Archive | July 8th, 2020

Don’t Belittle US Protesters by calling their struggle a ‘Color Revolution’

By: Andre Vltchek

via Twitter

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek

For almost a decade, I have been covering “Color Revolutions” in virtually all parts of the world. While making a film for TeleSur, I was facing Egyptian tanks, risking my life under sniper fire, getting roughed-up in the middle of clashes of the supporters of al-Sisi and Morsi.

Together with Syrian commanders, I was also facing the terrorists in Idlib; challenged the Ukrainian fascists; encountering Bolivian indigenous elders high in the Altiplano, after the revolution of Evo Morales and MAS was crashed by the U.S.-sponsored coup in 2019. I regularly worked in Venezuela, Lebanon, and Iraq. And of course, again and again, I have been returning to Hong Kong, reporting on systematic Western attempts to radicalize SAR’s youth and to harm China.

I mention all this just in order to establish that I am very well aware of how those “Color Revolutions” are triggered and implemented.

“Color Revolutions!” Unlike many “analysts” who are now tossing this term left and right, often without ever experiencing the events first hand, I spoke with the people on the ground, examining dynamics, asking endless questions. On many occasions, I was risking my life to get a philosophical context and the story right.

Frankly, I am sick of conspiracy theories, ignorance, clichés, and arrogance of those “analysts” who, from the comfort of their couch, somewhere in Europe or North America, are passing judgments and conclusions, with that proud look of superiority.

Since the police murdered Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, since the United States literally exploded, since the African Americans, Native Americans and other appallingly oppressed people went to the streets in hundreds of the cities demanding justice; a substantial group of mainly white ‘we-know-everything’ ‘analysts’ began belittling protesters, calling them ‘violent,’ calling them ‘riots,’ calling them ‘creations of Soros and the Zionists’! And at the end, with dark sarcasm, declaring that the United States itself is now suffering from what it has been spreading all over the world for years – from the so-called “Color Revolution.”

Many of those ‘analysts’ became so aggressive and vocal that they literally managed to monopolize the ‘alternative narrative.’ Suddenly, there was hardly any space left for those of us who were continuously writing, using traditional internationalist, left-wing perspective.

*

First of all, even the term itself – “Color Revolutions” – became a bad cliché.

The Western empire has been destroying the world for some 500+ years, in the most brutal ways imaginable. Hundreds of millions of lives were lost. Entire continents were plundered. People have been enslaved.

At the end of the colonial era, in various parts of our planet, at least some semi-independence was achieved. But countless governments in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America were still taking diktat directly from Washington, London, Paris, and other Western capitals.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation looked desperate. But with the rise of China and Russia, as well as Iran, great hope returned, and many countries embarked on the second stage of de-colonialization.

The process was confused and confusing. Each country was different. There were attempts to trigger real revolutions (Egypt), but there were also some clearly anti-revolutionary and right-wing movements (Syria, Ukraine) born.

In many countries where genuine grievances of the people brought masses to the streets, masses which were demanding mainly social and political reforms, the West quickly infiltrated several movements and literally kidnaped the revolutions. This is what happened in Egypt, but also, a few years later, in Lebanon and Iraq.

But to claim that Egypt had not attempted a revolution would be insulting, patronizing, and incorrect! Egypt was suffering from the terrible pro-Western regime and from the military. Egyptian people rose. I was working with a group of Marxist doctors during the process; I saw it all, from the ground, so to speak. But the revolution was infiltrated and finally destroyed.

In Lebanon, too. For five years, I was based there; in Beirut and Asia. People were fed up with the so-called ‘confessional democracy,’ of the religions tearing-apart the nation, of savage capitalism, collapsed infrastructure, and non-existent social services. Hezbollah, hated by the West and Israel has been the only solid provider of social services to all deprived Lebanese people, for years and decades. And so, in Lebanon, too, people rose. Late, in 2019, but rose. Sure, a few weeks after, I began spotting clenched fists of “Odpor” and “Canvas” on the Martyr’s Square (those used in Serbia, when President Milosevich was forced out of power, with full sponsorship of the West). Sure, the West began supporting rebels, because it wanted to get rid of Hezbollah, which has been part of the ruling coalition. But people of Lebanon do have thousands of legitimate grievances; reasons to rebel. However, the West has been skillfully infiltrating and, to some extent manipulating the uprising, which is still going on until this day. And we have no idea where it is all going to lead.

Do you see how complex the situation is? It does not fit any of the simplifications, and clichés! And of course, it is even more complicated than how I describe it here. It takes entire books to explain.

Syria: another totally different story, and absolutely distinctive specie of “Color Revolutions,” if it is how you want to call it. Some grievances, yes. But also, a solid pan-Arab socialist state, which the West, Saudis, Qataris, Israelis, and other allies of Washington wanted desperately to destroy; government they were aiming to overthrow. After a relatively mild rebellion in Aleppo and Holms, supported by Gulf states coalition, and the West, Saudis, and Turks began injecting monstrous, murderous combat forces into Syria, from ISIS to Uyghurs, and everything in between.

All these cases of interference from the West are totally distinctive, although some patterns can be detected. And we are still in the same cultural and geographical area.

Now look further away: Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Hong Kong (China).

In all these places, there are direct interventions, clear counter-revolution! It is financed, supported, and coordinated from Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, and other Western capitals.

In Bolivia, white, racist, fundamentalist Christian elites overthrew, with the full support of the White House, the legitimate multi-cultural, democratic, and enormously successful government of President Evo Morales. It was done after agitation by a small sector of Bolivians, clearly financed from abroad and by the local elites. One month after the coup, I was working all over the Altiplano, taking down testimonies of indigenous people who were humiliated, tortured, abused, even killed by a new illegitimate regime.

That’s quite different ‘scenario,’ isn’t it; different from that in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt? Is it really legitimate to hide it all under one single “Color Revolutions” label?

Look at Cuba: decades and decades of terror against this marvelous island! Passenger airplanes being blown out of the sky. Countless assassination plots against its leaders. Chemical warfare, biological warfare, the bombing of cafes, restaurants, and hotels. All proven and documented. And constant attempts to recruit, radicalize Cuban citizens – to force them against their own government.

Venezuela, a nation that offered tremendous hope to the entire divided continent. Venezuela compassionate, brave, built on solidarity. Look what has been done to her. One coup attempts after another. Embargos. Recruitment of treasonous cadres. Attacks from neighboring Colombia. Another “Color Revolution?” Or merely a campaign of terror?

Hong Kong:  a city, former British colony, which has been ‘sacrificed’ by the West, while literally converted into a battleground against the most optimistic country on Earth – China. There, the symbol used to be umbrellas, not colors. Now, there seems to be no symbol, whatsoever, just spite and violence and hate.

It is easy to understand that somehow the label of “Color Revolutions” is trivializing everything.

I am surprised that some conspiracy theorists did not come up with a scheme, yet, that would say that the very term – “Color Revolutions” – has been invented to belittle what has been done to the world by the imperialist West. To throw everything to one bag, and to confuse everything.

*

Back to the United States.

“Color Revolution” there, too? For heaven’s sake, really?

After the murder of Mr. Floyd, protests are being discredited, again and again, by the people who, one would believe, should be standing by the side of the oppressed. Instead, they call rebellion ‘riots,’ they claim that they are backed by Soros, Gates, others!

The terrible truth emerged: in the United States, there is almost no left anymore. No real left. No internationalist left.

Instead, there are tons of conspiracy theory sites.

Significantly, on the streets of Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, black people are not just demanding justice for themselves; they have been shouting internationalist slogans, demanding justice for the world. It is something new, something marvelous, something you hardly hear in Paris or Berlin.

But this fact goes unnoticed, hardly reported.

The explosion of rage, brave uprising all over the United States, has been targeting those basic foundations of over 200 years long monstrous history, on which the country is based. First, the colonialist invasion by the genocidal Europeans, then extermination of the great majority of native people, and simultaneously the most repulsive slavery which was endorsed and used by the founding fathers.

The state of the oppressed people in the U.S.A. today is clearly and directly related, connected to that past. But not only that: the entire state of the world could only be comprehended if viewed in the context of what has been done to the native people and brutalized black slaves in the United States itself.

Colonialism, extermination campaigns in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are inter-connected with the plight of non-white people in the United States.

Now, black people in the United States are fighting for themselves and their children, but also for their brothers and sisters in all corners of the world, which is still colonized and plundered by Washington and London.

Do all of the protesters know this? Some do, some don’t, and many feel it, intuitively.

Now, to the point which is made by those who are trying to discredit this uprising: is all this also a power-struggle inside the U.S. establishment? Are Democrats, for instance, trying to manipulate the situation, using it to their advantage?

