Category Archives: Italy

Zionist War on Palestinian Festival in Rome is Ominous Sign of Things to Come

A Zionist-led war on a Palestinian cultural festival in Rome has exposed the fragility of the Italian political system when it comes to the conversation on Palestine and Israel. The sad truth is that, although Italy is not often associated with a ‘powerful’ pro-Israel lobby as is the case in Washington, the pro-Israel influence in Italy is just as dangerous.

The latest episode began on September 24, when the Palestinian community in Rome announced plans to hold ‘Falastin – Festival della Palestina’, a cultural event that aims at illustrating the richness of Palestinian culture in all of its grandeur. The idea behind it is not to simply humanize Palestinians in the eyes of ordinary Italians, but to explore commonalities, to cement bonds and to build bridges. However, for Israel’s allies in Italy, even such unthreatening objectives were too much to bear.

The festival, sponsored by II Municipio of Rome — one of the administrative subdivisions of Rome central municipality — found itself at the center of a major — and ludicrous — controversy.

On September 25, an odd pro-Israel post appeared on the Partito Democratico II Municipio — the center-left Italian political party that controls that particular subdivision. Without any context or marking any specific occasion, the post, which displayed the Israeli flag, celebrated the friendship between the Democratic Party and Israel while condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).

The haphazardness of the post and the strange timing suggested that the Democratic Party is under attack for its sponsorship of the Palestinian festival. Overwhelmed by angry comments on social media, the Party’s Facebook page abruptly removed the anti-Palestinian post without much explanation.

But clarity followed soon when, on September 30, the Jewish Community of Rome issued a statement expressing outrage at the II Municipio for allegedly sponsoring ‘an anti-Semitic festival’. Taking advantage of the deliberate distortion between anti-Semitism and the legitimate criticism of apartheid Israel, the Community’s representatives raged on about BDS and the alleged boycott of Jewish businesses.

The statement, part of which we translate here, claimed that “… the BDS Movement will attend the initiative (The Festival), and this is unacceptable and dangerous (because) the boycott movement denies the very existence of the state of Israel and it is linked to the terrorist groups of Hamas and Fatah.”

Aside from the unsubstantiated – more accurately, completely fallacious — claims, the statement referenced the ‘IHRA definition of anti-Semitism’, further explained below, which was accepted by the Italian government as well as the French and Austrian parliaments. Based on that logic, the statement concluded that, one, “the BDS movement is anti-Semitic” and, two, “the II Municipio is legitimizing anti-Jewish hatred”.

In a clearly coordinated move, the Wiesenthal Center, which often poses as a progressive organization, also went on the attack. On the same day that the Jewish Community of Rome released its statement, the Center dispatched a letter to Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, also recounting the same false claims of BDS’ alleged anti-Semitism, the IHRA definition and so on.

The Center stooped so low as to compare the BDS movement to Germany’s Nazi program. It claimed that the Palestinian boycott movement was, in fact, inspired by the Nazis’ boycott of Jews, referencing the slogan “Kaufen nicht bei Juden” (Do not buy from Jews).

The fallout was quick and, judging by the typical gutlessness of European politicians, predictable as well. II Municipio councilor, one Lucrezia Colmayer, abruptly declared her resignation, “distancing” herself from the decision of II Municipio President, Francesca Del Bello, for sponsoring the Festival.

“With this gesture, I want to renew my closeness to the Jewish Community of Rome, with which I shared this important cultural and administrative path,” Colmayer wrote.

Del Bello soon followed with her own statement. “I apologize if the sponsorship of the II Municipio to ‘Falastin – Festival della Palestina’  … offended the Jewish community and led a councilor to resign,” she wrote, rejecting Colmayer’s resignation and inviting her to return to the Council.

Fortunately, despite all obstacles, “the Festival was a great success,” Maya Issa, a member of the Palestinian Community of Rome and Lazio, told us.

The Festival “was a way for people to learn about Palestine and to see Palestine under a different light. The atmosphere was magic – Palestinian colors, scents, food, Dabkah, art and literature”.

The good news is that, despite the well-coordinated Italian Zionist campaign, the Palestinian Festival still went ahead and, according to Issa, “many Italian politicians understood our message and they decided to participate”.

Now that the Festival is over, the pro-Palestinian groups in Italy are ready to counter the false accusations and the defamatory language lobbed at them by the pro-Israel camp.

“We will respond with the truth and we will refute all the false claims, especially the lies about the BDS Movement,” Issa said, adding “we, the Palestinian community, must resist, along with all those who support true democracy and freedom”.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian community of Italy is more than capable of achieving this crucial task. However, two important points must be kept in mind:

First, the “IHRA definition of anti-Semitism”, also known as EUMC, has been deliberately misused by Zionists to the point that a genuine attempt at curbing anti-Jewish racism has been transformed as a tool to defend Israeli war crimes in Palestine, and to silence critics who dare, not only to censure Israel’s illegal actions, but to even celebrate Palestinian culture.

Of particular significance is that the very person who drafted that ‘definition’, US attorney Kenneth S. Stern, has condemned the misuse of the initiative.

In a written statement submitted to the US Congress in 2017, Stern argued that the original definition has been greatly misused, and that it was never intended to be manipulated as a political tool.

“The EUMC ‘working definition’ was recently adopted in the United Kingdom, and applied to campus. An ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ event was cancelled as violating the definition. A Holocaust survivor was required to change the title of a campus talk, and the University (of Manchester) mandated it be recorded, after an Israeli diplomat complained that the title violated the definition,” he wrote.

“Perhaps most egregious,” Stern continued, “an off-campus group citing the definition called on a university to conduct an inquiry of a professor (who received her PhD from Columbia) for anti-Semitism, based on an article she had written years before. The University (of Bristol) then conducted the inquiry. While it ultimately found no basis to discipline the professor, the exercise itself was chilling and McCarthy-like.”

A second point to also consider is that Italian politics has reached the point that, on many issues, it has become difficult to easily distinguish between supposedly progressive parties and the populist ones. Palestine, in the new Italian political discourse, especially that of the Democratic Party is, perhaps, the most obvious case in point.

This is particularly disturbing, considering that Partito Democratico was, itself, the ideological culmination of parties that existed during the era of Italy’s First Republic (1948-1992), which were known for their strong stances in favor of Palestinian rights and self-determination and strong opposition to Israel’s violations of international law.

This is no longer the case, as the party’s stance on Palestine now hardly deviates from the stifling mantra, “Due popoli due stati” – “Two people two states”.

The new era of Italian politics makes it possible for the likes of Lia Quartapelle – a Democratic Party MP – to pose as a human rights defender on the global stage while referring to Israel as “an extraordinary exception, a plural democracy in a region that fed sectarian and fundamentalist policies”. Her statement is not only wrong and deluding, it also embodies a deep-seated form of anti-Arab sentiment, if not, arguably, outright racism.

The attempt at shutting down the Palestinian Festival is a microcosm of Italy’s foreign policy agenda in Palestine and Israel, where Rome offers Palestinians nothing but empty rhetoric, while practically remaining subservient to the chauvinistic and racist right-wing agenda of Tel Aviv.

Italians must understand that this is no longer just a conversation on Palestine and Israel, but one that directly affects them and their democracy, as well. Italy is a country that brought, then fought and defeated fascism; allied with, then fought and defeated Nazism. Once more, they are presented with the same stark options: siding with Israeli racism and apartheid or upholding the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom.

The post Zionist War on Palestinian Festival in Rome is Ominous Sign of Things to Come first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Some Italian Thinkers are now resisting Lies about the Soviet Union and WW II

Lying about world history is one of the main weapons of the Western imperialists, through which they are managing to maintain their control of the world.

European and North American countries are inventing and spreading a twisted narrative about almost all essential historic events, be they colonialism, crusades, or genocides committed by the Western expansionism in all corners of the globe.

One of the vilest fabrications has been those which were unleashed against the young Soviet Union, a country that emerged from the ruins of the civil war fueled by the European, North American, and Japanese imperialist interests. Foreign armies and local violent gangs were destroying countless cities and villages, robbing, raping, and murdering local people. But determined acts to restore order and elevate the Soviet Union from its knees, dramatically improving lives of tens of millions, was termed in a derogatory way as “Stalinism”. The label of brutality was soon skillfully attached to it.

Next came the Great Patriotic War (for the Soviets), or what is also known as the Second World War.

The West miscalculated, hoping that Nazi Germany would easily destroy the Soviet Union, and with it, the most determined Communist revolution on earth.

But Germany had, obviously, much bigger goals. While brutalizing Soviet lands, it also began committing crimes against humanity all over Europe, doing precisely what it used to do in its African colonies, decades earlier, which was, basically, exterminating entire nations and races.

While the United States first hesitated to intervene (some of its most powerful individuals like Henry Ford were openly cooperating with the German Nazis), the European nations basically collapsed like the houses of cards.

Then, the unthinkable took place: indignant, injured but powerful, enormous the Soviet Union stood up, raised, literally from ashes. Kursk and Stalingrad fought as no cities ever fought before, and neither did Leningrad, withstanding 900 years of blockade. There, surrender was not an option: people preferred to eat glue and plywood, fighting hunger, as long as fascist boots were not allowed to step on the pavement of their stunningly beautiful city.

In Leningrad, almost all men were dead before the siege was lifted. Women went to the front, including my grandmother, and they, almost with bare hands repelled the mightiest army on earth.

They did it for their city. And for the entire world. They fought for humanity, as Russia did so many times in the past, and they won, at a tremendous cost of more than 25 million soldiers, civilians, men, women, and children.

Then, Soviet divisions rolled Eastwards, liberating Auschwitz, Prague, planting the red Soviet flag on top of Reichstag in Berlin.

The world was saved, liberated. By Soviet people and Soviet steel.

The end of a monstrous war! Entire Soviet cities in ruins. Villages burned to ashes.

But a new war, a Cold War, a true war against colonialism, for the liberation of Africa and Asia was already beginning! And the internationalist war against racism and slavery.

No such narrative could ever be allowed to circulate in the West, in its colonies and client states! Stalin, Soviet Union, anti-colonialist struggle – all had to be smeared, dragged through the dirt!

*****

That smearing campaign first against the Soviet Union and then against Russia was conducted all over Europe, and it gained tremendous proportions.

Mass media has been spreading lies, and so were schools and universities.

The foulest manipulations were those belittling decisive role of the USSR in the victory against Nazi Germany. But Western propaganda outlets also skillfully and harmfully re-wrote the entire history of the Soviet Union, portraying it in the most nihilist and depressing ways, totally omitting tremendous successes of the first Communist country, as well as its heroic role in the fight against the global Western colonialism and imperialism.

*****

Since the end of WWII, Italy has been in the center of the ideological battle, at least when it comes to Europe.

With its powerful Communist Party, almost all great Italian thinkers and artists were either members or at least closely affiliated with the Left. Partisans who used to fight fascism were clearly part of the Left.

Would it not be for the brutal interference in Italy’s domestic politics by the U.S. and U.K., the Italian Communist Party would have easily won the elections, democratically, right during the post-war period.

Relations between the Italian and Soviet/Russian people were always excellent: both nations inspired and influenced each other greatly, particularly when it comes to arts and ideology.

However, like in the rest of Europe, the mainstream media, the propaganda injected by the Anglo-Saxon polemicists and their local counterparts, had a huge impact and eventually damaged great ties and understanding between two nations.

Especially after destructions of the Soviet Union, Italian Left began experiencing a long period of profound crises and confusion.

Anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda started finding fertile ground even in such historical bastions of the Italian Left like Bologna.

*****

With the arrival of the 5 Star Movement and the radical, traditional Left-wing fractions concealed inside it, the millions of Italian citizens began waking up from their ideological lethargy.

I witnessed it when speaking at the legendary Sapienza University in Rome, shoulder to shoulder with professor Luciano Vasapollo, a great thinker and former political prisoner.

I was impressed by young Italian filmmakers, returning to Rome from Donbas, arranging countless political happenings in support of Russia.

Rome was boiling. People forgotten by history were resurfacing, while the young generation was joining them. My friend Alessandro Bianchi and his increasingly powerful magazine, L’Antidiplomatico, were bravely standing by Venezuela and Cuba but also by Russia and China.

