Category Archives: Germany

The Approaching Storm

So, it looks like GloboCap isn’t going to be happy until they have fomented the widespread social unrest — or de facto global civil war — that they need as a pretext to lock in the new pathologized totalitarianism and remake whatever remains of society into a global pseudo-medicalized police state, or that appears to be where we’re headed currently. We appear to be heading there at breakneck speed. I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, but I’m expecting things to get rather ugly this Autumn, and probably even uglier in the foreseeable future.

Yes, friends, a storm is coming. It has been coming for the last 16 months. And GloboCap is steering right into it. I, and many others like me, have been tracking its relentless advance like a self-appointed International Pathologized-Totalitarian Hurricane Center (you know, like the one in Miami, except all the meteorologists are “conspiracy theorists”). We have documented all the propaganda, the lies, the manipulation of statistics, the abrogation of constitutional rights, the New Normal goon squads, the corporate censorship, and all the rest of the roll-out of the new official ideology and the totalitarian measures deployed to enforce it.

Our efforts have not been in vain, but they have not been successful enough to change the course events are now taking … a course of events that has always been clear, a course that every totalitarian movement needs to take to get where it’s going. You can’t remake entire societies into quasi-totalitarian systems without civil unrest, chaos, rioting, war, or some other form of cataclysm. Brainwashing the masses is all fine and good, but, at some point, you need to goad the people who are resisting your new totalitarian “reality” into getting unruly, so you can crack down on them, and transform them into official enemies, which appears to be what is happening currently.

GloboCap is dialing up the totalitarianism, and they are rubbing it in our faces. Here in New Normal Germany, government officials are openly barking out Goebbelsian slogans like “NO FREEDOM FOR THE UNVACCINATED!” and “THE UNVACCINATED ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY!” All over Europe, including the UK, where “Freedom Day” is fast approaching, pseudo-medical social-segregation systems are being implemented. In France, Greece, and many other countries, people who refuse to be “vaccinated” are being stripped of their jobs and otherwise punished. In the USA, where the Unvaccinated are also being segregated, New Normal goon squads are going door-to-door, bullying “vaccine hesitant” families into conforming to the new official ideology.

And so on … I’m tired of citing the facts. They do not make the slightest difference to the vast majority of New Normals, anyway. As I’ve noted in several previous columns, these people have surrendered their rationality, and have been subsumed into a totalitarian movement, which has become their perceptual and social “reality,” which their “sanity” now depends upon defending, so the facts mean absolutely nothing to them.

And you already know the facts.

Yes, you. Us. The others. The Unvaccinated. The “Covid deniers.” You don’t really think any hardcore New Normals have made it this far into this column, do you? They haven’t. If they stumbled into it on the Internet and accidentally started to read it, their brains switched off in the opening paragraph … literally, neurologically, switched off. They recognized it as a threat to their “reality” and instantly erased it from their consciousness, or they reported it to the proper authorities, perhaps the FBI, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or Facebook, or some other global corporation.

This is what it has come to, folks … people are reporting other people’s “thoughtcrimes” to global corporations and the law enforcement agencies of “democratic” governments in the hopes of destroying or damaging their lives, or, at the very least, getting them censored, or otherwise erased from public view.

As I noted in my previous column, our societies have been torn apart. We’re living in two mutually hostile “realities,” a state which cannot continue indefinitely. The problem for us (i.e., the Unvaccinated) is, we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, so we are massively outnumbered by New Normals. The problem for the New Normals is we probably constitute somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the population, which is way too many people to imprison or otherwise remove from society.

Thus, their plan is to make our lives as miserable as possible, to segregate us, stigmatize us, demonize us, bully, and harass us, and pressure us to conform at every turn. They are not going to put us on the trains to the camps. GloboCap is not the Nazis. They need to maintain the simulation of democracy. So they need to transform us into an underclass of “anti-social conspiracy theorists,” “anti-vaxxer disinformationists,” “white-supremacist election-result deniers,” “potentially violent domestic extremists,” and whatever other epithets they come up with, so that we can be painted as dangerously unhinged freaks and cast out of society in a way that makes it appear that we have cast out ourselves.

This process is already well underway, and it’s only going to get more intense, which will inevitably lead to social unrest. The hardcore “Unvaccinated” are not going to go quietly. Again, this isn’t Nazi Germany. There are too many of us who are already resisting. They can segregate us, ban us from travelling, blackout our protests, censor us, deplatform us, cancel our bank accounts, and otherwise harass us, but they cannot forcibly disappear us. So, they are going to keep goading us until we lose it. We have demonstrated incredible discipline so far, but eventually, we’re going to run out of patience. It’s going to get messy. People will get hurt.

Which, of course, is exactly what GloboCap wants. Nothing will make them happier than if we turn ourselves into the “violent extremists” they have been conjuring into existence for the last five years. They desperately need us to become those “extremists” before we “embolden” too many others with our “disinformation,” “vaccine hesitancy,” “election result denial,” and general distaste for the whole global-capitalist ideological program.

Unfortunately, they are probably going to get their wish.

What we need is an organized, global campaign of classic, non-violent civil disobedience, but they are not going to give us time to organize that. They are going to keep the pressure on, and crank up the pace, and the official propaganda, and the absurdity, and the confusion, and the ever-changing rules, and the mass hysteria, and the blatant lies, until we start flipping out in restaurants, and in pubs, and schools, and on public transportation, and segregated New Normal establishments start getting nocturnally vandalized, or worse, and other forms of “direct action” are taken.

At which point, game over, because they will have won. We will be the “extremists” they warned themselves about, and they’ll be able to do whatever they want with us, and our former (now New Normal) friends will applaud, or just look away in silence.

Or … I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe some New Normals are still reading this essay, and can still, at this late stage, regain their senses. Maybe we can still avoid the storm, and the full implementation of “New Normal Reality.” I know, I’m probably a hopeless idealist, but let me tell you a quick anecdote before I let you go.

I’ve been kind of nudging, or politely badgering, Glenn Greenwald, who I respect, and have always respected, to grow a pair and at least speak out against the totalitarian features of the New Normal movement. Glenn is totally on board with the official Covid narrative, and has made it clear that he has no interest in using his investigative-journalism skills to investigate that official narrative. Despite that, I have continued to nudge him, and politely prod him, and otherwise urge him, to maybe post a few critical words, or raise a few investigative-journalist questions, about the most flagrant official propaganda campaign in the history of official propaganda campaigns and the blatantly totalitarian actions of governments all over the world.

For example, I posted this on Twitter recently.

Shortly thereafter — and I’m sure this was just a coincidence, because Glenn doesn’t follow the Consent Factory — he tweeted this bit of New Normal blasphemy:

So, apparently, it is, in fact, still possible for people who believe the official Covid narrative as if it were the Word of God to speak out against some aspect of it, or just politely question the logic of it, or otherwise stop behaving like a bunch of mindlessly obedient “Good Germans” as a new iteration of totalitarianism is rolled out right in front of their eyes.

Yes, I know. I’m clutching at straws, but I have this crazy faith in people. On top of which, I’m getting old, so I am not looking forward to the street-fighting part of this as much as I would have 30 or 40 years ago.

Oh, and, I almost forgot, to all my friends in the New Normal UK … have a lovely Freedom Day!

The post The Approaching Storm first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Unwise to Expect Anything Substantial from Biden-Putin Meeting This Week

This Wednesday, the United States president Joe Biden will meet Russian president Vladimir Putin in Geneva in the first meeting of the two since Biden came to power in January 2021. It would be unwise to expect too much from this meeting. There are a number of reasons for advancing this view.

The first of these reasons relates to American motives for the meeting. It is clear that the Americans have decided that the greatest threat to their position in the world comes from the Chinese. Their policy is plainly to try and isolate the Chinese. In this endeavour they are employing a number of tactics. One of these tactics is to negatively portray Chinese behaviour. Hence the constant use of pejorative terms such as “aggressive” or “one-sided” in their attempts to negatively portray Chinese interaction with its neighbours and international trading partners. That this tactic is blatantly obvious, not to mention untrue, has not deterred Americans from its relentless pursuit.

A second tactic is to try and set up an alternative system of international trade to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This is laughable. The BRI has already signed up more than 140 nations, including 12 members of the European Union. Australia is one of the few nations that have bought into the American propaganda about the BRI. Partial evidence for this is the treatment of the State of Victoria which signed memorandum of understanding with China.

This was bitterly opposed by the Morrison government, although it is impossible to find a rational basis for their opposition. A number of Australia’s neighbours, including New Zealand, have signed into the BRI and there is no evidence that they see themselves as victims of some Chinese plot to subvert their economies.

A third reason the talks will be unlikely to achieve anything of substance is history. The Americans have not ceased their economic and political warfare on Russia. The fact that the United States appears to have withdrawn its opposition to the Russian pipeline to Germany has more to do with a recognition that the Germans see it as essential to their economic well-being than anything else.

The Americans have been prepared to sacrifice the Ukrainians on this point, which is a measure of the importance to United States interest in Europe of keeping the Germans on side. In pursuit of this they are prepared to sacrifice the Ukrainians. This latter fact has come as a rude shock to the Ukrainians who faced the twin humiliation of a visit from United States secretary of state Antony Blinken followed by a blatant refusal by Biden to support Ukrainians when the latter made a telephone call to the White House.

The Americans continue in their demands that Crimea should be returned to Ukraine, which tells one more about the American grasp of geopolitical reality than it does about the likelihood of Crimea ever becoming part of Ukraine again. History is not the least of the reasons why Crimea will remain part of Russia. Australia has bought into the rubbish that Crimea is part of Ukraine. They would do well to remember their own history, including the fact that the Australians fought the Russians in Crimea in the 1850s.

Putin is also well aware of American efforts to destabilise countries on its borders, including a coup attempt last year to overthrow the government of Georgia. This is on top of ongoing destabilisation by the Americans on Russia’s other neighbour Belarus. Biden’s faux friendliness to Russia has not stopped any of these destabilisation efforts.

Part of the problem the Americans have in dealing with Russia is that the upper echelons of power in Washington are appallingly ignorant of Russia. They have fallen into the trap of believing their own propaganda. Their mainstream media is no better. The Russian writer Andrei Martyanov, an American resident and one of the most clearsighted analysts around, is particularly scathing of the quality of United States “analysis” of Russia.

In his latest book, Disintegration, (2021) Martyanov argues that the United States is “non-agreement capable.” Anything that the Americans sign is worthless as they cannot be relied upon to honour that in the longer term. He argues most recently (June 13) that the forthcoming summit between Biden and Putin is primarily for United States domestic consumption and for the benefit of the United States’ vassal states in Europe, designed to prove that “America is back.” Back to what exactly remains an open question.

Another of the real reasons for Biden wanting the summit is the gap that has broken out between Russian and United States weaponry. The United States is currently about 10 years behind the Russians in military technology and Biden is desperate to pin the Russians into some form of treaty that could limit the effects of this devastating gap. Russian weaponry such as the 3M 22 Zircon and the 3M 14 Khalibr are overwhelmingly superior to anything the Americans have. Putin is highly unlikely to agree to anything that will lessen the Russian advantage in these areas.

Biden will be making a desperate attempt to peel the Russians away from the effect of their alliance with China. His motives are obvious. The Americans want to be left with a clear field to refine and expand their attack upon China. That attack could quickly degenerate into a real shooting match given the constant provocation in the South China Sea that the United States (with their British and Australian allies) are constantly engaging in.

The Russia – China allegiance is now 20 years old and has never been stronger. American ambitions about luring the Russians away from the Chinese embrace are doomed to failure.

