Archive | May 25th, 2020

The Future Is Up for Grabs

History is made, not decreed, which is why on May 11th, activists from dozens of different countries launched Progressive International, a global initiative with a mission to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces.

by: Laura Flanders

The future is up for grabs. Let’s not let the kingpins be the only ones reaching for it. (Photo: Screenshot)

The future is up for grabs. Let’s not let the kingpins be the only ones reaching for it. (Photo: Screenshot)

When it comes to cashing in on Covid-19, the race has just begun. Whether you’re talking about education or contact tracing or medicine or mind control, an anti-democratic, dystopian future is being charted while we the people are locked down, locked up and locked out.

Google is grabbing our data, Microsoft is coming for our classrooms and Amazon wants to be our one-stop, only shop.

Naomi Klein’s latest piece, “Screen New Deal” in the Intercept, describes in chilling detail the way that a no-touch, no accountability pandemic economy has been being divvied up among corporate kingpins since Covid Shock hit in March.

Google is grabbing our data, Microsoft is coming for our classrooms and Amazon wants to be our one-stop, only shop.

Pandemic panic is making possible fast what the hurdle of popular consent made slow. As Klein reminds us, until recently, public pushback against companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft was surging.

“Presidential candidates were openly discussing breaking up big tech. Amazon was forced to pull its plans for a New York headquarters because of fierce local opposition. Google’s Sidewalk Labs project was in perennial crisis, and Google’s own workers were refusing to build surveillance tech with military applications,” writes Klein.

Now, the very same companies that the public chased out the front door are walking in the back, repackaged no longer as a threat, but as the solution to our personal and national woes.

The future could certainly be bleak, but as Naomi acknowledges, we’re not there yet. It’s also important to remember that the present as we know it was not always thus.

In 1994, for example, India had a different set of patent laws, which positioned it to become the global supplier of affordable AIDS drugs. It was only the birth of the World Trade Organization and Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that held them back. In the years that followed, an Indian drug maker and international activists used Indian law to force Big Pharma to cave. A cheap generic drug was able to save millions of lives.

It’s not inevitable that our future is dystopic. History is made, not decreed, which is why on May 11th, activists from dozens of different countries launched Progressive International, a global initiative with a mission to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces. The Laura Flanders Show has joined as a media member.

The future is up for grabs. Let’s not let the kingpins be the only ones reaching for it.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, WorldComments Off on The Future Is Up for Grabs

Deal Breaking Trump Regime Abandons Open Skies Treaty (OST)

By Stephen Lendman

Throughout his time in office, Trump proved he’s more a deal breaker than observer of international law, treaties and agreements.

He abandoned the landmark 1987 INF Treaty with Russia, the 2016 Security Council adopted JCPOA, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and the 2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership, a latter positive move unlike his other unilateral pullouts.

He also withdrew from UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council, threatened to leave the World Trade Organization, and suspended US funding to the WHO.

New START with Russia is next on his list to abandon, the nuclear arms control treaty expiring in February 2021.

Effective January 1, 2002, 34 European states, the US, and Russia adopted the Open Skies Treaty (OST), other nations welcomed to join.

After threatening to withdraw from the OST earlier, Trump on Thursday confirmed that he’s abandoning the treaty, falsely saying:

“Russia didn’t adhere to the treaty (sic), so until they adhere we will pull out…”

On the same day, Trump regime assistant war secretary Jonathan Hoffman falsely accused Moscow of “flagrantly and continuously violat(ing) its obligations under Open Skies (sic),” adding:

Russia “contribute(s) to military threats against the US and our allies and partners (sic).”

Fact: Russia threatens no other nations. It pursues cooperative relations with world community member states, at war against none.

Fact: The same reality is true about all nations on the US target list for regime change.

Fact: Since Truman preemptively attacked North Korea in June 1950, the US has been at war against one nation after another, along with waging war against many more countries by other means.

On Thursday, Pompeo said the Trump regime “will submit (formal) notice of its decision to withdraw from the” OST to other treaty signatories, the move effective six months from May 22.

The OST permits unarmed aerial surveillance over the entire territory of signatory countries.

It’s a confidence-building measure to promote openness, letting treaty members get information on military forces and activities for national security reasons.

The US FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) suspended funding related to OST cooperation with Russia, the measure stating:

“None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act…may be obligated or expended to carry out any activities to modify any United States aircraft for purposes of implementing the Open Skies Treaty” with Russia – until the president certifies to Congress that penalties have been imposed on the Kremlin for alleged treaty violations that don’t exist.

At the time, Moscow strongly denied the false accusation, again after Thursday’s Trump regime announcement. See below.

The NDAA  prohibits US military cooperation with Russia indefinitely.

It falsely accused the Kremlin of annexing Crimea and failing to the implement Minsk I and II — ceasefire agreements to end US-supported Ukraine aggression against its own Donbass citizens in the country’s southwest.

Annual NDAA measures have nothing to do with protecting the US from threats to its security. None exist.

They have everything to do with waging endless wars by hot and other means against sovereign nations the US wants transformed into vassal states.

Abandoning OST based on Big Lies moves the US a step closer toward rupturing relations with Russia.

In response to the Trump regime’s action, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the following:

“Let me draw your attention. It is the Russian side that has clear and long-formulated claims against the Americans as to (non)compliance with this agreement.”

“And today, right now, we will reiterate these claims, these thorny issues.”

“We described (them) in detail. In particular in February, we put together on our resources all the claims that we had, making them publicly available.”

“These are far from all claims, but (are) the most evident.”

“For example, we said that since 2017 the US has tightened its approaches to fulfilling this treaty in regard to Russia, and since January 2018, several restrictions have been imposed against our country.”

“This (includes) the refusal to grant permission to depart from US rules of air traffic and norms of aviation security and changing special procedures for performing observation flights over the Hawaiian Islands by limiting maximum range of flights from Hickam airbase, and the refusal to allow overnight stops on mainland US and many other things.”

The OPT “has a format of implementation. (It) has commitments of parties, which were confirmed on paper.”

“In view of this, this public debate or public commentaries, mildly speaking, are not enough to draw conclusions on US plans.”

“There are mechanisms of their implementation. Namely, there is a respective commission, where one can come and announce claims.”

“There are also diplomatic channels, upon which we expect certain clarification of the US side in order to shape our attitude to their position.”

“This is routinely and normally done by diplomats. I believe that after this we will formulate our approach.”

Separately, director of Russia’s Foreign Ministry Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov stressed that Trump regime accusations of OST breaches by Moscow are baseless.

The treaty aims to build and maintain transparency relating to arms control agreements — in the interest of world peace and stability.

In response to the Trump regime’s Thursday announcement, Russia’s envoy to the UN in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said the following:

“It is easier to break than to build. The treaty worked for two decades and ensured transparency, a higher level of trust on military issues in the transatlantic region.”

“But the decision to leave, apparently, explains the US idea of a ‘new era’ of arms control. The ‘new era’ seems to mean no control.”

The Trump regime “decided to cut down one more multi-party treaty on arms control…”

It wants to operate unrestrained in developing and deploying weapons of mass destruction, the US perhaps intending to use them one day.

Today’s infinitely more powerful thermo-nukes make Fat Man and Little Boy atom bombs look like toys by comparison.

In December 2016, Popular Mechanics said thermo-nukes “are more than 3,000 times (more) powerful (than) the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”

Current nukes may exceed this destructive force.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is dedicated to the elimination of these WMDs before they eliminate us and all other life forms.

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Fast-Tracking a COVID-19 Vaccine: Why Should We Worry?

All of the media’s vaccine propaganda is stacked with pro-industry scientists who have something to gain

By Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null

The CoV-19 pandemic is now exposing the hidden agendas and motives of the powers that be in government, in the pharmaceutical industry and Wall Street, and in the media. Despairingly opponents of vaccine mandates are largely divided. Many Trump supporters in the so-called anti-vaccination community believed he would be their savior to protect vaccine exemptions and avert compulsory mandates. Nevertheless, during his watch draconian mandate laws to ban religious exemption for children to attend public schools have been signed by the governors of California and New York.

Throughout the CoV-19 pandemic, Trump has waffled wildly, jumping on and off the vaccine band wagon depending upon his daily whims. Early he stated there was no need for a vaccine since the virus would magically disappear and no longer be a threat. It was his gut feeling and not surprisingly he was wrong. Yet during a press conference on March 14th, Trump announced the unveiling of his Operation Warp Speed agenda to accelerate development of a CoV-19 vaccine and have it ready this year. Trump is now fully on board with the pro-vaccination agenda. Moreover, he ordered that the military will be “mobilized so at the end of the year, we’re going to be able to give it to a lot people very, very rapidly.”  His newly appointed Warp Speed advisor is a venture capitalist and a former chairman of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine division, Moncel Slaoui.

Often in order to understand Trump’s strategies, follow the money trail, especially if the money trails leads to sealing loyalty to the president. However, his probable immediate motivation is for reelection and to increase the profits of pharmaceutical and investor profiles as repayment for those loyalties.  We can therefore reasonably expect, despite what has already been stated, that Trump may nationally mandate a CoV-19 vaccine. There are voices in Trump’s camp who favor mandates.

