for the decision is being encouraged in the days leading up to the December 10-12 hearings through planned rallies being organised by the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) in Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa, and Mawlamyine.  

Numerous armed groups have expressed their approval.  Nyi Rang, external relations official for the United Wa State Army (UWSA) is one.  “We are proud and supporting her taking responsibility and travelling to face the trial.”  Colonel Khun Okkar, chairman of the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation (PNLO) is another. 

“We need to show our solidarity with the government which is trying to prove that the offences cannot be classified as genocide.” 

This position, it should be said, is not universally shared within Myanmar itself.  This stands to reason: not all ethnic armed organisations within the state are rooting for a government deemed the handmaiden of military brutality.  The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Arakan Army (AA) suggest that claims of genocide are not only plausible but historical, having taken place over seven decades of civil war.  According to a sombre spokesman for the AA, “She [Aung San Suu Kyi] should not be defending war criminals who try to hide behind the term ‘the charge of the nation’.”   

The prosecutor of the ICC has also opened up a preliminary investigation into the matter, an action approved by the Pre-Trial Chamber III of the ICC, though the action is limited by the fact that Myanmar is not a signatory to the court’s statute.  That said, the three-judge panel reasoned that an investigation could take place as long as part of the alleged criminal conduct occurred in the territory of a State Party.  Myanmar may well not be a State Party, but Bangladesh most certainly is. 

The Gambia case promises to revisit the at times contentious basis as to how universal jurisdiction is invoked, despite the acceptance by such organisations as Amnesty International that most UN Member States “can exercise universal jurisdiction over one or more crimes under international law, either as such crimes or as ordinary crimes under national law.”

The sight of Suu Kyi, defending the actions of the military against what security forces deem legitimate counterinsurgency operations, is going to paint a bleak picture indeed.  From the giddy summit of peace prizes and romanticised positions against tyranny, the civilian leader of Myanmar has become a powerful exponent of a certain brand of blood soaked Realpolitik, state brutality sanitised and reasoned.   

Posted in Myanmar0 Comments

Climate and the Money Trail

By F. William Engdahl

The hidden truth behind the Climate Debate at COP25, Madrid. This article was first published in September 2019.

Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grassroots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond.

Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?

Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.

Green Finance

Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless “climate” companies.

In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.

Bonnie Prince Charles, future UK Monarch, along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted “green financial instruments,” led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.” That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.

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In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to “green” investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.

Bank of England’s Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, “Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.” The paper states, “One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board’s private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.” There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Goldman Sachs Key Actor

The omnipresent Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, which spawned among others ECB outgoing President Mario Draghi and Bank of England head Carney, has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.

The new index, called CDP Environment EW and CDP Eurozone EW, aims to lure investment funds, state pension systems such as the CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers’ Retirement System) with a combined $600+ billion in assets, to invest in their carefully chosen targets. Top rated companies in the index include Alphabet which owns Google, Microsoft, ING Group, Diageo, Philips, Danone and, conveniently, Goldman Sachs.

Enter Greta, AOC and Co.

At this point events take on a cynical turn as we are confronted with wildly popular, heavily promoted climate activists such as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg or New York’s 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. However sincere these activists may be, there is a well-oiled financial machine behind promoting them for gain.

Greta Thunberg is part of a well-connected network tied to the organization of Al Gore who is being cynically and professionally marketed and used by such agencies as the UN, the EU Commission and the financial interests behind the present climate agenda. As Canadian researcher and climate activist, Cory Morningstar, documents in an excellent series of posts, what is at stake is a well-knit network that is tied to US climate investor and enormously wealthy climate profiteer, Al Gore, chairman of Generation Investment group.

Gore’s partner, ex-Goldman Sachs official David Blood as noted earlier, is a member of the BIS-created TCFD. Greta Thunberg along with her 17-year-old US climate friend, Jamie Margolin, were both listed as “special youth advisor and trustee” of the Swedish We Don’t Have Time NGO, founded by its CEO Ingmar Rentzhog. Rentzhog is a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Organization Leaders, and part of the European Climate Policy Task Force. He was trained in March 2017 by Al Gore in Denver, and again in June 2018, in Berlin. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project is a partner of We Don’t Have Time.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who made a huge splash in her first days in the US Congress for unveiling a “Green New Deal” to completely reorganize the US economy at a cost of perhaps $100 trillion, is also not without skilled guidance. AOC has openly admitted that she ran for Congress at the urging of a group called Justice Democrats. She told one interviewer, “I wouldn’t be running if it wasn’t for the support of Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress. Umm, in fact it was it was these organizations, it was JD and it was Brand New Congress as well, that both, that asked me to run in the first place. They’re the ones that called me a year and a half ago…” Now, as Congresswoman, AOC’s advisers include Justice Democrats co-founder, Zack Exley. Exley was an Open Society Fellow and got funds from among others the Open Society Foundations and Ford Foundation to create a predecessor to Justice Democrats to recruit select candidates for office.

The Real Agenda is Economic

The links between the world’s largest financial groups, central banks and global corporations to the current push for a radical climate strategy to abandon the fossil fuel economy in favor of a vague, unexplained Green economy, it seems, is less about genuine concern to make our planet a clean and healthy environment to live. Rather it is an agenda, intimately tied to the UN Agenda 2030 for “sustainable” economy, and to developing literally trillions of dollars in new wealth for the global banks and financial giants who constitute the real powers that be.

In February 2019 following a speech to the EU Commission in Brussels by Greta Thunberg, then-EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, after gallantly kissing Greta’s hand, appeared to be moved to real action. He told Greta and the press that the EU should spend hundreds of billions of euros combating climate change during the next 10 years. Juncker proposed that between 2021 to 2027, “every fourth euro spent within the EU budget go toward action to mitigate climate change.” What the sly Juncker did not say was that the decision had nothing to do with the young Swedish activist’s plea. It had been made in conjunction with the World Bank a full year before in September 26, 2018 at the One Planet Summit, along with the World Bank, Bloomberg Foundations, the World Economic Forum and others. Juncker had cleverly used the media attention given the young Swede to promote his climate agenda.

On October 17, 2018, days following the EU agreement at the One Planet Summit, Juncker’s EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Breakthrough Energy-Europe in which member corporations of Breakthrough Energy-Europe will have preferential access to any funding.

