All posts by Max Parry

A Warning of the Imminent Danger of a Kamala Harris Presidency

With the 2020 U.S. presidential election less than a month away, there is widespread speculation concerning Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s mental and physical fitness at 77 years of age if he were to defeat incumbent Donald Trump on November 3rd. The former Vice President and Senator from Delaware would surpass his opponent as the oldest to ever hold the office of the presidency if victorious, while his generally acknowledged cognitive decline has led many to question whether he is even capable of serving a single term. Given the concerns about his health, the likelihood that Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, would become his successor has put the controversial former prosecutor and California Attorney General’s own politics under scrutiny, though not to a degree sufficient with the odds she could very well become commander-in-chief in the near future. Trump himself suggested it was the hidden motivation behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent introduction of a 25th Amendment commission on removing a “mentally unfit” president to enable the replacement of an incapacitated Biden with Harris after the election. Even Saturday Night Live recently joked about Biden’s poor first debate performance as a Harris term in-the-making — but as journalist Caleb Maupin explains in his new book Kamala Harris and the Future of America: An Essay in Three Parts, the prospect of her becoming president is no laughing matter.

Maupin’s ambitious essay surpasses the redundant analysis of the vice-presidential nominee by placing her political success in a broader historical context while forewarning the unique danger of a budding Harris administration waiting in the wings. The majority of the critical examinations of Harris during the campaign have critiqued her rebranding as an outwardly “progressive” figure in stark contrast with the reality of her career as a ruthless criminal prosecutor turned establishment politician. While that is true, Maupin’s analysis takes an important step further by formulating the rise of Harris, who is the first Jamaican and South Asian-American nominee on a major party ticket, as the culmination of the U.S. left’s failures in the last several decades resulting in its present deteriorated state preoccupied with liberal identity politics. More specifically, a result of the defeats suffered by the so-called New Left of the 1960s and 70s which had long-term consequences for progressive politics in America today.

Although not a biography, Maupin does link Harris’s psychological profile, personality traits and upbringing with her political career which he parallels with the life stories of previous presidents and other political figures. Born in 1964, Harris was raised in a hub of the organized left in the Bay Area by immigrant parents who were politically active during her early childhood in Northern California. While not a communist, her estranged Jamaican-American father, Donald Harris, is a Stanford University professor and Marxian economist whose work influenced the progressive domestic reforms in his native island country during the administration of Prime Minister Michael Manley, a democratic socialist who introduced land redistribution, socialized medicine and free education until Jamaica’s neocolonization by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decimated the Carribean nation with enormous debt, as explored in the documentary Life and Debt (2001). Young Kamala grew up attending civil rights protests in Berkeley with her parents until their bitter divorce which resulted in her Indian-American mother gaining sole custody. Maupin dares to ask — is her chosen career path as a criminal prosecutor and top legal officer disproportionately locking up black men unconsciously motivated by a vendetta against her father? Could it even explain her thinly-veiled contempt for the progressive politics she now pretends to uphold as a politician?

Maupin also argues that Harris was likely groomed for her present role as Biden’s running mate by the Clintonite wing of Democratic Party once it became apparent Hillary was not in a position to run again in 2020, citing a 2017 closed door meeting in the Hamptons with elite party donors and apparatchiks. Despite her own early exit from the primaries after a knockout blow in the debates delivered by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii who sharply criticized her record as a prosecutor, Harris was already vetted by the party leadership to be Biden’s heir apparent. For the Democratic establishment, she is the perfect choice to derail the emerging progressive faction of the party led by Bernie Sanders which champions a similar brand of the social democratic politics championed by her father. This could also hold disastrous geopolitical implications, as the world is still reeling from the four years spent ravaged by the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton’s State Department which oversaw the wholesale destruction of several nations in the global south. We can only expect the same regime change policies from Harris if she is cut from the same cloth.

Maupin then uses Harris and her Berkeley upbringing to explore the history of leftism in the United States, tracing the New Left’s ceding of leadership roles to students and marginal groups while discarding labor rights and the class struggle back to the influence of the Frankfurt School of Social Theory. The philosophical movement of intellectuals and academics associated with the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, otherwise known as ‘critical theory’, put forward that both capitalist societies and Marxist-Leninist states like the Soviet Union were equally rigid “totalitarian” systems. The interdisciplinary sociological school viewed Marx’s prediction of revolutionary emancipation in the 20th century as an evident failure and rejected the historical materialism of orthodox Marxism, arguing that forces of economic change were undermined by the dominant ideology of the ruling class represented in mass media which produced false consciousness in the working class. Theorists such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse attempted to reformulate Marxism with Freudian psychoanalysis and other disciplines while critiquing mass consumer culture and modern technology.

As the impact of the Frankfurt School gave rise to the New Left in the U.S. and Western Europe, mass social movements became housed in the universities instead of the factories. This was favorable to the ruling class, as student-led counterculture revolts were much easier to control in comparison with a revolution organized by the workers. If any authentic revolutionary leaders did emerge, they were quickly neutralized. After the student protests of 1968, the New Left withdrew further to its comfort zone in the realm of ideas and out of the streets, which was perfectly alright with the powers that be since they were intellectuals who denounced Marxism-Leninism. Soon the academy would be dominated by an even more pessimistic and “anti-authoritarian” ideology, postmodernism, which rejected the value of all universal truths and grand narratives. How did this all happen?

Maupin emphasizes that the intelligentsia of the New Left were actively supported by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through its clandestine Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) program during the Cold War, which sought to subvert the sympathies of liberals and the non-communist left with the Soviet Union through the covert funding of prominent literary magazines, journals, international conferences, modern art exhibitions, and other cultural activities. The objective was to promote an intellectual consensus on the Western left that the Soviet Union was to be opposed as much as capitalism and it was indisputably successful. Meanwhile, the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commissions of the 1970s exposed how in the previous decade the CIA had played an enormous role in introducing drugs to the counterculture as part of its domestic espionage against the anti-war movement in Operation Midnight Climax, a sub-program of Project MK-Ultra, where the Bay Area became a petri dish for its human experimentation. With the drug culture came the popularization of eastern mysticism and eventually, the New Age movement.

As it happens, the relationship between the CIA and the New Left’s intellectuals goes back to its origins. One of the most prominent idealogues of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse — often referred to as the “father of the New Left” — spent almost a full decade during the 1940s working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA, and as an anti-Soviet intelligence analyst in the U.S. State Department. This was not just during wartime but continued well after WWII was over in West Germany until 1951 when Marcuse immigrated to the United States to work as a professor at universities on the east coast, the same year that the CCF was founded. However, one interesting fact that Maupin overlooks is that while Kamala Harris was growing up in Oakland in the 1960s, Marcuse relocated his teaching career out to the west coast at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where his work continued to be cited as an influence by the middle-class student activists and radicals of the counterculture as the left drifted further away from the socialist countries and the working class. The documentary The documentary Herbert’s Hippopotamus: Marcuse and Revolution in Paradise examines Marcuse’s time in Southern California in the late 60s.

Prior to his work in the OSS, in Weimar Germany the young Marcuse had been a pupil of philosopher Martin Heidegger even as his mentor infamously joined the ascendant Nazi Party, though the relationship came to an end once Marcuse’s own academic career was obstructed by the Third Reich in the early 1930s. One of the major thinkers associated with the New Left promoted by the CCF was a former lover of Heidegger’s, Hannah Arendt, who penned one of the most seminal and harmful works in equating the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany as twin pillars of authoritarianism in The Origins of Totalitarianism. In particular, Maupin takes aim at Arendt’s essay Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil where she famously observed Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann’s thoughtless conformism and ministerial disposition in his lack of remorse for his atrocities while covering his trial. Maupin interprets her notion as implicitly concluding that lurking underneath the surface of every ordinary hardworking person is a potential fascist, therefore anyone who would try to organize them for a collective cause is a threat to society. This cynical, psychoanalytic definition of fascism as rooted in what Adorno called the “authoritarian personality” replaced the Marxist economic understanding. Yet in spite of her work, Arendt controversially participated in the shameful post-war apologia and rehabilitation of Heidegger’s reputation.

Critics might say that Maupin’s diagnosis of the Western left as the manipulated brainchild of Western intelligence agencies is oversimplistic, conspiratorial or risks espousing a form of vulgar Marxism. Indeed, it is a touchy subject for those too personally connected to the artistic and intellectual milieu of the time to accept the undeniably significant role played by the CIA in subverting leftist politics, arts and culture in the second half of the twentieth century. Some on the left will inevitably try to dismiss his analysis by likening it to the right-wing canard of “cultural Marxism” spoken of by paleoconservatives simply because of the overlap in mutual subjects of criticism. Nonetheless, there is a small kernel of truth at the heart the right’s mostly fictitious narrative of Western Marxism’s control of academia but unfortunately, what they misinterpret as a plot to “subvert Western culture” was hatched at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia — not the former Soviet Union. Today’s pseudo-left which recoils working people is truly an imposter generated by the CIA’s cultural cold war program to replace actual Marxism, the real casualty of the pervasiveness of Western Marxism in universities.

Others may find Maupin’s assessment of the Frankfurt School and thinkers of the New Left to be too dismissive of their contributions. Ironically, Adorno’s worthwhile conception of “actionism” applies to the left-wing anti-intellectualism and leaderless, spontaneous voluntarism of the very movement to which the Frankfurt School gave birth and is even more relevant per Maupin’s thorough description of what he calls the “synthetic left” today. Look no further than the ‘propaganda of the deed’ which dominates Antifa and the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests this year. In Thesis on Feuerbach, Karl Marx articulated the predicament of revolutionary politics in his day being restrained by the gap between thought and action, or “philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” One could say the mantra of the Western left now seems to be taking action without any thought whatsoever. Or as Lenin wrote in What is to be Done?, “without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.”

If the idea that Kamala Harris represents an apotheosis of the New Left’s failures feels like a bit of a stretch, it is only because the examination warrants further inquiry which Maupin should continue in his work, regardless of the outcome of the 2020 election. Nevertheless, in just a little over 125 pages he manages to comprehensively piece together the trajectory of the Western left from the end of WWII to what can only be described as its “stinking corpse” today, a term once used by Rosa Luxembourg to describe the treacherous Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) after it voted to support the imperialist bloodbath of WWI in 1914. Maupin’s use of Harris and the environment she grew up in as a springboard to investigate the shortcomings of the Western left generally is a formidable exploration that is desperately needed at a time where the American people are faced with the probability of enduring yet another destructive administration and no authentic left to represent it.

The post A Warning of the Imminent Danger of a Kamala Harris Presidency first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The False Flag Poisoning of Alexei Navalny, AKA “Russia’s Trump”

On August 20th, Russian opposition figure and self-styled “anti-corruption” activist Alexei Navalny fell seriously ill while in mid-flight from Tomsk, Siberia to the Russian capital. The Moscow-bound plane was abruptly re-routed to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk where the anti-Kremlin politician was subsequently hospitalized for suspected poisoning and placed in a medically-induced coma. Two days later, Navalny was airlifted to Germany in an evacuation arranged by a Berlin-based “human rights” NGO at the request of Pussy Riot spokesman Pyotr Verzilov. His transport on a medically-equipped plane with German specialists was permitted by the Russian authorities who now stand accused of culpability in the alleged attack, all in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.

While the Russian doctors in Omsk (who saved Navalny’s life) maintain they did not find any evidence of chemical weapons substances in his system, upon examination the German government quickly announced that its military lab had discovered “unequivocal evidence” Navalny was poisoned by a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent and demanded an explanation from the Kremlin — without providing any of said evidence to Moscow or the public, of course. Despite being the supposed victim of an extremely deadly military-grade nerve agent, three weeks later Navalny came out his comatose state and off ventilation, defiantly vowing a return to Russia. Was he ever tested for COVID-19? At this point it seems more likely than this propaganda stunt we are expected to believe.

It is unconvincing precisely because it follows a pattern of improbable events questionably attributed to the Kremlin. As many have noted, the incident strikingly resembles the alleged March 2018 poisoning in Salisbury, England of disgraced former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, visiting from Moscow which caused a similar diplomatic row. Skripal, who had been a double agent for MI6 and served ten years imprisonment for high treason, was exiled to the UK after his sentence in a spy-swap between Russia and Britain in 2010. While residing in southern England, Skripal was reportedly in close contact with a security consultant who worked for the author of the salacious but fabricated dossier on U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — and may have even been the source of its unverified contents.

Skripal and his daughter were discovered unconscious on a park bench, but were said to have been initially contaminated hours earlier by the extremely fast-acting substance applied to the door handle of his residence. Similarly, Alexei Navalny is said to have been contaminated by a water bottle in his hotel room, not in the tea he drank at the Tomsk Bogashevo airport cafe before boarding his flight as originally believed. How is the elapsed time in both of these cases possible? The toxin in Navalny’s case was also not discovered until examination in Germany, meaning a bottle laced with a chemical warfare agent was transported all the way to Berlin? None of those who came to Navalny’s aid or treated him suffered any noxious effects, unlike the Skripals where multiple police officers at least showed minor symptoms. Still, both Navalny and the Skripals fully recovered from their supposed exposure to an extremely lethal toxin considered even more deadly than sarin or VX gas. After their release from the hospital, the Skripals immediately went into hiding which has left the enormous questions surrounding the incident still unresolved two years later. However, the damage was already done as the UK government immediately blamed Moscow and more than 100 Russian diplomats were expelled by Britain and its Western allies.

Months later in June 2018, two British nationals were the victims of an accidental poisoning (one fatally) after they discovered a discarded but unopened perfume bottle containing the same poisonous agent. Then that September, Scotland Yard released CCTV footage of two Russian men alleged to be GRU military intelligence agents in Salisbury at the time of the attack. However, no verifiable evidence was ever provided by the British government showing that the two were responsible, though it was conveniently claimed that the would-be culprits clumsily left vestiges of the fatal chemical agent in their hotel room. So, not only is Russian intelligence incapable of carrying out successful assassinations, but carelessly unable to cover their tracks? The premise was already absurd enough but made even more fanciful by Britain’s refusal to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention in providing Moscow with requested samples of the toxin which purportedly poisoned the treasonous ex-spook and his daughter. Thus far in the Navalny case, Germany is following the same script.

What a coincidence that the attack comes just as Nord Stream 2, the second line of the massive natural gas pipeline under construction from Russia to Germany opposed by the U.S. and several NATO allies, is near completion. Suddenly, the diplomatic fall-out has put the controversial project in limbo, with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German government under pressure from Washington to withdraw from the project which would increase Russian influence on Europe’s energy infrastructure and rival the U.S.’s costlier exports. As pointed out by Die Linke’s Dietmar Bartsch, where were the calls to halt the purchase of Saudi oil imports after the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi? It is clear that the Anglo-Americans are simply desperate to halt the resurgence of Moscow on the international stage, threatening their German counterparts with sanctions as the final sections of the pipeline conveying Russian gas across the Baltic Sea is being constructed. The attack on Navalny could not occur at a more auspicious time for the Atlanticists and a worse time for Moscow.

The notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to assassinate an opposition figure who holds a minuscule 2% support amongst the population, far behind other opponents nonexistent to Western media but the one who just so happens to be favored by Washington, is contrary to any reason or common sense. Not to mention, at the exact moment it would jeopardize a project essential to Russia’s economic growth and frugality, as the pipeline would link Moscow with Western Europe bypassing neighboring transit countries such as the Ukraine (also opposed to Nord Stream 2) which have costly transit fees. Is it really the Russian government who stands to massively benefit from this fiasco? The answer to “cui bono?” could not be more clear: U.S., Saudi and Emirati oil and gas interests, not the Kremlin. Russia was also recently the first nation to develop a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with its Sputnik V registered in August, an international competition that has been heavily politicized by Washington which is eager to cast aspersions on Moscow’s accomplishment. Meanwhile, Germany is also the one Western European country where Washington’s anti-Russian propaganda is falling flat, as recent polls consistently show that the vast majority of Germans don’t see Russia as a threat, likely a result of their high rate of media literacy.

