All posts by Eric Zuesse

Why It is Likelier that the U.S. Government Had Alexei Navalny Poisoned

The poisoning of Alexei Navalny has created intensified support by pro-U.S., and especially pro-NATO, officials in the European Union, to block the nearly completed NordStream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, and to import into the EU, instead, far costlier U.S. LNG, liquefied natural gas. A very real possibility thus now exists that the poisoning of Navalny will turn out to have been worth many billions of dollars to U.S. frackers, by causing the nearly-completed NordStream 2 to be turned to waste so that fracked U.S. LNG will sell in Europe. The present article will explore the relative likelihood that the poisoning of Navalny isn’t merely coincidentally perfectly timed in order to achieve that objective for the benefit of America’s gas-industry, but that it probably was actually planned and perpetrated in order to achieve this.

The idea that the Russian Government poisoned Alexei Navalny presumes such astounding stupidity on the part of Russia’s Government as to be exceedingly dubious, at best. Navalny, though he actually is favorably viewed by only around 2% of Russians (as indicated in polls there), is widely publicized in U.S.-and-allied media as having instead the highest support by the Russian people of anyone who might challenge Vladimir Putin for Russia’s leadership. It’s a lie, and always has been. Other politicians have far higher polled support in Russia. For example, whereas in the latest poll, published on September 5th, Navalny was one of four individuals who had 2%, Zhirinovsky had 5% and Zhirinovsky was the only person who had more than 2%, other than Putin, who had 56%. In the 2018 Presidential election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election-outcome was Putin 76.69%, Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%. The idea that Putin would need to kill anyone in order to be leading Russia is so stupid and uninformed (and mis-informed) that it is beyond belief, though it is widely publicized in The West as being instead the reality. But what is true is that Navalny has been an immense propaganda-asset to the U.S. Government, and he now is especially so.

Even America’s CNN let slip, in a news-report on September 18th, regarding Navalny, that “his list of enemies is as long as it is powerful,” but they said nothing about whom those “enemies” might be. No one questions that Navalny claims to be an anti-corruption campaigner, and that this would generate enemies regardless of whether his accusations are truthful. The article on “Alexei Navalny” at Wikipedia, which is CIA-edited and written, and which blacklists (blocks from linking to) sites that aren’t CIA-approved, indicates that Navalny has accused numerous individuals of corruption, but not that any of those individuals is corrupt — and this is at a site (Wikipedia) which can reasonably be expected to link to documentation of any damning evidence that Navalny has come up with. But the article doesn’t link to any. The article does make clear that Navalny has been hoping to use these accusations in order to rise in Russian politics. It would be a dangerous way to rise in any nation’s politics, regardless of whether those accusations are true. The idea that Putin was behind this is insane. Is Putin so stupid as to poison the U.S. regime’s most-heavily propaganda-favored Russian precisely at the time when the EU is about to grant final approval to Russia’s vast (and virtually completed) NordStream 2 pipeline?

England’s Financial Times headlined on September 16, “Germany offered €1bn for gas terminals in exchange for US lifting NS2 sanctions,” and sub-headed “Deal, detailed in a letter by Olaf Scholz to Steven Mnuchin, predates the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.” They reported that “In the August 7 letter seen by the Financial Times, Mr Scholz said Germany would increase its financial support for LNG infrastructure and import capacities ‘by up to €1bn’ in exchange for the US ‘allow[ing] for the unhindered construction and operation of Nord Stream 2’,” and reported that:

The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2 and in December imposed sanctions against companies involved in its construction. That move prompted Swiss pipe-layer Allseas to suspend its work with just 6 per cent left to install. A group of US senators from across the political divide are pushing to extend those sanctions.

Criticism of the project has grown in Europe too, with opponents saying it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy exports at a time of rising tensions with Moscow. In her State of the Union address on Wednesday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “To those that advocate closer ties with Russia, I say that the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with an advanced chemical agent is not a one-off. This pattern is not changing — and no pipeline will change that.

The U.S. regime’s agent, von der Leyen, is doing her utmost to serve U.S. LNG marketers. Many other U.S.-regime agents also are.

On September 17th, America’s neoconservative (or pro-U.S.-empire) Newsweek bannered “Opinion: Open Letter: For the Sake of Transatlantic Security, Stop Nord Stream 2,” with 114 signatories of NATO-related U.S. and European officials, and published their argument that, “Over the past decade, the Government of the Russian Federation has engaged in a litany of malign activities aimed at upending liberal democratic norms across Europe and North America. The shocking poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by a variant of the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok shows that Moscow has not been deterred by Western actions and statements and refuses to reverse its destabilizing political adventurism at home and abroad.”

How blatant and scummy can a marketing campaign get?

The post Why It is Likelier that the U.S. Government Had Alexei Navalny Poisoned first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The South China Sea: What’s Really at Issue

The South China Sea is basically China’s export waterway to Africa and to Europe (among other markets), but in order for China’s enemy (aspiring conqueror), America, to harm and weaken China maximally, and to use the United Nations assisting in that aggression, America and its allies have cast this vital trade-waterway as being instead basically just an area to be exploited for oil and gas, and minerals, and fishing. The American Government’s aggression — its effort to strangulate China’s international commerce — thus becomes ignored by the U.N., which is consequently handling the entire issue under its law which pertains to a nation’s (China’s) rights to exploit the natural resources of and under a given waterway.

The international legal issue, which is being applied, is therefore the 1982 U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This treaty (law) has been ratified, or at least signed, by all countries except the United States, whose hold-out for 12 years had blocked the Convention even from coming into effect. Then, finally (when Guyana, on 16 November 1993, did, after so much delay, become the requisite 60th country to ratify the Convention, so as to bring it into actual effect), the U.S., on 29 July 1994, went through the mere formality of signing the Agreement, because Part XI of the Convention (“to authorize seabed exploration and mining and collect and distribute the seabed mining royalty”) had, by this time, become modified, to the satisfaction of Exxon and other U.S. oil-and-gas corporations, so that U.S. President Bill Clinton had UNCLOS signed by the U.S. — but not sufficiently satisfied to have it ratified by the U.S., which nation therefore still remains the lone holdout amongst the 179 U.N. member nations that had been invited to join it. (Some countries are entirely landlocked.) So, ironically, the lone holdout-nation, U.S., is now militarily threatening China (one of the Convention’s actual member-nations), for its allegedly violating that Convention, in regard to what is, in fact, China’s essential exportation (and importation) waterway, even more important to China than its being a potential Chinese natural-resource asset.

Furthermore, China has long wanted to reduce much of its need to ship through the South China Sea, by means of building what for China would be equivalent to what the Panama Canal is for the U.S., but this new canal would be located in Thailand, which America conquered in its 1948 coup — the CIA’s first. If built, this Thai Canal would significantly reduce China’s costs of importing oil from Iran and Arabia, as well as its costs of exporting goods to India, and to Europe and Africa. Therefore, the U.S. regime is willing to pay whatever the cost might be in order to bribe Thai leaders to continue saying no to that canal-proposal. (But, will China ultimately outbid America? There is a tug-of-war in Thailand about whether to participate in China’s proposal.)

The U.S. thus blocks China, both via the UNCLOS, and via China’s main potential method of avoiding its need to rely so heavily upon its usage of the South China Sea — the Thai Canal.

This is consequently a good example of how the imperialistic U.S. Government, which is uniquely hostile toward the United Nations, nonetheless exploits the U.N., and yet still receives deferential treatment from it — so that the U.S. can actually use the U.N. as a tool to advance its own imperialistic objectives of conquering yet more territory, additional vassal-nations or ‘allies’.

The U.N. is, furthermore, exceptionally proud of its achievement in having finally passed UNCLOS into international law. As it says, “‘Possibly the most significant legal instrument of this century’ is how the United Nations Secretary-General described the treaty after its signing.”

None of this can be understood outside the context of international law itself, which is tragically corrupt, as a result of the following history, the backstory here:

Though the U.N. was invented and even named by America’s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), he died just before it started, and his successor Harry S. Truman shaped it by modifying FDR’s plan, so that the U.N. would gradually fail, and, instead, the U.S. Government would itself emerge effectively as being the global government over all other governments — America’s Government would become a global dictatorship over nations, instead of the U.N. coming into existence as the global democratic republic of nations (FDR’s U.N.) that FDR had aimed for it to be, controlling international relations after World War II, in such a manner as to prevent a WW III.

We thus live in Truman’s post-WW-II world, definitely not in FDR’s.

After World War II (in which the U.S. and UK were allied with the U.S.S.R. against the fascist powers that had invaded countries which had not even been threatening them), America soon launched a string of coups and invasions — overthrowing and replacing governments that hadn’t even posed any threat, at all, to America’s national security — and the world thereby became increasingly accustomed to the fact that America’s military and CIA are, in fact, the world’s new invading military force, replacing Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Emperor’s Japan, in that capacity, as international dictators. (That’s something which FDR had been planning to prevent any nation from being.) The first four U.S. coups were against Thailand in 1948, Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953, and Guatemala in 1954; and each American coup replaced a moderate leader with a brutal fascist regime, crushing democracy there. (The U.S. takeover in Syria lasted only a few years.) America also engaged in numerous outright military invasions, many of them using hired proxy forces (U.S.-funded mercenaries), instead of using U.S. soldiers, as being the U.S. regime’s “boots on the ground,” to do the actual killing and dying. America thereby became the invading country throughout the world, which is what the fascist powers had been in World War II.

The post-WW-II America thus emerged as standing above international law, ever since the 1945 end of WW II. In effect, America’s Government has internationally become the world’s government — by force of arms. Other countries are subject to international law, but the U.S. is not. The U.S. has emerged as the international empire, taking over, and dominating, in more and more countries, until it now openly demands compliance from all countries, and even threatens Iraq’s Government, that if Iraq tries to expel the U.S. occupying forces, the U.S. will permanently destroy Iraq.

America’s imperialist fascism has become so bold, for so long, so that news-media don’t even report it. If one lays a WW II ideological template over the world’s nations today, then today’s U.S. and its allies are much more fitting the mold and form of the Axis powers, than of the Allied powers; but, this time, instead of there being Germany and its allies as the imperialistic fascists, we today have America and its allies, as constituting the imperialistic fascist nations. America assumed this role gradually, first as that role was ‘justified’ supposedly as being an ideological contest between democracy versus communism (which, on the U.S. side, was merely an excuse, not an authentic explanation); but, then, increasingly, without any such ideological excuse, as being, simply, America’s alleged ‘superiority’ (such as the recent U.S. President, Barack Obama, repeatedly asserted, that “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation,” which means that every other nation is “dispensable”; only America is not). It is now as flagrant with America as it had been with Hitler’s Germany (“Deutschland über alles,” etc.). The gloves have finally been taken off, by today’s U.S. imperialist fascist regime. The U.S. even has the world’s highest percentage of its own population being in prisons, a higher imprisonment-rate than that of any other country. This is very appropriate for the world’s most totalitarian country. So, the dictatorship isn’t only international — it is even intranational, inside the U.S. And it very much is in control over the nation’s news media. It’s a two-Party dictatorship.

When U.S. President FDR died as WW II was ending, his dream for the future was that America and its allies in WW II would create a democratic super-nation controlled by all nations, a United Nations that would have the military force throughout the world to enforce international laws, which would be made democratically by the U.N., through its Security Council and General Assembly. But, nowadays, instead, the U.S. and its allies are free to invade anywhere they wish, and — unlike what happened to the fascist leaders during WW II — the U.S.-and-allied leaders get away with it, and they aren’t even charged by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. They stand above international law: precisely the sort of situation that FDR had aimed to prohibit.

