Archive | March 30th, 2020

How COVID-19 Will Test the West

By: ANDREW JOYCE 

“If trouble comes when you least expect it, then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Writing anything about COVID-19 at this moment is a daunting task since the situation is evolving so rapidly, and in so many different locations. Information contained in this piece could be thoroughly outpaced by transformative events by the time it reaches publication, or even by the time I finish up and click “save.” There is also a glut of information online right now, some of it reliable and fascinating, and some of it misleading and counterproductive. Everywhere there is a mixture of growing apprehension, clashing opinion, and outright confusion. If the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center’s interactive map is accurate, there are currently 284,566 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, a figure that is growing. The “true” number of infections, that includes asymptomatic carriers, will be much higher. Beginning on February 24th, an accelerating number of new transmissions emerged outside China, primarily in Italy which currently has over 47,021 cases. At time of writing, France and Germany are also experiencing rapid increases in affected persons, together totaling over 33,000 cases, and Spain is on the brink of a national lockdown with over 25,374. Almost every European country has now been affected, and COVID-19 is now spreading in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. How will it test the West?

Relations with China

Early speculation on COVID-19, especially in dissident circles, orbited conspiracy theories that the virus was engineered, and that it was either deployed by the United States or was an accidental leak from Wuhan’s Institute of Virology. In recent days, the former theory has been eagerly taken up by the Chinese themselves, with the added detail that COVID-19 may have been unleashed by visiting American soldiers during the Military World Games, which were staged in Wuhan in October 19-27, 2019. According to epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, in the course of a very interesting interview with Joe Rogan, it’s possible to date the origins of human COVID-19 through a process much like carbon dating, and scientists now have data suggesting COVID-19 became active in humans for the first time in mid-November 2019. Ron Unz has asked:

How would Americans react if 300 PRC officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards, a deadly new plague broke out in that city, with a major risk of spreading throughout the country? Isn’t it also rather suspicious that Iran has been hit so hard? So the two countries in the world most subject to current American hostility just tend to be especially “unlucky.” It hit China just before Lunar New Year, the absolutely worst possible time, and the epicenter was Wuhan, a key transport hub. It really seems an *astonishing* coincidence that 300 American military servicemen had been visiting Wuhan just prior to the outbreak, at a peak of international tension.

Other than timing of course, there seems to be little or no evidence that this was a bioweapon attack. Most obviously, one would assume that any attempted bioweapon attack by the United States on China would be much more covert than what has been suggested (a deliberate release by a very public group of soldiers). Also, while we know that SARS-like viruses based on bat coronavirus can be developed in the lab, the genome of COVID-19 has also been examined countless times with the result that there are now over 300 papers on MedRXiv concerning the structure, nature, and origins of the virus. None of these papers have highlighted anything suggesting an artificial origin of any aspect of COVID-19.

Conspiracy theories on the origins of COVID-19 are of course a very convenient and useful tool for the Chinese government, because they deflect attention from the fact the outbreak can easily be attributed to bad government, and to Communism itself. I find the idea that the virus originated in a Wuhan “wild food” market to be utterly compelling (see this documentary by 60 Minutes Australia, and this short piece by Vox), and this has direct consequences for perceptions of Chinese Communism. The consumption of “exotic” foods is itself a legacy of the Great Chinese Famine 1959–1961, after which the government permitted private farming but failed to prevent the monopoly by big companies of the rearing of conventional livestock. The peasantry, priced out of the market, resorted in large numbers to the farming of wild animals, especially, in the initial stages, the farming of turtles. Since this curbed starvation to some extent, the government backed these initiatives, and then in 1988 made the encouragement of domestication and breeding of wildlife an explicit aspect of law. Wildlife farming became an industry overnight. Bears, snakes, rodents, lizards, and bats began to be mass-produced for human consumption, and sold in mass markets in many of the country’s largest cities. In these markets, multiple species, alive and dead, are stacked in cages on top of one another, with the animals soaked in cocktails of urine and excrement—each cage a petri dish for the development new diseases, especially respiratory diseases, with the potential to jump to humans from myriad mammals. Together with its failure to take decisive preventative action in January 2020, and absent conspiracy theory speculation, the origin tale of COVID-19 is ultimately an indictment of Chinese politics and culture.

How that indictment will impact relations between the West and China remains to be seen. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have speculated that while mutual suspicion between the Chinese and the United States will remain high, the coronavirus outbreak will have no meaningful impact on trade between the two countries, and may in fact help de-escalate some prior economic tensions and involve the suspension of tariffs. In the longer term, however, COVID-19 has accelerated discussion about the need to become more independent from China in the production of goods. Several multinational corporations with supply chains based in China, having already considered diversifying their supply chains because of the U.S.-China trade war, are now likely to further their plans. Apple, for example, intends to move some manufacturing of its products (including AirPods and Apple Watches) to Taiwan due to the coronavirus. In Washington, members of Congress have used the outbreak to call for scaling back U.S. reliance on China, especially for prescription drugs, medical supplies, and other critical resources. Since Europe (Germany in particular) is the world’s largest manufacturer of drugs and medicines, we are likely to see a gradual decoupling of the United States from Chinese production, and a greater integration of European-American trade. Brexit Britain, until recently seen by the Chinese as having great potential for a lucrative trade and investment deal, may now present more of a cold house than previously thought. The EU, already resistant to increased Chinese economic influence, is also likely to dig its heels even deeper in the face of Chinese approaches. Some of the lasting challenges of COVID-19 will be how the West can distance itself from economic dependence on Chinese manufacturing, what impact this will have in both the shorter and longer term, and how the Chinese will respond.

Migrant Pressures

The first European outbreaks of COVID-19 fatefully coincided with an aggressive two-week operation by Turkey on its border with Greece, involving the movement of thousands of Syrian and African migrants. Beginning in late February, the Turkish government announced it would no longer stop migrants trying to reach Europe, and then drove thousands to the Greek border, live-streaming the process to encourage more to follow. The move was widely understood as an attempt to force European support for Turkey’s military campaign in northern Syria, and also as an attempt to extort more money from the EU. Although the effort now appears to have concludedwith Turkey backtracking in the face of Greek resilience, Europe continues to have this metaphorical human “pistol” pressed to the side of its head.

COVID-19 is going to aggravate the broader migrant problem. Already the clamor is growing that migrant camps on Europe’s borders should be evacuated on health grounds, with the migrants permitted to enter Europe. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have argued that unhygienic and cramped living conditions mean COVID-19 can spread very fast, and that social distancing and hand washing are more difficult. While Europe bans mass gatherings, it’s been said that people in these camps have nowhere to go. Even within European countries, the outbreak has been associated with calls for amnesties and the opening of migrant detention centers. In the UK, lawyers and campaigners have called for hundreds immigration centers detainees to be released“because of fears they will contract coronavirus while locked up.”

The problem with such calls is that they all appear to present COVID-19 as a deadly plague slaughtering all in its path, rather than as something that afflicts the most seriously ill among the old and infirm. As is well known, the average age of Europe’s would-be migrants, particularly those from Syria, is somewhere around the late 20s. Given the known progression of COVID-19 in people in this age category, calls to permit mass influxes of masses of migrants purely because of the outbreak is tantamount to calling for open borders because potential immigrants might otherwise catch the common cold. Such calls are likely to ride the crest of a media-induced wave of panic, however, and the resolve of the West to resist further migrant flows will indeed be tested by twisted forms of moral blackmail in the weeks and months to come.

Life and Death under Liberalism

As stated in my review of Don DeLillo’s White Noise (1985), we live in a decaying society that is in terror of death, and pathologically so. This pathology is rooted in mistaken beliefs that our civilization is dying from, or could imminently die from, disease epidemics, climate catastrophes etc., in the midst of willful and ignorant abdication of a future (via self-hate and industrialized abortion) in favor of mass immigration, consumerism, and instant gratification. Just as one has to confront death in order to truly live (or to become “authentic” in Heidegger’s philosophy), our society is in constant flight from death and thus inevitably collapses into inauthentic decay. COVID-19, while not as lethal as media coverage would suggest, is a reminder of our mortality and human fragility and will necessarily have a jarring effect on a Western liberalism that has become increasingly distant from the confrontation with death.

Life under liberal finance capitalism is largely one of illusion, in which the prospect of real death is pushed far into the distance, both psychologically and culturally. Postmodern Western liberal culture is largely one of perpetual adolescence, in which the primary virtues are acting according to one’s individual will, identifying oneself in a hyper-individualistic manner, and expressing these identities via conspicuous consumption and behavior. We do not “live towards” Death, with a sense of purpose and a feeling that we are part of a much grander civilizational trajectory. We do not understand that Death has shaped our historical path, and that it hangs over us in ways that should direct our actions in the present.

COVID-19, regardless of current confusion over its true mortality rate, is a corrective to illusions that “progressive” Man has overcome Nature and can shape the world according to the human image, and without consequences. Certainly throughout my own lifetime, I’ve grown accustomed to assertions that life expectancy will continue to increase, and that there will be an endless supply of innovations and social projects that will make the mechanics of life easier and more productive. One increasingly expects that one will live a long life, mostly in very good health. Such a sense of security can breed all kinds of arrogance and fantasies, including the recent perverse luxury of the delusion that one can simply decide to be this or that gender. This new virus, however, presents the possibility, both in itself and its inevitable heirs, that Death is much closer than we ever thought, and that for all our technological advancement and self-congratulation, Nature need only tweak one molecule, so small our naked eyes could never perceive it, and the grave opens before us. The Age of Fantasy is confronted with the ultimate reality.