The members of Breakthrough Energy include Virgin Air’s Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, HRH Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio; Julian Robertson of hedge fund giant, Tiger Management; David Rubenstein, founder Carlyle Group; George Soros, Chairman Soros Fund Management LLC; Masayoshi Son, founder Softbank, Japan. 

Make no mistake. When the most influential multinational corporations, the world’s largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look behind the surface of public climate activist campaigns to the actual agenda. The picture that emerges is the attempted financial reorganization of the world economy using climate, something the sun and its energy have orders of magnitude more to do with than mankind ever could—to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to “save our planet.”

Back in 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, “…one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.” Since then the economic policy strategy has become far more developed.

Posted in USA, Environment0 Comments

Does the US Military “Own the Weather”? “Weaponizing the Weather” as an Instrument of Modern Warfare?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

US Military

First published in September 2017. of relevance to the ongoing protest movement and debate on Climate Change

“Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.” (Study Commissioned by the US Air Force: Weather as a Force Multiplier, Owning the Weather in 2025, August 1996) 

**

Environmental modification techniques have been available to the US military for more than half a century.

The issue has been amply documented and should be part of the climate change debate.

The U.N. Climate Conference (COP 25) opens in Madrid with Delegates from nearly 200 countries. The focus is on Greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “every country on earth is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change”, and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.”:  A narrow consensus which focusses on the nefarious impacts of CO2 emissions (from fossil fuel) on World temperature.

What has casually been omitted from the COP debate is the manipulation of climate for military use.

The broader issue of environmental modification techniques (ENMOD) must be addressed and carefully analyzed. It should also be understood that the instruments of weather warfare are part of the US arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their proposed use by the US military against “enemies” constitutes not only a crime against humanity but to put it mildly a threat to planet earth.

In this essay I am providing the reader with direct quotes from a publicly available 1996 US Air Force document on the use of environmental modification techniques which indelibly provide evidence that the threats are real and must be addressed.

It should be noted that the US is in violation of  a historic 1977 international Convention ratified by the UN General Assembly which banned “military or other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects.” (AP, 18 May 1977). Both the US and the Soviet Union were signatories to the Convention.

….Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military … use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party. (Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, United Nations, Geneva, May 18, 1977. Entered into force: 5 October 1978, see full text of Convention in Annex)

Michel Chossudovsky, September 15, 2018, revised December 4, 2019

***

US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’. During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which was initially developed in the 1990s under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), was an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP  –which was officially abolished in 2014– is  a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.

Officially, the HAARP program has been closed down at its location in Alaska. The technology of weather modification shrouded in secrecy, nonetheless prevails. HAARP documents confirm that the technology was fully operational as of the mid 1990s.

(For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction: Owning the Weather for Military Use, first published by Global Research in 2006). 

It should be emphasized that while the US military confirms that weather warfare is fully operational, there is no documented evidence of its military use against enemies of the US. The subject matter is a taboo among environmental analysts. No in-depth investigation has been undertaken to reveal the operational dimensions of weather warfare.

The irony is that the impacts of ENMOD techniques for military use were documented by CBC TV in the early 1990s.

The CBC TV report acknowledged that the HAARP facility in Alaska under the auspices of the US Air Force had the ability of triggering typhoons, earthquakes, floods and droughts: .

Directed energy is such a powerful technology it could be used to heat the ionosphere to turn weather into a weapon of war. Imagine using a flood to destroy a city or tornadoes to decimate an approaching army in the desert. The military has spent a huge amount of time on weather modification as a concept for battle environments. If an electromagnetic pulse went off over a city, basically all the electronic things in your home would wink and go out, and they would be permanently destroyed.”

CBC TV Report

“Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather”

In this article we will provide key quotations from a US 1996 US Air Force document which analyzes weather modification techniques for military use.

The underlying objective from a military standpoint is “Owning the Weather”.

At the time this study was commissioned in  1996, the HAARP program was already fully operational as documented by the CBC documentary.

The stated purpose of the Report is described below:

In this paper we show that appropriate application of weather-modification can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined. In the future, such operations will enhance air and space superiority and provide new options for battlespace shaping and battlespace awareness there, waiting for us to pull it all together;” in 2025 we can “Own the Weather.”(Commissioned by US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report,  (public document)Climate Change, Geoengineering and Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD)

Weather-modification, according to US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, 

offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary”, capabilities, it says, extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts and earthquakes:

‘Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather… and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.” 

See complete reports commissioned by the US Air Force

 ….From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary. Some of the potential capabilities a weather-modification system could provide to a war-fighting commander in chief (CINC) are listed in table 1.

Source: US Air Force

Why Would We Want to Mess with the Weather? is the subtitle of chapter 2 of the Report

“According to Gen Gordon Sullivan, former Army chief of staff, “As we leap technology into the 21st century, we will be able to see the enemy day or night, in any weather— and go after him relentlessly.” global, precise, real-time, robust, systematic weather-modification capability would provide war-fighting CINCs with a powerful force multiplier to achieve military objectives. Since weather will be common to all possible futures, a weather-modification capability would be universally applicable and have utility across the entire spectrum of conflict. The capability of influencing the weather even on a small scale could change it from a force degrader to a force multiplier.”

Under the heading:

What Do We Mean by “Weather-modification”?

The report states:

“The term weather-modification may have negative connotations for many people, civilians and military members alike. It is thus important to define the scope to be considered in this paper so that potential critics or proponents of further research have a common basis for discussion.

In the broadest sense, weather-modification can be divided into two major categories: suppression and intensification of weather patterns. In extreme cases, it might involve the creation of completely new weather patterns, attenuation or control of severe storms, or even alteration of global climate on a far-reaching and/or long-lasting scale. In the mildest and least controversial cases it may consist of inducing or suppressing precipitation, clouds, or fog for short times over a small-scale region. Other low-intensity applications might include the alteration and/or use of near space as a medium to enhance communications, disrupt active or passive sensing, or other purposes.” (emphasis added)

The Triggering of Storms:

“Weather-modification technologies might involve techniques that would increase latent heat release in the atmosphere, provide additional water vapor for cloud cell development, and provide additional surface and lower atmospheric heating to increase atmospheric instability.