For example, one of America’s allies — and thus immune to international law — is Israel; and, on September 3rd, the international news site South Front headlined “Israeli Forces Rain Down Missiles on Syria”, and reported that:

The Israeli Air Force conducted a second round of missiles strikes on Syria in less than a week.
Late on September 2, Israeli warplanes launched missiles at the T4 airport in the province of Homs. According to Syria’s state media, the strikes were conducted from the direction of the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Syrian pro-government sources claimed that a large part of the missiles was intercepted. …
The most recent previous Israeli strike on Syria took place on August 31 targeting the countryside of Damascus city and the province of Daraa.

Syria does not invade Israel, but Israel routinely invades Syria, and long has done so — and yet Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is not being strung up and executed by an international criminal court, like the leaders of Germany and Japan were supposed to have been, after WW II. That Judgment at Nuremberg, and similar trials against some of Japan’s leaders, were actually only victors’ ‘justice’ against some of Germany’s and Japan’s leaders, but (at the time) the victorious Allies claimed it to be the start of international justice, and to be the enforcement of international law — even though the trials were held only against Germany’s and Japan’s leaders, but not also against Italy’s. (Italy had signed with the Allies the Armistice of Cassabile surrendering on 8 September 1943, and this was part of that deal — Italy’s Government wasn’t quite as horrific as the other two, which held out till the bitter end.) These trials were prosecuting against “aggressive war”: the charge was that the imperialistic fascists had invaded countries that hadn’t invaded them — exactly what the U.S. and its allies constantly and now routinely do, after WW II (overthrowing and replacing governments that had not even so much as threatened the U.S. and its allies).

The U.S. and its allies are today’s imperialistic fascists, and the U.N. can do nothing against them. The U.N. can do nothing against the leaders of America and its allies for doing what had been done by the leaders of Germany and Japan during WW II.

Hitler’s and Hirohito’s spirits thus now rule in the self-styled (but now only formally) ‘democratic’ countries, whose rulers reign with far nicer rhetoric — far more hypocrisy — than their 1930s fascist predecessors had done. And the U.N. is dead, because it became created by Harry S. Truman, instead of by FDR.

Consequently, let’s consider, in more depth here, the example of China:

China is a communist country, but its communism is drastically changed from the time when Mao Zedong founded it, and its Marxism is unrecognizable, no longer a “dictatorship by the proletariat,” but instead one-Party rule by a Party that anyone, of any economic class, is invited to join, and which is widely considered by the Chinese people to be a “democracy.” (A far larger percentage of Chinese consider their Government to be a “democracy” than the percentage of Americans who consider America’s Government to be a “democracy.” Chinese don’t consider the number of political parties to be any indication of whether the nation is a democracy as opposed to a dictatorship. They are correct in that. In fact: America’s own Founders had aimed to be creating a nation which would have no parties at all.)

FDR made a clear distinction between a national democracy and an international democracy. He believed that international relations should be an international democracy of independent nations that deal with each other on a cooperative instead of coercive basis, and that international laws should govern this, coming from and being enforced by the United Nations. By contrast, national democracy was to be a choice that only the people within a given nation should determine, and the U.N. should have no relevance to, or control over, that. “Human rights” are individuals’ rights, and are an internal matter within each nation, whereas the rights of nations are very different, and are the purview exclusively of the U.N., as FDR was planning it. This was how he planned for there to be a post-WW-II world which would have no World War III.

By contrast, today’s U.S. regime claims, for example, the authority to dictate what countries should control which international waterways. This is clearly infringing on the U.N.’s area of authority; and, so, Truman’s U.N. has no control over the matter, though it does have vague laws which pertain to it. Today’s U.N.’s laws ignore one cardinal position — a cardinal geostrategic principle, the Westphalian principle — that FDR and the Soviet Union’s dictator, Joseph Stalin, agreed upon and which Winston Churchill opposed: the view that each of the major world powers should be allowed to intervene in the internal affairs of a foreign nation only if that foreign nation is on its borders or at least nearby (which was undefined). This was the Westphalian system, but enhanced so as to be explicitly anti-imperialistic, because both FDR and Stalin believed that both World Wars had resulted from imperialism. Both leaders rejected imperialism but accepted that there exists a distinction between major and minor powers, such that the nearby surrounds of a major power need to be entirely nations that are allied with that major power, or, at least not hostile toward it — not allied with any major power that is hostile toward itself. In other words: both men rejected Churchill’s demand that empires be allowed, which could extend beyond a major world power’s own “neighborhood.” Churchill wanted to continue the British Empire. Truman accepted Churchill’s view, and rejected the view of both FDR and Stalin. Consequently, Truman and Churchill agreed together to move forward toward an all-encompassing U.S.-UK Empire. (Though, nominally, the Westphalian principle had already become a part of the U.N.’s subsequent Charter — because of FDR — as being Chapter 1, Article 2, Paragraph 7, it was ignored from the outset, and the U.N. organization itself became set up so as to hide the entire Charter from the public. The numerous deficiencies in the Charter — such as its failure to include any clause describing a process by which the Charter could be amended — thus have likewise been hidden from the public, and not debated, nor discussed; and, thereby, the U.S. and UK have been able to have their way: the system for future global dictatorship was thus born.)

Consequently, geostrategic issues were prohibited by the U.S. regime from being subjects of international law. Though international law allowed vague references to “aggressive war,” simply because FDR’s U.S. had already established the system to pursue and hang German and Japanese leaders for their having done that, the concept of “aggression” became smudged in international law, instead of defined; and, so, aggression is practically absent as a topic of international law as it currently exists. This is how the South China Sea issue came to be treated only as being an issue of natural-resource rights. The U.N.’s Charter is essentially irrelevant to what is the most important. (Even its Westphalian clause — which is only the original, weaker, empire-accepting, form of Westphalianism — is irrelevant, since it’s ignored.)

China’s ability to ship its products westward via the South China Sea is crucial to China’s economy. Consequently, the imperialist fascist regime and its allies are trying to reduce that ability. Because this is Truman’s, instead of FDR’s, post-WW-II world, the existing relevant international laws lack sufficient clarity, and the U.S. and its allies can, under existing law, gradually choke-off China’s exports.

Katherine Morton’s 20 July 2016 article, “China’s ambition in the South China Sea”, in the journal International Affairs, argues that China’s ambition in the South China Sea is primarily driven by China’s thousands-of-years-old commercial policy, of being a maritime nation, a nation whose economy is based upon international trade. This is not imperialistic, but it instead concerns international rights that every nation ought to have. (Until 1912, China was ruled by imperialistic Emperors, but afterwards it was no longer imperialistic and has instead been defending itself against imperialistic powers.) Morton argues that China’s objective is not any grand design to achieve maritime hegemony — such as the U.S. regime has, and such as England, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, previously had done. It’s not imperial rule over countries that aren’t in their own neighborhood. It’s not conquest; it is instead self-defense. America and its allies do the coups, invasions, and international economic sanctions (economic blockades, even), but China does not. That, basically, is Morton’s argument (though she doesn’t put it in those clear terms). She says that China’s “attention is primarily focused upon demonstrating political resolve to defend China’s maritime periphery. Yet conclusive evidence that the Chinese leadership is intent upon dominating the South China Sea for the broader purpose of building a Sino‐centric maritime order in east Asia is difficult to find.” (The obtuseness — if not self-contradictoriness — of her writing might be due to her desire not to offend the U.S. regime’s own imperialistic sensibilities. Such a style is common amongst international-affairs scholars in the U.S.-and-allied world.)

However, the U.S. regime claims that China, instead of America, is the imperialistic power. The U.S. regime, as usual, claims to have the international right to enforce its will in international affairs anywhere on the planet. Sometimes, today’s U.N.-based international laws are in favor of outcomes that the U.S. regime wants. Thus, we have the matter of the South China Sea, where the U.N. body, UNCLOS, ruled on 12 July 2016 that the only relevant question is which nation is the nearest to a given part of a waterway (so as to have the right to explore and exploit there). The international laws by today’s U.N. ignore geostrategic issues, such as both FDR and Stalin wanted to include in them, but Churchill and Truman wanted international laws to ignore such matters so that UK and now U.S. could jointly pursue world-conquest. Since the UNCLOS ruling in 2016 opposed China’s claims, by ignoring its major-power concerns about its self-defense, the U.S., under the hyper-aggressive ruler, Donald Trump, recently came out publicly committed to enforcing that 2016 ruling by the U.N. body. On September 1st, Reuters headlined “Special Report: Pentagon’s latest salvo against China’s growing might — Cold War bombers”, and reported that:

On July 21, two U.S Air Force B-1B bombers took off from Guam and headed west over the Pacific Ocean to the hotly contested South China Sea. The sleek jets made a low-level pass over the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its escorting fleet, which was exercising nearby in the Philippines Sea, according to images released by the U.S. military. The operation was part of the Trump administration’s intensifying challenge to China’s ruling Communist Party and its sweeping territorial claims over one of the world’s most important strategic waterways. While senior Trump officials launch diplomatic and rhetorical broadsides at Beijing, the U.S. Defense Department is turning to the firepower of its heavily armed, long-range bombers as it seeks to counter Beijing’s bid to control the seas off the Chinese coast. …
The U.S. Army also intends to spread forces through the first island chain and other outposts in the Western Pacific. It is planning a series of major exercises this year and next where troops would deploy to islands in the region, according to senior commanders and top Pentagon officials.

The U.S. regime is using, as its excuse, its backing the territorial claims of what it claims to be its ‘allies’ against China — such as Vietnam. Meanwhile, the regime is applying diplomacy and other means, in order to encourage those ‘allies’ to insist upon, and not to compromise or weaken, those claims. Vietnam quickly responded to America’s active backing, by “Vietnam Threatens China with Litigation over the South China Sea”.

What’s at issue there is underwater oil-and-gas exploration-and-development rights of the various nations’ corporations. If China truly does not place its corporations’ commercial interests above the Chinese nation’s self-defense interests, then it will sacrifice the former for the latter, and it will cede those other nations’ rights to exploit that oil and gas, and will settle with its neighbors, for an agreement by all of America’s ‘allies’ to support and endorse China’s rights to traverse unimpeded through those waterways.

If the U.S. regime then would continue its heavy military fortifications surrounding China, then China would (in accord with its agreements that it will have reached with Vietnam and those other neighboring nations) be receiving, from those nations’ endorsements of China’s rights in that regard (for China’s self-defense), and from those nations’ public requests for U.S. forces to depart from their region, support for China’s shipping rights, which would be at least as valuable to China as whatever the natural resources there are worth.

In regards to the 12 July 2016 ruling by UNCLOS, it concerned specifically the case between China and the Philippines, and it presented the Philippines’ challenging China’s claims, which claims were/are based on arguments such as (regarding “Scarborough Shoal”) that “Since the Yuan Dynasty, the Chinese people have never stopped developing and exploiting Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters and the Chinese government has exercised effective management and jurisdiction over their activities all these years.” The ruling replied to that assertion by saying, “The Tribunal’s conclusions with respect to” that area are “independent of the question of sovereignty.” But, whatever the ruling was based upon, what’s relevant here is that the U.S. Government has no right to be sending its warships and other weapons into the South China Sea in order to ‘enforce’ UNCLOS’s ruling. And whatever China’s claims are or were in this matter, they cover(ed) a very large area, which encompasses almost all of the South China Sea — it encompasses the area that’s within the “nine-dash line,” which is shown here in green. Although UNCLOS (actually the U.N.-authorized body that administers it, the International Seabed Authority) is legitimately involved in this matter; the U.S. Government is the opposite: it is instead an international-law violator and has no right to be involved, at all, and is illegally throwing its weight around where it doesn’t belong and should be expelled — and would be expelled if this were FDR’s U.N., instead of Truman’s U.N.

