Category Archives: Media

How USA and Turkey Plunder and Loot Syria with Impunity

While President Trump lashes out at rioting and looting in Portland and Kenosha, half way around the world, the USA and Turkey are plundering and looting Syria on a vastly greater scale with impunity and little publicity.

Turkey Loots Syria, then Disrupts Safe Water Supply  

Turkey has been plundering the Syrian infrastructure for years.  Beginning in late 2012 and continuing through 2013 some 300 industrial factories were dismantled and taken to Turkey from Aleppo, the industrial capital of Syria. “Machinery and goods were loaded on trucks and carried off to Turkey through the Cilvegozu and Ceylanpinar crossings. Unfortunately, ‘plundering’ and ‘terror’ have become permanent parts of the Syrian lexicon when explaining their saga.”

In October 2019 Turkish forces invaded Syria and now occupy a strip of land in north east Syria. The area is controlled by the Turkish military and pro Turkish militia forces misnamed the “Syrian National Army”. Turkish President Erdogan dubbed the invasion “Peace Spring” and said the goal was to create a “safe zone”. The reality was that 200 thousand Syrians fled the invasion and over 100 thousand have been permanently displaced from their homes, farms, workplaces and livelihoods.

The industrial scale looting continues. As reported recently in the story headlined Turkish-backed factions take apart power pylons in rural Ras Al-Ain: “Reliable sources have informed SOHR that Turkish-backed factions steal electricity power towers and pylons in ‘Peace Spring’ areas in Ras Al-Ain countryside.”

Turkey now controls the border city of Ras al-Ain and the nearby Allouk water treatment and pumping station.  This is the water station supplying safe water to the city Hasaka and entire region. The Turkish forces are using water as a weapon of war, shutting down the station to pressure the population to be compliant.  For over two weeks in August, with daily temperatures of 100 F,  there was no running water for nearly one million people.

With no tap water, civilians were forced to queue up for hours to receive small amounts from water trucks. Unable to buy the water, other civilians took their chances by drinking water from unsafe wells. According to Judy Jacoub, a Syrian journalist originally from Hasaka, “The residents of Hasaka and its countryside have been pushed to rely on unsafe water sources ….Many residents have been suffering from the spread of fungi, germs and dirt in their hair and bodies as a result of using well water that is not suitable for drinking and personal hygiene. The people of Hasaka remain vulnerable to diseases and epidemics because of the high temperatures and spread of infectious diseases. If the situation is not controlled as soon as possible, the spread of Corona virus will undoubtedly be devastating.”  A hospital medical director says many people are getting sick from the contaminated water.

Judy Jacoub explains what has happened most recently: “After Syrian and international efforts exerted pressure on the Turkish regime, 17 wells and three pumps were started . The main reservoirs were filled and pumping was started toward the city neighborhoods.  However, despite the Turkish militia’s resumption of pumping water again, there is great fear among the citizens.”

USA Loots Syrian Oil and Plunders the Economy

The USA also has occupying troops and proxy/puppet military force in north east Syria. The proxy army is misnamed the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF). How they got that name is revealing. They took on this name as they came under the funding and control of the US military. As documented here, US Army General Ray Thomas told their leadership, “You have got to change your brand. What do you want to call yourselves besides the YPG?’  Then, he explained what happened: “With about a day’s notice they declared that they are the Syrian Democratic Forces. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance to put democracy in there somewhere.”

There are numerous parties and trends within the Syrian Kurdish community. The US has been funding and promoting the secessionist element, pushing them to ally with Turkish backed  jihadists against the Damascus government.  The violation of Syrian sovereignty is extreme and grotesque.

Prior to the war, Syria was self-sufficient in oil and had enough to export and earn some foreign revenues. The primary oil sources are in eastern Syria, where the US troops and proxy forces have established bases. It is desert terrain with little population.

To finance their proxy army, the US has seized control of the major Syrian oil pumping wells. It is likely that President Trump thinks this is brilliant bold move – financing the invasion of Syria with Syrian oil.

In November 2019 President Trump said, “We’re keeping the oil… The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.”  Recently, it was revealed that a “Little known US firm secures deal for Syrian oil“. Delta Crescent Energy will manage and escalate the theft of Syrian oil.

What would Americans think if another country invaded the US via Mexico, set up bases in Texas, sponsored a secessionist militia, then seized Texas oil wells to finance it?  That is comparable to what the US is doing in Syria.

In addition to stealing Syria’s oil, the US is trying to prevent Syria from developing alternate sources. The “Caesar sanctions” on Syria threatens to punish any individual, company or country that invests or assists Syria to rebuild their war damaged country and especially in the oil and gas sector.

The US establishment seems to be doing everything it can to undermine the Syrian economy and damage the Syrian currency. Due to pressure on Lebanese banks, plus the Caesar sanctions, the Syrian pound has plummeted in value from 650 to 2150 to the US dollar in the past 10 months.

North east Syria is the breadbasket of the country with the richest wheat and grain fields. There are reports of US pressuring farmers to not sell their wheat crops to the Syrian government. One year ago, Nicholas Heras of the influential Center for New American Security argued “Assad needs access to cereal crops in northeast Syria to prevent a bread crisis in the areas of western Syria that he controls….Wheat is a weapon of great power in this next phase of the Syrian conflict.”   Now, it appears the US is following this strategy. Four months ago, in May 2020,  Syrian journalist Stephen Sahiounie reported, “Apache helicopters of the US occupation forces flew low Sunday morning, according to residents of the Adla village, in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka, as they dropped ‘thermal balloons, an incendiary weapon, causing the wheat fields to explode into flames while the hot dry winds fanned the raging fire.

After delivering their fiery pay-load, the helicopters flew close to homes in an aggressive manner, which caused residents and especially small children to fear for their lives.  The military maneuver was delivering a clear message: don’t sell your wheat to the Syrian government.”

To better loot the oil and plunder the Syria economy, in the past weeks the US is sending more heavy equipment and military hardware through the Kurdish region of Iraq.

In the south of Syria, the US has another base and occupation zone at the strategic Al Tanf border crossing. This is at the intersection of the borders of Syria, Iraq and Jordan. This is also the border crossing for the highway from Baghdad to Damascus. The US controls this border area to prevent Syrian reconstruction projects from Iraq or Iran. When Syrian troops have tried to get near there, they have been attacked on their own soil.

Meanwhile, international funds donated for “Syrian relief” are disproportionally sent to support and assist the last strong-hold of Al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib on the north west border with Turkey.  The US and its partners evidently want to sustain the armed opposition and prevent the Syrian government from reclaiming their territory.

Flouting International Law and the UN Charter

The USA and Turkey have shown how easy it is to violate international law. The occupation of Syrian land and attacks on its sovereignty are being done in broad daylight. But this is not just a legal issue. Stopping the supply of safe drinking water and burning wheat fields to create more hunger violate the most basic tenets of decency and morality.

With supreme hypocrisy, the US foreign policy establishment often complains about the decline in the “rule of law”. In actuality, there is no greater violator than the US itself.

In his speech to the UN Security Council,  Syrian Ambassador Ja’afari decried this situation saying “international law has become like the gentle lamb whose care is entrusted to a herd of wolves.”

• Author’s note: To see good political and military maps of Syria,  go to southfront.org

The post How USA and Turkey Plunder and Loot Syria with Impunity first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of their confidence that Biden and the neoliberal class forces he represents are in possession of any ideas or policies that will address the irreconcilable contradictions of the late stage of monopoly capitalism known as neoliberalism.

Of course, on this last question, the response from my materialist friends is sentimental gibberish about holding someone’s feet to the fire.

Here I just want to briefly focus on the very simple question that many in the global South are raising in connection with the upcoming U.S. elections. And that is, if Biden wins, what might the people of the global South expect from a Biden Administration? To examine that question, I believe that the Afghanistan situation and the process for arriving at the current peace talks between the Taliban, the Afghanistan government and the United States offers some useful indicators for how that question might be answered.

The Trump Anti-War Feign

Defying the popular conception of Republicans as the party of war, and to the surprise of an incredulous Democratic Party and liberal media, candidate Trump told his supporters and the world that pulling the U.S. out of “endless wars” would be a major priority for his administration if elected.

This claim was mocked by the Clinton campaign partly because it upset the carefully constructed narrative prepared by her campaign to paint Trump as a dangerous pro-war threat because of his inexperience and unstable character. Not that the Clinton campaign was projecting itself as Anti-war, especially with the powerful pro-war economic interests that were coalescing around her campaign. Objectively, there was a ruling class consensus that increased spending on the military and militarism was going to be a central component of U.S. global policies going forward. Trump’s rhetoric was seen as a threat, even if he was not serious about following through once he became president.

After Trump’s surprising win and before he could focus on addressing Afghanistan and the reinvasion of Iraq that occurred during Obama’s second term, a manufactured crisis with Syria was presented to him that politically required a military response.

The box in which his generals and the intelligence agencies placed him on Syria would characterize the contentious and contradictory relationship between Trump and those elements of the state throughout his presidency, even after he signaled his support for militarism with the submission of record increases in military spending.

From North Korea and NATO to withdrawing U.S. personnel from Syria, the Democrats and some members of his own party conspired to oppose any changes that might threaten the deeply entrenched agenda of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

However, the efforts to undermine any progress toward extricating the U.S. from the 19-year quagmire of Afghanistan on the part of Democrats represented a new low in cynicism and moral corruption.

The Normalized Quagmire of Afghanistan

Shortly after the Trump Administration began, it broke with longstanding policy of not talking directly to Taliban. Administration representatives engaged in a series of covert, but direct talks, without the knowledge and participation of their supposed ally, the Afghan government.

By early 2019, the Administration’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, initiated a series of overt direct talks with the Taliban in Doha. The government of India and many elements within the foreign policy establishment were either opposed to direct talks with Taliban or were reticent.

In those talks, Khalilzad had to address the Taliban’s demand for complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and the U.S. demand that the Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for terrorism.

Other important issues that had to be included in a framework for discussion and eventual agreement included the issue of a ceasefire, prisoner exchanges and the sensitive issue of inter-Afghan talks, because the Taliban did not recognize the legitimacy of what they saw as a U.S. puppet government.

The talks with the Taliban, and an important meeting in Moscow in April 2019 between the U.S., Russia and China, resulted in an “agreement in principle” announced at the end of August 2019.

It was agreed in principle that the issues of a U.S. withdrawal, a ceasefire, and the knotty issue of inter-Afghan negotiations would be discussed in a follow-up meeting to be scheduled for February 2020. A significant diplomatic victory that was largely ignored in the U.S. press.

The February 2020 meeting in Doha resulted in a signed agreement to engage in a peace process.

The agreement reflected the various steps that the Taliban, U.S., and Afghan sides were expected to address during the negotiations: The U.S. demand that the Taliban are to prevent their territory from hosting groups or individuals who might threaten the U.S. and their allies; the Taliban demand for a timeline for the withdrawal of all U.S. and coalition forces; and the commencement of talks between the Afghan government and Taliban forces at the conclusion of U.S. military withdrawal and the establishment of a comprehensive cease-fire.

On March 10, the UN Security Council gave the U.S.-sponsored resolution supporting the deal their unanimous blessing. But rhat was not the end of the story. Unfortunately, for Democrats, peace and a diplomatic victory for Trump had to be contested.

Powerful forces in the state and foreign policy community opposed the February agreement. Publicly, they couched their concerns in security terms related to terrorism. They argued that it is only through increase military pressure that the Taliban would denounce al-Qaeda and agree to verifiably sever links with the group.

But the terrorism concern was only a subterfuge. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, along with his close Indian allies, did not want to see any U.S. military withdrawal. Other elements in the U.S. state were focused on the estimated one trillion dollars in precious metals that are currently unexploited in that country. And there was the Chinese issue and their Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Maintaining U.S. forces in the region would not only potentially make those precious resources available to U.S. companies but would also serve as a block to the BRI path through Central Asia.

Those elements and President Ghani were in a panic. National reconciliation and peace represented a real threat to their interests. The solution? Another domestic psyop.

Democrats sacrifice Peace for Politics

By the end of June, a disinformation campaign was launched by New York Times and was quickly followed up by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that focused on lurid but unsubstantiated reports of the Russians paying bounties to Taliban soldiers to kill U.S. personnel.

In typical fashion, “anonymous sources” were quoted. The reasons why the Russians would engage in this activity and why the Taliban who had essentially defeated the U.S. needed further incentives to fight the U.S. were marginal to the story. It was the headlines that were needed in order to evoke the emotional and psychological response that good propaganda has as its objective. Reason is a casualty when the objective is short-term confusion.

In this case, the objective was to evoke an outcry from the public, to be followed with legislation undermining Trump’s ability to withdraw U.S. personnel from the country and, if possible, to scuttle the process until after the election, if at all.

On cue, Democrat Congressman Jason Crow teamed up with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (daughter of the former vice president) to prohibit the president from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

And when Trump refused to take the bait and undermine his own peace process, Joe Biden accused Trump of “dereliction of duty” and “continuing his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin.”

Afghan Deception is not only Harbinger of Things to Come Under Biden

On September 12th, despite the machinations of the Democrats and other state forces, the Taliban and Afghan government representatives met in Doha to enter the difficult discussions on how to finally bring a resolution to the U.S. war and occupation of their country.

Neoliberals accuse Trump of cynically calculating every decision based on his own needs while neoliberals only operate from a pristine moral position. According to CNN, the peace agreement “was signed in February — at all costs with the goal of helping Trump fulfill his long-stated campaign promise of removing American troops from Afghanistan.”

If Trump was only concerned about his reelection, and there is no doubt that was a major consideration for most of his decisions, how do we characterize the moves made by the corporate press in collusion with the Democrats and Biden campaign — an objective concern for the security of the U.S.?

Two months after the Russia bounty story, the Clinton News Network (CNN) floated another bounty story. This time it was the Iranians! And almost four months after the original bounty story, NBC news reported that no one has been able to verify the story.

But one story that can be reasonably argued is that for the people of the world subjected to U.S. state criminality, the reoccupation of the Executive Branch by the democrats will not bring any change in U.S. behavior. Both parties support the imperatives of U.S. imperialism reflected in Trump’s 2017 National Security Strategy that centers an adversarial relationship with Russia and China and committed to maintaining U.S. global hegemony. Both parties supported the obscene increases in military spending, with Biden promising that he will spend even more!

The rightist character of the Democratic Party is such that at their national convention the alignment of right-wing neocons and neoliberals is not even being hidden.

So, while the fear is supposed to be around a further growth of “fascist” forces represented by Trump domestically, for the people of the world the real fascism of anti-democratic, brutal regimes supported by the U.S., murderous sanctions, starvation in Yemen, and right-wing coups in support of fascist forces in Honduras, Brazil and Venezuela will continue unabated.

This is precisely why from the perspective of oppressed nations and peoples’ in the global South, it should not be surprising that some might see progressive and radical support for either colonial/capitalist party as an immoral and counterrevolutionary position.

The post Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of their confidence that Biden and the neoliberal class forces he represents are in possession of any ideas or policies that will address the irreconcilable contradictions of the late stage of monopoly capitalism known as neoliberalism.

Of course, on this last question, the response from my materialist friends is sentimental gibberish about holding someone’s feet to the fire.

Here I just want to briefly focus on the very simple question that many in the global South are raising in connection with the upcoming U.S. elections. And that is, if Biden wins, what might the people of the global South expect from a Biden Administration? To examine that question, I believe that the Afghanistan situation and the process for arriving at the current peace talks between the Taliban, the Afghanistan government and the United States offers some useful indicators for how that question might be answered.

The Trump Anti-War Feign

Defying the popular conception of Republicans as the party of war, and to the surprise of an incredulous Democratic Party and liberal media, candidate Trump told his supporters and the world that pulling the U.S. out of “endless wars” would be a major priority for his administration if elected.

This claim was mocked by the Clinton campaign partly because it upset the carefully constructed narrative prepared by her campaign to paint Trump as a dangerous pro-war threat because of his inexperience and unstable character. Not that the Clinton campaign was projecting itself as Anti-war, especially with the powerful pro-war economic interests that were coalescing around her campaign. Objectively, there was a ruling class consensus that increased spending on the military and militarism was going to be a central component of U.S. global policies going forward. Trump’s rhetoric was seen as a threat, even if he was not serious about following through once he became president.

After Trump’s surprising win and before he could focus on addressing Afghanistan and the reinvasion of Iraq that occurred during Obama’s second term, a manufactured crisis with Syria was presented to him that politically required a military response.

The box in which his generals and the intelligence agencies placed him on Syria would characterize the contentious and contradictory relationship between Trump and those elements of the state throughout his presidency, even after he signaled his support for militarism with the submission of record increases in military spending.

From North Korea and NATO to withdrawing U.S. personnel from Syria, the Democrats and some members of his own party conspired to oppose any changes that might threaten the deeply entrenched agenda of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

However, the efforts to undermine any progress toward extricating the U.S. from the 19-year quagmire of Afghanistan on the part of Democrats represented a new low in cynicism and moral corruption.

The Normalized Quagmire of Afghanistan

Shortly after the Trump Administration began, it broke with longstanding policy of not talking directly to Taliban. Administration representatives engaged in a series of covert, but direct talks, without the knowledge and participation of their supposed ally, the Afghan government.

By early 2019, the Administration’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, initiated a series of overt direct talks with the Taliban in Doha. The government of India and many elements within the foreign policy establishment were either opposed to direct talks with Taliban or were reticent.

In those talks, Khalilzad had to address the Taliban’s demand for complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and the U.S. demand that the Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for terrorism.

Other important issues that had to be included in a framework for discussion and eventual agreement included the issue of a ceasefire, prisoner exchanges and the sensitive issue of inter-Afghan talks, because the Taliban did not recognize the legitimacy of what they saw as a U.S. puppet government.

The talks with the Taliban, and an important meeting in Moscow in April 2019 between the U.S., Russia and China, resulted in an “agreement in principle” announced at the end of August 2019.

It was agreed in principle that the issues of a U.S. withdrawal, a ceasefire, and the knotty issue of inter-Afghan negotiations would be discussed in a follow-up meeting to be scheduled for February 2020. A significant diplomatic victory that was largely ignored in the U.S. press.

The February 2020 meeting in Doha resulted in a signed agreement to engage in a peace process.

The agreement reflected the various steps that the Taliban, U.S., and Afghan sides were expected to address during the negotiations: The U.S. demand that the Taliban are to prevent their territory from hosting groups or individuals who might threaten the U.S. and their allies; the Taliban demand for a timeline for the withdrawal of all U.S. and coalition forces; and the commencement of talks between the Afghan government and Taliban forces at the conclusion of U.S. military withdrawal and the establishment of a comprehensive cease-fire.

On March 10, the UN Security Council gave the U.S.-sponsored resolution supporting the deal their unanimous blessing. But rhat was not the end of the story. Unfortunately, for Democrats, peace and a diplomatic victory for Trump had to be contested.

Powerful forces in the state and foreign policy community opposed the February agreement. Publicly, they couched their concerns in security terms related to terrorism. They argued that it is only through increase military pressure that the Taliban would denounce al-Qaeda and agree to verifiably sever links with the group.

But the terrorism concern was only a subterfuge. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, along with his close Indian allies, did not want to see any U.S. military withdrawal. Other elements in the U.S. state were focused on the estimated one trillion dollars in precious metals that are currently unexploited in that country. And there was the Chinese issue and their Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Maintaining U.S. forces in the region would not only potentially make those precious resources available to U.S. companies but would also serve as a block to the BRI path through Central Asia.

Those elements and President Ghani were in a panic. National reconciliation and peace represented a real threat to their interests. The solution? Another domestic psyop.

Democrats sacrifice Peace for Politics

By the end of June, a disinformation campaign was launched by New York Times and was quickly followed up by the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that focused on lurid but unsubstantiated reports of the Russians paying bounties to Taliban soldiers to kill U.S. personnel.

In typical fashion, “anonymous sources” were quoted. The reasons why the Russians would engage in this activity and why the Taliban who had essentially defeated the U.S. needed further incentives to fight the U.S. were marginal to the story. It was the headlines that were needed in order to evoke the emotional and psychological response that good propaganda has as its objective. Reason is a casualty when the objective is short-term confusion.

In this case, the objective was to evoke an outcry from the public, to be followed with legislation undermining Trump’s ability to withdraw U.S. personnel from the country and, if possible, to scuttle the process until after the election, if at all.

On cue, Democrat Congressman Jason Crow teamed up with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (daughter of the former vice president) to prohibit the president from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

And when Trump refused to take the bait and undermine his own peace process, Joe Biden accused Trump of “dereliction of duty” and “continuing his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin.”

Afghan Deception is not only Harbinger of Things to Come Under Biden

On September 12th, despite the machinations of the Democrats and other state forces, the Taliban and Afghan government representatives met in Doha to enter the difficult discussions on how to finally bring a resolution to the U.S. war and occupation of their country.

Neoliberals accuse Trump of cynically calculating every decision based on his own needs while neoliberals only operate from a pristine moral position. According to CNN, the peace agreement “was signed in February — at all costs with the goal of helping Trump fulfill his long-stated campaign promise of removing American troops from Afghanistan.”

If Trump was only concerned about his reelection, and there is no doubt that was a major consideration for most of his decisions, how do we characterize the moves made by the corporate press in collusion with the Democrats and Biden campaign — an objective concern for the security of the U.S.?

Two months after the Russia bounty story, the Clinton News Network (CNN) floated another bounty story. This time it was the Iranians! And almost four months after the original bounty story, NBC news reported that no one has been able to verify the story.

But one story that can be reasonably argued is that for the people of the world subjected to U.S. state criminality, the reoccupation of the Executive Branch by the democrats will not bring any change in U.S. behavior. Both parties support the imperatives of U.S. imperialism reflected in Trump’s 2017 National Security Strategy that centers an adversarial relationship with Russia and China and committed to maintaining U.S. global hegemony. Both parties supported the obscene increases in military spending, with Biden promising that he will spend even more!

The rightist character of the Democratic Party is such that at their national convention the alignment of right-wing neocons and neoliberals is not even being hidden.

So, while the fear is supposed to be around a further growth of “fascist” forces represented by Trump domestically, for the people of the world the real fascism of anti-democratic, brutal regimes supported by the U.S., murderous sanctions, starvation in Yemen, and right-wing coups in support of fascist forces in Honduras, Brazil and Venezuela will continue unabated.

This is precisely why from the perspective of oppressed nations and peoples’ in the global South, it should not be surprising that some might see progressive and radical support for either colonial/capitalist party as an immoral and counterrevolutionary position.

The post Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Guo Wengui:  So Anti-Chinese that even U.S. Establishment cannot stomach him

In some very rare cases, it is better to read British conservative, right-wing press, like The Economist or the Telegraph, instead of the mainstream liberal sheets like The Independent or The Guardian. That is if one wants to come somehow closer to the truth.

The Economist is extremely biased; it is pre-historically conservative, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, and laughably cold-war-style, anti-Communist. But it has some breaks and limits, which the liberal mainstream media already lost many years ago. And it does not forgive what it considers ‘bad manners’ and ‘bad taste.’

Recently, an on-going saga which involves a notorious right-wing ‘couple’ – Guo Wengui and Steve Bannon – received unusually harsh but frank analyses from The Economist, while all big British liberal newspapers have been busy trashing, fanatically, everything Chinese and Russian.

In its recent edition [August 29 – September 4, 2020], The Economist pitilessly attacked Steve Bannon’s close ally and an arch-anti-Beijing ‘gladiator,’ Guo Wengui:

From his 152-foot yacht and his $67.5m penthouse overlooking Central Park, he spins tales of Chinese elite corruption and purges, styling himself a “CCP terminator.” (Mr. Bannon is given the same nickname). On June 4, Messrs. Guo and Bannon announced, aboard the yacht in New York harbor, the founding of “The New Federal State of China,” meant to supplant the People’s Republic.

Needless to say, no one in the PRC seemed to be impressed or inspired, especially considering the fact that Mr. Guo is wanted in China on various unsavory charges, ranging from sexual assault to bribery. China is doing extremely well, economically, socially, and even environmentally, and the majority of its people are content with the political system. But “The New Federal State of China” catchphrase is not for the Chinese citizens to admire; it is for the Western consumption, and especially for the Guo’s fundraising campaigns in the U.S. and Europe.

Before escaping from China, Mr. Guo rode high, many say, using corruption and extortion to amass his billion-plus dollars fortune. But ‘good times’ ended when President Xi came to power and began cracking on corruption. Mr. Guo escaped, shut the door behind him, and cursed CCP for spoiling his dark machinations. Since then, he has been involved in each and every attempt to attack and discredit Beijing and Chinese leadership.

For a long time, U.S. intelligence and diplomatic community had a great kick out of Mr. Guo and of his friend Mr. Ma Jian, who some time ago got also hit by a determined anti-corruption campaign in the PRC. But Guo and Ma were never fully trusted even in the West, when both of them used to live in China, or, especially, after Mr. Guo’s escape to the United States, where he asked for political asylum. Many have thought that Guo went grotesquely hyperbolic, in order to please his masters in Washington and secure favors.

On August 26, 2020, Foreign Policy warned against Mr. Guo and peope of his type:

Western policymakers should be wary of figures like Guo. Take Ahmed Chalabi, the Baghdad multimillionaire who fled Iraq after becoming wrapped up in a Jordanian financial scandal. Chalabi played a malignant role in the U.S. drive to the Iraq War, making a series of exaggerated claims that were taken seriously by political and military leaders. As U.S. relations degenerate with China, the space for those like Guo to operate will grow.

Mr. Guo teamed up with Steve Bannon. Soon after, these two right-wing extremists unleashed the most aggressive and ridiculous anti-Beijing and anti-CCP campaigns in modern history. They began dropping names to openly insult the most populous nation on earth, twisting history, and smear what even the deeply anti-Chinese Trump administration wouldn’t dare to touch. The problem for them was that they became too extreme even for some “respectful” right-wing politicians and the mass media outlets. In brief: they began behaving like two adolescent fools and in the most embarrassing manner.

Despite all that, the couple has not been without influence on the U.S. administration; it has been extremely active in Washington’s power annals. But those whom it has been persuading have been chiefly the individuals who already reached the point of no return, who would not stop at anything. They simply wanted a war, a military conflict with China. Full stop.

*****

Others are reluctant to take the renegade billionaire seriously. Guo’s style, or more precisely his lack of style, is not only embarrassing, but it is also extremely dangerous. China may be a patient nation, but now it is also indignant when facing insults from one of its citizens who should most likely be in jail for serious crimes, but who is instead sheltered by the United States system.

The Economist concluded, in its article about Mr. Guo:

…American intelligence is said to listen to his insights – but also to keep him at arm’s length… That may be wise. The day before Mr. Bannon’s arrest the ‘Journal’ had reported that a company he and Mr. Guo are involved in, GTV Media Group, was the subject of a federal investigation into its fundraising. Mr. Guo called the report a fabrication, part of the CCP’s plot to take Mr. Bannon down. But his antics have worn thin on his hosts. “There would be a lot of groans when his name came up,” says a former Trump administration official. In both Beijing and Washington, it seems.

For some time, it was thought that the anti-Chinese hysteria was supposed to help Mr. Trump to get reelected. That is when Messrs. Guo and Bannon were used. This cynical strategy failed to deliver results. Most American voters are scared. They are losing jobs, and many are now losing roofs over their heads. They know almost nothing about China, and they have very little time for learning.

President Trump is a pragmatic, and some would say, brutal businessman. He may now have very little use for Mr. Guo and Mr. Bannon. They may soon, literally, end up on the street. That would be good for both China and the world.

The luxury yacht of Mr. Guo, on which Steve Bannon was recently arrested, is already for sale. And so is the Manhattan apartment.

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

The post Guo Wengui:  So Anti-Chinese that even U.S. Establishment cannot stomach him first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Now West should sit on its backside, shut up, and listen to “the others”!

We were always told what to think; what is correct and what is wrong. By the white dudes living in or coming from Europe and North America. They knew everything. They were the most qualified.

When I write “white,” I don’t mean just their race or color of their skin. To me, “white” is their culture, where they belong. Yes, their identity.

We Russians, Cubans, Venezuelans, Chinese, Iranians, Turks are not really “white,” even if our color of the skin is. Not that we are dying to be white, really! We have our own way of living and thinking, and most of us are on the side of the oppressed, of the ‘wretched of the world,’ intuitively. For centuries, our nations have been plundered and attacked. Millions of our people vanished during invasions, genocides, like those in Africa and all other parts of the ‘non-white’ world.

We have always been studied; we have been analyzed, we have been described by those confident scribes and reporters coming mainly from the U.K. and North America. They know the best who we are and what type of political systems and culture we deserve and should aim at. These people know how to speak. Their accents are so, so perfect, so “scientific.” If they say something, it must be pure veracity, simply because they are qualified, as they have been ruling the world for centuries.

We, the Others, are expected to shut up and to listen, to learn who we really are, from the masters of the universe. Because in their eyes we are nobody, just a little bit more than animals. And animals do not speak; they only listen, take orders, and serve. They also get obediently slaughtered, when ‘it is needed.’

White rulers of the world have been expected to know about us, much more then we know about our own people and our countries.

God forbid one of us, ‘non-white’ individuals, would dare to pass publicly some judgment, especially a negative one, about Europe, North America, or Australia!

Well, first of all, nobody would listen to us because we are not expected — we are not allowed to judge the West. We are here to sit politely, submissively, to listen and to take notes.

Have you often seen a Chinese person appearing on a British or U.S. television show, offering Communist analyses of the West? Have you seen an Iranian socialist or Venezuelan Chavista criticizing British or Canadian capitalism? That would be unthinkable, wouldn’t it?

And honestly, look at the so-called independent or ‘progressive’ media outlets in the United States or Canada. The situation there is basically the same as inside the mainstream newspapers and television stations, with some rare, very rare exceptions.

Once again, white, mainly Anglo-Saxon men “know the best”: be it regarding the recent anti-racist protests in the United States, or the very origin of the COVID-19. Even if they know damn nothing, absolutely nothing, they are still considered to be the best informed, the most qualified “experts.” Just because they have suitable names, looks, and pronunciation. Just because they are white, groomed a certain way, and able to lie in acceptable manners.

*****

A few hours ago, I watched a recording, a dialogue between two ‘experts,’ which was uploaded online by an “independent” North American media. They were discussing COVID-19.

What was striking was the arrogance, and those “we know everything, and you know nothing” little sarcastic smiles. Two men were clearly demonstrating degenerate spite for the world. Both were white. Again, not just by their color of skin, but by their attitude; by their culture.

In some 40 minutes during which they spoke, there were no references to the tremendous victory of China over the pandemic. No mention of Vietnam or Cuba. It was them speaking. It was about them, about their world, and definitely not about the objective truth.

The same publication basically kicked me out; it stopped reprinting my essays, immediately after our opinions began to differ, on all important topics like the uprising in the United States, COVID-19, and China. When I stopped behaving like a white, I was out.

It was not my place or my right to speak about the West in this crucial historical moment. After all, I was just some Russia/Chinese other. This was the moment for the rulers of the world to shine. They and they alone were qualified to define the crises in their own society. Their publications closed their doors to the Others. Not all, but most of them certainly did.

The Others were sometimes allowed to criticize their own countries. They were once in a while permitted to trash their fellow non-white nations. But never, ever were they tolerated as the prominent critics of the ruling West; of the whites!

They are also not allowed to make any important intellectual judgments: in the West, Chinese people are not trusted to decide whether their country is Communist or not! Such decisions are made for them in Montreal and London, and if you dare to contradict Western Trotskyists or anarcho-syndicalists, you will be silenced, censored and prevented from publishing. It means nothing that China has one of the oldest and greatest cultures on Earth. Whether Iran is a socialist country is decided in Paris or New York, not in Teheran. What happened in the Soviet Union between the two world wars is not up to Russians to decide.

All great non-Western nations are expected to learn about themselves from some British, Swiss, Canadian deletants, whose only claim to fame is that they are whites and part of the West.

Once, a taxi driver in Teheran was complaining to me:

White Westerners come to my country for the first time. They know nothing about Iran. But, 5 minutes into the ride, they begin lecturing me about my own nation.

It goes without saying that white Westerners are always allowed to criticize the entire world. It matters nothing how much or how little they know about it. Mostly they know nothing, absolutely nothing, but so what? Often, they even manage to infiltrate important media outlets and universities in independent countries and teach revolutionaries about their own revolution. Ridiculous? Bizarre? Yes, it is, but it is happening!

*****

Now, as the West is collapsing, there are conspiracy theories flying all around the place. Ridiculous, moronic inventions and speculations are printed, day after day. Even some serious international media outlets based in the non-Western world have been falling into the trap. They are hiring entire armies of the mainstream British, Irish, and North American writers, just in order to impress their readers in the West, those who have not been used to being ‘lectured’ by the people of other colors and cultures.

The West, intellectually and morally confused and corrupt, has not been able to analyze, to think rationally. It is thoroughly brainwashed. That applies to both writers and the readers. It needs, it cannot live without “familiar faces,” without familiar lines of thought.

Despite its confusion, it insists on talking. It demands to be listened to.

It is unable to learn from the others. It only knows how to dictate; how to preach.

But what it says is nothing more than incomprehensible rubbish. It is just a racist, phantasmagoric, irrational drivel.

Western political talk, academic chatter, Hollywood mental hallucinogenic degeneracy, Disney brain damage since early childhood, mass media surreal narratives – these are all reducing our human race to nothing, to intellectual zero.

Chaos and pathological lack of logic are upholding the status quo. Under such conditions, no progressive ideology could survive. Therefore, this is the most suitable milieu for the white Western boys and their global dictatorship.

It is time to shut up most of the Western speakers, stop listening, and, if possible, to lock up some of the most deranged orators in a mental institution!

Easier said than done! But there is no other way.

*****

Frankly, I had enough of this situation. I am working all over the world, and I can compare. It is clear to me that most of the white Westerners lost their creative edge. Their thinkers, their writers, and filmmakers are mostly producing garbage. With some exceptions, the same can be said about their academia and investigative journalism.

A Russian, Chinese, Venezuelan journalist could see the collapse of Western societies with much greater clarity than the Westerners themselves. He or she would be, in general, much more qualified and educated, able to describe reality and to criticize objectively.

In the West, the level of ignorance is truly striking. Knowledge is not a requirement. Only pieces of papers, diplomas, and stamps supplied by the regime, are.

The world desperately needs to hear from The Others. As it needs The Others to get involved, to be themselves, to stop white Western boys from murdering millions and millions of innocent people in all corners of the world, as they have been doing for several centuries without interruption. As it needs the Others to erect new concepts, new ideologies, and new moral principles.

Colonialist, imperialist, racist concepts of North America and Europe are simply not good enough for the world.

In a panic, white Westerners are lately shouting (after Mr. Floyd was murdered by sadistic police, and rebellion erupted all over the world): “It is not about race!”

But notice one thing: it is them, telling us, again, telling the world what it is and what it is not! You would never hear such statements in Africa, the Middle East, or Asia. There, people know perfectly well what it really is all about, whether it is about race or not!

I have just spent two weeks in the United States, analyzing the profound crises of U.S. society. I visited Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York, and Boston. I spoke to many people in all those places. What I witnessed was confusion and total ignorance about the rest of the world. The United States, a country which has been brutalizing our Planet for decades, is absolutely unable to see itself in the context of the entire world. People, including those from the media, are outrageously ignorant and provincial.

And they are selfish.

I asked many times: “Do black lives matter all over the world? Do they matter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and do they matter in West Papua?” I swear, I received no coherent answer.

Somebody has to tell them… Somebody has to force them to open their eyes.

A few years ago, I was invited to Southern California to show my documentary work from Africa (my feature documentary film Rwanda Gambit, about West-triggered genocides in both Rwanda and later in the Democratic Republic of Congo), where millions of black people are dying, in order for the vast majority of the U.S. whites to live in piggish opulence.

But before I was allowed to present, I was warned:

Remember, people here are sensitive… Do not show too much of brutal reality, as it could disturb them…

Hearing that, I almost left the event. Only my respect for the organizer made me stay.

Now I am convinced: it is time to force them to watch; to see rivers of blood, which their laziness, selfishness, and greed have triggered. It is time to force them to hear shouts of the agony of the others.

We can do it: “non-white” reporters from Russia, China, Latin America, and elsewhere. We have images and sounds! It is our people, our brothers and sisters in all parts of the world who are going through unimaginable suffering. And we will do it. And we are beginning doing it already. To hell with the sensitivities of the remote killers who are disguising themselves as fellow victims of capitalism, just because they have to pay student loans and mortgages, or work two jobs! They know absolutely nothing about true horrors and real misery. One day, soon, they will be forced to see and to comprehend.

Western Intellectual Incest

For centuries, Western intellectuals, media people, and propagandists were listening to each other, recycling thoughts of each other, “marrying” each other in a stale, incestuous way. Then they were pushing their discourses, often forcefully, down the throats of all Africans, Asians, in short, “the Others.”

They created a horrid narrative which is predominantly bombastic, self-righteous, false, even out-rightly deceitful.

For years and decades, I have been writing detailed books, giving examples from all corners of the Planet, uncovering this atrocious design. The most complete of them is called Exposing Lies of the Empire and counts with over 800 pages. The second installment is coming in 2021.

At some point, by operating within extremely narrow intellectual margins, white Western culture simply ran out of ideas and out of creativity. It became impotent, self-serving, and unable to offer anything progressive and optimistic to humanity.

But it kept lecturing the world, ‘educating’ or, more precisely, brainwashing all other races and nationalities.

The world has been conditioned the way that without the white Western seals of approval, nothing could move, or succeed, or be taken seriously.

But by now, Western, white culture totally collapsed. It abruptly stopped giving birth to great writers, filmmakers, or thinkers. Asia, Russia, and even parts of Africa like Nigeria and South Africa are now producing much better authors, while Iran, China, and Argentina are giving birth to doubtlessly superior filmmakers.

But it is the West that is distributing awards to its own people and foreign traitors, pretending that it still has the mandate to judge, educate and inspire the world. Its awards, as well as its diplomas, are nothing more than seals of approval given to collaborators; rewards for servitude.

By now, white Western boys know very little. They are in absolute denial. They are ridiculously overrated. In fact, they are finished. They are empty, cynical, over-masturbated, and lazy. They demand all sorts of rights and privileges but know nothing about responsibilities, hard work, and enthusiasm.

White North America and Europe expect the rest of the world to be obedient, submissive, to work hard, supporting the West’s unreasonably high standards of living. This is true for their right-wing as well as for the so-called “progressives” (that is all there really is – as there is virtually no true internationalist Left remaining in the Western countries).

But even the pseudo “left,” which is pathetic, defunct, and actually in love with being obsolete, still dares to judge and scorn those great countries, in which the Communist Parties and internationalist governments are now proudly holding power!

The only reason for such grotesque arrogance is (yes, you are guessing right) the fact that the members of the pseudo-left are white, and they come from Western countries. Which is obviously good enough (for them) to aliment their grandiloquent complexes of superiority.

If it all feels perverse and incestuous, be assured that it actually is.

Of course, this monstrous arrangement of the world has to end soon, very soon. And it will! We will make certain that it will.

*****

For decades and centuries, white Western boys were judging us, the others. They were analyzing us, telling us what to do, how to think, and how to live.

This led to absolute disaster: to genocides, plunder, and slavery; to intellectual and environmental collapses.

The bottom line is: White West has actually absolutely no right to control the world. This fact is becoming more and more obvious.

It is not qualified to lead the world. There are much better political systems then the Western one, as there are much greater cultures.

The only reason why the West is still in control of the Planet is because of its violence, brutality, as well as deceptions.

Violence can be confronted. From now on, it will be. By Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, and other brave countries.

Deceptions have to be challenged, too. We have our media outlets now. And we are using them.

We should not listen to lies anymore. They have been damaging our countries for decades and centuries.

We have to speak. We are obliged to speak! Louder and louder. About our nations, about the world, and the madness of the West.

Now, the West should be forced to listen to our voices.

Our people ought not to be suffering in silence anymore.

Frankly, in the white West, they know nothing or very little about us. While we know a lot, or should I say too much about the West. Actually, we were forced to know but mostly lies. The truth we discovered, but discovered on our own, and often the very hard way.

The oppressed world is waking up. Increasingly, it demands its own people to write and to speak. About our own countries, and also about the West.

We don’t care what the white West thinks about us. We don’t care anymore. More and more of us are spitting on their invitations and on encouragements to betray. We do not need their certificates and their degrees.

We don’t need their money: we have our own media outlets that are beginning to pay for hard and excellent work; in Russia, China, and elsewhere. We have our publishing houses and television stations. Our words are spread all over the internet and airwaves.

This is a new world and a big awakening.

Now we will tell them, straight to the face, about their failed fight against COVID-19 and their botched democracy. We will shame their imperialism, colonialism, empty consumerism, and endemic racism. And we will analyze their uprisings, their oppression, emotional emptiness, and braindead consumerism, using our own reporters, poets, and thinkers.

We will talk about socialism and Communism from our own perspectives, our own way, and whenever we want to! We don’t need their permission.

We don’t need West’s little sarcastic smiles. We are not “whites.” And even if the color of our skin may be, in some cases, pale, we are fighting determinately alongside the oppressed nations, against the sinister ‘club’ of those who have been murdering hundreds of millions of people, as well as all enthusiasm, kindness, and hope on this Planet.

Things are changing rapidly. The Others are rising. The big battle against modern-day slavery and colonialism is on.

Our message is clear: Imperialists, colonialists, settlers, and Western supremacists; shut up, stand back, and listen; we had to listen to you for centuries! Your narrative is empty. And you cannot fool us anymore. We will build our own new world soon: those billions who were nobody in yours will become everything in ours.

Now we are speaking, and for the first time in modern history, there is nothing you can do about it. You will simply have to get used to the sound of our voices!

• First published by UWIDATA

The post Now West should sit on its backside, shut up, and listen to “the others”! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Russia:  Nord Stream 2 vs. Poisoning of Alexei Navalny

Wednesday, 2 September, all German TV channels, mainstream media were focused unilaterally on the alleged Novichok poisoning of Russian opposition critic, Alexei Navalny. This “breaking-news” poison discovery was made in Germany two weeks after he has been flown from Tomsk in Siberia to Moscow, when he fell ill on the plane and the airliner had to return to Tomsk for an emergency landing.

Navalny was hospitalized in Tomsk, put in an artificial coma and closely observed. His family wanted him immediately to be flown out of Russia to Berlin, Germany, to get western attention and western treatment. So, the story goes. At first the medical staff at Tomsk hospital said that Navalny’s health was not stable enough for a transport of this kind. A few days later they gave the green light for flying him to Germany. Berlin sent a hospital plane – at German taxpayer’s cost – to fly the “poisoned” political patient to Berlin, where during the last 14 days he has been in an artificial coma in Berlin’s University Hospital “Charité”. At least that’s what the government reports.

After 11 days, finally “scientists” — supposedly military toxicologists — have discovered that Navalny was poisoned with military grade nerve gas Novichok.

Military grade!  It reminds vividly of the other bizarre Novichok case — Sergei and Yulia Skripal, father and daughter, who were found on March 12, 2018 on a park bench in Salisbury, Britain, unconscious. The location was about 12 km down the road from the British top-secret P-4 security military lab Porton Down in Wiltshire, one of the few labs in the world that still are capable to produce Novichok. The immediate reaction of Britain and the world was then, like today: Putin did it! Sergei Skripal was a Russian double agent, who was released from Russia more than a decade earlier and lived peacefully in England.

What interest would Mr. Putin have to poison him? However, the UK and Big Brother Washington had all the interest in the world to invent yet another reason to bash and slander Russia and President Putin. The same as today with Alexei Navalny.

Isn’t it strange that the Skripals as well as Navalny survived? And that after having been poisoned with what military experts claim to be the deadliest nerve agent ever? Although nobody has seen the Skripals after they were hospitalized 2 years ago, it seems they are still alive. Were they perhaps given US-British shelter under the guise of the so-called US-witness protection program – a full new identity, hiding in plain view?

The immediate question was then and is today, why would Mr. Putin poison his adversaries? That would be the most unwise thing to do. Everybody knows much too well that Mr. Putin is the world’s foremost perceptive, incisive and diplomatic statesman. Alexei Navalny wasn’t even a serious contender. His popularity was less than 5%. Compare this with Mr. Putin’s close to 80% approval rating by the Russian population. Navalny is known as a right wing activist and troublemaker. Anybody who suggests such an absurdity, that the Kremlin would poison Navalny, is outright crazy.

If there would have been a plot to get rid of Navalny – why would he be poisoned with the deadliest nerve gas there is – and, as he survives, being allowed to be flown out to the west, literally into the belly of the beast? That would be even more nonsensical.

Yet the mainstream media keep hammering it down without mercy, without even allowing for the slightest doubt, down into the brains of the suspected brainwashed Germans and world populations. But the German population is the least brainwashed of all Europe. In fact, Germans are the most awakened of the globe’s western populace. It clearly shows when they resist their government’s (and the 193 nations governments’ around the world) Covid tyranny with a peaceful Berlin protest of 1 August of 1.3 million people in the streets and a similar one on 29 August.

Nevertheless, Madame Merkel’s reaction was so ferocious on September 2 on TV and with the media, as well as talking to leaders from around the world on how to react to this latest Russian atrocity and how to punish and sanction President Putin, that even conservative politicians and some mainstream journalists started wondering – what’s going on?

It’s a debateless accusation of Russia. There is no shred of evidence and there are no alternatives being considered. The simplest and most immediate question one ought to ask in such circumstances is “cui bono” – who benefits?  But no. The answer to this question would clearly show that President Putin and Russia do not benefit from this alleged poisoning at all. So, who does?

The evolving situation is so absurd that not a single word coming out of the German Government can be believed. It all sounds like a flagrant lie; like an evil act of smearing Russia without a reason, and that exactly at the time when Europe, led by Germany, was about to improve relations with Russia. The gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is a vivid testimony for closer relations between Germany, and by association Europe, with Russia – or is it?

One of Joseph Goebbels’ (Hitler’s propaganda Minister) famous sayings was, when a lie is repeated enough it becomes the truth.

Peculiarly enough, and without any transit-thought, the German right wing, the CDU-party, in particular, came immediately forward with recommending – no, demanding – an immediate halt of the Nord Stream 2 project – canceling the contract with Russia. The “biggest punishment” for Putin. “It will hurt Russia deep in their already miserable down-trodden economy”, were some comments. Those were angry anti-Russian voices. Another lie. The Russian economy is doing well, very well, as compared to most western economies, despite Covid.

What do Russian health and toxicology authorities say, especially those who treated Mr. Navalny in the hospital of Tomsk?

RT reports, according to Alexander Sabaev, the chief toxicologist who cared for him in Siberia, if Alexey Navalny’s condition were caused by a substance from the ‘Novichok’ group, the people accompanying him should also be suffering from the fallout. Instead, Dr. Sabaev believes that Navalny’s condition was caused by an “internal trigger mechanism.” Novichok is an organophosphorus compound, and, due to its high toxicity, it is not possible to poison just one person. He explained, “As a rule, other accompanying people will also be affected.”

Doctors in the Tomsk Emergency Hospital, where activist Navalny lay in a coma for almost two days, found no traces of toxic substances in his kidneys, liver, or lungs.  Alexander Sabaev, leading the investigation, concluded that Navalny was not poisoned.

So why was Dr. Alexander Sabaev not interviewed on German TV or by the western mainstream media?

Neither were members of other German parties interviewed, for example, Die Linke (the Left), or the SPD – the Social Democratic Party. None.  None of the medical doctors or “scientists” who were treating Alexei Navalny at Charité, and who allegedly discovered the deadly poison (but not deadly enough) in Navalny’s body, were interviewed.

Nor was the former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (Ms. Merkel’s predecessor, 1998-2005) interviewed about his opinion. Schroeder, a member of the SPD, is one of the master minds of Nord Stream 2 and is currently the chairman of the board of Nord Stream AG and of Rosneft. Would he think that Mr. Putin was as foolish as to kill this German-Russia unifying project by poisoning a right-wing activist, a non-adversary?

Of course not.

Therefore, who benefits?

The United States has for years been objecting vividly and voraciously against this pipeline. Trump: “Why should we pay for NATO to defend Germany, when Germany buys gas from Russia and makes herself dependent on Russia?” – He added, “We offer Germany and Europe all the gas and energy they need.” Yes, the US is offering “fracking gas” at much higher cost than the Russian gas. There are countries in Europe whose Constitution would not allow buying fracking gas, due to the environmentally damaging fracking process.

Is it possible that this was another one of those brilliant acts of the CIA or other US intelligence agencies?  Or a combination of CIA and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (German Federal Intelligence Service) or an EU-NATO trick? By now it’s no longer a secret that NATO runs Brussels, or at least calls the shots on issues of US interests concerning the European Union or its member states.

Is it possible that Angela Merkel was chosen by the deep-deep state to combat President Putin and Russia, this time by bashing and smearing them with lies – lies as gross as poisoning an opposition activist? To kill the pipeline? What will it be next time?

Today, the first time, official Germany through Mr. Heiko Haas, Foreign Minister, has questioned and threatened the Nord Stream 2 German-Russian joint venture – “if Moscow does not collaborate.” Mr. Haas knows very well there is nothing to collaborate, as Russia was not involved. It is the same argument, if Moscow does not collaborate (in the case of the Skripals) that was used by Theresa May, then British PM, to punish Russia with further sanctions.

Indeed, all is possible in today’s world, where the Washington empire is faltering by the day and the Powers that Be are desperate that their international fraud base – the US-dollar – may be disappearing. Because, not only are Nord Stream 1 and 2 delivering Russian gas to Germany and Europe, but the gas is traded in euros and rubles and not in US-dollars.

Think about it. Killing (or – so far – poisoning) a Russian opposition leader to demolish the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 project?  This is certainly a crime within the realm and “competence” of the US Government and its western allies.

* First published by the New Eastern Outlook – NEO

The post Russia:  Nord Stream 2 vs. Poisoning of Alexei Navalny first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Neverending Holocausts of the Neoliberal Order

Biochemist, writer, humanitarian activist, and artist, Gideon Polya has had a selection of his essays gathered into a compendium titled US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide (Korsgaard Publishing, 2020). The compendium is important because it brings to the forefront, for anyone who cares an iota for peace and social justice, the horrible crimes of the “mendacious and politically dominant neoliberal One Percenters” wreaking holocausts and genocides. Polya draws a distinction between the two in that while both involve a massive number of killings, genocides are carried out with an “intent to destroy.” For me, these two are synonymous and interchangeable because, where it concerns militarism, who ever heard of an unintentional holocaust? When the fatalities become so huge, it must be that the killers are aware of what they are doing; ergo, there is intent in the killings.1

Polya does not write in euphemistic niceties. He speaks straight to the matter and sees it as crucial to honesty, and such honesty is needed to bring to an end the holocausts. Accordingly, he is highly critical of the state and corporate media for lies of commission and lies of omission. The latter he considers more insidious because what is unstated cannot be refuted. Effectively, the state and corporate media is complicit in the history of genocides up to today.

The genocides are many. Some are arcane and while enormous, many people will never have heard of them; e.g., the Bengali Holocaust where, from 1943 to 1945, 6-7 million Indians perished under the auspices of the racist genocidaire Winston Churchill, and the WWII Chinese holocaust whereby Japanese invaders put 35 million Chinese to death.

Polya examines the genocides in separate chapters from Bengal to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Palestine, India, and of the Rohingya forced out of Myanmar — and many more in the text. A superfluity of the genocides are targeted at Muslims. Genocides are not merely carried out through warring and physical violence. Polya also addresses the opiate holocaust, the air pollution holocaust, and the climate genocide. Polya also finds that the International Criminal Court is complicit as a bystander to genocides, describing it as “a cowardly, racist, degenerate and look-the-other-way organization… a holocaust-ignoring and genocide-ignoring organization…” (p 143)

Polya addresses global avoidable mortality: “The post-1950 excess mortality has been 1.3 billion for the World, 1.2 billion for the non-European World and 0.6 billion for the Muslim World…” (p 10) Polya does not shirk from criticizing his home country of genocide in the millenial homeland of Aborigines (“Australia — a nation that has exterminated all but 50 of 250 Indigenous languages and Aboriginal nations, with the rest at great risk” [p 32]) and abroad, along with much of the West. The author identifies the lead war criminal as “the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims (aka the US War on Terror)…” (p 19)

Readers are informed that the United States, which was born out of a genocide against Indigenous nations, has invaded 70 countries since independence in 1776. The current US-waged genocide against Muslims, argues the professor, is rooted in the US false flag of 9-11. In Iraq, this led to 1.5 million violent deaths and another 0.8 million avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation. Polya calculates 34 million avoidable deaths in 20 countries post-9-11.

Throughout the book, Polya provides and explains statistics and footnotes (unfortunately, there is no index) to the wars, killings, and excess mortality in country after country. The statistics provide a revealing and necessary lens on imperialist insouciance to the lives of Others. At times the presentation of stats is irksome because of over-repetition, as is the excessive iteration of the Genocide Convention. Editing would have helped to eliminate repetitive reading of parts of the book.

By encouraging the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the US has unleashed addiction around the world, even in the US. Polya charged, “Presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been the worst drug pushers in history since Great Britain’s Queen Victoria …” (p 127) Iran, which shares a long border with Afghanistan, has been particularly burdened by the opium trade. Yet it is responsible for 75% of the world’s opium seizures and 25% of the world’s morphine and heroin seizures. (p 126) Nonetheless, the US-imposed opiate holocaust has killed 33,000 Iranians and 5.2 million worldwide. (p 123)

Although the genocides are US-imposed, the Jewish/Celtic Australian author takes a harsh aim at his home country and the Jewish state. He writes of “the ongoing Aboriginal genocide in which some two million Indigenous Australians have died untimely deaths…” (p 233) In 1778, there were 350-759 different Aboriginal tribes whereas only 150 survive today with all except 20 endangered. (p 233)

The author decries “the ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine by a nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel.” (p 340)

Polya notes Jewish-assisted genocide extends beyond killing Palestinians. “Apartheid Israel is intimately involved in Aung San Suu Kyi-led Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide … the Maya Indian Genocide in Guatemala, the Sri-Lankan Tamil Genocide, the South Sudan Civil War, the Syrian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide and the ongoing, endless Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide.” (p 247)

Polya is scathing in his denunciation of Zionism: “Zionism is egregious, genocidal racism and racist Zionists and all their supporters should be sidelined from public life, as have other racists such as neo-Nazis, Nazis, Apartheiders and the Klu Klux Klan.” (p 248)

And, holy genocidal complicity Batman, the US taxpayers have bankrolled Israel to the tune of $40 trillion in today’s dollars! (p 302)

Polya offers solutions, among them enacting BDS, exposing journalists who omit genocides, a 4% annual global wealth tax that would wipe out avoidable deaths globally, mandatory inclusion of externalities in the pricing of goods and services, and replacing neoliberalism with social humanism. Neoliberalism, writes Polya, is a “ruthless ideology … ultimately responsible for the carnage of the ongoing, 21st century Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide …” (p 356)

People genuinely in support of a world of peace and social justice should be informed of the horrendous crimes humans commit against other humans. Read US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide and become informed. Readers may be skeptical of the numbers that Polya presents and the methodology, but the killings are real.

Informed people must speak out about the evil, racist criminality of destroying swaths of humans. Polya exhorts readers: “Silence kills and silence is complicity.”

  1. Thus, while Polya differentiates, I will use either of the terms, holocaust and genocide, interchangeably in this review.

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“Warrior” Steve Bannon arrested as Trump’s America is Crumbling

It often happens this way: extreme right-wingers, or call them ‘ultra-conservatives,’ either in the United States or Europe, suddenly fall from grace, after committing the most heinous crimes. Sometimes it is child abuse or sexual harassment, but most of the time, it is a corruption of tremendous proportions.

In theory, in their own theory, it is not supposed to be this way. Listen to the conservatives, and they will tell you that they are there in order to uphold law and order, as well as the traditional culture of their countries.

But the reality is often very far from the theory.

Steve Bannon has fallen. He has fallen hard, flat on his face. But definitely not as hard, as others would fall, would they commit crimes of similar magnitude.

Steve Bannon was actually not caught and charged with trying to ignite the WWIII or conspiring to overthrow the left-wing governments all over the world. He was not charged with an attempt to destroy China.

He was arrested ‘only’ on charges of ‘defrauding investors,’ together with his cohort Brian Kolfage.

On 28 August, CNN reported:

Kolfage was arrested last week, along with Bannon and two others, and charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with defrauding investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars a project pledging to construct a wall along the southern U.S. border. He is due to be arraigned on the charges on Monday in a video court appearance.

In February 2020, I wrote for this magazine [NEO}:

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.

Or, as even some of the Western mainstream media outlets defined it – a modern ‘gladiator’s school.’ The monastery was supposed to offer “classes,” which Bannon described as “the kind of underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West.”

That, for already quite some time, means ‘insulting and antagonizing China,’ as well as several other nations which the Western extremist and often openly racist ideologues have been depicting as hostile to the U.S. and European hegemonic interests.

Some of those who oppose Bannon’s radical political stands are now bringing vast charges against him, both legal and moral, and such charges are ranging from pushing the United States towards the war with the People’s Republic of China to interfering with internal affairs of other countries, including those in Europe. There are other, unsavory accusations against the former White House strategist and a close ally of President Donald Trump: child abuse and enormous corruption.

The question is: how could the individual against whom so many accusative fingers are pointed, survive at the top of the establishment for so many years, in so many different roles and positions?

Yes, he gets kicked out from places: first from the White House, then from the “gladiator boot camp,” and finally from the luxury yacht belonging to an anti-Beijing apostate. But somehow, he always manages to bounce back. Until now. Hopefully, for not much longer.

*****

Alarms should have been ringing for so many years. But were they? If yes, no one has been paying much attention. As early as in 2016, even an extreme right-wing FOX News picked up Associated Press report which was accusing Bannon of anti-Semitism:

In a sworn court declaration following their divorce, Piccard said her ex-husband had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”

He said he doesn’t like Jews…

In August 2019, Mail Online raised an alarming issue, connecting Mr. Bannon with an accused child sex trafficker George Nader:

A convicted pedophile visited Donald Trump’s White House on at least 13 different occasions in 2017 to meet with then-chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to leaked visitor logs.

George Nader, who has been convicted of sexually abusing young boys and is now in federal prison awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, first visited Bannon in the White House in February 2017, the month after Trump’s inauguration, the Washington Examiner reported.

After that, he kept visiting Bannon, who had a West Wing office yards from the Oval Office, the leaked visitor logs revealed, but it isn’t clear if he entertained Nader in his office or somewhere else in the White House.

The revelation raises serious questions about how a convicted pedophile could be allowed entry repeatedly to the White House. The Secret Service is responsible for carrying out background checks of all visitors.

The “revelation” also raises questions about whether there have been two tiers of justice: one for the common U.S. citizens, and another one for those who are levitating in the highest spheres of mainly right-wing power.

Steve Bannon was also apparently giving false testimonies under oath, related to the Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

And if one would think that Steve Bannon is ‘only’ anti-Semitic, then what about his deep allergy towards the Muslims; and the support for the Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” and keeping out from the United States all those “bad people” (meaning non-whites and non-Christians)? His obsession with the wall between the U.S. and Mexico is, of course, related to the “topic.”

*****

But who would be Steve Bannon without China? He is hatred impersonated against China.

As for his fellow right-wing crusaders, like Peter Navarro, Marco Rubio, and Mike Pompeo, China is always ‘there,’ in the middle of vile speeches, dragged through the dirt, belittled.

Steeper and faster is a decline of the American Eagle, more confident is an ascend of the Chinese Dragon, louder, more desperate, and bizarre is the anti-Chinese rhetoric of the pro-Western warriors, led by Steve Bannon and his mates.

On 08 June 2020, AntiWar.com described something that would be unimaginable just several years ago, but what is turning into a norm, under the present White House administration:

New Yorkers looked to the sky in puzzlement the night of 03 June as a fleet of airplanes circled New York Harbor with banners that read “Congratulations New Federal State of China.” Behind the bizarre stunt was exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. The duo deemed the Chinese Communist Party illegitimate and declared a new state of China from a boat floating in front of the Statue of Liberty.

In a live stream, Guo and Bannon read the Chinese and English versions of “A Declaration of the New Federal State of China,” a document that lays out their fantastical plan to take out the CCP and form a Western-style democracy in China. The live stream aired in China on 04 June, which marked the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown in Beijing. “The Chinese Communist Party is a terrorist organization funded by the Communist International which has subverted the legitimate Chinese government in the past,” the document declares.

Would this be done the other way around, like if the People’s Republic of China declared the United States of America a terrorist genocidal and illegitimate state, because it exterminated most of its native population, forced slaves from Africa onto its territory, and then massacred tens of millions of people on all continents of the world, that would be surely considered a declaration of war. But obviously, the U.S. and its leadership are truly ‘spoiled’; they are used to getting away, literally, with a murder. Or with a war.

Steve Bannon has been twisting the narrative on basically everything that is related to China, from Xinjiang to the South China Sea, an extremist religious cult such as Falun Gong, recent historical events, Chinese Revolution, and the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He and his cohorts are fanatically anti-Communist, as they are outrageously racist.

The danger of Bannon lies in the fact that he is an integral part of the extreme right-wing network, which is now spreading from Europe to India, from North and South America to Asia. He is its product, as well as its maker.

Whoever is confronting China is his ally: from India’s Modi to Donald Trump.

Or all those West-backed rioters and the anti-Beijing individuals like Elmer Yuen Gong Yi. In fact, the Hong Kong riots are direct results of the activities of Steve Bannon and his mates.

If they are not stopped, there really may be a war. But that does not frighten Steve Bannon. He has nothing against a war. He desired a war. He is igniting it. Like the crusaders of the middle ages, he thrives on expansions and the conflicts.

Forbes reported, somehow sarcastically, on 20 August 2020:

The yacht former white house senior advisor Steve Bannon was arrested on recently is the 152-foot-long Feadship Lady May that’s reportedly owned by Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire who has business ties with Bannon. And it’s for sale.

It is all very symbolic. It is shocking.

But at least the man who did so much harm to the world, and who has been pushing his country towards direct confrontation with the most populous nation on earth, is under arrest, although presently released on $5 million bail.

Associated Press reported on 24 August 2020:

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres said President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist can appear in her court along with three co-defendants on a video screen because of the health threat posed by the coronavirus.

A lenient treatment. But logical; shockingly, Mr. Bannon is not seen as a delinquent by the U.S. establishment. To many, he is just a pro-Western, pro-Christian, pro-right-wing warrior. As he himself so proudly declares he is.

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

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Good Riddance: Facebook Threats and News Opportunities

News and information can only go so far.  Despite the utopian fluffiness about having multiple platforms, the consumers of news want only one thing: the reassurance that their prejudice is secure and their world view left unchallenged.   The reader of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun would dare not venture into the sinned waters of The Guardian.  Those of The Guardian would argue that readership was an oxymoronic term when used for the Sun.

Facebook did nothing to cure this.  It simply secured an easy avenue for having pre-cooked material, tailored with its platform, available for outlets wishing to furnish them with content.  Through its algorithmic tyranny, it has assisted in reducing users to a standard conformist imbecility.  Using Facebook for news, which it admittedly does not create, is using a low grade heroin for affirmation, a junkie’s form of denial.  It offers little by way of redemption: you are encouraged, through your habitual likes and visits, to simply ingest the same hog feed.

Like Google, Facebook is facing Australia’s proposed draft media bargaining code with concern and threat.  The draft legislation proposes to involve government regulators in the relationship the company has with news sharing and largely arose because of foot dragging by the digital giants in negotiations with Australian regulators.  While Facebook News, a service that pays approved publishers, was established in the United States, no Australian equivalent was forthcoming.

Taking the voluntary element out of proceedings, an impatient Australian Consumer and Competition Commission decided to produce a mandatory code on revenue distribution.  It romantically and mystifyingly, envisages Australian news outlets, “including independent community and regional media”, getting “a seat at the table for fair negotiations with Facebook and Google.”

The response from Facebook’s Australian managing director Will Easton is a stab at being ominous.  “Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram.  This is not our first choice – it is our last.”

The news field is bedevilled by unsympathetic characters.  Remember the now defunct News of the World, the world’s finest lavatory reading?  The Leveson Inquiry?  Few should feel for such giants as News Corp, whose contribution to the news effort, including bankrupting the integrity of the Fourth Estate, has left a dubious, often sordid legacy.  Murdoch has, over the years, smacked his lips at the prospect of making Facebook pay for the content of his outlets, which he regards almost whimsically as meritorious.  In 2018, he suggested that, if the company wanted “to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies”.  Comically enough, he claimed that such publishers “are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content” but not being adequately remunerated for them.

A government policy favouring such a beast is worthy of scepticism and the spectre of News Corp sitting at the table with Facebook is a spectacle of disturbing hilarity.  But Facebook’s relationship with news is also fraught, contending with claims that its platform permits all sorts of matter, masquerading as news, to make its way through the feed.  This is a point media organisations such as Nine never tire of reminding the company of, claiming itself to be a provider of “reliable news content to balance the fake news that proliferates on [Facebook’s] platform.”  The University of Canberra’s 2020 Digital News Report also found that some 36 per cent of Australians were “most worried about misinformation” on Facebook.

The company is also being rather selective whenever it becomes the news.  Take the way Easton describes the consequences of following the proposed code, the most galling of all being that Facebook will supposedly have to pay for all shared news content.  But not every item of news will necessarily require payment (heaven forfend).  In some cases, the value is bound to be negligible.  The ACCC acknowledges that “Facebook already pays some media for news content. The code simply aims to bring fairness and transparency to Facebook and Google’s relationships with Australian news media businesses.”

The language of Easton’s statement is also reminiscent of dictatorial benevolence: We support local news outlets, “particularly local newspapers”; “we recognize that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy”, though our “News Feed is not a significant source of revenue for us.”  The Facebook News Feed generated gratis “additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers.”

The question now on the lips of news sharers is whether Facebook will make good its threat.  The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is feeling bolshie about it all.  “We don’t respond to coercion or heavy-handed threats wherever they come from.”  Former ACCC chairman Allan Fels is unworried, proposing that the government deploy a weapon far more discomforting to the Silicon Valley giants.  “They could drop the code and just apply a tax – a general tax on digital transactions.  And the platforms have far more to lose from that.”

Some users will feel the digital pinch.  The Digital News Report claims that 39 percent of Australians use Facebook for news in the general category (the global average being 42 percent); 49 percent have done so for news specific to COVID-19. But in the jungle of punditland, views vary.  Business law academic Rob Nicholls shifts the emphasis back to the news producers themselves.  Should Facebook bar its sharing services, he writes in The Conversation, “it will potentially lead to very uncompelling content on both Facebook and Instagram.  Can you imagine Instagram or Facebook without the ABC or Australian news sources?”

Facebook, Nicholls also reasons, clearly misunderstands the nature of mandatory industry codes.  Akin to a franchising code of conduct that acknowledges the power imbalance between franchisors and franchisees, the ACCC legislation recognises the same “for news media businesses and social media platforms.”

Easton, should the threat be made good, will be returning Facebook to what it once was: the social network of old created by dysfunctional anti-social types desperate to be loved.  “Facebook products and services in Australia that allow family and friends to connect will not be impacted by this decision.”  They just will be barred from sharing news on it, which, in the scheme of things, might not be such an awful thing.

Time, then, to get inventive.  Go back to libraries. (Where and when you can.)  Subscribe to a range of other news outlets directly.  Encourage them to deliver news instead of being the news.  Cut out the niggling middleman and go for the source, be it via app, or email subscription.  There is even some research suggesting that this is already taking place.  James Meese and Edward Hurcombe have identified “a renewed focus on subscriptions”.  Older media companies have also noticed readers visiting their publication home pages, challenging “the idea that [they] depend totally on Facebook.”  Facebook was never a deity but whatever it is, the time has come to well and truly demote it.

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For Years, Journalists cheered Assange’s Abuse: Now They’ve Paved his Path to a US Gulag

Court hearings in Britain over the US administration’s extradition case against Julian Assange begin in earnest next week. The decade-long saga that brought us to this point should appall anyone who cares about our increasingly fragile freedoms.

A journalist and publisher has been deprived of his liberty for 10 years. According to UN experts, he has been arbitrarily detained and tortured for much of that time through intense physical confinement and endless psychological pressure. He has been bugged and spied on by the CIA during his time in political asylum, in Ecuador’s London embassy, in ways that violated his most fundamental legal rights. The judge overseeing his hearings has a serious conflict of interest – with her family embedded in the UK security services – that she did not declare and which should have required her to recuse herself from the case.

 

All indicators are that Assange will be extradited to the US to face a rigged grand jury trial meant to ensure he sees out his days in a maximum-security prison, serving a sentence of up to 175 years.

None of this happened in some Third-World, tinpot dictatorship. It happened right under our noses, in a major western capital, and in a state that claims to protect the rights of a free press. It happened not in the blink of an eye but in slow motion – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

And once we strip out a sophisticated campaign of character assassination against Assange by western governments and a compliant media, the sole justification for this relentless attack on press freedom is that a 49-year-old man published documents exposing US war crimes. That is the reason – and the only reason – that the US is seeking his extradition and why he has been languishing in what amounts to solitary confinement in Belmarsh high-security prison during the Covid-19 pandemic. His lawyers’ appeals for bail have been refused.

Severed head on a pike

While the press corps abandoned Assange a decade ago, echoing official talking points that pilloried him over toilet hygiene and his treatment of his cat, Assange is today exactly where he originally predicted he would be if western governments got their way. What awaits him is rendition to the US so he can be locked out of sight for the rest of his life.

There were two goals the US and UK set out to achieve through the visible persecution, confinement and torture of Assange.

First, he and Wikileaks, the transparency organisation he co-founded, needed to be disabled. Engaging with Wikileaks had to be made too risky to contemplate for potential whistleblowers. That is why Chelsea Manning – the US soldier who passed on documents relating to US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan for which Assange now faces extradition – was similarly subjected to harsh imprisonment. She later faced punitive daily fines while in jail to pressure her into testifying against Assange.

The aim has been to discredit Wikileaks and similar organisations and stop them from being able to publish more revelatory documents – of the kind that show western governments are not the “good guys” managing world affairs for the benefit of mankind, but are, in fact, highly militarised, global bullies advancing the same ruthless colonial policies of war, destruction and pillage they always pursued.

And second, Assange had to be made to suffer horribly and in public – to be made an example of – to deter other journalists from ever considering following in his footsteps. He is the modern equivalent of a severed head on a pike displayed at the city gates.

The very obvious fact – confirmed by the media coverage of his case – is that this strategy, advanced chiefly by the US and UK (with Sweden playing a lesser role), has been wildly successful. Most corporate media journalists are still enthusiastically colluding in the vilification of Assange – mainly at this stage by ignoring his awful plight.

Story hiding in plain sight

When he hurried into Ecuador’s embassy back in 2012, seeking political asylum, journalists from every corporate media outlet ridiculed his claim – now, of course, fully vindicated – that he was evading US efforts to extradite him and lock him away for good. The media continued with their mockery even as evidence mounted that a grand jury had been secretly convened to draw up espionage charges against him and that it was located in the eastern district of Virginia, where the major US security and intelligence services are headquartered. Any jury there is dominated by US security personnel and their families. His hope of a fair trial was non-existent.

Instead we have endured eight years of misdirection by the corporate media and its willing complicity in his character assassination, which has laid the ground for the current public indifference to Assange’s extradition and widespread ignorance of its horrendous implications.

Corporate journalists have accepted, entirely at face value, a series of rationalisations for why the interests of justice have been served by locking Assange away indefinitely – even before his extradition – and trampling his most basic legal rights. The other side of the story – Assange’s, the story hiding in plain sight – has invariably been missing from the coverage, whether it has been CNN, the New York Times, the BBC or the Guardian.

From Sweden to Clinton

First, it was claimed that Assange had fled questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden, even though it was the Swedish authorities who allowed him to leave; even though the original Swedish prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the investigation against him, saying “There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever”, before it was picked up by a different prosecutor for barely concealed, politicised reasons; and even though Assange later invited Swedish prosectors to question him where he was (in the embassy), an option they regularly agreed to in other cases but resolutely refused in his.

It was not just that none of these points was ever provided as context for the Sweden story by the corporate media. Or that much else in Assange’s favour was simply ignored, such as tampered evidence in the case of one of the two women who alleged sexual assault and the refusal of the other to sign the rape statement drawn up for her by police.

The story was also grossly and continuously misreported as relating to “rape charges” when Assange was wanted simply for questioning. No charges were ever laid against him because the second Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny – and her British counterparts, including Sir Keir Starmer, then head of the prosecution service and now leader of the Labour party – seemingly wished to avoid testing the credibility of their allegations by actually questioning Assange. Leaving him to rot in a small room in the embassy served their purposes much better.

When the Sweden case fizzled out – when it became clear that the original prosecutor had been right to conclude that there was no evidence to justify further questioning, let alone charges – the political and media class shifted tack.

Suddenly Assange’s confinement was implicitly justified for entirely different, political reasons – because he had supposedly aided Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign in 2016 by publishing emails, allegedly “hacked” by Russia, from the Democratic party’s servers. The content of those emails, obscured in the coverage at the time and largely forgotten now, revealed corruption by Hillary Clinton’s camp and efforts to sabotage the party’s primaries to undermine her rival for the presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Guardian fabricates a smear

Those on the authoritarian right have shown little concern over Assange’s lengthy confinement in the embassy, and later jailing in Belmarsh, for his exposure of US war crimes, which is why little effort has been expended on winning them over. The demonisation campaign against Assange has focused instead on issues that are likely to trigger liberals and the left, who might otherwise have qualms about jettisoning the First Amendment and locking people up for doing journalism.

Just as the Swedish allegations, despite their non-investigation, tapped into the worst kind of kneejerk identity politics on the left, the “hacked” emails story was designed to alienate the Democratic party base. Extraordinarily, the claim of Russian hacking persists even though years later – and after a major “Russiagate” inquiry by Robert Mueller – it still cannot be stood up with any actual evidence. In fact, some of those closest to the matter, such as former UK ambassador Craig Murray, have insisted all along that the emails were not hacked by Russia but were leaked by a disenchanted Democratic party insider.

An even more important point, however, is that a transparency organisation like Wikileaks had no choice, after it was handed those documents, but to expose abuses by the Democratic party – whoever was the source.

The reason that Assange and Wikileaks became entwined in the Russiagate fiasco – which wasted the energies of Democratic party supporters on a campaign against Trump that actually strengthened rather than weakened him – was because of the credulous coverage, once again, of the issue by almost the entire corporate media. Liberal outlets like the Guardian newspaper even went so far as to openly fabricate a story – in which it falsely reported that a Trump aide, Paul Manafort, and unnamed “Russians” secretly visited Assange in the embassy – without repercussion or retraction.

Assange’s torture ignored

All of this made possible what has happened since. After the Swedish case evaporated and there were no reasonable grounds left for not letting Assange walk free from the embassy, the media suddenly decided in chorus that a technical bail violation was grounds enough for his continuing confinement in the embassy – or, better still, his arrest and jailing. That breach of bail, of course, related to Assange’s decision to seek asylum in the embassy, based on a correct assessment that the US planned to demand his extradition and imprisonment.

None of these well-paid journalists seemed to remember that, in British law, failure to meet bail conditions is permitted if there is “reasonable cause” – and fleeing political persecution is very obviously just such a reasonable cause.

 

Similarly, the media wilfully ignored the conclusions of a report by Nils Melzer, a Swiss scholar of international law and the United Nations’ expert on torture, that the UK, US and Sweden had not only denied Assange his basic legal rights but had colluded in subjecting him to years of psychological torture – a form of torture, Melzer has pointed out, that was refined by the Nazis because it was found to be crueller and more effective at breaking victims than physical torture.

Assange has been blighted by deteriorating health and cognitive decline as a result, and has lost significant weight. None of that has been deemed worthy by the corporate media of more than a passing mention – specifically when Assange’s poor health made him incapable of attending a court hearing. Instead Melzer’s repeated warnings about Assange’s abusive treatment and its effects on him have fallen on deaf ears. The media has simply ignored Melzer’s findings, as though they were never published, that Assange has been, and is being, tortured. We need only pause and imagine how much coverage Melzer’s report would have received had it concerned the treatment of a dissident in an official enemy state like Russia or China.

 

A power-worshipping media

Last year British police, in coordination with an Ecuador now led by a president, Lenin Moreno, who craved closer ties with Washington, stormed the embassy to drag Assange out and lock him up in Belmarsh prison. In their coverage of these events, journalists again played dumb.

They had spent years first professing the need to “believe women” in the Assange case, even if it meant ignoring evidence, and then proclaiming the sanctity of bail conditions, even if they were used simply as a pretext for political persecution. Now that was all swept aside in an instant. Suddenly Assange’s nine years of confinement over a non-existent sexual assault investigation and a minor bail infraction were narratively replaced by an espionage case. And the media lined up against him once again.

A decade ago the idea that Assange could be extradited to the US and locked up for the rest of his life, his journalism recast as “espionage”, was mocked as so improbable, so outrageously unlawful that no “mainstream” journalist was prepared to countenance it as the genuine reason for his seeking asylum in the embassy. It was derided as a figment of the fevered, paranoid imaginations of Assange and his supporters, and as a self-serving cover for him to avoid facing the investigation in Sweden.

But when British police invaded the embassy in April last year and arrested him for extradition to the US on precisely the espionage charges Assange had always warned were going to be used against him, journalists reported these developments as though they were oblivious to this backstory. The media erased this context not least because it would have made them look like willing dupes of US propaganda, like apologists for US exceptionalism, and because it would have proved Assange right once more. It would have demonstrated that he is the real journalist, in contrast to their pacified, complacent, power-worshipping corporate journalism.

The death of journalism 

Right now every journalist in the world ought to be up in arms, protesting at the abuses Assange is suffering, and has suffered, and the fate he will endure if extradition is approved. They should be protesting on front pages and in TV news shows the endless and blatant abuses of legal process at Assange’s hearings in the British courts, including the gross conflict of interest of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the judge presiding over his case.

They should be in uproar at the surveillance the CIA illegally arranged inside the Ecuadorian embassy while Assange was confined there, nullifying the already dishonest US case against him by violating his client-lawyer privilege. They should be expressing outrage at Washington’s manoeuvres, accorded a thin veneer of due process by the British courts, designed to extradite him on espionage charges for doing work that lies at the very heart of what journalism claims to be – holding the powerful to account.

Journalists do not need to care about Assange or like him. They have to speak out in protest because approval of his extradition will mark the official death of journalism. It will mean that any journalist in the world who unearths embarrassing truths about the US, who discovers its darkest secrets, will need to keep quiet or risk being jailed for the rest of their lives.

That ought to terrify every journalist. But it has had no such effect.

Careers and status, not truth

The vast majority of western journalists, of course, never uncover one significant secret from the centres of power in their entire professional careers – even those ostensibly monitoring those power centres. These journalists repackage press releases and lobby briefings, they tap sources inside government who use them as a conduit to the large audiences they command, and they relay gossip and sniping from inside the corridors of power.

That is the reality of access journalism that constitutes 99 per cent of what we call political news.

Nonetheless, Assange’s abandonment by journalists – the complete lack of solidarity as one of their number is persecuted as flagrantly as dissidents once sent to the gulags – should depress us. It means not only that journalists have abandoned any pretence that they do real journalism, but that they have also renounced the aspiration that it be done by anyone at all.

It means that corporate journalists are ready to be viewed with even greater disdain by their audiences than is already the case. Because through their complicity and silence, they have sided with governments to ensure that anyone who truly holds power to account, like Assange, will end up behind bars. Their own freedom brands them as a captured elite – irrefutable evidence that they serve power, they do not confront it.

The only conclusion to be drawn is that corporate journalists care less about the truth than they do about their careers, their salaries, their status, and their access to the rich and powerful. As Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky explained long ago in their book Manufacturing Consent, journalists join a media class after lengthy education and training processes designed to weed out those not reliably in sympathy with the ideological interests of their corporate employers.

A sacrificial offering

Briefly, Assange raised the stakes for all journalists by renouncing their god – “access” – and their modus operandi of revealing occasional glimpses of very partial truths offered up by “friendly”, and invariably anonymous, sources who use the media to settle scores with rivals in the centres of power.

Instead, through whistleblowers, Assange rooted out the unguarded, unvarnished, full-spectrum truth whose exposure helped no one in power – only us, the public, as we tried to understand what was being done, and had been done, in our names. For the first time, we could see just how ugly, and often criminal, the behaviour of our leaders was.

Assange did not just expose the political class, he exposed the media class too – for their feebleness, for their hypocrisy, for their dependence on the centres of power, for their inability to criticise a corporate system in which they were embedded.

Few of them can forgive Assange that crime. Which is why they will be there cheering on his extradition, if only through their silence.  A few liberal writers will wait till it is too late for Assange, till he has been packaged up for rendition, to voice half-hearted, mealy-mouthed or agonised columns arguing that, unpleasant as Assange supposedly is, he did not deserve the treatment the US has in store for him.

But that will be far too little, far too late. Assange needed solidarity from journalists and their media organisations long ago, as well as full-throated denunciations of his oppressors. He and Wikileaks were on the front line of a war to remake journalism, to rebuild it as a true check on the runaway power of our governments. Journalists had a chance to join him in that struggle. Instead they fled the battlefield, leaving him as a sacrificial offering to their corporate masters.

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