Still, Mr. Bianchi kept repeating:

These days, very few Italians understand what happened during WWII. It is a tragedy, real tragedy…

And then, recently, L’Antidiplomatico informed me that it will be publishing, in order to celebrate the April 25 and May 9 anniversaries, an essential book put together by the Soviet Information Bureau, by the academics, with notes and inside information by Joseph Stalin. It was fired right after the end of WWII: “Falsifiers of History. Historic Information.” (In Russian: “Fal’sifikatory istorii. Istoriceskaja spravka.”)

Now in Italian, the book will be called Contro la falsificazione della storia ieri e oggi (Fabrizio Poggi: Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today).

The powerful editorial work of Mr. Poggi is unveiling the truth and counter-attacking the Western Anti-Soviet propaganda.

Throughout this work, “The Anglo-American claims about the alleged Berlin-Moscow union against the ‘western democracies’ and a “secret pact between the USSR and Hitler to divide all of Eastern Europe” were clearly dismantled. The falsity of the rhetoric which is repeatedly used today in virtually all Western countries is exposed here, step by step.

Ale Bianchi, the publisher, explains:

The translation presented here is preceded by an introduction, edited by Poggi himself, which mentions the main issues of the period before the Second World War: Polish-German relations, the role of France and Great Britain and their relations with the USSR, Munich Conference, etc., all used by Western propagandists to advance the theory of “equal responsibility” of Nazi Germany and the USSR for the outbreak of the Second World War.

I asked Mr. Bianchi about the main purpose of launching the book in Italy, and he answered without hesitation:

To defeat the anti-Soviet propaganda and also propaganda related to the Second World War.

*****

In many ways, Fabrizio Poggi’s “Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today”, is not just a book. It is a movement, which will consist of discussions, lectures, interviews.

Top Italian intellectuals will, no doubt, participate. Many essential topics will be revisited. The truth will be revealed.

This could be a new chapter in cooperation between the Italian and Russian thinkers and progressive leaders in their common struggle for a better world!

• First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook (a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

China’s International Solidarity Aid to the World During the Corona Pandemic

China’s worldwide assistance and medical aid to other countries to combat the coronavirus is barely covered in the corporate press. Instead, the US has ramped up its anti-China campaign to cover up its own incompetence in combating the virus. As John Pilger shows in his Obama era film The Coming War on China, this is no new campaign.

The US empire realizes that China is slowly putting the US out of business around the world. If the point comes where the US can no longer impose the dollar as the medium of international exchange – still a long way away — it would rapidly go the way of the old British empire. The rise of China also signifies the setting of the white man’s bloody 500-year world hegemony.

China displayed before the world its effective strategy in shutting down the coronavirus. In contrast, every day Washington shows the world it is incapable of effective response and cannot control of the situation. Back on March 13, when US coronavirus deaths were just 40, Trump declared a national health emergency. Now, after eight weeks of “emergency” measures, the official US death count surpasses 82,000.

Over 50 years ago the United States would have been leading the international battle to fight the pandemic, as it had done with polio. Today, there is a vacuum that China, and even Cuba, are filling.

“This Administration’s retreat from multilateralism has been a boon for Chinese soft power,” Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) told Newsweek. The US has “historically been a leader in responding to global emergencies, but with President Donald Trump’s retreat from the world stage, we’re seeing the Chinese government, and its proxies, fill the void,” he added.

Even CNBC reports:

This is the first international crisis where China is actively taking a global leadership role and it stands in particular contrast to the US, which has disdained international cooperation and invested more political capital in criticizing China for its role in allowing the outbreak to spread,’ said analysts from the Eurasia Group in a report this week. On social and state media, China continues to promote its shipments of medical supplies to hard hit countries in Europe and Africa.

China’s leader Xi Jinping has sought to rally the world, declaring the two most powerful weapons against the disease were solidarity and cooperation, that the virus can only be defeated when the international community fights in unity. “It is imperative for the international community to strengthen confidence, act with unity and work together in a collective response,” Xi said at the G20 summit on March 26. “We must comprehensively step up international cooperation and foster greater synergy so that humanity as one could win the battle against such a major infectious disease.” He proposed a four point program including a G20 joint action plan to lead the struggle to combat the virus and revive the world economy.

China has been supplying the world with medical supplies through donations and sales. The US, in contrast, has continued its bombings in Iraq, regime change attempts, and has blocked medical aid by the IMF and by other countries to Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. The US also capitalized on the pandemic to round up immigrants for deportation, ignoring advice from public health officials.

China Daily published an article “COVID-19 shows the demise of so-called American leadership,” which observed, “China has taken the lead to support the world during the crisis.” This was evident even in Europe as US-allied countries found themselves turning to China rather than Washington, and saw the Trump administration pirating supplies meant for other crisis-stricken countries, including Germany, Canada, Italy and France.

Cuba has also been a model of medical solidarity in face of the virus pandemic. By the end of March more than 850 Cuban health professionals have traveled abroad to help fight COVID-19. Washington has responded by retaliating, obstructing Cuba’s ability to combat the virus at home by blocking the sale of  Swiss respirators, blocking Cuba’s ability to import pharmaceutical raw materials, and even blocking a major coronavirus donation by Jack Ma from China. This led to over 25 U.S. lawmakers signing a letter to President Trump to allow Cuba access to medical supplies to fight the virus.

By early April over 100 Chinese public health experts, using their experience in Wuhan, had traveled to other countries to help in their efforts. At that time, 14 medical teams were working in 12 countries, which now include Iran, Iraq, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, Philippines, Nigeria and Algeria.  By mid-April, China had already sent medical donations to 140 countries. Moreover, as the US cut its funding to the World Health Organization, China compensated by donating an extra $30 million on top of a previous $20 million.

This information is rarely reported in the US corporate press, which then typically faults China for underhanded ulterior motives, for exporting substandard masks (and then for holding up exports to meet other nations’ standards), for covering up and lying to the world about their efforts to control the virus, and so on.

Here are examples of China’s international solidarity and other countries’ gratitude:

Chinese Donations to Canada and the US

Soon after Trump blocked 3M from shipping N95 masks to Canada, to prioritize US domestic needs, Huawei flew large quantities of medical supplies to Canadian provinces. Canada received over a million masks, 50,000 gloves and 30,000 goggles, with five million more masks to follow. Newsweek noted, “their generosity has been accepted and appreciated by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

CNN reported that Joe and Clara Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, donated from China  2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2,000 ventilators. Joe Tsai founded Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-commerce company, along with Jack Ma, and is its Executive Vice President. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thanked them, “The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive in JFK today. I thank the Chinese government, Jack Ma, Joe Tsai, the Jack Ma Foundation, the Tsai Foundation and [China’s New York] Consul General Huang.”

China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai in a New York Times op-ed, China and the U.S. Must Cooperate Against Coronavirus, wrote that “Huawei donated tens of thousands of personal protective items, including masks, gloves and goggles, to New York and Washington, D.C. In total, Chinese companies have donated 1.5 million masks, 200,000 test kits, 180,000 gloves and many other medical supplies to the United States.”

China also aided Oregon, sight of the initial US outbreak.  Oregon Governor Kate Brown thanked China for “The very generous donation of 50,000 much-needed masks for Oregonians,” on top of an earlier 12,000 masks.

Terry Branstad, the US Ambassador to China, also acknowledged Chinese assistance:

A few months later, we find our roles are reversed – China is now providing PPE for the US medical system, including donations from private Chinese entities. The United States has greatly appreciated the many contributions of PPE and medical supplies by Chinese companies and other organizations. These contributions have been both commercial exports and donations, both large and small, both immediate and long-term. But the American people are tremendously grateful for the support from the Chinese people, and our Mission has been touched by the many heartfelt offers to assist us in our time of need.

China’s Aid and Donations to Europe

China sent ten medical personnel to Russia in early April and a total of 150 million masks.  It sent medical aid to numerous European Union countries, including Poland, Belarus, Romania, Hungary, Greece, France, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, and Spain.

Chinese doctors arrived in Italy March 9 shortly after European Union nations turned down Italy’s requests for help with medical supplies. Maurizio Massari, Italy’s EU ambassador to the European Union, said “not a single EU country responded to the Commission’s call….Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly, this is not a good sign of European solidarity.” Besides doctors, China supplied Italy with desperately needed medical equipment, including contracts for 10,000 pulmonary ventilators, 2 million face masks and 20,000 protective suits.

Not just Italy experienced the EU cold shoulder and China’s generosity. Czech President Zeman noted, “I would therefore like to thank the People’s Republic of China, which was the only country that has helped us” when they appealed for aid. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded similarly: “We agreed with China and we are grateful to them, especially grateful to Jack Ma as he helped us by financing the $80 million.”

China’s offers of donations to the EU as a whole and to individual member states is “highly appreciated“, declared an EU spokesperson.  Both China and the EU regarded China’s help as reciprocating the aid Europe sent to China during its coronavirus crisis.

To Africa

In March, the  Chinese government and Chinese businessman Jack Ma donated 500 ventilators, 800,000 personal protective equipment, 6 million masks, and 1.1 million test kits to Ethiopia for distribution among African countries.  Each of the 54 African states would receive at least 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective suits.

“There is a desperate need for the medical protective equipment and gear to support public health workers in Africa and China’s donations fill a part of that need at a time when not many other people have been stepping up to help”, says Eric Olander, managing editor of The China Africa Project.

A 13-member Chinese medical team arrived in Algeria late March with $450,000 of respirators and other medical equipment, while a 15-member team came to Nigeria.

To Asia

Chinese medical personnel have served in Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. Chinese experts have visited Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines, arriving with medical donations. Medical aid from both the Chinese government and businesses have  reached Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Japan, South Korea, among other nations. Teams of experts have traveled to Asian countries for two or three weeks, visiting hospitals and laboratories, holding discussions with health professionals on measures that the host countries are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Twelve Chinese medical experts arrived in Manila on April 5 to help their Philippine counterparts manage the outbreak. The team again came with government donations of personal protective equipment, surgical masks, medical protective face shields and 30 ventilators.

The Palestinian Authority received an assistance package of 50,000 coronavirus testing kits. The Palestinian Health Minister, Mai Al-Kaila, told local reporters that aid was provided in cooperation with Jack Ma, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s co-founder.

To Latin America

From the Southern Cone to Central America, governments have received a wide range of donations, from testing kits to ventilators. Venezuela was one of the first to receive Chinese medical supplies, which came shortly after the International Monetary Fund rejected President Maduro’s request for a $5 billion loan to strengthen his country’s fight against the virus. “We want to thank President Xi Jinping, his government and his people from the bottom of our Bolivarian heart,” said Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez.

Reuters reported, “China has won praise among Latin American governments that have accepted its help. The Chinese government said it has supplied test kits, protective suits and other forms of medical aid to more than 80 countries and international organizations.”

“Thank you China for cooperation and solidarity with Ecuador!” the hard hit country’s Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner wrote.

Not only did Cuba receive aid from the Chinese government and Jack Ma (which was reshipped through Chinese channels to avoid the US blockade), but Chinese students also delivered humanitarian aid. More than 280 Chinese students, who had previously studied in Cuba under a scholarship provided by the island authorities, collected about 140,000 yuan ($19,823). This money was used to purchase 420 sets of protective medical equipment as well as 38,750 medical masks.

President Xi Jinping stressed how, since the beginning of the epidemic, Cuban authorities have expressed their support for China, an attitude that demonstrates “the deep traditional friendship shared by the two countries.”

Conclusion

China has responded to the present US anti-China disinformation campaign by presenting a timeline of what they knew and how they responded. (here, here, here) As US coronavirus deaths continued to mount, almost one third of the world total, and as the US economy nose-dived, Trump tried to deflect blame for the disastrous handling of the coronavirus on to China. Before this, Trump had praised China’s effort.

The US has long been underfunding the community health centers and programs which could have played a valuable role in combating the spread of the virus. State public health departments have lost more than 55,000 staff since 2008. That our trust in the US government to protect our welfare is at historic lows also contributes to the ineffectual US “shelter in place” programs, which hardly compare with those in China, touched on in this short video.

From the responses to the coronavirus pandemic, the world has seen the model of public health efficiency China presented in controlling the problem at home. It has seen China’s world leadership in offering international aid and care. It has seen the abdication of leadership by the US and even its obstruction in working to find solutions. Now the US still cannot control the virus, and remains mired in economic crisis, while China is rebounding. In sum, the pandemic has made the world look at both China and the US in a new light. And it has dealt a serious blow to the US rulers’ two decade long effort to counter the rise of China.

For Victory Day: It’s Time to Think About Finally Winning WWII

75 years ago Germany surrendered to allied forces finally ending the ravages of the Second World War.