One of Trump’s leading attorneys is Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz who recently went on record saying,

“Let me put it very clearly, you have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread disease…. You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business…. if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”

What might be the downside if a vaccine pushed on the public en masse is discovered to not work or is found unsafe in the long-term? Worse, what might be the consequences of a flawed vaccine that becomes mandated and required as policy to attend schools, work or even to leave the home to shop? We might be faced with an epidemic of vaccine-related illnesses and death on a scale that could dwarf the current CoV-19 pandemic.

There would be a greater rationale to push forward a fast-tracked vaccine if the private vaccine manufacturers were held legally liable for vaccine-related injuries and deaths. However, this was laid to rest by the Reagan administration after the passage of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act in 1986, which freed the pharmaceutical industry from personal injury lawsuits. Consequently, there is no incentive whatsoever for the vaccine industry to perform thorough due diligence analyses and reviews and to adopt gold standard scientific measures to create a safe and effective vaccine. In effect, they have free rein to develop vaccines according to their own rules.

According to German oncologist Claus Kohnlein, we may well be in the era of “virus mania.” The prevailing medical establishment has become dominated by a rapidly expanding private industry obsessed with viruses and the invention of pandemics for enormous profit. This obsession has hijacked not only medical practice and legislators who are determined to mandate vaccination, but has also infiltrated the entire mainstream media.

This is despite consensual confirmatory evidence that some of these viruses may not be dangerous enough to warrant a vaccine nor demand mass screening to monitor potential infection.  For example, University of Toronto professor emeritus of pathology, Dr. Etienne de Harven would have us ask: do molecular markers for retroviruses truly confirm the presence of a virus, or is this a human invention that substitutes the absence of identifiable viral proteins and particles? Embedded in all of the confusion over CoV-19 and the heated debates and uncertainty over life returning to normal, the mainstream chorus chants that stability will only resume after a vaccine is launched on the public. At this moment, Kohnlein’s 2007 book Virus Mania: Avian Flu, Cervical Cancer, SARS, BSE, Hepatitis C, AIDS, Polio is essential reading to expose the life-threatening failures in modern medical science’s efforts to tackle viral threats. And what Kohnlein outlines is being repeated again with CoV-19.

The need for a vaccine in order for society and the economy to return to normal was clearly stated by Trump’s Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. “.. for the economy to fully recover,” he stated, “that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”

Unfortunately, besides the White House and nation being impatient and placing high hopes in a vaccine, we are also witnessing a careless zeal to cut regulatory corners. And this atmosphere could potentially end in a serious medical disaster on the not-too-distant horizon.  Virus mania is morphing into vaccine mania. That vaccine mania has become a reality is evidenced in the 133 vaccines currently in development worldwide targeted against CoV-19 according to the Milken Institute.

Many challenges must be recognized and surmounted before an effective CoV-19 vaccine can be deemed safe..  The virus has already been shown to mutate rapidly despite beliefs that its RNA is stable. Mutations of course naturally occur when a virus changes hosts, especially after jumping species. However, RNA viruses mutate more readily than larger DNA viruses such as herpes, HPV and smallpox.  University of Cambridge has identified three separate mutations since the Wuhan outbreak. Last month Los Alamos National Laboratory reported a recent mutation that is more contagious and transmittable than the original Wuhan strain.  Another strain was identified in India; the South China Morning Post reported that this Indian strain is being viewed as more virulent for the development of severe acute respiratory syndrome. The researchers from National Changhua University in Taiwan and Murdoch University in Australia warned that it “means current vaccine development against Sars-CoV-2 is at risk of becoming futile.” The problem with mutations, similar to the challenges to create a universal flu vaccine, is whether or not any CoV-19 vaccine would generate sufficient immunity to combat future mutant strains and whether this is a cross-over of multi-strain immunity.

Furthermore, some reports indicate that natural CoV-19 immunity may wane quickly.  This is an additional caution about any promises that a fast-tracked and poorly evaluated vaccine, which will bypass a rigorous regulatory review, will provide much if any long-term immunity. In a preliminary study, Columbia University researchers identified people who were reinfected with the same coronavirus strain within a single year. Twelve individuals tested positive two or three times for the same strain within 18 months.  Similar findings were noted in South Korea. The Columbia scientists’ conclusion is that coronavirus “immunity seems to wane quickly.”  Dr. Matthew Frieman at the University of Maryland is an expert in coronaviruses.  He states that “we get coronaviruses every winter even though we’re seroconverted….. We really don’t understand whether it is a change in the virus over time [ie., mutations] or antibodies that don’t protect from infection.” The consequences are that proposals for issuing immunity certificates or passports would be utterly futile, an extraordinary waste of funding and that would accomplish little.Why Are Legislatures Now Imposing “Vaccine Mandates”?

Since 2003 efforts have been made to develop coronavirus vaccines following the first SARS outbreak in China. All of these efforts failed either because of a lack in funding or because of observable serious adverse effects that necessitated the project to cease. To our knowledge, none of these efforts reached human trials because of serious adverse effects in animal trials.

Moderna taps $1.34B stock offering to bankroll its promising COVID ...

However, now we are witnessing one company Moderna bypassing animal studies with its new CoV vaccine and commencing with human trials. The company has already reported that its experimental vaccine showed signs of being “safe and provoked a strong immune response” in a first phase clinical trial; the vaccine was administered to a very small number of human participants (N=45) to determine safety and to measure the levels of volunteers’ immune response. Just over half of the participants had recognizable antibodies, but these were “binding antibodies.” What is critical for protection is neutralizing antibodies; and on this account only 4 of the 45 participants were actually “analyzed” to show promising neutralizing antibody results. Nor did Moderna report any T-cell activity, essential for fighting the virus. In other words, Moderna’s premature reports are negligible for guaranteeing an effective and safe CoV-19 vaccine.

We should remember this is only a first phase trial. The vaccine has a ways to go before it can be ruled effective.

“If you look at vaccine development,” stated Dr. Daniel Salmon, Director of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Vaccine Safety, “[there are] lots of vaccines that look good out of phase one that don’t turn out to be good products.”

University of Ottawa Prof. Michel Chossudovsky has documented NIAID’s Dr. Anthony Fauci‘s support of Moderna’s vaccine, and. According to Bobby Kennedy Jr, Faico waived the needs for the company to test the vaccine in ferrets and primates and instead proceed directly into larger human trials. Both Moderna’s and its German competitor CureVac’s CoV-19 vaccine rely on mRNA technology, which carry strands of mRNA that encode CoV-19-specific proteins intended to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. Bill Gates says he is “particularly excited by two new approaches that some of the candidates are taking: RNA and DNA vaccines.” But modern medicine has no practical experience with such vaccines being given to entire populations; therefore, there is absolutely no past history to monitor potential long-term risks, such as whether an engineered genetic code of a viral antigen will recombine adversely with the body’s own DNA and trigger other life-threatening injuries we have to be aware of.

Despite the hype over Moderna’s apparent success and a huge 39 percent rise in its stock price, a recent article in Nature warns us not to pop the Champaign corks yet. Moderna’s data remains unpublished and many scientists worry the results may be “murky.” It is worrisome that the company would make such an announcement before any data is made available for independent review. Seemingly this was solely for financial reasons; Moderna’s premature claims were rewarded with a $1.3 million stock offering to bankroll its vaccine. Trump is also throwing his weight behind Moderna’s vaccine: it is manufactured in the US, funded by the government, and Warp Speed advisor Slaoui sits on the board of the Lonza Group that is collaborating with Moderna. One caveat is that Moderna has never brought a vaccine nor a therapeutic product to the market and is therefore largely inexperienced. There is also no public release of consent forms that the trial participants are required to sign. And no indication of how much volunteers were paid. Are they being compensated with inordinate amounts beyond the industry’s standards to accept high risk? None of this information has been provided.

The Nature article also quotes Baylor University vaccine scientist and coronavirus expert Dr. Peter Hotez’s response to Moderna’s announcement, “I’m not convinced that this is really a positive result.” The article notes that

“… mostpeople who have recovered from COVID-19 without hospitalization did not produce high levels of ‘neutralizing antibodies’, which block the virus from infecting cells. Moderna measured these potent antibodies in eight participants and found their levels to be similar to those of recovered patients.”

Chinese biotech firm says coronavirus vaccine protects monkeys

The most promising vaccine, Hotez believes, is being developed by Sinovac Biotech in China, but it requires three separate inoculations. Sinovac’s vaccine after being administered to rhesus monkeys showed no presence of the virus found in the throats, lungs or rectums of the primates.

Another vaccine being developed at Oxford University protected monkeys (only six in the trial) from pneumonia but the primates;’ nasal passages contained as much of the virus as those unvaccinated. In other words, all vaccinated monkeys became infected. In addition, the antibody titers were extremely low, which suggests the animals may not be fully protected. Nevertheless, Oxford is interpreting these weak results as a success and will also push forward with recruiting participants for a large human trial.