How the West responds to this realization will be a further cultural challenge. We have grown equally accustomed to the idea that we have “advanced” morally as a society, and that we have overcome some of the more “brutish” aspects of human existence that we perceive in the past. But in a world of apparently increasing plenty, such notions can be hard to test. It’s always easy for a man with a full stomach to condemn the actions of the starving. The conceit of the full-bellied West that it has overcome and surpassed itself and its past will now be tested. I, of course, arise from a political and philosophical tradition that insists there is no shame in the past. I see little or no place for morality in the struggle for survival. And I also see the cracks already forming in the Western conceit. This society that is against “hate” and prides itself on “coming together” is already struggling to stop people rioting over toilet paper and bottled water. If civil order breaks down, will the proud feminists be seeking their own resources, or hoping for a strong man to protect them? If the death toll does rise dramatically, and if curfews and lockdowns are imposed and intensified, I ask: How well will your beloved multicultural societies respond? If resources become scarce and tensions rise, who will you trust? These tests are coming.

Economic and Political Fallout

Just days ago, JPMorgan projected that a recession will hit the US and European economies by July, with US GDP to shrink by 2% in the first quarter and 3% in the second, and Eurozone GDP to contract by 1.8% and 3.3% over the same periods. Sudden cessation of economic activity through quarantines, event cancellations, social distancing, and the almost complete shutdown of the tourist industry will have both immediate and longer term consequences for national economies and broader trade patterns. The mass closing of schools will expose pre-existing weaknesses in a modern system that sees women funneled en masse into the work place while their children are left in day cares or schools. According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 70 percent of American mothers with children under 18 work. Through the closing of schools alone, the impact of COVID-19 will almost certainly have the greatest impact on the role of women in the workplace since World War Two, with many forced to leave work and return to the home for an as yet undetermined amount of time. How this will impact the businesses or public entities employing these women remains to be seen, but it will undoubtedly cause significant difficulties and necessitate some level of infrastructural change.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is also projected to test Western healthcare provision to the limit. It’s been particularly interesting that the outbreak in Italy effectively broke the health system in Lombardy, widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Before the outbreak, it was remarked that:

The Lombardy healthcare system, characterised by quality and efficiency, is a model of reference both in Italy and worldwide. With the benefit of private partnerships in fact, it ensures its citizens and those who live in other regions or abroad have access to prime level health care with all the advantages of a public system. Lombardy has 56 University Departments of Medicine, 19 IRCCS (IRCCS means an institution devoted to excellence in clinical care and research) which represent 42% of the national total, 47 Institutes and 32 Research Centres. As a result, Lombardy and in particular Milan have always attracted the most renowned physicians in every field of expertise.

It took COVID-19 just four weeks to exhaust every hospital bed in Lombardy, force doctors out of retirement and medical students to graduate early, and provoke the creation of 500 triage tents outside hospitals nationwide. The different, and ever-politicized, healthcare systems of the United States and Great Britain are about to experience the most intensive test in their respective histories. One of the most outspoken figures from the medical profession on social media in recent days is Eugene Gu, who has made a point of attacking the profit-seeking nature of much of the American medical establishment. Gu has argued that American medicine is essentially a pyramid scheme that profits those at the top by artificially restricting the number of doctors produced by the system:

The medical school and residency system in the United States is completely broken compared to other countries. Now that we are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, we need to reflect upon an abusive system that hurts patients and seeks to make a few specialists filthy rich. Even before the coronavirus, we created a huge physician shortage by limiting spots in medical schools to inflate doctors’ salaries the same way De Beers fixes the diamond market. And we gutted primary care so that specialists like plastic surgeons and dermatologists can get rich. I took an oath to “first, do no harm.” I cannot just stand by and watch as the corrupt cesspool we call our American medical system fails our patients while a few doctors, insurance executives, and Big Pharma get filthy rich. Medicine should not be a for-profit industry.

Whether or not one agrees with Dr Gu’s perspective, the coming weeks and months will test both American for-profit medicine and Britain’s nationalized health system, and perhaps leave long term political legacies for both.

Political consequences will also inevitably result from the approaches of individual leaders to the crisis. Boris Johnson is risking his political future on a “herd immunity” strategy that is radically different from the course of action pursued by other leaders. It’s been criticized as involving the sacrifice of the older generation for a slightly prolonged period of economic normalcy and an entirely assumed future immunity among the young. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is quickly trying to move on from a highly dismissive initial response to the outbreak. In both cases, and throughout the West, moderately “conservative” populism based on the celebration of finance capitalism and token gestures on borders will be tested to the limit by increasing strains on all aspects of social, political, and economic life. Trump, in particular, has managed to squeeze a lot of political mileage out of the performance of the stock market. With stocks tumbling, and the American healthcare system pushed to the limit, it remains to be seen whether Trump’s drive to make gay sex legal in Africa will be enough to keep his voters happy.

In another return of the Real, of course, COVID-19 is doing more to close borders than any expression of political populism ever has. It was all well and good that “the world is a village” when this involved cheap and cheerful vacations, but all it took was a few houses in the throes of sickness for the rest of the villagers to wish there was somewhere they could escape to. The global village is in shutdown. All humans might be equally susceptible to this virus, but national borders, so often scorned until recently, now reveal they might have some uses after all – just one of them being the invaluable opportunity to seal and control a limited territory. How people grow accustomed to this renewed emphasis on border control may leave a lasting political legacy for the West also. In any case, we can only hope it will.

Conclusion

With events moving so quickly, I conclude with the oppressive sensation that I’ve written both too much and too little. The figures presented at the outset of this essay will be superfluous by the time this piece is published, but I do think some of the suggestions in the body will remain relevant for some time to come. I wish all our readers the best of luck and the best of health in the weeks and months to come. May globalism’s difficulty be the dissident’s opportunity.

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Was Coronavirus a Biowarfare Attack Against China?

By: OLDMICROBIOLOGIST 

[The following is the republication of several long and very detailed comments by an unidentified purported expert on biowarfare that originally appeared on a recent thread of the Saker blogsite.]

[Update: an investigation strongly suggests that the author’s claims regarding his personal background and professional expertise are accurate.]

I’ll throw my 2 cents in here. I have zero proof other than my gut feeling that this is a bioweapon. I do have 40 year of biodefense research experience behind me and worked at Fort Detrich on bacterial vaccines where I developed my own aerosol infection routes and developed multi-species models of pathogenesis to establish correlates of immunity. Because I was a one-stop shop doing everything including animal care, aerosol exposures, sample analysis, necropsy, and histopathology, etc. plus I had research programs in endemic areas studying the immunopathological response in human populations to establish immune correlates of protection for candidate vaccines all for the Biological Defense Research Program (BDRP).

I recall the early years when the Department of Homeland Security was stood up and they got the lion’s share of poorly performing ciivil servants un-fireable under the then OPMA policies. I was brought in as a technical expert as we were in dire straits for funding so I (and others) was lent out as a research prostitute. This is a little known problem with civil service employees. They are impossible to eliminate and generally rise to levels where they can cause the most damage. However, an opportunity arose whereby agencies in the Federal government had to contribute bodies to the new Department of Homeland Security (as no new vacancies were created when the agency was stood up meaning everyone had to sacrifice personnel) so most, if not all, employees sent to DHS were the worst of the worst. However, the DHS labs (specifically NBACC) also tied into some nefarious microbiologists working at the CIA (ostensibly part of DHS) and it is an understatement to say that what I saw being proposed horrified me. That work, I am certain was performed at Battle Memorial Institute in West Jefferson, Ohio under a DHS contract doing the work for the CIA under the auspices of NBACC. As I was very vocally opposed to this stuff I was removed from the secure access at DHS but not DoD to the offensive work which I had pointed out was not only illegal but unethical. I have since retired now more than 10 years and am far away from all of that. I won’t say more as they will reach out and seek retribution. But, if you look hard enough you can find still on the internet some references. There are some pissed off people out there should anyone care to actually do some leg work and try and figure this out. But, our news people no longer does this work so there is very little possibility of ever learning the truth.

However, that said, I notice some interesting things with COVID-19, that perked my ears up a bit. Yes, it could be a natural infection jumping species from bats to humans with a probable intermediate host, under conditions of human encroachment into world habitats. It is actually most likely to have been that, except for the strain differences being observed. That leads one to believe if it is in fact true, and I have no reason to doubt the Chinese on this, that it originated outside of China and it seems likely to have originated in the US. If, in fact, the US has 5 strains currently and China only one then it must have been percolating in the US for some time before it arose in China. Likely, deaths in the US were attributed to other diseases such as influenza and only retrospective sampling will determine this. It would be interesting to do a combination GPS-Molecular biology tracking of strains over time and distance. Also, a definite genetic analysis of strains over time would also be beneficial and can be done easily on every isolated strain. This would have value in attributing the course of the disease over time as part of a natural history study of the virus. We would need access to all samples of every lung disease related death for the past 12 months to be certain to track all potential deaths. NBACC is the key to figuring out what nefarious stuff was being funded.