I have no doubt that they are such attempts. Almost everyone in the United States is always using things, looking for advantages. This is what people are taught to do, living in a savage capitalist system.

But these are two distinct issues!

Even if Gates, Soros, deep state, Democrats, mass media outlets, and who knows who else, wants to kidnap the narrative and derail the uprising, it changes nothing on the fact that the peoples whose lives were, for generations, ruined, are now pissed off no end, and that their rebellion may shake the foundations of the entire country, and the terrible world order!

Even now, as this is being written, the uprising in the U.S. already inspired new movement @PapuanLivesMatter, which is referring to an ongoing genocide in West Papua, performed by the Indonesian state on behalf of Western governments and mining companies.

And this is just a beginning.

Grievances are legitimate. Struggle for justice is legitimate. The essential thing now is to separate the fight against racism, colonialism, and imperialism, from the political interests of the establishment, or part of it.

This separation can only happen on the barricades. And since the education has been kidnapped by the regime, there has to be an accelerated injection of the revolutionary education administered to both protesters and the general public. Education about both the past and the present.

But we should not give up on the protesters!

And calling their uprising “Color Revolution” is disrespectful and yes: racist!

Their rage is legitimate. And of course, the rage of the people all over the world is legitimate, too, without any doubt.

CONCLUSION

Point one: Blanket term “Color Revolutions” is wrong. Those who are promoting it are actually confusing the situation. During the last years and decades, the West has been using many different tactics on how to overthrow governments, subvert legitimate movements and revolutions, and deter revolutionary and anti-colonialist struggle. Each has to be examined and exposed separately, individually. Otherwise, it would create indigestible, on purpose confusing mass, and further damage independence struggle. Otherwise, nihilism would be spread, and revolutionary zeal deterred.

Point two: in the United States – the ongoing struggle against racism, segregation, and imperialism is a legitimate struggle, which is having a tremendous and positive influence on the entire world. If there are political interests that are trying to undermine and derail it, they should be exposed by the people in the United States. But it does not mean at all that the protesters should be discourages, let alone ridiculed. Those who are fighting for justice, and for the entire world, should be embraced and full-heartedly supported!

Posted in USA, PoliticsComments Off on Don’t Belittle US Protesters by calling their struggle a ‘Color Revolution’

UK Complicity with Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

By Stephen Lendman

Britain operates as a US imperial project junior partner — allied with its preemptive wars against nonbelligerent nations threatening no one.

Both countries operate by a do what we say, not as we do standard.

While their lofty language expresses support for peace, stability, and human rights, their actions consistently and repeatedly breach their professed principles.

On Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Rabb announced sanctions on 20 Saudi nationals it holds responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 — crown prince/de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman, responsible for ordering his assassination, omitted from the list.

Nothing about Britain’s longstanding ties to Riyadh was mentioned in Rabb’s remarks — in cahoots with the US — including in Yemen, at war with its people, starving them to death by endless war and a medieval blockade.

The US is by far the leading supplier of arms and munitions to Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, a UK court of appeals ruled that sales of weapons and munitions to the kingdom are illegal because its terror-bombing of Yemen is responsible for massacring civilians.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) welcomed the ruling that suspended UK arms sales to Riyadh, pending Westminster’s review of the longstanding policy.

In its ruling, the UK court noted that “(t)here was was a decision, or a change of position, so that there would be no assessment of past violations of IHL (international humanitarian law)” by Westminster that were and continue to be longstanding.

The Boris Johnson regime is now resuming arms sales to the kingdom.

While acknowledging ongoing Saudi war crimes, a statement by Johnson’s international trade secretary Liz Truss announced the resumption, saying the following:

An IHL analysis concluded that there was no “patterns of non-compliance” by the Saudis (sic), just “isolated incidents (sic),” adding:

No “lack of commitment on the part of Saudi Arabia to comply with IHL (sic).”

No “lack of capacity or systemic weaknesses which might give rise to a clear risk of IHL breaches (sic).”

The above remarks bear no relationship to reality on the ground.

Saudi crimes of war and against humanity occur multiple times daily, including the enormous harm from blockade.

Based on the above assessment, the Johnson regime maintains that “there is not a clear risk that the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL (sic).”Britain Aiding Saudi Terror War on Yemenis

Unmentioned by Truss is that evidence beyond dispute proves that Riyadh is one of the world’s leading human rights abusers, the foremost one among Arab states internally and in cahoots with Washington’s regional imperial agenda.

Her remarks came a day after Foreign Secretary Rabb’s announced UK sanctions on the kingdom, Russia and other countries for human rights abuses.

The London Independent noted that that Britain will “resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite (acknowledging) ‘possible’ war crimes by the kingdom (sic).”

One kingdom’s nefarious ties to another is no surprise. As long as Riyadh is oil and monetarily rich, there’s no shortage of nations in the West, region and elsewhere lining up to maintain dirty business as usual with the royal family.

For years, the Saudis have been and continue to be complicit with the US, UK, France, Israel, the UAE, and other countries in committing horrendous Nuremberg-level crimes of war, against humanity and genocide against millions of Yemenis.

Hundreds of thousands likely perished from US-initiated post-9/11 aggression against its people – succumbing to war, related violence, untreated diseases, famine, and overall deprivation.

Saudi terror-bombing targets hospitals, schools, marketplaces, food storage facilities, mosques, and other non-military sites, countless thousands of Yemenis perishing from its aggression.

Defenseless civilians comprise the vast majority of casualties in virtually all wars.

The US and UK are involved with the Saudis in enforcing an air and naval blockade of Yemen.

The vast majority of Yemenis are food insecure or facing starvation. Many risk death from lack of access to medical help for serious issues.

According to Houthi broadcaster Al Masirah, Saudi and coalition warplanes terror-bombed Houthi controlled areas scores of times in the past 24 hours alone.

On Wednesday, a statement by Houthi General Yahya Sare’a said the following:

“Saudi civilians or residents must stay away from the palaces of the wrongdoers, as they have become targets,” adding:

“Yemeni drones, as well as missiles, are heading towards their targets according to a pre-determined path, and civilians are only harmed by aggressive missiles that fall on them.”

“We succeeded, with God’s help, in implementing specific operations, which were concentrated strikes on sensitive targets within our target bank, and no force on the face of the earth will be able to stop our legitimate military operations.”

“(T)he forces of aggression (and) economic war will have grave consequences, and its fire may extend to your doorstep soon.”

Separately according to the Middle East Monitor, a declassified UK report explained Britain’s complicity in imposing a devastating blockade on Yemen — what’s unlawful under international law.

Imposing it is an act of war. Since Saudi aggression began in March 2015, Britain supplied Riyadh with billions of dollars worth of arms, munitions, and military equipment.

Britain’s navy provided training for Saudi and UAE naval forces, including on how to “board and search vessels (in) international waters or territorial seas.”

UK ties to Riyadh also involved establishing a so-called Exclusive Economic Zone Protection Officer course (EEZ).

It refers to waters that extend 200 miles off its coast for exclusive resource development and fishing.

Longstanding UK/Saudi relations continue largely unchanged to the present day, both nations complicit with each other’s regional war crimes — together with the US.

Posted in Middle East, Saudi Arabia, UK, YemenComments Off on UK Complicity with Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Bolsonaro Will Politicize His “Alleged” Coronavirus Infection to Regain Lost Popularity

By Paul Antonopoulos

It is only natural for many people to think Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro testing positive for COVID-19 is a karma for his insistence on minimizing the risks of the disease and a near non-existent management of the pandemic that has led to the death of more than 67,000 Brazilians. But from the perspective of political manoeuvring in Brazil, by receiving a positive test result could also work in Bolsonaro’s favor as his popularity plunges because of his handling of the pandemic.

The pro-American leader could use the contagion to his advantage, and if all goes well, he will become the embodiment of the argument he has been defending since the beginning of the pandemic – the virus is nothing more than a “minor flu” that passes in a few days and should not be exaggerated. It can even help him demonstrate that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment method, a claim that still divides scientists. The first thing he did after confirming that he was infected was to say that he had already taken the first tablet of the inexpensive anti-malarial tablet that can also supposedly treat coronavirus. Bolsonaro’s infection has not at all changed his policies or thoughts towards coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine. He remains the biggest supporter of using the drug and continues to downplay the severity of the disease despite tens of thousands of Brazilians dying.

“Everyone knew that [the virus] would affect a considerable part of the population sooner or later. For example, if I hadn’t had the test, I wouldn’t know the result, right? And it just turned positive. It tested positive,” he said.