This sets a very disturbing precedent that will likely be imitated by other vaccine companies either now or during a future infectious pandemic.  Still other vaccines in development are entirely experimental and have no predecessor on the market. Novavax has created a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine — an artificially engineered fake replica of the actual virus. Since there is no vaccine on the current CDC schedule utilizing this technology, we have no idea of its long-term safety.

So what do earlier efforts at developing a coronovirus vaccine tell us?

In 2012, a vaccine being developed by the University of Texas at Galveston and Baylor University observed pulmonary immunopathology in an animal study with mice. The researchers proposed the vaccine’s pathology may be attributed to an adverse cytokine response, an observation a large number of physicians and researchers have made with persons severely affected with CoV-19.  A later vaccine effort in 2016 by the same institutions targeted the MERS coronavirus strain and observed lung immunopathology similar to infection with the wild virus.

A year earlier, another vaccine effort led by the University of North Carolina’s Vaccine Institute noted an increase in eosinophilic proinflammatory pulmonary responses in a mouse model. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that are associated with infections, allergies and cancers. However, an abnormal increase in eos, a condition called eosinophilia, can result in nasal allergies and even cancer. This raises a question whether the North Carolina vaccine could have potentially contributed to lung cancer? The vaccine was also shown to provide poor protection from infection both in the adjuvant and non-adjuvant vaccines.

A later 2018 SARS vaccine trial with rhesus macaques conducted at Wuhan University led to antibody-dependent vaccine induced infections. The project was supposedly discontinued.

Another SARS vaccine trial with ferrets led by researchers at the University of Manitoba observed a promising neutralizing antibody response; however their severe inflammatory responses were observed in the animals’ livers. The scientists concluded that the vaccine was “associated with enhanced hepatitis.” That vaccine project too seems to have been shelved.

Japanese scientists in 2008 developed a SARS vaccine that utilized a recombinant vaccinia virus that expressed the SARS spike protein. Immunized mice exhibited increased infiltration of esoinophils in the lungs, a thickening of the alveolar epithelium, an uptake in cytokines contributing to abnormal inflammatory storms, and aggravated severe pneumonia.

Clearly, the past history to develop a coronavirus vaccine is not encouraging. Jennifer Sun, a molecular biologist at Princeton, warns that due to past coronavirus vaccine failures, the CoV-19 signatures need to be fully evaluated before any human trials commence in order “to prevent organ damage upon viral challenge.” Baylor University, which has attempted to develop a vaccine, knows the problems all too well. According to Dr. Robert Atmar at Baylor’s Department of Molecular Virology,  coronaviruses “are notoriously difficult when it comes to vaccine development…. the concern is that if these vaccines were used in people, they could end up causing harm.”

Other scientists have issued warnings against hastily approving a vaccine without proper large, long-term clinical trials and scrupulous evaluation. For example, Dr. Paul Offit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the nation’s most vocal advocates for compulsory vaccination, has criticized the shortened vaccine timelines being stated. In a Philadelphia Inquirer interview, Offit cautioned for the need of “extensive animal model testing” to be certain the vaccine “is safe in animals.” This process, Offit says, “takes a lot of time, typically years.”  “If you’re going to be testing this in otherwise healthy people who are very, very unlikely to die from this infection,” he continues, “you better make sure it’s safe. So you want those regulations in place…. The point being: We’re not very good at assessing risk.”

Trump is pushing to have a vaccine ready by the end of this year. Offit and others argue two years is more realistic, and the global analytics firm Clarivate estimated that a vaccine “will require at least five years… to complete the development process through full regulatory approval.” The good news is that the firm predicts that Moderna’s mRNA vaccine has a 5% probability of success. The bad news is that the government and federal health agencies will very likely ram the first promising vaccine through the regulatory channels without having been properly evaluated for its efficacy and safety.

Without serious critical thought, the demand for a vaccine now outweighs the risks. And there is the potential for many risks that remain completely unknown, which is the same for any vaccine. Trump said it will be available “in a fairly quick manner.”  In an interview with philosophy professor Nicholas Evans at the University of Massachusetts, he raised concerns over the lack of proper animal model vaccine trials before administering it to humans. Unfortunately there are no US laws that require animal trials. Consequently the pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of this derelict oversight in their race to be the first to get a vaccine approved and distributed. Evans also worries about “the shredding of regulations and regulatory norms as part of their [the federal health agencies] response to this outbreak and this is a very dangerous proposition.”

Rarely do politicians, and increasingly more and more scientists, make efforts to learn the lessons history offers.  Past efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine have failed and the adverse effects observed in these efforts are clear indicators for why fast-tracking a CoV-19 vaccine would be frightfully irresponsible. But now this is all being ignored within the Trump White House, the CDC, and across most of the medical establishment, particularly the private vaccine makers. In addition, the media continues to fuel our vaccine mania, priming the public to willingly surrender their bodies to the syringe under a pretext of being protected from future CoV outbreaks.

Perhaps the most disturbing problem our national public health faces is the failure of our leading health agencies — the CDC, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the World Health Organization — to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that no vaccine developed during the past half century is truly safe and effective for all.  Are there any scientific gold standard studies — double blind, controlled trials using an actual inert placebo — conducted for any vaccine currently on the market?  No? Have meticulous independent studies been performed to compare the quality of health between vaccinated and non-vaccinated participants? Unfortunately there aren’t any, and the CDC was forced to acknowledge this during a Congressional subcommittee hearing on autism.

All of the media’s vaccine propaganda is stacked with pro-industry scientists who have something to gain. They are always presented as the experts. On the other hand, independent scientists, as well as board certified physicians and pediatricians, who question the official vaccine dogma, are attacked by federal officials and the mainstream media as alarmists, anti-vaxxers and even threats to society if they speak out.  Several years ago the World Health Organization listed vaccine opponents among the 10 leading threats to global health.

But no one considers that the many millions of people who either themselves or their children received a vaccine and experienced serious adverse effects were at one time pro-vaccination. It was for that very reason they submitted themselves to be vaccinated in the first place.  Now with the dramatic rise in vaccine injuries and deaths as more shots are added to the nation’s vaccination schedule, we still await Congressional hearings at the federal and state levels that invite independent scientists, toxicologists and immunologists to explain the actual peer-review literature that would have us conclude there is no such thing as either a safe vaccine or vaccine that creates neutralizing antibodies for any given person. In other words, every vaccine may or not be effective and there is no proof they protect everyone.

There is also the utterly absurd notion that whenever someone receives a vaccine and does not come down with the disease, 100 percent of the credit is given to the vaccine’s efficacy.

And where are the real advocates who are speaking on behalf of the victims from vaccine injuries? Certainly not the pharmaceutical industry that profits immensely without any liability for damages. Nor are advocates to be found in federal and state health agencies, in most of the medical community nor across the spectrum of the media. Rather, those who refuse to take unsafe vaccines are blamed for spreading fear, uncertainty, conspiracies and even infectious disease.

But now those who have been injured or their loved ones are speaking out in greater unison. This is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for those who have profited for years from their pain.

Posted in HealthComments Off on Fast-Tracking a COVID-19 Vaccine: Why Should We Worry?

Al-Barghouthi’s mother, after the demolition of her home: All “Israel” is not worth Qassam’s shoes

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

88

Nazi occupied Ramallah: Prejudiced by her pain and greater than oppression, the mother of the prisoner, Qassam Al-Barghouthi, was demolishing the occupation of her house in Kober village, west of Ramallah, in the middle of the occupied West Bank.

And his mother, Dr. Wedad Al-Barghouthi, said in a video clip, that the morale is high and strong, whatever the occupation does, will not weaken us, nor will it deter us.

She added in her speech to her son: “I said it and said it,” The whole country of Israel is not equal to Qassam shoes, so let them destroy whatever they want. “

blob:https://www.facebook.com/18c97f29-1f4c-4302-8048-6ccd0bd71156

As she told reporters: “I taught you years ago, writing the news story and preparing stories. Today you cover the news about me, my house and my son, and I am proud of you all and proud of your work.”

Palestinian activists interacted on the platform of communication with Mrs. Barghouti and her words, and circulated pictures of her over the rubble of her house as she planted cacti.

Palestinians saluted the mother and the strong, educated woman, who was not shaken by the threats of occupation and his actions to arrest and demolish, and her word remained stronger than the occupation.

mahmoud Hrebat@hrebat

بعد هدم منزلهم فجر اليوم … والد ووالدة الأسير قسام البرغوثي يزرعون ” الصبار ”
هنا #فلسطين

عرض الصورة على تويتر

٧٩:٤٢ ص – ١١ مايو ٢٠٢٠المعلومات والخصوصية لإعلانات تويترمشاهدة تغريدات mahmoud Hrebat الأخرى

Dr. Ramy Abdu| د. رامي عبده@RamAbdu

بعد هدم الاحتلال منزلها فجر اليوم.. خاطبت استاذة الإعلام في جامعة بيرزيت وداد البرغوثي عددا من الصحفيين المتواجدين للتغطية الإعلامية: “بتتذكروا علمتكم على كتابة الخبر قبل عدة سنوات، اليوم أنتم تقومون بتغطية هذا الخبر عني وعن عائلتي، أنا فخورة فيكم ويعطيكم العافية”

عرض الصورة على تويتر

The Nazi occupation forces arrest 13 young people from Silwan

Emoji picture

Nazi occupied Jerusalem : The Nazi occupation forces arrested 13 young men and boys from Silwan, occupied Jerusalem, this evening.