It is possible that this virus has mutated over time to become more virulent. In particular engineered strains are generally unstable over multiple passages through multiple hosts. In my experience when testing strains for pathogenesis and lethality it is wise to first passage a frozen isolate several times through a susceptible animal host to regain full strength. If you test a lab isolate (usually frozen or lyophilized) generally it is wimpy unless you passage it at least 3 passages through an animal model. The worst strains are always those recovered from humans who died from the disease and not field collected strains. If this was perceived to be a useful agent from the likes of Bolton or Pompeo, who are terrible and evil people, then it is conceivable this was thought to teach the Chinese a lesson in economics. You have to be a complete idiot to release a virus for which you have no effective countermeasures but this administration seems to be filled with complete idiots. So, expecting normal behavior from these people is futile.

It could have been released during the 7th CISM military games held in Wuhan October 18-27, 2019 and that fits perfectly into the time scale for the actual infections. Now interestingly enough, I was a participant in several CISM competitions in Europe for skiing (I was on active duty for 26 years) so I am very well versed in who these athletes are. In general the best are Olympic competitors who are ostensibly part of the National Guard of their states who pay for their training by extended military active duty periods where their sole job is sports training. I used to lose every year to one of these guys and generally I placed a distant second place in cross country skiing. I also participated in the biathlon competitions and our soldiers were the very top level because they were in fact Olympic athletes. Rumor is that the US participants at CISM were atrocious which is very atypical so one wonders who these “athletes” were. I am reminded of the US military mission in Brazil to help flood victims which coincidentally was the exact same time that all the power transmission stations in Venezuela were destroyed. So, again a hackle or 2 rise when I heard about that. However, it is the perfect opportunity to release a virus on a target population.

I will also like to add that not all biological warfare agents are lethal. In fact, the worst are non-lethal as it consumes vast amounts of resources in treatment and lost productivity. Deaths are actually cheaper. So, a high communicability, low lethality disease is perfect for ruining an economy. As Trump’s administration claims they are waging war against economic enemies (currently China heads the list) using all possible actions. This fits perfectly into that; however, it may end up destroying the American economy which would be ironic.

I believe the Chinese response was exactly what a country would do if they were attacked with a bioweapon which explains a lot of their actions. I do not believe it was an accidental release from the BSL-4 labs in Wuhan. In fact, this may have been an irresistible opportunity similar to the alleged Novichuk release just 8 k away from Porton Down laboratories (the UK Fort Detrich). Interestingly, the potential release from PDL was never put forward as a logical explanation. Anyway, it sticks me that the CIA seems to have developed a pattern over time. As long as I am pushing my gut feelings I will throw out there the potential for a bioengineered adenovirus with c-fos and c-jun over expression which would cause sarcomas. That work was all published at the National Cancer Institute located where? Fort Detrich. I am certain it is just a coincidence. I can imagine the cackling going on at the CIA when planning this operation and again the coronavirus operation(s). I believe there were at least two attacks with Iran being the second and perhaps North Korea as well. However, evidence against it being a bioweapon is Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba are minimally affected. This could mean effective countermeasures or botched attacks. It is inconsistent though with the way the CIA operates.

Adenovirus is another virus similar to coronavirus in usage and easily aerosolized. I have made my own for over expression of medical treatments for wound infections. Has anyone other than myself noted that so many enemies of the US have died from sarcomas particularly in South America? My point is perhaps this stuff has been ongoing for quite some time and with some fairly good results. So, familiarity breeds contempt so as they gin more experience and begin to think this is good stuff, it is not out of the realm of possibility that this is in fact a bioweapon. That Iran was hit so hard is another hackle rising. It is just simply too good (for the idiots in the US government) to be a coincidence.

So, we are left with some interesting problems about this virus. Where was patient zero in China. What will be the results if a natural history study is conducted correlating geolocation, strain identity, severity of disease over time? Will that work be prevented? If so, that is yet another reason to be suspicious. Will it continue to mutate and what will be the outcome of this? Lots of good stuff to examine here and it will keep a lot of people busy for years.

Maybe you can explain this:
“Coronavirus have not previously been known to cause severe disease in humans”.
This is excerpt from the patent issued to CDC, US government. Link:
https://patents.google.com/patent/US7220852B1/en

So the question for me is why should a harmless virus be patented by the US government and used for research in labs like US army research at Ft. Derick? That makes it military. Why is there then the SARS-CoV, and the latest COVID-19 which is SARS-CoV-2 ? The swineflu was likewise proven to be lab made at least in sources other than mainstream and WHO, the same was the case with Ebola, and even HIV.
It immediately raises the question of ban of biological weapons labs in my mind, by internatiopnal treaties just like a ban on the use of napalm, landmines and so on, since a harmless virus are researched in army labs and suddenly appears as aggresive viruses .

It is an interesting question. Under the bioweapons conference treaty no offensive work can legally be done and any signatory can demand an onsite inspection of facilities for verification at any time. To my knowledge that has never been demanded of the US. It has been done to Russia and China is not a signatory, nor is Israel or North Korea. We have been caught doing inappropriate biodefense research several times now but only because it became known and there were no consequences.

The slippery slope within DoD is to make a counter measure you have to try and look forwards and using intelligence based informatics to design offensive agents. In my opinion this is fallacious as we can’t make countermeasures against the normal 10 agents on the high threat list (since the program’s inception in 1942) other than anthrax and smallpox for which we have had effective vaccines for decades. Since 9/11 no new effective and/or safe vaccines have been been made for any of the rest of the agents on the list. This includes several far more likely biothreats like the plague, tularemia, glanders, brucella, Ebola, Marburg, etc. This was despite pouring billions into biodefense research most of which went to universities. When things cooled down the funding dried up as always. USAMRIID is currently shut down and may never re-open. But contracted services still go on and are funded using black money so not under the purview of Congress. So trying to make vaccines against biothreat agents that don’t exist seems ridiculous when the real threats, some of which the US has used in warfare, are still out there without effective preventatives. What happens is when you pour money into an area as happened after 9/11 all kinds of ridiculous stuff gets funded with very little oversight. The goal is to spend the money and no one really cares if any actual product is created. In fact, success means the demise of your program so the incentive is to drag it out for as long as funding is available. I had programs managed under DTRA funding that because I got new program managers as often as every 3 months had no clue or even any expertise in the matter and had zero idea of what we were doing. I got tired of doing a new dog and pony show each time I was assigned a new manager who usually was some very young recent PhD graduate with no experience at all. Often they were nebutistic appointments and daddy was a Congressman or Under Secretary.

The intelligence based decisions are as usual idiotic as is most intelligence coming out of the CIA and its affiliates. You get better intelligence reading PUBMED than you get out of any intelligence agencies. The microbiologists who work at the CIA and its contract companies were all military microbiologists who because they were essentially incompetent drifted over to the CIA. Then you have some IMHO ridiculous events. I recall when Ken Alibekov “defected” he spoonfed a bunch of made up BS which the CIA bought lock stock and barrel. I had working for me at the same time several former Soviet microbiologists (one of who was a senior researcher at Biopreparat) who were in fact the real deal and all told me he was a bullshit artist. One thing he peddled was a chimeric smallpox-Ebola and another a Ebola-anthrax. So the CIA immediately funded an effort to create chimeric viruses. To my knowledge these were unsuccessful however, the COVID-19 may be being caused by a chimeric virus. The only good reason to make a chimeric virus is to develop a attenuated strain for use as a vaccine. But, as often happens some attenuated mutants become more lethal as an unintended consequence. Another event was trying to force photo data from Iraq to prove they had an offensive bioweapons program. These guys had no clue what laboratory equipment was in actuality and had offered up a cooking truck with pots and pans etc. as proof. They were and I assume still are, idiots.

DoD programs are actually transparent and managed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Less transparent are the foreign stuff being funded under the Nunn-Lugar Act which includes the debacle of the “white elephant” lab and its satellite labs in the Republic of Georgia. No one will ever look into any of this but likely will end up blaming Russia or China.

They tend to underestimate their adversaries. China has an offensive program and if they get convinced they were attacked then I believe something nasty will be coming soon to the US. But, China is not stupid and won’t release a biothreat agent they have no preventative or treatment for. I also had several Chinese scientists working for me and I respect them immensely.

That should be PROMED for current infectious disease reporting around the world. It is exceptionally good and not funded or controlled by governments. PUBMED is for online publications which is also good but controlled by the government. I am fully aware of censorship of research papers by the US. I recall I wrote a letter to the editor of Science back in 1999 when the government decided to stockpile billions of doses of ciprofloxacin. I did a quick BLAST search and found that only a single base pair mutation in anthrax made it completely resistant to cipro. That letter was published and after 9/11 never seen again. There are other example such as the Canadian paper maybe also in 1999 showing that anthrax delivered in envelopes was not very effective. That one disappeared as well and the same as the Canadian paper where they were aerosolizing B. cereus spores out the back of a moving truck and using aerial infrared cameras demonstrated that these streams of aerosolized spores agglomerated into cloudlets which moved along in the wind and would usually avoid detector arrays which sampled airflow for aerosol particles. That is still the current state of the art for battlefield detection and that paper showed it to be ineffective at best. I can think of dozens of papers that were removed. After 9/11 any research paper that could be used by a foreign actor to develop better biothreat agents was rejected for publication outright. Almost none of my work was published after that except in classified reports which I believe were never read by anyone. I recall part of the madness in setting up NBACC was to generate very lengthy “white papers” that scrubbed through all published articles to assemble the complete picture for the then 10 threat agents. I wrote or edited two of those and they were immediately buried in some deep classified archive to the researchers who might benefit from this work could never actually use it. A complete waste of months and a ton of money. If you are perceiving that the US government biothreat programs are a complete shambles then you are not wrong.