In short, it would be extremely unwise to expect any achievements from the Biden – Putin summit this week. There will be polite noises and many smiles, but the odds against a serious achievement run into the brick wall of the United States’ profound belief in its mission as “leaders of the free world.” As long as they maintain that delusion the chances of a serious degree of agreement are practically zero.

The post Unwise to Expect Anything Substantial from Biden-Putin Meeting This Week first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“If There Are Enough Shovels to Go Around”

“Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw three feet of dirt on top. . . . It’s the dirt that does it. . . . . If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.” This bit of cheery advice was offered by Thomas K. (“T.K.”) Jones, deputy undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, strategic and theater nuclear forces in a 1982 interview with Robert Scheer of The Los Angeles Times. Jones’ assurance that a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union could be survived with a little sweat and ingenuity, allowing for two to four years recovery time, reflected the optimism of his boss, President Ronald Reagan, before Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev talked some sense into him.

The conviction that the U.S. could win a nuclear war was key to the nuclear policy early in the Reagan administration. Not only could such a war be survived, it would present a potential opportunity for the victor. With the deployment of Pershing II and other tactical nuclear weapons, the U.S. and the Soviets might even conduct a nuclear exchange confined to Europe, entirely outside their borders. “I could see where you could have the exchange of tactical (nuclear) weapons against troops in the field without it bringing either one of the major powers to pushing the button,” Reagan suggested in 1981.

While the best hopes around Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s Reykjavik summit of October 1986 for the elimination of nuclear weapons were never realized, the more modest areas of agreement defined there may have at least given us extra time. Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 dark comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was hardly fiction at all, we now know and it is astonishing that humanity survived the cold war.

There is a resurgence of the delusional belief in the winnable nuclear war by U.S. war planners, evidenced in the June, 2019, report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Nuclear Operations,” that again threatens life on this planet. “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” the joint chiefs’ document says. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.” In the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and T.K. Jones revealed the insanity of U.S. war plans, millions of people around the world took to the streets in protest. Their massive dissent was at least as decisive in stepping back from the brink of destruction as Reagan’s and Gorbachev’s détente. The present relapse into madness, on the other hand, seems to “alarm” only a few “experts.”

While T.K. Jones’ plan to dig holes to survive a nuclear war really amounted to nothing more than incipient victims digging their own graves, international activists are giving a new, hopeful and proactive meaning to the concept of having enough shovels to survive a nuclear war. “Digging for Life” is an action idea for Büchel Air Base in Germany near Cochem on the Mosel River, for July 19, 2021.

At the Büchel Air Base, about 20 U.S. nuclear bombs are stored, which NATO wants to replace in the coming years with new B61-12 bombs. Around the airbase there is a highly armed fence with surveillance cameras, motion sensors and a deep concrete foundation. Previous civil disobedience actions there deliberately cut through the perimeter fence, but this time activists will not go through the fence, but under it. The activists converging on the base with shovels painted pink will not be digging holes to hide and die in. Their goal will be to reach the runway and prevent the launching of Tornado fighter bombers to practice nuclear war.

“We have a vivid picture in front of our eyes, in which each and every one can go as far as their own determination allows. You can join in digging until the police ask you to stop and hand over your shovel to another, you can peacefully continue to dig until arrested, you can picnic near the diggers and be a witness,” reads the invitation to the nonviolent event. “If you plan to join in for the digging, we ask you to arrive no later than Saturday July 17th 4 pm at the peace camp to get to know each other, do a nonviolence training, make affinity groups, paint shovels and other preparations. This action is part of the international week of action from 12 – 20 July of the campaign ‘Büchel ist überall! atomwaffenfrei.jetzt!’ (‘Büchel is everywhere!’ ‘End nuclear weapons now!’) so you could also come earlier than Saturday to the peace camp.”

Activists in the United States might feel a special obligation to dig with our European sisters and brothers and it is hoped that the predicted opening of Germany to summer tourists will allow us to attend. Please contact ten.efil-rof-gniggidnull@ofni to register or for more information.

“If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it!”

The post “If There Are Enough Shovels to Go Around” first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Greetings from “New Normal” Germany!

On April 1, 1933, shortly after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis staged a boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany. Members of the Storm Troopers (“die Sturmabteilung,” or the “Storm Department,” as I like to think of them) stood around outside of Jewish-owned stores with Gothic-lettered placards reading “Germans! Defend yourselves! Do not buy from Jews!” The boycott itself was a total disaster — most Germans ignored it and just went on with their lives — but it was the beginning of the official persecution of the Jews and totalitarianism in Nazi Germany.

Last week, here in “New Normal” Germany, the government (which, it goes without saying, bears no resemblance to the Nazi regime, or any other totalitarian regime) implemented a social-segregation system that bans anyone who refuses to publicly conform to the official “New Normal” ideology from participating in German society. From now on, only those who have an official “vaccination pass” or proof of a negative PCR test are allowed to sit down and eat at restaurants, shop at “non-essential” stores, or go to bars, or the cinema, or wherever.

Here’s a notice from the website of Prater, a popular beer garden in Berlin:

Photo credit:  Prater Biergarten

Of course, there is absolutely no valid comparison to be made between these two events, or between Nazi Germany and “New Normal” Germany, nor would I ever imply that there was. That would be illegal in “New Normal” Germany, as it would be considered “relativizing the Holocaust,” not to mention being “anti-democratic and/or delegitimizing the state in a way that endangers security,” or whatever. Plus, it’s not like there are SA goons standing outside shops and restaurants with signs reading “Germans! Defend yourselves! Don’t sell to the Unvaccinated and Untested!” It’s just that it’s now illegal to do that; i.e., sell anything to those of us whom the media and the government have systematically stigmatized as “Covid deniers” because we haven’t converted to the new official ideology and submitted to being “vaccinated” or “tested.”

Protesting the new official ideology is also illegal in “New Normal” Germany. OK, I think I should probably rephrase that. I certainly don’t want to misinform anyone. Protesting the “New Normal” isn’t outlawed, per se. You’re totally allowed to apply for a permit to protest against the “Covid restrictions” on the condition that everyone taking part in your protest wears a medical-looking N95 mask and maintains a distance of 1.5 meters from every other medical-masked protester … which is kind of like permitting anti-racism protests as long as the protesters all wear Ku Klux Klan robes and perform a choreographed karaoke of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama.

Who says the Germans don’t have a sense of humor?

I don’t mean to single out the Germans. There is nothing inherently totalitarian, or fascist, or robotically authoritarian and hyper-conformist about the Germans as a people. The fact that the vast majority of Germans clicked their heels and started mindlessly following orders, like they did in Nazi Germany, the moment the “New Normal” was introduced last year doesn’t mean that all Germans are fascists by nature. Most Americans did the same thing. So did the British, the Australians, the Spanish, the French, the Canadians, and a long list of others. It’s just that, well, I happen to live here, so I’ve watched as Germany has been transformed into “New Normal Germany” up close and personal, and it has definitely made an impression on me.

The ease with which the German authorities implemented the new official ideology, and how fanatically it has been embraced by the majority of Germans, came as something of a shock. I had naively believed that, in light of their history, the Germans would be among the first to recognize a nascent totalitarian movement predicated on textbook Goebbelsian Big Lies (i.e., manipulated Covid “case” and “death” statistics), and would resist it en masse, or at least take a moment to question the lies their leaders were hysterically barking at them.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Here we are, over a year later, and waiters and shop clerks are “checking papers” to enforce compliance with the new official ideology. (And, yes, the “New Normal” is an official ideology. When you strip away the illusion of an apocalyptic plague, there isn’t any other description for it). Perfectly healthy, medical-masked people are lining up in the streets to be experimentally “vaccinated.” Lockdown-bankrupted shops and restaurants have been converted into walk-in “PCR-test stations.” The government is debating mandatory “vaccination” of children in kindergarten. Goon squads are arresting octogenarians for picnicking on the sidewalk without permission. And so on. At this point, I’m just sitting here waiting for the news that mass “disinfection camps” are being set up to solve the “Unvaccinated Question.”

Whoops … there I go again, “relativizing the Holocaust.” I really need to stop doing that. The Germans take this stuff very seriously, especially with Israel under relentless attack by the desperately impoverished people it has locked inside an enormous walled ghetto and is self-defensively ethnically cleansing.

But, seriously, there is no similarity whatsoever between Nazi Germany and “New Normal” Germany. Sure, both systems suspended the constitution, declared a national “state of emergency” enabling the government to rule by decree, inundated the masses with insane propaganda and manipulated “scientific facts,” outlawed protests, criminalized dissent, implemented a variety of public rituals, and symbols, and a social segregation system, to enforce compliance with their official ideologies, and demonized anyone who refused to comply … but, other than that, there’s no similarity, and anyone who suggests there is is a dangerous social-deviant extremist who probably needs to be quarantined somewhere, or perhaps dealt with in some other “special” way.

Plus, the two ideologies are completely different. One was a fanatical totalitarian ideology based on imaginary racial superiority and the other is a fanatical totalitarian ideology based on an imaginary “apocalyptic plague” … so what the hell am I even talking about? On top of which, no swastikas, right? No swastikas, no totalitarianism! And nobody’s mass murdering the Jews, that I know of, and that’s the critical thing, after all!

So, never mind. Just ignore all that crazy stuff I just told you about “New Normal” Germany. Don’t worry about “New Normal” America, either. Or “New Normal” Great Britain. Or “New Normal” wherever. Get experimentally “vaccinated.” Experimentally “vaccinate” your kids. Prove your loyalty to the Reich … sorry, I meant to global capitalism. Ignore those reports of people dying and suffering horrible adverse effects. Wear your mask. Wear it forever. God knows what other viruses are out there, just waiting to defile your bodily fluids and cause you to experience a flu-like illness, or cut you down in the prime of your seventies or eighties … and, Jesus, I almost forgot “long Covid.” That in itself is certainly enough to justify radically restructuring society so that it resembles an upscale hospital theme park staffed by paranoid, smiley-faced fascists in fanciful designer Hazmat suits.

Oh, and keep your “vaccination papers” in order. You never know when you’re going to have to show them to some official at the airport, or a shop, or restaurant, or to your boss, or your landlord, or the police, or your bank, or your ISP, or your Tinder date … or some other “New Normal” authority figure. I mean, you don’t want to be mistaken for a “Covid denier,” or an “anti-vaxxer,” or a “conspiracy theorist,” or some other type of ideological deviant, and be banished from society, do you?

The post Greetings from “New Normal” Germany! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

I’m Still Here, Though My Country’s Gone West

Berlin, Fackelzug zur Gründung der DDR

A mass rally with the Free German Youth that marked the founding of the German Democratic Republic in the Soviet Occupation Zone, October 1949.

A full generation has elapsed since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in late 1991. Two years earlier, in 1989, the communist states of Eastern Europe dissolved, with the first salvo fired when Hungary opened its border. On 3 March 1989, Hungary’s last communist prime minister Miklós Németh asked the USSR’s last President Mikhail Gorbachev whether the border to Western Europe could be opened. ‘We have a strict regime on our borders’, Gorbachev told Németh, ‘but we are also becoming more open’. Three months later, on 15 June, Gorbachev told the press in Bonn (West Germany) that the Berlin Wall ‘could disappear when the preconditions, which brought it about, cease to exist’. He did not list the preconditions, but he said, ‘Nothing is permanent under the Moon’. On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was knocked down. By October 1990, the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) was absorbed into a unified Germany dominated by West Germany.