Today, as the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of this victory, why not think very seriously about finally winning that war once and for all?

If you’re confused by this statement, then you might want to sit down and take a deep breath before reading on. Within the next 12 minutes, you will likely discover a disturbing fact which may frighten you a little bit: The allies never actually won World War II…

Now please don’t get me wrong. I am eternally thankful for the immortal souls who gave their lives to put down the fascist machine during those bleak years… but the fact is that a certain something wasn’t resolved on the 9th of May, 1945 which has a lot to do with the slow re-emergence of a new form of fascism during the second half of the 20th century and the renewed danger of a global bankers’ dictatorship which the world faces again today.

It is my contention that it is only when we find the courage to really look at this problem with sober eyes that we will be able to truly honor our courageous forebears who devoted their lives to winning a peace for their children, grandchildren and humanity more broadly.

The Ugly Truth of WWII

I’ll stop beating around the Bush now and just say it: Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini were never “their own men”.

The machines they led were never fully under their sovereign control and the financing they used as fuel in their effort to dominate the world did not come from the Banks of Italy or Germany. The technologies they used in petrochemicals, rubber, and computing didn’t come from Germany or Italy, and the governing scientific ideology of eugenics that drove so many of the horrors of Germany’s racial purification practices never originated in the minds of German thinkers or from German institutions.

Were it not for a powerful network of financiers and industrialists of the 1920s-1940s with names such as Rockefeller, Warburg, Montague Norman, Osborn, Morgan, Harriman or Dulles, then it can safely be said that fascism would never have been possible as a “solution” to the economic woes of the post-WWI order. To prove this point, let us take the strange case of Prescott Bush as a useful entry point.

The patriarch of the same Bush dynasty that gave the world two disastrous American presidents (and nearly a third had Donald Trump not annihilated Jeb at the last minute in 2016) made a name for himself funding Nazism alongside his business partners Averell Harrimen and Averell’s younger brother E. Roland Harriman (the latter who was to recruit Prescott to Skull and Bones while both studying at Yale). Not only did Prescott, acting as director of Brown Brothers Harriman, provide valuable loans to keep the bankrupt Nazi party afloat during Hitler’s loss of support in 1932 when the German population voted into office the anti-Fascist General Kurt von Schleicher as Chancellor, but was even found guilty for “Trading with the enemy” as director of Union Banking Corporation in 1942!

That’s right! As demonstrated in the 1992 Unauthorized Biography of George Bush, eleven months after America entered WWII, the Federal Government naturally conducted an investigation of all Nazi banking operations in the USA and wondered why Prescott continued to direct a bank which was so deeply enmeshed with Fritz Thyssen’s Bank voor Handel en Scheepvart of the Netherlands. Thyssen, for those who are unaware, is the German industrial magnate famous for writing the book  I Paid Hitler.  The bank itself was tied to a German combine called Steel Works of the German Steel Trust which controlled 50.8% of Nazi Germany’s pig iron, 41.4% of its universal plate, 38.5% of its galvanized steel, 45.5% of its pipes and 35% of its explosives. Under Vesting Order 248, the U.S. federal government seized all of Prescott’s properties on October 22, 1942.

The U.S.-German Steel combine was only one small part of a broader operation as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil had created a new international cartel alongside IG Farben (the fourth largest company in the world) in 1929 under the Young Plan. Owen Young was a JP Morgan asset who headed General Electric and instituted a German debt repayment plan in 1928 that gave rise to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and consolidated an international cartel of industrialists and financiers on behalf of the City of London and Wall Street. The largest of these cartels saw Henry Ford’s German operations merging with IG Farben, Dupont industries, Britain’s Shell and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The 1928 cartel agreement also made it possible for Standard Oil to pass off all patents and technologies for the creation of synthetic gasoline from coal to IG Farben thus allowing Germany to rise from producing merely 300 000 tons of natural petroleum in 1934 to an incredible 6.5 million tons (85% of its total) during WWII! Had this patent/technology transfer not taken place, it is a fact that the modern mechanized warfare that characterized WWII could never have occurred.

Two years before the Young Plan began, JP Morgan had already given a $100 million loan to Mussolini’s newly established fascist regime in Italy with Democratic Party kingmaker Thomas Lamont playing the role of Prescott Bush in Wall Street’s Italian operation. It wasn’t only JP Morgan who loved Mussolini’s brand of corporate fascism, but Time Magazine’s Henry Luce unapologetically gushed over Il Duce putting Mussolini on the cover of Time eight times between 1923 and 1943 while relentlessly promoting fascism as the “economic miracle solution for America” (which he also did in his other two magazines Fortune and Life). Many desperate Americans, still traumatized from the long and painful depression begun in 1929, had increasingly embraced the poisonous idea that an American fascism would put food on the table and finally find help them find work.

A few words should be said of Brown Brothers Harriman.

Bush’s Nazi bank itself was the spawn of an earlier 1931 merger which took place between Montagu Norman’s family bank (Brown Brothers) and Harriman, Bush and Co. Montague Norman was the Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944, leader of the Anglo-German Fellowship Trust and controller of Germany’s Hjalmar Schacht (Reichsbank president from 1923-1930 and Minister of Economy from 1934-1937). Norman was also the primary controller of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) from its creation in 1930 throughout the entirety of WWII.

The Central Bank of Central Banks

Although the BIS was established under the Young Plan and nominally steered by Schacht as a mechanism for debt repayments from WWI, the Swiss-based “Central Bank of Central Banks” was the key mechanism for international financiers to fund the Nazi machine. The fact that the BIS was under the total control of Montagu Norman was revealed by Dutch Central Banker Johan Beyen who said: “Norman’s prestige was overwhelming. As the apostle of central bank cooperation, he made the central banker into a kind of arch-priest of monetary religion. The BIS was, in fact, his creation.”

The founding members of the Board included the private central banks of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium as well as a coterie of 3 private American banks (JP Morgan, First National of Chicago, and First National of New York). The three American banks merged after the war and are today known as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

In its founding constitution, the BIS, its directors and staff were given immunity from all sovereign national laws and not even authorities in Switzerland were permitted to enter its premises.

This story was conveyed powerfully in the 2013 book Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World.

A Word on Eugenics

Nazi support in the build up to, and during, WWII didn’t end with finance and industrial might, but extended to the governing scientific ideology of the third Reich: Eugenics (aka: the science of Social Darwinism as developed by Thomas Huxley’s X Club associate Herbert Spencer and Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton decades earlier). In 1932, New York hosted the Third Eugenics Conference co-sponsored by William Draper Jr (JP Morgan banker, head of General Motors and leading figure of Dillon Read and co) and the Harriman family. This conference brought together leading eugenicists from around the world who came to study America’s successful application of eugenics laws which had begun in 1907 under the enthusiastic patronage of Theodore Roosevelt. Hiding behind the respectable veneer of “science” these high priests of science discussed the new age of “directed evolution of man” which would soon be made possible under a global scientific dictatorship.

Speaking at the conference, leading British Fascist Fairfield Osborn said that eugenics:

aids and encourages the survival and multiplication of the fittest; indirectly, it would check and discourage the multiplication of the unfitted. As to the latter, in the United States alone, it is widely recognized that there are millions of people who are acting as dragnets or sheet anchors on the progress of the ship of state…While some highly competent people are unemployed, the mass of unemployment is among the less competent, who are first selected for suspension, while the few highly competent people are retained because they are still indispensable. In nature, these less-fitted individuals would gradually disappear, but in civilization, we are keeping them in the community in the hopes that in brighter days, they may all find employment. This is only another instance of humane civilization going directly against the order of nature and encouraging the survival of the un-fittest.

The dark days of the great depression were good years for bigotry and ignorance as eugenics laws were applied to two Canadian provinces, and widely spread across Europe and America with 30 U.S. states applying eugenics laws to sterilize the unfit. Eugenics’ successful growth was due in large measure to the fierce financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the science magazine Nature which had been created in 1865 by T.H. Huxley’s X Club. The Rockefeller Foundation went on to fund German eugenics and most specifically the rising star of human improvement, Joseph Mengele.

The Nazi Frankenstein Monster is Aborted

Describing his January 29, 1935 meeting with Hitler, Round Table controller Lord Lothian quoted the Fuhrer’s vision for Aryan co-direction of the New World Order saying:

Germany, England, France, Italy, America and Scandinavia … should arrive at some agreement whereby they would prevent their nationals from assisting in the industrializing of countries such as China, and India. It is suicidal to promote the establishment in the agricultural countries of Asia of manufacturing industries.

While it is obvious that much more can be said on the topic, the Fascist machine didn’t fully behave the way the Dr. Frankensteins in London wished, as Hitler began to realize that his powerful military machine gave Germany the power to lead the New World Order rather than play second fiddle as mere enforcers on behalf of their Anglo masters in Britain. While many London and Wall Street oligarchs were willing to adapt to this new reality, a decision was made to abort the plan, and try to fight another day.

To do this a scandal was concocted to justify the abdication of pro-Nazi King Edward VIII in 1936 and an appeasing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was replaced with Winston Churchill in 1940. While Sir Winston was a life long racist, eugenicist and even Mussolini-admirer, he was first and foremost a devout British Imperialist and as such would fight tooth and nail to save the prestige of the Empire if it were threatened. Which he did.

The Fascists vs Franklin Roosevelt

Within America itself, the pro-fascist Wall Street establishment had been loosing a war that began the day anti-fascist President Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932. Not only had their attempted February 1933 assassination failed, their 1934 coup d’etat plans were also thwarted by a patriotic General named Smedley Darlington Butler. To make matters worse, their efforts to keep America out of the war in the hopes of co-leading the New World Order alongside Germany, France and Italy was also falling apart. As I outlined in my recent article “How to Crush a Bankers’ Dictatorship“, between 1933-1939, FDR had imposed sweeping reforms on the banking sector, thwarted a major attempt to create a global Bankers’ dictatorship under the Bank of International Settlements, and mobilized a broad recovery under the New Deal.

By 1941, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor polarized the American psyche so deeply that resisting America’s entry into WWII as Wall Street’s American Liberty League had been doing up until then, became political suicide. Wall Street’s corporatist organizations were called out by FDR during a powerful 1938 speech as the president reminded the Congress of the true nature of fascism:

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power… Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.

While America’s entry into WWII proved a decisive factor in the destruction of the fascist machine, the dream shared by Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace and many of FDR’s closest allies across America, Canada, Europe, China and Russia for a world governed by large-scale development, and win-win cooperation did not come to pass.

Even though FDR’s ally Harry Dexter White led in the fight to shut down the Bank of International Settlements during the July 1944 Bretton Woods conference, the passage of White’s resolutions to dissolve BIS and audit its books were never put into action. While White, who was to become the first head of the IMF, defended FDR’s program to create a new anti-imperial system of finance, Fabian Society leader, and devout eugenicist John Maynard Keynes defended the Bank and pushed instead to redefine the post-war system around a one world currency called the Bancor, controlled by the Bank of England and BIS.

The Fascist Resurgence in the Post-War World

By the end of 1945, the Truman Doctrine and Anglo-American “special relationship” replaced FDR’s anti-colonial vision, while an anti-communist witch hunt turned America into a fascist police state under FBI surveillance. Everyone friendly to Russia was targeted for destruction and the first to feel that targeting were FDR’s close allies Henry Wallace and Harry Dexter White whose 1948 death while campaigning for Wallace’s presidential bid put an end to anti-colonialists running the IMF.

In the decades after WWII, those same financiers who brought the world fascism went straight back to work infiltrating FDR’s Bretton Woods Institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, turning them from tools of development, into tools of enslavement. This process was fully exposed in the 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.

The European banking houses representing the old nobility of the empire continued through this reconquering of the west without punishment. By 1971, the man whom Perkins exposed as the chief economic hit man George Schultz, orchestrated the removal of the U.S. dollar from the Gold-reserve, fixed exchange rate system director of the Office of Management of Budget and in the same year, the Rothschild Inter-Alpha Group of banks was created to usher in a new age of globalization. This 1971 floating of the dollar ushered in a new paradigm of consumerism, post-industrialism, and de-regulation which transformed the once productive western nations into speculative “post-truth” basket cases convinced that casino principles, bubbles and windmills were substitutes for agro-industrial economic practices.

So here we are in 2020 celebrating victory over fascism.