I’ll go into that a bit more as well. It used to be in the military programs we were “command directed”. This means the military made a decision to make a vaccine against a perceived threat agent. They would assemble a research group assign them the mission and give 5 years funding to be continued if milestones (reasonable given the pittance of funding given). If you made progress then you got another 5 years of funding. That funding agency located at MRMC Fort Detrick was a Research area managed usually by a Major and a Captain, both microbiologists and experienced. Two people. There were 5 research area Directorates so a total of 10 program managers and a couple administrative colonels. This managed the entire DoD biothreat research programs and did it well. However, someone decided we needed an Agency to manage this stuff and DTRA which was funded by the Nunn-Lugar Act was already involved in the disassembly of Soviet nuclear capabilities so they wanted a bigger piece of the pie so absorbed the Research Directorates. The BDRP program at DTRA (basically identical as before) was now managed by over 400 contractors. The money came out of the research money we were supposed to be allocated.

After DTRA took over the funding was no longer Command Directed and we were all required to go out and fu-ind whatever funding we could hence why we made “deals” with DHS and the CIA. We went to an annual funding cycle instead of 5 years and never ending Gantt charts and reports. This was the age of 6 Sigma and the end of Management by Objective. We were also charged rent and had to pay for every service at our Institute including the security and even the library. Even our higher command MRMC stole 6% off the top to pay for pet projects unfunded by anyone with a brain. So, this became the age of entrepreneurial research and the end of productive research. Our commander, as an example, had no idea what we were doing at all and was shocked at all the “cool” stuff we were doing. This is the new breed of commander who manages by committee and never goes out walking the floors to visit labs. What the old school commanders call management by walking around and poking your nose into everything. But now these guys sit in their office and are fed whatever the REMFs decide they should hear. This is management in the US government as a whole and there are so many hidden agendas and internal conflicts between programs it is difficult to describe just how awful it is to try and do research in that environment. A lot of the worst of those commanders or research Division Directors went on to be current heads of HHS, CDC, and their undersecretaries, etc. which explains why those agencies are so screwed up and why there is such a horrible response to this virus.

Posted in China, HealthComments Off on Was Coronavirus a Biowarfare Attack Against China?

On GypsiesThe EU interviewed 8,000 Gypsies, the results will shock you!

By: GUILLAUME DUROCHER 

Gypsies in France, 1980s. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I for one am fascinated by Gypsies. I find it remarkable that a people, hailing from the dregs of medieval Indian society, could cross the whole Middle East, arrive in eastern Europe, and maintain their identity among other peoples for 1500 years. The Gypsies did this, furthermore, without maintaining their own sovereign state or religion, the two traditional ways of preserving peoplehood. That is, by any yardstick, a remarkable achievement.

Unfortunately, the realities and remarkable nature of Gypsy society and culture are never a subject of polite conversation. I once asked an eastern European affluent white female liberal for sources on the topic and she unhelpfully pointed to a Soros-funded NGO’s numerous reports on all the discrimination Gypsies face at the hands of nefarious Europeans. That really wasn’t what I was getting at.

Any people who manages to maintain their identity in such a way throughout the centuries can hardly be a merely passive object of the all-powerful majority. Rather, the diaspora people in question must have their own powerful cultural and social mechanisms to make this happen: policing group membership, ensuring endogamous reproduction, and maintaining one’s own social life as a nation within a nation.

Anyway, the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has produced a massive survey seeking to shed light on this mysterious people: as part of the “Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey” (the reflexive pairing of these two themes naturally sets the tone), 8,000 face-to-face interviews with Gypsies were held, collecting information on 34,000 people living in Gypsy households in nine European countries.

The survey covers Gypsies in Bulgaria, Czechia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, which host 80% of Europe’s Gypsies. Gypsies that have moved to a different country, very numerous since Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union and armed their Gypsies with EU passports, are not covered.

The results, indeed, are highly revealing.

Gypsies are poor:

[The survey] shows that 80% of Roma continue to live below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold of their country; that every third Roma lives in housing without tap water; one in 10 in housing without electricity; and that every fourth Roma (27%) and every third Roma child (30%) live in a household that faced hunger at least once in the previous month.

Gypsies are much, much less likely to work or study:

[The survey] finds that only one in four Roma aged 16 years or older reports ‘employed’ or ‘self-employed’ as their main activity at the time of the survey. Roma women report much lower employment rates than Roma men – 16 % compared with 34 %. Overall, the survey shows paid work rates for Roma aged 20-64 years to be 43 %, which is well below the EU average of 70 % in 2015. The situation of young people is substantially worse: on average, 63% of Roma aged 16-24 were not employed, in education or training at the time of the survey, compared with the 12 % EU average on the NEET rate for the same age group. For this age group, the results also show a considerable gender gap, with 72 % of young Roma women not employed, in education or training, compared with 55 % of young Roma men.

Arab and Turkish women in Europe are also much less likely to work than their male counterparts, but Gypsies’ idleness really is unique. Forty-four percent of Gypsies live in what the EU diplomatically calls “low work intensity households,” that is to say, households where working-age members work at less than 20% capacity.

Gypsies generally don’t go to school and, when they do, they perform poorly:

[The study’s] results show that Roma children lag behind their non-Roma peers on all education indicators. Only about half (53 %) of Roma children between the age of four and the starting age of compulsory primary education participate in early childhood education. On average, 18 % of Roma between 6 and 24 years of age attend an educational level lower than that corresponding to their age. The proportion of Roma early school-leavers is disproportionately high compared with the general population. School segregation remains a problem in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia despite the legal prohibition of this practice and recent case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Two thirds of 18- to 24-year-old Gypsies do not have a high school diploma and have no intention of getting one. Concerning segregation, 13% of 6- to 15-year-old Gypsies attend schools in which all their “schoolmates” are Gypsies, while 33% attend schools where most are Gypsies. A majority, 55%, attend schools in which only “some” or “none” of their schoolmates are Gypsies.

Interestingly, a majority of Gypsies report no recent discrimination against them:

Almost one in two Roma (41 %) felt discriminated against because of their ethnic origin at least once in one of these areas of daily life in the past five years. One in four Roma (26 %) indicates that the last incident of perceived discrimination happened in the 12 months preceding the survey. The highest prevalence of discrimination in the past 12 months is found when using public or private services (19 %) and when looking for work (16 %). However, on average, only 12 % of Roma report their experiences of discrimination to an authority. Moreover, almost a third (27 %) of the Roma surveyed do not know of any law prohibiting discrimination based on ethnic origin, and most Roma (82 %) do not know any organisations offering support to victims of discrimination.

Gypsies in Bulgaria and Romania report the lowest levels of discrimination (22% and 29% in the last 5 years, respectively). At first glance this is rather curious because Bulgarians and Romanians can be quite openly hostile to Gypsies and their anti-social behavior.

Graphs:

“Early leavers” are defined as people who do not have a upper-secondary school diploma (i.e. high school) and are not in education or training.

“Early leavers” are defined as people who do not have a upper-secondary school diploma (i.e. high school) and are not in education or training.

The share of Gypsies in education is rising, often from a very low base:

Gypsies say Czechs are most racist:

Concluding Remarks

Gypsy behavior continues to be remarkable. While I am as hostile to mass education as anyone, and contra liberal platitudes, to not send your children to school (which, if nothing else, is a free baby-sitting service) requires considerable effort upon the Gypsies’ part. This is a conscious decision and not the product of “exclusion.” As usual and in highly condescending fashion, egaliterians deny minorities’ share of agency.

In Western Europe, the contrast between Gypsies and other minorities is particularly marked. Street corners in Paris, Brussels, Sweden, and even smaller French towns are now teeming with eastern European Gypsies, mostly from the Balkans. The White European immigrants work, Arab immigrants too will set up shops and work to some extent (even as their wives might stay at home), and Black immigrants will be happy to sell you some weed. Only the Gypsies sleep on the street and send their own children to beg for them, something which, I think, would make any other minority group die of shame.

These Gypsies beg or sometimes pushily provide services, such as washing your windshield unsolicited. The least obnoxious play music, typically a track from the Godfather. During a summer camp in France, some Gypsies ransacked our campsite while we were away. The Gypsies had rummaged through the girls’ underwear and stolen our CDs. The girls were in tears, while the boys – we were teenagers – gathered ourselves into a pack and began looking for the Gypsies. I imagine this is how lynchings get started but, in fact, we never found them.

The survey points to Gypsies being an alien R-selected group within the European continent, cut off from the rest of society. The study notes that: “compared with the general population, Roma are on average younger. This could be explained by higher birth rates and lower life expectancy of Rome in most of the countries surveyed” (p. 17). A Slovenian friend of mine, in charge of his town’s Gypsy Policy, notes that the local Gypsies, who have been there for generations, do not speak Slovenian.