After urging people to continue life as normal by not social distancing as he endlessly takes selfies with his supporters and only using a mask when absolutely necessary, Bolsonaro has not reflected on his policies once testing positive. During Bolsonaro’s announcement that he was infected, he took the opportunity to continue his recurring criticism against authorities for not having calibrated the economic impact that social isolation measures would have.Bolsonaro Needs Help to Overcome Coronavirus Pandemic Despite Loyalty to Trump

“Life continues. Brazil has to produce. You have to start the economy. Some criticized me in the past, saying that the economy recovers, life does not. Look, that is an absolute truth. I know that nobody recovers their life, but if the economy does not work it leads to other causes of death, suicide in Brazil. That was completely forgotten,” he said.

Bolsonaro will spend the next few days in his official residence, the Alvorada Palace, being treated by doctors, a luxury that many Brazilians do not have access to. Bolsonaro will recover like the vast majority of coronavirus sufferers and will likely continue to denounce rival mayors and governors who have been determined to “destroy the economy” with their “exaggerated” restrictions.

At the beginning of the pandemic Bolsonaro was already in the spotlight due to allegedly being infected with coronavirus. He had just returned from an official trip to Miami and more than 20 members of his party had been infected, including some very close ministers. Bolsonaro said that tests had been done and that they were negative. Doubts increased as the government did everything possible to not show the official results. Bolsonaro appealed in all legal instances until the Supreme Court forced him to show the results. In the end, after all the drama and speculation, his test results were shown to be negative.

It is curious that with a negative result Bolsonaro fought fiercely to defend his privacy. Now, with a positive result and when his popularity is drastically falling, he had no problem calling a press conference and calmly answered all questions from reporters. It is not accidental, and he will utilize this to push his agenda to return Brazil to normalcy at a time when tens of thousands of Brazilians are being infected every day.

When the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, Bolsonaro followed the footsteps of US President Donald Trump who brushed off the severity of the virus and insisted that the US would be back to full normalcy by Easter – which as we know did not occur. Bolsonaro has always defended the US and advocates for the maintenance of a Washington-led unipolar order. This policy has seen Brazil sever relations with Venezuela, make attempts to relocate the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and not take the coronavirus seriously. It is therefore unsurprising that Brazil today is one of the worst countries in the world in handling the coronavirus with the second most total cases and deaths, behind only the US in both metrics.

By Bolsonaro openly declaring he is infected with coronavirus before speculation and rumors can take hold like what happened months earlier, he is attempting to control the narrative since he will most likely recover from coronavirus in the shortest period of time and will then emphasize that it truly is a “minor flu,” thus justifying the reopening of the economy. Bolsonaro promised economic growth and political stability when he was elected – he failed in both promises long before coronavirus even started, and both problems have only exacerbated because of the pandemic. He can now blame coronavirus for his failings, and use his own recovery as an example of why Brazil must be returned to full normalcy. This is all in the attempt to recover his declining popularity.

Posted in BrazilComments Off on Bolsonaro Will Politicize His “Alleged” Coronavirus Infection to Regain Lost Popularity

US Policy Toward China Wrecking Bilateral Relations

By Stephen Lendman

Both right wings of the US one-party state are of a single mind in wanting China’s economic, industrial, technological, and military advancement undermined.

Obama’s near-decade ago prioritization of asserting Washington’s Asia/Pacific presence was and remains key Dem and GOP policy.

Cold War politics never went away. It aims to marginalize, contain, isolate, and weaken key rivals China and Russia — as well as other nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to US interests.

That’s what Washington’s imperial project is all about, seeking dominance over all other nations, their resources and populations — wanting challengers to its preeminence neutralized or eliminated.

War by hot and other means is longstanding US policy. Challenging China and Russia this way could lead to WW III no one wants but could happen by accident or design, a frightening possibility.

Time and again, Sino/Russian good faith outreach to the US is rebuffed because it clashes with its aim of dominating other nations over mutual cooperation.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi tried again. On Thursday, he called for reconciling bilateral differences to avoid rupturing relations.

Beijing is not seeking to displace or undermine US superpower status, he said, suggesting ways to resolve differences.

“What is alarming is that the Sino-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world, but is facing the most serious challenges since the establishment of diplomatic relations” over 40 years ago, he stressed, adding:

“China’s policies towards the US have not changed, and we still want to develop China-US relations in a sincere manner.”

Beijing will resume suspended talks “as long as the (Trump regime) is willing.”

“Only through exchanges can we stop lies, and only through dialogue can we avoid misjudgment.”

Wang and other Chinese officials know that good faith outreach to the US is virtually never good enough.

Time and again, it pledges to do one thing, then goes another way, why it can never be trusted whether Dems or Republicans run things.

Wang called for Chinese and US think tanks to compile three lists:

1. Major issues for both nations to address.

2. Issues where disputes exist, ones that can be resolved through dialogue.

3. Irreconcilable differences.

The latter category risks a major breach in bilateral relations, where things have been heading because of US unwillingness to compromise enough or at all.

Wang understands the challenges to Sino/US relations.

Yet he stressed that both sides “should properly manage…disputes and minimize the damage to (bilateral) relations…based on the spirit of seeking common ground while (respecting) differences.”

Both countries can cooperate on numerous fronts, he said, including on containment of COVID-19 outbreaks with the goal of halting them altogether.

On July 6, Trump continued his anti-China Twitterstorm, falsely accusing Beijing of “caus(ing) great damage to the United States and the rest of the world (sic).”

Clearly it’s the other way around. Time and again, the US blames other countries for its own wrongdoing.

Its relations with China show no signs of easing, a topic I continue to revisit and explain what’s going on, a worrisome situation.

Wang knows that things have deteriorated too much to restore normal bilateral relations.

Yet he stressed that both sides should avoid “decoupl(ing).”

If mutual cooperation between both countries remains unattainable on major issues, chances are relations will deteriorate further.

They’re highly unlikely to improve if Biden succeeds Trump in January.

The US is going all-out to prevent China from becoming the world’s major economy.

Trump’s trade war is all about wanting China’s development countered and undermined.

It’s a prescription for preventing resolution of bilateral differences.

US rage for global dominance made them irreconcilable with China, Russia, Iran, and other sovereign independent countries it doesn’t control.

That’s the stuff major wars are made of, a US specialty, notably throughout the post-WW II period.

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on US Policy Toward China Wrecking Bilateral Relations

Open Letter to the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Open Letter to the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and to the IACHR Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts on Nicaragua, the Argentinian Team of Forensic Anthropology and SITU Research of New York

From Nicaraguan civil society and from members of North American and European Networks in solidarity with Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution

By Nicaraguan civil society

IACHR President: Sr. Joel Hernández García
IACHR First Vice-President: Sra. Antonia Urrejola Noguera
IACHR Second Vice-President: Sra. Flávia Piovesan
GIEI members: Sr. Amerigo Incalcaterra, Sra. Sofía Macher, Sr. Pablo Parenti and Sra. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey
EAAF: Sra. Mercedes Doretti, Directora Programática Centro y Norteamérica
SITU: Brad Samuels, partner

IACHR reports on events in Nicaragua

We are writing to express our concern at what we believe to be very serious shortcomings in the video documentary your organizations released on May 30th this year, about events leading to the deaths of three Nicaraguan citizens demonstrating against their government two years earlier on May 30th 2018.

While your video documentary acknowledges there is no conclusive evidence, it still argues that circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly suggests that armed police officers or Sandinista supporters indiscriminately killed those three protesters who died that day, as well as other people also shot dead in the same set of incidents. Your video documentary acknowledges that two Sandinista supporters were also shot dead in related incidents that day, but you have selectively chosen to omit any consideration of how or why they might have been killed.

Your video documentary reinforces the unjust and extremely dishonest claim by Nicaragua’s political opposition, repeated, with no serious attempt at independent corroboration, by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts organized by the Inter American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States, that the country’s Sandinista government deliberately used disproportionate lethal force against peaceful protesters during the violent failed coup attempt between April 18th and July 17th 2018.

We have the following questions about this video documentary and sincerely hope you will respond and answer them in the interests of institutional transparency, democratic debate and genuine accountability.