Local sources reported that the “Arabists” unit of the occupation forces arrested 13 young men from the town, after they were beaten.

The sources said that the detainees are: Amir Matar, Muhammad Matar, Ali Jaber, Mahmoud Jawad Jaber, Amir Jaber, Yazan Hamid Jaber, David Nidal Tawil, Wissam Karaki, Muntaser Nidal Abu Nab, Qusay Wael Abu Nab, Muhammad Abdullah Abu Nab, and Omar Jamil al-Zaghal and Ahmed Hammoud Shwayat.

##Occupation##Jerusalem## Silwan

After the failure to reach the port, the Nazi occupation is conducting DNA tests of the worshiped stones

The entry into force of the decision to prevent movement in the occupied West Bank

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Al-Barghouthi’s mother, after the demolition of her home: All “Israel” is not worth Qassam’s shoes

The Future is Up for Grabs

by LAURA FLANDERS

When it comes to cashing in on Covid-19, the race has just begun. Whether you’re talking about education or contact tracing or medicine or mind control, an anti-democratic, dystopian future is being charted while we the people are locked down, locked up and locked out.

Naomi Klein’s latest piece, “Screen New Deal” in the Intercept, describes in chilling detail the way that a no-touch, no accountability pandemic economy has been being divvied up among corporate kingpins since Covid Shock hit in March.

Google is grabbing our data, Microsoft is coming for our classrooms and Amazon wants to be our one-stop, only shop.

Pandemic panic is making possible fast what the hurdle of popular consent made slow. As Klein reminds us, until recently, public pushback against companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft was surging.

“Presidential candidates were openly discussing breaking up big tech. Amazon was forced to pull its plans for a New York headquarters because of fierce local opposition. Google’s Sidewalk Labs project was in perennial crisis, and Google’s own workers were refusing to build surveillance tech with military applications,” writes Klein.

Now, the very same companies that the public chased out the front door are walking in the back, repackaged no longer as a threat, but as the solution to our personal and national woes.

The future could certainly be bleak, but as Naomi acknowledges, we’re not there yet. It’s also important to remember that the present as we know it was not always thus.

In 1994, for example, India had a different set of patent laws, which positioned it to become the global supplier of affordable AIDS drugs. It was only the birth of the World Trade Organization and Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that held them back. In the years that followed, an Indian drug maker and international activists used Indian law to force Big Pharma to cave. A cheap generic drug was able to save millions of lives.

It’s not inevitable that our future is dystopic. History is made, not decreed, which is why, today, May 11, activists from dozens of different countries, including Klein, are launching Progressive International, a global initiative with a mission to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces. The Laura Flanders Show has joined as a media member.

The future is up for grabs. Let’s not let the kingpins be the only ones reaching for it.

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Our Continuing Terror: the Murder of Ahmaud Arbery

by: JESSE JACKSON

Screenshot from video recording of Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery

Today there is a national outcry about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The public condemnation has forced a belated response.

Those accused of his murder finally have been arrested. His murder has become a global embarrassment for whites.

For blacks, however, it is another humiliation, a continuing terror. It is the normal silence, however, that condemns thousands of African Americans to unjust deaths and millions to shattered lives. When the camera turns away, the savage injustice that embarrasses us becomes simply business as usual.

The horror of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder is now well known. The 25-year-old black man went for a jog down the middle of the street in the middle of the day on Feb. 23. Two white men decided he was suspicious, hunted him down and shot him point blank in the middle of the street at 1 p.m.

Local law enforcement had video evidence of the crime. Yet no arrest was made until 74 days later, two months and two weeks after the murder. Local authorities chose not to act. Two U.S. senators said nothing. The white church — that had blessed slavery, segregation, apartheid in South Africa — was silent.

Why did the arrests finally take place? Because an intrepid reporter from the New York Times investigated the story and made it public; the murder video was leaked to the public on the 72nd day after Ahmaud’s murder.

As the public outrage grew, the arrests were made. Never forget, as one commentator noted, they did not make the arrests because THEY saw the incriminating video. They made the arrests because WE saw the video. Embarrassed, faced with an aroused community and an international scandal, they finally acted.

So it goes. African Americans suffer in silence the savage injuries of institutionalized racism.

We live in northern ghettos — driven there in the early part of the last century by terrorism — most strikingly the Ku Klux Klan and their signature lynchings. The Equal Justice Initiative reports there were 4,084 lynchings of blacks in the South from 1877 to 1950. The Klan, embraced by and often made up of the white gentry of the South, often gathered at their churches to organize the public lynchings. They terrorized blacks to end the fusion multiracial coalitions that grew up in the Reconstruction, and to take back control of their states.

The lynchings and violence were greeted with silence, if not approval. White authorities, white churches, white society turned their heads, if they weren’t applauding in approval.

Fleeing north, blacks were red lined into ghettos, with jobs hard to get, and discrimination closing doors. To this day, African Americans are last hired and first fired. We suffer the worst poverty, the highest unemployment, the highest childhood hunger and malnutrition, the most inadequate health care. This reality is sustained by the silence of white elites, the silence of the white church, the silence of the evangelicals, the silence of the best minded citizens.

Then, the virus hits, and its most lethal effect is on those who are vulnerable: the elderly, the sick, the hungry, those with asthma and obesity. It hits hardest among the suddenly proclaimed “essential workers” who do the work that previously was largely “invisible: the bus drivers, the grocery clerks, the nurses and medical aides. Not surprisingly, African Americans make up a disproportionate number of those killed or infected by the virus.

The racial disparities are so stark that they gain national and international attention. Pundits express shock and outrage at the reports, as if they were surprised by the results. Editorials demand reform. Politicians call for action. The informed public is embarrassed.

But little happens: the rescue packages passed by Congress send most of the money to the biggest companies and the most affluent investors. Banks are saved; the post office — with a largely minority workforce — is starved. Hunger spreads. Any expansion of food stamps is blocked.

Arrested for leading nonviolent protests against segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King penned his letter from the Birmingham jail expressing his grave disappointment with the “white moderate” and the “white church.” He suggested that the “great stumbling block” for African Americans seeking their freedom is “not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate “who is more devoted to order than to justice.” He decried a religious community “largely adjusted to the status quo, standing as a tail-light behind other community agencies rather than a headlight leading men to higher levels of justice.”

The virus didn’t discriminate. The society enforced the discrimination; the virus just preyed upon its victims. We have gone too long, struggled too hard to adjust to the reality that it is dangerous to be black while jogging or to be black in a pandemic.

It isn’t enough to express dismay when the newspapers highlight the horrors. We need leaders and citizens of conscience who will act and not rest until justice is done.

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COVID-19: Why Iran Is Doing Better Than You Think

by KARIM SHARARA

Photograph Source: Fars News Agency – CC BY 2.0

So Iran’s going through its worst year and is hiding the true numbers of Coronavirus victims? It seems it’s also been digging mass graves because it can’t handle the increasing number of deaths, and people are collapsing on the street left and right because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Not only that but apparently the evil Iranian regime will (as predicted by the most knowledgeable of pundits, as always), collapse due to the outbreak; just as it collapsed during and after the 8-year war with Iraq, again once the reformists won the 1997 elections, then again in 2009, not to mention 2011 after the Arab spring, and most recently in both 2017-2018.

Either the Islamic Republic is a cat or these “experts” are purposely spreading misinformation.

You can imagine this was quite a shock to many here living not so far away from the complex where the so-called mass graves were dug. News like this kept popping up every day on people’s feeds, as part of the regular misinformation campaign led by many Western countries against Iran.

To be clear, this article will not be dedicated towards redeeming Iran in light of the deliberate misinformation campaign that happened when the virus first hit it. To cut things short, the mass graves had been built four years ago in order to bury victims of potential natural disasters, coronavirus patients are not being buried there, and videos of some people collapsed on the streets are not videos of coronavirus patients, because the people recording the videos are not walking coronavirus detectors, and cannot possibly tell the difference between someone collapsing due to disease or a drug addict by the side of the road.

Since the coronavirus has become a worldwide phenomenon, this kind of baseless news has largely disappeared, and the anti-Iran view has shifted, and now stands between a critique of the Rouhani administration’s handling of the crisis, or an insistence on easing sanctions against Iran in order to make sure Iranians receive proper healthcare and needed medicine.

The truth is neither here nor there. I’m by no means here to whitewash Iran’s handling of the crisis, as many questionable decisions have been made by the Rouhani administration, but the same can be said about all countries ravaged by the virus, as the majority of countries hit by the virus are stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of fighting the virus and ensuring people’s livelihoods are not greatly disrupted. What I want to say is that Iran not lacking in the work it’s doing to stem the tide of the pandemic, nor is it in dire need of foreign help.

So how just how are things in Iran? What has Iran been doing in this battle? The numbers show that it’s been doing far better than most Western countries in fact. The numbers show that Iran is doing significantly better (in ppm) than FranceGermanyItalySpain, the US, the UK, and Switzerland, especially since the first cases appeared close to two months ago in an unprepared Iran, and only later spread to the West.