How will European attitudes toward Gypsies develop in the future? There are two contradictory trends. On the one hand, the EU and White women will seek to infantilize Gypsies and blame problems on the majority. A Slovenian white affluent female liberal explained to me that Spain was pioneering an “innovative” approach, in which Gypsies were not only given special access to resources to make up for their underprivilege, but police were also “educated” on Gypsy history and culture, and should adapt their approach accordingly. “It’s a two-way street,” she explained.

At the political level, the EU demands, in order to access its funds, “introducing a specific ex ante thematic conditionality, which requires an appropriate national Roma integration strategy to be in place for using funds for Roma integration” (p. 9). Concretely, this means national governments, especially in eastern Europe, have to at least pretend to try to “integrate” Gypsies and, presumably, eliminate inequalities between them and the majority, regardless of Gypsy behavior’s share of responsibility in said inequalities. In seeking to force Gypsy children into school, the EU is, in typical Eurocentric fashion, attempting to destroy this Indian people’s unique way of life.

On the other hand, Blacks and Muslims are continuously flowing into Western Europe. These new populations do not have the apparently-generous and sentimental approach of White women, EU institutions, or Soros’ NGOs. In France, the Arabs are frankly tired of the Gypsies and regularly instigate pogroms against them, burning down their camps.

A few years ago, after alleged thefts against them, young Arabs in Lyon threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at a Gypsy encampment while the Gypsies defended themselves with metal bars. In the highly Arabized city of Marseilles, Gypsy encampments are regularly torched by exasperated locals, whose ethnic origin is discretely omitted by the media. Last year, Arab twitter was abuzz with rumors that Gypsies were kidnapping children, leading to several attacks against Gypsies and 19 arrests.

You can change even the Europeans, but some things never change.

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Posted in LiteratureComments Off on On GypsiesThe EU interviewed 8,000 Gypsies, the results will shock you!

9/11 Truth, Coronavirus Truth: Zionist Hysteria, MSM LockdownWar on the Horizon?

By: KEVIN BARRETT 

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.”… “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses (September 2000)

I spent most of 2004 through 2006 blaming Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for 9/11. As you can imagine, I got plenty of pushback. Strangely, the loudest, most hysterical shrieks came not from red-white-and-blue Republican patriots, but from seemingly insane Zionists screaming: “Why do you hate the Jews so much, you anti-Semite?”[1]

At first, I could not for the life of me figure out why blaming two non-Jews, Cheney and Rumsfeld, elicited that kind of reaction. It also seemed odd that anyone talking about the explosive demolitions of World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 was reviled as a Jew-hater.[2] Questioning what happened to the Pentagon, whether there were really any hijackers or cell phone calls, who really sent the anthrax, who bought the put options, who exhibited foreknowledge, and so on elicited the same hysterical reaction from Israel-firsters. It was only after I looked into the ethnic and foreign-loyalist backgrounds of PNAC, Larry Silverstein, and other 9/11 suspects that it began to dawn on me that “the Zionist doth protest too much.”

We are now experiencing 911-2B, the coronavirus black swan. Just as 9/11 terrorized, shocked, and shut down the USA for a few days, it seems that Covid-19 will do the same, only more so. Instead of a few days, we may be shut down for a few months, maybe even a few years. And once again, Zionists are hysterically pushing back against those of us questioning the official story. The Israel-lobby propaganda site The Algemeiner recently published a hit piece headlined Islamists Call Coronavirus a Zionist-American Conspiracy. It featured the following attack on yours truly:

Press TV, meanwhile, published an article by American conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett to back the claim that the coronavirus is a US-Israeli conspiracy using biological warfare to hurt Iran. “US, Israel waging biological warfare on massive scale,” was the March 7 story’s headline.

Barrett, a “9/11 truther,” got crazier in the story:

“The United States waged biological warfare against its own Congress in 2001 with the anthrax component of the 9/11 anthrax false flag operation, which terrorized Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the leaders of the movement that blocked the Patriot Act, into giving up and allowing the Patriot Act.

“So the United States is run by lunatics, by psychopaths who are entirely capable of launching World War 3 by way of a biological warfare attack on China and Iran, with the Iran component presumably led by Israel. That’s the most likely explanation for what we’re seeing.”

This is the kind of rot Press TV publishes.

The Algemeiner also vilified Muslims reacting negatively to Israel’s announcement that it would have a coronavirus vaccine ready “in a few weeks.” It cited British, Iranian, and Algerian Muslims balking at the prospect of buying vaccines from Israel, and/or questioning how Israel could possibly develop a vaccine for a new rogue virus in such short order, assuming it hadn’t simultaneously developed both the virus and the vaccine.

Might Israel profit from a disastrous black swan that it helped create? It already happened once. Prior to 9/11, the Jewish population of Israel was fleeing, with net emigration outpacing net immigration, while the dotcom bust and suicide bombings collapsed the Jewish State’s economy. The global Islamic movement was picking up steam; it seemed likely that Muslims might soon win back custody of their holy places. (Muslims have administered the holy sites in and around Jerusalem/al-Quds virtually ever since Islam existed, minus a couple of brief and bloody crusader interludes, until the current Zionist genocide began less than a century ago.)

During the run-up to 9/11, as Naomi Klein explains in The Shock Doctrine,[3] Israel put all its chips into anti-terror start-ups—and hit the jackpot on 9/11/2001. An anti-Islam propaganda tidal wave swept the globe, washing away the Islamic Awakening surge and leaving in its place the 27-million-Muslim holocaust that continues today.

The 9/11 black swan was in essence a propaganda operation designed to demonize Islam and Muslims in general, and anti-Zionists ones in particular, in service to changing the arc of history to benefit Israel. But it was sold by PNAC crypto-Zionists to people like Cheney and Rumsfeld as a recipe for prolonging US empire for a New American Century by way of a “New Pearl Harbor.”

Today’s coronavirus black swan, like 9/11, has all the characteristics of a trauma-based mass-mind-control op. It has already been used to demonize China in the same way 9/11 was used to demonize Islam: Just as we were supposed to hate the crazy suicidal Muslims yearning for harems of afterlife virgins, we are now supposed to feel disgust for Chinese slurpers of bat soup. And just as we were supposed to loathe the brutal and incompetent governments of Muslim-majority nations, now we are told to revile the oppressive censorship-addicted regime in Beijing. It may be purely coincidental that this wholesale demonization of the world’s two greatest classical civilizations, based on two fear-inciting black swan events of suspicious origin, just happened to arrive in the wake of the Bernard Lewis-Samuel Huntington pronouncement that the 21st century would be era of the “clash of civilizations.” After all, even the craziest coincidence theories sometimes turn out to be true.

It also may be a coincidence that the primary US bioweapons lab, Ft. Detrick, was shut down in summer 2019 over fears that weaponized pathogens might escape. It may be a coincidence that absurdly under-performing US military athletes came to Wuhan for the World Military Games in October and have since been accused by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of being the source of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be a coincidence that at the same time those “athletes” were in Wuhan, the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and other Establishment titans were hosting a pandemic simulation called Event 201. It may be purely coincidental that the virus appeared in Wuhan, home of China’s biggest biodefense laboratory, and China’s biggest transportation hub, just in time for the Chinese New Year, when most Chinese travel to visit relatives. Likewise, it could be coincidental that the real-life Covid-19 pandemic almost perfectly mimics Lockstep, the Rockefeller Foundation’s recipe for a global police state emerging on the back of a coronavirus-style pandemic.

Then again, it could be that the Chinese government’s suspicions about the US, or others’ suspicions about Israel (especially regarding the coronavirus catastrophe in Iran) are justified. But such possibilities are far outside of the mainstream media’s Overton Window. The whole topic of bioweapons in relation to coronavirus is an MSM no-go zone, just as the evidence and arguments refuting the official story was a no-go zone after 9/11. The very fact that such things are unspeakable in the Mockingbird media suggests that yet another nefarious propaganda operation is underway.

Just as I came to reject the official story of 9/11 by comparing the arguments and evidence cited by proponents and opponents of that thesis, I am currently leaning toward the “Anglo-Zionist bioweapon” interpretation of coronavirus based on what I’ve seen so far by opponents as well as proponents. I recently listened to Peter Myers’ arguments that Covid-19 was made in a lab—”most likely from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” (Read his sources here.) Myers focuses on a paper trail documenting bat virus research at Wuhan and the University of North Carolina, allegations of Chinese germ warfare espionage, and so forth. While his scenario, an accidental release from WIV, is not impossible, the evidence he cites is also compatible with the deliberate fabrication of a second-level cover story that would be deployed if the first-level legend, “Covid-19 spontaneously jumped from bats to humans,” is conclusively disproven. The same second-level cover story would in the meantime function as a “blame the Chinese” conspiracy theory pushed by Steve BannonTom Cotton, and other neocon and anti-China sources.

The question of whether the virus is naturally evolved or man-made is still open. Mainstream authorities like Nature Magazine are, quite naturally, pushing the “naturally evolved” position as hard as they can…which they would be expected to do whether or not it was true. Other sources claim “The spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV contains a cleavage absent in CoV – showing that it was engineered rather than evolved.” Perhaps readers more familiar with the science than I am can arbitrate such disputes in the comments section.

As with 9/11, the scientific evidence on coronavirus may give rise to a long-running debate. Meanwhile the world moves on. With 2020 hindsight I can now see that I should have interpreted 9/11 as a likely false flag immediately, based on cui bono. Today, asking the same question about coronavirus, “who benefits,” yields only slightly less obvious results.