As part of the unification, the structures of the DDR had to be demolished. Headed by the Social Democratic politician Detlev Rohwedder, the new rulers created the Treuhandanstalt (‘Trust Agency’) to privatise 8,500 public enterprises that employed over 4 million workers. ‘Privatise quickly, restructure resolutely, and shut down carefully’, Rohwedder said. But before he could do this, Rohwedder was assassinated in April 1991. He was succeeded by the economist Birgit Breuel who told the Washington Post, ‘We can try to explain ourselves to people, but they will never love us. Because whatever we do, it’s hard for people. With every one of the 8,500 enterprises, we either privatise or restructure or close them down. In every case, people lose jobs’. Hundreds of firms that had been public property (Volkseigentum) fell into private hands and millions of people lost their jobs; during this time, 70% of women lost their jobs. The stunning scale of the corruption and cronyism only came out decades later in a German parliamentary inquiry in 2009.

LPG Mansfeld, Solidaritätsbekundung mit Vietnam

Cooperative farmers handing over a flag of solidarity with the motto ‘Solidarity Hastens Victory’ written on it to the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1972.

Not only did the public property of the DDR slip into the pockets of private capital, but the entire history of the project vanished in a haze of anti-communist rhetoric. The only word that remained to define the forty years of DDR history was stasi, the colloquial name for the Ministry for State Security. Nothing else mattered. Neither the de-Nazification of that part of Germany – which was not conducted in the West – nor the impressive gains in terms of housing, health, education, and social life occupy space in the public imagination. There is little mention of the DDR’s contribution to the anti-colonial struggle or to the socialist construction experiments from Vietnam to Tanzania. All this vanished, the earthquake of the reunification swallowing up the achievements of the DDR and leaving behind the ash heap of social despair and amnesia. Little wonder that poll after poll – whether in the 1990s or the 2000s – show that large numbers of people living in the former East Germany look back longingly for the DDR past. This Ostalgie (‘nostalgia’) for the East remains intact, reinforced by the greater unemployment and lower incomes in the eastern over the western part of Germany.

In 1998, the German parliament set up the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany, which set the terms for the national appraisal of communist history. The organisation’s mandate was to fund research on the DDR that would portray it as a criminal enterprise rather than a historical project. Fury governed the historical undertaking. The attempt to delegitimise Marxism and Communism in Germany mirrored attempts in other countries in Europe and North America that hastened to snuff out the reappearance of these left ideologies. The ferocity of efforts to rewrite history suggested that they feared its return.

This month, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research partnered with the Internationale Forschungsstelle DDR (IF DDR) to produce the first of a new series, Studies on the DDR. The first study, Risen from the Ruins: The Economic History of Socialism in the German Democratic Republic, goes beneath the anti-communist sludge to unearth, in a reasonable way, the historical development of the forty-year project in the DDR. Based in Berlin, the authors of the text sifted through the archives and memories, interviewing those who helped construct socialism in Germany at different levels of society.

Peter Hacks, a poet of the DDR, said in retrospect, ‘The worst socialism is better than the best capitalism. Socialism, that society that was toppled because it was virtuous (a fault on the world market). That society whose economy respects values other than the accumulation of capital: the rights of its citizens to life, happiness, and health; art and science; utility and the reduction of waste’. For when socialism is involved, Hacks said, it is not economic growth, but ‘the growth of its people that is the actual goal of the economy’. Risen from the Ruins lays out the story of the DDR and its people from the ashes of Germany after the defeat of fascism to the economic pillage of the DDR after 1989.

Leipzig, Straßenschild Lumumbastraße

A monument to Patrice Lumumba built by Leipzig’s Free German Youth; the street was later renamed ‘Lumumba Street’ in a ceremony with Congolese students, 1961.

One of the least known parts of the DDR’s history is its internationalism, wonderfully explored in this study. Three brief extracts make the point:

  1. Solidarity Work. Between 1964 and 1988, sixty friendship brigades of the Free German Youth (the DDR youth mass organisation) were deployed to twenty-seven countries in order to share their knowledge, help with construction, and create training opportunities and conditions for economic self-sufficiency. A number of these projects still exist today, though some have taken on different names, such as the Carlos Marx Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua; the German-Vietnamese Friendship Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam; and the Karl Marx Cement Factory in Cienfuegos, Cuba, to name but a few.
  2. Learning and Exchange Opportunities. Overall, more than 50,000 foreign students successfully completed their education at the universities and colleges of the DDR. The studies were financed by the DDR’s state budget. As a rule, there were no tuition fees, a large number of foreign students received scholarships, and accommodation was provided for them in student halls of residence. In addition to the students, many contract workers came to the DDR from allied states such as Mozambique, Vietnam, and Angola as well as from Poland and Hungary seeking job training and work in production. Right until the end, foreign workers remained a priority, with contract workers growing from 24,000 to 94,000 (1981-1989). In 1989, all foreigners in the DDR received full municipal voting rights and began to nominate candidates themselves.
  3. Political Support. While the West was slandering Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) as terrorists and ‘racists’ and conducting business with the apartheid regime in South Africa – even providing arms shipments – the DDR supported the ANC, provided the freedom fighters with military training, printed their publications, and cared for its wounded. After black students in the township of Soweto launched an uprising against the apartheid regime on 16 June 1976, the DDR began to commemorate international Soweto Day as a sign of solidarity with the South African people and their struggle. Solidarity was even extended to those in the belly of the beast: when Angela Davis was tried as a terrorist in the United States, a DDR correspondent presented her with flowers for Women’s Day and students led the One Million Roses for Angela Davis campaign, during which they delivered truckloads of cards with hand-painted roses to her in prison.

The memory of this solidarity no longer remains either in Germany or in South Africa. Without the material support provided by the DDR, the USSR, and Cuba, it is unlikely that national liberation in South Africa would have come when it did. Cuban military support for the national liberation fighters at the 1987 Battle of Cuito Cuanavale was crucial for this defeat of the South African apartheid army, leading eventually to the collapse of the apartheid project in 1994.

Berlin, 10. Weltfestspiel, Demonstration, Ehrentribüne

The Free German Youth, a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, hosted the Tenth World Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin, 1973.

Organisations such as the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany (Berlin) and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (Washington, United States) exist not only to denigrate the communist past and to malign communism, but also to make sure that communist projects in the present carry the penalty of their caricatures. To advance a left project in our time – which is imperative – is made much more difficult if it must carry the albatross of anti-communist fabrications on its back. That is the reason why this project, led by IF DDR, is so important. It is not merely an argument about the DDR; it is also, at its core, a broader argument about the possibilities opened by experiments to create a socialist society and the material improvements they create, and have created, in the lives of the people.

Socialism does not emerge fully fledged nor perfectly formed. A socialist project inherits all the limitations of the past. It takes effort and patience to transform a country, with its rigidities and class hierarchies, into a socialist society. The DDR lasted for a mere forty years, half the life expectancy of the average German citizen. In its aftermath, the adversaries of socialism exaggerated all its problems to eclipse its achievements.

Volker Braun, an East German poet, wrote an elegy to his forgotten country in October 1989 called Das Eigentum or Property.

I’m still here: my country has gone West.
PEACE FOR THE PALACES AND WAR ON THE SHACKS.
I myself have given my country the boot.

What little virtue it possessed burns in the fire.
Winter is followed by a summer of desire.

I might as well get lost, who cares what’s next
And no one will ever again decipher my texts.

What I never possessed, from me was taken.
I will eternally long for what I didn’t partake in.

Hope appeared on the path like a trap
You grope and grab at the property I had.

When will I say mine again and mean we and ours.

Our quest here is not to reverse direction and exaggerate all the achievements while hiding the problems. The past is a resource to understand the complexities of social development so that lessons can be learnt about what went wrong and what went right. The IF DDR project, in collaboration with Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, is invested in this kind of archaeology to dig amongst the bones to discover how to improve the way we humans stretch our spines and stand upright with dignity.

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Israel Rejects ICC Investigation: What Are the Possible Future Scenarios?

The Israeli government’s position regarding an impending investigation by the International Criminal Court of alleged war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been finally declared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It will be made clear that Israel is a country with rule of law that knows how to investigate itself,” Netanyahu said in a statement on April 8. Subsequently, Israel “completely rejects” any accusations that it has committed war crimes.

But it won’t be so easy for Tel Aviv this time around. True, Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute, according to which the ICC was established, but it can still be held accountable, because the State of Palestine is a member of the ICC.

Palestine joined the ICC in 2015, and the alleged war crimes, which are under investigation, have taken place on Palestinian soil. This grants the ICC direct jurisdiction, even if war crimes were committed by a non-ICC party. Still, accountability for these war crimes is not guaranteed. So, what are the possible future scenarios?

But first, some context …

‘Blatant Impunity’

On March 22, the Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, declared that “the time has come to stop Israel’s blatant impunity”. His remarks were included in a letter sent to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and other top officials at the international body.

There is modest – albeit cautious – optimism among Palestinians that Israeli officials could potentially be held accountable for war crimes and other human rights violations in Palestine. The reason behind this optimism is a recent decision by ICC to pursue its investigation of alleged war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Mansour’s letter was written with this context in mind. Other Palestinian officials, such as Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, are also pushing in this direction. He, too, wants to see an end to Israel’s lack of accountability.

Till Netanyahu’s official position, the Israeli response has been most predictable. On March 20, Israeli authorities decided to revoke Al-Maliki’s special travel permit in order to prevent him from pursuing Palestinian diplomacy that aims at ensuring the continuation of the ICC investigation. Al-Maliki had, in fact, just returned from a trip to The Hague, where the ICC is headquartered.

Furthermore, Israel is openly attempting to intimidate the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to discontinue its cooperation with the ICC, as can be easily gleaned from the official Israeli discourse. “The Palestinian leadership has to understand there are consequences for their actions,” an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on March 21.

Despite years of legal haggling and intense pressure on the ICC’s outgoing Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to scrap the investigation altogether, the legal proceedings have carried on, unhindered. The pressure was displayed in various forms: direct defamation by Israel, as in accusing the ICC of anti-Semitism; unprecedented American sanctions on ICC officials and constant meddling and intervention, on Israel’s behalf, by member states that are part of the ICC, and who are described as amici curiae.

They did not succeed. On April 30, 2020, Bensouda consulted with the Court’s Pre-trial Chamber regarding whether the ICC had jurisdiction over the matter. Ten months later, the Chamber answered in the affirmative. Subsequently, the Prosecutor decided to formally open the investigation.

On March 9, a spokesman for the Court revealed that, in accordance with Article 18 in the Rome Statute, notification letters were sent by the Prosecutor’s office to ‘all parties concerned’, including the Israeli Government and the Palestinian leadership, notifying them of the war crimes probe and allowing them only one month to seek deferral of the investigation.

Expectedly, Israel remains defiant. However, unlike its obstinacy in response to previous international attempts at investigating war crimes allegations in Palestine, the Israeli response, this time, appears confused and uncertain. On the one hand, Israeli media revealed last July that Netanyahu’s government has prepared a long list of likely Israeli suspects, whose conduct can potentially be investigated by the ICC. Still, the official Israeli response can only be described as dismissive of the matter as being superfluous, insisting that Israel will not, in any way, cooperate with ICC investigators.

Though the Israeli government continues to maintain its official position that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel and occupied Palestine, top Israeli officials and diplomats are moving quickly to block what now seems to be an imminent probe. For example, Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, was on an official visit to Germany where he, on March 18, met with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, thanking him on behalf of Israel for opposing the ICC’s investigation of Israeli officials.

After lashing out at the Palestinian leadership for attempting to “legalize” the conflict, through an international investigation, Rivlin renewed Israel’s “trust that our European friends will stand by us in the important fight on the misuse of the International Criminal Court against our soldiers and civilians.”

Unlike previous attempts at investigating Israeli war crimes, for example, the Jenin massacre in the West Bank in 2002, and the various investigations of several Israeli wars on Gaza starting in 2008-09, the forthcoming ICC investigation is different. For one, the ICC investigation targets individuals, not states, and can issue arrest warrants, making it legally incumbent on all other ICC members to enforce the Court’s decisions.