Due to the sanctions (still) imposed by the United States, Iranians were lacking in terms of needed equipment to perform diagnostic tests when the virus first hit, and did not have access to needed medical equipment and medicines, which translates into a delayed diagnosis, and delayed intervention for life-threatening cases. Meaning that Iran, despite being under sanctions, being hit earlier than most countries and being less prepared, has managed to perform better than most countries in this pandemic. So what are the steps Iran took to secure its needs?

A number of officials around the world have referred to the fight against the coronavirus as a “war”, and rightly so, and it will leave a number of the world’s leading economies highly damaged, possibly even leading to a new world order, shattering countless lives, and taking scores of others. However, what the Islamic Republic has done is mobilize all possible manpower to fight against it, meaning the army, IRGC, popular mobilization (Basij), and popular associations have all joined in and are each doing their part.

For one, the IRGC has done a lot, possibly too much to mention here, but some of the steps it has taken include opening up mask and sanitizing gel production lines across the country to meet the increasing demand, supplying hospitals with hospital beds to meet with the increase in cases, and aiding in disinfection duties.

Being under sanctions, Iranian have had to rely on themselves, and as such decided to meet the need for diagnostic kits themselves through domestic production. The Health Ministry recently announced that it has produced a Coronavirus diagnostic kit that can give an accurate reading within 2 hours, and can even export them to global markets. The kits were just recently shipped to Germany, with other Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, and Turkey requesting shipments as well.

Soon after the virus hit, mobilized forces came together under the banner of the National Committee on Combatting Coronavirus, thereby coordinating their efforts in securing needed equipment.

The Setad (which was recently attacked by U.S State Department speaker Morgan Ortagus on Twitter), has dedicated 8 hospitals and hospices with close to 1000 hospital beds to combat the virus, in addition to establishing a landline, where people seeking medical help can call in order to limit visits to physicians. This landline has decreased hospital visits by close to 80%. Not only that, but 50,000 teams (600,000 people) have been mobilized from the Basij, calling people over the phone from this landline in order to check on them for symptoms and provide them with directions, and as of April 6th 70 million people have been checked by these teams (I myself, a foreigner, was contacted on April 8th, and was given directions on what to do and where to go should I show any symptoms). In addition to that, the Setad has been busy preparing tens of thousands of boxes containing sanitizing equipment to be distributed among people in a number of provinces, and opening up a mask production factory capable of manufacturing 4 million masks/day, which is reportedly the largest in Southwest Asia (this here).

As for the treatment costs, Coronavirus patients in Iran do not have to worry about them should they be infected, as Iran has an extensive healthcare system that leaves little for people to shoulder. On average, the treatment costs for ICU patients are on average 4.5 million tomans (almost 300$), and 2 million tomans (130$) for regular beds. Not only that, but if the patient is insured (as most patients are), they only have to foot 10% of the bill, and if they cannot afford even that then they will not be charged for treatment. Treatment-wise, Iran began using plasma therapy in early March, and says plasma treatment has reduced coronavirus deaths in Iran by 40%.

This isn’t to say that the coronavirus did not cause economic difficulties for Iran, if anything it is also projected to cause economic contraction in the future, but this is a case where the sanctions turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Having to rely on domestic production lines and being isolated to a large degree from the global markets means that the Iranian economy was not as hard-hit by the virus as other economies. The pandemic is expected to shave 3% off of Iran’s GDP, meaning that the economy could lose up to $30 billion. A large number of course, but in comparison, Goldman Sacs sees a 34% decline in American GDP, and the UK’s GDP is expected to contract by 15%.

When Iran was first hit by the Coronavirus, many Western countries found it was acceptable for them to use their media outlets to attack it, calling it inefficient in controlling the outbreak, and fabricating news against it. Iran was the first country hit by the virus after China, and as such it was less prepared to counter it. As Professor Mohammad Marandi explains: “When things were not looking good, Iran was a fixed feature in all the charts. Now that Iran is performing better than most Western countries, despite the barbaric US sanctions being used to impede its struggle against COVID-19, why are the country’s numbers no longer included?”

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Greenlighting War: Iran and Yemen

by CHARLES PIERSON

Photograph Source: Spc. Hubert Delany, 49th Public Affairs Detachment – Public Domain

On May 7, Republicans proved yet again that most of them are perfectly happy allowing President Donald Trump unchecked discretion to make war.

Senate Joint Resolution 68, introduced on January 9 by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution in an attempt to prohibit President Trump from waging hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran without Congressional authorization. S.J. 68 passed in the Senate, 51-49, on February 13, and in the House of Representatives, 227-186, on March 11. President Trump vetoed S.J. 68 on May 6. The next day, the Senate voted 49 to 44 to override the president’s veto, falling short of the Constitutionally-mandated two-thirds supermajority required for overriding presidential vetoes. And there the matter rests.

“Very Insulting”

Trump’s veto message personalized Congress’ action, as is Trump’s wont, calling the resolution “very insulting.” Trump contended that S.J. 68 was “introduced by the Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”

Actually, S.J. 68 merely restates what the U.S. Constitution mandates. S.J. 68 asserts—correctly—that “Congress has the sole power to declare war under Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution.” The resolution adds that “Congress has not yet [!] declared war upon, nor enacted a specific statutory authorization for use of military force against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Trump denied that the US was engaged in “hostilities against Iran.” That would surprise Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, but we’d have to hold a séance to be sure. Trump’s veto message insists that Soleimani’s assassination on January 2, 2020 by a US drone was “fully authorized by law, including by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.”

About that. S.J. 68’s text expressly denies that the 2002 AUMF on Iraq authorizes uses of force against Iran. S.J. 68 might have added that both the 2002 AUMF as well as the 2001 AUMF passed in response to Al-Qaeda’s attacks on the US on 9/11 have been stretched far beyond what Congress intended. The Bush, Obama, and Trump Administrations have employed the resolutions to justify an unending series of presidential wars wherever and on whomever they choose. These blank checks for war should have been bounced years ago.

The vote on May 7 was the second time in two years that Congress has failed to override Trump’s veto of a resolution meant to curtail his power to make war. On April 16, 2019, President Trump vetoed a previous measure invoking the War Powers Resolution in order to force Trump to end US assistance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its genocidal war on Yemen. The 53 to 45 vote in the Senate on May 2, 2019 fell short of the required two-thirds majority needed to override Trump’s veto.

The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the yearly defense spending bill, which President Trump signed into law on December 21, 2019, contained provisions which would have tied the president’s hands on Iran, forced the US out of Yemen, ended arms sales to the Saudis, and revoked the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. These urgently needed provisions vanished from the NDAA in conference.

Imagine a justice system in which a burglar gets to be the judge of whether he has committed burglary. Trump gets to judge whether he has violated the Constitution. And Republicans, self-proclaimed Constitutional sticklers, are letting him get away with it.

Posted in Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZI, C.I.A, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Greenlighting War: Iran and Yemen

To Divide and Conquer: Science, News, and Hate in the Age of Instant Media

by JOHN K. WHITE

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

It is hard to see the signal amid the noise in the best of times, but the everyday chatter is especially difficult to comprehend in times of war, disaster, and infectious outbreak. Imagine a game of broken telephone with billions of speed-of-light internet connections – chances are the message will look nothing like the original at the other end, touched up by systemic misfirings and our own bias. But can we separate truth from pixie dust, fact from fiction? Can any of us agree if the sky is or is not falling?

The first telephone message was voiced in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell after spilling acid on his leg and calling out with seemingly controlled alarm to his assistant in the next room – “Mr Watson, come here, I want to see you.” Many of us learned that quaint origin story in school. Lesser known is where the phone was invented, Brantford or Boston typically given as choices. In fact, Bell wasn’t the inventor at all, a feat accorded to Italian Antonio Meucci in New York about 20 years earlier. I wasn’t there so I can’t say for sure, but I have it on good authority (H.Res.269, 107th U.S. Congress).

As in any Hollywood biopic, the truth is lost in the style, a lifetime of iffy facts stuffed into 90 minutes of cinematic retelling. Freddie Mercury didn’t tell his band mates he had AIDS prior to going on stage at Live Aid as in the hit movie Bohemian Rhapsody. But the drama dripped for all to see. So what if Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams kidnapped writer Terrence Mann as played by James Earl Jones, when in the book he rescued J. D. Salinger to “ease his pain.” If you can afford to make a $50-million film, you can tell a story the way you want, hang the truth or literary accuracy. Does it matter if George Washington did or did not cut down his father’s cherry tree and then did or did not lie about it afterwards? Does that make the flag waving any less valiant? We’re still going to take our hats off at the beginning of a ball game.