But if Covid-19 was a biological attack on China, China’s number one European partner Italy, and China’s close Middle Eastern friend (and Anglo-Zionist arch-enemy) Iran, why is it spreading elsewhere? A skeptic on Pepe Escobar’s email list recently responded: “Hi Pepe, I’m convinced the facts do not support your theory. The damage to the West is greater than to China and it would be suicidal for US to engineer this. Why rule out natural causes like the Spanish flu?”

It is true that most military strategists dislike bioweapons due to their massive blowback potential: There is no guarantee that a mutating virus will stick to the race or geographical area you are attacking. Though Covid-19 hit China first, under highly suspicious circumstances, making it “the Chinese virus” in the words of Donald Trump (and, subliminally, in MSM reporting and global public opinion) it is now cratering the US and European economies. Could any US biowar team, however “rogue”—much less the commanding heights of the National Security State—have been crazy enough to risk that kind of blowback?

They were certainly crazy enough in 2001. Covid-19 is the new 9/11, the new “Transformative Event,” the new “watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security…Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and an after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force.”

That sounds, to most of us, like an unpleasant prospect. Yet one of the authors of “Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger,” Philip Zelikow, is a leading suspect in the orchestration of 9/11, which occurred less than three years after that article was published. Cover-up czar Zelikow, essentially the sole author of the risible work of fiction known as The 9/11 Commission Report, might conceivably have viewed the massage damage to the United States—not just the loss of the condemned-for-asbestos Trade Towers and a few thousand replaceable people, but also the hemorrhage of more than $6 trillion dollars alongside the even greater reputational loss in the 9/11-triggered “forever wars”—as being “worth it,” in the same way Madeleine Albright famously said that murdering half a million Iraqi children was “worth it.”

Might the neocon crazies who thought 9/11 was worth it feel the same way about a coronavirus biowar strike? They might. As Pepe Escobar suggested, the Covid-19
Transformative Event is acting as a “global circuit breaker.” His conclusion: “What’s certain is that the whole global economy has been hit by an insidious, literally invisible circuit breaker. This may be just a ‘coincidence.’ Or this may be, as some are boldly arguing, part of a possible, massive psy-op creating the perfect geopolitical and social engineering environment for full-spectrum dominance.”

How could a circuit-breaker foster full-spectrum dominance? First, the neocons recognize that China’s inexorable rise to #1 world power status,[4] and the concomitant collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, is pretty much a done deal absent some circuit-breaking black swan event. Just as the Zionists needed the 9/11 black swan to get their “Clean Break” with a historical trajectory leading towards the end of the apartheid Jewish State, so too the Anglo-Zionists might realize that something equally “transformative” would be required to forestall the rise of China.

The US cannot win a trade war with China. It cannot win a nuclear war. It cannot win a conventional land war. Yet from the neocon perspective it needs some kind of war ASAP before China grows too strong. So if you were a hardline neocon strategist dedicated to stymieing China at all costs, you might opt for a stealth 5G warfare approach featuring deniable biowar strikes among other tactics. You might be stupid or crazy enough not to consider the possibility of blowback. But more likely you would welcome the blowback as an opportunity to tear down the current US economy, which is totally dependent on Chinese imports, and rebuild a new, more Spartan system geared for a long 5G war on China (and Russia and Iran and Venezuela and anybody else who won’t follow your orders).

Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies. That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus. Once it has passed the point of no return, war becomes far more likely.

Hunkering down for a serious war on China and its allies would also require a momentous psychological and cultural shift on the part of the American people. Until now, they have been lazy, undisciplined, addicted to consumption without much production, and unwilling to sacrifice themselves (though quite willing to murder foreigners from the safe distance of a drone base). Only a profound psychic shock, and some serious deprivation, could retool them as potential soldiers and total war participants in a deadly and dangerous struggle to maintain their rulers’ global dominance privileges. Or so the neocons might imagine.[5]

Will the panicked American sheeple, stampeded toward the toilet paper aisles by Coronavirus 911-2B, be redirected into a hyper-militarized mode of life befitting a long war for full spectrum dominance? Will the Great Coronavirus Depression end in World War III just as the first Great Depression ended in World War II, with military Keynesianism once again “rescuing” a dead-in-the-water economy? Will 9/11 and the 9/11 wars seem like small potatoes once we’ve seen the Coronavirus Wars?

Notes

[1] From 2006 through around 2011 my 9/11 truth focused Wikipedia page was defaced by false accusations, sourced to an anonymous blog, that I was a “supporter of Holocaust deniers.” At the time I knew almost nothing about Holocaust revisionism, and did not even recognize the name of the “Holocaust denier” I was accused of supporting. Over a period of several years, countless attempts to correct the dozens of false statements about me on Wikipedia were made, but the false information would immediately reappear within hours, sometimes within minutes.

[2] When I brought Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth to Madison, Wisconsin, the WORT “alternative” radio interviewer’s first question was “why do you hate the Jews?” Gage was nonplussed. He and his organization focus on scientific evidence of controlled demolition, not the question of who did it.

[3] “A slew of new start-ups were launched, specializing in everything from ‘search and nail’ data mining, to surveillance cameras, to terrorist profiling. When the market for these services and devices exploded in the years after September 11, the Israeli state openly embraced a new national economic vision: the growth provided by the dot-com bubble would be replaced with a homeland security boom.” (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine, p.435)

[4] Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is poised to end Western dominance of world trade in the same way the European sea route to Asia ended Muslim dominance via the Silk Road 500 years ago. For historical perspective, read Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.

[5] “On this perverse (neocon) view of the world, if America fails to achieve her national destiny, and is mired in perpetual war, then all is well. Man’s humanity, defined in terms of struggle to the death, is rescued from extinction… To my mind, this fascistic glorification of death and violence springs from a profound inability to celebrate life, joy, and the sheer thrill of existence.” –Shadia Drury

Posted in USA, HealthComments Off on 9/11 Truth, Coronavirus Truth: Zionist Hysteria, MSM LockdownWar on the Horizon?

Correctly Estimating Coronavirus Infections

RON UNZ 

The Coronavirus epidemic may soon produce the greatest American disaster since our Civil War over 150 years ago, and numbers reveal the possible magnitude.

For example, New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof on Sunday reported the disheartening analysis of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Britain, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists. According to Dr. Ferguson the “best case” scenario is that the Coronavirus will kill over a million Americans.

Other possible projections are far worse. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued orders completely locking down his entire state in order to halt the spread of the disease. He justified this decision by explaining that experts had warned him that without drastic changes in behavior, over 25 million Californians would become infected over the following couple of months. Such a calamity would obviously have produced to a total collapse of the state’s health care system, probably resulting in more than a million deaths. A million dead Californians by early summer…

The key to understanding the terrible danger of the Coronavirus is that there is no existing immunity and the disease is highly contagious. Therefore, under ordinary circumstances, the number of infected individuals tends to double every 3-6 days. A doubling-time of 3 days would multiply the ranks of the infected a thousand-fold during the course of a single month.

Thus, in late February Italian political leaders hardly regarded the virus as a serious national threat, but within just a few weeks much of the Italian health care system had collapsed and many thousands of Italians were dead. Despite a full national lockdown, the number of deaths in Italy has continued to rise exponentially.

Similarly, New York reported its first death on March 14th. Yet just ten days later, deaths in that state were running at 50 per day, and rapidly accelerating.

Unfortunately, although numbers are absolutely crucial for our efforts to combat this dread disease, we lack accurate American data, especially with regard to the rate of infection.

The problem is that any program of massive, widespread testing is completely impossible given our lack of sufficient testing resources. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus has a substantial latency period during which victims experience no symptoms, and even afterward many cases are quite mild or even completely asymptomatic, leaving the infected unaware of their condition. So at present, testing has been confined to just a tiny sliver of the population, ensuring that the reported numbers of those infected represents a severe undercount. But we are left to guess just how severe.

However, the Coronavirus death statistics are certainly far more solid and reliable, and I soon noticed a simple and easy means of reasonably estimating Coronavirus infections from Coronavirus deaths. But although the methodology seemed obvious to me, after I described it on a comment-thread yesterday, I encountered quite a bit of initial confusion and disagreement, suggesting that the idea was not nearly as obvious as I had assumed. So on the off-chance that some people might be unfamiliar with the method, I’ve decided to outline it below.

Let us note three crucial Coronavirus parameters, which have already been estimated by medical experts although they are obviously dependent upon particular conditions.

  1. The infection doubling period – probably 3-6 days
  2. The mortality rate – perhaps 1% prior to the collapse of a the local health system.
  3. The typical mortality period (time between infection and death) – according to some estimates, around 3 weeks.

Now consider a Coronavirus death. If we assume a mortality rate of 1% and a three week interval between infection and death, we can therefore estimate that there had been 100 new infections three weeks earlier. Next, if we assume a doubling-period of 6 days, those 100 infections would have increased to 100 * 2^(21/6) = over 1000 infections by the time the death occurred.

Therefore, under these particular assumptions (along with a few simplifications), the true number of total infections can be estimated at over 1000x the number of deaths.