  • Why does the video documentary mention the killing of two Sandinista supporters without noting that they were probably shot dead by armed opposition activists, completely undercutting the video documentary’s claim that the opposition protesters were unarmed and peaceful? Surely it then becomes practically impossible to dismiss the probability that the three opposition protesters who are the focus of your video documentary were killed in an exchange of gunfire that began in circumstances involving conflicting versions of the events in question? Why does your video documentary systematically exclude any discussion of that fact?
  • Why have you omitted from your video documentary footage, including video reports from the opposition media outlet Radio Corporación and other videos of opposition activists carrying firearms including automatic rifles and firing automatic pistols in the late afternoon of May 30th 2018, near the area from which you claim the fatal shots were fired killing the three protesters who are the focus of your documentary?
  • Why does your video documentary omit mentioning the wounding by gunfire in the same set of incidents covered in your documentary of 20 named police officers, a fact which completely contradicts your suggestion that all the opposition protesters were unarmed and peaceful?
  • Why does your video documentary portray the police and volunteer police with weapons without explaining that the reason they are heavily armed is that just two days previously, in the same area as the incidents covered by your video, one police officer was killed and five police officers wounded by armed opposition activists preventing those police officers from going to the aid of over 20 workers of Nueva Radio Ya which was under attack by armed opposition activists?
  • Why does your video documentary show no footage of police use of firearms which might have been presented to show that there were antecedents for what your organizations argue were the events of May 30th 2018, despite the claim in your video documentary that your organizations have reviewed thousands of videos showing examples of police repression?
  • Why does your video documentary omit mentioning that various official documents, press reports and witness testimony contradict the version of events your video documentary presents?
  • Why does your video documentary omit the strong possibility of a false flag attack similar to that at Puente Llaguno in Caracas during the failed coup attempt in Venezuela in 2002, since any genuinely scientific account of the events analyzed by your video documentary would have noted such contrary hypotheses and explained why they should be discounted?
  • Why does your video documentary not follow up the mention of evidence in the Knox Associates report’s sound analysis of the three shootings of “a firearm discharged near the video camera. It’s difficult to determine what type of firearm it is, … It could be a semi-automatic pistol or a rifle”, apparently referring to a weapon or weapons used by protesters at the demonstration?
  • Why does your video documentary mischaracterize the location of the police confronting the protesters on the Avenida Universitaria? Video footage from May 30, 2018 place them at a road junction 175 meters from the barricade, while a map on your archive website shows the police to be even closer. A comparison of the map in your video with Google maps clearly indicates that it is not to scale, and in fact shows a radius of 145-215 meters, which means that the police were not in the location from which your firearms expert said the fatal shots were fired.
  • Why does your video documentary only investigate the three shots supposedly responsible for killing the three protesters on whom you focus, given that Knox Associates’ evidence, even though it only covers a few minutes, indicates that there were other exchanges of fire, apparently from both sides?
  • In this context, why does the video ignore the admission on page 164 of the original GIEI report, of “the presence of four armed persons among the demonstrators” [GIEI “Informe sobre los hechos de violencia ocurridos entre el 18 de abril y el 30 de mayo de 2018,”], which appears to be referring to the same incident in Avenida Universitaria?
  • Why is the investigation portrayed in your video documentary limited to events on the west side of the national stadium when other shootings were taking place on the east side, and these would have influenced the behavior of the police in the entire area of the stadium, especially if they were actually under fire or had recently been under fire, as they had been on May 28th?
  • SITU Research and EAAF acknowledge financial support from corporate sources in the United States, including the Open Society Foundations, suggesting a strong ideological component in the production of this video. Who funded your organizations to produce it and how much money did they invest?

We look forward very much to your observations in response to our questions.Nicaragua – Virtual Reality and Human Rights

Alliance for Global Justice (USA)                                               

Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group (UK)

And signed by:

Blanca Segovia Sandino Arauz, Daughter of General Augusto C. Sandino, Nicaragua

Camilo Mejia, Human Rights Activist and former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Miami, USA

Patricia Villegas, Presidente TeleSur, Venezuela

S. Brian Willson, war veteran, author, lawyer, Granada, Nicaragua

Foro Sao Paulo – Sao Paulo Forum

As well as by the individuals and organisations in Nicaragua, USA and Europe listed below

Adrian Martínez Rodriguez, Secretario General , Confederación de Trabajadores por Cuenta Propia de Nicaragua CTCP Nicaragua

Al Burke Editor, Nordic News Network Sweden

Alberto Martínez Vargas, Retired Nicaragua

Alexandra Valiente, Editor Internationalist 360° Canada

Andrea Pérez Espinoza, Political scientist Nicaragua

Andreia Vizeu, Educator USA

Anne Mitchell,Deputy principal (retired) USA

Antonio Espinoza,Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria de Nicaragua CONFEDERACIÓN AGROINDUSTRIA Nicaragua

Arnold H. Matlin, M.D., F.A.A.P., Doctor USA

Augusto Enrique Castillo Sandino, Family of General Augusto C. Sandino Nicaragua

Aurora Elena Baltodano Toledo,Solidarity activist Italy

Becca Mohally Renk, Jubilee House Community Nicaragua

Ben Norton, Writer and editor of The Grayzone USA

Calvin McCoy, Nicaragua Solidarity Ireland Ireland

Carlos José Hurtado Ordoñez, Technical assistant Nicaragua

Carlos José Martínez Hernández, Editor, Radio La Primerísima Nicaragua

Cecilia Herrero, Painter Argentina

Coleen Littlejohn, Development economist (retired) Nicaragua

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, New York USA

Coordinamento Associazione Italia, Nicaragua Solidarity group (Milan) Italy

Courtney Childs, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism USA

Dan Kovalik, Human rights lawyer USA

Daniel Hopewell, Director of community development NGO UK

Daniel Shaw, Professor USA

David Paul, Nurse USA

Declan McKenna. Nicaragua Solidarity Ireland Ireland

Diana Bohn, USA

Domingo Francisco Peréz Zapata, Secretario General, Unión Nacional de Empleados Públicos de Nicaragua UNE Nicaragua

Dr Francisco Dominguez, University professor UK

Dr. Agustín Velloso Santisteban, University professor Spain

Edgardo Garcia General Secretary, Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo Nicaragua

Eleanor Lanigan, Cuba Support Group, Ireland

Enrique Castillo Delgado, Technician, husband of Blanca Segovia Sandino Arauz Nicaragua

Erika Takeo, Coordinator, Friends of the ATC Nicaragua

Evile Umaña,, Secretaria General, Central de Trabajadores de Salud de Nicaragua FETSALUD Nicaragua

Fausto Torrez, Secretary of International Relations, Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo Nicaragua

Fredy Franco, Secretario General, Federación de Profesionales Docentes de la Educación Superior FEPDES-ATD Nicaragua

Friends of Latin America, Solidarity organization USA

Gimmi Maria Cristini, Solidarity activist Italy

Herman van de Velde, Pedagogue / retired academic Nicaragua

Janet Pavone, Painter UK

Jennifer Atlee, Friendship Office of the Americas USA

Jeremy Cerna, Writer Germany

John Perry, Housing and migration researcher Nicaragua

Jon Barrenechea, Film marketing executive UK

Jorge Capelán, Journalist Nicaragua

José Angel Bermudez, Secretario Ejecutivo, Frente Nacional de los Trabajadores FNT Nicaragua

Judith Bello, Antiwar activist USA

Julio César Castillo Sandino, Family of General Augusto C. Sandino Nicaragua
Karen Sharpe, Editor, France

Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance USA

Lauren Smith, Independent journalist USA

Leonardo Flores, Political analyst USA

Les Blough, Journalist Venezuela

Lisa Klein, Student Germany

Lucy Pagoad,a Teacher USA

Luis Adolfo Barboza Chavarría, Secretario general, Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores José Benito Escobar, CST-JBE Nicaragua

Madeliene Kießling Klein, Retired Germany

Magda Lanuza, Community worker and writer Nicaragua

Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance USA

Maria de los Angeles Obando Medina, Secretario general Confederación de Trabajadores de la Pesca de Nicaragua, CONFEPESCA Nicaragua

Maritza Castillo, Nicaraguan activist Nicaragua

Maritza Espinales, Secretaria General, Federación de Sindicatos de Trabajadores Universitarios FESITUN Nicaragua

Mark Mayer, Solidarity activist USA

Martin Mowforth, Environmental Network for Central America. UK

Martin Roger, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign UK

Max Blumenthal, Writer and editor of The Grayzone USA

Michael Boudreau, Compas de Nicaragua Nicaragua

Miguel Mairena, United Methodist missionary Mexico

Mike Woodard, Jubilee House Community Nicaragua

Mitchel Cohen, Author USA

Nan McCurdy, United Methodist Missionary Mexico

Nora Mitchell McCurdy, Researcher Nicaragua
Paul Richard Harris, Journalist, Canada

Paul Peulevé Baker, Ode to Earth coordinator Nicaragua

Professor Jose Antonio Zepeda, Secretario General, Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de Nicaragua CGTEN-ANDEN Nicaragua

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Canada

Richard Kohn, Ph.D University professor USA

Richard Lanigan Physician/chiropractor UK

Richard Luckemeier, P.E. Water utility engineer USA

Rita Jill Clark-Gollub, Translator USA
Robert Navan,, Nicaragua Solidarity Ireland, Ireland

Roger Stoll, Writer USA

Sandra Edith Baltodano Gutierrez Solidarity activist Italy

Scott Hagaman, Physician USA

Sofía M Clark, Political researcher Nicaragua

Stansfield Smith, Writer USA

Stephen Sefton,Community worker and writer Nicaragua

Susan Lagos, Retired teacher, Friends of the ATC, activist, translator Nicaragua

Walter Ramiro Castillo Sandino, Family of General Augusto C. Sandino Nicaragua

William Camacaro, Venezuela Solidarity activist USA

William Grigsby Vado,Presidente Asociación de Profesionales de la Radiodifusión Nicaragüense (APRANIC) y Director General Radio La Primerísima Nicaragua

Zoltan Tiroler, Swedish-Cuban Friendship Association Sweden

Posted in USA, Human Rights, Nicaragua, PoliticsComments Off on Open Letter to the President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The “Second Wave”: Politics Influences the “Science” of COVID-19. Flawed Data, Flawed Models

By Josh Mitteldorf

Many of us are still shell-shocked by the changes in our lives that have been imposed this spring. We’re reacting to each unexpected event as it comes. But to anyone who has stepped back to make sense of this web of contradictory messages that pour out of our newsfeeds, it is clear that the government agencies and corporate news media are slanting their message toward fear. I am particularly concerned when they do this at the expense of honesty. This is a moment for the scientific community to be engaging in spirited dialog among diverse voices. Only with open debatei can we hope to shed light to guide the momentous public policy decisions that are being made, directing our culture and global economy into unexplored territory. But instead of robust debate, what I see is a monolithic message, and censorship of the few brave scientists who dissent from that message. I’m ashamed to say that the scientific community has been part of the problem.

I’m writing here about two issues:

(1) Numbers reported by CDC have been gamed to make it appear that America is in the second wave of a pandemic. Instead of reporting COVID deaths, they began reported COVID cases. Then they conflated recovered individuals (who test positive for antibodies) with current cases (who test positive for the active virus). No wonder numbers are rising!

(2) A new report featured prominently in Nature purports to show that lockdowns have stemmed the spread of the virus and have saved lives. The article is by the same team whose flawed models produced apocalyptic predictions last March that justified lockdowns in Europe and the US. The new computer model assumes from the start that the number of COVID deaths would have expanded exponentially from their March levels, and that social distancing is the only factor responsible for lower death rates. That is, it assumes exactly what it purports to prove. Where is accountability? Why is this perspective promoted in the world’s most prestigious journal, while reasonable doubts are swept aside?

Part One—CDC reporting

The global death rate from COVID-19 is down to about 4,000 per day. It is not even among the top ten causes. COVID is lower than traffic deaths, lower than diarrhea. Even compared to other respiratory infections, COVID is now a minority.

In the US, daily COVID deaths peaked in April, and are now down to 1/10 the peak rate, at about 400/day. COVID is now the sixth leading cause of death in America, but it no longer registers as a bump in total mortality.

But the headlines claim we are in the midst of a “second wave”, based on reported numbers of cases.

Deaths from COVID are being over-reported. Hospitals are incentivized to diagnose COVID with Medicare reimbursement rates that are higher than other diseases, and guaranteed coverage from every major insurer. Doctors are being instructed to report COVID as a cause of death when no testing is done, and when chronic illnesses contributed to the outcome. And with all this, the number of deaths continues to fall, even as the reported number of cases is rising. Why is this?

In part, the lower fatality rate is real. Doctors are learning from experience how to treat the disease. More chloroquine and zinc, less intubation. Like all viruses, this one is evolving toward greater contagion and lower lethality. But the most important explanation is an artifact in the way COVID cases are being reported. Before May 18, the “case count” was based on tests for the live virus, and counted only sick people. Then the definition was changed to count both people who tested positive for the virus and for antibodies to the virus. The latter group is mostly people who have recovered from COVID, or who developed antibodies with exposure. As the number of recovered patients increases, of course the rate of positive tests will increase.

Part Two—Models that “prove” lockdown has saved lives

In the past, Neil Ferguson’s group at Imperial College of London has produced scary computer models that overestimated the epidemics of Mad Cow Disease, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, and the 2003 SARS outbreak. In March, his group’s computer model was justification for England, Europe and America to shut down economies, prevent people talking and meeting, prohibit concerts and theater and church and every kind of public gathering, throw tens of millions of people out of work, deny the rights to freedom of assembly that are fundamental to democratic governance. His manuscript was not even peer reviewed, but only posted on a university server. Even before its details and assumptions were made known, the integrity of the model was assailed by other experts, including Stephen Eubank (UVA Biocomplexity Institute) and Yaneer Bar-Yam (New England Complex Systems Inst). After details of the assumptions were revealed at the end of April, the model was widely scorned by real experts (e.g. Andrew Gelman) and self-appointed pundits (Elon Musk).How Deadly Is the Coronavirus? It’s Still Far from Clear

I have enough experience with computer models to know that results are often highly leveraged with respect to details of the input. Sensitivity analysis is essential for interpreting results, but is almost never done. Too often, the output is reported without the qualification that small changes to the input produce very different results.

Against this background, the high-profile publication in Nature of Ferguson’s recent work is suspicious. I would have thought he had no credibility left among serious modelers of epidemiology, but I have ceased to be surprised when politics trumps competence for access to the most prestigious publication venues.

The Ferguson Article Vindicating Lockdown

They analyze spread of COVID in 11 Eurpoean countries this Spring, averaging over different countries but not contrasting the different local strategies. They take death counts as surrogate for case counts because reports of case counts are even more unreliable than death counts. But (one of several crucial failures) they don’t apply a time lag between death counts and case counts.

They take as input for each country the dates on which each of three different isolation strategies was implemented. They assume that the virus would have spread exponentially but for these measures, and credit the isolation measures with the entire difference between reported death rates and the theoretical exponential curve.

They conclude that Europe has dodged a bullet, that less than 4% of people had been infected, and by implication the lockdown has saved the other 96%. They imply but don’t state explicitly that there would have been about 4 million deaths in Europe instead of ~150,000 reported when the paper was written.

It is obvious that lockdown and social isolation slow the spread of the disease, but not obvious that they affect the eventual reach of the disease. Thus it is an open question whether the public policy prevented or only delayed deaths from COVID. This question can be addressed most directly by comparing regions that were locked down with regions that remained open. Instead of doing this, the Ferguson group lumped all regions together and compared their results with an unrealistic scenario in which the exponential curve would have expanded to infect every susceptible person in Europe.

Two schools of thought

There are fundamentally two hypotheses about the epidemiological events of this spring: Either the number of people exposed has been high and the fatality rate low, or else the number of people exposed has been low and the fatality rate higher. People in the first camp argue that the exposed population is over 50% in Europe and America, approaching or exceeding herd immunity, and the population death rate is in the range 0.0005. In the second camp, people estimate the population exposure about ten times lower (5%) and the fatality rate correspondingly higher (0.005).

The story told by people in the first camp is that social distancing slowed but did not prevent transmission of the disease through the population. By now, the presence of the virus is waning because people in many places have already been exposed.

The story of Ferguson and others in the second camp is that social distancing actually stopped spread of the virus, so that most people in Europe and American have never been exposed. It follows that if we ease restrictions, there is another wave of infections ahead, potentially 20 times larger than the first wave.

The deep flaw of the recent Ferguson paper is that his team does not consider the first scenario at all. Built into their model, they assume that population level immunity is negligible, and the only thing that has slowed spread of the virus has been social distancing. This is where they put the rabbit in the hat.

If they had considered the alternative hypothesis, how would it have compared?

To choose between the two hypotheses, we might compare a region before and after lockdown, or we might compare regions that locked down with regions that didn’t.

In a preprint response to Ferguson, Homburg and Kuhbandner do a good job with the first approach. They take Ferguson to task for not considering the immunity that spreads through the population along with the disease. They show that exponential expansion had already slowed in England before the effect of the lockdown on mortality data could have been felt.

Lockdown went into effect in Britain on March 23. If lockdown had a benefit, it would be in preventing new cases, and its effect on the death rate would show up about 23 days later (April 14), because 23 days is the median time to fatality for those patients who die of COVID. In the graph, we see that the death rate had already leveled off by April 14.

On this log graph, an exponential increase would appear as a straight line sloping upward. It’s clear that the exponential expansion phase ended long before the lockdown could have had any effect. Not only weren’t the numbers expanding exponentially, but the death rate had already started to decline before April 14, when the effect of lockdown was expected to kick in. The authors state they performed the same analysis for 10 other countries in the Ferguson study with similar results, though they show the graph for Great Britain alone.

“We demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.”
— [Homburg and Kuhbandner]

Here in the US, there was a natural experiment when people emerged into the streets to protest racism and police brutality at the end of May. Social distancing in this environment has been impossible. Allowing for a 23-day lag, we should have seen a surge in US mortality starting mid-June. In the plot below, there appears to be a leveling off of the death rate since mid-June, but no new disaster. This alone is strong evidence that US has substantial herd immunity, and that most of the population has already been exposed to the virus.

A second way to distinguish between the two hypotheses is to compare regions that locked down with regions that didn’t. One of their 11 European countries was Sweden, where the economy was kept open and quarantine was limited to people who were symptomatic with COVID. It is a glaring defect in the Nature paper that Sweden is lumped in with the other ten countries when it should have been contrasted. In fact, the mortality curve for Sweden was typical for the other ten countries, even as commercial and cultural institutions in Sweden continued normal operations. Sweden has had a higher death rate than Austria, Germany, France, and Denmark, but lower than Belgium, Italy, Spain, or UK. There is no evidence that Sweden’s COVID mortality was higher for having bucked the trend to remain open, but some indication that Germany and Austria had particularly effective containment policies.

We can ask the same question of the different states in the USA. Comparing death rates from COVID in the 42 states that locked down with 8 states that did not lock down, this article finds that the death rates in locked down states was 4 times higher. (Caveat: there was no correction for urban vs rural or for demographic differences.) The author concludes, “With the evidence coming in that the lockdowns were neither economically nor medically effective, it is going to be increasingly difficult for lockdown partisans to marshal the evidence to convince the public that isolating people, destroying businesses, and destroying social institutions was worth it.”

I’ve prepared a comparison of all states ranked by COVID mortality which you can view here.

The Politics of COVID

In 1933, Roosevelt told America we had nothing to fear but fear itself. It is common for government leaders to dispel panic because they know that a nation can better thrive when people feel confident and secure. Even G.W. Bush responded to the terror attacks of 9/11 by telling the American people, “keep shopping.” On the other side, despots sow fear in their subjects when they want to consolidate autocratic power, and when they want to stir up fervor for war.

It is clear from messaging in the corporate media that the COVID pandemic is being hyped to create more fear than is warranted.

  • The fatality rate was vastly overestimated initially, and even now is probably overestimated at 0.002 to 0.005
  • Doctors were told to report deaths from COVID without proof that COVID was the cause
  • Reimbursement incentives for hospitals to diagnose COVID
  • Repeated warnings of a second wave, etc, which has not materialized.
  • Suppression of tests for well-studied, cheap treatments (chloroquine) while jumping into large-scale tests of vaccines that have not yet been tested on animals.
  • No mention of vitamin D, which is a simple, cheap, and effective way people can lower their risk. [refrefref]. Our own CDC is silent, while the British equivalent agency actively discourages vitamin D for COVID prevention.
  • The biggest scandal of all is that lockdown has been authorized in the US and elsewhere based on hypothetical safety benefits with no consideration of costs. Our health is affected by our communities, our cultural lives, our social lives, and our livelihoods. [Yale epidemiologist David Katz politely makes this point.]

Shamefully, the scientific community has been complicit in the campaign of fear. A handful of courageous doctors and epidemiologists have been outspoken. In addition to Katz, John Ioannidis and Knut Wittkowski are best known to me. But the most trusted journals continue to publish articles that are based on politics rather than sound science.

Who is benefiting from the international panic? Who is behind the media campaign and the distortion of science, and what is their intention?

I invite people who are more politically astute than I to speculate on these questions.

Posted in USA, HealthComments Off on The “Second Wave”: Politics Influences the “Science” of COVID-19. Flawed Data, Flawed Models

Washington’s War on Huawei Continues

By Ulson Gunnar

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

CNET in an article titled, “White House reportedly considering federal intervention in 5G,” would explain:

5G networks across the US could get a boost from the federal government, according to a report Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. Trump administration officials are considering the move so they can compete better against Huawei globally, the report says.

The Trump administration has reportedly met with US networking companies including Cisco to discuss the acquisition of Western European networking giants Ericsson and Nokia. It’s also looking into giving tax breaks and financing to Ericsson and Nokia, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

The article notes that the US government also sought to organize a meeting with other tech giants in addition to Nokia and Ericsson including Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung to discuss “combatting” Huawei.

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

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

A Need for Competition, Not Coercion 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CNET article would also repeat the justification for Washington’s growing hostility and aggressive tactics turned toward Huawei, claiming:

Huawei was blacklisted last year by the US when it was added to the United States’ “entity list”. In addition, President Donald Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge.  

These “national security concerns” have been expressed now for years by the US yet no evidence has been presented.

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

ABC (Australia) in its article, “Huawei and Apple smartphones are both made in China, so what is the difference?,” would note:

Professor Clive Williams from the Australian National University’s Centre for Military and Security Law told the ABC that to his knowledge, no evidence has yet been provided of Huawei conducting espionage.

“Huawei is ahead of the field in 5G research so it could be an uncheckable way of reining it in and limiting its market share.

Uncheckable accusations (or later, proven-to-be-false accusations) have become the bread and butter of US foreign policy helping to grease the wheels of everything from economic warfare to literal wars.

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

MIT’s Technology Review magazine in a 2013 article titled, “NSA’s Own Hardware Backdoors May Still Be a “Problem from Hell”,” would admit (my emphasis):

In 2011, General Michael Hayden, who had earlier been director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, described the idea of computer hardware with hidden “backdoors” planted by an enemy as “the problem from hell.” This month, news reports based on leaked documents said that the NSA itself has used that tactic, working with U.S. companies to insert secret backdoors into chips and other hardware to aid its surveillance efforts.

In other words the US is in fact guilty and has been for quite some time of exactly what it is accusing Huawei of allegedly doing. Yet nations around the globe have not attempted to cripple or shutter US tech companies or even ban them from their markets.

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

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

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

Posted in USA, C.I.A, ChinaComments Off on Washington’s War on Huawei Continues

COVID-19 Cases in Africa Rising Sharply

Infections now surpass a half million while the United States formally breaks with the World Health Organization (WHO)

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Concerns are mounting across the African continent and internationally over the exponential growth in COVID-19 infections.

At the time of this writing the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) reported a total of 508,584 cases resulting in 12,000 deaths. This same source says that 247,207 of those previously diagnosed as positive are now considered fully recovered. (See this)

These figures related to the numbers of COVID-19 deaths are greater than the worst outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in three West African states in 2014-2015. Approximately 11,000 died from the EVD pandemic, most of whom were residents in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Conakry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in a regional situation report noted that within the last five months the number of COVID-19 cases in African Union (AU) member-states has lagged behind other geo-political areas. However, over the last few weeks, the rate of infections has doubled in 22 countries. (See this)

Some of the leading economic and political states in Africa such as Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria account for 71% of the cases on the continent. The Republic of South Africa, the most industrialized country in the AU, is reporting 43% of the overall number of infections.

Nonetheless, the spread of the pandemic in Africa is not uniform. Some countries which have previously reported very few cases are now witnessing a growing number of infections.

WHO Africa Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said of the present situation:

“With more than a third of countries in Africa doubling their cases over the past month, the threat of COVID-19 overwhelming fragile health systems on the continent is escalating. So far the continent has avoided disaster and if countries continue to strengthen key public health measures such as testing, tracing contacts and isolating cases, we can slow down the spread of the virus to a manageable level.”

88% of the cases on the continent are among people under 60 years of age. This could be attributed to the predominantly youth population in Africa. However, those facing the greatest risk of death are over 60, while having co-morbidities that place them at higher risk for critical respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses requiring hospitalization.

As the infections spread the more healthcare workers are becoming sick. There are also the problems related to the shortages in personal protective equipment for clinics and hospitals along with equipment and medications needed to treat patients.

The WHO has been providing assistance to AU member-states since the beginning of the pandemic during the early months of the year. The organization has contributed technical assistance, the supplying of medical equipment including 3,000 oxygen concentrators, the remote instructional training of 25,000 healthcare workers, distributing 23,000 diagnostic testing machines and 4 million units of PPE.

These efforts by the WHO are taking place at a time of tremendous political and economic attacks by the United States President Donald Trump. The administration in Washington has attempted to scapegoat the WHO for purportedly misleading the international community about the character and threat of COVID-19.

Not only has the Director General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, strongly rejected the accusations from the White House by chronicling the historical trajectory of the identification and sharing of the scientific details related to the existence and spread of the virus. In actuality, it was the Trump administration which consistently denied the initial warnings about the dangers posed by the pandemic and since late March, provided contradictory statements and policies related to the mitigation efforts recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and even the White House Task Force on the Coronavirus headed by Ambassador Dr. Deborah Birks.