As for Meucci, Bell, and a host of other claimants, a functional phone would not have been realized without the scientists and engineers who came before them, including Italian Alessandro Volta (battery), Englishman Michael Faraday (induction), and the American Joseph Henry (electromagnetic relay) to name just three. Whatever the story behind the invention, a phone still works: spoken words make vibrations in the air, converted to mechanical crests and troughs on a metal-carbon interface (the essential “telephonic” part), transmitted as a varying electric current in a wire, and then remade as sound waves at the receiving end through an electromagnetically vibrated membrane. As Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

Harry S. Truman may or may not have said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit,” but the sentiment is still valid, though perhaps not for a few modern presidents and prime ministers who want us to believe they alone invented the wheel or were the first to win a war. We can’t all be quarterbacks in life, but we can all pretend to be important. Funnily, the S in Truman’s name (with or without the period/full stop) doesn’t stand for anything. Sometimes an S is just an S. Politics is the perception of truth.

Fast forward to today’s optical-fiber-filled world, the first internet message sent October 29, 1969, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, using a newly devised Arpanet computer-to-computer packet-switching protocol. The message wasn’t as immediate as Bell’s call for help, but the impact was just as significant as the number of internet nodes grew from the original two at UCLA and Stanford to 15 in 1971 and 37 a year later to over billions today, while the number of email messages is now on the order of trillions. I wasn’t there either, but the message sender, Charley Kline, is still alive and has told about the historic event.

We can quibble about details, but billions of us use email on a daily basis so some person or group of government-funded researchers invented it. As the story goes, Homer may not have written the Iliad or the Odyssey, but someone named Homer did. For the record, the first internet message was rather underwhelming – “LO” – the first two letters of an intended “LOGIN” but the Stanford SDS 940 computer crashed after Kline sent the third letter. Fortunately, Kline and Bill Duvall at the receiving end were simultaneously conversing by telephone to verify what was sent and received on their computers.

Adding to systemic flaws are differing perceptions of meaning, language nuances multiplying the imprecision of our messages. When Katy Perry or Justin Bieber tweet, millions learn how their latest song came from the heart. Or lament the obvious self-interest. The nature of knowledge and understanding gets muddled by the inherent subjectivity and our own bias. Is the earth flat, does the sun orbit the earth, was COVID-19 released from a virus lab as part of a Chinese government plot (no/no/no)? Alas, the ability to delegate to authority has become lost in our priest-less, anti-intellectual world. Cui bono? is always the first question to ask, Can the results be independently verified? the next.

To be sure, a healthy scepticism is essential and we must be ever wary of the source and motivation. But we all defer to others, our trusted proxies. Short of being there, how else does anyone know? And yet it is becoming harder to hear other than our own voices in our own echo chambers. The one-footed Dufflepuds in C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” were not very bright as they hopped about clamouring in unison, “True for you, Chief, true for you.” The yes-men and troll farms are everywhere amplifying the nonsense.

It is especially important in time of crisis to make sure what we know is real, critically examining the available data and analyses. Battles are won all the time by quick-thinking tacticians who correctly read the tea leaves or lost by those who mistook a wind. Would you bet your life on a galloping Paul Revere or the boy who cried wolf? Would you trust an unknown source with dubious connections?

A wise leader also rallies the troops behind a trusted banner, inspiring with a noble call to arms as in Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches … we shall never surrender.” Or Shakespeare’s Henry V’s St Crispin’s Day speech at Agincourt “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother.”

Spitballing, thinking aloud, and sarcasm don’t typically muster the same enthusiasm to a cause, although optimism is better than pessimism. Unless you are a rider in the Light Brigade as in Tennyson’s 1854 poem about the horror of the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, “Theirs not to make reply, / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die. / Into the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred.” Sadly, the frontlines are full of dead.

On March 11, the World Health Organization – composed of 194 member nations dedicated “to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable” as stated in its mission – declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Countries around the world shut up shop and instigated restrictive lockdowns, temporarily depriving citizens of basic freedoms to combat a pernicious invisible enemy. In Ireland, annual St Patrick’s Day parades were cancelled across the country and pubs closed. You know things are serious when the Irish cancel a party.

Not yet fully aware of the dangers, International Women’s Day parades were celebrated on March 8 on the streets of Madrid and cities elsewhere, while in the United States business continued as normal, one congressman stating “it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant.” In England, despite the WHO declaration, the annual Cheltenham horse races went ahead from March 10 to 13. A national emergency was declared in the US on March 13 while the UK shut down 10 days later.

True to its deadly billing, infections and deaths multiplied, exponentially at first before flattening in most countries, the recorded infections totalling 3.3 million and the deaths 230,000 by the end of April (1 million and 60,000 in the US). There was muted joy come May Day as many in Europe ventured out from their homes for the first time in more than 6 weeks.

How an epidemic became a pandemic will be forensically analysed for years to come, especially how so many people in the West became infected while so few were, relatively speaking, in China and other Asian countries. Preparedness, one-party state control, and the understanding of the basics of science and epidemiology will top the list.

The counterclaims will also continue at least until November in an anti-science disinformation campaign. No one should be surprised as the claims are repeated again and again in the coming months, a standard tactic right out of the Propaganda 101 playbook. Joseph Goebbels may not have pioneered “illusory truth” but he knew the importance of “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

A week after the WHO declaration, the U.S. president asserted in a White House briefing (March 19) that “No one knew there would be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion,” as bold-faced a lie as there is, and sowing the seeds of the coming administration hand-washing. Further inculpable planks were hastily assembled. In a Reuters interview (April 29), Trump claimed the virus was a Chinese election ploy, saying “China will do anything they can to have me lose this race.” The next day in a White House briefing (April 30), he claimed to have seen evidence that the virus was created in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. When pressed to share the evidence, he declined to elaborate, adding “I’m not allowed to tell you that.” One wonders how the origins of one of the largest health emergencies in modern history doesn’t warrant full disclosure.

The same idea had been mooted by various right-wing pundits. How those pundits knew better than the agency designed to oversee world health work or the United States own secret services, which announced that the virus was “not manmade or genetically modified,” was not revealed. The Dufflepuds are having a field day.

Countering claims that the Chinese government was to blame and that the US was thus not responsible for its ravaged economy, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, stated, “Certain U.S. politicians have disregarded facts and vilified China in an attempt to shirk their responsibility and incompetence in fighting the pandemic” (April 30). The punches are starting to land as the action heats up. Beware the flying blood, spit, and sweat.

Some have even suggested COVID-19 was a bioweapon, a charge right out of a Hollywood movie. Alas, Bruce Willis can’t go backwards in time to save the day. Of course, Trump and Co (Trumpco) have no real interest in digging deeper in a systematic way to establish the facts, preferring to sow division with lies, innuendo, and half-baked magic. It’s Maxwell Smart against the old world order, fighting an evil Chinese network, the tentacles of Chaos stretching everywhere to oppose him. The sensationalist tweets and tabloid soundbites are meant to stir up a hornets’ nest of disinformation, ensuring frenzied rhetoric and anti-intellectual rants in the Disunited States, putting government on trial in a permanent state of rebellion. That one is straight from the Reagan script.

It is hard to keep up with any news story as information breaks, but even harder during a pandemic or amid so much sleight-of-hand. On April 30, Trump announced “Operation Warp Speed” to deliver 100 million coronavirus vaccines by November. Alas “warp speed” doesn’t match reality either, despite the catchy sci-fi PR. No matter how many Star TrekStar Wars, or star-fi movies Hollywood makes, nothing can travel at the speed of light other than “light” a.k.a. EM radiation (at 1 foot per nanosecond, sunlight takes about 8 minutes to reach earth).

The Dufflepundits forgot to inform the president that warp speed is a fiction for anything but light, which has zero rest mass. Nothing can exceed the speed of light either, other than on a quantum level and then only for a miniscule period of time by borrowing energy via the uncertainty principle. Sorry star-fi fans, a spaceship and any human beings would be ripped to shreds. Add in hunches about malaria drugs, injecting bleach, and swallowing UV light and one sees how deadly bad science and fake news is. It isn’t state-of-the-art, best-practice solutions Trumpco is selling, but Wild West potions, pixie dust, and dubious dreams.

We are all happy to follow directions, indeed often compelled to in times of uncertainty. We all hope the bosses know what they are doing. In Peter Weir’s anti-war film Gallipoli, we wanted Archie to win against all odds as he rose from the trenches and ran toward the onslaught of Ottoman machine-gun fire like a leopard with “springs for legs.” Instead, against all hopes, the young Australian runner was cut to shreds, the obvious outcome to anyone other than the sheltered generals, calling the shots away from the trenches. Movies have a way of showing real isn’t real and that the promised land is just beyond the next hill. Reality TV has a way of making us think style makes sense or that a salesman is on our side. Remember, soap operas began as a way to sell soap. The story is secondary.

To be sure, truth is often immaterial to a cause. The Turks hold a different view of Gallipoli than the Allies, what they call the Battle of Çanakkale, where almost twice as many Ottoman troops died than Anzac and Allied soldiers. There were many more Turkish than Australian Archies, who gave up their lives for their homeland. When both teams pray before a football game, was one God not listening? Not only beauty but truth is in the eye of the beholder.