Let’s apply this methodology to a real-life situation. On 3/23/20, New York reported 53 new Coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 210. This suggests that the true number of new infections that day may have been over 50,000, raising the total infected to more than 200,000. These estimates are eight to ten times larger than the officially-reported Coronavirus totals for New York, namely 4,750 and 25,665.

This estimate of New York infections relied upon a doubling period of six days, and it is quite possible that greater “social distancing” together with the recent lockdown imposed in that state may have considerably increased that parameter this figure, thereby reducing the correct number of infections. But I strongly suspect that the figures provided above are still far closer to the truth than those officially reported by the New York authorities. And there is obviously a huge practical difference between assuming 25,000 infected New Yorkers and believing the true figure is already closer to 200,000.

Here’s another example. The official estimate of Coronavirus infections in Louisiana is currently less than 1,400, but this estimation method suggests that the true total is nearly 50,000, a figure that has vastly different policy implications. While I would put little weight in the precise accuracy of that estimate, I strongly believe it’s much closer to reality than the tiny official total.

Summarizing things, the formula for estimating infections is:

  • Number of infected = Number of Deaths / Mortality_Rate *2^(Mortality_Period/Doubling_Period).

It’s important to recognize that the parameters used may need to be sharply readjusted based upon particular circumstances.

For example, once a health care system collapses, the death rate probably spikes to around 5%, greatly changing the calculation. Similarly, once government lockdowns or other similar measures are taken, the doubling-period of the infection becomes much longer.

Under other circumstances, if a substantial fraction of the deaths are the elderly residents of nursing homes (as was the case in Washington State), the assumed death-rate would be much higher and the doubling-period of the infections generated by the immobile residents lower, significantly altering the appropriate equation.

Finally, this analysis may carry an important policy implication. Suppose that our best and most accurate means of estimating infections is indeed based upon this methodology. We would therefore be using the current death rate to back into the infection rate that that occurred three weeks earlier, so that any analysis of the impact of government policies would necessarily be lagged by three weeks.

Under these circumstances, it would be extremely inadvisable for President Trump or other government officials to rescind any of their lockdown or quarantine decisions until at least three weeks had gone by and the impact of these policies upon the rate of infection became fully apparent.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Correctly Estimating Coronavirus Infections

Covid-19 Hysteria Vs. Your Actual (Very Low) Chance of Dying

By Ulson Gunnar

Global Research,

How likely are you to die from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)? Based on the hysteria spreading across the globe, it would seem like the chances are fairly high.

But Statnews.com would report on the actual projected death rate of those who contract Covid-19 based on US Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, noting:

…the death rate in Covid-19 patients ages 80 and over was 10.4%, compared to 5.35% in 70-somethings, 1.51% in patients 60 to 69, 0.37% in 50-somethings. Even lower rates were seen in younger people, dropping to zero in those 29 and younger.

The article also noted that the worst cases involved not only people who were much older, but involved people who were also already unhealthy and vulnerable.

Others have noted that many will likely get Covid-19, think they have an ordinary cold, get better and never even be tested, thus never making it into the statistics meaning the actual death rates are likely even lower than being reported.

In other words, Covid-19 may be slightly more dangerous than the common flu, but not by much. Those who fall into a vulnerable category should obviously be more careful, but the hysteria being spread by governments and ordinary people alike is posing a bigger threat to human wellbeing than the actual virus itself.

Hysteria Will Cause More Harm Than the Virus Itself 

The economic damage alone this hysteria is creating will negatively impact the lives of many more ordinary people than the virus ever could and for a much longer period of time than Covid-19 takes to run its course within the typical human body or across various populations.

For nations like the US who are already in terminal economic, social and political decline, replicating its crumbling economy, society and political system in other nations, even if temporarily by spreading Covid-19 hysteria, may seem like a viable option when all other options, from soft-power to overt military force, have failed to keep the planet in line and within Washington’s unipolar “international order.”Covid-19: The Panic Is Worse Than the Pathogen

Nations that have been reluctant to take extreme measures are being pressured to do so by a spreading wave of hysteria, deliberate or not, forcing them to close borders, shut businesses and disrupt the lives of millions, the vast majority of which are in no danger at all from the virus.

A similar trend was seen during the opening years of the US-led so-called “War on Terror” which other nations were forced into backing, including nations like Russia who knew full well the US itself was the chief state sponsor of the very terrorists Washington was supposedly fighting, but were reluctant to take issue with it in the face of perceived public fear over extremism following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Considering just how badly the US exploited and abused that fear, it is hardly a surprise that people today are skeptical of handing large amounts of power over to the same sort of people in the face of another supposed threat.

Governments probably should take certain measures during such outbreaks, but ensuring the line between commonsense steps and the abuse of power is not crossed should be a primary public concern.

Regarding Covid-19, common sense should still be exercised. Avoiding large crowds, staying healthy, eating well, exercising and overall taking care of your body so that your body’s immune system can take care of you is the best measure and means of staving of Covid-19 or any other infectious disease, during a pandemic or not.

If you are part of a vulnerable demographic, obviously exercise more caution.

Create More Resilient Economies Regardless 

If extreme measures really are necessary to stop the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses like it, nations must create permanent infrastructure that ensures economic continuity before, during and after outbreaks, rather than being repeatedly caught off-guard each time a new virus appears.

Even by the most hysterical accounts, Covid-19 is not a doomsday scenario. It is not even a major human health threat. It is slightly more alarming than the ordinary flu, which itself is only a danger for those who are already in poor health and should already be exercising extra caution day-to-day.

Covid-19 requires a slightly more cautious and considered approach than managing the average flu.

Since we may never know where Covid-19 originated and how much of this hysteria is warranted, how much is simply human nature’s tendency to overreact and how much of it is a deliberate attempt to destabilize nations and economies around the globe, nations and communities must reexamine how they do business on a daily basis and think of ways to continue doing business even under the most extreme circumstances and in a way that will allow business-as-usual even amid another coronavirus outbreak or similar disruption.

Those nations which do not, set themselves up to be targets of those well-equipped to spread hysteria and stir up public panic which in turn will place pressure on targeted governments and endanger political, economic and social stability.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Covid-19 Hysteria Vs. Your Actual (Very Low) Chance of Dying

The Istanbul Canal as an Instrument of Erdogan’s Multipolarity

By South Front

Global Research,

From Father of Turks to Father of Ottomans

Turkey’s president Erdogan will no doubt go down in history as the leader who overturned the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and ended the country’s experiment as a secular nation-state. Perhaps that experiment was doomed to fail from the start—Turkish leaders over the decades have never found a workable formula for including the Kurds in the larger Turkish body politic, except through policies of forcible assimilation.

Erdogan, however, was the first to decide to put an end to it and instead reorganize Turkey around principles of neo-Ottomanism and pan-Turkism, in which the economically powerful, politically viable, and culturally proximate Turkish state would no longer seek to join the European Union. Instead it would become a source of international governance, development, and security assistance to the polities which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and even to those which were not part of the empire.

As this policy was guaranteed to provoke a negative reaction from every other power player in the region, including Turkey’s ostensible allies in NATO, Erdogan ended up pursuing a policy of “equidistance” with every politically relevant player in his neighborhood. NATO, yes, but also S-400 from Russia. Allowing Russian military flights to use Turkish airspace, yes, but also sales of Bayraktar attack drones and other military equipment to Ukraine. Turkish Stream, yes, but also the Instanbul Canal.Video Player00:0008:11

Ending Montreaux

The 1936 Montreaux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is but one of many Ataturk’s legacies. Signed in 1936 in the Montreaux Palace in Switzerland, it is arguably the only arms control treaty of the interwar era still extant. At the time, it represented an effort to put an end to the centuries of conflict over the control of the Black Sea Straits by giving Turkey control while at the same time limiting other powers’ ability to project naval military power in or out of the Black Sea. In some respects the restrictions on the passage of warships are very real. For example, the Convention allows no more than nine warships with a total displacement of 15 thousand tons to pass through the Straits at any one time. In practice it means a single US AEGIS cruiser or destroyer, and while nothing prevents additional ships from passing later, the total tonnage of foreign warships belonging to powers that do not have Black Sea coastlines of their own cannot exceed 30 thousand tons (45 thousand in exceptional cases), which, again, limits the US Navy to no more than 2-3 AEGIS ships. Combined with a ban on capital ships, which includes aircraft carriers, from foreign navies, it means NATO would be hard-pressed to mount a serious aeronaval operation against any target on the Black Sea. While Montreaux was not greatly tested during World War 2, and the Warsaw Pact aerial and naval preponderance meant challenging it would be a futile exercise in the first place, it has proven its worth in the last decade, particularly after the reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation. Had it not been in place, NATO’s demonstrations of force in the Black Sea might have been considerably more muscular, to the point of accidentally triggering an armed confrontation. While Russia has always been a supporter of the Montreaux Convention, its current relative military weakness in the Black Sea, where it faces the navies of three NATO member states and currently also that of Ukraine, means the Convention is all the more important to its security.