Critical to the success of any attempt to trigger a storm cell is the pre-existing atmospheric conditions locally and regionally. The atmosphere must already be conditionally unstable and the large-scale dynamics must be supportive of vertical cloud development. The focus of the weather-modification effort would be to provide additional “conditions” that would make the atmosphere unstable enough to generate cloud and eventually storm cell development. The path of storm cells once developed or enhanced is dependent not only on the mesoscale dynamics of the storm but the regional and synoptic (global) scale atmospheric wind flow patterns in the area which are currently not subject to human control.” (page 19)

Is the CIA involved in Climate Engineering? 

The Involvement of the CIA in Climate Change Technologies

Back in July 2013,  MSN news reported that the CIA was involved in helping to fund a project by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) focusing on geo-engineering and climate manipulation. The report not only acknowledged these technologies, it confirmed that US intelligence has been routinely involved in addressing the issue of climatic manipulation:

“The CIA is helping fund the research because the NAS also plans to evaluate “the national security concerns (that could be) related to geoengineering technologies being deployed somewhere in the world,” Kearney said.

In an emailed statement, Christopher White, a spokesman for the CIA’s office of public affairs, told MSN, “On a subject like climate change, the agency works with scientists to better understand the phenomenon and its implications on national security.”

Although the CIA and the NAS are tight-lipped about what these concerns might be, one researcher notes that geoengineering has the potential to deliberately disrupt the weather for terrorist or military goals.

John Pike, the director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Washington-based firm that specializes in addressing emerging security concerns, says that worries about the potential impact of geoengineering aren’t as paramount as the potential security issues that could arise if the United States doesn’t use the technology.

“A failure to engage in geoengineering could impact the political stability of other countries, and that could lead to trouble for the U.S.,” he said.

The NAS project is supported by the U.S. intelligence community, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Energy.

“historical examples of related technologies (e.g., cloud seeding and other weather modification) for lessons that might be learned about societal reactions, examine what international agreements exist which may be relevant to the experimental testing or deployment of geoengineering technologies, and briefly explore potential societal and ethical considerations related to geoengineering. This study is intended to provide a careful, clear scientific foundation that informs ethical, legal, and political discussions surrounding geoengineering.”

( See http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49540 )

According to a  2015 report in the Independent (screenshot above), quoting a renowned US scientist Alan Robock:

“A senior American climate scientist has spoken of the fear he experienced when US intelligence services apparently asked him about the possibility of weaponising the weather as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week.

Professor Alan Robock stated that three years ago, two men claiming to be from the CIA had called him to ask whether experts would be able to tell if hostile forces had begun manipulating the US’s weather, though he suspected the purpose of the call was to find out if American forces could meddle with other countries’ climates instead.”

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The Theology of Politics

By Larry Romanoff

This is a serious discussion, so let’s be sure we are on the same page by ensuring we apply the same meanings to our words. “Democracy” is NOT government. It is not freedom, it is not human rights, it is not universal values, it is not free speech or free press. It is not capitalism or free markets. It is neither cabbage nor broccoli. Democracy, the fervent “we’ll invade your country and kill half your people” American kind, is nothing more than religion-based politics.

Let’s pretend for a moment we live in a normal world where people are not overcome by various political and religious insanities.

Now let’s imagine that our national economy develops, our country becomes richer and we all have more free time. American political theology tells us that as we reach some arbitrary threshold of income security, or some pre-determined level of progress from apehood to civilisation, our “natural yearnings of all mankind” will magically blossom, giving rise to an irresistible desire for US-style ‘democracy’.

And that does NOT mean US-style Republican government; it means US-style multi-party politics. These two – government and politics – are unrelated.

This is a popular American mantra that sounds good but has no basis in reality – this conviction, however it’s stated, that when a people develop to some undefined but higher spiritual level, the laws of God and nature will release an inborn desire for multi-party politics. According to these people, as we progress in our natural development toward American clones, we will experience a predetermined, perhaps genetic, impulse, to meddle in the national government of our country. This foolish claim doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

Note that this theology doesn’t state that our interest in politics arises as we become more educated, experienced, or competent, but as we become somehow more spiritually enlightened. A basic tenet of this American religion is that as we develop spiritually and become sufficiently enlightened – in other words, when we become more like Americans – we will then want what they want. On what do Americans justify such a conviction? They offer no rationale for their beliefs, and indeed none exists. There is no existing evidence of such a human state, and of course they offer none. As with every religion, you must believe because you are told to believe.

But surely this is just lunacy. It would make equally as much sense for me, once I become rich, to develop a magical yearning to go to the surgical ward and try my hand at a brain transplant, since I know as much about that as I do about government, in other words, nothing at all. But why focus on government? Why not on the nation’s space program, or putting our noses into the nation’s educational system? The answer is that most people are not so interested in any of these fields, nor do they harbor any illusions about their knowledge or ability to contribute. And in fact, this is true of government as well – most people are simply not that interested and in any case have no useful knowledge or ability. But again, the attraction is not government, but American faith-based politics.

I can scarcely imagine anything more dangerous to the well-being of a nation than millions of uninformed and inexperienced people suddenly wanting to get involved in something they know nothing about but on which the entire well-being of their nation depends. The most dangerous, and frightening, part of this mindless infection is that Americans have blindly and foolishly included it as one of the 1,001 “rights” in their all-encompassing democratic theology. That means it is not only my natural and irresistible, inborn human yearning, but part of my rights granted to me by my God, that I, hopelessly ignorant, inexperienced and incompetent, can now meddle in the government of my country. And if that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what would be.

There is no natural connection between rising income or economic development and an interest in a nation’s management, any more than in a corporate environment. If our company does well, demonstrated by increasing profits and salary levels, there is no natural law dictating that employees will suddenly develop a fanatical desire to get involved in the company’s management. There is no reason to expect such a desire for corporate ‘democracy’, and we have never seen evidence of it in any of the many examples of successful companies. If this were some natural law, we surely would see it first in our corporations and institutions – in our companies, our hospitals, our school systems, charities. But we don’t. In fact, the more successful a company and its employees, the more willing are the staff to leave management to the managers. Management doesn’t even enter their minds unless it’s incompetent and begins to exert considerable negative influence on their lives.

This propaganda that so many Americans preach is almost pathological in its religious fervor, and yet those same Americans appear totally blind to the immense failings of that same system in their own country. This is what we call Jingoism – a blind and unquestioned belief that my country, my system, my everything, are the one way, the right way, the ONLY way.