Despite Navalny’s recovery, there are already calls to legislate a ‘Navalny Act’ as a follow-up to the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan bill previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 under the Obama Administration which sanctioned Russian officials accused of being responsible for the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, an unscrupulous Russian tax lawyer who helped dodgy international financiers like the US-born British tycoon William Browder commit massive tax evasion in Russia. Magnitsky died under mysterious circumstances while in custody awaiting trial for facilitating Browder’s skullduggery and suffering from poor health, with the Russian prison officials first accused of depriving him of medical treatment and then allegedly beating and torturing him to death. The fascinating 2016 documentary The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes explores the case from the perspective of Westernized Putin critic and filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, who through the course of his investigation unexpectedly discovers that the mainstream media narrative of Magnitsky’s death was a fiction concocted by Browder. Suddenly, Nekrasov’s entire perspective on Russia comes into question and the film takes on a metanarrative of the nature of propaganda itself.

What we are being told about Navalny is likely another fairy tale like the implausible story forged by Mr. Browder about the death of the auditor he hired to enrich himself exploiting Russia’s tax loopholes. Incredibly, the American-born investor is the grandson of Earl Browder, the leader of the Communist Party USA during its heyday until his expulsion at the end of World War II. When the wartime US-Soviet alliance fell apart and the Cold War began, the elder Browder proved more loyal to American imperialism than the communist movement and presided over the liquidation of the CPUSA until it was reestablished with his dismissal as General Secretary. Having grown up in a Russian-speaking family, decades later his grandson decided to cash in on the collapse of the former Soviet Union through various investment ventures as manager of the hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management. When Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin and numerous oligarchs went into exile or landed themselves in prison, Bill Browder was forced to flee the country after defrauding the Russian government of millions with the help of the late Mr. Magnitsky.

One of those banished oligarchs, billionaire media tycoon Boris Berezovsky, also died under dubious circumstances in the UK when he was found hanging in his apartment bathroom in Berkshire, England in 2013. Like Magnitsky, Putin and the Russian government were suspected of involvement in Berezovsky’s death by the media without a shred of evidence, even though his suspicious purported “suicide” actually came shortly after expressing a written willingness to return to Russia and reconcile with Putin — which almost certainly would have been a stroke of good luck for Russian counter-intelligence and a threat to the West, not the Kremlin. Berezovsky had been close with a former agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB, the KGB’s successor), Alexander Litvinenko, a defector renowned for claiming he had been ordered by Putin to assassinate Berezovsky and subsequently lived in the UK as a consultant for British intelligence until his own polonium poisoning in 2006, the first of a series of episodes framing Moscow. Consistently, however, in every one of these cases it is never the Kremlin which stands to gain.

There is a reason Putin consistently polls over 70% in favorability with the Russian people and that is his directing the country away from Western domination under the ruinous neoliberal economic policies of his corrupt and inebriated predecessor Boris Yeltsin which auctioned off the former state-owned assets to foreign investors such as Browder and oligarchs like Berezovsky. Meanwhile, Navalny has a level of support well under 5%, with recent polls placing him behind the Communist Party’s Pavel Grudinin and the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. While Navalny’s own rhetoric has shifted over the years, he has controversially maintained his own cozy relationship with ethnic nationalists who make up a significant amount of his right-wing populist base, even co-organizing annual marches dominated by racist skinheads.

Navalny infamously coined the slogan “Stop Feeding the Caucasus!” advocated by xenophobic nationalists calling for the defunding and secession of the Muslim-majority North Caucasus from Russia, while making frequent Islamophobic statements and stoking anti-immigrant sentiments against Central Asians. You would never know this reading Western media who have completely sanitized Navalny’s politics (if they ever address them at all), while they remain obsessed with the perceived ingratiation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin even though the former’s politics have far more in common with Navalny than the Russian President. Given the U.S. support for far right nationalists in the 2014 anti-Russian coup d’etat in Ukraine, Washington has no qualms about backing fascists to undermine Moscow.

In 1831, Russia’s most famous and revered poet, Alexander Pushkin, composed “To the Slanderers of Russia”, a patriotic ode in response to members of the French parliament who were advocating for a military intervention to assist the Polish uprising against the Russian Empire. Pushkin asserted that the Polish uprising was an inter-slavic “ancient, domestic dispute”, while the Poles considered it an issue of national independence which their European allies were eager to exploit against Moscow. For the great Russian writer, the Polish alliance with the tyrant and invader Napoleon was unforgivable. He also reportedly communicated to General Alexander von Benckendorff, the chief of the Tsarist secret police assigned to censor and surveil him, that the Europeans were still bitter over the failed French invasion of Russia in 1812 and had not yet attacked with weapons but were doing so with “daily mad slander.”

Fast forward nearly 200 years later and little has changed in Russia-West relations. The only thing that has arguably transformed is Russia’s standing on the world stage following the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 and the Soviet Union almost 75 years later, the latter of which was masterminded by a Polish-born National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose Russophobic worldview was a product of the deep-seated “ancient, domestic dispute” Pushkin wrote of a century earlier. Contrary to the Western portrayal of the resurgence of Moscow in the new millennia under Vladimir Putin as neo-tsarist expansionism, post-Soviet Russia is actually a relatively weak capitalist state that has found itself a target of regime change by the West which seeks the colonization and balkanization of Eastern Europe.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused a spike in oil prices that generated huge profits for Chevron and ExxonMobil, but also had the unintended consequence of benefiting Russia’s state-run oil industry just as Putin was re-nationalizing its energy assets and banishing financial criminals like Browder and Berezovsky. While its strength and influence has certainly been restored, its foreign investments remain low even in the Ukraine where Moscow has been accused of territorial expansion with the so-called “annexation” of Crimea, where the mostly Russian-speaking eastern Ukrainian population actually voted to join its neighbor in a referendum. Russia may no longer be an empire (or communist), but yet it remains in the crosshairs of Western imperialism, whose political leaders and subservient corporate media are still conducting the “mad slander” that Pushkin opined.

The post The False Flag Poisoning of Alexei Navalny, AKA "Russia’s Trump" first appeared on Dissident Voice.

HBO’s Welcome to Chechnya is Latest Anti-Russian Cold War Propaganda

In 2017, explosive allegations first emerged that the authorities of the Chechen Republic were reportedly interning gay men in concentration camps. After a three year period of dormancy, the accusations have resurfaced in a new feature length documentary by HBO Films entitled Welcome to Chechnya. Shot between mid-2017 and early last year, the film has received widespread acclaim among Western media and film critics. Shortly after its release last month, the Trump administration and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an increase in economic sanctions and imposed travel restrictions against Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his family, citing the putative human rights abuses in the southern Russian republic covered in the film.

Most of the boilerplate reviews of Welcome to Chechnya have heaped particular praise upon the documentary’s novelty use of ‘deepfake’ technology to hide the identities of alleged victims in the cinematic investigation. Yet at the closing of the film, one subject who previously appears with his likeness concealed by AI reveals himself at a news conference without the disguise—rendering the prior use of synthetic media fruitless. Maxim Lapunov, who is not even ethnically Chechen but a Russian native of Siberia, is still the only individual to have gone public with the charges. Despite the obvious credibility and authenticity questions regarding the use of such controversial technology, it has not prevented critics from lauding it unquestioningly. Unfortunately, even some in alternative media have been regurgitating the film’s propaganda such as The Intercept, a slick online news publication owned by billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar whose financial ties to the national security state and U.S. soft power institutions conflict with the outlet’s purported mission. Notably, The Intercept’s glowing review of Welcome to Chechnya was written by Mehdi Hasan, a journalist who also works for Al-Jazeera, a news agency owned by the ruling emirs of Qatar, a theocratic dictatorship where homosexuality is actually illegal.

The documentarians follow the work of a purported network of activists who evacuate individuals like Lapunov out of the Caucasian republic. This is the film’s primary source of drama, despite their encountering seemingly no difficulty from the local authorities in doing so. We are then subjected to random cell phone clips of apparent hate crimes and human rights abuses going on, but at no point does the film crew even visit the Argun prison where the anti-gay pogroms are alleged to have taken place. In 2017, the imperial hipsters at Vice news were given unrestricted access to the facility where nothing was found and the warden adamantly denied the allegations — but not without expressing his own disapproval of homosexuality which was assumed by his interrogators to be evidence of the detentions having occurred. In the HBO documentary, a similar hatchet job is done to Ramzan Kadyrov, whose uncomfortable denial of the existence of homosexuality in the deeply conservative and predominantly Muslim republic is implied to be proof that the purges must be happening. One may recall this same sort of smear tactic was previously done to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, Kadyrov and the warden’s predictable responses to the subject serve only as confirmation bias, not confirmation.

The selective outrage in response to the alleged purges, like all things Russia-related, is highly politicized. Western viewers would have no idea that of the 74 countries worldwide where homosexuality is still criminalized, Russia isn’t among them. In more than a dozen of those nations, same-sex activity is punishable by death, a few of which happen to be close strategic allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. As recently as 2017, the U.S. was one of 13 countries to vote against a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning countries with capital punishment for same-sex relations to avoid falling-out with those allies, most of which have legal systems established on their respective interpretations of Sharia law. While the local authorities of the Muslim-majority Chechen Republic have been allowed to introduce some elements of the fundamentalist religious code by the Russian government such as the banning of alcohol and gambling and requiring the wearing of hijab by women, as a federal subject it is still ultimately beholden to Russia’s secular constitution. In fact, it was Kadyrov’s predecessor, Alu Alkhanov, who hoped to govern Chechnya with Sharia law, not the current administration. Credulous audiences would have no clue that Kadyrov actually represents the more moderate wing of Chechen politics because there is absolutely no history or context provided, a deliberately misleading choice on the part of the filmmakers.

The absence of any historical background deceptively suggests that the anti-gay sentiment in the mostly Muslim North Caucasus is somehow an extension of the homophobia in Russia itself, despite the autonomous differences in religion, culture, and society. In the last decade, the weaponization of identity politics has been central to Washington’s ongoing demonization of Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, with the issue of LGBT rights particularly given significant attention. While homosexuality is decriminalized, there is admittedly no legal prohibition of discrimination against the LGBT community in Russia. In particular, human rights groups have condemned the notorious federal law passed in 2013 known as the ‘gay propaganda law’ that forbids the distribution of information promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, which entails the banning of gay pride parades and other LGBT rights demonstrations. However, the measure enjoys widespread support among the Russian people whose social conservatism has been resuscitated by the Orthodox Church since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is rather ironic and hypocritical that the West has since taken issue with this turn, considering it facilitated that political transformation.

In reality, the reason for the relentless vilification of Putin has absolutely nothing to to do with the exaggerated plight of gays in Russia and a lot more to do with the reversal of policies under his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. In the nineties, the mass privatization of the former state-owned enterprises during Russia’s conversion to capitalism resulted in the instant impoverishment of millions and the rapid rise of the notorious ‘oligarchs’ which the West characterized at the time as progression towards democracy. In the loans-for-shares scheme, a new ruling class of bankers and industrialists accumulated enormous wealth overnight and by the middle of the decade, owned or controlled much of the country’s media outlets. The oligarchs held enormous power and influence over the deeply unpopular Yeltsin, who would surely have lost reelection in 1996 without their backing and the assistance of Western meddling in the form of massive loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

While economic disparity and corruption persists today, overall the Russian economy has been rebuilt after its energy assets were re-nationalized and brought back under state control by the Putin administration, resulting in improved living standards and income levels for the last two decades. By the same measure, the Russian people can hardly be blamed for associating homosexuality with the unbridled neoliberalism, vulture capitalism and draconian austerity imposed on their country by Western capital. It is also truly paradoxical that the notion of “Russian oligarchs” has become synonymous with Putin in the minds of Westerners when many of the most obscenely wealthy oligarchs of the Yeltsin era now live in exile as his most ardent political opponents after they faced prosecution for their financial crimes. Not coincidentally, the initial reports of the ‘gay gulags’ in Chechnya were published in Novaya Gazeta, an anti-Putin newspaper partly owned by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the very man who ushered in the economic liberalization which auctioned off the state assets to oligarchs like co-owner Alexander Lebedev.

Gorbachev’s reforms, particularly that of perestroika (“restructuring”), also had destructive consequences for the national question and ethno-regional interests. V.I. Lenin had famously called the Russian Empire a “prison house of nations”, in reference to its heterogeneous range of nationalities and ethnic groups. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 especially re-agitated ethno-national conflicts in the Caucasus, a region that had enjoyed several decades of relative harmony and stability under socialism with rights and representation that did not exist in pre-revolutionary Russia. While Azerbaijan and Georgia were granted independence, Chechnya and many other municipalities remained under federal control of the Russian Federation, as sovereignty did not constitutionally apply because it had never been an independent state. Not to mention, its oil and gas reserves are essential to Russia’s very economic survival.

The jihadism which plagued the Caucasus was an outgrowth of the U.S.-backed ‘holy war’ in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the brainchild of Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor in the Jimmy Carter administration. It was the Polish-born Brzezinski who not only authored the geostrategy of arming the mujahideen against the Soviets but the efforts to turn Russia’s own large Muslim minority community against them. This was mostly unsuccessful as the majority of its 20 million Muslims (10% of the population) are harmoniously integrated into Russian society, but the Atlanticists did fan the flames of a militant secessionist movement in Chechnya that erupted in a violent insurgency and became increasingly Islamist as the conflict dragged on. For Washington, the hope was that the West could gain access to Caspian oil by encouraging the al-Qaeda-linked separatists rebranded as “rebels” vulnerable to its domination in the energy-rich region. The collapse of the USSR already escalated hostilities between the intermingling ethnic communities of the region, but the antagonisms were intensified by CIA soft power cutouts like the Jamestown Foundation fomenting the secessionist insurrection. As the separatist movement grew increasingly Wahhabist thanks to U.S.-ally Saudi Arabia, its more moderate nationalist faction led by Akhmad Kadyrov eventually defected back to the Russian side. The elder Kadyrov would pay the price when he was assassinated in a 2004 stadium bombing in Grozny during an annual Victory Day celebration, with his son becoming one of his successors.

The Kremlin’s support for the Kadyrovs should be understood as a compromise which prevented the more radical Islamists from taking power, which apparently Washington would be happier with running the North Caucasus. What a human rights utopia Chechnya would be as a breakaway Islamic state, under the salafists which during the Chechen wars committed unspeakable acts of terrorism including the taking of hospital patients, theater goers, and even hundreds of schoolchildren as hostages. One can be certain that if there aren’t anti-gay pogroms going on in Chechnya now, there definitely would be without the likes of Kadyrov in power. In the documentary, what the Chechen leader does implicitly acknowledge may be occurring are individual honor killings within families and clans, a social problem common in other Muslim countries such as Pakistan, and certainly not a human rights issue particular to Chechnya. Many instances of honor killings in the Muslim world have included homosexuality as a motive for the extrajudicial killings by relatives of victims believed to have betrayed the family honor. On the other hand, Kadyrov himself has overseen the establishment of unprecedented reconciliation commissions to address the issue of honor culture, blood feuds and vendetta codes of Caucasian tribes. Kadyrov’s promotion of reconciliation has made significant progress in reducing such killings which were rampant during the Chechen Wars as family members would often seek to avenge the deaths of loved ones. Now that the region is in a period of relative stability, peace and economic recovery, with the once devastated city of Grozny now known as the ‘Dubai of the North Caucasus’, the West is suddenly feigning concern over human rights.