Turkey’s Blockade of Russian Naval Vessels’ Access to the Mediterranean, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Completely Cut Off

However, the proposed Istanbul Canal is not covered by the Montreaux Convention, as it specifically pertains to regulating military traffic through the Straits. To be sure, interested parties are bound to argue the intent of the Convention was to cover the passage of naval warships in and out of the Black Sea, and establish a certain level of collective security there. With that in mind, it should not matter whether foreign warships enter the Black Sea via the Straits or through the new Istanbul Canal. Moreover, even when the Canal is functioning any warship entering the Black Sea will have to have passed through one of the two straits—the Dardanelles, since the Istanbul Canal, if completed, will bypass only one of the two straits. The Montreaux Convention specifically refers to the “regime of the Straits”, not a regime of the Bosphorus. Nevertheless, one can be equally certain that some interested parties will make the legalistic argument that that the Montreaux Convention only regulates the passage of warships that pass through both of the straits. Ships may, after all, gain access to the Sea of Marmara that separates the two straits without restrictions placed on ships passing into the Black Sea. Turkish officials have been ambiguous on the future status of the Montreaux Convention, should Istanbul Canal enter into operation.

Gas Warfare

The second dimension of the proposed canal is economic. While the Montreaux Convention does not regulate the passage of cargo ships through the straits, the Bosphorus in particular remains a relatively narrow and convoluted passageway. When one also considers the high population density on both banks of the Bosphorus, the use of this strait by oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers raises particular safety concerns. Indeed, up to about 2015 the Turkish government prohibited LNG carriers from traversing the Bosphorus. While this changed during Erdogan’s rule, the ever-present danger of a serious incident means it is only a temporary solution.

Thus even if Turkey opts to apply Montreaux Convention rules on passage of warships remain unaffected, Istanbul Canal will have the potential to considerably increase tanker traffic in and out of the Black Sea. In view of Erdogan’s interest in building up relations with Ukraine, and Ukraine’s search for alternative sources of natural gas, the Canal would have the effect of increasing Turkey’s sphere of influence over the Black Sea. At the moment, there is not a single LNG terminal anywhere on the Black Sea. However, that could change once the construction of the canal moves forward. The most likely candidates are Ukraine, with a proposed site in Odessa, and Romania, with the natural location being Konstanta. US interest in promoting its own interests and expanding political control through oil and gas exports means that either or both projects would be met with enthusiastic US support.

The Mentally Sick Man of Europe

While even the most optimistic estimates do not predict the canal could be built in less than a decade, at a cost approaching $100 billion. Turkey’s own financial situation is not such that it can allow itself such a luxury without undermining other projects, and Erdogan’s ability to alienate other leaders means outside funding might be difficult to come by, particularly if outside funding means outside control over the canal. Yet the whole idea behind the canal is that it should serve the sovereign needs of Turkey. In such circumstances, who would be willing to bankroll Erdogan’s unpredictable whims? No amount of refugee crises is liable to extract that kind of a contribution from the European Union, and US funding would naturally come with US control. So it is no surprise the project’s initial construction start date of 2013 has slipped rather dramatically. Even right now, in 2020, the Turkish government is only talking about launching a tender to select firms that would be engaged in its construction.

Therefore at the moment Istanbul Canal is confined to the realm of pipe dreams. In order for it to be completed, it would have to become the biggest state priority in Turkish politics, and would require international financial and possibly also technological support. While there is no doubting Erdogan’s determination to transform Turkey into a power player capable of dictating its will to its geopolitical neighbors and rivals, the country he governs lacks the capacity for transforming his dreams into reality.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on The Istanbul Canal as an Instrument of Erdogan’s Multipolarity

Islam, authoritarianism and underdevelopment

Islam, Authoritarianism and Underdevelopment
Review by James Dorsey

Ahmet T. Kuru’s new book Islam, Authoritarianism and Underdevelopment, A Global and Historical Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is a ground-breaking history and analysis of the evolution of the state in Muslim countries. Thoroughly researched and accessibly written, Kuru’s work traces the template of the modern-day state in many Muslim-majority countries to fundamental political, social and economic changes in the 11th century. That was when Islamic scholars who until then had by and large refused to surrender their independence to the state were co-opted by Muslim rulers. It was a time when the merchant class lost its economic clout as the Muslim world moved from a mercantile to a feudal economy. Religious and other scholars were often themselves merchants or funded by merchants.

The transition coincided with the rise of the military state legitimised by religious scholars who had little choice but to go into its employ. They helped the state develop a forced Sunni Muslim orthodoxy based on text rather than reason – or tradition-based interpretation of Islam with the founding of madrassahs, or religious seminaries, that were designed to counter the rise of Shia states in North Africa and counter less or unorthodox strands of the faith. 

Kuru’s history could hardly be more relevant. It lays bare the roots of modern-day, illiberal, authoritarian or autocratic states in the Muslim world that are characterised by some form of often rent-driven state capitalism and frequently expansionary in their effort to ensure regime survival and increase rents.

These states feature education systems that fail to develop critical thinking and religious establishments that are subservient to their rulers. 

Kuru’s book also in effect describes one of the original sources of the civilizational state that has become a fixture in the struggle to shape a new world order. With his book, Kuru has made an invaluable contribution to the understanding of the stagnation as well as the turmoil that has swept the Middle East and North Africa as well as the wider Islamic world.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Fighting for the soul of Islam: A battle of the paymasters

Fighting for the soul of Islam: A battle of the paymasters

In “Home”

The traditional Islamic roots of “Islamic State”

The traditional Islamic roots of “Islamic State”

In “Arab World”

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad’s vow to moderate Saudi Islam: Easier said than done

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad’s vow to moderate Saudi Islam: Easier said than done

In “Saudi Arabia”

Posted in LiteratureComments Off on Islam, authoritarianism and underdevelopment

Almost 300 people dead in Iran after drinking methanol ‘to cure coronavirus’

Hundreds of people have died from drinking methanol in Iran, after a rumour spread that it could cure coronavirus. More than 1,000 people have already been poisoned from drinking methanol

According to media in Iran more than 1,000 people have already been poisoned (Image: Zuma Press/PA Images)

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Nearly 300 people are reported to have been killed and more than 1,000 have become ill after ingesting toxic methanol across Iran amid rumours it can help cure coronavirus.

In the Islamic Republic, drinking alcohol is banned, and those who do drink rely on bootleggers.

Stories about fake remedies for coronavirus have spread across social media in Iran, where people remain deeply suspicious of the government after it downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.

Dr Knut Erik Hovda, a clinical toxicologist in Oslo who studies methanol poisoning, fears Iran’s outbreak could be even worse than reported.

“The virus is spreading and people are just dying off, and I think they are even less aware of the fact that there are other dangers around,” he said.

“When they keep drinking this, there’s going to be more people poisoned.”

Iranian men bury the journalist Abdollah Zavieh, who passed away due to coronavirus (Image: REUTERS)

Iran has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. It has a population of 80 million people.

Iranian social media accounts in Farsi falsely suggested a British school teacher and others cured themselves of the coronavirus with whisky and honey, based on a tabloid story from early in February.

Mixed with messages about the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, some people wrongly believed drinking high-proof alcohol would kill the virus in their bodies.

The Islamic Republic has reported around 29,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,200 deaths from the virus, the highest toll of any country in the Middle East.

International experts also fear Iran may be under-reporting its cases, as officials played down the impact of the virus for days ahead of a parliamentary election.

Members of Iranian red crescent test people with possible coronavirus (Image: ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

That fear of the virus, coupled with poor education standards and internet rumours, saw dozens of people made ill by drinking bootleg alcohol containing methanol in Iran’s south-western Khuzestan province and its southern city of Shiraz.

Videos aired by Iranian media showed patients with IVs stuck in their arms, lying on beds otherwise needed for the fight against the coronavirus, including an intubated five-year-old boy.

Iranian media also reported cases in the cities of Karaj and Yazd.

In Iran, the government mandates that manufacturers of toxic methanol add an artificial colour to their products so the public can tell it apart from ethanol, the type of alcohol that can be used in cleaning wounds.

Ethanol is also the kind of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks, though its production is illegal in Iran.

Revolutionary Guard members prepare to take part in disinfecting Tehran (Image: Getty Images)

Some bootleggers in Iran use methanol, adding a splash of bleach to mask the added colour before selling it as drinkable. Sometimes it is mixed with consumable alcohol to stretch supplies. Other times it comes as methanol, falsely advertised as drinkable, Dr Hovda said.

Methanol also can contaminate traditionally fermented alcohol.

It cannot be smelled or tasted in drinks, and causes delayed organ and brain damage. Symptoms include chest pain, nausea, hyperventilation, blindness and even coma.

Even before the outbreak, methanol poisoning had taken a toll in Iran. One academic study found methanol poisoning affected 768 people in Iran between September and October 2018 alone, killing 76.

Posted in IranComments Off on Almost 300 people dead in Iran after drinking methanol ‘to cure coronavirus’

The Yemeni Armed Forces carry out the largest qualitative military operation deep into Saudi Arabia

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

The Yemeni armed forces announced their implementation of the largest qualitative military operation at the beginning of the sixth year, targeting the depth of Saudi Arabia in response to the escalation of the aggression.

The joint military operation of the missile force and the Yemeni Armed Air Force targeted a number of sensitive targets in the Zio_Wahhabi capital, Riyadh, with Zulfiqar missiles and a number of Samad 3 aircraft.

Brigadier-General Yahya Sareeh, the Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman, vowed to the painful and painful operations of the Saudi regime if it continued its aggression and siege on Yemen.

The armed forces will reveal the details of the wide and qualitative military operation in the coming days.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on The Yemeni Armed Forces carry out the largest qualitative military operation deep into Saudi Arabia

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