The children and grandchildren of those heroes of 1945 now find themselves attached to the biggest financial collapse in history with $1.5 quadrillion of fictitious capital ripe to explode under a new global hyperinflation akin to that which destroyed Weimar in 1923, but this time global. The Bank of International Settlements that should have been dissolved in 1945 today controls the Financial Stability Board and thus regulates the world derivatives trade which has become the weapon of mass destruction that has been triggered to unleash more chaos upon the world than Hitler could have ever dreamed.

The saving grace today is that the anti-fascist spirit of Franklin Roosevelt is alive in the form of modern anti-imperialists Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and a growing array of nations united under the umbrella of the New Deal of the 21st Century which has come to be called the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Had Prescott’s grandson Jeb (or Prescott’s spiritual grand daughter Hillary) found themselves in the position of President of the USA at this moment, it is unlikely that I would be writing this now, as I’m fairly certain WWIII would have already been launched. However, with President Trump having successfully survived nearly four years of Deep State subversion, and having called repeatedly for a positive alliance with Russia and China, a chance still exists to take the types of emergency actions needed at this moment of existential crisis to do what FDR had always intended, and win World War II.

On Plagues and Social Contagion: Coronavirus

The leper and his separation; the plague and its segmentations. The first is marked; the second analysed and distributed. The exile of the leper and the arrest of the plague do not bring with them the same political dream. The first is that of a pure community, the second that of a disciplined society. Two ways of exercising power over men, of controlling their relations, of separating out their dangerous mixtures. The plague-stricken town, traversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual bodies – this is the utopia of the perfectly governed city. The plague (envisaged as a possibility at least) is the trial in the course of which one may define ideally the exercise of disciplinary power. In order to make rights and laws function according to pure theory, the jurists place themselves in imagination in the state of nature; in order to see perfect disciplines functioning, rulers dreamt of the state of plague. Underlying disciplinary projects the image of the plague stands for all forms of confusion and disorder; just as the image of the leper, cut off from all human contact, underlies projects of exclusion.

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1979)

One of Michel Foucault’s primary research topics was that of how societies separate identities into binaries in the attempt for some to consolidate power. The focus upon structures like “mad/sane; dangerous/harmless; normal/abnormal” was Foucault’s trademark field of analysis throughout his life whereby he analysed the various tactics used by society, the church and government to exclude through the exercise of individual control while highlighting the procedures useded to mark the exclusion of the individual.

Where the leper was excluded by society, the plague fixed the individual in his place and discipline was the endgame to the surveillance of both. In the end, both the plague and the leper, although two distinct historical and medical realities, had the compatible endgame when analysed through the scope of power, according to Foucault:  “Each individual is fixed in his place. And, if he moves, he does so at the risk of his life, contagion or punishment.” Foucault connected the dots between the exile one sort of medical misfit (the leper) and the society desire to stop the plague stating, “The exile of the leper and the arrest of the plague do not bring with them the same political dream. The first is that of a pure community, the second that of a disciplined society.”

The control exercised over humans was Foucault’s life-long professional focus and living in a coronavirus red zone has made me realize how accurate his analysis of space, bodies and power was. For being locked into a situation of state-sanctioned quarantine which began as a governmental suggestion, a soft shutdown in the north in February, I am now witnessing the “workshop version” of Foucault’s epic study, Discipline and Punish. Early media reports in Italy which painted the scene of individuals fearful to leave their homes and this juxtaposed by the reality of markets in the northern lockdown going in full force. People rode the trains at a distance as the police would ask passengers for documents and as the deaths mounted, the media began to announce with greater constancy the threat of fines and jail sentences for breaking the quarantine. By early March, the fruit and vegetable markets were in full force and some living in the northern lockdown regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna went south to care for family. It wasn’t until the national lockdown two weeks later that Italians finally came to understand the gravity of the situation.

From the moment the 9 March decree came into force, the reality of thousands of elderly deaths as a result of COVID-19 finally hit home. Since this time not a child is to be found outside in either Italy or Spain. The ethos in Italy is this: let’s not push our elders into the grave. We were told there is danger and contagion out there while women left their employment and reverted to caring for the families, sacrificing their careers and earning power staying inside over here. The panorama of the plague was both dealt with a severity in the media while the light-hearted responses of February quickly dissipated as Italian towns and villages soon resembled an episode of Westworld.

Remember the interaction on a Sydney train which shows a man lecturing a woman who sneezed? The virus creates fear amongst us all and this interaction underscores how public spaces became arenas to exercise control over the other. Who knew that the spatial partitioning of disease would be enforced by what appears very much to be an emotional commuter who is as upset by the sneeze as he is by his very reaction to it. Who needs the French authorities of the 17th century to enact the “strict spatial partitioning” which Foucault details when you have passive-aggressive travelers eager to one-up others as if theirs is the 3D version of a Twittersphere. Foucault details the edicts common throughout the plague-ridden parts of town:

The closing of the town and its outlying districts, a prohibition to leave the town on pain of death, the killing of all stray animals; the division of the town into distinct quarters, each governed by an intendant. Each street is placed under the authority of a syndic, who keeps it under surveillance; if he leaves the street, he will be condemned to death. The syndic himself comes to lock the door of each house from the outside; he takes the key with him and hands it over to the intendant of the quarter; the intendant keeps it until the end of the quarantine.

This “plague” is hardly on the same level of that of the bubonic plague which, like the coronavirus, is said to have originated in eastern Asia. The Black Death is said to have killed between 30% and 60% of Europe’s population between 1348 and 1420. In Italy 56.2 % of Covid-19 patients who have died were over 80 years old and another 31.7% were in their 70s, according to the National Institute of Health (ISS), Italy’s disease-control agency. But this trend towards the elderly is shifting given that in South Korea, according to Margherita Stancati of The Wall Street Journal, 80 percent of the confirmed cases is occurring in patients under 60 years of age even if the mortality rate reflects that of Italy’s and China’s.

Add to this that each national agency is reporting updates several times a day on the numbers of reported cases and deaths to include the more recent scare that coronavirus is in its third mutation. To that, however, are counter-reports which downplay the dangers of this latest mutation. Regardless, coronavirus has us all on hold, fearing proximity to the other, touching ATM terminals with an extended shirt sleeve or scrap of paper. What initially happened on the ground in Italy went from initial skepticism as markets remained open and football pitches full of boys and men when the north was put on alert on 23 February to mid-March when finally the streets began to empty aside from a few queues outside of pharmacies or food shops as people were exercising social distancing.

The leper is not visible but is now the unknown and exile is not of the other but of the self.   Foucault notes how the institutions have become part of the systemic distancing as today these are the voices which are heeded in our reading up on the “latest coronavirus news” with a desire to understand if today might be the day that we can finally let our children outside to play in the parks:

The constant division between the normal and the abnormal, to which every individual is subjected, brings us back to our own time, by applying the binary branding and exile of the leper to quite different objects; the existence of a whole set of techniques and institutions for measuring, supervising and correcting the abnormal brings into play the disciplinary mechanisms to which the fear of the plague gave rise. All the mechanisms of power which, even today, are disposed around the abnormal individual, to brand him and to alter him, are composed of those two forms from which they distantly derive.

Where Foucault notes the dualistic mechanism of exclusion—that by the institution and the individual to self-exile, we are seeing how today this notion of the “dangerous body” is being perpetrated by dozens of media reports each hour, most with vague references and few rigorous facts, others which compare national statistics without noting that the methods for  counting sick patients, for instance, are completely different from country to country.

Very likely what separates these two seemingly disparate realities is only a matter of time. While all of Italy is locked down and both children and adults are tiring of being inside, we are in the midst of a transnational learning curve of how to handle a pandemic.

It’s not as if anyone can predict the end of coronavirus or the shutdowns taking place in many cities and regions across the planet. History is replete with examples of the futility of trying to read the future. Take, for instance, the banker and chronicler from Florence, Giovanni Villani (1280-1348), who wrote the Nuova Cronica (New Chronicles) historicizing the city’s projects, floods, fires, famines, and sicknesses during the 14th century. The bubonic plague not only featured in his work, but this plague defined it with his final line on this subject being this: “And this plague lasted till. . .”  This sentence remains unfinished because Villani died of the plague before he could complete it.

Let it not be our legacy that in trying to control the narrative of this virus in blaming others or using this as a political tool, we lose sight of following what science has shown works. There is very good reason for everyone to self-isolate so that we can, in our collective and often disagreeable humanity, finally agree that we don’t want to wipe out the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions from the planet. That much, I would think, is worth staying inside and opening up that book you keep saying you’ll get to one day.

Solidarity in the Age of Coronavirus: What the Arabs Must Do

While the Coronavirus continues to ravage almost every nation on earth, Arab countries remain unable, or unwilling, to formulate a collective strategy to help the poorest and most vulnerable Arabs survive the deadly virus and its economic fallout.

Worse, amid growing international solidarity, we are yet to see a pan-Arab initiative that aims to provide material support to countries and regions that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 disease.

The lack of collective Arab responsiveness is not unique as it mirrors Europe’s own systematic failure, exhibiting ‘solidarity’ when it is financially convenient, and turning its back, sometimes at its own brethren, when there are no economic incentives.

For example, when Greece defaulted on its debt to international donors in 2015, Germany, and other European Union countries, pounced on the opportunity to dismantle the country’s major financial institutions and to profit from Athens’ mounting miseries.

All the talk of European solidarity, fraternity and community floundered at the altar of greed and unhindered profits.

That was not the first – nor will it be the last – occasion when the opportunistic EU showed its true colors. In truth, Europe is united, not by common history or unbreakable social bonds, but rather by the shared belief that a united Europe is a stronger economic unit.

The same sordid scenario was recently repeated. As Italy began buckling down under the unbearable burdens of the deadly Coronavirus, it immediately, and naturally, sought the help of its European sister states. To no avail.

Despite its sizable debt, Italy is a major player in the economic arena of Europe and, in fact, the world. Indeed, Italy is the world’s 8th largest economy. But the country’s economy is now experiencing a rare freefall, especially in the poorer regions of the South, where people are literally going hungry.

The first country to come to Italy’s aid was neither France, nor, unsurprisingly, Germany, but China, followed by Russia, then Cuba, and others.

This palpable lack of solidarity among European countries has further empowered the ethnocentric view already prevailing in Europe, and championed by far-right movements like Italy’s League Party of Matteo Salvini. For years, the latter has advocated against European integration.

It will take months, if not years, for the political fallout of the Coronavirus to be fully assessed. But what is already clear is that international and regional economic hubs are actively hedging their bets to consolidate their geopolitical positions in the post-Coronavirus world.

Despite bashful American attempts to join the politically-motivated international solidarity, US President Donald Trump’s humble moves arrived too little, too late. In fact, a sign of the times is that Chinese and Russian aid is pouring in to help the United States, which now has the world’s largest number of COVID-19 cases.

A compelling question, however, is where are the Arabs in all of this?

Italy and Spain, in particular, share historical and cultural bonds, and broad political interests, with many Arab countries, interests that will remain long after the Coronavirus is eradicated. Failing to register on the radar of international solidarity with Italy and Spain will prove a strategic miscalculation.

Israel, on the other hand, is activating its aid agency, IsraAID, which has previously worked in Italy between 2016 and 2019, after a major earthquake killed nearly 300 people and left behind massive infrastructural damage.

Israel uses ‘humanitarian aid’ as a political and propaganda tool. Israeli missions are often under-funded and short-lasting, but their impact is greatly amplified by a powerful, official media machine that tries to project Israel as a ‘peace-maker’, not a war-monger.

The truth is, some Arab governments do, in fact, provide badly needed funds and aid to countries that are devastated by wars or natural disasters; alas, these efforts are often disorganized and self-centered — and frankly, not at all motivated by true solidarity.

That said, the absence of Arab initiatives in the field of international humanitarian solidarity dwarf in comparison to the lack of Arab solidarity within the Arab world itself.

According to United Nation estimates, there are “101.4 million (people) in the region who already live in poverty, according to official criteria, and around 52 million undernourished.”

A new policy brief issued on April 1 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), projects that an additional 8.3 million people are set to join the poor and undernourished masses throughout the Arab world.

Aside from empty rhetoric and useless press releases, we are yet to witness a major collective Arab initiative, championed by, for example, the Arab League, to provide an Arab equivalent to the many economic stimulus plans that have been set into motion in many other countries and regions around the world.

Late March, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, issued a ‘global ceasefire appeal’, pleading to the world, especially to warring Middle Eastern nations, to cease fire and to unite all efforts in one single war against the Coronvirus.