Another way that Truman’s U.N. helps the U.S. regime geostrategically against China is the issue of Hong Kong — an internal Chinese matter, which wouldn’t even be a U.N. concern if the U.N. had been created instead by the U.N.’s inventor, FDR. (Even the original, weaker, form of the Westphalian principle — the version that’s in the U.N.’s Charter — would prohibit outside involvement in this matter.) As Reuters headlined on September 3rd, “U.N. experts decry Hong Kong security law in open letter to China”. Any U.N. that gets involved in any nation’s internal affairs, and in such things as ‘human rights’, should be simply dissolved, because it is advancing imperialism, instead of preventing it.

Basically, today’s U.N. is just a talking-forum, a PR vehicle for its member-nations; but, actually, at the deepest level, it’s a propaganda-agency for imperialism. That’s what it was designed for.

If China can win the support of its neighbors in the region to kick America out, then the sacrifice of such assets as oil and gas there would be a relatively inconsequential price for China to pay. Unfortunately, today’s U.N. must be eliminated and replaced by one that builds upon FDR’s intentions, because today’s U.N. — Truman’s U.N. — is exactly the opposite.

America’s having its weaponry and forces on and near China’s borders is even worse than when in 1962 the Soviet Union placed its forces in Cuba — and nearly precipitated WW III. America has no right to be there. And today’s U.N. has no justification to continue its existence — a replacement of it is direly needed.

Details of the existing U.N.’s deficiency in the present situation will here be summarily stated: UNCLOS asserts: “Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles.” That’s the outermost limit of any coastal nation’s “sovereignty.” Furthermore: “Non-compliance by warships with the laws and regulations of the coastal State. If any warship does not comply with the laws and regulations of the coastal State concerning passage through the territorial sea and disregards any request for compliance therewith which is made to it, the coastal State may require it to leave the territorial sea immediately.” But Truman’s U.N. possesses no military force of its own and therefore that “coastal State” is provided no protection by today’s U.N. Furthermore: UNCLOS even allows an enemy nation’s naval vessels into that 12-mile limit, but “submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag.” There is no limit upon how near the shore an enemy’s warships are allowed to come. Yet the U.S. violates UNCLOS routinely. What military force exists against its doing so? What legal tribunal exists that covers this? Furthermore: The agreement by FDR and Stalin, that any major world power needs to have some sort of right to veto or block any nearby nation from coordinating with any other major power that is hostile toward that given major world power, is entirely absent from the existing U.N. — existing international law. Consequently, for example: The U.S., under JFK in 1962, was acting in violation of the subsequent 1982 UNCLOS, when he ordered the Soviet military to depart from Cuba — that was beyond the 12-mile limit. Existing international law has to be replaced. It ignores essential geostrategic concerns to prohibit imperialism and to minimize any likelihood of a WW III. It needs to be replaced.

And that’s not the only reason why the current system of international laws needs to be replaced. The existing international dictatorship, which is the U.S. regime, is even more conservative than is Truman’s U.N. For example: As of October 2019, there are 37 “Treaties Pending in the Senate” (the U.S. Senate). These U.N.-backed treaties all are of a progressive nature, asserting the rights of workers and obligations of employers, etc.; and, in fact, the first three of these treaties deal specifically with workers’ rights. The earliest of them, activated in 1949, is the “International Labor Organization Convention No. 87 Concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, adopted by the International Labor Conference at its 31st Session held at San Francisco, June 17 – July 10, 1948 (Treaty Doc.: Ex. S, 81st Cong., 1st Sess.); submitted to Senate August 27, 1949.” President Truman could not get Republicans to back it, because they opposed workers’ rights. They still do, and the Treaty still isn’t joined by the U.S. regime. Indeed, as Roncevert Ganan Almond noted, in his 24 May 2017 article in support of “U.S. Ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention”, “Even treaties that flow from American leadership, in areas like protecting rights for persons with disabilities, are rejected.” They’re always being rejected by Senate Republicans. (Truman, of course, was a Democrat; and, on most issues, the leadership of that Party is less conservative than is the leadership of the Republican Party.) Thus, though Truman’s U.N. is conservative, it isn’t as conservative as is the U.S. regime itself, which is even more conservative than Truman himself was. Physically, Hitler and Hirohito lost WW II; but, spiritually, they turned out to have won it. The reason is that FDR tragically died too early.

  • Originally posted at Strategic Culture.
  • The post The South China Sea: What’s Really at Issue first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Were the Skripals Secretly Executed by Britain’s Government?

    Where are Sergei and Yulia Skripal? Are they still alive? Their having been poisoned in England on 4 March 2018 didn’t kill them.

    Sergei Skripal is (or was) the Russian and British double agent (Russian spy who defected to UK), who had become imprisoned for six years in Russia, and then became spy-swapped to, and resided in, UK.

    Yulia is (or was) his daughter, who happened to be visiting with him from Russia on that fateful day, which almost ended her life but which definitely did end her freedom.

    The last time that either Sergei or Yulia were seen or heard from in news-media, was on 23 May 2018, shortly after both of them had been released by a British hospital from their poisoning.

    They had been poisoned by a nerve agent which the UK Government said came from Russia, but the UK’s laboratory at Porton Down that had actually investigated the matter declined to confirm publicly this allegation from their Government, though the lab was under considerable pressure from the Government to confirm it.

    At this sole occasion of public presentation by either of them, on 23 May 2018, only Yulia appeared. She was shown in a pre-scripted one-minute and thirty-eight second video, in which she spoke only in Russian, and this video was accompanied by a similarly brief and puzzling 23 May 2018 news-report from Reuters: “Exclusive: Yulia Skripal – Attempted assassination turned my world upside down.”

    It said that “Skripal was speaking from a secret location in London as she is under the protection of the British state.” (As will here be documented, she wasn’t actually in London at the time, and both she and her father were now actually prisoners of the UK and U.S. Governments, without any trial and on no charges, and probably until they both will be dead — but that’s the question here: are they now already dead?)

    Also: “Skripal spoke in Russian and supplied a statement that she said she had written herself in both Russian and English. She signed both documents after making her statement. She declined to answer questions after speaking to camera.”

    The Reuters report also included this:

    Read Skripal’s handwritten statements:
    http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/7/1700/1671/SkripalScans.pdf

    However, that’s a pdf of a photographic kind that cannot be scanned or searched and so it was specifically intended to discourage being quoted from, excerpted, or reported about, by other news-media. Unfortunately, no news-medium has taken the trouble to read it from that photograph and transcribe it by hand. Reuters has been successful at discouraging other media from reporting on this. Therefore, so as to make this complete transcript publicly available finally in an easily usable form, for the benefit of researchers and others, I’m doing that here, and this transcript will be Yulia’s complete statement, which was shown by Reuters in the form of a handwritten note only in English, though the video had her speaking only in Russian. No Russian transcript was supplied by Reuters, though their report alleges that a Russian original in her handwriting accompanied the English version. Here is this searchable transcript:

    Good afternoon. My name is Yulia Skripal. I came to the UK on the 3rd of March to visit my father, something I have been doing regularly in the past. After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned. I still find it difficult to come to terms that both of us were attacked. We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination. Our recovery has been slow and extremely painful. The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking. I don’t want to describe the details but the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing.
    I am grateful to all of the wonderful, kind staff at Salisbury hospital, a place I have become all too familiar with. I also think fondly of those who helped us on the street the day of the attack.
    I was discharged from hospital on the 9th of April and continue to progress with treatment but my life has been turned upside down as I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally. I take one day at a time and want to help care for my dad till his full recovery. In the longer term I hope to return to my country.
    I wish to address a couple of issues directly and have chosen to interrupt my rehabilitation to make this short statement. I ask that everyone respects the privacy of me and my father. We need time to recover and come to terms with everything that has happened. I’m grateful for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services.
    Also, I want to reiterate what I said in my earlier statement that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves.
    Finally, I would like to again thank everyone involved in my continued care.
    My focus remains on my recovery and my dad’s health.

    That’s the last time the public has heard from either Yulia or her father.

    Subsequently, on 8 December 2019, the Australian and American independent investigative journalist John Helmer, who reports from Moscow, published an article that conclusively located where Yulia had been speaking from in that video. He headlined there “THE SKRIPALS UNDER US CONTROL, AT A USAF NUCLEAR BOMBER BASE IN FAIRFORD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE” and he provided solid documentation that that video was filmed at that location, which wasn’t “in London.” So, the handling of the Skripals is both a UK Government and a U.S. Government deception-operation.

    As I reported on 17 April 2020, a one-minute-and-forty-seven-second rushed phone call had been made by Yulia on 5 April 2018 from the British hospital, in which call she used coded language to inform her cousin Victoria Skripal, who was in Russia, that she and her father were being prohibited by the UK’s Government to communicate with the outside world, and, on the same day as that rushed phone call, Helmer reported that “In Moscow, her cousin Victoria Skripal has told the Russian press she has repeatedly tried to telephone her cousin on the latter’s Russian mobile telephone, but that this device has been disconnected.” So, there are clear indications that UK’s Government doesn’t want either Yulia or Sergei to be able to communicate ever again with the outside world. Furthermore, as I also stated in that article:

    The “Court of Protection … Date 22/03/2018” proceeding, which seems to have determined their legal fate, didn’t even consult any of their relatives, and, according to John Helmer’s terrific book just issued, Skripal in Prison, (p. 74), also “The Russian Government was not consulted or informed in advance” about the proceeding, and therefore was allowed no role whatsoever in deciding the outcomes regarding these two Russian citizens. The UK Court’s ruling, on 22 March [2018], stated that “Neither Mr Skripal nor Ms Skripal appear to have relatives in the UK although they appear to have some relatives in Russia. The SSHD [Secretary of State for Home Development] have not sought to make contact with them.” No explanation was provided on why. So, the Skripals are stranded.

    That three-day court-hearing (it wasn’t a trial) occurred before either of the Skripals had awoken from their coma; so, they too had no role in it. They became prisoners of UK while under sedation. This is British ‘justice’ (or ‘Protection’). (Britain, of course, like the U.S., pontificates abroad about ‘human rights’ and invades foreign countries that it accuses of violating “human rights”; so, it’s bottom-of-the-barrel, not only rampantly violating human rights, but hypocritically pontificating about ‘human rights’.)

    Their Russian relatives have been extremely concerned about all of this. On 11 April 2018, Britain’s Daily Mail showed a photo of “Yulia’s cousin, Viktoria Skripal, 45, protesting outside the British embassy in Moscow and demanding to be issued a visa to visit her stricken relatives in the UK”. It was futile.

    No one outside can reach them, and they can’t reach anyone outside, except for a very few rushed phone-contacts that the UK allowed them until June this year to their Russian relatives, in order to keep those relatives as quiet as possible for as long as possible.

    Furthermore, the last chapter of Helmer’s book opens:

    “You kill traitors like you brush your teeth. It wasn’t a political matter, it was an operational matter,” a senior Whitehall official said of his Russian counterparts to Mark Urban, the BBC reporter whom MI6 assigned to write Sergei Skripal’s story a few months before it was somebody’s idea to finish it off; the book, if not Skripal.

    The official and the reporter meant they had no doubt the Russian Government’s motive for attacking Skripal was a routine policy of killing. If that is as true as Urban and his Whitehall source intended for public consumption, Sergei and Yulia Skripal should be the first to say so.