Now that all attempts at dissuading the Court from pursuing the matter have failed, the question must be asked: What are the possible future scenarios?

The Next Step

In the case that the investigation carries on as planned, the Prosecutor’s next step would be to identify suspects and alleged perpetrators of war crimes. Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the legal team that represents the Gaza victims, told me that once these suspects have been determined, “the Prosecutor will ask the Pre-trial chamber to issue either arrest warrants or subpoena, at least in relation to the crimes already included in the investigation so far.”

These alleged war crimes already include Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements, the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014 and Israel’s targeting of unarmed civilian protesters during Gaza’s Great March of Return, starting in 2018.

Even more ideally, the Court could potentially widen the scope of the investigation, which is a major demand for the representatives of the Palestinian victims.

“We expect more crimes to be included: especially, apartheid as a crime against humanity and crimes against Palestinian prisoners by Israeli authorities, especially torture,” according to Dr. Mariniello.

In essence, this means that, even after the investigation is officially underway, the Palestine legal team can continue its advocacy to expand the scope of the investigation and to cover as much legal ground as possible.

‘Narrow Scope’ 

However, judging from previous historic experiences, ideal scenarios in cases where Israel was investigated for war crimes rarely transpired. A less than ideal scenario would be for the scope of the investigation to remain narrow.

In a recent interview with former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Occupied Palestinian Territories, Professor Richard Falk, he told me that even if the narrow scope remains in effect – thus reducing the chances of all victims seeing justice – the investigation is still a “breakthrough”.

The reason why the investigation may not be broadened has less to do with justice and much to do with politics. “The scope of the investigation is something that is ill-defined, so it is a matter of political discretion,” Professor Falk said.

In other words, “the Court takes a position that needs to be cautious about delimiting its jurisdiction and, therefore, it tries to narrow the scope of what it is prepared to investigate.”

Professor Falk does not agree with that view but, according to the seasoned international law expert, “it does represent the fact that the ICC, like the UN itself, is subject to immense geopolitical pressure.”

Still, “it’s a breakthrough even to consider the investigation, let alone the indictment and the prosecution of either Israelis or Americans that was put on the agenda of the ICC, which led to a pushback by these governments.”

Israel’s Missed Opportunity

While the two above scenarios are suitable for Palestinians, they are a non-starter as far as the Israeli government is concerned, as indicated in Netanyahu’s recent statement in which he rejected the investigation altogether. According to some pro-Israeli international law experts, Netanyahu’s decision would represent a missed opportunity.

Writing in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, international law expert Nick Kaufman had advises Israel to cooperate, only for the sake of obtaining a “deferral” from the Court and to use the ensuing delay for political maneuvering.

“It would be unfortunate for Israel to miss the opportunity of deferral which could provide the ideal excuse for reinitiating peace talks with the Palestinians,” he wrote, warning that “if Israel squanders such an opportunity it should come as no surprise if, at a later date, the Court will hint that the government has no one but itself to blame for the export of the judicial process to The Hague.”

There are other scenarios, such as even more intense pressures on the Court as a result of ongoing discussions between Israel and its benefactors, whether in Washington or among the amici curiae at the Court itself.

At the same time, while Palestinians remain cautious about the future of the investigation, hope is slowly rising that, this time around, things may be different and that Israeli war criminals will eventually be held accountable for their crimes. Time will tell.

  • Romana Rubeo contributed to this article
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Limitations of JCPOA Negotiation

On April 1 — appropriate date, perhaps, for a saga of unending western foolishness and villainy — the EU announced that officials from Iran, Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany would be meeting virtually to discuss a possible return of the USA to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Later announcements indicated that representatives of both the USA and Iran would meet with European partners in Vienna in the first week of April, although possibly from different rooms to separate US and Iranian representatives. Talks began on August 6.

A State Department spokesman welcomed the move, indicating the Biden administration’s preparedness to return to the 2015 deal tortuously negotiated over several years between Iran, the US Obama administration and European powers, and that former President Donald Trump later unilaterally abrogated in May 2018. A pretense by the USA and Europe that resumption of JCPOA requires arduous negotiation camouflages the reality that it has always been obvious that removal of US sanctions on Iran would automatically prompt its immediate return to the JCPOA framework.

The use of the potential (but not the actuality) of nuclear weapons in the form of weapons development capability has arguably been an instrument of Iranian foreign diplomacy from the days of the Shah, first as a defense against nuclearization of regional neighbors and, since the Islamic revolution in 1979 — and in the guise of varying percentages of uranium enrichment and the construction of centrifuges (many unused) — against US and European opposition to Iranian independence from Washington.

The 2015 deal itself was the outcome of a long-standing, bullying, propaganda campaign by the USA, Israel, and Europe (UK, France, and Germany) to smear Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program (including the slight enrichment of uranium for scientific and medical purposes, far below the 90%+ required for nuclear weaponry) as a meaningful threat of nuclear war. Yet Iran, a signatory in 1968 of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), had over several decades conceded detailed scrutiny of its energy program (perfectly legitimate, under the NPT) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Israel, on the other hand, in possession of one hundred or more nuclear warheads, never signed the NPT.

Israel, with a far smaller population (9 million) than Iran (82 million) and a far smaller territory (22,145 sq.km to Iran’s 1,648,195 sq km), is and has consistently shown evidence of being by far the more likely nuclear aggressor in the Middle East. In June 1981, an Israeli airstrike destroyed an unfinished suspected Iraqi nuclear reactor located 17 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. In 2007, Israel struck a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria. In the period 2009 to 2012 the Israeli administration of Benjamin Netanyahu several times threatened to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. In addition, the US and Israeli administrations collaborated in a cyberattack on Iranian facilities (“Stuxnet”) in 2009. There have been several assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists – the latest reported in November 2020 – mostly attributed to Israel’s Mossad.

Through JCPOA, Iran — which has never possessed nuclear weapons and which has never formally revealed evidence of wanting or planning them — was cowered into conceding an implicit but false admission to being at fault in some way. Iran’s Supreme Leaders have consistently stated their belief that such weapons are immoral.  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, confirmed a fatwa against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons in October 2003. “Evidence” of Iranian scientists’ planning for nuclear weaponry is based on forgeries.
1 The bullying gang was a cabal of more prosperous nations that unlike Iran, did possess nuclear weapons and, in the case of the USA, had actually used them and, from time to time, demonstrated continuing willingness to consider their use.

Furthermore, Washington has never shown a fraction of the hysteria it regularly performs on account of Iran’s (non-existent) nuclear “threat” as it did with the actual nuclear weaponization of India from 1998 (with possibly 150 nuclear warheads today) and Pakistan in 1972.

Iran’s misleading concession to the West’s false narrative was the product of Western coercion through sanctions’ regimes. US-driven sanctions’ terror over Iran, both primary (involving relations between Iran and U.S. actors) and secondary (involving relations between Iran and non-U.S. actors), started from the early 1980s and extended in 1995 to cover bilateral trade and foreign investment in Iranian oil and gas development. Sanctions were further extended in 2002 to include nuclear and missile technology, financial services, transportation, foreign banks operating in Iran, and purchase of Iranian oil. Although many sanctions were lifted by JCPOA, others were retained, including Iranian support for terrorism, development of ballistic missiles, arms-related transactions, violations of human rights and corruption. The slipperiness of concepts such as “terrorism,” “human rights,” and “corruption” in the hands of U.S. and allied states and state-compliant “NGO” agencies provides ample room for continuing sanctions aggression on false or misleading pretext. This is particularly worrisome in the contexts of covert and proxy wars between the US, European powers, Gulf States, Israel, and Salafist rebels in Syria, on the one hand and, on the other, the Syrian government, Russia, and Iranian-backed Hezbollah, as also in the case of Iranian support for the Houthis in Yemen. Even a return to JCPOA, therefore, would exercise considerable restraint on Iranian exercise of its legitimate, sovereign power.

Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program originated from imperial machinations in Iran. It was launched in 1957 with US and European assistance in the administration of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, in the wake of the US-UK orchestrated coup d’etat of 1953 that toppled democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The program continued until the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Shah approved plans to construct up to 23 nuclear power stations by 2000. It is possible that the Shah always entertained the possibility of transitioning from a nuclear energy to a nuclear weapons program should neighboring states do the same. The USA supplied the country with a reactor fueled by highly enriched uranium in 1967. After a two-year hiatus, the Shah’s program was resumed by the revolutionary administration in 1981. The regime intended to continue collaborating with a French-owned consortium, but France succumbed to pressure from the Reagan administration in 1984 to end all nuclear cooperation with Iran, despite the absence of any evidence for US claims that Iran’s then only reactor presented a risk of proliferation. In the 1990s, Russia formed a joint research organization with Iran, providing Iran with Russian nuclear experts and technical information.

Sanctions have a negative impact on the Iranian economy and the welfare of its people. The value of Iranian petroleum exports fell from $53 billion in 2016-2017 to $9 billion in 2019-2020. Iranian GDP shrank by between 5% and 6.5% each year in the period 2018-2020, and inflation rose each year between 30% and 41%. The value of the Iranian currency, the rial, fell from 64,500 rials to the dollar in May 2018 to 315,000 to the dollar in October 2020.

As strategies of control, sanctions have significant other weaknesses, even from the western point of view. Since the revolution of 1979, first, there is a clear correlation between western aggression towards Iran and the influence on the Iranian polity of anti-western Iranian conservatives and their control over Iranian society through the clerical hierarchy and its exercise of superordinate power over Iran’s parliamentary democracy by the Office of the (non-elected) Supreme Leader, the Council of Guardians, the religious foundations (or bonyads) and Revolutionary Guards. Second, sanctions encourage Iranian strategies of import substitution and technological independence. Third, they help consolidate Iran’s relations with global powers that rival Washington, including Russia and China, and its relations with sympathetic powers in the region, including Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. In March 2021 Iran and China agreed a deal whereby China would invest $400 billion in Iran over 25 years in exchange for a steady supply of oil to fuel. The deal represented a further incursion of Chinese influence in the Middle East (extending to an offer by China to broker peace between Israel and Palestine) at the likely expense of the USA, promising further escalation of tensions between China and the USA and the ultimate threat of nuclear war.

  1. Kiriakou, J. and Porter, G. (2020) The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.
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The Case of Alexei Navalny: Reviving the Cold War

The mass media considers Alexei Navalny to be Vladimir Putin’s main opponent. However, a “Levada Center poll from November 2020 — three months after Navalny’s poisoning — found that only 2% of Russians would vote for Navalny if he were a presidential candidate. That is a number that has remained steady for years.” How is it possible that there can be such a divergence of views?

In the western media, Navalny has been portrayed as an indefatigable Russian patriot who is trying to expose corruption in Russian society and has been victimised by various criminal prosecutions.

To set the record straight, in 2014 Navalny was charged and convicted of fraud and embezzlement of a French cosmetic firm and a Russian state-owned timber firm, totalling about $1,000,000. For the first criminal offence he was given a 3½-year sentence and for the second, a 5-year sentence, but both sentences were suspended. On the other hand, his brother who was similarly charged did go to jail. During this probation period Alexei Navalny was to report at regular intervals to police officials.

Much has been written in the Western press about an “assassination attempt” on Navalny using a weapons grade nerve agent known as Novichok and Navalny’s accusation that “Putin was trying to poison me” has been taken at face value. However, little has been said about the many questions that have arisen around these important matters and they are worth airing

On August 20th, Navalny fell seriously ill while in mid-flight from Tomsk, Siberia to the Russian capital. The Moscow-bound plane was abruptly re-routed to make an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk where the Navalny was hospitalized.

Somehow while Navalny was still on the plane bound for Omsk, Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the protest punk rock Pussy Riot group, was notified of Navalny’s illness. He then immediately managed to arrange for the Berlin-based NGO Cinema for Peace Foundation to send an aircraft to Omsk with a coma-specialised team on board. This plane arrived the next day, on August 21, and these German doctors were allowed to take part in the examination and treatment of Navalny. In fact, they were able to make tests and report these back to Berlin.

The Russian doctors have affirmed that despite comprehensive toxicology tests on his biological fluids and organs, they detected no traces of toxins. He was tested for many types of poisons, including organophosphorus compounds and narcotic substances. Moreover, the atropine treatment by Russian doctors was exactly the same as would later be done at the Berlin Charité medical university. And most importantly, no evidence was detected by the German doctors of a poison attack on Navalny in the Omsk hospital, as Navalny and the western media have recently alleged.

The chief toxicologist at the Omsk Emergency Hospital, Dr. Alexander Sabaev, stated that their doctors found no traces of toxic substances in the comatose Navalny’s kidneys, liver, or lungs, which led them to conclude that Navalny’s condition was caused by a metabolic disorder and an “internal trigger mechanism.” It appeared that Navalny had suffered  a grand seizure due to hyperglycemia after going into diabetic shock in which a combination of alcohol, lithium and benzos taken by Navalny himself were involved. Sabaev also noted that tests were conducted in multiple laboratories at once.

By their skilled quick intervention, these doctors saved Navalny’s life. The Omsk doctors not only stabilized Navalny’s condition but also had demonstrated the effectiveness of the Russian antidote medication. The crucial point is that these Russian toxicology tests found no Novichok or any other such nerve poison in Navalny’s body. The Russian medics still possess the original body samples taken when Navalny was being treated in Russia.

On August 22 Navalny was flown in this German plane to Germany, along with his medical condition reports, which were to be given to the Charité Clinic in Berlin. His transport on a medically equipped plane with German specialists was permitted by the Russian authorities. In fact, it was Vladimir Putin who personally authorized this, afterwards saying, “I immediately asked the Prosecutor General’s office to allow that.”

Two days later, on August 24, a report on Navalny from the Charité hospital stated “Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. The specific substance involved remains unknown, and a further series of comprehensive testing has been initiated.”

This claim was signed by a press agent, not a doctor or head of the patient treatment team. However, German hospital protocol requires the treating doctor to take responsibility for the release of a patient’s medical record. There is no evidence that such permission was granted.  In fact, Florian Roetzer of Telepolis, asked Manuela Zingl, the press agent who signed her name to this, to name the head of the Navalny’s treatment team and to provide details of the treatment. She refused. We will return to the question of why protocol was breached so seriously on such an important matter at a later point when we come to additional information that came out in December.

Notably, the Berlin doctors admit they did not detect organophosphate poisoning in Navalny’s blood, urine or on his skin; they tested no water bottle or clothing evidence which had been brought to Berlin by Navalny’s staff on the evacuation aircraft. They also acknowledge they did not know what might have caused “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor” until the German armed forces laboratory in Munich reported the Novichok allegation two weeks later.

For an undisclosed reason, further research on Navalny was not done at the Charité hospital in Berlin.  This was assigned to be done at the German army’s chemical warfare laboratory in Munich, the Institut fur Pharmakologie und Toxikologie der Bundeswehr (IPTB). On September 2 the IPTB issued a brief report, with no details, directly to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin stating that on the basis of their toxicological investigation “definite proof of a chemical nerve agent of the Novitchok (sic) group was produced.”

However, there is a problem with IPTB’s entire report. There was no toxicology report from the IPTB, no name of the IPTB expert in charge of the testing and of the interpretation of the results, and there was no name of the chemical compound of the “Novichok group,” which IPTB should have explicitly reported on paper, according to the naming protocol of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry; or else the report fails to do that because it was inconclusive. The failure to compile a full report on these matters seems to indicate their analysis was inconclusive.

Immediately after receiving the report on Navalny from the IPTB, Chancellor Merkel met with her cabinet and issued a report saying, “The German federal government condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms. The Russian government is urged to explain itself regarding the incident.” A communiqué was sent to Russia saying that Germany now has “unequivocal proof” Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent and demanded that Russia conduct an investigation into this. The next day Russia rejected Merkel’s accusations and demanded documents and proof to support their case.

Germany’s announcement immediately led to a series of charges in the media that the Kremlin was responsible for the attempted murder of Navalny using the Soviet-era nerve poison. Without providing any supporting evidence to Moscow or the public, the German government demanded an explanation from the Kremlin. Amazingly, Germany refused to share their analytical data and samples with Russia, but in spite of this they demanded that Moscow launch a criminal investigation into the Navalny case.

Upon hearing these accusations, the scientists behind Novichok development – Leonid Rink and Vladimir Uglev – dismissed the German claims. They stated that Novichok is an extremely deadly nerve agent and there’s no way Navalny could have survived its application. Furthermore, Uglev pointed out that others who interacted with the Navalny after he fell ill – fellow plane passengers, ambulance crews, and others would also have been contaminated. Leonid Rink stated that Navalny’s symptoms are not consistent with poisoning by Novichok. According to him, if Novichok was used, Navalny would have had seizures, and he would have already died, instead of falling into a coma.

Russia then sent a formal request from the Prosecutor-General in Moscow to Germany to provide medical condition evidence on their Navalny findings. In response, the German authorities have not produced a single medical datum, pathology, toxicology or forensic report. In European protocols of patient care and in medical professional terms, this is unprecedented. As such it appears that German doctors were under government orders not to communicate with their Russian colleagues or to respond to an official Russian government request.

German doctors who treated Navalny wrote a report that became the basis for an article in The Lancet. This was published December 22 as a four-page clinical report on Navalny. In this report, the main editors Eckardt and Steindl say “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor was subsequently diagnosed,” not at the Charité hospital in Berlin, but by a “laboratory of the German armed forces”, i.e., the IPTB.

British toxicologists have repeatedly cautioned there can be many causes and sources for the cholinesterase inhibition detected from metabolites in Navalny’s blood and urine, and they continue to ask the German doctors and the IPTB: “Name the compound. That would be a good start.” Writing in The Lancet, the doctor in charge of Navalny’s treatment at the Charité, Kai-Uwe Eckardt and a British colleague, David Steindl note that: “results of toxicology analyses conducted in a special laboratory of the armed forces [IPTB] are not included.”

A British organo-phosphate expert adds: “I can’t stress enough the need for the German scientists to be specific. To speak of ‘Novichok family’ or ‘Novichok class or group” is just not good enough. There is no reason why the correct IUPAC chemical name should not be stipulated.  Without this certainty, there is no analysis that can stand up as toxicologically defensible evidence of a crime.”

As cited in the December issue of The Lancet, German doctors reported that “based on clinical and laboratory findings, severe cholinesterase inhibition was diagnosed and the patient was started on atropine and obidoxime … cholinergic signs returned to normal within 1 hour after the onset of this antidotal therapy.” This report is in stark contrast to the Charité press agent’s report on August 24 which spoke of “poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors.”  It also neglected to mention that the atropine treatment was effective within one hour and that the atropine treatment by Russian doctors at Omsk was the same as provided to Navalny by German doctors.

Thus, the August 24 announcement by Charité hospital’s press agent was not only inaccurate, it was overly alarmist. As we have seen, it was also released by a press agent, without the signature or the authorization of a doctor. Now we know why: it appears to be a purposeful misrepresentation of Navalny’s medical condition. But questions still remain: why was this done, who authorized it, and for what purpose?

At Germany’s request, on September 10 OPCW sent experts to collect biomedical samples from Navalny’s blood and urine. This was three weeks after Navalny became ill and by this time he was reasonably well recovered. Almost a month later, on October 5, the OPCW sent a report on its findings to Germany claiming: “The results of the analysis of biomedical samples conducted by the OPCW designated laboratories demonstrate that Mr Navalny was exposed to a toxic chemical acting as a cholinesterase inhibitor. The biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor found in Mr Navalny’s blood and urine samples have similar structural characteristics to the toxic chemicals belonging to schedules 1.A.14 and 1.A.15, which were added to the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention at the Twenty-Fourth Session of the Conference of the States Parties in November 2019. This cholinesterase inhibitor is not listed in the Annex on Chemicals to the Convention.”

There was no further report to clarify what this actually meant. Despite this, it became accepted that OPCW claimed it was a variant of Novichok. Overall, OPCW’s remarkably late intervention in this matter is questionable and their report remains cryptic. The fact that immediately after Navalny became ill Russian and German doctors at Omsk were not able to find any traces of toxins in his blood and urine, three weeks later OPCW’s “experts” supposedly managed to do so stretches credulity.

The latest on this is that it is now reported, as of February 15, that on the day OPCW took samples of Navalny’s blood and urine, the German record shows his cholinesterase scores were so close to normal, it was impossible for the OPCW to claim they had evidence of a Novichok attack. This substantially undermines Germany’s claim that the Novichok attack was perpetrated by the Russians, on order of President Vladimir Putin.

It’s not that OPCW has an unblemished impartial record. Its reputation was seriously compromised in 2019 when the head office leadership altered the report of its own on-site investigators in Douma in Syria in an attempt to justify an unwarranted and illegal bombing raid in Syria by US and British aircraft.  Because of this, the two top investigators quit their jobs, and one of them later presented a detailed report at the United Nations in which the true course of events was presented on what actually happened at Douma in 2018.

On December 22 the Charité clinic released some of its laboratory test results on Navalny. These reveal a surprising number of medical symptoms: acute pancreatitis, diabetes, liver failure, severe dehydration, muscular rigidity, as well as serious bacterial infection, and a possible heart attack associated with his kidney problems. According to the clinic’s experts, these are not recognizable symptoms of a nerve agent attack. Given this great variety of ailments, it is clear that Navalny is not in good health.

The Charité hospital’s doctors also revealed that Navalny had a medico-psychiatric problem and was a heavy user of lithium and benzodiazepine drugs. They reported this in a set of four data tables they attached as appendices to their case report on Navalny. Their data raises the question — what would happen if Navalny was forced to withdraw from his drugs quickly.  Further on this later.

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, had refused to reveal or allow Navalny’s doctors to report on several of his prior illnesses and medical preconditions; these are known to cause sudden reduction in blood sugar and cholinesterase levels—diabetes, Quincke’s Disease, and allergies leading to anaphylactic shock. It is not known if Navalny afterwards allowed this.

The disclosure that in his Tomsk hotel on August 19, hours before he collapsed, Navalny had taken a large dose of lithium, diazepam, nordazepam, oxazepam, and temazepam, was first published on December 22 in The Lancet. The medico-psychiatric literature is clear on what happens to a habitual user of these drugs if rapid withdrawal is attempted: for lithium, read this; for the benzodiazepines, click to open.

European medical sources report that the lithium found in Navalny’s blood is commonly used to treat bipolar disorders. It is known to depress the butyryl cholinesterase which Navalny’s laboratory testing revealed at the

Charité hospital. Navalny was also being treated to stabilise his insulin level with Metformin, a drug that is known to be a cholinesterase inhibitor.  From the combination of these drugs and the additional ones he took in the Tomsk hotel, Navalny would have suffered dramatic cholinesterase inhibition effects before his collapse on the plane from Tomsk to Moscow.

As such there is medical evidence provided by Russian and German doctors that Navalny may have collapsed because of the combination of drugs he was taking. The use of benzodiazepines is especially dangerous when used with alcohol or other drugs.

Independent western toxicologists, pharmacologists, and physicians believe that the Lancet evidence of Navalny’s drug intake shows that he had consumed a potentially lethal cocktail of drugs, which, if combined with alcohol and a pre-existing diabetic condition, could have triggered the cholinesterase inhibitor.  An expert from the above-cited group adds that the 0.2 blood alcohol level reported from the Omsk hospital testing on August 20 “is an extremely high level.”

The mystery of what the Berlin doctors treating Navalny discovered in his bloodstream and urine tests has deepened after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly referred in mid-February to the clinical findings of a Swiss-based neurologist, Vitaly Kozak. He revealed that Kozak has been reporting for several weeks that the biomedical data tables published in The Lancet in December reveal evidence of cholinesterase inhibition effects of poisoning by the drug lithium which Navalny was taking himself before his collapse on August 20.  Why is it that The Lancet has refused to publish a clinical commentary in the form of questions from Dr. Kozak?

Kozak has pointed out there is evidence that lithium inhibits cholinesterase activity in the blood. Also not explained was that 31 hours after Navalny collapsed from his illness “he had ‘wide pupils non-reactive to light’ which is contrary to cholinergic toxidrome.” He explained the significance of this, which was not reported by The Lancet.  Dr. Kozak’s expert credentials as a neurologist are such that he is more qualified to comment on Navalny’s clinical data than the neurologists in the Charité hospital team who listed themselves as co-authors of December 22 Lancet report. Despite this, Kozak’s observations and inferences from the data tables have been rejected for publication in The Lancet.

It is noteworthy that career diplomat Frank Elbe, who headed the office of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for five years and negotiated the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as head of the German delegation in Geneva from 1983 to 1986, stated that “I am surprised that the Federal Ministry of Defence concludes that the nerve agent Novichok was used against Navalny.”

As he put it, Novichok belongs to a group of “super-lethal substances that cause immediate death” and that it “made no sense to modify a nerve poison that was supposed to kill instantly in such a way that it did not kill, but left traces behind allowing its identification.”

To sum up this issue, the case from Germany and the west is that Navalny was the target of an attempted murder, and that Novichok was the weapon used. The Russian government case is that the medical evidence is of a metabolic crisis caused by the combination of alcohol, lithium and benzodiazepines taken by Navalny himself.

The balance of evidence available and outlined here would suggest that the Russian assessment is more credible than the Western consensus.

Aside from all of the above, there is a further more sinister possibility that should be considered. It was the doctors at the Omsk hospital who first treated Navalny and saved his life from his strange ailment. Several German doctors were there at the time and fully approved of the tests and medical care that he received. The Russian doctors still have Navalny’s biological samples, which show no presence of toxins. Hence, because of such evidence, surely there is reasonable cause to suspect that the German version may be a fabrication. That could mean that the claimed detection of Novichok by the Germans was the result of deliberate contamination of his body fluids while he was being treated in the Berlin hospital, or that his was done later at the Munich military laboratory.

Russia has been transparent in all this from the outset. But strangely, the Germans rebuffed all Russian requests for reciprocal transparency from their side to back up their extraordinary claims that Navalny was poisoned with a military nerve agent.  All efforts by Moscow for cooperation in investigating what happened when Navalny fell ill on August 20 have been stonewalled. However, the German lab did share some of their information with personnel from other countries.

There are additional questions. After Russian doctors saved his life and were prepared to deal with his recovery, why was there an urgent request from his family and his supporters to have him flown to Germany for further hospital care? Why was there an urgency to do so? Why did Moscow relent in allowing this strange foreign intervention in its internal affairs?

If, for argument’s sake, the Kremlin had in some way plotted to cause Navalny harm with Novichok or some other poison, why would Moscow permit his relocation to Berlin where toxicology tests would uncover the purported plot? That scenario is illogical.

A further point on this matter is that Novichok substances exist in at least twenty Western countries while Russia claims to have none. Furthermore, the Russian scientists who invented Novichok have stated categorically that if used, it would have killed Navalny almost instantly. Moreover, anyone who came in contact with him – his aides, doctors, fellow passengers – would inevitably have been contaminated, sickened and perhaps died, so deadly is this chemical weapon.

Recently a Russian doctor died at the Omsk hospital where Navalny was a treated six months ago. Immediately there was speculation that it was that this was somehow connected to Navalny. Upon inquiry it was reported that the doctor died of a heart attack and that this had nothing to do with Navalny.

When in Germany for treatment, a mysterious water bottle was produced by his family that the Bundeswehr labs are now claiming had traces of Novichok on its surface. If Novichok truly were on the bottle, Navalny and his assistants would have died, as well as the Bundeswehr technicians.

In addition to the water bottle, other purported methods were considered such as a bad tasting cocktail Navalny had in the hotel or perhaps it was the cup of tea while he was waiting for his plane in Tomsk. But the latest and the final idea is that Novichok was applied to Navalny’s underwear while he was staying at a hotel in the hours before his flight to Tomsk.  Laughable, yes, but this is their latest idea.

This latest explanation is based on a claim that Navalny somehow through a phone call tricked a person from the Russian Federal Security Service to admit that they had applied Novichok to his underwear. Russia immediately denied such an accusation and showed that his claim was preposterous and a fake.

In all of this there was an astounding dereliction of legal process by the Europeans, as well as the flouting of diplomatic norms in their communications with Moscow — all unworthy of normal bilateral relations.

Despite all this, critics wonder why “the Russian regime has not yet even opened a criminal inquiry.” Why should Russia do this? The Russian doctors who saved Navalny’s life did not find any toxic substance in his body. The German investigators have not provided any evidence of their findings of Novichok in Navalny’s body. Without such evidence what would be the point of any such inquiry?

The timing of Navalny’s alleged assassination came as the Nord Stream-2 natural gas project between the European Union and Russia entered into a final phase for completion. Predictably, there have been vociferous calls from the EU and from some sectors in Germany for that project to be cancelled, in accordance with Washington’s long-held demands. The USA is involved in this because it wants to sell its own abundant gas (from fracking) to Europe, even though it would be far more expensive than Russian gas. Obviously, this is about trade and American financial interests. In response to this, Russia is considering an international court challenge against US actions.

This $11 billion pipeline is the likely reason why the Navalny issue has been handled in this manner in Germany. Strangely there are a number of pro-Washington German politicians who have been persistent in their opposition to the ambitious boost to energy trade between Russia and Europe. On the other hand, most German politicians realize that Germany needs Russian natural gas as it phases out dirty coal and nuclear power.  Natural gas is a cleaner source of energy than coal or nuclear power. [cf “[Natural] Gas is dirty energy, gas is not clean energy, gas is not clean-er than coal GHG-wise, and indeed gas is dirtier than coal GHG-wise.” writes professor of biochemistry Gideon Polya. — DV Ed] The completion of this line would double the supply of Russian gas to the EU.

Despite sanctions to disrupt construction over the past year, the Nord Stream-2 project resumed near the end of 2020. All that is needed is about 150 kilometers of pipe-laying to the German coastline in an overall 12,000-km route from Russia.

From a strategic political and commercial viewpoint, the Americans are crazed by this partnership between Europe and Russia. Navalny’s bizarre poison story and subsequent media agitation seems central to halting the Nord Stream-2 project.

So desperate is Washington to sabotage the pipeline that it is now throwing caution to the winds in its efforts at trying to incite a colour revolution in Russia. The hypocrisy is astounding considering the shrill and unfounded accusations the Americans have leveled at Russia about its supposed interference in US affairs.

But also astounding is the servility of European governments and media who entertain the American agenda. Germany wants and needs Russian gas, but Berlin has accepted the Navalny nonsense and has endangered its relationship with Russia.

In any case, under the laws of the Russian Federation, during Navalny’s five-month stay in Germany, he was on probation for a suspended jail sentence concerning his fraud conviction in 2014.  For the last two months of 2020, according to his German doctors, he was fully recovered and in good health. Hence there were no grounds for him not to return to Russia and thereby to abide by Russian laws.

Near the end of December Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service warned Alexei Navalny to return immediately from Germany or else face a suspended sentence being made into jail time. He ignored this and returned on January 17. He was detained at the airport and placed in detention till February 2.

At the ensuing court case on February 2, seemingly because he had been unable to take his usual drugs, Navalny became unhinged during the proceedings. During the court hearing, he was asked to apologize to a 95-year-old World War II veteran for insulting and defaming him some months before because the veteran had supported an amendment to Russia’s constitution.  Instead of doing this, Navalny proceeded to further ridicule and malign not only the veteran but his family as well, to the extent that it even appalled his supporters in court. As later reported: “Navalny’s constant shift into shouting, rolling into hysterics, bickering with the court, and insulting other participants …  the judge, unable to stand the circus, gave five minutes to the lawyers to ‘bring the defendant to his senses’, since ‘there is no longer any possibility to tolerate this.’” It’s fairly certain that if Navalny had done this in the USA, he’d have been charged with contempt of court and given an additional sentence. At the end of the hearing, he was jailed for parole violations resulting from an earlier embezzlement conviction and sent to serve the remaining 2½ years in a penal colony.

Probably because of Navalny’s bizarre performance in court, his staff announced they have suspended their demonstration plans until the spring.

Russia has dismissed US and EU criticism of the jailing of Navalny as meddling in its domestic affairs and said Navalny’s current situation is a procedural matter for the court, not an issue for the government.

It should be noted that while he was in Germany “recuperating,” Navalny proceeded to accuse President Putin of personally ordering his alleged assassination. On the basis of these bizarre and totally unsubstantiated charges the European governments proceeded to impose further sanctions on Russia.  The abdication by European governments of due process and of respect for Russian state laws, its government, and its president is astounding.

In a question directed at Putin regarding Navalny’s comments about him, Putin responded by saying that Navalny’s claims are merely “laundering of US intelligence” for which the dissident figure is an asset.

The notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to assassinate an opposition person who holds a minuscule 2 to 4% support amongst the population is contrary to any reason or common sense. There is a reason Putin consistently polls about 60 to 70% in favorability with the Russian people.  Such polling is done regularly by the Levada Center, an independent non-governmental polling association.

Russians are fully aware that it was Putin who directed the country away from Western domination under the ruinous neoliberal economic policies of his corrupt and inebriated predecessor Boris Yeltsin.  Under Yeltsin in a matter of five years from 1990 to 1994 life expectancy dropped from age 69 to age 64, and economic output fell by 45 percent during 1989 – 1998.  Under Putin the economy recovered and life expectancy in 2020 was 72.3.

After his arrest, Navalny’s supporters released a two-hour YouTube video about an opulent Black Sea residence allegedly built for Putin. It immediately got wide media attention, especially in the West, and it has been widely viewed in Russia. President Putin immediately denied having anything to do with this structure.  Shortly afterwards, a Russian businessman, Arkady Rotenberg, provided proof that he owns this property and that this has nothing to do with the Russian president.

Navalny’s so-called Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) has a checkered history of shady financing, from allegations of foreign funding by the U.S. State Department to charges of embezzling millions of dollars. The FBK is registered as a ‘foreign agent’ by the Russian Ministry of Justice because they have evidence that it has received funding from abroad in the past.

Navalny is being used by the USA as a useful agent in its attempts to subvert the Russian state by fomenting social unrest. For example, upon Navalny’s return to Russia on January 17, the US embassy in Moscow published detailed street maps of planned protests. Just imagine the hue and cry if, for example, the Russian embassy in Washington had published maps of the Capitol buildings prior to the January 6 violent assault there by Trump supporters.

Navalny’s FBK on January 31 asked the White House to enact additional sanctions on Russia. Russia’s Foreign Affairs official, Vladimir Dzhabarov, denounced the organization, saying: “It smacks of treason. Can you imagine an American organization appealing to Vladimir Putin with a request to impose sanctions on the US president?”

Amnesty International has recently withdrawn its designation of Navalny as a “prisoner of conscience” due to past xenophobic statements he has never retracted. The group said it “is no longer able to consider” Navalny a prisoner of conscience because he “advocated violence and discrimination” and has never retracted any of such statements he made in the past. They noted that he has compared Muslims to cockroaches and flies and recommends shooting them with guns if swatters and shoes fail.

At a party in 2013, celebrating the anniversary of the newspaper the New Times, Navalny suggested that they “make the first toast for the Holocaust”; he referred to religious Jews in his blog as: “dandies in fox hats and rags.” Also, Navalny in 2013 supported the Biryulyovo race riots in which Russian skinheads attacked immigrants in a Moscow district. In 2017, in an interview with the Guardian, he said he has “no regrets” about his past statements and called it “artistic licence.”

Navalny’s world view was formed under the total dominance of the right-wing market liberal ideology in the 2000s, when he supported radical privatization and decreases in social guarantees as a member of the Yabloko Party.

Even though Navalny is now in prison he may still face an investigation for a newer fraud case, in which he and his Anti-Corruption Foundation have been accused of misusing donations from supporters. There is a possibility he may also be charged with treason. A recently released video reveals new evidence of links between MI6 and Navalny. The video exposes the role of the US and UK in helping Navalny to foment political discord in Russia and other countries. With respect to Navalny and his supporters, Russia’s media spokesperson, Maria Zakarova was even more direct, saying “stop calling them opposition, they are NATO agents.”

The case of Andrei Navalny is Russia’s problem, but because the Cold War has now been revived, in the West he is being used an instrument to try to undermine that country.

  • Originally published at Global Research.
  • The post The Case of Alexei Navalny: Reviving the Cold War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Return of the Leviathan: The Fascist Roots of the CIA and the True Origin of the Cold War

    In whose interest did the creation of the Cold War serve and continues to serve? Cynthia Chung addresses this question in her three-part series.

    *****

    In 1998, the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), at the behest of Congress, launched what became the largest congressionally mandated, single-subject declassification effort in history. As a result, more than 8.5 million pages of records have been opened to the public under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (P.L. 105-246) and the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act (P.L. 106-567). These records include operational files of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA, the FBI and Army intelligence. IWG issued three reports to Congress between 1999 and 2007.

    This information sheds important light and confirms one of the biggest-kept secrets of the Cold War – the CIA’s use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a secret campaign against the Soviet Union.

    This campaign against the Soviet Union, which began while WWII was still raging, has been at the crux of Washington’s tolerance towards civil rights abuses and other criminal acts in the name of anti-communism, as seen with McCarthyism and COINTELPRO activities. With that fateful decision, the CIA was not only given free reign for the execution of anti-democratic interventions around the world, but anti-democratic interventions at home, which continues to this day.

    With the shady origin of the Cold War coming to the fore, it begs the questions; ‘Who is running American foreign policy and intelligence today? Can such an opposition be justified? And in whose interest did the creation of the Cold War serve and continues to serve?’ This paper is part one of a three-part series which will address these questions.

    Allen Dulles, the Double Agent who Created America’s Intelligence Empire

    Allen Dulles was born on April 7th, 1893 in Watertown, New York. He graduated from Princeton with a master’s degree in politics in 1916 and entered into diplomatic service the same year. Dulles was transferred to Bern, Switzerland along with the rest of the embassy personnel shortly before the U.S. entered the First World War. From 1922 to 1926, he served five years as chief of the Near East division of the State Department.

    In 1926, he earned a law degree from George Washington University Law School and took a job at Sullivan & Cromwell, the most powerful corporate law firm in the nation, where his older brother (five years his senior) John Foster Dulles was a partner. Interestingly, Allen did not pass the bar until 1928, two years after joining the law firm; however, that apparently did not prevent him in 1927 from spending six months in Geneva as “legal adviser” to the Naval Armament Conference.

    In 1927 he became Director of the Council on Foreign Relations (whose membership of prominent businessmen and policy makers played a key role in shaping the emerging Cold War consensus), the first new director since the Council’s founding in 1921. He became quick friends with fellow Princetonian Hamilton Fish Armstrong, the editor of the Council’s journal, Foreign Affairs. Together they authored two books: Can We Be Neutral? (1936) and Can America Stay Neutral? (1939). Allen served as secretary of the CFR from 1933-1944, and as its president from 1946-1950.

    It should be noted that the Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) based in London, England. It should also be noted that Chatham House itself was created by the Round Table Movement as part of the Treaty of Versailles program in 1919.

    By 1935, Allen Dulles made partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, the center of an intricate international network of banks, investment firms, and industrial conglomerates that helped rebuild Germany after WWI.

    After Hitler took control in the 1930s, John Foster Dulles continued to represent German cartels like IG Farben, despite their integration into the Nazi’s growing war machine and aided them in securing access to key war materials.1

    Although the Berlin office of Sullivan & Cromwell, (whose attorneys were forced to sign their correspondence with “Heil Hitler”) was shut down by 1935, the brothers continued to do business with the Nazi financial and industrial network; such as Allen Dulles joining the board of J. Henry Schroder Bank, the U.S. subsidiary of the London bank that Time magazine in 1939 would call “an economic booster of the Rome-Berlin Axis.” 2

    The Dulles brothers’, especially Allen, worked very closely with Thomas McKittrick, an old Wall Street friend who was president of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Five of its directors would later be charged with war crimes, including Hermann Schmitz, one of the many Dulleses’ law clients involved with BIS. Schmitz was the CEO of IG Farben the chemical conglomerate that became notorious for its production of Zyklon B, the gas used in Hitler’s death camps, and for its extensive use of slave labour during the war. 3

    David Talbot writes in his “The Devil’s Chessboard”:

    The secretive BIS became a crucial financial partner for the Nazis. Emil Puhl – vice president of Hitler’s Reichsbank and a close associate of McKittrick – once called BIS the Reichsbank’s only ‘foreign branch.’ BIS laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in Nazi gold looted from the treasuries of occupied countries.

    The Bank for International Settlements is based in Switzerland, the very region that Allen Dulles would work throughout both WWI and WWII.

    The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed on June 13, 1942 as a wartime intelligence agency during WWII. This was a decision made by President Franklin Roosevelt. William J. Donovan was chosen by Roosevelt to build the agency ground up and was created specifically for addressing the secret communication, decoding and espionage needs that were required for wartime strategy; to intercept enemy intelligence and identify those coordinating with Nazi Germany and Japan.

    The OSS was the first of its kind, nothing like it had existed before in the U.S., it was understood by Roosevelt that such an agency held immense power for abuse in the wrong hands and it could never be allowed to continue once the war against fascism was won.

    Allen Dulles was recruited into the OSS at the very beginning. And on November 12th, 1942 was quickly moved to Bern, Switzerland where he lived at Herrengasse 23 for the duration of WWII. Knowing the shady role Switzerland played throughout WWII with its close support for the Nazi cause and Allen Dulles’ close involvement in all of this, one should rightfully be asking at this point, what the hell were Donovan and Roosevelt thinking?

    Well, Dulles was not the only master chess player involved in this high stakes game. “He was a dangle,” said John Loftus, a former Nazi war crimes investigator for the U.S. Justice Department. They “wanted Dulles in clear contact with his Nazi clients so they could be easily identified.” 4 In other words, Dulles was sent to Switzerland as an American spy, with the full knowledge that he was, in fact, a double agent, the mission was to gain intel on the American, British and French networks, among others, who were secretly supporting the Nazi cause.

    One problem with this plan was that the British MI6 spy William Stephenson known as the “Man Called Intrepid” was supposedly picked to keep tabs on Dulles5; little did Roosevelt know at the time how deep the rabbit hole really went.

    However, as Elliott would write in his book As He Saw It, Roosevelt was very aware that British foreign policy was not on the same page with his views on a post-war world:

    You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren’t in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of ’em: any number of ’em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!” I was told… six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It’s like the British Foreign Office….

    As the true allegiance of BIS and Wall Street finance became clear during the war, Roosevelt attempted to block BIS funds in the United States. It was none other than Foster Dulles who was hired as McKittrick’s legal counsel, and who successfully intervened on the bank’s behalf.6

    It should also be noted that Bank of England Governor Montague Norman allowed for the direct transfer of money to Hitler, however, not with England’s own money but rather 5.6 million pounds worth of gold owned by the National Bank of Czechoslovakia.

    With the end of the war approaching, Project Safehaven, an American intelligence operation thought up by Roosevelt, was created to track down and confiscate Nazi assets that were stashed in neutral countries. It was rightfully a concern that if members of the Nazi German elite were successful in hiding large troves of their wealth, they could bide their time and attempt to regain power in the not so distant future.

    It was Allen Dulles who successfully stalled and sabotaged the Roosevelt operation, explaining in a December 1944 memo to his OSS superiors that his Bern office lacked “adequate personnel to do [an] effective job in this field and meet other demands.” 6

    And while Foster worked hard to hide the U.S. assets of major German cartels like IG Farben and Merck KGaA, and protect these subsidiaries from being confiscated by the federal government as alien property, Allen had his brother’s back and was well placed to destroy incriminating evidence and to block any investigations that threatened the two brothers and their law firm.

    Shredding of captured Nazi records was the favourite tactic of Dulles and his [associates] who stayed behind to help run the occupation of postwar Germany,” stated John Loftus, former Nazi war crimes investigator for the U.S. Justice Department  7

    It is without a doubt that Roosevelt was intending to prosecute the Dulles brothers along with many others who were complicit in supporting the Nazi cause after the war was won. Roosevelt was aware that the Dulles brothers and Wall Street had worked hard against his election, he was aware that much of Wall Street was supporting the Germans over the Russians in the war, he was aware that they were upset over his handling of the Great Depression by going after the big bankers, such as J.P. Morgan via the Pecora Commission, and they hated him for it, but most of all they disagreed with Roosevelt’s views of a post war world. In fact, they were violently opposed to it, as seen by his attempted assassination a few days after he won the election, and with General Smedley Butler’s exposure, which was broadcasted on television, of how a group of American Legion officials paid by J.P. Morgan’s men 8 approached Butler the summer of 1933 to lead a coup d’état against President Roosevelt, an attempted fascist takeover of the United States in broad daylight.

    Roosevelt was only inaugurated March 4, 1933, thus it was clear, Wall Street did not have to wait and see what the President was going to do, they already had a pretty good idea that Roosevelt intended to upset the balance of imperial control, with Wall Street and the City of London as its financial centers. It was clear Wall Street’s days would be marked under Roosevelt.

    However, Roosevelt did not live past the war, and his death allowed for the swift entry of a soft coup, contained within the halls of government and its agencies, and anyone who had been closely associated with FDR’s vision was pushed to the sidelines.

    David Talbot writes in his The Devil’s Chessboard:

    Dulles was more instep with many Nazi leaders than he was with President Roosevelt. Dulles not only enjoyed a professional and social familiarity with many members of the Third Reich’s elite that predated the war; he shared many of these men’s postwar goals.

    The True Origin Story of the Cold War

    In L. Fletcher Prouty’s book The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, he describes how in September 1944, while serving as a captain in the United States Army Air Forces and stationed in Cairo, he was asked to fly what he was told to be 750 U.S. Air crewmen POWs who had been shot down in the Balkans during air raids on the Ploesti oil fields. This intel was based off of his meeting with British Intelligence officers who had been informed by their Secret Intelligence Service and by the OSS.

    Prouty writes:

    We flew to Syria, met the freight train from Bucharest, loaded the POWS onto our aircraft, and began the flight back to Cairo. Among the 750 American POWs there were perhaps a hundred Nazi intelligence agents, along with scores of Nazi sympathetic Balkan agents. They had hidden in this shipment by the OSS to get them out of the way of the Soviet army that had marched into Romania on September 1.