Sadly, that call has so far gone unheeded. The war in Libya is escalating, not subsiding; Israeli killing of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank continues unabated; the flood of refugees out of Syria, Turkey, and other Middle Eastern countries is yet to slow down.

Times of crisis, especially the kind that targets all of us regardless of race, religion, or geography, often constitute a wake-up call, present an opportunity for a new beginning, a new social contract so that we may resurrect from the ashes of our collective pain to build a better world.

Let COVID-19 be that opportunity that will allow all nations, especially in the Middle East, to take a stance against war, hunger and disease, to share their wealth and to extend the hand of solidarity to Africa and our historic allies throughout the world.

Eight Day Journey from Hong Kong to Chile, Covid-19 on my Tail

Imagine that you are in Hong Kong, in a city where “you are actually not supposed to be”, in the first place. You are ready to go home, to South America. But just two days before your departure, via Seoul and Amsterdam, your first Sky Team carrier, Korean Air, unceremoniously decides to cancel all flights from the territory.

Several Korean religious freaks, apparently, are to blame.

On 22 February, 2020, Mail Online, reported:

More than half of all South Korea’s coronavirus cases are linked to a secretive ultra-religious cult whose leader believes he is immortal.

Just reading that, I knew I may get royally screwed. Nothing good comes from ultra-religious fanatics, and South Koreans are notorious for their political and religious extremism.

But that was not all. The report continued:

There are further reports of outbreaks in the psychiatric unit of a hospital in Cheongdo county, infections in Busan, and on the island of Jeju.

Korean Air, which was supposed to fly its glorious new Boeing 747-8 from Hong Kong to Incheon (Seoul international airport), has been carving its service, first reducing it to Boeing 777s, then to Airbus 330s, and in the end, cancelling all of its flights 3 days before my departure.

Korean Air – lounges closed down

To secure my monstrously long commute, I spent most of my Sky Team miles, to secure a business class set of tickets.

There was a reason for it: I could not see. Well, I could hardly see at all.

Before Hong Kong, I had worked in Kalimantan, in the Indonesian part of Borneo, on an island which has been totally plundered by greed, corruption and the ineptness of the Javanese neo-colonialists. An island where the present administration of president Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”), is planning to build and move the new capital city, abandoning the enormous, more than 20 million population sized urban area of Jakarta which is “sinking”, ridden with countless urban slums, lack of sanitation and safe drinking water.

Writing a book about this monumental insanity, I continued investigating. And in a process I got attacked, as almost anyone who visits Borneo does, by various and vicious parasites. My guts got infected by something terrible, and then my eyes. I flew between Balikpapan and Pontianak on Lion Air’s Boeing 737 (yes, that Lion Air, which keeps cramming and periodically crashing planes, ever since the beginning of its operation). I have no idea whether my eyes got attacked there, on board, or in some filthy ditch near the palm oil plantations, where they are cutting down what is left of the tropical forest.

Wherever it was, it did get infected. First the left eye. It was like a white foam. I could only see extremely abstract contours, as if between me and the world there was a thick, white blanket. It was scary, very scary. I am not only a writer and a philosopher, but I am also a filmmaker and photographer. Doing what I do and not seeing almost anything is, you know, quite terrifying.

Before flying to Hong Kong, where I have been covering the riots ignited and financed by the West, I stopped over in Bangkok and went to an eye clinic, but the doctors there only cared about the payment. They had no clue what was happening to my eye.

Hong Kong

Then, in Hong Kong, as Korean Air cancelled my flight, my right eye also got attacked.

At night, as I lay awake in my hotel room, I suddenly recalled how on board the Garuda Indonesia, between Pontianak and Jakarta, at least four people were coughing, loudly and desperately. Nobody was checking them. The Indonesian government had suggested that people pray to avoid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“What else,” I thought. “Am I also going to get the coronavirus?”

*****

I refused to succumb to this horrible situation.

By then I knew that Korean Air was determined to ruin me. While Air France (my Sky Team carrier) and KLM were offering re-routing and compensation to their passengers stranded in Asia, Korean Air showed a clear and vulgar indifference. It did nothing to help. It never even replied to my queries.

I was also aware of the fact that I may have to travel, at least for 7 days, through various detours, and without seeing almost anything. Also, with twisted guts and a diabetic attack which had kicked my backside because of the tremendous stress.

Was it worse than being in Syrian Idlib, in Afghanistan, or near Mosul after it had been taken over by ISIS?

In a way, it was. Being blind, chased by the new coronavirus type, with airports closing one after another, and with the prices of airline tickets going sky-high, everything seemed to be demeaning, depressing and unsettling.

Strangely enough, I felt no fear of the COVID-19. I kept discussing the new type of coronavirus with my medical colleagues, through WhatsApp, until my eyes totally let go and collapsed.

I had to make it through to Santiago de Chile, which happened to be on the total opposite side of the world.

Western doctors that I knew were sending long and useless advice which mainly repeated “go see a doctor” idiocy. I told them I was in Hong Kong, which had been experiencing a near total lock-down. I told them that I had already been to a Thai eye doctor who had absolutely no clue about my condition.

Then, I realized that I could not rely on those that I am fighting against! I needed comrades to help me.

My family contacted a Syrian lady doctor, an expert in infectious diseases, and a sister of my friend in Damascus. I sent photo-images of my eyes. She saw, asked for symptoms and prescribed some powerful oral antibiotics and drops. I managed to convince a Hong Kong pharmacist to sell the medicine over the counter: I said it was a matter of life and death. She understood.

Syria and China saved me. People were guided by intuition, not by rigid rules.

I was going home.

*****

My nearest and dearest began helping me to re-route. It took days. It was horrible.

Airlines, from Korean Air to Cathay Pacific, began to cover their backs; trying to squeeze every penny from those who were still able and willing to fly. Some one-way economy tickets for 2 hours flights shot up to 1,600 US dollars. Business class on certain routes became miraculously cheaper. As long as one could search, and as long as one could look at a screen.

To avoid quarantining, and to get out of Hong Kong, the easiest way was to fly in the totally opposite direction than where I was heading: to Bangkok, on Emirates. A few business class tickets were still available, but at $600, on a route where they used to cost under $400. It was one of the last available ways out of the almost locked out city.

Emirates 380-800 – overpriced but one of the last escapes from Hong Kong

I grabbed a seat on the Airbus 380-800. I somehow pulled through the totally empty Hong Kong Airport. I could hardly see anything. There were hardly any seats to rest on in the departure hall. My backpack was almost 20kg heavy, with a professional camera, computer and mobile phones.

I have no idea how I managed to get to my plane. With my damaged eyes, I could still see those huge numbers indicating gates. I collapsed into my seat. The super-jumbo took off, Southeast; away from where I was trying to fly. I was some 20 thousand kilometers away from Santiago de Chile.

Santiago was bleeding, too! Its eyes were damaged. People were fighting against the fascist regime imposed on them by Washington, and by the multinational corporations, in 1973. Like my own, their eyes were inflamed; some, over 300 individuals, even lost their eyes, as they were shot at by the police.

On board my flight to Bangkok, I was not sure whether I was going to be able to return home, alive.

But I was going through the night towards Bangkok. Would they even let me in? The first step.

*****

They did. Miraculously. I must have looked like shit, but an unfriendly, insulting border police officer slammed a stamp into my passport, fingerprinted me, photographed me, and in the end, let me go.

That was it. Hong Kong does not stamp passports. Officially, my journey would begin in Thailand.

I had only 9 hours on the ground. The airport was eerily empty. People looked like streetwalkers, wearing masks, some even things resembling ski-glasses. I went home to my place by the river, without even opening my luggage, I collapsed into my bed, but could not sleep the entire night. Tugboats were pulling ghost-like barges, 31 floors below. I could not see the barges, only contours. This was my first day into the journey.

In the morning, very early, I somehow managed to return to the airport, and rechecked my luggage all the way to Suriname, as that was the only airport in South America, which I was able to get to free (using my air miles) business class tickets, at least from Seoul. Instead of re-routing or compensating me, Korean Air which had brutally cancelled my tickets from Hong Kong, was now charging me something absolutely ridiculous, to get from Bangkok to Seoul, where I was to catch a KLM flight to Amsterdam and many hours later, to Paramaribo.

Thai fingerprinting and photographing again. The taking the shoes off, precisely as the U.S. masters have ordered. The saturated spite of the Thai officials suffering from superiority complexes, followed by an old, dirty, 777-300 Korean Air aircraft. I crashed into its unmaintained seat. Just glanced at the food (inedible-looking, cheap version of bibimba), and slept all the way to Seoul.

*****

Coronavirus, greed, extreme capitalism, rudeness: everything accumulated into this monstrous journey.

Taking off from Hong Kong and later Bangkok, I experienced almost absolute blindness. Then, the Damascus-prescribed antibiotics began to kick in. They were terrible, but I was warned. Either or. Either blindness and white fog, or total exhaustion, a collapsed body, but clearer sight. I opted for sight.

I landed in Seoul, like a zombie, heavy rucksack on my back, wobbly, almost desperate.

My luggage was automatically transferred all the way to Paramaribo, using the Sky Team system.

But this was South Korea. At the transfer desk I was refused boarding passes: “Go through security, then go to Sky Team Lounge and wait 8 hours for your flight. They will give you boarding passes at the gate,” I was told.

At the security check, they could not read English, or understand what was written on my E-tickets. 3 times I was humiliated, going back and forth between the transfer desk and security checkpoint. The staff were clearly enjoying the game, perhaps waiting for when I would finally collapse. The transfer desk person refused to walk with me to the security check. Security people were stubbornly refusing to read English.

This was precisely one of those moments when one loses all hope in humanity. You think: “Your body will let go! You will collapse, at any moment. Collapse and die.” All this, just because you have been putting your life on the line for some poor, devastated, enormous tropical island. Just because some South Korean religious freaks went bananas. Just because of human indifference and racism. Just because, just because… The brave new world. The creepiness of a capitalist, right-wing trash universe.

Incheon, South Korea. Usually one of the busiest airports

I made it to the lounge, eventually, moving through the empty airport. Everything was shut down. The lounge was empty; almost nothing to eat there. The coronavirus scare.

At this point, all I wanted to do was to sleep. I found a transit hotel and paid an exorbitant price for only a few hours of rest. I collapsed. I cursed capitalism, greed, and humanity’s collapse.

I knew that as I was entering the disturbing world of dreams, or should I say nightmares, the People’s Republic of China, as well as Cuba, were fighting for our human race, against all the odds, against the monstrous propaganda originating from the West.

I had no right to kick the bucket in some bloody transit hotel room at the Incheon Airport. China, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela needed me. I saluted my comrades, the old fashioned way, and fell asleep.

*****

The Korean Air clerk at the gate had no idea where Paramaribo was, or where Suriname is located. He was moonlighting for KLM, but was wearing a Korean Air uniform.

I told him what I thought about Korean Air. Before that, he had not liked me for flying to “some Paramaribo”, but after that he started to hate me, openly. The fact that I am a platinum member of his alliance meant nothing.

He began treating me as if I was the coronavirus incarnated.

By then, I could hardly see him. My legs were about to collapse, at any moment. But I was not going to show weakness.

He began: “Where is your visa to Suriname”?

“Here,” I replied.

“What is that?”

“My visa.”

“So, where is your visa?”

“My visa is here.”

“You have to show it to me.”

“It is in front of you.”

Korean Air had stolen my money by cancelling flights and by refusing to re-route me. Now, it was ruining my health. But, there was zero remorse coming from the staff.

Eventually, a supervisor came, and began abusing me, too.

I told her directly to her face: “You should learn from North Korean people how to treat visitors!”

Her apparatchik essence kicked in. She began threatening me.

I pulled out five press cards: “Do you want to arrest me for expressing my opinion?”

She started to look hesitant. I demanded her name card. She said she does not have one. Bullshit: in north Asia everybody has one.

“Are you a security agent or an airline staff?” I asked her, point-blank. I knew that in South Korea, it was the same thing.

Finally, she gave me my boarding passes, together with a look, which was full of hate.

This legendary racist horror, South Korean -style then disappeared. I saw the way she humiliated herself, bowing and kissing the asses of her fellow, South Korean, citizens.

I was welcomed on board by an outraged flight hostess who was originally from Suriname: “She did not even know that my country exists, did she?” She patted me on the shoulder.

*****

While Seoul was terrified of the coronavirus, the Europeans looked totally indifferent to the possible danger.

That was on March 3rd, 2020.