Did man walk on the moon? My mother let me stay up late that warm July night in 1969 to watch on TV as the Apollo 11 astronauts took their first tepid steps. That doesn’t make it true, but Occam’s razor is a smart bet that simple explanations are better than elaborate conspiracies. I have read many accounts – Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff about the precursor Mercury program is a great start – and if you have the means you can even bounce a laser off the moon to measure the earth-moon distance in a high-tech demo, using one of the mirrors left behind by the astronauts. The goofy scientists in The Big Bang Theory showed how lunar laser ranging is done (season 3, episode 23). I’m also pretty sure the earth is not supported by a ring of elephants standing on a large tortoise. No one need waste time debating.

Aristotle believed that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects (Physics Book IV). What a dunce. But then Aristotle had many good and bad ideas. Thanks to Galileo and Newton, we understand now how gravity doesn’t play favourites, although many thought as Aristotle did until Newton’s 1687 Principia (I’ve held the original from the British Library in my hands). Some still think as Aristotle did that moving objects fall backwards when dropped from the hand, unbothered by a simple demonstration to the contrary.

Thanks in part to Marie Curie, we know that high-energy radiation is harmful (gamma rays, x-rays, UV). She and her daughter Irène, both Nobel Prize winners, died of leukaemia, having laboriously separated radioactive material from their ores. Madame Curie, who pioneered the use of radiation as a frontline imaging diagnostic, would not want anyone to swallow UV light. Short of reproducing every experiment ever done in the history of science (and assuming no deceiving demons), we have to farm out our brains to those who know.

It took until 1971 for Apollo 15 Commander David Scott to drop a 30-gram falcon feather and a 1.3-kilogram aluminum hammer on the moon to verify Galileo and Newton. University of Manchester particle physicist and science educator Brian Cox later reproduced the same experiment on earth in a fantastically elegant demonstration, evacuating a silo-sized NASA spacecraft test chamber to verify the same result (Cox used a feather and a bowling ball). Without wind resistance, a feather and hammer fall together and hit the ground at the same time. Nothing magical about the science. (We can use Einstein’s explanation of gravity as curved space rather than a force but the result is the same in this case.)

How do I know COVID-19 started in a wet market in Wuhan. I happily defer to qualified experts based on their experience and trusted affiliations. That is the working explanation based on the best evidence today. I would never believe a vague claim that “Some people probably think it was in a lab” no matter how often repeated. Nor does “doing the rounds on social media” equal truth. Same goes for 5G causing coronavirus (seriously Woody?) or bone-headed ideas about injecting bleach and UV light. Even the lightweight press in today’s Trump-a-thon shouldn’t stop scrutinizing that boatload of Bleachgate nonsense. Alas, the ongoing game of presidential whack-a-mole keeps popping out more lies to distract attention.

Nor do I think Bill Gates created COVID-19 so he could vaccinate us all to make an even larger fortune or introduce population control and world government because he is an atheist in league with the globalist kingpin George Soros. I have problems with how much money Gates has hoarded and how little taxes he and other billionaires pay, but he did not create a virus to make even more billions selling microchip vaccines. Of course, anyone can read about Gates’s nefarious plan on their favourite medieval online platform. Some of the comments are even grammatically correct. Any mention of wearing tin foil hats will be shouted down in an endless ad hominem tirade.

Today’s politics of misdirection is never about truth. It’s about Obama, the government taking away my guns, my right to do as I want how I want hang the consequences, tied up in a never-ending game of us-versus-them. Soviets/Russians versus the West, Islam versus the West, and presumably now China versus the West. Will we waste yet another generation on hating the other? The left and right refuse to see each other in their own reflection.

Why so much banter about what is obvious to all? To sow doubt and seed division. To avoid asking the harder questions, such as why universal health care is not a basic human right, why work is not available to all (a 4-day work week an obvious solution to unemployment), or why the supposed richest nation on earth was unprepared for a pandemic. The Play-Doh president will say that coronavirus or climate change is a hoax to incite confusion because he can’t acknowledge an authority besides himself or praise the cooperative efforts of others. America is always beautiful, exceptional, and right. But when one’s speech is peppered with “some people,” “many think,” and “they say,” doubt is the only truth on offer.

I’d rather learn whether hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and plasma injections from recovered patients can help treat coronavirus – no (causes arrhythmia among other problems), yes (in a controlled program for some severe cases), and possibly (more research needed on antibodies), according to the latest medical reports. Even seemingly crazier ideas can be helpful, such as a peanut-butter sniff test as a Canadian doctor suggested or that nicotine may reduce infections as in a French study. Absent a working vaccine, we’ll see going forward what works and how practical the ad-hoc measures are as the virus becomes better understood. Not everyone can wait for consensus explanations, but we can still use best science and common sense as guides.

We can certainly discuss if 1.5 metres (the Netherlands) or 2 m/6 feet (most everywhere else) is a sufficient social distance, how staggered running and cycling can limit lingering breath and spit (as in a Belgian-Dutch study), or how much viral load infects. But even to suggest that bleach is a possible solution rightly calls into question the validity of the source. We could have a very good discussion about the disinfecting efficacy of UV light, not that it should be shined in the body, but that it can kill germs, viruses, and other contagions on surfaces. Far-UVC light may also kill virus-laden airborne droplets in public places. We are learning the science as we go.

Measuring “excess deaths” may also better calibrate the extent of the virus rather than relying on infection fatality rates (essentially unknown without universal testing) or case fatality rates (IFR and CFR). But stating that a country is prepared to end its economically onerous lockdown because it has tested more than other much less-populous countries is as crazy as saying my fembots can beat your bionics.

It is sad when the obvious nonsense goes unchecked, such as hospitals are empty because parking lots are empty, 5G networks weaken immunity, or an El País reporter sent to Wuhan at the start of the outbreak is Sacha Baron Cohen pretending to be a crisis actor. Alex Jones had to pay court costs in a defamation case for such nonsense about Sandy Hook. Crisis actors? Seriously? You can’t press the undo button on that kind of psychosis.

Truth is not a flavour of ice cream, but it’s hard for a Rum Raisin lover to try Rocky Road. Calling a chair a chair would be a start. Hospitals have been overwhelmed in parts of Europe and in New York City where life-and-death choices were made on the fly as in a warzone triage. In the Netherlands, an attack on two 5G towers could have brought down the emergency network in an act of weaponized stupidity. The El País reporter is not an actor. I know, I have met him. I went to his first book launch. For those who don’t want to believe him or me, he is 20 years younger than Cohen.

The press do have a problem with accuracy. Everyone has an agenda, altruistic or not. Chalk it up to limited resources or deadlines, but the truth does win out. That’s one of the reasons we have peer-reviewed academic literature. That doesn’t mean Nature or Applied Physics Letters is entirely correct, but the chances of intended bias creeping in are minimized. Of course, we can all be wrong as was the idea of a flat earth, an orbiting sun, or Aristotle’s flawed gravity, the validity of which went unchallenged for almost 2 millennia, but not on purpose and not for want of trying. Science builds and destroys. Science is not to be trifled with. That’s why we have references. No bluffing allowed.

When almost all peer-reviewed scientific literature says the earth is warming, we should take serious note. Even a previously avowed climate-change sceptic, Berkeley physics professor Richard A. Muller, knows anthropomorphic global warming is for real. He did his own analysis, extending the temperature record back to 1753, using station data and proxies such as tree rings and coral growth, corroborating the IPCC data that tied the increase in average global temperature to an unmistakable increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. As Muller stated, “The exquisite agreement between the warming and CO2 suggests that most – maybe all – of the warming of the past 250 years was caused by humans.”

Interestingly, Muller noted that temperatures had only increased at two-thirds of the 36,866 recording stations in the study of data collected from around the world, but had actually decreased at the other third, underlining how local temperatures cannot be used to extrapolate to an average global temperature. Climate should not be confused with weather as many unscrupulous presidents and unwilling Dufflepuds are apt to do. Do you want to bet your life Muller works for George Soros (he doesn’t)? Or that climate change is not real (it is)?

In Too True to be Good, George Bernard Shaw noted that “Newspapers are unable seemingly to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.” The bottom line and ratings are what matters to the accountants. All those online clicks eventually add up to a pretty penny. Presidents can’t know everything, but they should at least know enough not to spout nonsense. Believe the less bad at your peril. A leopard can’t change its spots – the science is out on that.

We should debate whether expanded 5G data networks that will control more of our data are an intrusion into privacy, but not that 5G masts weaken the immune system to facilitate viral infection. Same for contact-tracing apps restricting basic rights and liberties. I can delete the Facebook posts I receive that try to sell me organic food to combat coronavirus, but should such nonsense spread unchecked on social media? If yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre for malicious purposes is illegal, should we ensure that one can’t sell nonsense on instant media? How best to contain an epidemic is essential in a global village, not turning another civilization into an enemy to misdirect. Did anyone call for reparations in the midst of the 1918 Kansas influenza outbreak?

It is far more important to discuss the effects of asymptomatic infection, indoor HVAC, and the use of masks to limit community transmission. Public-space temperature checks may be of questionable value, but there are still conflicting guidelines on whether or not to wear a mask. Should we reuse and clean our own homemade creations in the event of price gouging from the economic new normal? We should be working together to limit transmission to poorer countries, preparing a better response to a possible second wave and future pandemics instead of fighting over whether masks are a common good.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the United States chose not to participate in an EU-led May 4th international fundraiser that raised $8 billion for coronavirus vaccine research, treatments, and diagnostics, a bridge too far for the architects of the America First doctrine. America Alone is the new normal as citizens assert their individual rights and ignore the temporary measures of a coordinated phased de-escalation. Heaven forbid anyone is told what to do by a government smile. Sadly, no one gets overly worked up when Jeff Bezos makes enough in a month to cover the costs. Or that U.S. billionaire wealth jumped almost $400 billion in April at the same time that more than 30 million Americans lost their jobs. Beware the new narrative, same as the old. We’re fighting a fire with a peashooter.

Maybe we need a culture correction with the coming market correction, realigning sustainable practices with resources. In the past 2 months, the luckiest of us have seen how to live without and conserve essentials. “What less do I need?” is a mantra of praise.

Does venting so much anger make one feel less inadequate in the onslaught of 24-7 media, some of which is clearly false and backed by motivated sellers? Am I not good enough in comparison to the obviously overhyped luvvies of the world? Compelled to rank myself forever against others, seeing life only as a ladder? We are keen to knock down and to insult, when to build up and compliment is a sign of strength. Seeing the best in another, even a political adversary, is noble.

The real story is disinformation. They don’t want to value science; they want to debate nonsense to sow doubt about authenticity and obvious facts. Who are they? The Illuminati? The Gnomes of Zurich? The Lizard People? The Evil Globalists who want to take away your guns and stamp 666 on your forehead? More like the me-first libertarian overloads who want to keep their billions in their offshore accounts so you can’t get it. Simple is always best. Global cooperation is not the start of world government.

The earth is not flat. The sun does not orbit the earth. Neil and Buzz did walk on the moon as did 10 others. COVID-19 is not a Chinese government plot. Repeating obvious falsehoods doesn’t make you a rebel; it means you’re someone whose authority is meaningless. When evidence is tainted, other statements become inadmissible, fruit of a poisonous tree. Facts don’t need to pass a smell test. Modern discourse is not duelling gods. As Marie Curie aptly noted, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” We need more scientific rigour and less drivel.

We must prepare for the possibility of more waves, the effect of mutated strains, and other pandemics, possibly more contagious and more lethal than COVID-19. Our defences must be underpinned by reputable science and a collimated plan to make clear decisions. In some cases, the path forward will be based on incomplete knowledge, but never on nonsense. Charlatans do not deserve to be the protagonists of our future. Nor do conmen selling faded dreams.

The truth is out there. We don’t have to look hard, but we do have to look. Follow the science, beware the lies, and don’t fall for the hate.

Posted in USA, MediaComments Off on To Divide and Conquer: Science, News, and Hate in the Age of Instant Media

The U.S. Military is Hell-Bent on Trying to Overpower China

by VIJAY PRASHAD

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

On April 1, Admiral Philip Davidson—the head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command—told the U.S. Congress that he would like $20 billion to create a robust military cordon that runs from California to Japan and down the Pacific Rim of Asia. His proposal—titled “Regain the Advantage”—pointed to the “renewed threat we face from Great Power Competition. … Without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant U.S. interests.”

The real focus is China. In January 2019, Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told U.S. military officials that the problem is “China, China, China.” This has been the key focus of all U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominees for the Defense Department, whether it be Shanahan or the current chief Mark Esper. Esper cannot open his mouth without blaming China; he recently told the Italian paper La Stampa that China is using the coronavirus emergency to push its advantage through “malign” forces such as Huawei and by sending aid to Italy. As far as Trump and Esper are concerned, China and—to a lesser extent—Russia are to be contained by the United States with armed force.

The Missile Gap?

Senator Tom Cotton (Republican from Arkansas) has pushed the view that China’s military modernization program has created a missile gap in China’s favor. In March 2018, Cotton asked Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command (now U.S. ambassador to South Korea) about China’s missiles. “We are at a disadvantage with regard to China today in the sense that China has ground-based ballistic missiles that threaten our basing in the western Pacific and our ships,” Harris told Congress. To remedy this, Harris suggested that the United States exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which Trump did in early 2019 (Trump blamed Russian non-compliance, but it was clear that the real target was this fear of a Chinese missile advantage). In August 2019, the U.S. tested an intermediate-range missile, signaling that its intentions long preceded its withdrawal from the INF.

In March 2019, Cotton went to the Heritage Foundation to say that the United States should start production of medium-range ballistic missiles, which should be deployed on bases at the U.S. territory of Guam and on the territories of U.S. allies; these missiles should directly threaten China. “Beijing has stockpiled thousands of missiles that can target our allies, our bases, our ships, and our citizens throughout the Pacific,” Cotton said in characteristic hyperbole. Exaggeration is central to people like Cotton; for them, fear-mongering is the way to produce policy, and facts are inconvenient.

The United States has used the concept of the “missile gap” before. John F. Kennedy used it for his 1958 presidential campaign, even though it is likely he knew that it was false to say that the USSR had more missiles than the United States. Little has changed since then.

In November 2018, before the U.S. left the INF, Admiral Davidson spoke at a think tank in Washington on “China’s Power.” In 2015, Davidson said, his predecessor Harry Harris had joked that the islands off the coast of the People’s Republic of China were a “Great Wall of Sand”; now, said Davidson, these had become a “Great Wall of SAMs,” referring to Surface-to-Air Missiles. Davidson, from the military side, and Cotton, from the civilian side, began to say over and over again that China had a military advantage by the “missile gap,” a concept that required no careful investigation.

The United States has the largest military force in the world. In April, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that the United States military budget rose by 5.3 percent over the previous year to total $732 billion; the increase over one year was by itself the entire military budget of Germany. China, meanwhile, spent $261 billion on its military, lifting its budget by 5.1 percent. The United States has 6,185 nuclear warheads, while China has 290 nuclear warheads. Only five countries in the world have missiles that can strike any country on the earth: the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France. Whether it be in terms of intercontinental weapons or through U.S. air power, there is no doubt that China simply does not possess a military advantage over the United States.

Every known inventory of weapons shows that the United States has a much greater capacity to wreak havoc in a military confrontation against anyone—including China; but the U.S. now understands that while it can bomb a country to smithereens, it can no longer subordinate all countries.

Withdrawal

The United States Navy is both overstretched and threatened. The two U.S. Pacific-based carriers—USS Ronald Reagan and USS Theodore Roosevelt—are in trouble; USS Reagan is in Japan, where it is being repaired, while USS Roosevelt is in Guam, with its crew devastated by COVID-19. Meanwhile, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier group to threaten Venezuela using the excuse of counter-narcotics. Threatening several countries far apart from each other makes it difficult for the U.S. to focus its superior military power against any one country.

Missile capacities shown by Iran and by China have meant that the U.S. continuous bomber presence at al-Udeid Air Base (Qatar) and at Andersen Air Force Base (Guam) has been withdrawn. These bombers are now at Minot Air Force Base (North Dakota) and Barksdale Air Force Base (Louisiana). General Timothy Ray of the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command put a brave face on these withdrawals, saying that it gives the U.S. greater flexibility. The real reason for the bombers leaving Qatar and Guam is that the U.S. military fears that these strategic assets are in harm’s way.

Neither Iran nor China has the capacity to defeat the U.S. in a military confrontation. But alongside both of their borders, Iran and China have the capacity to strike U.S. targets and U.S. allies. This capacity hampers the U.S. ability to establish the complete subordination of these countries. It is this local power developed by China and Iran that the United States wants to extinguish.

Regain the Advantage

Admiral Davidson’s April report calls for “Forward-based, rotational joint forces” as the “most credible way to demonstrate U.S. commitment and resolve to potential adversaries.” What the Indo-Pacific Command means is that rather than have a fixed base that is vulnerable to attack, the U.S. will fly its bombers into bases on the soil of its allies in the Indo-Pacific network (Australia, India, and Japan) as well as others in the region (South Korea, for instance); the bombers, he suggests, will be better protected there. China will still be threatened, but Chinese missiles will—so the theory goes—find it more difficult to threaten mobile U.S. assets.

Davidson’s report has a stunning science-fiction quality to it. There is a desire for the creation of “highly survivable, precision-strike networks” that run along the Pacific Rim, including missiles of various kinds and radars in Palau, Hawaii, and in space. He asks for vast amounts of money to develop a military that is already very powerful.

Furthermore, the U.S. is committed to the development of anti-space weapons, autonomous weapons, glide vehicles, hypersonic missiles, and offensive cyber weapons—all meant to destabilize missile defense techniques and to overpower any adversary. Such developments presage a new arms race that will be very expensive and that will further destabilize the world order.

The United States has unilaterally increased a buildup around China and has ramped up threatening rhetoric against Beijing. Anxiety about a possible war against China imposed by the United States is growing within China; although sober voices are asking the Chinese government not to get drawn into an arms race with the United States. Nonetheless, the threats are credible, and the desire to build some form of deterrence is growing.

The absence of a strong world peace movement with the capacity to prevent this buildup by the United States is of considerable concern for the planet. The need for such a movement could not be greater.

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on The U.S. Military is Hell-Bent on Trying to Overpower China

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