    This September 1944 operation was the first major pro-German, anti-Soviet activity of its kind of the Cold War. With OSS assistance, many followed in quick succession, including the escape and carefully planned flight of General Reinhart Gehlen, the German army’s chief intelligence officer, to Washington on September 20, 1945.

    In Prouty’s book, he discusses how even before the surrender of Germany and Japan, the first mumblings of the Cold War could be heard, and that these mumblings came particularly from Frank Wisner in Bucharest and Allen W. Dulles in Zurich, who were both strong proponents of the idea that the time had come to rejoin selected Nazi power centers in order to split the Western alliance from the Soviet Union.

    Prouty writes:

    It was this covert faction within the OSS, coordinated with a similar British intelligence faction, and its policies that encouraged chosen Nazis to conceive of the divisive “Iron Curtain” concept to drive a wedge in the alliance with the Soviet Union as early as 1944—to save their own necks, to salvage certain power centers and their wealth, and to stir up resentment against the Russians, even at the time of their greatest military triumph.

    The “official history” version has marked down the British as the first to recognise the “communist threat” in Eastern Europe, and that it was Winston Churchill who coined the phrase “Iron Curtain” in referring to actions of the communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe and that he did this after the end of WWII.

    However, Churchill was neither the originator of the phrase nor the idea of the Iron Curtain.

    Just before the close of WWII in Europe, the German Foreign Minister Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk made a speech in Berlin, reported in the London Times on May 3, 1945, in which he used the Nazi-coined propaganda phrase “Iron Curtain,” which was to be used in precisely the same context by Churchill less than one year later.

    Following this German speech, only three days after the German surrender, Churchill wrote a letter to Truman, to express his concern about the future of Europe and to say that an “Iron Curtain” had come down. 9

    On March 4 and 5, 1946, Truman and Churchill traveled from Washington to Missouri, where, at Westminster College in Fulton, Churchill delivered those historic lines: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent.”

    The implications of this are enormous. It not only showcases the true origin of the source that trumpeted the supposed Cold War threat coming from Eastern Europe, the very Nazi enemy of the Allies while WWII was still being waged, but also brings light to the fact that not even one month after Roosevelt’s death, the Grand Strategy had been overtaken. There would no longer be a balance of the four powers (U.S., Russia, Britain and China) planned in a post war world, but rather there would be an Iron Curtain, with more than half of the world covered in shadow.

    The partners in this new global power structure were to be the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Japan, three of the WWII victors and two of the vanquished. It did not matter that Russia and China fought and died on the side of the Allies just moments prior.

    With Ho Chi Minh’s Declaration of Independence on September 2nd, 1945, the French would enter Vietnam within weeks of WWII ending with the United States joining them a few months after Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech. And thus, in little over a year after one of the bloodiest wars in history, the French and the Americans set off what would be a several decades long Indochinese war, all in the name of “freedom” against a supposed communist threat.

    Prouty writes:

    As soon as the island of Okinawa became available as the launching site for [the planned American invasion of Japan], supplies and equipment for an invasion force of at least half a million men began to be stacked up, fifteen to twenty feet high, all over the island. Then, with the early surrender of Japan, this massive invasion did not occur, and the use of this enormous stockpile of military equipment was not necessary. Almost immediately, U.S. Navy transport vessels began to show up in Naha Harbor, Okinawa. This vast load of war materiel was reloaded onto those ships. I was on Okinawa at that time, and during some business in the harbor area I asked the harbormaster if all that new materiel was being returned to the States.

    His response was direct and surprising: ‘Hell, no! They ain t never goin’ to see it again. One-half of this stuff, enough to equip and support at least a hundred and fifty thousand men, is going to Korea, and the other half is going to Indochina.’

    The Godfather of the CIA

    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

    The inscription chosen by Allen Dulles for the Lobby of CIA Headquarters from John 8:31-32

    On September 20th, 1945, President Truman disbanded the OSS a few weeks after the official end of WWII. This was the right thing to do, considering the OSS was never intended to exist outside of wartime and President Roosevelt would have done the same thing had he not passed away on April 12th, 1945. However, Truman was highly naïve in thinking that a piece of paper was all that was required. Truman also had no understanding of the factional fight between the Roosevelt patriots who truly wanted to defeat fascism versus those who believed that it was always about war with the Soviet Union, and would even be open to working with “former” fascists in achieving such a goal.

    Truman thought of the OSS as a homogenous blob. He had no comprehension of the intense in-fighting that was occurring within the United States government and intelligence community for the future of the country. That there was the OSS of Roosevelt, and that there was the underground OSS of Allen Dulles.

    Soon thereafter, on September 18th, 1945, the CIA was founded, and was to be lamented by Truman as the biggest regret of his presidency. Truman had no idea of the type of back channels that were running behind the scenes, little did he know at the time but would come to partially discover, the disbanding of the OSS which took control away from William J. Donovan as head of American intelligence opened the door to the piranhas. The FDR patriots were purged, including William J. Donovan himself, who was denied by Truman the Directorship of the CIA. Instead Truman foolishly assigned him the task of heading a committee studying the country’s fire departments.

    In April 1947, Allen Dulles was asked by the Senate Armed Services Committee to present his ideas for a strong, centralized intelligence agency. His memo would help frame the legislation that gave birth to the CIA later that year.

    Dulles, unsatisfied with the “timidity” of the new CIA, organised the Dulles-Jackson-Correa Committee report, over which Dulles, of course, quickly assumed control, which concluded its sharply critical assessment of the CIA by demanding that the agency be willing to essentially start a war with the Soviet Union. The CIA, it declared, “has the duty to act.” The agency “has been given, by law, wide authority.” It was time to take full advantage of this generous power, the committee, that is Dulles, insisted.

    Dulles, impatient with the slow pace of the CIA in unleashing chaos on the world, created a new intelligence outpost called the Office of Policy Coordination in 1949. Frank Wisner (who worked as a Wall Street lawyer for the law firm Carter, Ledyard & Milburn and was former OSS, obviously from the Dulles branch) was brought in as OPC chief, and quickly brought the unit into the black arts of espionage, including sabotage, subversion, and assassination 10  By 1952, the OPC was running forty-seven overseas stations, and its staff had nearly three thousand employees, with another three thousand independent contractors in the field.

    Dulles and Wisner were essentially operating their own private spy agency.

    The OPC was run with little government oversight and few moral restrictions. Many of the agency’s recruits were “ex” Nazis.11  Dulles and Wisner were engaged in a no-holds-barred war with the Soviet bloc with essentially no government supervision.

    As Prouty mentioned, the shady evacuation of Nazis stashed amongst POWs was to be the first of many, including the evacuation of General Reinhart Gehlen, the German army’s chief intelligence officer, to Washington on September 20, 1945.

    Most of the intelligence gathered by Gehlen’s men was extracted from the enormous population of Soviet prisoners of war – which eventually totaled four million – that fell under Nazi control. Gehlen’s exalted reputation as an intelligence wizard derived from his organization’s widespread use of torture.12

    Gehlen understood that the U.S.-Soviet alliance would inevitably break apart (with sufficient sabotage), providing an opportunity for at least some elements of the Nazi hierarchy to survive by joining forces with the West against Moscow.

    He managed to convince the Americans that his intelligence on the Soviet Union was indispensable, that if the Americans wanted to win a war against the Russians that they would need to work with him and keep him safe. Therefore, instead of being handed over to the Soviets as war criminals, as Moscow demanded, Gehlen and his top deputies were put on a troop ship back to Germany! 12

    Unbelievably, Gehlen’ spy team was installed by U.S. military authorities in a compound in the village of Pullach, near Munich, with no supervision and where he was allowed to live out his dream of reconstituting Hitler’s military intelligence structure within the U.S. national security system. With the generous support of the American government, the Gehlen Organization –as it came to be known – thrived in Pullach, becoming West Germany’s principal intelligence agency12  And it should have been no surprise to anyone that “former” SS and Gestapo officials were brought in, including the likes of Dr. Franz Six. Later, Six would be arrested by the U.S. Army counterintelligence agents. Convicted of war crimes, Six served a mere four years in prison and within weeks of his release went back at work in Gehlen’s Pullach headquarters!. 13

    For those who were able to believe during the war that the Russians were their true enemies (while they died for the same cause as the Americans by the millions in battle) this was not a hard pill to swallow; however, there was pushback.

    Many in the CIA vehemently opposed any association with “former” Nazis, including Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the CIA’s first director, who in 1947 strongly urged President Truman to “liquidate” Gehlen’s operation. It is not clear what stood in the way of this happening, but to suffice to say, Gehlen had some very powerful support in Washington, including within the national security establishment with primary backing from the Dulles faction. 13

    Walter Bedell-Smith, who succeeded Hillenkoetter as CIA Director, despite bringing Allen Dulles in and making him deputy, had a strong dislike for the man. As Smith was getting ready to step down, a few weeks after Eisenhower’s inauguration, Smith advised Eisenhower that it would be unwise to give Allen the directorship of the agency. 14 (18) Eisenhower would come to deeply regret that he did not heed this sound advice.

    With the Eisenhower Nixon victory, the culmination of years of political strategizing by Wall Street Republican power brokers, the new heads of the State Department and the CIA were selected as none other than Foster and Allen Dulles respectively; and they would go on to direct the global operations of the most powerful nation in the world.

    It is for this reason that the 1952 presidential election has gone down in history as the triumph of “the power elite.”15

    1. David Talbot, Devil’s Chessboard, pg 21.
    2. Ibid., pg 22.
    3. Ibid., pg 27.
    4. Ibid, pg 26.
    5. Ibid, pg 23.
    6. Ibid., pg 28.
    7. Ibid., pg 29.
    8. Ibid., pg 26.
    9. L. Fletcher Prouty,  The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assasinate John F. Kennedy, pg 51.
    10. David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard, pg 128.
    11. Ibid., pg 128.
    12. Ibid., pg 228.
    13. Ibid., pg 229.
    14. Ibid., pg 174.
    15. C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, February 15, 2000.
    The post Return of the Leviathan: The Fascist Roots of the CIA and the True Origin of the Cold War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

    Is there a remedy for the PCR disease? (Part 1)

    Bremen is a small city-state in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is one of two cities from the medieval Hanseatic League that have retained their political identity and autonomy over several centuries. The other is Hamburg. Such historical autonomy has also produced idiosyncratic personalities and unconventional or non-conformist policies.

    For instance, Bremen’s constitution was strongly influenced by the merchant Calvinism. So the city is noted for its lack of ostentation. The head of the church in Bremen is the mayor in his capacity as senator for religious affairs. To distinguish themselves from the surrounding aristocratic principalities and the kingdom of Prussia in the German Empire, Bremen citizens traditionally do not accept or display honors and medals. It is a city that prides itself on civility and citizen government, even if at the hand of patricians.

    Hence it is no surprise that the most concentrated civil and legal defense against the German federal government’s constructive pandemic measures have been undertaken by a Bremen law firm, led by Rainer Fuellmich.

    As Dr Fuellmich describes in detail in the video linked below, he and colleagues worldwide have filed a class action suit against the “propagator” of the notorious PCR test, Christian Drosten at the Berlin Charité university hospital. Christian Drosten has been the principal marketer of the test originally developed by Dr K Mullis (+2018) as the “gold standard” for identifying the Sars-Cov2 virus in humans. This use of the so-called PCR test, already denounced by Mullis in 2012, has been, and continues to be, the weapon of mass infection upon which the destruction of the SME sector and civil rights are predicated.

    Dr Füllmich explains why the evidence to date warrants not only charges of fraud (not negligence) and crimes against humanity.

    Even if Covid-19 has become an article of contemporary religious dogma, immune to rational debate, the time for a Reformation is never too late.

    The post Is there a remedy for the PCR disease? (Part 1) first appeared on Dissident Voice.