After the more than 11 hours flight from Seoul to Amsterdam, Schiphol airport appeared to be totally relaxed.

Even passengers from Seoul to Amsterdam looked undisturbed. No masks, no panic. Snoring contently into the air.

777-200ER landed very early, at around 5 am.

Amsterdam Airport – no masks, no fear

I went through security, and located the Sky Team Lounge. It was stuffed with excellent food, but it happened to be totally empty. I found a comfortable chair and fell asleep, almost immediately. When I woke up, the lounge was full; literally packed.

After being used to masks being worn all over North and Southeast Asia, what hit me was the absolute lack of any face protectors at the major Dutch airport.

People were drinking, eating tons, talking. There was no sense of any emergency.

European and North American daily newspapers, in all languages, were full of the coronavirus headlines. Those freely distributed in the lounge were only attacking China, totally and bizarrely avoiding the absolute lack of preparedness in the West.

Even the Italian daily papers, at that time at least, showed no signs of concern.

Not far from me, a group of Italian travelers, was chatting, embracing, kissing, drinking prosecco and coffee for breakfast, and calling home on their mobile phones.

There was only one lax coronavirus checkpoint upon arrival from South Korea, at the time one of the hardest hit countries in the world.

In retrospect, this was all totally bizarre and irresponsible.

Was the Western medical system so unprepared? Or was it told, even ordered, to behave in such a manner?

Waiting for my flight to Paramaribo, I called my 84-year old mom, who has been living in Germany, where she is married.

“They feed us with such crap,” she told me, in Russian. “I mean, that stuff that they tell us through the mass media. I don’t believe anything they say or write,” she concluded. “All this is not going to end well.”

And she was absolutely right.

*****

The Queen of the Sky, a majestic old Boeing 747-400 took off on time, towards Suriname. Both KLM and British Airways were still flying these beautiful planes, although there were rumors that KLM will retire most of them in 2021.

This was the last flight of the captain. He was leaving KLM. The flight hostesses were urging all the passengers to write something short, something personal. There was supposed to be a great celebration, a great party, in Paramaribo.

By then, I was almost losing my consciousness. My eyes cleared, almost totally. But the monstrous antibiotics and chronic exhaustion, doubled my body down. Chile appeared to be far, far away.

Again, no masks, no precautions. The 747 was going southwest, full of passengers, with zero medical safeguards.

The plane landed, and it was sprayed with water by a fire engine, to celebrate the last flight of the captain.

No jet-ways: passengers had to climb down off the enormous aircraft. Those who couldn’t were met by special vehicle, functioning as a lift, and by a bus.

But the lift and other vehicles were quickly engaged by the celebrations of the captain’s retirement. Countless Surinamese passengers who were returning from Holland, after being treated in European hospitals, were waiting in the lift and the bus, abandoned by the ground staff. No one to measure their temperature. Nobody to even ask what kind of medical conditions they were suffering from.

By then, I had turned into a zombie. I somehow managed to sail through the immigration of a shack defined as an airport.

I almost collapsed. I asked for help, but was told by a local staff member: “If you feel sick, go get medical help”. Later, the hotel manager told me that this is the “usual treatment people get here”.

I somehow got stabilized, by getting my hands on a luggage trolley. The universe was spinning around me.

My pre-paid taxi did not wait for me. The hotel was some 50 kilometers from the airport.

In the end, I went to the airport police. Instead of helping me, they began a rude scrutiny, clearly trying to extract some bribe.

“I feel very sick,” I said. They couldn’t care less.

No questions asked about what had made me sick. Was it the coronavirus? By then it was already called COVID-19, and it was on my tail, chasing me as I was circling the globe.

*****

I filmed the Suriname River and the rainforest of Suriname, to show the contrast with Borneo.

Suriname has been terribly damaged, but Borneo has been ruined, endlessly and some say, irreversibly.

Empty crossing of Suriname Rive

I only had one full day. I had to work fast. My Indian driver had to hold me up while I was working, otherwise I’d collapse.

On the 5th of March, I returned to the airport, ready to fly to Belem, Brazil.

Further humiliation, overcharging, insults. I wanted to get out. And never return. One day I will write about those repulsive 48 hours in Suriname, but not now.

A 90 minutes flight, and everything fully changed. Even under the fascist government of Bolsonaro, Brazilians were kind and caring.

Shortly after the plane door opened in Belem, I was put into a wheelchair and zipped through immigration and other formalities. There was no overcharging, no humiliation and no dramas.

Empty river front in Belem, Brazil

Brazil was what it always has been: a great country with dire problems. But a great country, nevertheless.

The next day I flew from Belem to Rio de Janeiro, via Brasilia.

Still, almost no masks. Once or twice my temperature was checked. That is all.

In Belem, all the Amazon riverfront cafes were kept open.

In Rio, while waiting for my flight to Chile, I went to the legendary and packed Vinicius bosanova club, and to the totally packed Caso de Chuva cultural center, where Tom Veloso was singing the songs of Gilberto Gil. Absolutely no precautions, no masks, people squeezed like sardines. The evening of March 8th.

A day later, on March 9th, the airlines in South America began catching up with turbo-capitalist games. Chilean LATAM, when I asked for an extra legroom seat, suggested that I pay $1,500, for 4 hours on board a small Airbus 320 plane. Naturally, I refused.

Coronavirus check iat Santiago Airport, Chile

Santiago airport took the coronavirus seriously. There were several checkups. End of the games.

This is when strange things began to happen.

Two days after I landed in Santiago de Chile, South America moved from inactivity to hyperactivity.

One country after another began lock-ups; from Argentina to Peru, to Chile.

Santiago began resembling a ghost town. Entire regions of Chile began to close down.

I needed to recover, quickly, and to travel to Venezuela and Cuba, but it was becoming thoroughly impossible.

I arrived, I survived, but right away, I was grounded.

*****

From one extreme to another. In South America and the West.

When confronted with the terrible medical emergency, China reacted like a Communist country, which it is. It mobilized in the name of the people, and began fighting the battle. It acted rationally and responsibly. It never performed a total lockdown.

It demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm and discipline.

Without thinking twice, it sacrificed its economic interests, putting the people first.

It has won the battle; beating the virus back. Almost no new cases now. The hospitals constructed to treat the coronavirus are closing down. Doctors and other medical staff are celebrating.

Cuba is near to developing a vaccine for the new coronavirus.

China and Cuba are cooperating. China is sending airplanes with help to Italy, Spain and Serbia.

In the meantime, people in certain Western countries are being told that over 80% of their citizens will get infected, and that hundreds of thousands, even mullions, will die!

Why?

Why the hell, really?

Some nations, from Italy to Chile (where I am right now), are locking up everything: entire countries, entire regions, everything.

At the height of the crises, Beijing was open, and so was Shanghai and almost all other major cities. Flights were arriving and departing. What confidence! What a success!

A clear victory of socialism over capitalism.

Just look at the Western nations, at Southeast Asia, or at South America; people are petrified. Control of the population is much more brutal than anything that has ever been implemented in China.

And what do they tell the Italians, French, Brits and North Americans? That they will be dying like flies! Even now, when this essay is being written, more Italian people have died than the Chinese. That is on a per capita basis about 22 times more. And in the West, things are getting worse and worse.

And, until now, it is not yet clear, who brought the epidemy to Wuhan, to begin with. Many believe that it was the U.S. military. Still, China never stopped behaving like an internationalist country!

*****

During my more than 20,000 kilometers long journey, I have seen a frightened, divided planet.

And then, I saw a great Chinese victory, and a Cuban victory.

I read how Cuba has rescued 600 people stuck on a cruise ship, the MS Braemar, belonging to one of its tormentors.

I witnessed panic in extreme right-wing countries like Chile. I was ready to drive south, to Araucaria, to speak to the discriminated against Mapuche indigenous people (according to Word they do not exist, as I am given red error sign), but precisely that area got hermetically sealed, closed down, one day before my planned 900-kilometer journey, and a month before the planned constitutional referendum.

In the West, and allied countries, the coronavirus has been used for political ends.

I am almost certain the Bolivian elections will be ‘postponed’, “because of the coronavirus”, to prevent socialist MAS from regaining power.

I am back home, but home is not a real home, anymore.

Home is now China, Cuba, Russia. Countries which are fighting against the Western tyranny that is sacrificing millions of human lives.

The coronavirus is a barometer of the state of the world.

It shows which countries bring shame to the word “humanity” and which bring pride.

• First published by 21 Century Wire

• Photos by Andre Vltchek

All men are mortal

My deceased mother-in-law, not a pious person but one of utterly conventional morals, used to say when someone over 70 — she died of heart failure somewhere in her mid-70s after our divorce — was diagnosed with some serious illness, “well, at least they can’t die young.” I say she was conventional because she certainly had all the usual ideas about what to do and say among polite people. Maybe having lived through the Second World War — on the losing side — and knowing enough people who did die young just gave her a certain sobriety in matters of life and death. I mention this because in our age of exhibitionism and euphemism it is very difficult to conduct a sober, let alone rational, discussion about the circumstances by which individual human beings die.

I might add that I am twice as old as my father was when he died and six years older than my mother was. They did die young from what were most certainly occupationally-induced illnesses. But it is not the age of the decedents that concerns me here. Rather it is one of my personal intellectual and spiritual addictions: a sense of proportionality and comparability in the assessment of the world in which I live. My mentor at university wrote repeatedly that the only way we can know or examine something is by analogy. If that is true — in the sense of being a reasonable assertion and intellectually as well as sociologically plausible — then what we know about anything and what we learn depends on the quality of the analogies we draw.

In an earlier piece I speculated by analogy and subsequent analysis as to the character of what has been called the “novel corona virus” and its detection in China with all the attendant consequences. Since then those in Italy have seen their police isolate towns in Lombardy and Veneto. Outside the EU, Britain now reports its exited cases. After weeks of envious waiting by journalists in Portugal it is finally possible to report positive instead of negative tests. Here I might note that during the same waiting period the mother of a friend of mine died in hospital from sepsis after a routine operation. Masks and HAZMAT clothing were apparently not available to prevent that premature death.

After 30 years of being told by the pharmaceutical industry, the private hospital and medical technology sectors and the gangsters in and out of government commonly called bankers and economists that there is no money for physicians and nurses salaries, no money for plant maintenance, no money for affordable medication (drug subsidies dropped while manufacturers prices rose) and that everyone would just have to spend more of their decreasing wages on ever more expensive private health insurance — after all that, all that for 30 plus years in Europe, never mind the abysmal state of US “healthcare” — the US Congress can suddenly approve over USD 8 billion for corona virus work!

China was clearly confronted with an unpleasant surprise, to put it mildly. The details and origin need not be of concern here. The fact is that the government of China acted in a manner consistent with their overall social and public health policies — not just since December 2019. The result has been impressive and by analogy indicates that China has something which one used to call a civil society (as opposed to the empty slogan propagated by Messrs Soros et al.)

What does the corona virus, historically a mild and inoffensive complaint known to cause digestive problems in dogs, now mean in the Western peninsula of Eurasia? What is the significance of this now obsessive daily bean counting? Yes, bean counting. It is as if the accounting departments of all the EU health departments and the most certainly privately-partnered bean counters of Great BoJoland, had entered a primary school competition for the largest number of fingernail clippings collected.

I can already hear some readers saying — but people have died or are at risk of dying. This is no laughing matter or time for sarcasm.

On this point I disagree emphatically. Let me return to my opening argument — we learn by analogy and the quality of our analogies is crucial to any judgement as to the validity of our lessons.

I do not compare the seriously ill or the dead with anything or anyone except other seriously ill or other dead. However, I refuse to compare based on the fanaticism with which we are flogged by all public media and the forces of crime and disorder (certain agencies of the State) to persuade us that the corona virus is the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages (against which even the pope in Avignon successfully protected himself behind the walls of his palace).

What needs serious comparison here are not only the actual epidemiological statistics but also the proportionality of the entire situation. Although the statistical mortality figures published and broadcast at regular intervals suggest an illness not even as harmful as the common influenza that kills tens of thousands in the US alone — every year — the occurrence of deaths in double digits are treated as earth-shaking. I am not convinced nor should any other sober observer be.