On July 8, the White House in its usual fashion, refuted previous statements made by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci related to the risks involved in social gatherings, work places and the proposed reopening of K-12 and higher educational institutions. The guidelines issued by the CDC in the U.S. for the resumption of school room instruction were amended by the White House because Vice President Mike Pence, the Chair of the White House Task Force, said the measures would delay the resumption of classes.Africa Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Also the previous day, July 7, the administration announced its formal severing of ties with the WHO in which funding had been suspended during April as COVID-19 cases spiraled out of control in many urban and rural areas of the U.S. Trump has repeatedly asserted that the WHO is aligned with the People’s Republic of China as if this is an established fact warranting the separation.

Africa, COVID-19 and the World

How does the African continent compare with other geo-political regions in regard to the attempts to suppress COVID-19? Although the first confirmed instances of the virus were reported in Wuhan, China during late 2019, the number of cases in Europe and the U.S. has far exceeded those in any other regions in the world.

African women in Tanzania wash hands during COVID-19 pandemic

Trump has fanned the flames of racism and xenophobia by referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” while experts indicate that the pandemic in all likelihood entered the U.S. through the European continent. In Asia, there are vast differences in regard to the spread of the disease in China, Vietnam and the Koreas as opposed to the rapid rate of infections in India.

India, whose government under Prime Minister Narenda Modi, has won praise from the Trump administration on a number of foreign policy issues, particularly its hostility towards China. However, India is one of the fastest rising countries in regard to the numbers of cases globally.

The Indian Express newspaper stated in an article on July 8 that:

“The coronavirus has infected nearly 11.8 million people worldwide and killed over 500,000. The United States has the most number of infections, over three million, followed by Brazil (1.6 million), India (700,000) and Russia (600,000). Dr. Michael Ryan, emergencies chief of the WHO, said the rise in cases was not due to widespread testing, but because the epidemic was ‘accelerating’”.

In another article from the same Indian Express newspaper, the publication reports that Bengal has been placed on severe restrictions due to the spread of the virus among the population. All together as of July 8, over 20,000 people have died from the pandemic.

This media account says:

“Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-affected state with 217,121 cases including 9,250 deaths. Bihar on Wednesday (July 8) announced fresh lockdowns in several regions, including the worst-hit Patna district from July 10. Lockdowns will also be imposed in containment zones in West Bengal for seven days from 5pm Thursday. As the number of diagnostic tests for novel Coronavirus is increasing in the country, so is the positivity rate. This means more numbers of people, from among those who are being tested, are found to be infected with the disease. The positivity rate had crossed the 6 per cent mark for the first time on June 20, and has risen swiftly thereafter. At present, the positivity rate is around 7.09 per cent.”

Latin American countries have maintained different outcomes in their response to the pandemic. Cuban officials are reporting that the spread of the virus has been greatly curtailed and preparations are being made for a return to some sense of normalcy.

Granma International in a July 3 article credited Cuba’s scientific approach and its socialist system with controlling the impact of the pandemic. A high-level meeting of scientists reviewed the statistics related to the rise and decline of the pandemic inside the Caribbean state.

Nevertheless, the government does not want the public to believe that a lessening of restrictions on movement and work should mean that precautions and protective measures are no longer needed. This report says of the scientific meeting:

“As usual in these gatherings, Raúl Guinovart Díaz, dean of the University of Havana’s department of Mathematics and Computing, presented the well-known curve graphs depicting the evolution of active cases in Cuba, emphasizing that it would be a mistake for the population to think that in the recovery stage no preventative measures are needed, adding that special attention should be paid to crowded closed spaces, where outbreaks can occur.” (See this)

A completely different approach has prevailed in the South American state of Brazil, one of the largest nations in the world with a population of 212 million. Brazil has the second highest number of cases worldwide and on July 7, it was reported that the right-wing and neo-fascist President Jair Bolsonaro had tested positive for the virus after months of minimizing the threat of the pandemic in a fashion quite similar to Trump.

Imperialism Remains at the Core of the Healthcare Crisis

Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Africa remains far behind those in India, the U.S. and Brazil, the magnitude of the growth in confirmed illnesses and deaths requires an intensification of efforts to control the spread. Such an effort is hampered by the continuing economic dependency of the AU member-states under the system of world imperialism.

Under colonialism and neo-colonialism, priorities were placed on the extraction of natural wealth and the exploitation of labor based upon the economic interests of the European and North American ruling classes. The gross domestic products of the African countries are largely derived from their participation in the international economy which is still dominated by the leading capitalist nations.

Consequently, the role of socialist countries such as Cuba and China in addressing the plight of Africa in the present period is essential. Both China and Cuba are providing medical and technical assistance through the WHO and other institutions to address the needs of the AU member-states.

The economic downturn in the U.S. is worsening and therefore the ability and desire to provide humanitarian assistance is waning. Washington’s withdrawal from the WHO is a reflection of the internal crises as well as mounting hostility towards socialism and anti-imperialism.

Africa will be forced to further disengage from the imperialist system in order to guarantee its own survival and development. Socialism provides the only alternative to the current structures of exploitation and oppression. Only a policy of anti-capitalist development can embark upon the path of building adequate healthcare institutions which will ensure universal healthcare for all.

Posted in Africa, HealthComments Off on COVID-19 Cases in Africa Rising Sharply

America’s Supernational Sovereignty

One of the most disturbing aspects of American foreign policy since 9/11 has been the assumption that decisions made by the United States are binding on the rest of the world

…by Phil Giraldi, …with the Unz Review

[ Editor’s Note: Phil has a great review on how the American Courts have been subverted to use as a foreign policy offensive tool for not only certain political interests inside the US to enrich certain parties, but also Israel.

The whole setup reeks of an intelligence operation run by Americans and Israelis against the American judicial system, using it to punish targeted enemies of Israel, while it is allowed to engage in its own terrorist activities with sovereign immunity.

What first got my attention on this years ago is where a Palestinian in the US, an academic I think, donated to a Hamas charity that supported medical care for the long suffering Palestinians in Gaza. His donation was used to charge him with supporting terrorism.

The world Muslim community has a long history of supporting the unfortunate and needy via long established mosque networks. It is considered a religious duty. Helping Palestinian victims of Israeli brutality is expensive, whereas so-called terror operations are just the opposite, as admitted by Israel in a 1995 NY Times article.

“Hamas doesn’t need much money to run its terrorist activities,” a senior Israeli military official said in an interview in Tel Aviv. “It’s pocket money. To have a cell of suicide bombers you need four guys and four Kalashnikovs and one booby-trapped car. Give me $7,000 and I can run it for a year.”

After 9-11, the Israelis saw an opportunity to use the American legal system to hammer Hamas’ charitable work via “anti-terrorism laws” creating a big net to snare even those donating to Hamas medical clinics (that charge $1 per visit) and schools, as “aiding and abetting” terrorism.

Even if donors did not know funds might have been misdirected, they could still be charged and convicted. Only the Israeli Lobby could have pushed something like this through our too often malleable Congress.

Meanwhile the US funds the Israeli military including its blank check to terrorize Palestinians, having army snipers shooting children during Gaza fence protests. If that were happening to Jewish children anywhere in the world, there would be a howl for legal vengeance inside the US government.

None of these so-called anti-terrorism laws are ever applied to Israeli terrorism against any Americans “inadvertently” funding West bank settler entities that commit terrorist acts against the Palestinians. These laws are a fraud, nothing more than the work of Israeli intelligence operations inside the US, which go unpunished Jim W. Dean ]

If this were being done to Jewish children anywhere, there would be world outrage and calls for sanctions, but not for Palestinian kids. The smoke in the back is from an Israeli strike on the fishing boat area, killing this kid for nothing.

– First published … June 15th, 2020 –

One of the most disturbing aspects of American foreign policy since 9/11 has been the assumption that decisions made by the United States are binding on the rest of the world, best exemplified by President George W. Bush’s warning that “there was a new sheriff in town.”

Apart from time of war, no other nation has ever sought to prevent other nations from trading with each other, nor has any government sought to punish foreigners using sanctions with the cynical arrogance demonstrated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The United States uniquely seeks to penalize other sovereign countries for alleged crimes that did not occur in the U.S. and that did not involve American citizens, while also insisting that all nations must comply with whatever penalties are meted out by Washington.

At the same time, it demonstrates its own hypocrisy by claiming sovereign immunity whenever foreigners or even American citizens seek to use the courts to hold it accountable for its many crimes.

The conceit by the United States that it is the acknowledged judge, jury and executioner in policing the international community began in the post-World War 2 environment, when hubristic American presidents began referring to themselves as “leaders of the free world.”

This pretense received legislative and judicial backing with passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987 (ATA) as amended in 1992 plus subsequent related legislation, to include the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act of 2016 (JASTA).

The body of legislation can be used to obtain civil judgments against alleged terrorists for attacks carried out anywhere in the world and can be employed to punish governments, international organizations and even corporations that are perceived to be supportive of terrorists, even indirectly or unknowingly. Plaintiffs are able to sue for injuries to their “person, property, or business” and have ten years to bring a claim.

Sometimes the connections and level of proof required by a U.S. court to take action are tenuous, and that is being polite. Suits currently can claim secondary liability for third parties, including banks and large corporations, under “material support” of terrorism statutes. This includes “aiding and abetting” liability as well as providing “services” to any group that the United States considers to be terrorist, even if the terrorist label is dubious and/or if that support is inadvertent.

The ability to sue in American courts for redress of either real or imaginary crimes has led to the creation of a lawfare culture in which lawyers representing a particular cause seek to bankrupt an opponent through both legal expenses and damages. To no one’s surprise, Israel is a major litigator against entities that it disapproves of.

The Israeli government has even created and supports an organization called Shurat HaDin, which describes on its website how it uses the law to bankrupt opponents.

The Federal Court for the Southern District of Manhattan has become the clearing house for suing the pants off of any number of foreign governments and individuals with virtually no requirement that the suit have any merit beyond claims of “terrorism.”

In February 2015, a lawsuit initiated by Shurat HaDin led to the conviction of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization of liability for terrorist attacks in Israel between 2000 and 2004. The New York Federal jury awarded damages of $218.5 million, but under a special feature of the Anti-Terrorism Act the award was automatically tripled to $655.5 million. Shurat HaDin claimed sanctimoniously that it was “bankrupting terror.”

The most recent legal victory for Israel and its friends occurred in a federal district court in the District of Columbia on June 1st, where Syria and Iran were held to be liable for the killing of American citizens in Palestinian terrorist attacks that have taken place in Israel.

Judge Randolph D. Moss ruled that Americans wounded and killed in seven attacks carried out by Palestinians inside the Jewish state were eligible for damages from Iran and Syria because they provided “material support” to militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The court will at a future date determine the amount of the actual damages.

It should be observed that the alleged crime took place in a foreign country, Israel, and the attribution of blame came from Israeli official sources. Also, there was no actual evidence that Syria and Iran were in any way actively involved in planning or directly enabling the claimed attacks, which is why the expression “material support,” which is extremely elastic, was used.

In this case, both Damascus and Tehran are definitely guilty as charged in recognizing and having contact with the Palestinian resistance organizations though it has never been credibly asserted that they have any influence over their actions.

Syria and Iran were, in fact, not represented in the proceedings, a normal practice as neither country has diplomatic representation in the U.S. and the chances of a fair hearing given the existing legislation have proven to be remote.

And one might well ask if the legislation can be used against Israel, with American citizens killed by the Israelis (Rachel Corrie, Furkan Dogan) being able to sue the Jewish state’s government for compensation and damages.

Nope. U.S. courts have ruled in similar cases that Israel’s army and police are not terrorist organizations, nor do they materially support terrorists, so the United States’ judicial system has no jurisdiction to try them. That result should surprise no one as the legislation was designed to specifically target Muslims and Muslim groups.

In any event, the current court ruling which might total hundreds of millions of dollars could prove to be difficult to collect due to the fact that both Syria and Iran have little in the way of remaining assets in the U.S.

In previous similar suits, most notably in June 2017, a jury deliberated for one day before delivering a guilty verdict against two Iranian foundations for violation of U.S. sanctions, allowing a federal court to authorize the U.S. government seizure of a skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. It was the largest terrorism-related civil forfeiture in United States history.

The presiding judge decided to distribute proceeds from the building’s sale, nearly $1 billion, to the families of victims of terrorism, including the September 11th attacks. The court ruled that Iran had some culpability for the 9/11 attacks solely based on its status as a State Department listed state sponsor of terrorism, even though the court could not demonstrate that Iran was in any way directly involved.

A second court case involved Syria, ruling that Damascus was liable for the targeting and killing of an American journalist who was in an active war zone covering the shelling of a rebel held area of Homs in 2012. The court awarded $302.5 million to the family of the journalist, Marie Colvin.

In her ruling, Judge Amy Berman Jackson cited “Syria’s longstanding policy of violence” seeking “to intimidate journalists” and “suppress dissent.” A so-called human rights group funded by the U.S. and other governments called the Center for Justice and Accountability based its argument, as in the case of Iran, on relying on the designation of Damascus as a state sponsor of terrorism. The judge believed that the evidence presented was “credible and convincing.”

Another American gift to international jurisprudence has been the Magnitsky Act of 2012, a product of the feel-good enthusiasm of the Barack Obama Administration. It was based on a narrative regarding what went on in Russia under the clueless Boris Yeltsin and his nationalist successor Vladimir Putin that was peddled by one Bill Browder, who many believe to have been a major player in the looting of the former Soviet Union.

It was claimed by Browder and his accomplices in the media that the Russian government had been complicit in the arrest, torture and killing of one Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant turned whistleblower working for Browder.

Almost every aspect of the story has been challenged, but it was completely bought into by the Congress and White House and led to sanctions on the Russians who were allegedly involved despite Moscow’s complaints that the U.S. had no legal right to interfere in its internal affairs relating to a Russian citizen.

Worse still, the Magnitsky Act has been broadened and is now the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2017. It is being used to sanction and otherwise punish alleged “human rights abusers” in other countries and has a very low bar for establishing credibility. It was most recently used in the Jamal Khashoggi case, in which the U.S. sanctioned the alleged killers of the Saudi dissident journalist even though no one had actually been arrested or convicted of any crime.

The long-established principle that Washington should respect the sovereignty of other states even when it disagrees with their internal or foreign policies has effectively been abandoned. And, as if things were not bad enough, some recent legislation virtually guarantees that in the near future the United States will be doing still more to interfere in and destabilize much of the world.

Congress passed and President Trump has signed the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act, which seeks to improve Washington’s response to mass killings. The prevention of genocide and mass murder is now a part of American national security agenda.

There will be a Mass Atrocity Task Force and State Department officers will receive training to sensitize them to impending genocide, though presumably the new program will not apply to the Palestinians as the law’s namesake never was troubled by their suppression and killing by the state of Israel.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, PoliticsComments Off on America’s Supernational Sovereignty

Turkish Proxies Create Chaos in Northeastern Syria

By South Front

Chaos is spreading through the Turkish-occupied part of northern Syria.

Late on July 7, a car bomb explosion rocked the town of Tell Abyad killing at least seven people. Pro-Turkish sources immediately accused the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) of plotting this attack. However, such claims seem quite shaky given the ongoing armed confrontations between various Turkish-backed groups all vying for control over limited resources in the Turkish-occupied part of Syria.

Just recently, Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn were the site of armed confrontations between Turkish proxies. It is likely that these same groups could employ IEDs, car bombs and night raids in their internal struggle while blaming their use on the YPG and even ISIS.

A new US convoy with weapons and equipment entered northeastern Syria from Iraq. According to the available data, the convoy consisted of at least 27 vehicles and proceeded to the US military base at Qasraq Tal Baider. On July 8, sources close to the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces reported that some of the weapons will, as always, be delivered to the Kurdish group.Video Player00:0003:53

The Syrian Army killed 3 ISIS members and detained 3 others in an operation against the terrorist group’s cells in the countryside of al-Sukhna in Homs province. Syrian state media claimed that the terrorists entered the government-controlled territory from the area of al-Tanf, which remains in the hands of the US-led coalition.Syrian Army Kicks Off Large-Scale Security Operation against ISIS in Homs Desert

Syrian and Russian sources have consistently been accusing the US of indirectly and even directly assisting ISIS cells operating against the Syrian Army on the western bank of the Euphrates. According to them, Washington has been doing this to undermine the stability in the part of the country controlled by the Damascus government and to instigate a new armed conflict in central Syria.

Meanwhile, at least one member of the National Defense Forces (NDF) reportedly died in an IED explosion in southern Raqqa, where the NDF and the army are also conducting a security operation against ISIS cells.

On July 7, the Russian Military Police and the Turkish Army conducted another extended patrol along the M4 highway in southern Idlib. The patrol started near Saraqib and covered about 66km reaching Bidama in the western countryside of Jisr al-Shughur.

Turkey has apparently come to at least a partial understanding with al-Qaeda-linked groups in Greater Idlib. This has allowed it to facilitate the implementation of joint patrols in the framework of the March agreement with Russia.

Now, Ankara will likely make another attempt to rebrand various terrorist organizations operating in Idlib as the so-called moderate opposition and neutralize factions which do not support this initiative. In previous years, numerous efforts by the US, Turkey and other ‘supporters of Syrian democracy’ to do this have failed. However, this time Ankara has deployed its own armed forces in the area and the terrorist groups have been weakened by a long string of losses to the Syrian Army. So, the Erdogan government may really achieve this goal if it has enough time and the situation does not get out of control.

Posted in Middle East, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on Turkish Proxies Create Chaos in Northeastern Syria

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