American political jingoism is a blind conviction that all living beings will gravitate by a natural law of the universe toward those values that Americans hold to be true. Most Western comment on this issue resolves from a blind worship of the multi-party political system with scant evidence that its proponents have ever seriously examined the reality of their own ideological beliefs which are all rooted in a primitive and simple-minded theology, an all-encompassing political-religious ideology producing a kind of simian team sport that would be perfectly at home in a zoo.

When writing of China, these same people tell us the Chinese haven’t yet wanted US-style multi-party politics because “their democratic yearnings have not yet developed.” What kind of nonsense is this? If I’m not Muslim and my name isn’t Mohammed, that’s because my ‘Allah-yearnings’ have not developed? If I hate McDonald’s, that’s because my ‘hamburger-that-tastes-like-greasy-cardboard’ yearnings aren’t yet developed? This mindless conviction makes no allowance for differences in culture or values of other nations, for their history or tradition, and indeed it disparages such differences and often treats them with open contempt. To Americans, any rejection of their democratic religion on the basis of cultural or other values is just a cheap excuse to avoid the inevitable. And of course, the ‘inevitable’ is for all peoples to become American. Actually, it’s a bit worse than that. No foreigners possess the spiritual gifts to become true Americans, even after centuries of colonisation. The best you can hope for, is to become a kind of imperfect clone – not really white, not really American – but having adopted American values and therefore suitable for colonisation.

In a recent article in the NYT, Eric Li partially identified the issue that gives so many Americans ants in their pants when discussing China’s government, when he referred to “faith-based ideology”. American ‘democracy’ is not about government, but about politics rooted in an evangelical Christianity. Eric wrote,

“Many have characterized the competition . . . as a clash between democracy and authoritarianism. But this is false. The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are God-given and therefore absolute or whether they should be seen as privileges …”

He wrote further “The modern West sees democracy … as the pinnacle of human development. It is a belief premised on an absolute faith.”

But in part he missed the core point which is that the selection of a nation’s leaders is neither God-given nor a privilege but an enormous responsibility which should be entrusted only to the most competent. This is true in the same way and for the same reasons as performing brain operations. Nobody (except of course the FBI) has a God-given right to do frontal lobotomies, nor do we allocate this duty as a privilege to our favored friends. The responsibility is instead given to those most capable of handling it.

Multi-Party Democracy – A Substitute for Civil War

We’re having a birthday party and half of the children want to go to the zoo and half to the park. So we separate the two groups, give them sticks and let them fight it out. Whichever group wins, can make all the decisions. Would you do that? Well, why not? That’s multi-party democracy. Firmly separate your population on the basis of some ideology and let them fight. In a Multi-Party Democracy, there is no room for cooperation or consensus. We don’t talk; we fight. I win, you lose. That’s the system, inherently based not on harmony and consensus but on conflict.Economic Upheaval and the Rise of the US Police State

It’s the cornerstone of the democratic system that the ‘winners’ control everything and the ‘losers’ are totally marginalised. In Western political society there is little apparent concern for the losers. After all, they are the losers and their wishes are unimportant even though they can form 50% or more of the population. Western multi-party democracy is the only selection system in the world designed to disenfranchise, isolate and betray at least half of the population. Perhaps that’s why sometimes 70% or more of the people don’t bother to vote.

If we wanted to separate our population politically into two ideological ‘parties’, the logical division would be a gender separation of men and women. Or maybe a sexual division – the homos and the heteros. That would at least make an interesting election campaign. Unfortunately for democracy, the deliberate cleavage of our societies for purposes of politics was done according to perhaps the most inflammatory of human characteristics, an irreconcilable simian-theological divide, creating two factions perpetually at each other’s throats.

We have many names for the ideological teams: Liberal-Conservative, Labor-Capitalist, and Democrat-Republican. We sometimes refer to them as the Left Wing and Right Wing, or Socialists and Corporatists, but the division is more sinister than these names suggest. The ideological rift that has been created for the sake of politics is really between the ideological left and the religious right – between the pacifists and the war-mongers. And it appears that, though I make no claim to sociological credentials, human society, at least Western society, will automatically cleave along these lines if given a fertile chance. When we look at the often vehement enthusiasm with which many Westerners embrace their political convictions, it is apparent that this separation, this cleavage of people according to their propensity for war-mongering, involves some of the deepest and most primitive instincts and emotions of the human psyche. What sane person would consciously divide a population based on this ideology? And for what purpose?

The ideological separations serve not to do good, but only to create conflict. And that conflict is not the same as what we might term ‘healthy competition’. Political conflict is exclusive, sometimes vicious, very often dishonest, forcing people to go against their own consciences and the good of the nation for the sake of the party. The ideological rifts inherent in party politics have been introduced into Western government – by design – solely and precisely because they induce the conflict so necessary to any team sport. How can we have a competition if everyone is on the same team, just trying to get the job done? The inescapable conclusion is that Western democracy – politics, in fact – was deliberately and cleverly designed not to select good government but to delude the peasantry into participation in a primitive, socio-theological rite of competition, conflict and victory. A useful substitute for a civil war.

But it’s all a cruel hoax. “The People” are lured into choosing sides, engaging in battle, then forced into a patently unfair resolution by voting. The losers have been browbeaten, bullied, propagandised and hoodwinked into believing and accepting that, because they are the losers, their wishes, rights and welfare are now irrelevant and they must remain silent. To the victor go the spoils. You lost the war; I set the terms. The winners, sated with the thrill of victory, are now also irrelevant, and the elites – and the parties they control – continue to remain in charge as they always have, while the people believe they are supreme. In fact, ‘the people’ are merely cannon-fodder in a pseudo-religious battle, joining the team, supporting, paying, protesting, yelling and screaming and, finally, voting. But then the game is over, everyone returns to their senses and their lives, and the elites continue with their agenda of controlling the government and running the country. Nothing has changed.

The combination of the primitive instincts and emotions that drive politics, team sports and religion is not only potentially explosive but essentially mindless; a kind of yearning herd mentality with a propensity for violence. It is clear that politics, in the Western sense, is seldom guided by reason. Reason can accommodate and withstand discourse; ideology on the other hand, cannot. Politics, religion, and team sports have a common root in the Western psyche. None can be discussed intelligently for very long; all raise violent emotions, all suffer from ideology that is blind to fact and reason, all possess the same primitive psychological attractions. People don’t join a political party from a commitment to good government, and they don’t join a Western religion to learn about God. In both cases, they do it to join a winning team.

In the individualistic, black and white Western societies, the multi-party democratic process is in no way intended as a method of problem resolution. It is instead consciously contrived precisely because it creates the problem, engaging an ignorant public in the debate of irrelevant issues while setting the stage for open conflict and a ‘law of the jungle’ political battle. The conflict resolution portion of this masquerade is the forced voting, which appeals to Western Right-Wing mentality because it is the only system short of physical battle that can resolve the issue on an all-or-nothing basis, creating the winners and losers these societies need.

Many years ago, the naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin proposed the (more or less accurate) theory we call “the survival of the fittest”, meaning that the strongest and most adaptable of all life forms will survive, while the weaker and the less adaptable will decline and eventually become extinct. Of course, a major part of this decline consists of the predators preying on the weak and killing them off, a process that applies as much to politics as to plants and animals. Social Darwinism is this philosophy and attitude applied to members of a society, meaning that the “winners” – the smartest, strongest and fastest, will not only survive but will do so by preying on those who are slower and weaker. This is otherwise known as “the law of the jungle”, perfectly reflected in American politics, and we see much evidence of this tendency throughout American society.

Most Americans will tell us – often, at the top of their lungs – that the multi-party electoral system is about freedom and choice and is “real democracy”. But the multi-party system is not about freedom and choice, and it is not about either democracy or government. It’s about a fabricated game of social conflict and competition, about playing in a team sport. In a multi-party democracy, the “game” is not good government but the election process itself. After my team wins the election, the game is over and we all go home. In the Western world, it is ‘politics’ that is the attraction, not ‘government’. I sincerely doubt that many people who are active in the political process give even a single thought to the quality of government that will emerge. Their only focus is winning the game for their team. The process has become so corrupted that Western democracy doesn’t even pretend to refer to the quality of government that might ensue as the end result after an election. And this is because the end result is the process itself – the competition, winning the election, nothing more. In a very real sense, the medium has become the message.

In every country with a multi-party democratic government, ‘the people’ are becoming increasingly aloof, disinterested and disenfranchised, one symptom of which is voter turnouts of as little as 30% in some major countries. That number is both astonishing and instructive, since it accurately reflects the dawning realisation that voters have little if any influence on either an election outcome or on the policies of any government so elected. People in Western countries are finally rejecting the delusion that they actually select their government. In any democracy, voters do not select the candidates, nor do they choose or nominate anyone – the Parties do that. Voters are then offered an after-the-fact opportunity to rubber-stamp one of two clones. Government “of the people, by the people and for the people” is pure fiction and has never existed anywhere.

Is there anyone today who will argue that the Democratic-Republican system is a great thing for America? Is this what produced the recent happy accord for the US Health Care Plan, or what is making the entire government today pull together to sort out its horrid economic mess after 2008? The US democratic system is universally recognised today (ignoring a few basket cases) as the most dysfunctional government in the world. One of the more distressing congenital deformities of US politics is that by the time all the special-interest groups – the lobbyists, senators, financiers, bankers and flakes have grabbed their share, nothing useful is likely to remain for the common good. The outcomes are preordained because elected US officials are too busy looking after the interests of AIPAC, Israel, the Jewish lobby, the CIA, the US military, the defense contractors, the international bankers and the big multi-nationals, to worry about the people and the nation. The welfare of the voters is increasingly irrelevant, which is why the US government spent $7.7 trillion bailing out the banks instead of the people. US-style Multi-Party Democracy is a formula for waste, inefficiency and corruption. It is the one form of government that will guarantee decisions will be made to benefit the elite’s private interest groups instead of the country as a whole.

How did the supposedly-great concept of participatory democracy descend to such a pathetic level? The fundamental issue is that Western democracy has never had as its objective the selection of outstandingly competent leaders, but was instead created as a way of sidelining ‘the people’, dividing them by ideology and engaging their attention in a game – in a team-sport competition. That is entirely the fault of the deliberate and cleverly planned creation of multi-party politics, and it is too late to reverse course, too late to eliminate dysfunctional ideologies and the curse of politics from government. The hole is too deep; we cannot return to the beginning and start again. To do so would require a social upheaval equivalent to a popular revolution, and any Western government would viciously put down any such attempt. In spite of all the propaganda to the contrary, no Western democracy would permit ‘the people’ to actually gain control of their government.

The Origin of Multi-Party Politics

We often credit ancient Greece for the conceptual creation of what today we term ‘democracy’, but that ancient form is not what manifests itself today. The transition from the European monarchies to a multi-party electoral selection process was not a spontaneous development, did not occur from natural evolution, nor because it was the epitome of the development of government. It was not a natural result of a desire for “choices” among the public, nor was it done consciously for the sake of what we term ‘checks and balances’. Rather than being a natural evolution, this system of dividing a nation on the basis of inflammatory emotional ideologies was deliberately created by a group of European elites as a method to pacify populations with the belief that they were in charge of their destinies while being controlled by puppet-masters in the parties, an enormous fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting populations.

Montagu Norman, who was the Governor of The Bank of England for several decades ending in the mid-1940s, came from a long line of bankers, with both his paternal and maternal grandfathers having also been the Bank’s Governors, and all of whom were agents and representatives of the Jewish Rothschild banking dynasty, had this to say about multi-party electoral democracy in 1924:

“By dividing the voters through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

There is no way to misunderstand the man’s words. This is the principal reason the architects and proponents of the New World Order have been so determined for so long to indoctrinate populations in the religion of multi-party politics. No other system of governance provides as much opportunity for external control of nations and mass deception of the people as does democracy. This latter revelation should strike fear into the hearts of all thinking persons.

We have another excellent example of the above in Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Jewish Russian oligarchs, who almost completed plans to transform Russia into a fake two-party state of Left-Wing Social Democrats and Right-Wing Neocons, in which heated public battles would be provoked and fought on socially-divisive issues, while both parties would be controlled from the stage wings by the same small group of ruling elites and bankers.

“With the citizens permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, these puppet-masters could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign.”

This clever scheme perfectly duplicates America’s own political history.

When these international banking elites spawned the European revolutions that removed all the monarchs, they accomplished many ends besides the removal of a person who had absolute power over them, including the power to expel them from a nation when they became too powerful or troublesome. As a replacement, they introduced a fragmented ‘government by the people’ with a political ideology that would bitterly divide societies and make the population subject to fear, and therefore easily manipulated and controlled. They created the opportunity to either found or take over the central banks of many nations, thereby obtaining financial, and effectively total, control of those countries. They did indeed secure for themselves ‘that which had been so well planned and so successfully accomplished’.

Dylan Ratigan, a best-selling US author, expressed it perfectly when he wrote, “Power, whether in an electoral system or a corporate boardroom, originates with the people who control the nomination of candidates, not with those who “vote” after this process is complete”. Those who nominate, dictate. Americans tend to think of political parties as a kind of ideological abstract, as a way of defining people’s attitudes, but political parties are not abstract; they are real, and they have all the power and control. The people enter the process only at the very end, in a pretense of choosing those whom the parties have already selected. This cannot change unless the parties themselves are eliminated, and that will never happen. The small elite groups who control the political parties from the shadows are far more powerful than the people, and they will never relinquish control.

Someone wrote that “The faceless plutocracy that controls the US government promotes an illusion of legitimacy by allowing the people to vote for a variety of political candidates … who have been bought and paid for by the plutocracy. The fiction extends to the “independent” judiciary, whose members are carefully selected by the plutocracy and who promote its agenda.” Richard Reeves wrote that “The American political system is essentially a contract between the Republican and Democratic parties, enforced by federal and state two-party laws, all designed to guarantee the survival of both no matter how many people despise or ignore them.”

Posted in Politics0 Comments

Lebanon Protesters: Ensure a Unified ‘B-Team’ Runs Any New, Responsive Government

By Dr. Barbara G. Ellis

As Lebanon’s massive, countrywide, anti-government demonstrations continue, the vacuum provides time for those ardent, long suffering protesters to create the most responsive anti-austerity government in the Middle East. If any populace in that region could do it, it’s Lebanon’s well-educated, smart younger generations who predominate in the uprising. 

However, most of those of us who have newspapered in Beirut tend to agree with long-time (43 years ) Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk who observed that it had a classic, fatal flaw:

Bring down the regime, the government, the masters of deceit, the cancerous centres of power: that is their only cry. The Lebanese protestors, in their hundreds of thousands, are demanding a new constitution, an end to the confessional system of government—and to abject poverty. They are absolutely right; but then they stop. It’s as if the revolutionaries of Beirut, Baghdad and Algiers are too pure to dip their fingers in the glue of political power, their goodness too heavenly to be contaminated by the dirt of politics, their demands too spiritual to be touched by the everyday hard work of future governance that they believe their courage alone will ensure victory. This is nonsense. Without leadership, they will be overwhelmed. The elites and kings who govern the Arab world have sharp claws.

As a former Beirut Daily Star editorial-page editor/writer, I read an archival interview of Krim Belkacem, one of the Algerian revolution’s leaders. Asked about post-war plans for education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, etc., he said: “A revolution never reveals such plans before winning lest it divide and lose the people—and the fight.”

The truth is, as Fisk writes, that most revolutionaries have no such plans beyond overthrowing a regime lest it divide their numbers. True, most revolutions “eat their young” by internal squabbling over leadership once the last shot is fired, as Algeria’s independence leader Ahmed Ben-Bella  learned in exile—and Belkacem’s assassination in Frankfort—despite seven years  of unified warfare against the French.

Now, most repressive rulers today get out the weaponry—rubber bullets, water cannons, concussion bombs, and live ammunition to clear the streets. In Beirut, luckiy, restraint seems to rule. Aside from police shortages to handle such massive numbers, a standoff response does saves costs on personnel, weapons, jailings, and lawsuits over deaths and injuries. And police absenteeism because family members are among the demonstrators.

In Lebanon, it was long-standing, dire public needs that eventually exploded October 17 into a massive countrywide demonstration triggered by a $6 monthly charge for the internet’s free Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It affected almost everyone and became the last straw of austerity policies. The basics demanded by all party loyalists, thousands of refugees, those in 18 religious sects were legion: 24-hour electricity, clean tap water, garbage collections, unclogging sewers, ending blatant corruption, and failure to collect taxes from corporations and the rich.

So far, it’s unlikely that the civil-society group  doing a “Paul Revere” warning with a WhatsApp protest message were long-term planners. But the result was thousands hopefully and obediently waiting on promising words from the Prime Minister. His previous non-actions showed immediate redress was unlikely for these basic and common grievances.

Unfortunately, it never takes the Old Guard long to regroup and creep back into power in the guise of a caretaker government which then puts in power their candidates who will re-impose the same policies that led to an uprising in the first place.

How different it could be, as prime minister candidates emerge, if a demonstration group would confront them with a manifesto containing the people’s demands. If demonstrators could set off the uprising by mobile phones almost instantly, they ought to be able to quickly check out the picket signs expressing people’s chief demands. Then, help their preference for a prime minister hunt up prospective cabinet ministers willing to quickly fulfill those demands—and provide him or her with a nonsectarian “B-Team, a “brain trust” of expert advisers for all sectors of government. Such specialists would enable the new government to “hit the floor running” to answer those demands the moment their prime minister is chosen.

The new government should include eagle-eyed policy monitors—especially the enforcers—particularly for the country’s banking system at the start.

Success lies in rapid and effective action on behalf of ordinary citizens to retain public confidence. The Lebanese “window” is currently wide open for a long-needed, non-partisan government drawn from those demonstrators to execute fast-moving transitions from the past.

Perhaps one of the best examples in modern history of a B-Team quickly implementing programs pulling a nation out of economic destitution and despair is still U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “brain-trust ” during the 1930s Great Depression. “FDR’s B-Team was drawn from economics, law, politics, government, universities, labor, healthcare, science, and social programs.Lebanon Protest Movement: Demanding Total Change of State’s Political Framework

In FDR’s “First Hundred Days,” they unrolled bold “New Deal” programs despite howling opposition from both parties in Congress and the colossal power of corporations and the “banksters.” Most of those major programs were generated by dozens of FDR’s proclamations and executive orders  because Congress was too paralyzed by the Depression to disobey party leadership.

Three days after FDR’s inauguration in March 1933, the B-Team’s first major plan—tackling the financial industry’s depredations—his eight-day bank “holiday” proclamation closed all banks. The night before reopenings, Roosevelt gave his first radio Fireside Chat to Americans, reassuring them that their deposits were safe.

In those “First Hundred Days,” the B-Team launched a staggering number of programs, agencies, and pushed tough regulatory laws , either benefitting or protecting the 99%: deposit insurance, banning bank ties to the stock market, policing Wall Street, regulating workplace practices, subsidizing staple crops, and providing low-cost loans to buy homes.

What followed was a public works program for millions of unemployed.  More than 3.5 million were building dozens of dams and the Tennessee Valley Authority to furnish cheap and reliable power and flood control. Improved highways and new bridges served motorists and truckers. Repairs were made to schools and hospitals and new ones were built and staffed. Millions of jobless young men were doing conservation improvements for waterways, fisheries, and agricultural wastelands. By FDR’s second term, his B-Team had inaugurated the Social Security program and given unions protections for wages, hours, and collective bargaining.

The cost for FDR’s New Deal was $500 billion  (in today’s dollars), primed both with temporary public debt and hiking income taxes  on the wealthy—and enforcing collections—so that by 1940 those earning $60,000 had a 47% rate and those above $5 million, 75%. Their outrage was just as great as the well-off would be in today’s Lebanon if fresh leadership put such teeth into new tax laws.

Treasury revenues spiked because paychecks were spent on food, housing, goods and services. In turn, retail and wholesale profits were banked—and taxed—providing increased lending funds for business and mortgages—and subsequent federal and state revenues from those taxes.

It could be argued that what worked in a near-bankrupt U.S. in the 1930s won’t work in today’s Lebanon. But if a quarter  of Lebanon’s population brought about the government’s fall, it’s possible that the slate could be wiped clean of policies from the country’s ususal hidebound, negligent, corrupt, and incompetent administrations.

For example, just to pass Lebanon’s 2019 budget  took 37 cabinet and parliamentary meetings. And confronted with a national debt of $85 billion and a credit rating of junk-bond status—and threatening rumbles from the 99%— government officials sped to Paris last year vowing “serious reforms” if CEDRE(Conference for Economic Development and Reform) could coble $11 billion together in loans and grants from its donors.

The purpose, the delegation claimed, was to cover 127 infrastructure projects  in three payment phases. Wise to Lebanon’s ways, however, CEDRE’s loan conditions  included a clamp-down on corruption, submitting the 2020 budget, filling vacancies in key regulatory offices, and a donor-monitoring committee. The loan would be cancelled if the committee found irregularities even in one project. CEDRE’s growing doubts about credibility and a charge of “sloppy” documentation means funds have yet to be released.

This needs to change. And only those demonstrators can make it possible.

Foreign Policy’s Sune Haugbolle  pointed out the country was at Ground Zero for total collapse:

With Lebanon’s credit ratings hitting junk status, unemployment rampant, and environmental degradation reaching cataclysmic levels, the floor under the sectarian system has caved in. The sheer corruption, incompetence, and social injustice of the political class have destroyed the social contract. What remains now is to rebuild it based on a new legal and political order.

To do that would require an FDR-type leader and a B-Team to immediately underpin that new order. Experts would have to be hired to fix electrical utilities, garbage collections and disposal, water systems and the like. Enforcers would have to get tough about collecting taxes from the rich and powerful—perhaps a bank holiday to prevent their sending money abroad. That alone could help finance repairs and rebuilding the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Corruption finally would have to be addressed and stringently punished.

As for a bank holiday, Lebanon’s private institutions are suspected of being “overstocked with cash” and of earning billions stored abroad from 30 years of high interests charged on government bonds. If the previous regime demanded $3.3 billion  from those private banks for the 2020 budget, it would seem a new government could force a few billion more to cover the nation’s resurrection.

Recruiting government talent for a B-Team and labor for such public-works projects should be easy. Most Lebanon’s universities have department chairs able to single out past and present talent for a B-Team capable to handle such monumental undertakings—banking to agriculture—to resurrect the country. High school faculties also know promising and dedicated students willing and able to intern with these experts. Working together, they would learn that shared professional skills rise far above and beyond sect, race, gender, and class.

Obviously, such a cabinet staff would have to be cooperative, tough, and altruistic millennials and those under 25. They would have to be willing to work at minimum wages at the outset, a cost well worth replacing those “elders” responsible for nearly destroying the country. And it’s possible. Those millions demonstrating throughout Lebanon were able to temporarily set aside centuries of enmity caused by tribal, cultural, sect, and social divisions. They were united in mutual demands of near-deaf governments.

A heavy proportion of the Beirut protesters were chiefly the millennials— students and workers —who packed Martyrs Square and side streets perhaps reaching to my former neighborhood in the Ras Beirut district. And unlike the usual ferocious Middle Eastern demonstrations, Beirutis proved to be nonsectarian in chants (“Revolution, “Thieves! Thieves!” ), and singing and dancing  in joyous displays of warm, communal response. In one instance, men stopped shouting and raising clenched fists to calm a terrified toddler in a car with “Baby Shark,” a globally popular children’s song.

That sea of thousands, waving Lebanese flags  reflects unity and promise for permanently changing the country after years of quiet desperation from rigid, uncaring, caste-ridden, and corrupt governments.

It’s not too late for new, forward-looking political leaders to round up a prime minister candidate and a B-Team helping to meet Lebanon’s critical challenges. The time indeed has come for a drastic change for the people in that benighted country. It can only come from those demonstrators. Now.

As the tough old adage should remind them: “It’s time to either put up or shut up.”

Posted in Lebanon0 Comments

China Retaliates Against Hostile US Legislation

By Stephen Lendman

In late November, House and Senate members unanimously passed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (HKHRDA) of 2019.

Trump signed the measure into law, along with a companion bill, restricting exports of US crowd control devices to Hong Kong police.

The measures are all about US war on China by other means, wanting the country weakened, contained and isolated — politically, economically, financially and technologically. They’re unrelated to supporting democracy and human rights.

On Monday, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said Beijing will suspend US requests for its warships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong.

It’s imposing sanctions on US organizations funded by Washington and/or by corporate and other donors — ones involved in supporting and otherwise manipulating months of Hong Kong violence, vandalism and chaos, in cahoots with the CIA.

Targeted groups include the National Endowment for Democracy that’s mandated to combat it wherever it exists, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, and Human Rights Watch.

According to Sourcewatch, HRW earlier removed prominent international jurist/academic Richard Falk from one of its human rights committees for his vocal criticism of Israeli high crimes.

Along with Amnesty International, HRW is hostile to governments on the US target list for regime change — notably Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, among others.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier said

“if you are dealing with a human rights situation in a country that is at odds with the United States or Britain, it gets an awful lot of attention, resources (and) publicity” from these and similar organizations.

When it comes to US, UK, or other Western human rights abuses, “it’s like pulling teeth to get them to do something on the situation — because Washington and its allies aren’t on “the official enemies list.”

According to China’s Global Times, if the US “continues to provoke on Hong Kong, it is expected that (Beijing) will take follow-up actions.”Beijing Slams US Anti-China Legislation

Under China’s “one country, two systems” policy, its authorities won’t permit the US or other countries to try exerting a sphere of influence over the city.

Measures announced on Monday are a shot across the bow, the first time Beijing imposed sanctions on US organizations, a show of strength against Washington’s dirty hands all over months of manipulated protests in Hong Kong.

The city is Chinese territory. Its authorities won’t tolerate foreign efforts to undermine its sovereignty.

According to Beijing’s official People’s Daily broadsheet, hostile US legislation “seriously violated the international law and the basic norm of international relations, and interferes with China’s domestic affairs,” adding:

Sanctions imposed show “the country’s firm resolution on the Hong Kong issue.”

Organizations like the ones sanctioned are involved in “grubby business in the name of justice. They offer capital and supplies for rioters, and control the protests behind the scene. Releasing malicious promotional materials, they are fanning confrontation, calling black white, and conducting political infiltration.”

“(T)hey are…notorious for their misdeeds in (US) ‘color revolutions’ across the world.”

“(A)ny attempt(s) against the Chinese, including (in) Hong Kong…will be countered resolutely.”

A Final Comment

On Sunday, the South China Morning Post said a US trade deal with China “must include US tariff(s) rollback,” along with scrapping Trump’s vow to impose further tariffs on $156 billion worth of Chinese imports if an agreement isn’t reached by December 15, adding:

“Trade experts and people close to the White House said last month…that signing of a phase one agreement may not take place until the new year as China pressed for more extensive rollbacks of tariffs.”

An unnamed US source said what both sides agreed on “was just the principle that the issues need to be solved through different stages,” adding:

“But when they got to (phase one details (alone), and how to implement them, the two sides were again not able to reach a consensus.”

In early November, both sides agreed on a limited phase one deal in principle, largely involving large-scale Chinese purchases of US agricultural products, the Trump regime reciprocating by rolling back unacceptable tariffs on Chinese imports.

Both countries are especially world’s apart on major structural issues that won’t likely be resolved no matter how many more rounds of talks are held.

The US wants China’s economic, industrial and technological development undermined.

Washington wants all nations worldwide subordinating their sovereign rights to its interests — clearly what Chinese authorities won’t tolerate.

Posted in USA0 Comments

A Future Without NATO?

By Global Research News

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NATO’s Continuing Enlargement Aims at Further Weakening of Russian Influence in the Balkans

By Paul Antonopoulos, December 03, 2019

Of the 29 NATO member states, 22 have already ratified the accession protocol of North Macedonia into the anti-Russian alliance. The ratification process will likely be completed before the end of NATO’s summit taking place in London this week, which will make North Macedonia the newest country in military alliance.

NATO’s Deep Political and Legal Crisis: Madness and Irrationality

By Jan Oberg,

NATO’s London Summit on December 3 and 4, 2019 displays the deep political crisis of the 70-year-old alliance: Only a dinner and a short meeting, no statement to be issued, quarrels among the leading military members, accusations, substantial differences on Syria and many other issues, the deepest-ever Transatlantic conflict and the usual issues of burden-sharing.

NATO: “Brain Dead” and Divided

By Andrew Korybko,

The backdrop against which this summit is taking place is one of uncertainty surrounding the organization’s future and many questioning whether it can even remain functional in its present form. The reasons for this existential crisis are many, but can be simplified as Trump’s demand that all member states finally pay the 2% of their GDP on defense that they’d mandated to, Turkey’s “autonomous” actions in Syria, some Central & Eastern European members’ supposed concerns about Russia, and France’s desire to present itself as the visionary of both an EU Army and a reformed NATO. Add to that the heavy American pressure being put upon the bloc’s members to curtail their economic relations with China and it’s clear that NATO is at a crossroads like never before.

Washington’s Grand Design: Draw NATO into Confronting Russia and China

By M. K. Bhadrakumar,

The trend is up for defence spending across European Allies and Canada. Over $100 billion is expected to be added to the member states’ defence budgets by end-2020.

More importantly, the trend at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at Brussels on November 19-20, in the run-up to the London summit, showed that despite growing differences within the alliance, member states closed ranks around three priority items in the US global agenda — escalation of the aggressive policy toward Russia, militarisation of space and countering China’s rise. 

Trump Was Right: NATO Should be Obsolete

By Medea Benjamin,

The three smartest words that Donald Trump uttered during his presidential campaign are “NATO is obsolete.” His adversary, Hillary Clintonretorted that NATO was “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world.” Now that Trump has been in power, the White House parrots the same worn line that NATO is “the most successful Alliance in history, guaranteeing the security, prosperity, and freedom of its members.” But Trump was right the first time around: Rather than being a strong alliance with a clear purpose, this 70-year-old organization that is meeting in London on December 4 is a stale military holdover from the Cold War days that should have gracefully retired many years ago.

Turkey Holds NATO Hostage Until Syria-related Demands Are Met

By Sarah Abed,

Without Turkey’s formal approval NATO will have a difficult time expediting its defense plan for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Because the two issues are not directly related, some believe Turkey is holding Europeans hostage until they comply with their demands. Not only is Turkey the only Islamic member of NATO but it has the second largest military in NATO granting NATO access to Georgia and Azerbaijan, which makes one wonder, who needs the other more, NATO or Turkey?

The 70 Years of NATO: From War to War: NATO Is Born from the Bomb

By Comitato No Nato,

On August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union carried out its first experimental nuclear explosion. A few months earlier, on April 4, 1949, when Washington knew that the Soviet Union was about to have the nuclear bombs and was about to start the nuclear arms race, the United States created NATO. During the Cold War, the Alliance under US command included 16 countries: United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, German Federal Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey. Through this alliance, the United States maintained its dominance over European allies, using Europe as the front line against the Soviet Union.

Posted in USA, Europe, China, NATO, Russia0 Comments


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