As to proportionality, if the current hospitals operating with rubber bands and shoestrings thanks to the masters of our financial services industry are unable to prevent simple septic infections from killing: e.g., 80,000 a year in the US alone, how are we to take seriously the song and dance of HAZMAT suits and science fiction sterility (Sci-Fi, because it does not exist anywhere in real life, let alone in Western hospitals)?1

If we were, just if, to accept the premise that this “novel corona virus” is a dangerous disease — and more dangerous than any disease we are presently unwilling to prevent — then there is no reason to believe that anything that is being advertised in the Western media and propagated by the fanatical and fascist class that has decided to use the virus as a casus bellum against “John Doe” (or perhaps “J Doe” is safer in our transgender era) will be either proportional or appropriate, let alone effective for dealing with the latest news cycle “crisis”.

For 30 years, actually in Germany at least this process started when the arch-pharmaceutical lobbyist Helmut Kohl was made chancellor for the first time at the beginning of the 80s, the ordinary inhabitants of the West have been subjected to what could be called a latent form of ABC warfare.

ABC in military jargon is the abbreviation for atomic, biological and chemical — the weapons of choice in NATO, but, of course, only on paper. Atomic warfare was the deployment of the Pershing II missiles against massive popular opposition and the trade in atomic waste. Biological warfare comprised the steady campaign to tell the population that their illnesses were fake, that they were abusing the public health insurance system and this had to be stopped by cutting benefits and raising fees. The chemical aspect was more insidious because on one hand reporting of pollution simply stopped. On the other hand the IG Farben successors (the chemical/ pharmaceutical cartel that was restored in another framework by the US occupying forces) were given free rein to charge as much as they wanted for medicine, while patients were blamed for the resulting cost increases in health care. This was all marketed as “healthcare reform”.2

Healthcare reform is nothing more than a euphemism for a combined arms strategy to turn basic public health into profit streams for the usual suspects. In 1989 when the defeat of the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union and the entire Eastern European social welfare system became immanent, the last Kohl regime detonated the social equivalent of a neutron bomb. Worse than Chernobyl the blast created seismic ruptures throughout Western Europe’s never bomb-proof public healthcare systems.

Since then one can safely say — by analogy — that the rudimentary system which had functioned fairly well from Cork to Corinth has been so heavily irradiated that what we now see is the advanced stage of a social cancer.

This brings me to the question what does all this fanatical anti-corona activity really mean? From a policy standpoint the short-term will certainly be a massive diversion of already scarce resources for this new “crisis”. When the US Congress approves USD 8 billion for novel corona one should think about a few other figures: a single F-35 fighter aircraft costs USD 94 million, so the USG has bought 85 fighters to do something against novel corona virus. George Carlin once said that the US is very good at bombing people, especially if they are brown (or yellow).

Given that weapons and “defence” enjoy unquestioned priority in the West, maybe this is the strategy no one will admit. Perhaps that is what underlies the analogies, the HAZMAT clothes, the police cordons, the hysterical reporting and competition to prove who has the more dead to show. The Western pontificates are preaching a new crusade. We have the crusade to save the climate. We have the crusade to abolish gender and biological reproduction. We have the crusade against the East in all its manifestations. Now we have the crusade against a virus — probably created for the purpose — which will make us all willing to live behind walls or in bomb shelters — all imbued with the millennialism that has contributed so much to the homicidal character of Western culture.

But maybe, just maybe, it is just a fashionable new version of the perennial flu. And unless we are the victims of the military, the police or some miserable motorist– we won’t die young.

  1. HAZMAT, jargon, abbreviation for “hazardous materials”, notwithstanding their actual or putative effectiveness, the costumes are beloved props in the endless stream of disaster films produced and disseminated by the US propaganda ministry (aka Hollywood).
  2. In German, it was called Gesundheitsreform. The first stage was introduced in when Helmut Kohl was installed as chancellor (1982)—shortly after Ronald Reagan had been installed in the US (1980) and following the election of the faux socialist Francois Mitterand (1981), a former Vichy civil servant who enjoyed a famous relationship with the protégé of the Heidelberg SS veterans settled in the Upper Rhine. For details see the work of Bernt Engelmann; i.e., Das neue Schwarzbuch Strauß, Kohl & Co. (1983).

China is Confronting the COVID19 Epidemic with Endless Creation Towards a Shared Future for Mankind

The new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, also called COVID19, has as of this date killed more than 3,000 people and infected more than 80,000 around the globe, the vast majority of them in China. The virus has spread to at least 33 countries. What western media do not talk about is that with high probability the virus was man-made in one or several bio-warfare laboratories of which the Pentagon and CIA have about 400 around the world (Igor Nikulin, a former member of the U.N. Commission on Biological and Chemical Weapons). But such high-security bio-labs also exist in Canada, the UK, Israel and Japan. Western media also are silent about the fact that the virus is directed specifically at the Chinese race, meaning it targets specifically Chinese DNA.

We may never have solid proof, but most likely the virus was transported by an infected person, or otherwise from wherever it was fabricated to Wuhan, either to the famous Wuhan bio-research lab (research for peaceful purposes, contrary to what the west says), or nearby. But it did not originate in the Wuhan fish market.

Almost all of the deaths or infected people in the 33 countries and territories to which the virus spread are of Chinese origin. The virus appears to be strengthening, as it mutates over time, making its control even more difficult. The US-led west, instigator of the bio-war, presumes that in time and with multiple mutations, the virus may break the “Chinese DNA boundaries” and affect also other DNA types; i.e., western Caucasian people. But the west also expects Chinese scientists and bio-researchers to overcome the epidemic and stop the virus from further mutating, therefore reducing the western infection risk.

Despite early hopes that a vaccine may be found soon until now there has been little progress in this direction. However, Cuba’s antiviral Recombinant Interferon Alpha 2B (IFNrec) was chosen by Chinese medical and bio-researchers to combat the coronavirus. Interestingly, Interferon had been discovered in Cuba 39 years ago, at the very onset of biotechnology in 1981, but is not widely used in the world, even though it could save countless lives and cure countless patients (mainly diabetics), simply because of the US boycott that does not allow marketing of medication made in Cuba.

Nevertheless, the COVID19 infection rate seems to have been gradually declining in the last three weeks. And there is no doubt that China will overcome this epidemic. Yet, the world must wake up to the fact that this is biological warfare of the first degree. Not counting SARS of 2002 / 2003, the precursor to 2019-nCoV, the bio-war against China has been going on for at least the last two years on several levels and has already had a severe economic cost.

In the last two years, since 2018 alone, China was hit by several types of bird flu (H7N4 and H7N9) in 2018 and yet another strain just in January 2020 which was overshadowed by the more serious COVID-2019. There was also an outbreak of the African swine Flu (2018), killing millions of pigs. And there was a massive food crop destruction (2019 – mostly corn and soybeans) by the so-called “armyworms”.

Compensating for all of these devastated food products, China was compelled to import – and most of the imports came from the US. Therefore, these ‘outbreaks’ – all directed towards destroying vital parts of China’s economy, creating instability, food price inflation and a dependence on imports of agricultural products from the US are hardly coincidental. This series of epidemics, culminating with the coronavirus 2019-nCoV, may be just the beginning.

The western media has been playing up the so-called Trump tariff war with China, while hidden from the limelight and in parallel, more serious warfare – bio-warfare – was going on. In fact, little is known in the west about these previous biological attacks by the US-led west, aiming at massively damaging China’s economy and at China’s dependence on imports from the US. In addition to damaging China morally thereby, they, the west, believe (wrongly), that they are weakening the level of resistance. A real war with bombs and guns, maybe nuclear, aiming at total destruction, cannot be ruled out.

Let’s remember the Big Picture, namely, that this is, in whatever way you want to turn it, a bio-war against China, and perhaps the first step of an all-out war against China’s rising economic power, and foremost against China’s solid currency, the yuan, which may soon take over as the world’s chief reserve currency. This would mean the fall of the US-dollar hegemony, the only force that keeps the empire alive and kicking, other than its military strength which is non-sustainable, as it aims only at destruction abroad but leaving behind a rapidly faltering economy at home. Precisely the same pattern brought down the Roman Empire some 2000 years ago.

There are too many “coincidences” to conclude that this strengthened coronavirus – considerably stronger than SARS, the one of the 2002 / 2003 epidemic – ‘escaped’ a Wuhan lab by accident, or as the west would like to present it: by negligence. First, there were the Military Olympics in October in Wuhan (18 – 27 October 2019), where about 200 American soldiers participated; the first cases of 2019-nCoV fever were discovered about two weeks later – two weeks is the average gestation period from infection to outbreak. Second, there was Event 201, on October 18, 2019, at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore, Maryland, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF – the corporatocracy representing Big Arms, Big Pharma and Big Money), and the John Hopkins Institute.

The theme was simulating a High-Level Pandemic Exercise, and, yes, the simulation produced 65 million deaths. Just a couple of weeks before the first COVID19 victims were identified. And third – the timing, hitting China right on their most important Holiday, the Lunar New Year, when people are traveling, uniting with family and friends, when there are usually huge festivities with lots of people – an event of celebrating happiness – all cut short by the outbreak that put Wuhan and portions of Hubei Province, and a total of about 50 million Chinese in quarantine; and more – no shopping, no exchange of presents, no celebrations – a huge economic loss.

Circumstantial gut-feeling tells me this is not a series of three coincidences. This is rather a maliciously planned disaster. This is a dark sinister plan carried out by a murderous western elite to attack China’s rapidly growing economy, outpacing that of the United States. It is an attack on the solid Yuan which is also gradually replacing the US dollar as a world reserve currency. When that happens the US-empire is doomed. This is not allowed to happen by those “black men”, who pull the strings behind western politicians.

The build-up to more harm and destruction, possibly a hot war, must start fast and advance even faster. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director General (DG) said that the new coronavirus, COVID19, also called 2019-nCoV, was not a pandemic. A day later, on January 31, probably on instruction from Washington, he declares the outbreak a Global Emergency, but added on his own initiative that there were no reasons for countries to ban travel of their citizens to China.

In contrdiction to WHO’s recommendation, Washington immediately issued a travel warning for US citizens not to travel to China. Many other countries followed their master, especially Europeans. Another hit on the Chinese economy. Cruise ships with Chinese on board are not granted docking rights. Merchandise vessels are in many countries not allowed to enter international harbors to unload their goods.

The media propaganda drums proclaim that the virus is spreading fast and will soon engulf the entire world. The culprit is China, where the virus originated. That’s what western propaganda wants you to believe. Nobody mentions that the COVID19 virus is focusing on the Chinese genome and that almost no westerners that have no Chinese ancestry are affected. Well, if the media would talk about it, it would become clear for the entire world that the virus could not have been created or originated in China, as China will not infect and kill her own people, and that the virus was most likely man-made and somehow transported into Wuhan. Could it be that it was brought to Wuhan by one or more of the American participants in the military games?

The death to infection rate is about 3% in China, but has been steadily declining in the past week. The ratio is less than 1% in the 33 countries outside of China, where the virus was detected. Italy and Iran seem to be exceptions. In Italy, as of this date, the official number of infected people has jumped to 400 with 12 confirmed deaths, also a death rate of 3%. Iran with about 140 cases and 20 deaths, a 14% death rate, the highest in the world. Why? Faulty reporting, or do those who died in Iran have Chinese DNA?

In Italy, a country in the midst of the European flu season, most diseased people are elderly, according to the Health Ministry. But how precise are the tests? This is important since most symptoms of COVID19 are very similar to those of the common flu, especially for elderly people vulnerable to respiratory diseases and pneumonia. By comparison, US deaths from in the 2019 / 2020 flu season so far are estimated at about 34,200 (CDC). Figures in Europe are probably proportionately similar. But these figures are silenced by the media.

Why is Italy singled out? Could it be that instructions were coming from Washington, via the EU Administration in Brussels, as is often the case, to “punish” Italy, because Italy was the first official country to sign a number of Belt and Road Treaties with China last summer which is totally against US rule? In reality, Greece was the first country to sign a BRI deal with China, but nobody talked about it (and still doesn’t), because it ought not to be known that China came to Greece’s rescue, after Greece was literally destroyed by EU’s banking kingpins, Germany and France.

And now Italy is building up the propaganda drama, discussing border closing, but not yet deciding, and so are France, Germany and Switzerland – the discussion is a big media hype – but so far to the question – “Shall we ban entry to travelers from Italy?” They decided up to now, to leave borders open, as closing them would be bad for business. Though, that’s what they don’t say.

To add spice to the drama, Italy has also canceled the Venice Carnival and other public events, even closed church service and tourist attractions and monuments.