    That they are refusing is part of the case this book has compiled that the British Government’s narrative provides no evidence which the Whitehall man, his superiors and his underlings dare to submit in court, let alone allow for Freedom of Information Act release. The second part of the case is analysis of as much of the evidence as has been announced officially to demonstrate its improbability or prove its impossibility. When the first part is compared to the second, the third part of the case is the conclusion: the British Government’s case against Russia for attempted murder and chemical warfare is a lie.

    That lie leaves Sergei Skripal free to brush his teeth. But he is in a prison which is far more solitary than the Russian ones in which he spent six years between 2004 and 2010. According to what Skripal told Urban in 2017, when Skripal still thought he was safe in Salisbury, he regularly received food packages and other comforts from his family during his Russian prison time. He also loved his family so much that – again according to Urban’s report – after he arrived in the UK he used to telephone his mother every two weeks over eight years. It is now clear he has not called home since June 26, 2019.

    He’s either dying, or dead already, according to some Russian commentators.

    Yulia Skripal has been cut off for almost a year longer – since July 24, 2018, the date of her grandmother’s 90th birthday. It is equally certain that neither Sergei nor Yulia are free to use a computer with internet access to communicate. Urban claims that after Yulia had come out of her coma and was still in Salisbury hospital, she “had already exchanged messages online” with her cousin Viktoria in Yaroslavl.

    “What was to be done with him?” Urban ended his book in September 2018. “From the British government perspective it was better that he remain quietly out of view, even if a statement like Yulia’s might follow. In theory he was free to do or say anything, whether that be launching a blistering attack on the British government for failing to protect him from Putin’s assassins to pleading it had all been a terrible misunderstanding and could he go back to Russia now please.” Viktoria Skripal, though, “had shown them how, even starting with the best intentions, going public carried the risk of creating untold family pain as well as serving the Kremlin’s interests. Sergei and his daughter were so dependent on the British government at this time that there was every reason to follow the advice of those around them.”

    According to Urban also, they don’t want to hide in the US. “There had been suggestions from Downing Street, while the Skripals were in hospital, that they might well end up in America or another English-speaking country, and be given new identities. Neither of them, I hear, particularly liked this idea.”

    On 7 June 2020, the neoconservative (pro-imperialism) London Times headlined, “Salisbury novichok poisonings: Sergei and Yulia Skripal move to New Zealand”, and unquestioningly asserted as if they were unquestionable facts (as neocon ’news’-media, actually propaganda-media, almost invariably do) the allegations by the routinely lying UK Government (a provably unreliable source regarding anything concerning its international relations). In this particular case, those ‘facts’ concerned the poisonings by Russia of Yulia Skripal and Sergei Skripal.

    If Yulia and Sergei have both been executed by Britain’s Government, then the Times’s publication of an undocumented allegation by UK’s Government, that they had instead both been sent to New Zealand and given new identities there, is a convenient way for UK’s Government to avoid ever needing to face the public after having continually lied to the public by blaming Russia’s Government for the poisonings that had happened to both the father and the daughter.

    If the Skripals have been provided new identities and sent to live in New Zealand, will they be freed from Britain’s imprisonment of them? Will, for example, they finally be freed from the condition that “neither Sergei nor Yulia are free to use a computer with internet access to communicate,” and will they be free to, for example, read newspapers and other media that are accessible online? Or will they still be in the ‘Protective’ custody of the UK Government, or will it then be of the NZ Government? And will they be able, for example, to resume real living, and maybe (if they wish) to write and publish books about what they can recollect about what has happened to them after 4 March 2018? Will the UK’s Government want that to happen? Will the UK’s Government, which has lied about so much, be comfortable about returning the Skripals’ freedom? Or, will it, instead, continue ‘protecting’ them?

    Yulia Skripal was a Russian citizen who only shortly before her airline flight to UK to visit with her father, had become engaged in Russia to marry a fellow Russian (and none of the couple’s parents approved of their intended marriage; this caused both Yulia and her fiancé great distress), when, on 4 March 2018, she and Sergei were somehow poisoned by a chemical that UK’s Porton Down intelligence laboratory soon thereafter identified as being a “nerve agent” which might have been novichok, but whose source and country of origin the Porton Down lab was unable to identify with any certainty. UK’s Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, said that Porton Down had identified the chemical as having been made in Russia, but he was simply lying, as he routinely does. (He’s famous for it, actually, like Trump is.)

    Yulia’s father, Sergei, had been a Russian citizen who had served in Britain as a spy for Russia, who then switched sides to become a spy for UK against Russia. At some time in December 2004, right after returning from UK to Russia, he was taken into custody to be tried for treason for his having sold out to the country that his own country had hired him to spy against. Honor in the intelligence services is far lower than is honor among thieves (like Mike Pompeo very unprofessionally bragged publicly about his time heading the CIA, “We lied, we cheated, we stole”), but lying ‘news’-media nonetheless cite their own country’s top intelligence officials as if those people had been hired to tell the truth to the public, instead of to deceive the public into believing whatever the Government’s top officials want their public to believe about foreign countries. Yet the public trust the allegations by them that are stenographically reported by the ‘news’-media. (Think of the invasion of Iraq, for example.) Public statements by intelligence officials are believed only by fools, but that unfortunately includes most of the public anywhere, which is one of the reasons why democracies tend to descend into dictatorships, which are the actual default condition for any government anywhere. Democracy is unnatural, though it’s far better than its natural default condition. Evil is natural, and good is not, but the propaganda lies about this fact, and pretends that good is natural and evil is not; so, it lies about what good and evil even are, and the public overwhelmingly believe the lies. The public have faith. (All else follows from that sad fact.)

    On 9 August 2006, was reported, in Russia, that

    the Moscow District Military Court sentenced former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal … [as having] worked for the British MI6 for nine years and exposed to UK the names of dozens of Russian intelligence officers who worked in Europe. For treason in the form of espionage, Sergei Skripal, who is compared with Oleg Penkovsky at the FSB, was assigned a 13-year term. At the same time, intelligence agencies threaten to expel diplomats with whom the spy allegedly collaborated.

    Sergei, after having been in a Russian prison for six years on treason, was spy-swapped in 2010 back to UK.

    Yulia Skripal is not as naive as the note that her captors required her to sign might suggest. If she or her father are still alive somewhere and not still being held captive by the UK regime or a regime that is allied with it, then one may expect that Yulia and/or Sergei will present a full account of what happened to them while they were in captivity by the UK regime and its allies such as the U.S. regime. Or else they might already have been killed — disappeared by UK, like Jamal Khashoggi was disappeared on 2 October 2018 by Saudi Arabia. Never to be heard from again. (And forgotten by that trusting, faithful, public.)

    Had this poisoning been done actually by the UK Government in order to be able to create a pretext to expel Russian diplomats? As Wikipedia summarizes those consequences: “Later on 12 March, the British government accused Russia of attempted murder and announced a series of punitive measures against Russia, including the expulsion of diplomats, on the 14 March. The UK’s official assessment of the incident was supported by 28 other countries which responded similarly. Altogether, an unprecedented 153 Russian diplomats were expelled.[17]”

    I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Skripals’ cases, but clearly the UK Government has been lying through its teeth about them, and about what happened, and why. What’s especially sad to me is that so many people swallow the lies as if those were food instead of poison. What hope is there for democracy, in such a world? If people have faith in serial-lying governments, then what hope can there really be? What encouragement will there ever be for such governments to tell the truth?

    Countries Ranked on “Democracy” in 2020

    NATO and its supporters and member-nations are hiding the fact that the predominant belief in many of these nations is that they’re dictatorships that merely pontificate ‘democracy’ to other nations.

    NATO, which is America’s propagandistically ‘pro-democracy’ military alliance against Russia and against China, polled the people in 53 countries — some of which are in NATO and some of which aren’t — and asked them whether they believe “My country is democratic,” and found that NATO’s own core country, U.S., was, itself, #38 down from the top, and China was #5, and Russia (NATO’s main target or ‘enemy’ nation) was #48, and that two of the most anti-Russian countries on the list were near the very bottom: the rabidly anti-Russian NATO member Poland was #49, and the NATO-aspiring Ukraine was #47. Anyway, since NATO hid their results, instead of publicizing them, the complete list, with the indicated rankings, are finally being published here (wherever that will be effectively allowed), for the very first time anywhere.

    The rankings have been figured out only by a careful analysis of the visuals that the NATO-affiliated polling organization did publish. The NATO-affiliated organization that paid for the polls of those 53 countries was the billionaires-founded group that calls itself the “Alliance For Democracy,” and they issued a report on the poll’s findings, but excluded from their report the rankings, and made very difficult for a reader to figure out what the rankings were. No one till now went to the trouble of finding out what the rankings were. The NATO-affiliated international-corporate advisory organization, the Rasmussen Group, had selected the German corporate PR firm Dalia Research to do the polling, and the data were presented by them as being “based on nationally representative interviews with 124,000 respondents from 53 countries conducted between April 20th and June 3rd 2020.” So: this was a major research-endeavor for NATO-affiliates (agencies of U.S.-and-allied billionaires); and, since the scores and rankings were hidden by them, instead of having been published by them, the information that is being published here may reasonably be considered to be American samizdat, or prohibited to publish in the United States and in its NATO vassal nations. In other words, publication of this information is effectively blocked in all NATO countries, though the information comes basically from NATO. Publication of this information is effectively banned throughout the U.S. empire, but perhaps this information will become published in whatever news-media are not controlled by the billionaires who control the U.S. Government. Presumably, media such as CNN, New York Times, Fox News, and The Atlantic, will reject this article, which is being simultaneously submitted to virtually all English-language news media throughout the U.S. and its allied countries.

    Here are the findings, and the rankings:

    % saying yes to ‘My country is democratic’
    (ranks shown are out of the 53 countries that were surveyed):
    78% Taiwan #1
    77% Denmark #2
    75% Switzerland #3
    75% S. Korea #4
    73% China #5
    73% Austria #6
    71% Vietnam #7
    71% India #8
    71% Norway #9
    69% Argentina #10
    69% Sweden #11
    67% Germany #12
    66% Netherlands #13
    65% Philippines #14
    65% Portugal #15
    64% Canada #16
    63% Singapore #17
    61% Malaysia #18
    61% Greece #19
    60% Ireland #20
    59% Israel #21
    57% Indonesia #22
    56% Spain #23
    56% Australia #24
    56% UK #25
    56% Turkey #26
    55% Belgium #27
    55% Peru #28
    54% South Africa #29
    54% Romania #30
    54% Italy #31
    53% Saudi Arabia #32
    53% Pakistan #33
    52% France #34
    52% Mexico #35
    51% Brazil #36
    49% Kenya #37
    48% U.S. #38
    46% Japan #39
    46% Colombia #40
    45% Thailand #41
    45% Algeria #42
    43% Nigeria #43
    42% Chile #44
    41% Egypt #45
    40% Morocco #46
    40% Ukraine #47
    39% Russia #48
    38% Poland #49
    37% Hong Kong #50
    36% Hungary #51
    28% Iran #52
    24% Venezuela #53

    Here is the background, after which will be presented more information from this poll, and from polls on related issues:

    On June 15th, the NATO-allied (that’s to say anti-Russian and anti-Chinese) “Alliance of Democracies”, and the neoconservative or Rhodesist (pro-imperialist UK-U.S. “Special Relationship”) German corporate PR firm Dalia Research, released their annual “Democracy Perceptions Index” surveys that were taken in 53 countries, regarding the extent to which each country’s population considers its Government to be a democracy. The secretive “Alliance of Democracies” was founded with international megacorporate donations in 2014 (not in 2017 as Wikipedia alleges), by the ideologically libertarian (or anti-socialist, pro-megacorporate) former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had been Denmark’s Prime Minister, who had tried, during his time leading Denmark, to weaken his own country’s socialism, and to strengthen the control of Denmark by U.S.-and-allied international corporations (especially Lockheed Martin and the other U.S. Government contractors that sell only to the U.S. Government and to its vassal governments).

    Rasmussen Global (which likewise was founded in 2014 by Anders Fogh Rasmussen) “advise[s] clients on transatlantic issues, international affairs and public policy management” and funded these surveys (which are part of “public policy management” or, as they say, “cutting through the noise” — by boosting only such “noise” as they want their publics to hear). Among the 53 surveyed countries are U.S., UK, Canada & Australia, but not New Zealand (which Rhodesists consider to be part of the core of the empire, but apparently it isn’t a big enough nation to be included in these surveys). Here can be seen the official published summary of the latest year’s survey findings:

    Democracy Perception Index – 2020

    The surveys poll these 53 countries on “My country is democratic,” and on “My government serves only a minority.” (Also covered are some other issues, which will be covered subsequently here.) The United States ranks slightly below the good side and toward the bad side — and below 50% good — on both. China ranks near the top on both: 73% of Chinese answer “My country is democratic,” and only 13% say “My country serves only a minority.” However, since the “Alliance of Democracies” is Rhodesist and therefore intends ultimately to conquer China (it’s a target of NATO, instead of a member of NATO), this “Alliance” nonetheless categorizes China as being “Not Free,” and categorizes U.S., UK, Canada & Australia as “Free” (even though the poll found that a vastly higher percentage of Chinese think they live in a democracy than of people in U.S., UK, Canada, or Australia, do). The “Not Free” category includes only the following few countries among the 53 surveyed: China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia (for once, their opinion is correct on Saudi Arabia, but 53% of Saudis have a different view and say “My country is democratic”), Algeria, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Venezuela. (All of those are countries that Rhodesists especially want to conquer, or — in the case of Saudi Arabia — have already conquered but which is too blatantly dictatorial not to include in the “Not Free” category. On 15 July 2016, NATO unsuccessfully attempted — or else merely assisted — a coup against NATO-member nation Turkey, aiming to restore Turkey to its prior control by the U.S. Government, such as Turkey had been when it was admitted into NATO in 1952.)

    Venezuela is an outlier like Saudi Arabia, in that both countries’ populations have an unrealistic view of their Government. For example: by an overwhelming net margin of +42%, the residents of Venezuela (which the U.S. regime keeps trying to conquer) say that the U.S. helps democracy around the world. (Most countries’ populations predominantly say that the U.S. regime hurts democracy around the world, and this belief includes the publics not only in China, Russia and Iran, but in Canada, UK, and Australia. So, U.S. imperialism is widely feared, but not in Venezuela.) Only 24% of Venezuelans say “My country is democratic.” 74% of Venezuelans say “My Government serves only a minority.” So, Venezuelans overwhelmingly want the U.S. regime’s coup-efforts to overthrow their Government to succeed. Apparently, the U.S. regime’s propaganda saying that the economic depression in Venezuela was caused by Venezuela’s Government instead of by America’s economic blockade against Venezuela has overwhelmingly succeeded. Venezuelans trust the U.S. Government more than they trust their own.

    39% of Russians say “My country is democratic,” and 59% say “My government serves only a minority.” And 40% of Ukrainians say “My country is democratic,” while 70% of Ukrainians say “My government serves only a minority.” (Only one of the 53 surveyed countries had a higher percentage — it was 71% — who said their Government “serves only a minority”: Brazil.) Therefore, clearly, around 10% of Ukrainians are confused about what “democracy” even means. (If a country’s Government “serves only a minority,” then how can it be “democratic”?) As regards Russia, surveys of Russians have shown that most Russians distrust the Government but trust its President, Vladimir Putin. Surveys in the U.S. show that most Americans distrust the President, Donald Trump, but distrust Congress even more than that. 52% of Americans in this survey by Dalia Research said that their Government “serves only a minority.” 49% said “My country is democratic.” So, only around 3% of Americans were confused about what “democracy” means. (Scientifically minded political scientists aren’t at all confused about that: the measure that they use in order to determine whether or not a nation is a democracy is the extent to which its Government serves the majority of its residents. What they have found regarding the United States is that it definitely isn’t a democracy.)

    As I summarized all of the data from other sources as-of 2018, on 6 May 2018, “Although one can reasonably debate the degree to which any nation is a democracy, the United States certainly stands rather low on that factor, and stands well below China, and is perhaps lower than Russia, but none of these countries is among the world’s worst — except, perhaps, the U.S., for its having the world’s highest percentage of its people in prison.” All of that is still true today.

    In any case: not even America’s allies are fooled any longer about the U.S. Government’s posturings that it is a democracy. And there is extensive history also documenting that Americans are less and less fooled about this. But, because America is not a democracy, this article probably won’t be published in any major media inside America, though it is being submitted to all of them. So, if you’re not seeing it in U.S. media, that’s the reason why.

    Also, recently, the “2020 Edelman Trust Barometer” results were published. The methodology in that was “Randomly selected 1,150 respondents in each of 28 countries around the world, surveyed by Edelman Worldwide, between 19 October and 18 November, in 2019.” It showed how much the people in each of the 28 countries trust their Government, and also how much they trust the news-media in their country. What it found was that trust in the country’s Government was the highest, 90%. in China, and was only 39% in U.S., 33% in Russia, and 20% in South Africa. Also: trust, by the people, in the given country’s media, was the highest, 80%, in China, and was 48% in U.S., and the lowest, 28%, in Russia, but South Africa wasn’t shown on that particular question.

    Furthermore, the polling by Dalia Research found that these nations were rated by their residents the highest, and the lowest, in regard to the coronavirus challenge:

    1. China
    2. Vietnam
    3. Greece
    4. Malaysia
    5. Ireland
    6. Taiwan
    7. Australia
    8. Denmark
    9. S. Korea
    10: Austria

    44. Hong Kong
    45. Mexico
    46. Russia
    47. Italy
    48. U.S.
    49. Japan
    50. Spain
    51. France
    52. Chile
    53. Brazil

    Moreover, though the residents in U.S., and also in Japan, low-rated the coronavirus-performance of their own Government, those people were profoundly deceived by their newsmedia regarding how well China’s Government had handled this challenge. This polling report stated:

    “Nearly all countries say that China’s response to the COVID-19 is better than the US’s”; but that:

    When asked to assess China’s and the US’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all countries rate China’s response as much better. The only countries that think the US’s response is better are Japan (+17% in favor of US) and the US itself (+13% in favor of the US).

    In other words: the ‘news’-media in Japan and in the United States are (and this is proven in the latest data concerning all nations) grossly misrepresenting the reality (which is that China’s response has been enormously more effective than America’s has, in controlling the spread of this infection), and the news-media are far less deceptive in all of the other nations surveyed — far higher percentages of the people in all of those other nations recognize that the performance of China’s Government regarding the coronavirus challenge has been vastly more effective at controlling this plague than America’s Government is.

    Where the Skripals Are Today

    On 4 March 2018, both Sergei Skripal and his daughter who was visiting from their shared home country of Russia, Yulia Skripal, were poisoned in Salisbury England, and — though both survived — neither of them has been allowed to communicate to the public except under the watch of their British court-appointed ‘guardians’. They also have been prohibited to communicate with any Russians. Repeated efforts by the Russian Embassy to be allowed to communicate with them have been rejected by the UK Government. The BBC reported on 18 May 2018, that, “Ms Skripal was released on 9 April and was moved to a secure location. It is not known whether Mr Skripal has been taken to the same location as his daughter.” UK’s National Health Service issued a news-release that same day headlined “Sergei Skripal discharged from Salisbury District Hospital.” Efforts by (at least) Ms. Skripal, to communicate with members of her family in Russia, and also with her fiancé, also in Russia, have been blocked by the UK Government. No legal charges have been filed against either of the Skripals.

    The “Court of Protecton … Date 22/03/2018” proceeding, which seems to have determined their legal fate, didn’t even consult any of their relatives, and, according to John Helmer’s terrific book just issued, Skripal in Prison, (p. 74), also “The Russian Government was not consulted or informed in advance” about the proceeding, and therefore was allowed no role whatsoever in deciding the outcomes regarding these two Russian citizens. The UK Court’s ruling, on 22 March, stated that “Neither Mr Skripal nor Ms Skripal appear to have relatives in the UK although they appear to have some relatives in Russia. The SSHD [Secretary of State for Home Development] have not sought to make contact with them.” No explanation was provided on why. So, the Skripals are stranded. We don’t know whether either of the Skripals has even been informed that the Russian Embassy was trying to make contact with them. They might both have been (and now remain) deceived to think that they have been simply abandoned by their country.

    As I noted on 8 March 2020, citing mainly Helmer’s book, and linking to his published articles, “the much-publicized British-alleged ‘Russian novichok’ 4 March 2018 Salisbury England poisoning of the Russian-British double-agent Sergei Skripal and of his visiting daughter Yulia was never conclusively sourced as having been at all a Russian operation; and both of the victims are being held against their wills in UK though they seem to want to return to Russia, but are prohibited from being able to communicate to the public or to answer any questions out of the presence of their British and American holders (basically being imprisoned by UK without any trial and with not even an appearance in court).” Furthermore, “Chapter 23 of Helmer’s book is a reprint of his 8 December 2019 online article, ‘The Skripals Under US Control at a USAF Nuclear Bomber Base in Fairford, Gloucestershire,’ and it clearly proves the U.S. Government’s participation in their imprisonment. Such U.S. involvement does not fit, at all, with the propagandized ‘news’ reports about the Skripal case.” As Helmer reported there, the first thing that Yulia (apparently the first of the two to regain consciousness) tried to do after recovering was to speak with her family in Russia, but “the telephone call was unauthorized by hospital officials and required Skripal to hide from her guards.” (It was brief, and rushed.) Furthermore, as Helmer reported on 5 April 2018, “In Moscow, her cousin Victoria Skripal has told the Russian press she has repeatedly tried to telephone her cousin on the latter’s Russian mobile telephone, but that this device has been disconnected.”

    The youtube of the call — as recorded, somehow, at the other end, in Russia — was soon taken down by youtube. But Britain’s Daily Mail, perhaps their least-censored major newspaper, published the transcript of it, on the day of the call, 5 April 2018, and closed by noting: “The call is only 1 minute 47 seconds. The voice purporting to be Yulia sounded weak and tense.” Furthermore, when Yulia’s cousin, “Victoria,” told her she wanted to fly to visit with them there, Yulia said: “No-one [referring to the UK Government] will give you a visa, Vika.” (In other words: she would be denied entry to UK.) Victoria nonetheless pressed, and Yulia was about to explain, and then just stopped herself: “here the situation is now…we’ll deal with it later.” Victoria, apparently, now got the message, and so said “I know everything,” meaning: I understand — you’re not free to talk. The rest of the conversation were pleasantries, and expressions of mutual affection. Yulia’s “we’ll deal with it later” expressed her belief that the UK would soon free her, but she not only hasn’t been freed: she is, effectively, in solitary confinement, wherever she is, or else is dead, though no announcement of her death has been made by the UK Government.

    On 19 July 2018, Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Oliver Stone, and when the issue of Sergei Skripal briefly came up, Putin said “I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back” to Russia. Unfortunately, Stone (a poor interviewer) failed to ask any good follow-up question (such as, “But isn’t he a traitor to Russia?”); but, if what Putin said there was well-sourced, then clearly not only Yulia but also her father are imprisoned by UK, without even the pretense to any court-proceedings in which either of them (or any representative duly appointed by either of them) has played any part — and with zero advocacy for either of them by the UK press, the U.S. press, or any other U.S.-controlled press. (Otherwise, only Yulia is being imprisoned in UK. But, then, if Sergei thinks he’s being protected by UK, why is UK not trumpeting testimony from him asserting his belief that Russia had poisoned him and his daughter? Apparently, Putin is correct, but UK won’t permit Sergei to file anything, at all. UK doesn’t want Sergei to be on the loose and accusing UK of having tried to murder both him and his daughter. So: UK is ‘protecting’ both of them.)

    Fortunately, three great investigative journalists, plus an entire team of academics, all of these persons being independents instead of hirees, have been, separately from one-another, following the trail down the rabbit-hole of the Skripals’ case, and have discovered things that the Skripals’ imprisonment-without-trial, UK & U.S.A., joint Deep-State team, have been assiduously trying to hide (and successfully have been hiding) from the audiences of the Western ‘news’ media. Other than Helmer (an American who had served in the Jimmy Carter Administration but now lives in Moscow), there has also been the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador, and now also great journalist, Craig Murray, who likewise has a blog, and the third great journalist on this case has been the anonymous author of the “Moon of Alabama” blog. The scholars’ group are the Working Group on Syria — the people who first revealed that the alleged cause for the U.S. and UK and France attack against Syria with over a hundred missiles, on 14 April 2018, was based upon, and was claimed to be punishment of, an actually fraudulent, non-existent, Syrian Government gas-attack, against civilians in the Syrian town of Douma, on 7 April 2018, and was therefore an entirely unprovoked U.S.-and-allied international war-crime. A common thread between that faked excuse for an invasion of Syria on 14 April 2018, and the faked ‘evidence’ that Russia had done the Skripal poisonings, was the lying reports by the OPCW, saying that Russia did Skripal, and that Syria did the alleged 7 April 2018 ‘gas’-attack. If Western publics had been informed about either OPCW lie, then the leadership of the OPCW itself would probably have been forced to resign, and the organization of the OPCW would probably have been forced to change. So, it’s these great investigators (journalists and scholars), against the UK-&-U.S.A.’s Deep State (including its ‘news’-media). (NOTE: The “Deep State” is the billionaires.) However, because these independent investigators are suppressed in the U.S. and UK empire, which includes Netherlands and almost all the rest of the EU, the OPCW continues on as before, thoroughly corrupt. Thus, for example, on 13 March 2020, Russia’s RT headlined “Fourth OPCW whistleblower says staff ‘frightened into silence’ as watchdog brought into ‘shameful disrepute’ over Douma probe,” and, on 11 April 2020, the Syrian-American investigative journalist Steven Sahiounie headlined at The Duran, “The OPCW is used as a political tool against Syria” and reported the by-now shocking extent of incredibility to the reports that the propagandists who run the OPCW are publishing, which display a degree of sheer shoddiness that no longer makes even a pretense to being founded upon credible experts and evidence.

    There clearly is an organized gang, if not an organized gang of gangs (including media-heads), (and let’s call this a “conspiracy,” because it certainly is that) which is behind all of this smearing against Russia and against any government that is not hostile toward Russia. Even with the ideological excuse for the Cold War — communism versus capitalism — gone, that supposedly ‘ideological’ war has continued on the U.S.-UK side. (Perhaps all of it can be traced back to the plan for world conquest which Britain’s Cecil Rhodes first described in 1877.)

    On 24 June 2019, a highly credible anonymous analysis of evidence regarding the Skripal matter concluded:

    No one who has looked into the case in any detail can possibly be satisfied that the account given by the UK Government and The Metropolitan Police is correct.

    The narrative put out by the Metropolitan Police is not simply questionable, it is plain impossible.

    I believe, today more than ever, that this affair is a carefully constructed drama to push Russia in[to] a corner and justify Western foreign policies in various places such as Ukraine, Iran and Syria.

    Who really tried to assassinate Sergei Skripal? And why? Frankly, it would not surprise me a bit if we discover one day — 50 years from now? — that a Western Intelligence agency was feeding Skripal with a mix of information and disinformation regarding the alleged Trump-Russia collusion, knowing full well that this report would eventually end up at the FBI.

    If true, that agency has played Steele, and therefore the FBI, like a skripka. This story is not over yet. Stay tuned!

    The best summary of the evidence which led to that conclusion is here.

    Without any doubt, the basis of the Robert Mueller report on “Russiagate” was loaded with lies and was not even physically possible. Speculation is one thing, and must be avoided at all costs, but lying is even worse — utterly disqualifying. And, yet, Western ‘news’-media routinely lie (usually by stenographically reporting the lies by officials, and then having the gall to call that their ‘journalism’, instead of their “propaganda” — and such allegations are then propaganda about propaganda, or meta-propaganda). It’s all lies on top of lies — just mountains of lies, including calling authentic news ‘fake news’, and calling their own fake news ‘truth’. It is Orwellian.

    On 5 November 2018, “Anonymous” posted to cyberguerilla:

    a large number of documents relating to the activities of the ‘Integrity Initiative’ project that was launched back in the fall of 2015 and funded by the British government. The declared goal of the project is to counteract Russian propaganda and the hybrid warfare of Moscow. Hiding behind benevolent intentions, Britain has in fact created a large-scale information secret service in Europe, the United States and Canada, which consists of representatives of political, military, academic and journalistic communities with the think tank in London at the head of it.

    The Working Group on Syria headlined on 21 December 2018 “Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative” and presented massive documentation exposing further that organization, which had been formed on 22 June 2015 (barely over a year after the U.S. had seized Ukraine and thus started the final phase of America’s operation to capture Russia) and which organization quickly spread its tentacles throughout the institutions of the Cecil-Rhodes-founded U.S.-UK empire and thereby became fundamental to the poisoning of the Skripals and the cover-ups of that. (Explaining the Skripal case seems to me to require going even beyond the Integrity Initiative and to include the broader ring whose origin extends back to the plan for world conquest which Britain’s Cecil Rhodes first described in 1877.)

    On this same day, December 21st, Craig Murray headlined “British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and the Skripal Case,” and he described the connections between the Integrity Initiative, and the Russiagate campaign by America’s Democratic Party, to restore that Party’s version (replacing the Republican Party’s version) of the Cecil-Rhodes-founded operation for an all-encompassing U.S.-UK global empire:

    Now let us tie that in with the notorious name further down the list; Pablo Miller, the long-term MI6 handler of Sergei Skripal, who lived in Salisbury with Skripal. Miller is the man who was, within 24 hours of the Skripal attack, protected by a D(SMA) notice banning the media from mentioning him. Here Pablo Miller is actively involved, alongside serving FCO and MOD staff, in a government funded organisation whose avowed intention is to spread disinformation about Russia. The story that Miller is in an inactive retirement is immediately and spectacularly exploded.

    Now look at another name on this list. Howard Body. Assistant Head of Science Support at Porton Down chemical weapon research laboratory, just six miles away from Salisbury and the Skripal attack, a role he took up in December 2017. He combines this role with Assistant Head of Strategic Analysis at MOD London. “Science Support” at Porton Down is a euphemism for political direction to the scientists – Body has no scientific qualifications.

    Another element brought into this group is the state broadcaster, through Helen Boaden, the former Head of BBC News and Current Affairs.

    In all there are six serving MOD staff on the list, all either in Intelligence or in PR. Intriguingly one of them, Ian Cohen, has email addresses both at the MOD and at the notoriously corrupt HSBC bank. The other FCO name besides Duncan Allan, Adam Rutland, is also on the PR side.

    Zachary Harkenrider is the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy in London. There are normally at least two Political Counsellors at an Embassy this size, one of whom will normally be the CIA Head of Station. I do not know if Harkenrider is CIA but it seems highly likely.

    So what do we have here? We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals’ MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative. The Skripal Case happened to occur shortly after a massive increase in the Integrity Initiative’s budget and activity, which itself was a small part of a British Government decision to ramp up a major information war against Russia.

    Furthermore, on 15 July 2019, I headlined “Mainstream Media Hide Skripal’s Connections to Russiagate-Trump Case” and documented the extensive crossover (including Skripal’s own UK handler, Pablo Miller) between the personnel who in Britain were crucial in both of those operations — and who were minimized in the press-accounts.

    There are splits within any political organization; and, apparently, the false-flag operation against the Skripals was done by a ring that included not only representatives of UK billionaires, but also representatives of Democratic Party U.S. billionaires who are competing for power against Republican Party U.S. billionaires. This is a power-struggle within the U.S.-UK elite. Though that entire elite want to conquer Russia, they disagree on how to do it. The Trumpians want to conquer China and Iran first, but all the others are simply obsessed against Russia. The Skripals got trapped by the Russia-obsessed billionaires. (For another example of a split amongst the billionaires: one of Trump’s biggest donors, Peter Thiel, said in October 2016, “If you’re a single-digit millionaire like Hulk Hogan, you have no effective access to our legal system,” and therefore he donated ten million dollars to Hogan’s case against Gawker so as to beat the comparably financed case by the liberal backers of Gawker. This is the reason why the United States, which has a higher percentage of its residents in prison than any other nation does, has amost entirely low-wealth people in prison. In a sense, poverty is a crime in America, and only the super-rich can afford competent legal representation. The Hulk-Hogan-versus-Gawker case was well-financed on both sides.)

    Back on 24 November 2018, “Moon of Alabama” had bannered “British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns” and opened:

    In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

    We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian-government lines. The ‘Russian collusion’ smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

    The ‘Integrity Initiative‘ builds ‘cluster’ or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need. …

    The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative’s funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the ‘contact persons’ for creating ‘clusters’ in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a ‘civil society’ pseudo-NGO.

    There is an important link in that article, at the sentence “Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.” It opens up a pdf document showing the hundreds of email addresses of each one of the hundreds of Integrity Initiative participants in each one of the 33 countries, and there is even a person listed there in Russia: Vygaudas Ušackas, the European Union’s Ambassador to Russia, who had just then left the Lithuanian Government’s service to join the board of a Lithuanian aerospace company that’s registered in Cyprus in order to evade taxes.

    So, if far more people are aware of the accusations than are aware of the lies and liars that are behind the accusations, then maybe the public should be demanding the press to investigate itself, and to begin that by demanding that all news-media which fail to expose the rot and falsehoods that their competitors are publishing will need to be dispossessed to the public within a year, with one share of stock going to each adult and answerable only to that — the public — and not to any investors nor to any politicians.

    But, first, the public needs to demand that the UK Government release the Skripals at a public event, at which each, both the father and the daughter, will, for the first and only time in public, tell the world which country they want to be living in. Right now, neither is being allowed to do that. And, if it won’t happen soon, then when will it? It should be done within one year.

    Otherwise: what is the UK Government hiding? And, if the UK Government can do this to the Skripals, then what visitor to UK can they not do it to? Maybe George Orwell didn’t write science fiction, after all. He allegorized future history.

    Unless the Skripals have been killed or otherwise disposed of, they are still under coercive isolation by the UK Government, perhaps at a U.S. military base, as non-persons, who aren’t granted even the merely nominal legal representation that Julian Assange is receiving. (Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both want Assange dead and his fiancé and two young children to be deprived of his love and of his very presence.)

    Maybe “George Orwell” (Eric Blair) knew and understood his country’s future more accurately than the vast majority of its residents today do, who are actually living in it.

  • Originally posted at Strategic Culture.
  • IMF Predicts China to Surge, Yet Again, Next Year

    The IMF now predicts that China next year will have the highest rate of economic growth since 2011, which was the last time when China’s GDP growth-rate exceeded 9% (at 9.6%). China’s growth-rate had averaged around 9% between 1978 and 2011, then slid to around 6.5%. If the IMF is correct, then 2021 will be the first time in a decade that the country’s GDP growth-rate is restored to its former long-time norm.

    On April 14th, the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook, April 2020” stated that, “the global economy is projected to contract sharply by -3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008-09 financial crisis.” The “Executive Summary” makes no mention, however, of either “recession” or “depression.” This is because the IMF predicts that the coronavirus-19 economic impact will end this year. Their projections call for the best performance being in “Emerging Market and Developing Economies” (the group that includes China) which grew at +3.7% in 2019, to grow at -1% this year, and at +6.6% in 2021. Among Advanced Economies,” the U.S., which grew at +2.3% in 2019, is projected to grow at -5.9% this year, and +4.7% in 2021. The Euro Area, which grew at +1.2% in 2019, is projected to grow at -7.5% this year, and +4.7% in 2021. Each of the two countries, UK and Canada, grew at around +1.5% in 2019 and is projected to grow at around -6.3% this year, and +4.1% in 2021. Japan grew -0.7% in 2019 and is projected at -5.2% now, and +3.0% in 2021. China is projected at: +6.1%, +1.2%, and +9.2%. Other main “Emerging Market and Developing Economies” are: India, at +4.2%, +1.9%, and +7.4%.’ and Russia, at +1.3%, -5.5%, and +3.5%.

    Also on April 14th, I headlined “Why at Least America Will Be in Another Great Depression,” and closed:

    On April 13th was the announcement that “Morgan Stanley warns that a potential second wave of infections could strike around November/December.” The firm said “We believe the path to re-opening the economy is going to be long. It will require turning on and off various forms of social distancing and will only come to an end when vaccines are available, in the spring of 2021 at the earliest.” How will it then be possible to avoid a Second Great Depression? Will the Fed be able to continue printing money without limit? Would an immense financial crash be avoided even if it can? The realistic outlook now appears to be super-grim. Perhaps sooner than anyone now expects, every investor will start selling into paper investment-markets that suddenly have no buyers at anything like today’s prices.

    If that does turn out to be the case, then America’s crash would negatively impact other nations’ economies, and therefore even China won’t be likely to grow at anything like +9.2% in 2021. For the entire globe, the IMF’s “World Economic Outlook” is predicting that the growth-rate, which was +2.9% in 2019, will be -3.0% this year, and +5.8% in 2021. So, according to the IMF, the rate of growth globally will be twice as high in 2021 as it was in 2019; and, supposedly, the coronavirus impact on the global economy is just a one-year blip, instead of likely to affect the global economy over a longer term.

    (For comparison: America’s total economic contraction during the first three years of the First Great Depression, 1929-31, was from a GDP of 103.6, down to 76.5, or -26%, and that was only the start, the nadir being -46% in 1933.)

    The IMF paints an optimistic picture of what’s now happening. I don’t think that this is realistic. Of course, only time will tell whether the IMF’s predictions were based on sound assumptions, or whether (as I believe) the global impact of the coronavirus-19 plague will be long-lasting, instead of merely a one-year blip (as they think).

    Above all, I believe that the impacts which this plague will have on global supply-chains, and on the distribution of wealth (concentrating wealth even more amongst the billionaires, as is especially likely in the U.S.) will be enormous and fundamental, producing major changes for perhaps a decade to come, and perhaps affecting also the balance of power amongst the world’s nations. But, of course, only time will be able to tell. If the IMF’s latest forecasts turn out to be as inaccurate as I expect, then existing economic theory is (and finally ought to be generally recognized to be) trash. Economists’ forecasts have in the past turned out to be no better than the mere guesses of non-economists, and existing economic theory itself will therefore need to be rejected and fundamentally replaced if this phenomenon occurs yet again after the coronavirus plague. A consistent bad record of prediction cannot characterize any authentic science.

    Sanders Will Present Legislation to Pay All Medical Costs for Coronavirus Patients

    Bernie Sanders, the Junior Democratic (nominally Independent) U.S. Senator from Vermont, is working with other progressives in Congress to come up with proposed emergency legislation that would pay all coronavirus medical costs throughout the coronavirus epidemic in America, and that would pay salaries of laid-off workers, so that the economy will not crash.

    In a 7-minute video which was posted by The Hill,

    Sanders says that due to the pandemic, “our economy is now collapsing in front of our eyes” and so “the essence of this legislation is that it will be more effective to prevent the collapse of our economy than to pick up the pieces once the economy collapses,” and so the legislation “will guarantee the paychecks of every American worker who has lost his or her job.” He says that other nations are already doing that. “It’s going on around the world, in Germany, the UK, Denmark, Norway, other countries. … The way to maintain the economy is to make sure that people continue to have their paycheck, even if they are working at home, even if they are not working at all. And when this crisis is over, and it will be over, people can then go back to work.”

    This bill will be only temporary, during the time of the emergency, and if the Congress will fail to pass it, then not only the economy will collapse but the federal Government’s income from taxation will also collapse, and so the federal Government’s debt will soar even faster than it would soar if the legislation becomes passed into law. No taxes on no income mean shrinking the Government precisely at the stage in the economy when the private sector is collapsing and needs help the most from the Government. That hurts everybody.

    Also, the legislation will include “Everybody in America will have all the medical care they need during the crisis, without any out-of-pocket expenses.”

    This latter feature will also give every American the freedom, and the confidence, to know that if they suspect that they might possibly now be spreading the virus to others, they can, without any fear, have themselves tested, knowing beforehand that their paychecks will continue even if they turn out to have the virus and will therefore have to become temporarily out of work. In other words: this paycheck-guarantee will greatly expedite the discovery of individuals who are carrying the virus, so that they will no longer continue to be working at a job where they might be spreading it to others and thus a continuing threat of spreading it to others. The result of this — the federal payments to cover not only the unemployment but the medical costs — will be to end this crisis much sooner than would otherwise be the case.

    Also: “We need to have a freeze on rents,” so that anyone who can afford to keep paying can do so, but anyone who cannot, will receive federal assistance, in order to prevent them from being expelled from their homes.

    “Will it be expensive? It sure will. But the alternative is worse.”

    “The goal right now is to prevent the collapse of our economy and of our health care system.”

    Nothing that is in the program that he is drawing up in collaboration with other members of the Senate and House would be bailing out the nation’s wealthiest, such as the first piece of coronavirus-emergency legislation did. Also unlike the Obama legislation for bailouts after George W. Bush’s 2008 Wall Street crash, the legislation that Senator Sanders is now drawing up will be bailing out only consumers and employees, and not investors. It would be demand-pull, instead of supply-push, restoration of the economy, and therefore it will not expand wealth-inequality like the prior piece of legislation did, and like Obama’s Wall Street bailouts did, but it will instead reduce that inequality, by protecting consumers and employees, instead of protecting investors.

    China Nearly Conquered Coronavirus Epidemic in 50 Days

    According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/, which obtains its information from only the most reliable sources, here are the main statistics regarding coronavirus-19 cases in China:
    as of today, March 17th:

    WORLD / COUNTRIES / CHINA
    Last updated: March 17, 2020, 14:20 GMT
    China
    Coronavirus Cases: 80,881
    Deaths: 3,226
    Recovered: 68,715
    ACTIVE CASES
    8,940 Currently Infected Patients
    5,714 (64%) in Mild Condition
    3,226 (36%) Serious or Critical
    Total Coronavirus Cases in China:
    Jan 22 near 0
    Feb 11 50K
    Feb 12 60K
    Feb 15 70K
    Feb 27 80K
    Mar 13 80K

    That’s 0 to 50K in 20 days, and in only 16 more days there was a stable total of 80K cases reached, or 80,000 Chinese who had been hit by the coronavirus-19 infection.

    Total Coronavirus Cases in China

    This governmental performance will be compared with that of other countries and show the relative effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the various governments around the world in protecting their people from this sudden and extremely dire threat to their safety and security. This will be the most reliable existing single global statistical indicator of how good and how bad the various countries’ governments are, regarding the national security, or the protection of the lives and welfare, of their citizens. This is not a military measure of that, but it might be a more trustworthy measure, because coronavirus-19 is possibly an even bigger threat to the lives and welfare of the world’s peoples than a global nuclear war, WW III, would be; and it is surely one of the biggest such threats in the present era of a highly globalized economy.

    On Monday, March 16th, Zero Hedge bannered “‘Half Of America Will Get Sick’: Here Is What Goldman Told 1,500 Clients In Its Emergency Sunday Conference Call” and reported that they said: “Peak-virus is expected over the next eight weeks, declining thereafter.” That’s about 60 days to achieve what China achieved in about 50 days. However, China was able to achieve that only because it is a much more mutually cooperative society, culture, and society, than exists in the United States. Perhaps Goldman Sachs simply does not want to panic their client-base. Of course, by the time those 60 days will have passed, we will have a much clearer idea of what the true situation has been.

    Furthermore: “50% of Americans will contract the virus (150m people).” So: that “peak-virus” occurring in 60 days would be compared to 80,000 cases within 50 days in China. It would be maxing-out not at 80,000 out of 1,400,000,000 Chinese or .006% of the Chinese population, but at 50% of the population, or 165,000,000 out of America’s 330,000,000 population. Really? It would be 8,333 times higher a percentage of Americans who will get hit than of Chinese who did?

    And, according to Goldman, communicating to their 1,500 clients, “S&P 500 will see a negative growth rate of -15% to -20% for 2020 overall.” A very bad year, but the S&P declined -28.48% in 1930, -47.04% in 1931, -38.64% in 1937, and -38.64% in 1917 — that century’s four worst years. Goldman doesn’t expect 2020 to be anywhere near that bad. (Or, at least, this is what they are telling their clients. The way they calculated that would be interesting to see.)

    Why Iraqis Hate the U.S. Troops Who Occupy Their Country

    American ‘news’-media present a very distorted view of America’s international relations. For example, consider this:

    We discussed the executive order [banning Iraqis from coming to U.S.], and their displeasure in this executive order, why they feel like they’ve been betrayed by the United States, and … I asked a simple question: As an American if I went out into the town right now, would I be welcomed? And they answered absolutely not, you would not be welcomed. And I said, what would happen? And they said, the locals would snatch me up and kill me within an hour. I’d be tortured first, and after they were done torturing me, I’d probably be beheaded, it would go on video, for everybody to see as an example. … What  I am trying to make is this, is the local populace, that would do this. This isn’t al-Qaeda, this isn’t the PMU, this isn’t the militia from the Iranians, this is the local populace that would do this. So, my question then was pretty simple: If you would do this to me, in your country, why would I let you in my country? Because all this means to me is that if you have the opportunity, to take the life of an American, you would do it. If this is the way some of those cultures feel, this is the way that these countries feel about Americans, why would you be so naive to believe that if they came to the United States, they would do anything any different from what they would do right here in their own country?

    Actually, there is no comparison between those two situations (one of those Iraqis in America, versus that same person in U.S.-occupied Iraq), and here is why:

    We invaded their land. We did it on the basis of Bush’s lies that Bush had conclusive evidence that Saddam was six months from a nuclear weapon and had been behind the 9/11 attacks. He blatantly misrepresented the evidence that he did have. And instead of Bush, or any of his successors, apologizing for this — the destruction of Iraq (on the basis of lies) — there has been continued military occupation of Iraq, and forcing of its Government to do what our lying Government demands, such as privatizing the oil and paying international oil companies to exploit and market it — their oil.

    The reason why “they feel they’ve been betrayed” by Trump’s bar against any Iraqi relocating to America is that many of these Iraqis had been hired by U.S. firms to do translating or other essential assistance to the invaders, and so they are themselves now hated by the locals, their own countrymen, and they think that the only safety for them and their families would be to move, along with their families, to America. They are therefore now terrified, at finding themselves stranded in Iraq, where they are very reasonably considered to be traitors.

    Furthermore, the U.S. did seize many innocent Iraqis, and subject them to torture; so, why would that be okay but the locals seizing some of the invaders and subjecting them to torture NOT be okay? Are the invaders (the U.S. forces) innocent? Maybe some of them are, but, really, should they be presumed to have been innocent and the Iraqis, whom our Government seized and tortured, be considered to have been guilty? Guilty of what? Defending their country? Against this evil invasion? Okay, so the evil was in the U.S. President, George W. Bush, and in his also lying V.P. Dick Cheney, etc., and other top-level Bush Administration war-criminals, and not necessarily in the troops who simply did what they were told to do. But in World War II, were all of Hitler’s troops innocent? They weren’t the ones who were primarily responsible, but were they INNOCENT? They did what they were paid to do, but were THEY innocent? Really? One may say that they were less guilty than America’s troops in Iraq were, because those German soldiers were conscripts, whereas ours are ‘volunteers’.

    For Steve Gern to be hated in Iraq while he was in Iraq is not, at all, comparable to an Iraqi citizen who was a traitor to his country and is now provided refuge in America (which Trump’s executive order prevents). They’re totally different types of case. That Iraqi who seeks refuge in the U.S. isn’t any invader. But Gern was. All Americans in Iraq are invaders and military occupiers, on the basis solely of lies that George W. Bush and his team spouted in 2002. There’s no comparison. That Fox ‘News’ interview is sheer propaganda.

    This isn’t to say that Steve Gern doesn’t believe what he asserts. It is only to say that what he is asserting is stupid because it is blind to the reality, which the other side see very clearly because their country was invaded and is militarily occupied by Gern and the other U.S. troops in their country.

    And it’s not about “the culture,” such as Gern said. Gern asserted that “If this is the way some of those cultures feel, this is the way that these countries feel about Americans,” but the difference here is instead between occupier versus occupied, it’s not about anything “cultural.” Military occupiers are not liked. Not anywhere. Especially not after the invasion destroyed the country and contaminated it with toxins. And if the invading country has invaded on the basis of lies — as the U.S. did in Iraq and now routinely does such as in Libya and Syria etc. — then those occupying troops are normally hated. Gern is blind to that basic reality. Furthermore, America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq destroyed Iraq (as also happened in Libya and in Syria).

    That’s why U.S. troops are hated in Iraq. And it is also why an Iraqi traitor who has fled to America for protection is not at all comparable to an American soldier in Iraq. That person’s being instead now denied the right of asylum here is an insult to that traitor; it is telling him: after we have exploited you, we are discarding you — you will stay in the country where you are a traitor.

    If Iraq had invaded and militarily occupied the U.S., and done it purely on the basis of lies, then wouldn’t we hate those military occupiers, of our land? Of course, we would. And, of course we should, in that case, hate especially the Iraqi leader who had spouted the lies and ordered Iraq’s troops to invade here. But would we then be able to kill that head of state, in that distant land, who had done the lying and ordered the invasion of your country? Unfortunately, not. And, similarly, Iraqis cannot kill George W. Bush, even though most of them would probably crave to do so. But if they were instead to kill someone such as Steve Gern, then perhaps that would release just a bit of the hatred they feel for Bush and for his team. It’s a very justifiable hatred, even if it misses the actual target. Gern was just a front-man for the evil. Bush WAS the evil.

    Is a person justified to hate his or her rapist? No? Really? Why not? How, then, is justice even possible? This isn’t about “an eye for an eye.” It is a victim’s response to that person’s attacker and oppressor. Iraqis didn’t invade America. Americans invaded Iraq. The more that the ‘news’ media of America’s billionaires who benefited from that invasion hide this fact by pumping the deceptions that those beneficiaries of this evil have constantly been nurturing, the more justified this hate from the actual victims is.

    Invading a country on the basis of lies is raping everyone who lives there. No crime is worse than that. America does it routinely, but now mainly hires foreign proxies to do the mayhem, such as Al Qaeda. That doesn’t make it any less evil. On January 3rd, Trump assassinated the man whom many regard as the world’s most effective general who was leading the fight to destroy ISIS, and Trump perpetrated this assassination on Iraqi territory, in complete disregard for the sovereignty of the Iraqi people, to whom that Iranian general was overwhelmingly regarded as a hero and a liberator.

    When U.S. Staff Sergeant Gern was occupying Iraq, he was surrounded by enemies, and he didn’t know why. He’s not able to see things from the victim’s standpoint, unless he’s the victim. And on Fox ‘News’ he was being presented as the victim. That interview was broadcast as Republican Party billionaires’ propaganda against Democratic Party billionaires’ propaganda. The public is virtually ignored, except as onlookers to be deceived. This is called the ‘free press’ in America’s ‘democracy’. The ‘news’ is propaganda, but each individual gets to choose whose propaganda to buy. Gern is just a soldier in that type of ‘democracy’. He does what he is paid to do, and doesn’t understand why he is paid to do it, nor whose benefit he serves by doing it. He was a soldier for America’s billionaires, but was never told this. And his pay — then, and even in retirement — comes instead from America’s taxpayers, who derive no benefit from invading and militarily occupying Iraq. It’s a land of socialism for the rich, and capitalism for everybody else. That’s what America’s soldiers are actually killing and dying for. But the dying and the lying must go on, because it benefits the billionaires, the ultimate patrons of this mayhem.

    On 14 March 2020, the brilliant military analyst who blogs anonymously as “Moon of Alabama” concluded that the U.S. can in “no way deter or even win against the forces that are now working to evict it from Iraq.” The military occupation there won’t go on forever, no matter how long this and future U.S. Presidents demand that it must continue. A face-saving departure, such as happened in Vietnam, isn’t in the cards, this time, however. The invader will ultimately be defeated and driven out. But how much additional punishment will the invader inflict on its victims, the Iraqi people, before departing — and after? That’s the real question. How much do Americans want to be hated by Iraqis? Of course, we don’t, at all, but we don’t actually control ‘our’ Government.

    America’s billionaires, who control ‘our’ elected officials and ‘our’ ‘free’ press (which lied along with ‘our’ Government so as to help it to invade there), and whose greed got us into invading and occupying Iraq, and who want to continue their military bases in Iraq, so that they can continue to threaten other countries in the region (since the American empire is not just commercial but military, and the military is its enforcement-arm), don’t want to end their Government’s occupation of Iraq. After all, it’s paid for by us taxpayers, not by those billionaires, and they want to continue such socialism for the rich, and capitalism for everybody else.

    And that’s the dilemma: they don’t want to quit Iraq; but, now, lots of Iraqis are willing to sacrifice their own lives, if necessary, in order to force them out. For America’s troops currently in Iraq, things are even worse than when Steve Gern was there (2005-2015). Furthermore, being a military occupation-force is unpleasant work even under any conditions. It has nothing to do with “the way some of those cultures feel.” But since America’s billionaires control the Government, it has a lot to do with how those roughly 600 individuals “feel.” They, after all, are the ones who are being served in all of this. And they are the people whom every American President represents.

    How to Know If America Is Your Enemy

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    If your country is friendly toward Russia, China, or Iran, then today’s American Government is probably applying subversion, economic sanctions, or maybe even planning a coup, or (if none of those will succeed) probably is war-gaming now for a possible military invasion and permanent military occupation, of your country. These things have been done to Russia, Iran, China, Yugoslavia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Ukraine, Georgia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and some other countries.

    However, after the 9/11 attacks in America, the US Government has added another system for selecting countries to immiserate, and those are mainly the countries that already suffer the most misery — some of them are countries that were listed above, but others (many others) are not, and are selected instead largely because they are already in misery, and also because America — that is, the Deep State which controls it, America’s hundreds of billionaires, who control international corporations and the press in America, and not just control the politicians who win public offices — wants to control the given target country in order to extract its natural resources or simply in order to place some of US military bases there so as to be better able to invade other countries.

    This relatively new category of America’s targeted enemies was invented, mainly, in 2003 and 2004, by Thomas P. M. Barnett, a Professor at the US Naval College and columnist and writer for various popular magazines, as well as of best-selling books. His 2004 book The Pentagon’s New Map, presents that map, to show the areas, mainly around the Equator and including all of Central America; plus all of South America except Chile, Argentina, and Brazil; plus all of Africa except South Africa, all countries of which are supposedly not connected to globalization — i.e., they are Third World instead of First World — and he says that they are unstable and therefore need to be policed by the world’s policeman, which is the US Government, to serve there as the judge, jury, and executioner, of anyone who lives there and who resists that judge, jury, and executioner.

    His key statement is on page 227, “A country’s potential to warrant a US military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity.” Here is the map, which shows which countries are supposedly high globalization connectivity and therefore inappropriate for America to sanction, coup, or invade and occupy; and which countries are supposedly low globalization connectivity and therefore appropriate for America to sanction, coup, or invade and occupy:

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    As can be seen there, the following countries are not to be policed by the US Government: Canada, US, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, UK, Greenland, Iceland, EU, Switzerland, Ukraine, Georgia, South Africa, Russia, Mongolia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, N.Z.

    He calls those the “Globalized Functioning Core.” All others are “the Non-Integrated Gap” countries, America’s virtual free-fire zones, to control so as to ‘prevent terrorism’.

    Instead of international law being what the United Nations says it is, this “new map” theory says that international law in the “Non-Integrated Gap” countries should be what the US Government says it is.

    According to Barnett’s theory, as he expressed it in its original version in an Esquire magazine article titled “Why the Pentagon Changes Its Maps: And why we’ll keep going to war,” he listed these countries as “THE GAP” or third-world countries, “My list of real trouble for the world in the 1990s, today, and tomorrow, starting in our own backyard” (and these are listed here by the names that he gave to them): Haiti, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, Former Yugoslavia, Congo and Rwanda/Burundi, Angola, South Africa, Israel-Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Indonesia. Then he listed “CORE MEMBERS I WORRY WE MAY LOSE:” China, Russia, India.

    So, if you live in any of those countries, then Barnett, and the many US generals who respect his theory, and the US billionaires, who want the resources in those countries or else just want military bases there, view you as an enemy, not as a citizen of a sovereign foreign country. His Esquire article says, “it is always possible to fall off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops.” He assumes that you need a “policeman” from America because what your own country provides is too primitive. And, “Conversely, if a country is largely functioning within globalization, we tend not to have to send our forces there to restore order or eradicate threats.”

    On 22 August 2017, Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet headlined “The US military project for the world” and gave his progressive critical interpretation of Barnett’s theory by placing it into the long-term evolution of US geostrategy. On 26 September 2004, Razib Khan gave his admiring racist-fascist or ideologically nazi interpretation of it, under the headline “IQ And The Non-Integrating Gap”. He assumed there that lower-income countries are “lower IQ” and therefore need to be directed according to the master’s whip, not as sovereign countries.

    The book’s publisher places online an informative excerpt from the work. under the headline “An Operating Theory of the World” and Barnett says there:
    As the 'vision guy,' my job was to generate and deliver a compelling brief that would mobilize the Defense Department toward generating the future fighting force demanded by the post-9/11 strategic environment. Over the next two years I gave that brief well over a hundred times to several thousand Defense Department officials. Through this intense give-and-take, my material grew far beyond my original inputs to include the insider logic driving all of the major policy decisions promulgated by the department’s senior leadership. Over time, senior military officials began citing the brief as a Rosetta stone for the Bush Administration’s new national security strategy.
    The strategy remains in force, though there now is a return to focusing on the main enemies being Russia, China, and Iran. The “gap” countries are currently viewed not only according to the “gap” but also according to their relationships to Russia, China, and Iran.

    Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.