The swift end brought to the conflict by Putin was another reason for his becoming a target of Washington who had been counting on the balkanization of southern Russia. In a pinnacle of imperial projection, the explanation for Putin’s rise to power has since been revised by the Atlanticists to his having somehow secretly masterminded the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings while director of the Federal Security Service (FSB, the KGB’s successor), as if the neocons hope to deflect all of the longstanding rumors about the Bush administration and the 9/11 attacks onto the Kremlin. Except this Machiavellian conspiracy would be a lot more believable if the Chechen wars had not been going on since the early nineties, with much worse terrorist attacks already having been committed by the separatists, such as the taking of thousands of hospital patients as hostages in southern Russia. Since the end of the Chechen Wars, on the flip side the U.S. has also backed Russian opposition figure and Putin critic Alexei Navalny, a right-wing Islamophobe who has pledged to secede the North Caucasus while comparing its Muslim inhabitants to cockroaches. Despite his anti-immigrant rhetoric and minuscule 2% support among Russians, Navalny has been depicted as a “pro-democracy” and “anti-corruption” campaigner in Western media, who have been crying foul over his recent suspected poisoning in Russia and ensuing comatose airlift to Germany. If only the naive American liberals who read The New York Times and The Washington Post had any idea that Mr. Navalny has far more in common with the dreaded Mr. Trump than Putin does.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has already experienced blowback for its nurturing of terrorism in the Caucasus in the form of the Boston Marathon bombings, which recently returned to the news when convicted Chechen-American perpetrator Dzokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence was vacated on appeal last month. In the aftermath of the April 2013 attacks, it was revealed that Tsarnaev’s deceased older brother and co-conspirator Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized attending seminars financed by the Jamestown Foundation while traveling abroad in Tblisi, Georgia, and the brothers’ uncle Ruslan Tsarni had previously been married to the daughter of high-ranking U.S. intelligence officer Graham Fuller, Brzezinski’s CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, during the Afghan-Soviet war. It also came to light that ‘Uncle Ruslan’ had previously worked for the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and established a company called the Congress for Chechen International Organizations which funded Islamic militants in the Caucasus. Despite the astounding ‘coincidences’ surrounding the Tsarnaev clan, Uncle Ruslan was never considered a person of interest by the FBI, who had ignored warnings by the Russian FSB of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s extremism prior to the attacks.

Two years before Putin’s election, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the prime mover of the West‘s plan to dominate the globe by using Islam to bring down the USSR in delivering the Soviet equivalent of the Vietnam War, wrote in The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997):

…The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world’s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.

Those words were written before the return of both Russia and China on the world stage, developments that have thrown a monkey wrench into Washington’s plans which the Russophobic Warsaw-native did not anticipate in his blueprint for Western hegemony. When the U.S.-backed headchoppers in the Syrian war nearly had control of Damascus, just a thousand miles or so from Sochi, the threat of jihadism returning to the Caucasus became very real. Beginning at the Munich Conference in 2007, Putin had begun to criticize the monopolistic expansion of NATO on Russia’s borders — but after the subsequent overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi where Moscow witnessed Libya transformed into a hotbed of terrorism like post-Saddam Iraq, the prospect of the same happening in Syria was an existential threat that could not be tolerated. In mainstream media, reality has been inverted where Moscow’s self defense has been portrayed as expansionism, even though the so-called “annexation” of Crimea was virtually nonviolent compared to the Nazi junta initiated by Washington in Ukraine and the Russian-speaking people of Donetsk and Luhansk who voted to join Russia did not wish to end up like those massacred in Odessa. Besides, is the U.S. not currently annexing northeast Syria? The Crimean parliament and Syrian government invited Moscow, while the same cannot be said for the US presence in violation of international law.

Those with no respect for the sovereignty of nations in Washington would prefer Americans to see Russia as an adversary. During the Cold War, the threat was communism, but with capitalism restored in Eastern Europe, it became necessary to manipulate liberals into perceiving Russia as a ultra conservative regime. They must also keep Americans from knowing the true history of US-Russia relations — that Russia was the first nation to recognize American independence when Catherine the Great’s neutrality during the Revolutionary War indirectly aided the Thirteen Colonies in their victory against the Loyalists and Great Britain. During the War of Independence, the Russian Empress had maintained relations with the U.S. and rebuffed British requests for military assistance. The Russian Empire also later helped secure the Union victory during the Civil War, with an Imperial Navy fleet off the shores of the Pacific preventing the Confederates from landing troops on the west coast and deterring intervention by the British and the French. Then as Allies in WWII, while the U.S. was victorious in the Pacific, it was the Soviets who truly won the war in Europe, a feat the Anglo-Americans are still trying to take credit for to this day. Unfortunately, despite his promising rhetorical embrace of détente with Moscow that has made him the subject of political persecution, Donald Trump has proven to be every bit as hostile toward Russia as his forerunners. With the latest actions taken by his state department regarding Chechnya that are right out of the Brzezinski playbook, the idiom that “the more things change, the more they stay the same” certainly applies to Washington and US-Russia relations.

The Battle of Seattle was Fought by the Pro-war “Left” in Northern Syria

The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. — Maximilien Robespierre

The ongoing series of protests, riots and unrest following the death of George Floyd culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in Seattle, Washington, after police abandoned a local precinct in the city’s Capitol Hill district. Lasting just three weeks until law enforcement retook the six block territory from occupants on July 1st, the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) — initially called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) — was a short-lived experiment which unfortunately exhibited all the contradictions of the so-called Left that have become characteristic in the United States today. Although it is undeniable that American police have a brutality and racism problem (having been trained by Israel), within weeks it was clear that what began as spontaneous protests were hijacked for an establishment agenda. Meanwhile, the ill-fated demise of the Seattle commune should be understood as symptomatic of a larger problem within the U.S. left as a whole.

One of the most influential figures of the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre, who died 226 years ago this month, famously said that “the secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” The insurrectionary Paris Commune was established after the storming of the Bastille fortress on July 14, 1789. Unfortunately, this protest movement could not be any less educational and the siege of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct was certainly no Bastille Day. Many have speculated as to why Mayor Jenny Durkan and the SPD seemingly allowed the protesters to occupy the neighborhood, while they enjoyed direct support from local politicians such as Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant of the Trotskyite Socialist Alternative organization who fancies herself the first “socialist” to win an election in the city since Anna Louise Strong in 1916. However, the more meaningful question is what has this movement accomplished besides recoiling the U.S. working class further away from progressive politics?

The biggest misconception across the political spectrum, especially on the Right, is that this leaderless and haphazard movement is somehow “Marxist.” Karl Marx, whose entire worldview was based on a material and scientific understanding of history, focused on the class system and would be spinning in his grave knowing what a mess identity politics has made in his name. In contrast, the ‘wokist’ cult at the center of these marches ignores both science and class with no political vision beyond destruction, vindictiveness, and the stifling of free speech. This is why the U.S. political establishment, which has been completely unable to implement the most elementary measures in providing healthcare and securing employment to Americans during the pandemic, is quite happy to jump on board a narrative that pits divisions of the working class against each other based on race while wealth trickles up to the 1%.

The CHOP/CHAZ occupants reportedly established a reverse hierarchical social structure where whites self-flagellated by performing quasi-religious rituals of atonement for the sins of slavery. There was also a diversity quota of “centering” certain individuals based on their ethnic background, gender and sexual orientation to cede leadership roles at the co-op, with white participants coerced into overcoming their “fragility” (or sensitivity in discussing racism). Concurrent with the protests, corporate consultant and University of Washington professor Robin DiAngelo’s intellectually fraudulent book White Fragility shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list and is a perfect example of how such identity politics fails in dealing with social issues. Collective punishment is never a suitable guiding principle in addressing social problems, nor is using a conception akin to the religious idea of original sin where “white privilege” is the root cause of racism. There were even mini-reparations demanded of repenting white protesters reminiscent of the collection plate passed around by worshippers in a church. This sort of bizarre and self-indulgent identity politics is much like what was widely mocked in a viral video of a Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) convention collapsing into infighting last year.

What began as protests against police brutality were not only derailed into efforts to set-up communes in major cities but a nationwide debate on statues, after the wave of demonstrations and rioting across the country led to the Taliban-style destruction of historical monuments perceived as glorifying racism. As a result, the toxic political atmosphere which surrounded the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 was reignited. While the calls for the removal of Confederate statues erected during the Reconstruction era is long overdue, more debatable is the removal of those honoring slave-owning Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson which were toppled in Portland, Oregon. This was followed by a statue of Union General Ulysses S. Grant being knocked over in San Francisco and calls to remove the Lincoln Memorial in D.C., two men who victoriously led the North in the Civil War. Regrettably, the prioritization of such iconoclastic gestures has not only defanged the protests but diverted them from bringing real change to social inequities in the immediate future.

This is not the first time we have witnessed this phenomena. Last year, a more troublesome example were the calls to remove a historic mural at George Washington High School in San Francisco that were capitulated to by the city school board. The thirteen panel mural, Life of Washington, painted in 1936 by Russian-American artist Victor Arnautoff was commissioned as part of the Federal Art Project, a New Deal program funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which employed visual artists to create public works during the Great Depression. One controversial panel depicts George Washington pointing to a group of armed colonizers standing over the corpse of a Native American, while another fresco portrays two colonizers surveying land as slaves toil in a field. It would seem obvious to anyone that the mural is not only explicitly anti-racist but representative of an important period in U.S. history where art was a force for social change and progressive politics was at the center of American life. Arnautoff was a Russian immigrant who was an assistant to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, while the WPA and its art program were dominated by communists such as the two men. Still, no matter the context or intent — the unflinching depiction of American history was deemed “offensive to certain communities” because students were “triggered” by the harsh realities illustrated.

This might seem unrelated, but the same illogic is behind the vigilantism of the statue removals. While the Arnautoff mural is clearly anti-racist and certain monuments may glorify slavery, the distinction is indecipherable to the social justice sect which needs its “safe space” from the uncomfortable truths of American history. The differentiation between a left-wing WPA mural opposing racism and colonial statue commending it is illegible to them. The entire purpose behind the Arnautoff mural is to make one uncomfortable because its subject matter is something no one should ever be at ease with. Yet its undeniable educational and artistic value did not prevent the San Francisco school board from voting to paint over it, while articles were published in the New York Times and even The Nation magazine applauding their decision. What on earth is happening to the left when it is censoring anti-racist art in the name of fighting racism?

The whole point of education at a high school is to teach students to analyze and interpret subjects like art and history, not just emotionally react to them. When the very fabric of culture and society like a historic mural or statue can be torn down simply because people are upset by them, the next plausible step is book burning. San Francisco High School completely failed to educate its students when they decided upon the most backwards way of interpreting the mural, just as the protesters tearing down these statues did not use their faculties to understand them in a historical context. Genocide and slavery are indeed the foundations of the U.S., but we should learn from our tragic history to grasp the equivalent injustices happening today. Simply eradicating murals and statues that remind us of it, whether they oppose or elevate them, is totally ineffectual.

While some activists have expressed concern that the protests have deviated from their original purpose, the right has fixated on the presence among the marches of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a “terrorist organization”, a reckless idea given the completely decentralized nature of the group. The original Antifa movement in the 1930s had been part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in its effort to form a popular front against fascism, but the dilettantes in the modern incarnation are closely associated with black bloc anarchism and other amateurish orientations. Two decades ago, Seattle was the site of the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO), often referred to as the ‘Battle of Seattle’, which saw 40,000 march against globalization. Some may recall this was where the black bloc first became notorious for injecting vandalism and senseless violence into peaceful demonstrations and were widely thought to have been infiltrated by law enforcement. In 2016, the current embodiment of Antifa first came to attention during protests on college campuses against speaking appearances by far right media personalities during the U.S. presidential election, including at the University of California at Berkeley which had ironically been the site of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s.

Following Trump’s election, the stage was set in Charlottesville during the Unite the Right rally and counter-protests over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in August 2017 for “Antifa” to be crowned as heroes shadowboxing the historical ghost of fascism. When the likes of the New York Times is suddenly promoting the black bloc, that’s your first clue something else is afoot. In order to prevent the emergence of a truly progressive movement in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, a false narrative was concocted by the political establishment about the significance of Trump’s victory, which we were told was the result of alleged Russian meddling and the racism of “deplorable” Trump voters. Instantly, any critique of the system which produced Trump disappeared and the establishment wing of the Democratic Party was able to neutralize the Bernie Sanders-led opposition in its ranks.

As a result, the vast majority of the left became convinced by the interpretation that Trump’s election was purely the outcome of a resurgence of “fascism”, thus making Trump the singular, most immediate danger — while U.S. imperialism and endless war continue unopposed, including the support for actual fascists in Ukraine. It should be understood that what Trump and the wave of pro-Zionist, Islamophobic right-wing populists in the EU represent is something qualitatively different. Still, anyone on the left who dares oppose U.S. imperialism today is risking being branded a ‘red-brown’ collaborator. The Democratic Party, which spearheaded the Orwellian idea of “humanitarian interventionism” used to justify the wholesale destruction of uncooperative nations by the American war machine in recent decades, has since tricked the majority of the left into unwittingly backing U.S. imperialism to unseat “dictators.” Even when the Left today ostensibly opposes war, it is often forced to qualify its objections by repeating the same talking points about countries attacked by Washington used to justify it.

The U.S. foray in the Syrian war is a perfect example. Trump’s idea to designate Antifa as a terrorist group would be especially ironic considering that many American leftists who self-identify using the “Antifa” black and red standard have thrown their support behind the creation of another infamous “autonomous zone” in Northeast Syria established by mostly-Kurdish militias known as Rojava — with the help of none other than the U.S. military. There is even a self-proclaimed International Freedom Battalion of American and European volunteers fighting to defend the enclave that purports to be in the tradition of the International Brigades which defended the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War. These “Antifa” conscripts fight alongside the YPG (People’s Protection Units), a Kurdish-majority militia which has been rebranded by the Pentagon as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). These leftists are apparently in serious need of a history lesson, considering it was the Soviet Union alone which intervened to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism, not the United States. From Washington’s perspective, CHOP/CHAZ should be considered blowback from this policy.

The U.S. creation of the SDF has not been without controversy, as the YPG is widely regarded as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey which Washington’s NATO ally regards as a terrorist organization. While the Kurds and their Western volunteers may believe they are creating an anarchist utopia, in reality they are infantryman for the Zionist plan to balkanize Syria and prevent Damascus from accessing it own resources. So it makes perfect sense that they would try to replicate what they learned in Afrin in an American city using Rojava as a model. When Trump tried to follow through on his anti-interventionist pledges as a candidate and pull U.S. troops out of Syria, it sparked outrage from the pro-war “left” which glorifies Rojava as a ‘libertarian socialist’ and ‘direct democracy’ experiment, even though non-Kurds such as Arabs and Assyrian Christians face ethnic cleansing at hands of Kurdish nationalists in their efforts to create an ethno-state.

The ideological inspiration for the Rojava federation is the Jewish-American Zionist anarchist philosopher Murray Bookchin who was especially influential to PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan. Unbeknownst to many, Bookchin was also a noted Zionist — but this is not as unlikely a paradox as it may seem. After all, Israel itself was initially established with the settlement of communes and the Zionist form of “autonomous zones” known as kibbutz (“gathering” in Hebrew). Even prior to WWII, European Zionists and early kibbutniks came to Mandatory Palestine as illegal immigrants and began living in their communes while fusing Jewish nationalism and their own conception of socialism, an amalgamation not unlike what the Kurds are practicing in Syria today. One other highly influential thinker in the anarchist community who purports to be a ‘libertarian socialist’, Noam Chomsky, was himself part of the Zionist kibbutz movement in his youth. This explains why Chomsky would call for a continuation of the U.S. occupation of northern Syria on the basis of “protecting the Kurds“, who are trying to repeat the formula used to found Israel to create a Syrian Kurdistan as another U.S. protectorate in the Middle East.

It is no coincidence that in the manifesto listing the demands of the sit-in in Seattle, nowhere to be found is the defunding of the Pentagon — the primary supplier through the 1033 Program of the militarized police violence being protested. The same cognitively dissonant left calling to “defund the police”, which will almost certainly be used as a pretext to privatize them, completely ignores endless U.S. wars abroad and opposed efforts by the Trump administration to scale back expansionism in Syria. The focus on the tearing down of statues from America’s colonial ‘past’ has also coincided with Israel’s preparations in colonizing what remains of Palestinian territory with the annexation of the West Bank — where are the mass protests to stop that? If Black Lives Matter dared focus on AIPAC, it would be shut down very quickly. In 2016, when BLM endorsed the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to boycott Israel, their previously enjoyed benefits suddenly were in jeopardy and was revealed to be the direct result of sabotage by the Zionist lobby.

In the last several decades, there has been a retreat of class conscious forces in U.S. political life, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. The degenerate form of the left that exists today is an unfortunate result of the academization of social issues and the influence of the Frankfurt School critical theorists whose bourgeoisification of Marxism reduced it to a lens by which to critique culture and the arts while removing its class politics. The politically correct obsession with the policing of language by the postmodern cult of identity politics is excluding the working class from the conversation and counteracting its revolutionary potential. The CIA fronts in the Open Society, Ford, and Kellogg Foundations of the non-profit industrial complex have successfully corralled the protests while no substantial change has been made to the real ills in U.S. society where the 1% has made trillions during the pandemic and subsequent economic depression. While the masses are busy tipping over statues and monuments in a crusade to purify history, the ruling class is laughing all the way to the bank.

Beware the hijacking of U.S. Protests into a “Color Revolution”

The May 25th killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota shocked the world and set off mass protests against racism and police brutality in dozens of cities from the mid-western United States to the European Union, all in the midst of a global pandemic. In the Twin Cities, what began as spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations against the local police quickly transformed into vandalism, arson and looting after the use of rubber bullets and chemical irritants by law enforcement against the protesters, while the initial incitement for the riots was likely the work of apparent agent provocateurs among the marchers. Within days, the unrest had spread to cities across the country including the nation’s capital, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening to invoke the slavery-era Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy the military and National Guard on American soil, federal powers not used since the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King case.

The debate over the catalyst for the uprising into its period of lawlessness has drawn a range of theories. The suspicious placement of pallets of bricks in the proximity of numerous protest sites have spurred rumors of sabotage by everything from white supremacist groups to “Antifa” to law enforcement itself. Predictably, liberal hawks such as Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, made ludicrous assertions suggesting “Russian agents” were behind the unrest, a continuation of the narrative that the Kremlin has been behind inflaming racial tensions in the U.S. that began during the 2016 election. While Democrats like Rice and Senator Kamala Harris of California have revived an old trope dating back to the Civil Rights movement of Moscow exploiting racial divisions in the U.S., Trump and the GOP have similarly resurrected the ‘outside agitators’ myth attributed to segregationists of the same era. Hypocritically, many of those claiming to be in support of the protests have denounced the latter theory while endorsing the former, when both equally show contempt for the legitimate grievances of the demonstrators and deny their agency. However, both false notions overlook the more likely hidden factors at play attempting to hijack the movement for its own purposes.

Believe it or not, there could be a kernel of truth in accusations coming mostly from the political right as to the possible role of the notorious liberal billionaire investor and “philanthropist” George Soros and his Open Society Foundation (OSF). Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision. The Hungarian business magnate’s institute, like other NGOs involved in U.S. regime change operations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is largely a front for the CIA to shield itself while destabilizing U.S. adversaries, the spy agency’s preferred modus operandi since the exposure of its illicit activities in previous decades by the Rockefeller Commission and Church Committee in the 1970s. In the post-Soviet world, nations across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond have become well acquainted with the political disruptions of the international financier and his network. In particular, governments that have leaned toward warm relations with Moscow during the incumbency of President Vladimir Putin have found themselves the victims of his machinations.

Under Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Soros made a killing off the mass privatization of the former state-run assets in the Eastern Bloc, as journalist Naomi Klein explained in The Shock Doctrine:

George Soros’s philanthropic work in Eastern Europe — including his funding of (Harvard economist and economic advisor Jeffrey) Sachs’s travels through the region — has not been immune to controversy. There is no doubt that Soros was committed to the cause of democratization in the Eastern Bloc, but he also had clear economic interests in the kind of economic reform accompanying that democratization. As the world’s most powerful currency trader, he stood to benefit greatly when countries implemented convertible currencies and lift capital controls, and when state companies were put on the auction block, he was one of the potential buyers.

 In contrast, the Putin administration over a period of two decades has since restored the Russian economy through the re-nationalization of its oil and gas industry. Its two energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, are state-controlled companies serving as the basis of the state machinery‘s reassertion of control over the Russian financial system, a move that has gotten Mr. Putin branded a “dictator” by the West. As a result, most of the notorious Russian oligarchs enriched overnight during the extreme free market policies of the 1990s have since left the country, now that such rapid accumulation of wealth to the rest of the nation’s detriment is no longer permitted. While economic inequality in Russia may persist, it is nowhere near that of the Yeltsin era where the average life expectancy was reduced by a full decade.

In the last decade, the United States has gotten its own taste of the incitement and agitations that have previously fallen upon governments across the global south. Instead, domestically the CIA cutouts in the non-profit industrial complex have played a pivotal counterrevolutionary role in co-opting and ultimately derailing such uprisings meant to bring systemic change to the U.S. political system. In late 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged at Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district against the deepening global economic inequality following the Great Recession and the protests quickly spread to other cities and continents. In just a few months, the sit-in was expelled from Lower Manhattan and the anti-capitalist movement itself largely was diverted towards reformism and away from its original radical intentions. It was also revealed the origins of OWS and its marketing campaign were traced to Adbusters, a media foundation that was the recipient of grants from the Democratic Party-connected Tides Foundation, a progressive policy center which receives significant endowments from none other than George Soros and the OSF.

Emerging just two years later, the roots of Black Lives Matter were not just in community organizing but partially took inspiration from the Occupy movement. Unfortunately, the similarities between them were not limited to a shared lack of clarity in their demands but facing the same dilemma of being absorbed into the system. While OWS was quickly suppressed after hopeful beginnings, the BLM leadership became career-oriented apparatchiks of the Democratic Party and left grass-roots organizing behind. Through the non-profit industrial complex, the Democratic Party has mastered bringing various social movements under its management on behalf of Wall Street in order to funnel public funds into private control through various foundations. Along with the Ford Foundation which has given BLM enormous $100 million grants, Soros and the OSF have been one of the principal offenders. Still, many who correctly identify right-wing protests such as the Tea Party movement and the recent ‘anti-lockdown’ demonstrations as the work of astro-turfing by the Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation seldom apply the same scrutiny to seemingly authentic progressive movements assimilated by corporate America.

One figure who mysteriously appeared on the scene in the early days of OWS connected to Soros was the Serbian political activist Srđa Popović, the founder of Otpor! (“resistance” in Serbian) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) political organizations which led the protests in 2000 which ousted the democratically-elected President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, known as the “Bulldozer Revolution.” Not long after Popović’s consulting of activists in Zuccotti Park, Wikileaks documents revealed the Belgrade-born organizer’s significant ties to U.S. intelligence through the global intelligence platform Stratfor (known as the “shadow CIA”), exposing the real motives behind his involvement in U.S. politics of outwardly supporting OWS while trying to sabotage the popular movement. Since their role as instruments of U.S. regime change in Serbia, Otpor! and CANVAS have received financial support from CIA intermediaries such as the NED, OSF, Freedom House and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as the Boston-based Albert Einstein Institute founded by the American political scientist, Gene Sharp.

Despite ostensibly professing to use the same civil disobedience methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp‘s manual for “non-violent resistance” entitled From Dictatorship to Democracy has been the blueprint used by political organizations around the world that have only served the interests of Western imperialism. Beginning with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia, the successful formula which ousted Milošević spread to other Central Asian and Eastern European nations overthrowing governments which resisted NATO expansion and the European Union’s draconian austerity in favor of economic ties with Moscow. These were widely referred to in the media as ‘Color Revolutions’ and included the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and its 2014 Maidan coup d’état follow-up, as well as the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, among others.

Subsequently, Srđa Popović and CANVAS also lent their expertise in Egypt during the predecessor to its Arab Spring in the April 6 Youth Movement which appropriated Otpor!’s raised fist logo as its emblem. In preparation for the organization of anti-government demonstrations, the activists pored over Gene Sharp’s work in coordination with Otpor! whose fingerprints can be found all over the Arab Spring uprisings which began as protests to remove unpopular leaders in Egypt and Tunisia but were carefully reeled in to preserve the despotic Western-friendly systems that had put them to power initially. Where Sharp’s “non-violent” template failed, countries with U.S. adversaries in power such as Libya and Syria saw their protests rapidly morph into a resurgence of Al-Qaeda and a terrorist proxy war with catastrophic consequences. This recipe has also been exported to Latin America in attempts to remove the Bolivarian government in Venezuela, with self-declared ‘interim president’ and opposition leader Juan Guaido having received training from CANVAS.

While the right seems to have a bizarre misconception that the parasitic hedge fund tycoon is somehow a communist, there is an equal misunderstanding on the pseudo-left where it has become a recurring joke and subject of mockery to naively deny Soros’s undeniable influence on world affairs and domestic protest movements. Less certain, however, are the claims from conservatives that Soros is a supporter of “Antifa” which Trump wants to designate as a domestic terrorist organization, a dangerous premise given the movement consists of a very loose-knit and decentralized network of activists and hardly comprises a real organization. Various autonomous chapters and groups across the U.S. may self-identify as such, but there is no single official party or formal organization with any leadership hierarchy. While the original Antifa movement in the 1930s Weimar Republic was part of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), the current manifestation in the U.S. has a synonymous association with black bloc anarchism (even inverting the colors of the original red and black flag), though it is really made up of a variety of amateurish political tendencies.

Amidst the ongoing nationwide George Floyd protests, the demonstrations in Seattle, Washington culminated in the establishment of a self-declared “autonomous zone” by activists in the Northwestern city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). In response, Trump doubled down on his threats to quash protests with the use of the military while blaming “anarchists” in “Antifa” for the unrecognized commune occupying six city blocks around an abandoned police precinct. Anyone who has paid close attention to the war in Syria for the last nine years will find this highly ironic, given the U.S. military support for another infamous “autonomous zone” of Kurdish nationalists in Northern Syria’s Rojava federation. The Kurdish sub-region and de facto self-governing territory purports to be a “libertarian socialist direct democracy” style of government and has been the subject of romanticized praise by the Western pseudo-left despite the fact that the autonomous administration’s paramilitary wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), were until recently a cat’s paw for American imperialism as part of the U.S.-founded coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Not coincidentally, many of those who use the Antifa vexillum are enthusiastic supporters of and even volunteer mercenaries fighting with the YPG/SDF in an ‘International Freedom Battalion’ which claims to be the inheritors of the legacy of the International Brigades which volunteered to defend the Spanish Republic from fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, these cosplayers forgot that the original International Brigades were set up by the Communist International, not the Pentagon. Meanwhile, despite their purported “anti-fascism”, there are no such conscripts to be found defending the Donetsk or Luhansk People’s Republics of eastern Ukraine against literal Nazis in the War in Donbass where the real front line against fascism has been. Instead, they fight alongside a Zionist and imperial proxy to help establish an ethno-nation state while the U.S. loots Syria’s oil.

Prior to Trump’s decision last October to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria which preceded a Turkish invasion, Ankara and the U.S. repeatedly butted heads over Washington’s decision to incorporate the Kurds into the SDF, since the YPG is widely acknowledged an off-shoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant and cult-like political group regarded as a terrorist organization that has been at war with Turkey for over forty years. It is also no secret that jailed PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan’s theories of “democratic confederalism” are heavily influenced by the pro-Zionist Jewish-American anarchist theorist, Murray Bookchin. So when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Trump that there were links between the U.S. protests and the PKK, there was a tiny but core accuracy in his exaggerated claim. As Malcolm X said, “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad.”

The George Floyd protests, like previous uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore, certainly began spontaneously, nor does any of this discount the legitimate issue of ending the militarization of U.S. law enforcement which disproportionately victimizes black Americans. Nevertheless, time and again we have seen how bona fide social movements become political footballs or quickly go to their graves. Like BLM, it is practically inevitable the protests will become a partisan tool for the Democratic Party in the coming 2020 election when it has no concrete political articulations of its own, even if it does bring substantive change to domestic policing. In January, Trump was impeached for temporarily withholding security aid to the Ukraine and Democrats advocated his removal because he is regarded as insufficiently hawkish toward Moscow. Since 2016, they have actively diverted all opposition to Trump into their own reactionary anti-Russia campaign and soft-coup attempt in the interests of the military- intelligence community, a shared agenda with Soros. When all of corporate America, the media, and even the NED have publicly declared their support for a movement, it is no longer just about its original cause of getting justice for Mr. Floyd, whose funeral became a virtual campaign rally for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden. It is too early to say determinedly whether what is taking place in the U.S. is indeed a ‘Color Revolution’, but by the time we realize it, it may too late.

9/11 Truth: Under Lockdown for Nearly Two Decades

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

— H.L. Mencken, In Defense of Women, 1918

As the global pandemic grips world attention, completely unnoticed by mainstream media was the release of a final report of an academic study pertaining to another previously calamitous event of international significance. On March 25th, the conclusion of a four year investigation by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was published which determined that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001 was not caused by fire. The peer-reviewed inquiry was funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization composed of more than 3,000 building architects and engineers who are a signatory to the group’s formal appeal calling for a new investigation into the three — not two — WTC skyscrapers destroyed on 9/11. The researchers infer that the collapse of Building 7 was actually the result of a controlled demolition:

The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.

With or without a pandemic, it is likely corporate media would have ignored the study anyway, just as they have anything that contradicts the official story of 9/11. However, it is notable that many have drawn parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 9/11 attacks based on the widespread changes to daily life as a result of the crisis going forward. Already there is talk of nationwide lockdowns as a “new normal” with many rightly expressing concerns over civil liberties, press freedoms, the surveillance state, and other issues just as there were following 9/11. By the same measure, a false dichotomy is being established by political gatekeepers in order to silence those who dare challenge the official account as to how the coronavirus began. It is a stigmatization that is all too familiar to those who have never believed the conventional narrative that 19 Arab hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden armed only with box-cutters were solely responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that fateful day.

There is a common misconception that to believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” is to somehow lose sight of the bigger picture or systemic problems. Behind this phenomenon is a mistakenly presumed conflict between understanding the broader, overarching system versus the sinister motives of those in power who administer it — when they are inextricably linked. Political scientist Michael Parenti, who drew the ire of many of his fellow left-wing colleagues for his work on the Kennedy assassination, refers to it in his lecture “Understanding Deep Politics” as a perceived incompatibility between “the structural and the functional.” The anti-conspiracists wrongly assume that the more impersonal or wider the lens, the more profound an analysis. By this logic, the elite are absolved of conscious intent and deliberate pursuit of nefarious self-interest, as if everything is done by incidental chance or out of incompetence. Not to say efficacy applies without exception, but it has become a required gesture to disassociate oneself from “conspiracies” to maintain credibility — ironically even by those who are often the target of such smears themselves.

This applies not only to mainstream media and academics, but even leading progressive figures who have a mechanical, unthinking resistance to assigning intent or recognizing the existence of hidden agendas. As a result, it disappears the class interests of the ruling elite and ultimately assists them in providing cover for their crimes. With the exception of the Kennedy assassination — coincidentally the subject of a new epic chart-topping song by Bob Dylan — nowhere has there been more hostility to ‘conspiracism’ than regarding the events of 9/11. Just as they assailed Parenti, David Talbot and others for challenging the Warren Commission’s ‘lone gunman’ theory, leading figures on the left such as Noam Chomsky and the late Alexander Cockburn railed against the 9/11 Truth movement and today it is often wrongly equated with right-wing politics, an unlikely trajectory given it occurred under an arch-conservative administration but an inevitable result of the pseudo-left’s aversion to “conspiracies.” If polls are any indication, the average American certainly disagrees with such elitist misleaders as to the believability of the sham 9/11 Commission findings, yet another example of how out-of-touch the faux-left is with ordinary people.

A more recent example was an article by left-wing journalist Ben Norton proclaiming that to call 9/11 a false flag or an “inside job” is “fundamentally a right-wing conspiracy”, in complete disregard of the many dedicated truther activists on the left since its inception. Norton insists the 9/11 attacks were simply “blowback”, or an unintended consequence of previous U.S. foreign policy support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets during the 1980s which later gave birth to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Norton argues “Al-Qaeda’s unofficial strategic alliance with the US eventually broke down” resulting in 9/11 as retaliation, completely overlooking that Washington was still supporting jihadist factions during the 1990s in Bosnia (two of which would be alleged 9/11 hijackers) and Kosovo in the Yugoslav wars against Serbia, even while the U.S. was ostensibly pursuing bin Laden for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.

A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) throws light on how Washington never discontinued its practice in Afghanistan of using jihadist proxies to achieve its foreign policy goals in the Balkans. Although it was a partisan GOP attack meant to discredit then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, nevertheless the memo accurately presents how the U.S. had “turned Bosnia into a Militant Islamic Base”:

In short, the Clinton administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network not only involves Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities. For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups…

It was also in Bosnia where a raid was conducted in 2002 by local police at the Sarajevo branch of a Saudi-based purported charitable organization, Benevolence International Foundation, which was discovered to be a front for Al-Qaeda. Seized on the premises was a document, dubbed the “Golden Chain“, which listed the major financial sponsors of the terrorist organization to be numerous Saudi business and government figures, including some of Osama bin Laden’s own brothers. By the 9/11 Commission Report’s own admission, this same fake Islamic charity “supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia” at the same time as the CIA.

It cannot go without mentioning that the common link between Al-Qaeda and subsequent extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram is the doctrine of Wahhabism, the puritanical sect of Sunni Islam practiced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and founded in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the religious leader who formed an alliance with the founder of the first Saudi state, Muhammad bin Saud, whose descendants make up the House of Saud royal family. The ultra-orthodox teachings of Wahhabism were initially rejected in the Middle East but reestablished by British colonialism which aligned with the Saud family in order to use their intolerant strain of Islam to undermine the Ottoman empire in a divide-and-conquer strategy. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921, Winston Churchill admitted the Saudis to be “intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty.”

This did not stop the British from supporting the House of Saud so long as it was in the interest of Western imperialism, an unholy alliance which continues to this day. However, U.S.-Saudi relations did come under scrutiny when the infamous 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” conducted by the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence were finally disclosed in 2016. The section revealed not only the numerous U.S. intelligence failures in the lead-up to the attacks but the long suspected culpability of Saudi Arabia, whose nationals were not the focus of counterterrorism because of Riyadh’s status as a U.S. ally. The declassified pages show that some of the hijackers, 15 of them Saudi citizens, received financial and logistical support from individuals linked to the Saudi government, which FBI sources believed at least two of which to be Saudi intelligence officers. One of those Saudi agents received large payments from Princess Haifa, the wife of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a stipend from the latter’s bank account which inevitably went from the go-betweens to the sleeper cell.

A key member of the House of Saud and then-Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar has such a long and close relationship to the Bush family he was given the nickname “Bandar Bush.” For obvious reasons, when the congressional joint inquiry report was first published in 2003, the 28-page portion on the Saudi ties to the attacks was completely censored at the insistence of the Bush administration. Yet the Bush family’s connection to the Gulf state kingdom is not limited to the ruling monarchy but includes one of the petrodollar theocracy’s other wealthiest families— the bin Laden family itself. While Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 mostly whitewashed the real conspiracy of 9/11it did reveal that numerous unquestioned members of the bin Laden family were given special treatment and suspiciously evacuated on secret flights out of the U.S. shortly after the attacks in coordination with the Saudi government.

The Bush-bin Laden connection goes all the way back to the beginning of George W. Bush’s business career prior to his political involvement in 1976 with the founding of an oil drilling company, Arbusto Energy, whose earliest investors included a Texas businessman and fellow reservist in the Texas Air National Guard, James R. Bath, who oddly enough was the American liaison for Salem bin Laden, Osama’s half brother. To put it differently, the bin Laden family and its construction fortune helped finance Bush’s start in the oil industry, a relationship that would continue through the 1990s with Harken Energy, later the recipient of an offshore oil contract in Iraq’s reconstruction alongside Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. The Bush dynasty’s financial ties to both the Saudi royals and bin Laden family went on as co-investors in the Carlyle Group private equity firm where the elder Bush’s previous government service contacts were exploited for financial gain. In fact, on the morning of 9/11, Bush Sr. just happened to be attending a Carlyle business conference where another bin Laden sibling was the guest of honor in what we are supposed to believe is another astounding coincidence. Just days later, Shafiq bin Laden would be spirited off on a chartered flight back to Saudi Arabia in an exodus overseen by Prince Bandar himself.

Osama bin Laden himself also got an evacuation of sorts when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. It was legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh who first reported that bin Laden and thousands of other Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters were suspiciously allowed to escape to Pakistan in an evacuation dubbed the ‘airlift of evil.’ This was corroborated in a leaked 2009 Hillary Clinton State Department email published by WikiLeaks regarding a Senate report on the Battle of Tora Bora and bin Laden’s escape where Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal is shown discussing the controversial airlift as having been requested by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney — but don’t dare call it a conspiracy:

Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIA armed operation in eastern Afghanistan, is a major source for the report. I am in contact with him and have heard his entire story at length, key parts of which are not in his book, Jawbreaker, or in the Senate report. In particular, the story of the Kunduz airlift of the bulk of key AQ and Taliban leaders, at the request of Musharaff and per order Cheney/Rumsfeld, is absent.

 Could it have anything to do with just a few years earlier the Taliban visiting Texas when Bush was Governor to discuss with the Unocal Corporation the construction of a gas pipeline through Afghanistan into Pakistan? It is also well known that the Pakistani government and its Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) had supported the Taliban for decades and during the 1980s had been the CIA’s main conduit for supplying arms to the Afghan mujahideen, including bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Maktab al-Khidamat, the organizational precursor to Al-Qaeda. As shown in the documentary 9/11: Press for Truth, little in their relations changed in the years between the Afghan-Soviet war and 9/11, as ISI director Mahmud Ahmed was reportedly busted wiring $100,000 to alleged hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta not long before the WTC attacks. Throughout 2001 both before and after 9/11, General Ahmed had repeatedly visited the U.S. and met with top Pentagon and Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet, making Prince Bandar not the only figure to have been caught financing the operation and where a direct line can be drawn between the White House and the hijackers.

While Bandar has thus far eluded justice, one year after the release of the 28 pages a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the families of the victims against the government of Saudi Arabia which presented new evidence that two years prior to the attacks in 1999, the Saudi Embassy paid for the flights of two Saudi agents living undercover in the U.S. to fly from Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks” where they attempted to breach the cockpit and test flight security. This means the Saudi government was likely involved in planning the attacks from the very beginning, in addition to providing the subsidies and patsy hijacker personnel for the smokescreen of blaming Al-Qaeda and making bin Laden the fall guy, whose links to 9/11 are tenuous at best. After all, the “confession” from supposed planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was extracted only after his being water-boarded 183 times while bin Laden himself initially denied any role in the attacks before questionable videos were released of his admittance.

The Saudi nationals who participated in the hijacking rehearsal were posing as students. However, the Sunni dictatorship was not the only country conducting a mass espionage operation in the U.S. prior to 9/11 under such a front. In the first half of 2001, several U.S. federal law enforcement agencies documented more than 130 different instances of young Israelis impersonating “art students” while aggressively trying to penetrate the security of various government and military facilities as part of a Mossad spy ring. Several of the Israelis were found to be living in locations within the near vicinity of the hijackers as if they were eavesdropping on them. The discovery of the Israeli operation raised many questions, namely whether Mossad had advanced knowledge or involvement in 9/11. Ironically, Fox News of all places was one of the few outlets to cover the story in a four-part series which never re-aired and was eventually scrubbed from the network website.

The Israeli “art student” mystery never gained traction in the rest of the media, much like another suspicious case in the “Dancing Israelis”, a smaller group of Mossad spies posing as furnishing movers who were arrested in New Jersey on the morning of 9/11 taking celebratory pictures with the twin towers burning in the background of the Manhattan skyline. The five men were not only physically present at the waterfront prior to the first plane impact but found with thousands of dollars in cash, box-cutters, fake passports, and Arab clothing after they were reported for suspicious behavior and intercepted at the Lincoln tunnel heading into Manhattan. Initially misreported as Arabs by the media, the men were connected to Mossad by an FBI database and held for five months before their deportation to Israel while the owner of the front moving company fled to Jerusalem before further questioning. It should be noted that if Israel were to have participated in a ‘false flag’ attack on the U.S., it would not have been the first time. During the Six-Day War in 1967, the Israeli Air Force and Navy launched an unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy spy ship that was surveilling the Arab-Israeli conflict from international waters in the Mediterranean, an “accidental” assault which killed 34 Americans in an attempt to blame Egypt and provoke U.S. intervention.

If Israel turned out to be co-conspirators with the Saudis, it too is not as unlikely a scenario as it may seem. Wrongly assumed to be sworn enemies, it is an open secret that the two British-created states have maintained a historical covert alliance since the end of World War I when the first monarch of the modern Saudi state, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, defeated his rival the Sharif of Mecca who opposed the Balfour Declaration. Authored by British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour and presented to Zionist leader Baron Rothschild, the 1917 letter guaranteed a Jewish homeland in Palestine by colonization with European Jews. Once Sharif was out of  the way, the Zionist movement had the green light to move forward with its colonial project. Although Ibn Saud publicly opposed Zionism, behind the scenes he negotiated with them through an intermediary in his advisor, British agent St. John Philby, who proposed a £20 million compensation to the Saudi king for delivering Palestine to the Jews.

Ibn Saud communicated his willingness to compromise in a 1940 letter from Philby to Chaim Weizmann, the president of the World Zionist Organization and later the first Israeli president. However, Philby himself was an anti-Zionist and sabotaged the plan by leaking it to other Arab leaders who voiced their vehement opposition and it was only after this exposure that the Saudi king claimed to have turned down the bribe, something the Zionists would only solicit if they thought he would accept. Ever since, the ideologies of Saudi Wahhabism and Israeli Zionism have been center to the West’s destabilization of the Middle East which contrary to misperceptions was not uniquely plagued by conflict historically more than the Occident until the West nurtured Salafism and Zionism. Predictably, discussing either the Saudi or Israeli role in 9/11 has been strictly forbidden in corporate media, since both are among Washington’s geo-strategic allies and each hold immense lobbying power over large media institutions.

Less than five months after 9/11, Bush notoriously declared the nations of Iran, Iraq and North Korea as comprising an “axis of evil” in his 2002 state of the union address. In reality, the phrase is better suited to describe the tripartite of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. government itself who are likely the real trio of conspirators behind 9/11. The infamous choice of words were attributed to neoconservative pundit and Bush speechwriter, David Frum, who claimed to have taken inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “a date that will live infamy” speech given the day after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. It was a continuation of a theme present in the manifesto of the neoconservative cabal authored one year prior to 9/11 — “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think tank, whose members included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush. The strategic military blueprint called for a massive increase in U.S. defense spending in order to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars” before ominously predicting:

The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a New Pearl Harbor.

Ten members of PNAC would be subsequently appointed to positions in the Bush White House where their vision of a “new Pearl Harbor” conveniently materialized. Then again, there is plenty of evidence that Pearl Harbor itself was a ‘false flag’, or that U.S. intelligence and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had foreknowledge of an impending Japanese attack on the naval base in Oahu, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941. As pointed out by the film Loose Change, it is probable that Roosevelt allowed it to happen on purpose in order to win public support for a U.S. entry into the European theatre of World War II, a move opposed by a majority of Americans prior to the ‘surprise’ Japanese attack. Given what is known about Pearl Harbor and the abandoned Operation Northwoods, which proposed both fabricating and committing terrorist attacks on civilian aircraft to be pinned on Fidel Castro in order to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba in 1962, there are no grounds to assume that such false flag operations were ever phased out of military procedure before 9/11 or since.

Loose Change also made a useful historical analogy between 9/11 and the Reichstag fire, the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building that occurred a month after Adolf Hitler was inaugurated as Chancellor and pinned on a 24-year old half-blind Dutch communist named Marinus van der Lubbe. While there is no denying the incident was used as a pretext by the Nazi regime to consolidate power and suspend law and order, there is still a heated debate between historians as to whether van der Lubbe was the real culprit. However, it was coincidentally in 2001 when a group of historians uncovered evidence that a Nazi stormtrooper who died under mysterious circumstances in 1933 had previously confessed to prosecutors that members of Hitler’s Storm Detachment had set fire to the edifice under orders from paramilitary leader Karl Ernst, lending credence to the widely held suspicion that it was a Nazi-engineered ‘false flag’ all along.

Most Americans are unaware that a similar coup d’etat nearly took place during the same year in the United States in an attempt to remove President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install an authoritarian government modeled on Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany as part of a scheme hatched by an inner circle of right-wing bankers otherwise known as the the ‘Business Plot.’ It was a conspiracy that only became public after it was heroically thwarted by a whistleblower, a decorated Marine Corps veteran turned anti-imperialist, Major General Smedley Butler, after he was recruited to form the junta. Incredibly, one of the prominent business figures implicated in the putsch was none other than future Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush’s father and George W. Bush’s grandfather, who at the time was the director and shareholder of a bank owned by German industrialist and prominent Nazi financier Fritz Thyssen seized by the U.S. government under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

After his transformation, in 1935 Smedley Butler famously penned War is a Racket and there is perhaps no better phrase that would sum up the so-called ‘War on Terror’ today. Not only did the American Reichstag fire of 9/11 trigger a domestic police state transformation that overrode the U.S. constitution in an American equivalent of the 1933 Enabling Act and the Heimatschutz (“homeland protection”) defense forces with the passing of the USA-Patriot Act and founding of the Department of Homeland Security, but it fulfilled the prophecy of political scientist Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations in a face-off between Islam and Christianity abroad. The prediction that religion and culture would be the primary source of geopolitical conflict in the post-Cold War world was an apocalyptic paradigm envisioned by right-wing orientalist philosophers like Huntington and Bernard Lewis which the PNAC neocon ideologues put into practice. Today, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis appears likely to have similar broad and long-term political, social and economic consequences and those who have doubts about the official explanation for the pandemic can hardly be blamed for their distrust given this history unless the lessons of 9/11 have gone unlearned.

Is the Global Pandemic a Product of the Elite’s Malthusian Agenda and U.S. Bio-warfare?

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a global pandemic, the first since the H1N1 swine flu in 2009. Initially reported in the city of Wuhan in Central China in December, just four months later there are now over 150,000 cases in more than 130 countries which has put many on total lockdown while the world economy has been brought to a virtual standstill. While the People’s Republic of China was the first country to report COVID-19, there has been a widespread presumption that the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) must have emerged in the capital of Hubei province that has not been held under sufficient scrutiny by Western corporate media.

The question of whether the COVID-19 coronavirus could have come from the U.S. army was controversially raised by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liljian Zhao, who tweeted an article from the Center for Research on Globalization website which subsequently went viral. Feigning concern over the spread of “disinformation”, Western media coverage uniformly avoided sourcing the article Zhao had shared on social media while predictably dismissing the claim as a “conspiracy theory.” Meanwhile, Iran’s Civil Defense Chief also said the coronavirus could be a biological attack on China and Iran, as the Islamic Republic has been the third-most impacted nation with more than 12,000 cases including many at the highest levels of its government with multiple senior officials infected. Contrary to such mainstream media scaremongering, it is completely reasonable and should be permitted to speculate about the origins of the virus. That Zhao’s posing of the theory received such a hostile response from the U.S. establishment is telling of how delicate their propaganda echo chamber is.

‬Although the disease is widely assumed to have been first transmitted through zoonosis because the earliest grouping of cases were linked to a Wuhan seafood market trading exotic wildlife in late December, the actual first known case was traced to the beginning of the month and may not have been originally passed through an animal. Many on the political right have even suggested the coronavirus is an effect of Chinese biological warfare which unexpectedly leaked from a lab in Wuhan, a theory disseminated in the pages of propaganda rags like The Washington Times, a newspaper owned by the founder of the right-wing Korean Unification Church cult, Sun Myung Moon, as well as The Epoch Times of the similarly fascistic religious sect of Chinese expatriates, the CIA-linked Falun Gong. In spite of that, it is true that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has close ties to the Galveston National Laboratory in the University of Texas, one of the Pentagon’s largest biological defense lab programs. Whereas no evidence exists that the Chinese government is responsible for COVID-19, nor does the PRC have a history of engaging in bio-warfare, there is an abundance of proof that the U.S. government has long been involved in the manufacturing and use of biological weapons since the Korean war.

When the accusations were first made by North Korea and China that the U.S. was using biological and germ warfare in the 1950–1953 Korean War, they were rejected outright by Washington as a hoax and rebuffed by the Western-biased WHO. In the decades since, the U.S. has maintained its denial while scholarly debate on the subject is divided. However, an unredacted report from 1952 from an investigation sponsored by the World Peace Council and conducted by an International Scientific Commission headed by Sir Joseph Needham, a highly reputable British biochemist of his era, was unearthed in 2018 and presents ample substantiation of the allegations, including eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence and documented confessions by American POWs. More disturbingly, the investigation indicates direct links between the U.S. biological warfare program and the germ warfare program of Unit 731, a clandestine bio and chemical warfare unit of Imperial Japan during World War II. During the Cold War, the Japanese researchers were secretly given immunity and recruited by the U.S. in exchange for their knowledge in human experimentation, along with many “former” Nazi scientists in Operation Paperclip.

Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army collected data not only through performing deadly experiments on humans but environmentally testing “plague bombs” by dropping them on Chinese cities to see whether they could start disease outbreaks. Many of these tactics were continued by the U.S. in the Korean War. According to Stephen Kinzer, journalist and author of Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, the CIA’s Project MK-ULTRA which was coordinated with the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories was:

…Essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.

Frank Olsonone of the biowarfare scientists and CIA employees in the program who died under mysterious circumstances in 1953, is the subject of the Netflix docu-drama series Wormwood, directed by Errol Morris and featuring renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, which reveals Olson may have been a potential government whistleblower on the CIA’s activities and U.S. bio-war crimes. It is worth noting that the usage of such agents in the Korean War included Chinese targets, the last and only major armed conflict between the U.S. and China, so if the COVID-19 pandemic were proven to be a product of U.S. biowarfare against Beijing, it would not be the first time.

Officially, the U.S. is said to have abandoned its bioweapons program in 1969, but its installation in Fort Detrick, Maryland, has continued conducting research into deadly pathogens and viruses on the stated purpose of bio-defense, as well as fighting disease outbreaks, developing vaccines, and other public health concerns. Yet just last year, research into fatal viruses and bioweapons were suspended amid concerns they could be accidentally be released. The last time Fort Detrick’s germ warfare research was suspended was in 2009 after the Pentagon found discrepancies in the inventory of its infectious agents, the same year as the last pandemic of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

Fort Detrick has been under tighter restrictions since the 2001 anthrax attacks were traced to Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the facility. The suspected perpetrator and army biologist committed suicide in 2008 after learning the FBI was going to charge him with terrorism, which if proven to be true would mean that the Pentagon’s own biodefense research itself had led to rather than protected the American public from bioterrorism — though there is plenty of evidence suggesting Ivins was framed by the feds. As journalist Whitney Webb uncovered, the U.S. Army’s Medical Research branch headquartered in Maryland has cooperated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology mentioned previously for decades.

Toying around with organisms that can produce disease is a regular practice for the Pentagon. In 2005, U.S. scientists announced that they had even successfully recreated the avian influenza flu virus in a lab which killed at least 50 million people worldwide in 1918, widely known as the ‘Spanish flu.’ The name is actually a misnomer, as it was disproportionately attributed to Spain which was neutral in World War I and was not subject to the same wartime censorship of the press to upkeep morale like in Germany, the UK, France and the U.S. whose media initially underreported the pandemic’s effects in their respective countries. The geographic source of the Spanish flu is still the subject of much debate, but the first observation of the disease was at a U.S. military installation in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1918. Needless to say, the risks involved with resurrecting a disease that wiped out more than a quarter of the world’s population are not trivial, but this did not prevent the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from extracting the genetic coding of the Spanish flu from the exhumed corpse of a Native Alaskan woman frozen in the ground who died of the disease in an Inuit town in 1918.

There is no direct evidence showing that the 2009 swine flu said to have originated in Mexico through zoonosis from pigs was any leak of the restored Spanish flu, but the previous swine flu outbreak of 1976 began at a U.S. army base in Fort Dix, New Jersey, just like the Spanish flu of 1918. After the Gerald R. Ford administration jumped the gun and announced a flu epidemic was pending following the death of a single soldier, a subsequent mass immunization program without proper testing for side effects was administered to a staggering 45 million people, exactly a quarter of the entire U.S. population at the time, which ended up killing more Americans than the disease itself. The scandal forever sowed the seeds of public distrust regarding inoculation after more than 450 people developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome and 25 died from the immunization before it was halted.

If such a mandatory vaccination program were to be implemented again in the U.S. for COVID-19, the government would have to reassure the public its previous negligence of such side effects would not be repeated, an unlikely scenario after the corporate breach of trust exposed on Wall Street in recent years involving large pharmaceutical firms. Regardless, Big Pharma is already partnering with the U.S. army to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus which would have to be tested and evaluated before licensing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both of which partner with the WHO whose largest financial contributor is the U.S. government.

One of the WHO’s other largest benefactors is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with whom it has a partnership on vaccinations. The billionaire Microsoft Corporation founder has used his enormous wealth to dodge paying taxes under the guise of philanthropy and his ‘charitable’ private ventures have mostly focused on producing vaccines for developing countries and purportedly tackling global poverty, especially in Africa. On the surface this may appear to be benevolent work, but like many so-called altruistic projects it is a scheme which allows ultra-wealthy plutocrats like Gates to influence global policy and obtain political power with no accountability by investing in “fixing” the social problems caused by the very system which made them rich, with the expansion of neoliberalism as their real agenda. The consequences of this can be seen with charitable projects involving Gates in the Congo which forced its local agribusiness into using GMO seeds which only benefited private companies like Monsanto.

More disturbing is that in regards to environmental concerns about man-made climate change, Gates has made public his views on curbing human population growth as a solution. At a 2010 TED Conference, Gates stated:

First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.

To put it another way, one of the world’s wealthiest men admitted in public he believes vaccines should be used for depopulation, just as he is financially investing in both developing and delivering them to countries in the global south. The misanthropic myth of ‘overpopulation’ pushed by Gates and the elite not only suggests that depopulation is a solution for slowing the warming of the climate but retains the logic of an essential component of eugenics with the implicit idea that the quality of life for the human species can be improved by discouraging human reproduction. Since developing countries have the highest child mortality rates, families are more likely to be larger because children are less likely to survive. Hence, the inherent racism and classism in such a misconception.

Given that the vast majority of carbon emissions are produced by a short list of fossil fuel companies and the world’s largest polluter is the U.S. military, promoting this dangerous fallacy is the perfect way for the ruling elite to shift the responsibility for climate change onto the world’s poor. Unfortunately, this dangerous falsehood has been popularized in the mainstream environmental movement and pseudo-left with examples such as BirthStrike, a group of mostly female activists protesting the lack of regulations on the ecological crisis by refusing to bear children that has been irresponsibly endorsed by popular “progressive” politicians such as U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). ‘AOC’ is also the face of the Democratic Party’s Green New Deal which has troubling ties to the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainable development program that calls for “achieving a more sustainable population.”

The false notion of “overpopulation” became a misguided cornerstone of the modern day environmental movement thanks to the publication of German scientist Paul Ehrlich’s best-selling book The Population Bomb in 1968an alarmist diatribe that has in the years since become famous for its inaccurate doomsday predictions as a result of the mistaken belief which never came to fruition. Today’s doom merchants regarding the climate, no doubt a serious issue, are in many respects channeling Ehrlich’s false prophecies which are considered a modern rehash of the influential 18th century British economist and philosopher, Thomas Malthus. No single scholar was more loathed by Karl Marx and and the working class movement than Malthus, whose pseudo-scientific theories about demography were thought to have been intellectually defeated until they found new life in Ehrlich’s eco-fascism. As much as today’s ‘population bombers’ like Bill Gates may shun the more explicitly racist Malthusian ideas that the global north should contain the population of developing countries, they still tacitly endorse them by arguing that the size of the population itself is a source a poverty and climate change.

Bill Gates has cited business tycoon John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in American history who had an even greater monopoly on the oil business as Gates had at one time on the computer industry, as an inspiration in using his wealth to invest in medical research as a focus of his philanthropy. However, Gates has something else in common with the Rockefeller family in his views on population, as the Rockefeller Foundation was the single largest donor to the American eugenics movement in the 1920s and 30s and helped establish its German branch, even subsidizing the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics that Nazi physician Josef Mengele worked in prior to his wartime experiments. Despite the fact that a line can be traced from the American eugenics movement to the Nazi regime’s programs, which Nuremberg defendants even tried to use as justification for their atrocities in court, Rockefeller’s grandson John Rockefeller III continued the family legacy of interest in demography with the founding of the Population Council NGO which conducts research in “reproductive health” (sterilization) in developing countries. The Nazi government was also the first to ever pass legislation safeguarding the environment which they equated with German national identity, another unexpected intersection between brown and green politics.

In an astonishing coincidence, the Gates Foundation hosted an event just last October with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the World Economic Forum called Event 201, a pandemic simulation which gathered elite figures in government, business and health expertise to plan for the possibility of a worldwide outbreak. Gates himself has warned of pandemics for years and ominously wrote that the world should “prepare for epidemics the way the military prepares for war.” The Event 201 fictional scenario just so happened to be a coronavirus called CAPS from Brazilian pigs which infected people globally and after a year and half in the exercise caused tens of millions of deaths and set off a worldwide financial crash. Since the outset of the real COVID-19 coronavirus, Gates himself hasstepped down from Microsoft to focus on his philanthropy while his foundation is busy working on a vaccine.

Many have observed that some characteristics of COVID-19 bear a resemblance to HIV that could not have happened organically. The recent documentary Cold Case Hammarskjöld, which won an award at last year’s Sundance film festivalputs forth a chilling theory that a South African white supremacist organization deliberately spread HIV/AIDS among black Africans through vaccines in previous decades. The film begins as an investigation of the mysterious plane crash in Northern Rhodesia which killed Swedish diplomat and United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. In 1998, a document authored by a shadowy paramilitary organization called the South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR) was uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission justice assembly in post-apartheid South Africa which indicated that Hammarskjöld was the victim of an assassination. Not only do the filmmakers discover in their inquiry the distinct likelihood that the plane was shot down by a Belgian mercenary employed by SAIMR which was operating under orders from MI6 and the CIA, but the more stunning revelation is a recorded confession from a former SAIMR soldier to having deliberately spread HIV/AIDS to black Africans through immunization. If what is claimed about SAIMR is true and that they were connected with Western intelligence, that the COVID-19 virus could be something deliberately spread is not outside the realm of possibility.

Maybe it will prove to be the case that the yellow press’s version of the coronavirus beginning with the zoonotic transfer of the disease after the consumption of a pangolin or wild bat by a ‘patient zero’ in Wuhan is accurate. Nevertheless, the pandemic should be a chilling reminder of the elite’s eco-fascist agenda and the continuous danger that the military-industrial complex puts the world’s population in by continuing to conduct dangerous research into deadly pathogens where the risk vastly outweighs the benefits. If the outbreak has led many to be suspicious of the official story, it is exactly because of the history of U.S. biological warfare and the elite’s potentially genocidal and pessimistic worldview that the only way to prevent the demise of humanity is by thinning the herd.

SYRIZA’s Betrayal of Greece is a Spectre haunting the Left

‘Super Tuesday’ in the 2020 presidential election season is over and Senator Bernie Sanders’s time as the unlikely frontrunner for the Democratic nomination may have stopped just as quick as it began. Despite an unprecedented smear campaign coordinated by the party leadership and corporate media against him, the self-described “democratic socialist” not only managed to single-handedly de-stigmatize the latter as a dirty word in U.S. politics but at one point seemed like he had improbably overtaken former Vice President Joe Biden as the favorite to be the party nominee. Suddenly, the scenario of a brokered convention with a repeat of the ‘superdelegate’ scheme determining the outcome seems more likely. Regardless of whether he beats the odds, no one can deny the significance of Sanders’s movement in taking the relatively progressive first step of returning “socialism” from exile to everyday U.S. politics which was once an inconceivable prospect. Unfortunately, a consequence is that now his idea of an ‘alternative’ to capitalism has been made synonymous with the word in the minds of Americans, regardless of its qualifications.

So far, Bernie has purposefully avoided discussing socialism in broader conceptual terms or as a social philosophy while persistently narrowing the discussion to issues of economic disparity, free higher education or a national healthcare system. In fact, Sanders’s own supporters are the ones who often push the acceptable parameters of the dialogue to bigger questions and take his movement to places he is unwilling, likely because his candidacy filled the void of the political space left vacant following the suppression of the Occupy Wall Street phenomena. For example, some of his devotees may define socialism as the ‘equal distribution of wealth’ or even the ‘collective ownership of the means of production.’ However, Bernie and his followers both equally avoid providing any philosophical basis to their ideas and usually reduce it to abstractions of moral principles or human rights.

The most vigorous elucidation of socialism and its historical development from material conditions rather than ideals can be found in Karl Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program, a letter written in 1875 by the German philosopher to the early incarnation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in which he scathingly attacked the SPD for drafting a more moderate platform at its congress. Just four years earlier, the short-lived Paris Commune in France had been brutally repressed and the German counterparts of the Communards appeared to be making concessions in the wake of its failure. In the address, Marx contends that socialism is an  atransitional phase between capitalism and communism where vestigial elements of the free market are mixed with state ownership of the productive forces. According to Marx, socialism does not develop on its own but “emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.”

While socialism might be an improvement, it still bears the stigma of capitalism because it is based on the idea that people will receive equal compensation determined by their individual contribution to the economy. Marx argues that even though profiting from the exploitation of the labor of others through private ownership of the means of production may decline, the exchange of labor itself as a commodity replicates the logic of the free market in that it still leaves workers under the dominion of what they produce if their earnings are equivalent to their labor. Since workers inherently have varying degrees of mental and physical ability, the primary source of economic inequality is left in place. Hence, Marx’s conclusion that human liberation can only be achieved once labor is transformed from a means of subsistence to freedom from necessity in a communist society, or “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.” In the same document, it is made clear what role the state must play in this post-revolutionary but intermediary stage:

Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

Many on the left today, particularly social democrats, try to separate Marx’s words about the role of the state from the Bolsheviks who later expanded upon the working class seizure of power by revolutionary means and put it into practice in the Russian Revolution of 1917. However, Marx did consider the United States one of a handful of countries where a peaceful transition to socialism was a remote possibility, at least during his own lifetime.

The same SPD that Marx convinced to abandon its reformist platform for a more radical line would turn their backs on the working class decades later when it endorsed the imperialist carnage of World War I and collaborated with proto-fascists. In 1912, the SPD rose to prominence after it was elected to the majority of seats in the Reichstag, but once in power its duplicitous leadership voted to support the war effort despite the Second International’s vehement opposition to militarism and imperialism. Those within the SPD who protested the party’s pro-war stance were expelled which brought an end to the Second International, most notably Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemberg who would go on to found the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). After the war’s conclusion which resulted in a German defeat and the abolition of its imperial monarchy, mass social unrest and general strikes led to the Spartacist Uprising in the unsuccessful German Revolution of 1918–1919 which was violently crushed by the right-wing Freikorps paramilitary units under orders from SPD leader and German President, Friedrich Ebert. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were summarily executed in the crackdown and became forever revered martyrs in the international socialist movement.

The SPD would once again betray the German people during the Weimar Republic in the lead-up to the Second World War, rebuffing the KPD’s efforts to organize a coalition against fascism which sealed Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, as Michael Parenti described in Blackshirts and Reds:

True to form, the Social Democrat leaders refused the Communist party’s proposal to form an eleventh-hour coalition against Nazism. As in many other countries past and present, so in Germany, the Social Democrats would sooner ally themselves with the reactionary Right than make common cause with the Reds. Meanwhile, a number of right-wing parties coalesced behind the Nazis and in January 1933, just weeks after the election, Hindenburg invited Hitler to become chancellor.

Social democracy’s consistent impediment of the seizure of power by the working class led to its branding as the “moderate wing of fascism” by the Comintern. By the time the Third International and the social democratic Labor and Socialist International (LSI) finally cooperated to form a Popular Front in the Spanish Civil War, it was undermined by the disruptions of Trotskyists and anarchists which cleared the way for Franco’s victory. Today, social democrats who are embarrassed by these unpleasant facts try to sweep their own tainted history under the rug, ironically the same ideologues who are always eager to cite the ‘purges’ of the Stalin era to discredit communism. A 2017 article exonerating the SPD in Jacobin Magazine, the flagship publication of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is a perfect example of such lies by omission.

Bernie Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, but a significant amount of the grassroots basis for his recent success has come from his backing by the DSA whose own rank-and-file increased by the tens of thousands during his 2016 candidacy and continued following Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. This culminated in the election of two DSA members to Congress, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Rashida Tlaib (MI), in the 2018 mid-terms. The DSA has historical roots in the Socialist Party of America (SPA), having been established by former chairman Michael Harrington, best known as the author of the classic 1962 study, The Other America: Poverty in the United States, which is widely credited as an inspiration for the welfare state legislation of the Great Society under the Lyndon B. Johnson administrationHowever, in stark contrast with the SPA and its founder, Eugene V. Debswhom Sanders idolizes and even once made a film aboutHarrington advocated for reforming the Democratic Party from within over building a third party.

Sanders might style himself as a “socialist”, but many have noted his actual campaign policies are closer to the New Deal reforms of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression. A more accurate comparison than Eugene Debs would be with the appointed Vice President during Roosevelt’s third term, Henry A. Wallace, who has been written out of history ever since the Southern reactionary wing of the Democratic Party convinced FDR to replace him on the 1944 ticket with Harry S. Truman. The progressive Wallace had been Secretary of Agriculture during Roosevelt’s first two terms and was a big supporter of his domestic program. After his one-term removal, Wallace served as commerce secretary until Truman succeeded Roosevelt and fired him in 1946 for giving a speech advocating peace and cooperation with the Soviet Union which contradicted Truman’s foreign policy that kick-started the Cold War. Wallace ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket in 1948 but his campaign was sunk by red-baiting, reminiscent of the recent bogus claims of “Russian meddling” to assist Sanders’s presidential bid. Yet even Wallace was much further to the left than Bernie is today, particularly on foreign policy. As Congressman of Vermont in 1999, Sanders notably voted to authorize the use of military force against Serbia, resulting in one of his campaign staffers quitting in protest and an end to his friendship with the previously cited Parenti.

As for his socialist credentials, all one has to do is look at the model Bernie consistently invokes as an example whenever pressed to define “democratic socialism” in the Nordic model which today scarcely resembles what it once was prior to the mysterious assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986. Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark may have high taxes on the wealthy and a strong social safety net while a large percentage of the workforce is unionized and employed in the public sector — a more “humane” form of capitalism — but these gains came from class struggle, not from the top down. Similarly in the U.S., the financial regulations and public programs during the Roosevelt administration were not enacted out of the goodness of FDR’s heart but because he was a pragmatic politician and member of the ruling class who understood that it was the only way to save American capitalism from itself and prevent workers, then well organized in a strong coalition of labor unions with socialists and communists, from becoming militant. Reforms such as those under the New Deal were enacted so they could be repealed later, as we see now with Social Security and Medicare increasingly under threat. If Sanders were to be elected but his policies obstructed, it would be because no such alliance behind him yet exists.

On the other hand, recent history shows that not even a united front and mass organization can ensure the democratic wishes of workers as Greece learned in 2015 after the electoral victory of the inappropriately named ‘Coalition of the Radical Left ’ — abbreviated SYRIZA — which completely double-crossed its constituency and the Greek working class once in power. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, Greece was impacted more than any other country in the Eurozone during the economic downturn and underwent a decline which exceeded that of the Great Depression in the United States as the longest of any modern capitalist country. However, like all debt run up by capitalist governments, Greece’s bankruptcy was created by the irreconcilable contradiction of the state being torn between its constituents in the masses of people and the rich and corporations who both want to pay as low in taxes as possible, an incompatibility which forces elected political leaders to borrow excessively instead of taxing the former which give them votes or the latter which gives them money.

Like the United States, many European countries saw their productive power slowly outsourced to the developing world in recent decades where bigger profits could be made and labor was cheaper while wages and living standards in the imperial core stagnated, though the process was slower in Europe because of social democracy. For the financial sector and predatory creditors, this made for a whole new market of consumer debt to invest in and a bonanza of speculative trading. That is, until 2008 when the speculations finally crashed after consumer credit reached its limit. On the brink of failure, the so-called leaders of industry and champions of private enterprise in the banking sector begged European governments to save them from collapse. Unfortunately for Greece, its small, poor economy was already heavily in debt and unattractive to lenders, therefore unable to borrow without paying high interest rates.

At the time of Greece’s debt crisis, European governments were already besieged by their respective banks in the form of bailouts. When the German and French banks turned out to be the biggest creditors of the Greek government, the prospect of Greece defaulting meant that the German and French governments could not provide financial assistance to their corresponding banks a second time without then-President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, committing political suicide. Therefore, the European Union’s political “solution” was to make Greece the whipping boy for the financial crisis by using the pooled collective money of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund— widely referred to as the ‘troika’ — to make a series of bailout loans to Greece so it could pay off the French and German banks, but which imposed draconian austerity measures and neoliberal ‘shock therapy’ onto its economy.

The troika’s ‘structural adjustment programs’ resulted in hundreds of thousands of state sector jobs lost and the minimum wage reduced by more than 20% while much of the energy, utilities and transit sectors underwent mass privatization. Greek workers saw their taxes raised just as pensions and benefits were cut, bonuses capped, and salaries frozen at the same time government spending on health and education was slashed. As many economists predicted, the spending reductions during the downturn only worsened the crisis. However, just as we have seen throughout the EU and the U.S. since the global financial meltdown, a silver lining to the crisis in Greece was an expansion of the political spectrum and Overton Window. By 2014, the far right Golden Dawn party suddenly became the third largest group from Greece in the European Parliament, but still far behind the first-place SYRIZA, founded in 2004 as a broad alliance of the country’s left-wing parties, sans the Greek Communist Party (KKE).

In the beginning of 2015, SYRIZA rode into office in a snap election, picking up half of the Hellenic Parliament seats on its campaign promise of rejecting austerity. After failing to reach an agreement with the troika, a referendum was held to decide on whether the country should accept the bailout terms and the result was a solid 61% pulling the lever against the country’s colonization by the EU and ‘reforms’ of the international creditors, a vote which also effectively signaled that the Greek people were willing to exit the Eurozone. Despite pledging to let the electorate decide the country’s future, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA stabbed the Greek working class in the back and ignored the outcome of the referendum, totally capitulating to the demands of the private banking corporatocracy. Much of the pseudo-left had pinned their naive hopes on SYRIZA, but the truth is that the warning signs were there from the very beginning, starting with Tsipras’s questionable decision to appoint economist Yanis Varoufakis as Finance Minister, a figure who had several conflicts of interest with the institutions he was assigned to stand up to.

Varoufakis was tapped to negotiate with the troika in spite of his open ties to the neoliberal Brookings Institute, a D.C. establishment think tank funded by a cabal of billionaires and the Qatari government, as well as his previous work as an advisor to the centre-left PASOK government of George Papandreou which preceded SYRIZA and initially ushered in the austerity. The “rock star economist” jumped ship after less than six months from his ministerial post on the stated reason it was evident the SYRIZA-led government was caving in to the troika, yet Varoufakis himself had already sold Greece down the river when he led the negotiations to extend its loan agreement with the IMF that was due to expire in his first month in office. Varoufakis could have used the prospect of a potential Grexit from the Eurozone as leverage and refused to negotiate, but instead fully surrendered to the troika’s bribery. When SYRIZA later fully embraced austerity, it was only a continuation of the process he set in motion while his resignation was motivated by self-interest in maintaining his radical facade.

Allowing the IMF to make a killing off Greece’s debt was just the first breach of faith. By the time Tsipras was voted out four years later, the SYRIZA-led government had made military deals with Israel, sold arms to Saudi Arabia during its genocidal war on Yemen, provided NATO with its territory for the use of military bases and naval presence, and paved the way for the latter to accede the renamed North Macedonia as a member state. Meanwhile, Varoufakis has since been busy lending his ‘expertise’ to left candidates in other countries. After the UK Labour Party’s resounding defeat in the 2019 general elections, many rightly faulted Jeremy Corbyn’s reversal of his decision to support the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum after he was convinced by the party establishment to change his longtime Euroskepticism. Unsurprisingly, another figure who had advised him to do the same was none other than the former Greek finance minister, who has also since partnered with Bernie Sanders to launch a “Progressive International.”

The 2019 UK general election was really a second Brexit referendum, where the electorate justifiably expressed their disgust at the Labour Party’s contempt for democracy and neutering of Corbyn. Once upon a time it was Labour who stood against the de-industrialization foisted onto Britain by the neoliberal imperialist EU and the offshoring of its manufacturing jobs to Germany and the global south. Corbyn should have listened to the words of past Labour leaders like Tony Benn, who opposed the European project and its unelected bureaucracy as a violation of British sovereignty and democracy, not charlatans like Mr. Varoufakis. Worst of all is that the “left” is now disparaging the entirety of the working class as bigots and reducing the Leave vote to a reaction against the migrant crisis, as if Greece’s bailout referendum never occurred. Like the Yellow Vest protests in France, Corbyn’s loss was a sign that the opposition to globalization by the working class is still in good condition but has no authentic left to represent it. If Bernie meets the same fate, a real vanguard should be prepared to take the reins.

Democrats impeach Trump for Withholding Arms to Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

On December 18th, Donald Trump became the third U.S. president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. The second to be indicted before completing a first term, the 45th commander-in-chief must now survive a Senate trial before seeking reelection later this year. As many nonpartisan analysts predicted, the charges appear to have only improved his chances with the electorate as his approval rating saw an uptick after the articles were approved on grounds of “obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.” After dragging the country through three years of Russiagate which never panned out, the Democrats appear to be scoring yet another own goal. Even a near brush with war against Iran does not seem to have impacted Trump’s favorability, which could have been seen as a reversal of his campaign pledges to end America’s forever wars that were arguably a significant factor in his unlikely victory.

It was Trump’s rhetoric as a peace candidate suggesting rapprochement with Russia which made him a target of the political establishment and intelligence community, who subsequently blamed his shocking win on still unproven allegations of election interference by the Kremlin. Since he took office, Trump has done nearly everything short of declaring war on Moscow to appease the bipartisan anti-Russia consensus in Washington but to no avail. One such step was the decision to provide military aid to Ukraine amid its ongoing war in the eastern Donbass region against Russian-speaking separatists, a move the Obama administration decided against because of Kiev’s rampant corruption. Trump’s predecessor tapped his Vice President, Joe Biden, to head up an anti-corruption drive in Ukraine who instead used the opportunity to personally enrich his family by landing his son, Hunter, a job on the executive board of the country’s largest private gas company, Burisma Holdings.

Biden led the U.S. role in the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine which overthrew the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovych after he turned down a European Union Association Agreement for an economic bail-out from Russia that was the flashpoint for the subsequent Donbass war. Contrary to the Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ narrative, one figure who tried to lobby Yanukovych into signing the pro-austerity treaty was none other than Paul Manafort, the future Trump campaign manager indicted during the Russia probe for failing to register as a foreign agent while consulting for the deposed Ukrainian president. Manafort’s influence went against Russian interests in favor of the EU and was years before Trump was ever a candidate, but this did not stop the Democrats from later misconstruing it as evidence he was a back channel to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, Biden’s hand in the junta was revealed in an infamous leaked phone call between Victoria Nuland, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

Nuland, who is the wife of leading neoconservative figure Robert Kagan, also spilled the beans that the U.S. invested as much as $5 billion dollars on regime change in Kiev when we were led to believe the Maidan was a spontaneous, popular revolt. Shortly after the putsch, Hunter Biden joined the board of directors at Burisma despite having no experience in Ukraine or the energy sector. The embattled fracking company was founded by a notorious oligarch and corrupt minister from the Yanukovych era, Mykola Zlochevsky, yet who unlike the former did not have to flee to Russia and curiously escaped prosecution in a money laundering case under the new Western-friendly regime — did he obtain immunity with Hunter Biden’s appointment? When the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, reportedly began to investigate the energy firm, the elder Biden did not just blackmail the post-Maidan government of Petro Poroshenko into sacking him by threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees but openly bragged about it on camera.

As a reward, Poroshenko — nicknamed the “Chocolate King” for his background as a business tycoon in the confectionary industry — was touted as a reformer by the Obama administration despite multiple Wikileaks diplomatic cables featuring U.S. officials describing him as a “disgraced oligarch” “tainted by credible corruption allegations” and “a deeply unpopular politician that has widespread support among party leaders due to his past financial/organizational roles.” Incredibly, Poroshenko would replace Shokin with a former Minister of Internal Affairs, Yuriy Lutsenko, who had previously been imprisoned for embezzlement and corruption himself. It is still a matter of debate whether the top prosecutor was even actually looking into the activities of Burisma, but what is not in dispute — except to corporate media — is the criminal nature of Biden’s conduct who clearly allowed his family to profiteer off U.S. meddling in the country. After he became a 2020 presidential candidate and frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, the subject of Biden’s past wrongdoing was broached by Trump last July during a phone call with current Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

The controversial exchange occurred just a day after former FBI director Robert Mueller delivered his anticlimactic testimony before congress where the lead investigator in the Russia investigation did not appear familiar with the details of his own inquiry. The call transcript shows that Trump asked the newly elected Zelensky if he would assist U.S. Attorney General William Barr in determining whether there was truth to the rumors that the infamous Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server given by the FBI to CrowdStrike Holdings was located in Ukraine. CrowdStrike was one of the cybersecurity firms hired by the DNC which questionably determined it was Russian intelligence which perpetrated alleged cyber attacks during the 2016 election. In other words, Trump wanted to find out if it was actually Kiev which “meddled” and framed the Kremlin. While he did not offer Zelensky compensation, it is true Trump asked for the favor shortly after mentioning the javelin missiles being provided to Ukraine in the military assistance. However, Biden’s extortion and the firing of Shokin is only raised later in the conversation and whether or not either matter was contingent upon the military aid is dubious and implicit at best. At the time of the correspondence, Zelensky and his government were unaware that the nearly $400 million in aid had been withheld and did not learn of its freezing until a month later, making any alleged quid pro quo doubtful.

The ambiguity of the conversation has not prevented Democrats from surmising that the security aid was suspended on the condition that Zelensky cooperate with Trump’s requests. While the exploits were arguably unethical, for the content of the exchange to be considered sufficient grounds for impeachment would set a very low bar and virtually ensure any future president can be indicted on a technicality for politicized reasons. In the meantime, the focus has shifted to Trump’s firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, because if threatening to withhold foreign aid alone qualifies, Biden is not only guilty of the same crime but more explicitly. Forget that from a procedural standpoint, without the required constitutional majority in the GOP-controlled Senate, the chances of removing Trump are dead in the water anyway. This can only mean the trial is really meant to be a smokescreen for Biden’s own palm-greasing in Ukraine while legally requiring his biggest primary rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, to spend time away from the campaign trail in attendance.

Not only has the legitimate question of whether the former Vice President and his son should also be probed been dismissed by mainstream media as a “conspiracy theory,” but completely lost in the political theater of the proceedings is if Washington ought to be providing defense assistance and fueling a proxy war with Russia to begin with. The Russiagate hoax successfully transformed the entirety of the Democratic Party into new cold warriors and its Ukrainegate sequel has only continued that hawkish trajectory. To make matters worse, Western media coverage of the scandal has omitted that many of the militias fighting with the Ukrainian army in Donbass are far right, neo-Nazi groups previously instrumental in transforming the 2014 Maidan protests into violence. One of the three main political parties which formed the opposition to Yanukovych was the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, personally met with Biden in 2014 despite having been barred from entering the U.S. for his anti-semitism just a year prior.

Svoboda and its militant offshoots like the Azov regiment fighting in Donbass are the self-proclaimed ideological progeny of the fascist collaborators led by the Ukrainian nationalist, Stepan Bandera, who sided with Nazi Germany during its invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In the Cold War, the CIA provided covert assistance to the post-war remnants of Bandera’s faction as it waged a failed insurgency in the 1950s. In post-Soviet Ukraine, a disturbing campaign of historical revisionism has rewritten Bandera‘s fifth column as nationalist heroes who fought solely for Ukrainian independence. This is not reflected in the historical record which shows they not only participated in the Third Reich’s war crimes but shared their racist ideology, as admitted in the CIA’s own declassified documents:

Altogether, during the 5 weeks of its existence the Bandera “state” destroyed over 5,000 Ukrainians, 15,000 Jews, and several thousand Poles. The “Ukrainian State” of Stepan Bandera ended its short but ignominious existence in August 1941, when it was announced in Lvov that Western Ukraine had been incorporated as the “District of Galicia” in the “General Governorship” (occupied Poland). And then a “new order,” Hitler style began to be introduced in the Ukraine. This in short, the story of Bandera’s “one-day holiday,” which his followers, relying on people’s forgetfulness, now try to present as a glorious and heroic page in the history of the Ukrainian liberation movement. In reality, it would be best, especially for the supporters of a free Ukraine, to erase from the history of their .. movement this infamous Hitlerite, fascist episode, which brought nothing. but shame and sorrow to the Ukraine.

Despite provisions in the aid barring weapons from going to the Azov detachment, the U.S. military has continued to provide them with arms and training. We are already witnessing blowback for this decision in the case of Jarrett William Smith, an ex-Army soldier arrested by the FBI for planning to assassinate former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and plotting terrorist attacks against major news networks. Smith had made plans to travel to Ukraine to fight with the Azov battalion and had previously volunteered in the Donbass war in 2017 with another Ukrainian neo-fascist paramilitary, the Right Sector.  Smith reportedly sought help in making contact with Azov from another AWOL soldier, Craig Lang, currently under house arrest in Ukraine and wanted for extradition to the U.S. for killing a Florida couple. Lang, who is considered a hero in the country for serving as a private mercenary with Right Sector, also spent time with Georgian Legion, a unit formed by ethnic Georgians conscripted on the Ukrainian side in the War in Donbass whose members are believed to have perpetrated the ‘false flag’ sniper attacks on the Maidan that was blamed on the government of Yanukovych.

Coincidentally, just as Americans are following the impeachment, trending on the internet streaming service Netflix is a new documentary by a pair of Israeli filmmakers that touches upon U.S. harboring of a Ukrainian Nazi called The Devil Next Door. The series recaps the fascinating case of John Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker and Ukrainian-born immigrant living in Cleveland, Ohio, who is suddenly accused of being a notoriously sadistic Nazi guard at Treblinka concentration camp in eastern Poland during World War II known as “Ivan the Terrible” and is extradited to Israel in 1986 to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. After impassioned but inconsistent eyewitness testimony by camp survivors, he was mistakenly found guilty of being the mysterious guard by an Israeli court and sentenced to death until his conviction was overturned under appeal in 1993. Years later, Demjanjuk is identified as a different prison guard at another camp in Sobibor and re-convicted, this time more convincingly by a German court. He maintained until his death in 2012 that he was again a victim of mistaken identity and during the war was a POW himself after serving in the Red Army until his capture by the Germans who then “forced” him to work as a guard at Trawniki, but never Sobibor. However, newly discovered photos of Demjanjuk at the death camp were just released which contradict his denials and increase the likelihood he was a willing defector.

The documentary sheds light on how Demjanjuk was able to gain safe harbor in the U.S. because of amendments to the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 which restricted immigration of those persecuted by the Nazis while giving preferential treatment to Polish and Ukrainian nationals who hid under new aliases in refugee camps while fleeing the Soviets. U.S. immigration services were only able to detect the entry of formal members of the Nazi regime while their local collaborators like Demjanjuk often snuck through unnoticed. The show also speaks briefly of the U.S. embrace of many “former” Nazis such as Wernher von Braun and the thousands of other German scientists recruited in Operation Paperclip who were employed by the U.S. government during the Cold War in order to gain an advantage over Moscow in the space race. However, the series neglects to mention the CIA’s support for Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), much less their descendants in Kiev today who are renaming city streets after SS veterans and tearing down Soviet statues to replace them with effigies of fascist quislings. Unfortunately, it is unlikely viewers will make any connection between the show and the current political scandal gripping Washington.

Netflix did receive objections over The Devil Next Door from the Polish government and its right-wing populist Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused the streaming giant of “rewriting history” in its production by using a map of the country’s post-1945 borders while implying that Poland shared culpability for Nazi war crimes that occurred in its territory. Much of western Ukraine became eastern Poland overnight with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the German occupation, one of the reasons why a native of northwestern Ukraine like Demjanjuk ended up in the neighboring country. Like the Banderites doctoring history in Kiev, Polish nationalists are seeking to revise the historical record of the many Poles who collaborated with the Germans in the slaughter of their fellow compatriots as well. This historical negationism continued in Poland’s recent row with Russia over the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in which Morawiecki despicably made a false equivalency between the USSR and Nazi Germany with a disturbing reinterpretation encouraged by the U.S. who seek to take credit for the Soviet accomplishment of freeing the concentration camp in 1945. Nothing is sacred to the Atlanticists who are willing to politicize anything in the name of their geostrategy of encircling Moscow and ultimate goal of conquering Eurasia.

That the Democrats are not impeaching Trump for an actual unconstitutional offense like the diverting of military funds to his border wall without congressional approval is revealing of its true motivations. Trump only crossed a line when he went after another member of the political establishment and fleetingly halted the U.S. war machine in its aggression toward Moscow. It is reminiscent of what some have argued were the real reasons for the impeachment of Richard Nixon that resulted from the Watergate scandal. Similarly, Nixon was forced to resign in 1974 after he targeted other members of the elite in the wire-tapping and break-in of the DNC headquarters, not his use of the CIA to violate its own charter for domestic espionage on American citizens active in the anti-war movement. Like Trump’s rhetoric toward Moscow, Nixon had also broken with foreign policy orthodoxies both in his unprecedented restoration of diplomacy with China and détente with the Soviet Union negotiating arms control.

The dangerous consequences of the campaign against Trump for deviating from the anti-Russia foreign policy dogma can be seen in the unparalleled recent NATO war games and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pushing the hand of the Doomsday Clock forward to just 100 seconds to midnight, its closest ever approach which even exceeds that of the beginning of the Cold War in the early 1950s. Trump would never have armed Ukraine to begin with if not for the constant pressure of the Russia investigation and the need to not appear soft on Moscow. It is clear that the impeachment is nothing more than an inter-war between different factions of the elite and not only has it reduced the American people to onlookers, it may get us all killed in a nuclear holocaust in the process. For an excellent in-depth investigation of the roots of the crisis, Revealing Ukraine, the anticipated follow-up to the 2016 documentary Ukraine on Fire directed by Igor Lopatonok and produced by Oliver Stone, is highly recommended.

Iran’s Accidental Downing of a Ukrainian Plane Already Being Used to Smear MH-17 Skeptics

When the Pentagon confirmed the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, U.S. President Donald Trump took to social media to post a single image of the American flag to the adulation of his followers. Unfortunately, most Americans are ignorant of the other flag synonymous with U.S. foreign policy, that of the ‘false flag’ utilized to deceive the public and stir up support for endless war abroad. While the chicken hawk defenders of Trump’s reckless decision to murder one of the biggest contributors in the defeat of ISIS salivated over possible war with Iran, their appetite was spoiled by Tehran’s retaliatory precision strikes of two U.S. bases in Iraq that deliberately avoided casualties while in accordance with the Islamic Republic’s right to self defense under Article 51 of the United Nations charter. The reprisal successfully deescalated the crisis but sent a clear message Iran was willing to stand up to the U.S. with the backing of Russia and China, while Washington underestimated Tehran which forewarned the Iraqi government of its impending counterattack so U.S. personnel could evacuate.

In the hours following the ballistic missile strikes, reports came in that a Boeing 737 international passenger flight scheduled from Tehran to Kiev, Ukraine had crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 passengers and flight crew on board. Initial video of the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752) showed that the aircraft was already in flames while descending to the ground, leading to speculation it was shot down amid the heightened political crisis between Iran and Washington. In the days following, a second obscure video surfaced which only increased this suspicion. Meanwhile, Western governments quickly concluded that an anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile brought PS752 down and were eager to point the finger at Iran before any formal investigation. Many people, including this author, were admittedly skeptical as to how a plane taking off from Tehran could have been mistaken five hours after the strikes in Iraq.

Nevertheless, those with reservations turned out to be wrong when days later the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) came clean that its aerospace forces made a “human error” and accidentally shot the passenger plane down after mistaking it for a incoming cruise missile when it flew close to a military base during a heightened state of alert in anticipation of U.S. attack. Many have noted that Iran’s honorable decision to take responsibility for the catastrophe is in sharp contrast with Washington’s response in 1988 when the U.S. Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655 scheduled from Tehran to Dubai over the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 occupants, after failing to cover it up. Just a month later, Vice President George H.W. Bush would notoriously state he would “never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.” Although he was not directly referring to the incident, one can only imagine what the reaction would be if Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were to say the same weeks after shooting down the Ukrainian plane, let alone an American one. Predictably, Tehran’s transparency has gone mostly unappreciated while the Trump administration is already trying to use the disaster to further demonize Iran.

Oddly enough, Ukrainian International Airlines is partly owned by the infamous Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, politician and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who was notably one of the biggest financiers of the anti-Russian, pro-EU coup d’etat which overthrew the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. Kolomoisky is also a principal backer of current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky whose dubious phone call with Trump resulted in the 45th U.S. president’s impeachment last month. In another astounding coincidence, Kolomoisky’s Privat Group is believed to control Burisma Holdings, the Cypress-based company whose executive board 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter was appointed to following the Maidan junta. The former Vice President admitted that he bribed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor who was looking into his son’s corruption by threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees.

Kolomoisky, AKA “the Chameleon”, is one of the wealthiest people in the ex-Soviet country and was formerly appointed as governor of an administrative region bordering Donbass in eastern Ukraine following the 2014 putsch. He has also funded a battalion of volunteer neo-Nazi mercenaries fighting alongside the Ukrainian army in the War in Donbass against Russian-speaking separatists which the military aid temporarily withheld by the Trump administration that was disputably contingent upon an investigation of Biden and his son goes to. In 2014, another infamous plane shoot-down made international headlines when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) scheduled from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew.

From the get-go, the Obama administration was adamant that the missile which shot down the Boeing 777 came from separatist rebel territory. However, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad denounced the charges brought against the Russian and Ukrainian nationals indicted in the NATO-led investigation, dismissing the entire probe as a politically motivated effort predetermined to scapegoat Moscow and exclude Malaysian participation in the inquiry from the very beginning. Mohamad is featured in the excellent documentary MH17: Call for Justice made by a team of independent journalists which contests the NATO-scripted narrative and reveals that the Buk missile was more likely launched from Ukrainian Army-controlled territory than the DPR. One of Kolomoisky’s hired guns could also have been responsible.

Shamefully, Iran’s admission of guilt in the PS752 downing is already being used by establishment propagandists to discredit skeptics and conflated with similar contested past events like MH17 in order to intimidate dissenting voices from speaking up in the future. The Bellingcat ‘investigative journalism’ collective which made its name incriminating Moscow for the MH17 tragedy are the principle offenders. Bellingcat bills itself as an ‘independent’ citizen journalism group even though its founder Eliot Higgins is employed by the Atlantic Council think tank which receives funding from NATO, the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), George Soros’ Open Society Foundation NGO, and numerous other regime change factories. Despite its enormous conflict of interest, Bellingcat remains highly cited by corporate media as a supposedly reputable source. At the outset, nearly everything about the PS752 tragedy gave one déjà vu of the MH17 disaster, including the rush to judgment by Western governments, so it was only natural for many to distrust the official narrative until more facts came out.

From graphic artist Mack White, the story of Operation Northwoods

None of this changes that the use of commercial passenger jets as false flag targets for U.S. national security subterfuge is a verifiable historical fact, not a ‘conspiracy theory.’ In 1997, the U.S. National Archives declassified a 1962 memo proposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Department of Defense for then-Secretary of State Robert McNamara entitled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba.” The document outlined a series of ‘false flag’ terrorist attacks, code-named Operation Northwoods, to be carried out on a range of targets and blamed on the Cuban government to give grounds for an invasion of Havana in order to depose Fidel Castro. These scenarios included targets within the U.S., in particular Miami, Florida, which had become a haven of right-wing émigrés and defectors following the Cuban Revolution. In addition to the sinking of a Cuban refugee boat, one Northwoods plan included the staging of attacks on a civilian jet airliner and a U.S. Air Force plane to be pinned on Castro’s government:

8. It is possible to create and incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.

9. It is possible to create an incident which will make it appear that Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack.

Although Operation Northwoods was rejected by then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy which many believe was a factor in his subsequent assassination, Cuban exiles with the support of U.S. intelligence would later be implicated in such an attack the following decade with the bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 in 1976 which killed all 73 passengers and crew on board. In 2005, documents released by the National Security Archive showed that the CIA under then-director George H.W. Bush had advanced knowledge of the plans of a Dominican Republic-based Cuban exile terrorist organization, the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU), at the direction of former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles to blow up the airliner. The U.S. later refused to extradite Carriles to Cuba to face charges and although he never admitted to masterminding the bombing of the jet, he publicly confessed to other attacks on tourist hotels in Cuba during the 1990s and was later arrested in 2000 for attempting to blow up an auditorium in Panama trying to assassinate Castro.

In 1962, the planners of Operation Northwoods concluded that such deceptive operations would shift U.S. public opinion unanimously against Cuba.

World opinion and the United Nations forum should be favorably affected by developing the international image of Cuban government as rash and irresponsible, and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere.

The same talking points are used by the U.S. government to demonize Iran today. Initially, some Western intelligence sources also concluded that it was a malfunction or overheated engine that brought PS752 down in corroboration with the Iranian government’s original explanation until the narrative abruptly shifted the following day. That they were so quick to hold Iran accountable without any investigation gave the apparent likelihood that PS752 could have fallen prey to a Northwoods-style false flag operation designed to further isolate Iran and defame its leaders after they took precautions to avoid U.S. casualties in their retaliatory strikes for the killing of Soleimani. Maintaining the image of Iran as a nefarious regime is crucial in justifying hawkish U.S. policies toward the country and Iran’s noted restraint in its retaliation put a dent in that impression, so many were suspicious and rightly so.

It was also entirely plausible that U.S. special operations planners could have consulted the Northwoods playbook replacing Cuba with Iran and the right-wing gusanos who were to assist the staged attacks in Miami with the Iranian opposition group known as Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK/People’s Mujahedin of Iran) to do the same in Tehran. In July of last year, Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gave a paid speech at the cult-like group’s compound in Albania where he not only referred to the group as Iran’s “government-in-exile” but stated the U.S’s explicit intentions to use them for regime change in Iran. The MEK enjoys high level contacts in the Trump administration and the group was elated at his decision to murder Soleimani in Baghdad.

From 1997 until 2012, the MEK was on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations until it was removed by the Obama administration after its expulsion from Iraq in order to relocate the group to fortified bases in Albania and the NATO protectorate of Kosovo. The latter disputed territory is a perfect fit for the rebranded group having been founded by another deregistered foreign terrorist organization, the al-Qaeda linked Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose leader, Hashim Thaçi, presides over the partially-recognized state. The MEK are no longer designated as such despite the State Department’s own account of its bloody history:

During the 1970s, the MEK staged terrorist attacks inside Iran to destabilize and embarrass the Shah’s regime; the group killed several US military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. The group also supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In April 1992 the MEK carried out attacks on Iranian embassies in 13 different countries, demonstrating the group’s ability to mount large-scale operations overseas.

Declassified documents revealing the sinister plans in Operation Northwoods which shockingly made it all the way to the desk of the president of the United States and the foreknowledge of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 are just two examples of solid proof that false flag attacks against civilian passenger planes are a part of the Pentagon’s modus operandi as disclosed in its own archives and there is no reason to believe that such practices have been discontinued. That the U.S. is still cozy with “former” terror groups like MEK seeking to repatriate is good reason to believe its use of militant exiles for covert operations like those from Havana has not been retired. If there were jumps to conclusions that proven serial liars could be looking for an excuse to stage an attack to lay the blame on Iran, it is only because the distinct probability was overwhelming. Even so, a stopped clock strikes the right time twice per day and that is all Iran’s acknowledgment of its liability proves — that even the world’s most unreliable and criminal sources in Washington and Langley can be accurate sometimes, even if by accident. Stay skeptical.