The point is tremendous fear-mongering, propagating fear from China. People in fear can easily be manipulated. It’s always been the case. Planting fear into a docile and even placid and peaceful population has always been the precursor to a call for war. Fear, in a first round, also helps isolate China to cause as much economic damage as possible (weakening China to the point of ‘least resistance’).

Public consent for the second round, namely a hot war, will then be easy. There is not much time, as the Chinese economy is advancing rapidly and along with it, the Yuan’s supremacy over the dollar. Which, once recognized by the majority of the world, means the dollar hegemony is broken, and through that the US empire is broken. For sure the US would not shy away from killing millions, hundreds of millions, just to preserve their dollar hegemony.

Washington also realizes that the East, China, Russia and the rest of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is no longer dependent on the west, but could carry on with an autonomous “eastern” economy which, in itself, would be an incentive for other countries to join the East in defiance of the US dictate.

The China – Russia – Iran alliance is one of the strongest “eastern axis” – which also provides full energy self-sufficiency to the eastern countries; i.e., the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO. The association of SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) comprises today about half of the world’s population and controls about a third of the world’s economic output (GDP).

Nevertheless, China’s economic damage is considerable – work stoppages, limited consumption at home and in many countries a virtual ban on Chinese imports. The stock market has dropped tremendously due to the Coronavirus outbreak and its economic consequences. The worst may not yet be over, even if it doesn’t come to a ‘hot’ war – which we profoundly trust it will not.

To counteract this economic calamity, the People’s Bank of China (PBC – China’s Central Bank) may consider quickly injecting important amounts of money into China’s economy, especially targeting small and medium size enterprises, both public and private, through China’s public banking system and other means of direct economic support to cut short losses caused by the western-imposed epidemics. The immediate and medium-term objectives may be reducing the risk of economic stagnation and un- or under-employment and to achieve food self-sufficiency, as well as to diversify China’s suppliers and supply-chains away from the US and western US-allies. The accent is on food self-sufficiency.

For international trade and transfer payments, China’s Interbank Payment System (CIPS) and the crypto-yuan is expected to gradually increase its acceptance around the world and outrank the western transfer system SWIFT and the US-dollar hegemony which are key instruments the United States uses to impose totally illegal economic sanctions upon countries that dare insist on their sovereignty and refuse to submit to Washington’s pressure. Cases in point are Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Sudan – and many more.

These US-led western efforts to weaken China’s economy are also meant to send a discouraging message to all those countries that are planning to divest their reserves and international payment methods away from the US dollar. The west will not succeed.

Even with the massive damage caused by the recent coronavirus, China’s economy is steadier and stronger than that of most western countries, especially the US. China’s non-confrontational approach to resolve these social – health – and economic issues, will help China to overcome and isolate her aggressive adversaries. That’s part of the 5000-year old Tao philosophy.

As the US is increasing her aggressive stance against China (and Russia), Washington appears and acts more and more like a dying beast, lashing out around itself, trying to bring down and destroy as much as possible, while steadily digging itself deeper into its own (economic) grave. Sanctions left and right and bio-wars on China – threatening China by surrounding her with some 400 military bases and nuke-equipped warships and planes, will not create more confidence in the US, rather the contrary. Countries and people realize that being aligned and allied with the US of A, is dangerous, can be deadly. So, they are driven away and towards the east, rather than being attracted by the western sinking ship.

Amazingly, western aggressions will falter confronting China’s robust social and economic system, and more so, China’s peaceful plan to connect and build bridges between the world’s people, nations and cultures, through the socio-economic development scheme of the 21st Century spanning the globe – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also called the New Silk Road, a way towards a shared future for mankind.

• First published in New Eastern Outlook

Italy tries to kick out the Right-Wing Extremist Steve Bannon from the “Gladiator Cloister”

Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and Breitbart editor, was finally kicked out of an Italian monastery, which even Newsweek wittily described as a “far-right boot camp”.

This author, along with a few others, has been warning for some time that the former Trump’s top advisor had crossed all lines, and began directly interfering in the internal affairs of the European Union, by promoting and amalgamizing dangerous extreme right-wing alliances of all natures; political, philosophical and religious. The monastery was supposed to offer “classes”, which Bannon described as “the kind of underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West”.

Tactics?  “A modern gladiator school”, according to Steve Bannon’s own assessment.

Journal NEO (New Easter Outlook) has already published one essay in 2019, analyzing Bannon’s activities in Italy and beyond: “Steve Bannon – a Profile of a US Apparatchik. From China to the Pope”. There, it was argued:

Steve Bannon is a talented propagandist and promoter of Western supremacy and imperialist “culture”. He is extremely dangerous, mainly because he knows precisely what he is doing and what he wants to achieve: total control over the world.

Last year, it was hard to imagine that Italy would dare to rock the boat, disturbing the activities of one of the most powerful and canny neo-cons in the world.

But the unimaginable suddenly took place.

Reported by Newsweek’s Rosie McCall:

The Italian culture ministry has announced it evicted what has been described as a far-right political bootcamp from a thirteenth-century monastery, AFP reports. The bootcamp has ties to Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, through its Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), which Bannon funds.

According to AFP, the bootcamp—which had been established to train students to “defend the West”—had been given a 19 year lease on Trisulti Charterhouse in the Province of Frosinone, central Italy, in February 2018. However, the ministry said on Thursday that the group had falsely tendered for the lease, and thus they were evicted. This follows reports from May that the ministry was intending to revoke the lease due to “violations of various contractual obligations,” according to The Telegraph.

This will come as a blow to Benjamin Harnwell, a British conservative and the director of DHI, who had hoped to launch the first three-week course to a small group of students this year and was in the process of securing planning permission to revamp the venue. Harnwell is an associate of Bannon, who had reportedly promised to give $1 million to the project.

Of course, the “boot camp” has been evicted on technicalities, not on ideological bases.

My contacts inside the ruling 5-Star-Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle) are hushed and cautious on the topic. Usually outspoken, they are reluctant to go on the record. I am only receiving bits and pieces of news. But what I get is telling. These are big, and extremely dangerous issues. Mr. Bannon has not been on Donald Trump’s team for quite some time, but only few have any doubts that he is still working on behalf of the President’s neo-con crew.

What do I get from Rome? Barks of confused inside news, and requests not to use real names in my essays, when it comes to Bannon’s case:

We have orders not to speak to the press, Andre… Until a decision is made by State Council… Here, inside the administration, it is a war; more than a war; a battle inside the government… and the Church. Pope Francis is against conservatives. The new Minister of Culture, Franceschini (PD) is linked to the Church… Things are uncertain until now. The Tar (Administrative Tribunal), threw its support behind Bannon and blocked the decision of the Minister of Culture. And now the State Council has to decide.

Another source coming from Rome offered much more concrete analyses:

There are parties in Italy, like the Northern League and “Fratelli d’Italia” [Italian Brothers] who are producing propaganda and take direct orders from Bannon, yielding to his hate towards China.

 Of course, this is big. The Northern League and “Fratelli d’Italia” are some of the most powerful political forces in Italy. The fact that they are under the boot of a U.S. right-wing extremist, is tremendous and scandalous news.

*****

 For a long time, Steve Bannon has been cheering right-wing forces in Italy and beyond.

According to La Presse (23 September, 2018), he praised Italian right-wing movements, claiming that “with them here in Italy the revolution works”:

On the Roman stage of “Atreju”, the event of Fratelli d’Italia, Steve Bannon praises the parties of Salvini and Meloni: “In the elections the Italians spoke against the system, saying that it is time for a change. They are tired of the feeling of being told that they are racist and xenophobic, just because they want to defend their culture and their country,” said the former White House strategist. “Yours is the most important experiment, if the revolution works here, then it will spread,” added Bannon.”

Unsurprisingly, Steve Bannon evokes wrath in those on whose behalf he is claiming to be speaking for; the modern-day Catholic Church, and even Christianity in general.

Pope Francis, whom Bannon has personally insulted on several occasions, is clearly against his politics.

I also approached one of the most important living theologists/philosophers, my friend John Cobb Jr., who clearly stated his point for this essay:

Steve Bannon makes it clear that one can today renew Charlemagne’s kind of Christianity without embarrassment and gain significant support from other “Christians.”  He makes little if any pretense to follow Jesus or the Hebrew prophets.  His heroes are the gladiators. He is preparing people to fight in all sorts of ways including, it seems, violent ones. The war is in support of the West rather than any one nation, what we once called “Christendom.” From the point of view of the Bible, devotion to a nation state or to the West is idolatry.

John Cobb concluded:

Christians of the first sort, those who seek to be followers of Jesus are called to love even those who spread hatred. But one aspect of that love must be to identify those who make the defense of the West their highest priority as idolaters. Christians should go on to show the consequences of this idolatry. It is destructive of society. It also damages the idolater. If we truly love Steve Bannon, we are called to try to reduce the damage that his idolatrous thought and action does both to others and to himself. If his understanding of Christianity gives any place at all to the teachings and ministry of Jesus, we can point out how radically his work opposes that of Jesus. If he has any interest in the Biblical God, we can point out that he is profoundly failing to serve those whom God calls him to serve. If he really cares about the future of the West we can show that he is blocking paths to a flourishing future. Perhaps, just perhaps, he can listen.

It becomes clear that for Steve Bannon, it is not going to be easy to sail through the turbulent waters of European politics. True, Europe has been moving, consistently and alarmingly, towards the right. Some would even say towards the extreme right.

But it is not the Bannon’s right, not Trump’s right. Europe feels that it does not need yet another U.S. apparatchik, to dictate to it in which direction to go.

The European right is exceptionally nationalist. But Mr. Bannon is trying to create a united fascist European front. It does not appear that the European countries are searching for unity, of any type. U.K., Hungary, and even Italy are proving this point.

Europeans are willing to work with Russia or China, if it serves their interests (and very often, it actually does). People like Bannon are cultural and religious fundamentalists. They are made exactly from the same stuff as the colonialists and fascists were, who attacked countless countries and murdered millions of people precisely in countries like Russia and China. At least now, this kind of attitude is not very popular in Berlin, Rome and Madrid. There, populations want all the benefits they have been getting from neo-colonialism, but without the risks of wars or any other direct belligerent interventions.

Bannon is ready to go “all the way”; to bomb and even to put Western boots on the ground.

And he provokes, arrogantly and undiplomatically.

Even when the tiniest détente is forged, with Russia, China or other adversaries of the West, he immediately begins pouring salt into the wounds.

Just recently, he insulted China and its diplomacy in a most vulgar way. On January 20, 2020, Forbes wrote:

What you are seeing in the signing today with China and with the USMCA is the beginning of the end of the managed decline of the United States,” said Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor, speaking on CBNC Wednesday. “This is a huge win for the U.S., and it’s why you don’t see Xi Jinping over here signing it and no one in the Chinese media writing about it. Trump has changed the center of gravity from the way the elites have to think of China.”

But even Forbes is doubtful about such shots off the hip.

Things get even deeper and more sinister. Bannon is searching for funding, teaming up with the most anti-PRC and anti-Communist individuals, be they from the West, or originally from China (PRC) itself. In October 29, 2019, Axios reported:

The mystery of who’s funding Steve Bannon’s work has been at least partly solved: Guo Media, a company linked to a controversial Chinese billionaire, has contracted Bannon for at least $1 million for “strategic consulting services,” according to contracts obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The billionaire fugitive — a man named Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok — is embroiled in the U.S.-China conflict. He’s a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party and is reportedly a member at Mar-a-Lago. He’s on China’s most-wanted list for alleged bribery, fraud and money laundering, per the New York Times…”

*****

Steve Bannon does not do analyses; he manipulates, he does politics as he speaks or writes.

And now it appears that Italy has had enough. Or at least some people inside the Italian administration. The country is going through a complex period of transformation. It does not appreciate the U.S.-style right-wingers, anymore.

Italy needs China. And China has various allies in the 5-Star Movement. And the same could be said about countries like Venezuela and even Iran. This is not Berlusconi’s Italy, anymore.

If Bannon is kicked out of the “gladiator cloister” for good, it may be a signal that yet another Italian and European beginning has arrived. Not necessarily a left-wing or a ‘progressive’ beginning, but a beginning nevertheless. It could signal that Washington is not going to be allowed to rule from across the ocean totally unopposed, through ideological gladiators obsessed with lethal combat. Bannon miscalculated both geography and the era: 21st Century Rome and its vicinities have nothing to do with the ancient Greek city of Sparta.

• First published by NEO (New Eastern Outlook), a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences