PDF-Version: Selected articles (21.4.2020)
Selected articles (April 21, 2020)
ASSANGE EXTRADITION: John Pilger, Stefania Maurizi and Charles Glass
April 17, 2020
“With imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange facing the twin dangers of extradition to the U.S. and Coronavirus in Belmarsh prison, watch a panel discussion on the state of Assange’s legal process, the state of his health and the health of press freedom with legendary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger, Italian reporter and WikiLeaks partner Stefania Maurizi and journalist and author Charles Glass.”
Sanctions Kill !
Sign the Open Letter to the Government of the United States and the United Nations
April 9, 2020
University Study Finds Fire Did Not Cause Building 7’s Collapse on 9/11
„On March 25, 2020, researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks issued the final report of a four-year computer modeling study on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.
The 47-story WTC 7 was the third skyscraper to be completely destroyed on September 11, 2001, collapsing rapidly and symmetrically into its footprint at 5:20 PM. Seven years later, investigators at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) concluded that WTC 7 was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely as a result of normal office fires.
Contrary to the conclusions of NIST, the UAF research team finds that the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11 was not caused by fires but instead was caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.
Following the release of this report, AE911Truth and 10 family members of 9/11 victims submitted a formal request for correction to NIST’s report on WTC 7 based partially on the UAF findings. The request is currently pending.“
PUBLIC MASTER CLASS ON THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland, September 11, 2019
Towards A New World Order? The Global Debt Crisis and the Privatization of the State
Has the Pandemic Been Used to Precipitate the World into a Spiral of Mass Unemployment, Bankruptcy and Despair?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
April 17, 2020
„[…] What is the underlying objective of this restructuring of the global economy? What are the consequences? Cui Bono?
- A massive concentration of wealth and corporate capital,,
- the destabilization of small and middle sized enterprises in all major areas of economic activity including the services economy, agriculture and manufacturing.
- facilitates the subsequent corporate acquisition of bankrupt enterprises
- It derogates the rights of workers. It destabilizes labor markets.
- It creates mass unemployment
- It compresses wages (and labor costs) in the so-called high income “developed countries” as well as in the impoverished developing countries.
- It leads to an escalation of the external debt
- It facilitates subsequent privatization
- Needless to say this Global Adjustment (GA) operation is far more detrimental than the country-level IMF-WB structural adjustment program (SAP).
It is neoliberalism to the nth degree.
In one fell swoop (in the course of the last months) the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to impoverishing a large sector of the World population.
And Guess who comes to the rescue? The IMF and the World Bank: […]“
„[…] Concluding Remarks
There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the nature of this crisis.
Several progressive intellectuals are now saying that this crisis constitutues a defeat of neoliberalism. “It opens up a new beginning”.
Some people see it as a “potential turning point”, which opens up an opportunity to “build socialism” or “restore social democracy” in the wake of the lockdown.
The evidence amply confirms that neoliberalism has not been defeated. Quite the opposite.
Global capitalism has consolidated its clutch. Fear and panic prevail. The State is being privatized. The tendency is towards authoritarian forms of government.
These are the issues which we must address.
That historical opportunity to confront the power structures of global capitalism, –including the US-NATO military apparatus– remains to be firmly established in wake of the lockdown.“
The Elite’s COVID-19 Coup Against a Terrified Humanity: Resisting Powerfully
By Robert J. Burrowes
April 13, 2020
„[…] Given that the statistics clearly show that the COVID-19 ‘pandemic’ is already fading in most places where it previously had serious impact, it is possible that the global elite will not complete its execution of this coup against humanity in the near future. It will be content with the demonstration of its phenomenal power to manipulate populations into passively submitting to its bidding and defer its final putsch for a short time.
If that is the case, the damage wrought by this socalled pandemic – on our rights, freedoms, economic security, opportunities, democratic governance, the global economy and the environment – will be irreparable and it would take many years to even restore a partial version of what we thought we had while knowing that they can be taken away, again, at any time just as they were on this occasion.
But, quite frankly, if I was a member of the global elite and had witnessed the remarkably submissive manner in which even activists were deceived by the COVID-19 coup, I would advocate for completing the coup now and lock us down, force-vaccinate us with our own unique digital ID and surveillance chip, and promptly implement all of the measures necessary to take final control of the prison planet previously known as Earth.
However, because I am not a member of the global elite, I will continue to draw attention to what is taking place and encourage people to resist in the strategic ways I have outlined above.
And then do what I can to ensure that as many people as possible, who are powerful enough to do so, respond before it is too late.
I would rather act sooner, while we still have some room to move, rather than later, when we might have much less. [… ]“
COVID-19 and Circuits of Capital
By Rob Wallace, Alex Liebman, Luis Fernando Chaves and Rodrick Wallace
April 1, 2020
„[… ] A general program of intervention runs in parallel far beyond a particular virus.
To avoid the worst outcomes here on out, disalienation offers the next great human transition: abandoning settler ideologies, reintroducing humanity back into Earth’s cycles of regeneration, and rediscovering our sense of individuation in multitudes beyond capital and the state.66 However, economism, the belief that all causes are economic alone, will not be liberation enough. Global capitalism is a many-headed hydra, appropriating, internalizing, and ordering multiple layers of social relation.67 Capitalism operates across complex and interlinked terrains of race, class, and gender in the course of actualizing regional value regimes place to place.
At the risk of accepting the precepts of what historian Donna Haraway dismissed as salvation history—“can we defuse the bomb in time?”—disalienation must dismantle these multifold hierarchies of oppression and the locale-specific ways they interact with accumulation.68 Along the way, we must navigate out of capital’s expansive reappropriations across productive, social, and symbolic materialisms.69 That is, out of what sums up to a totalitarianism. Capitalism commodifies everything—Mars exploration here, sleep there, lithium lagoons, ventilator repair, even sustainability itself, and on and on, these many permutations are found well beyond the factory and farm. All the ways nearly everyone everywhere is subjected to the market, which during a time like this is increasingly anthropomorphized by politicians, could not be clearer.70
In short, a successful intervention keeping any one of the many pathogens queuing up across the agroeconomic circuit from killing a billion people must walk through the door of a global clash with capital and its local representatives, however much any individual foot soldier of the bourgeoisie, Glen among them, attempts to mitigate the damage. As our group describes in some of our latest work, agribusiness is at war with public health.71 And public health is losing.
Should, however, greater humanity win such a generational conflict, we can replug ourselves back into a planetary metabolism that, however differently expressed place to place, reconnects our ecologies and our economies.72 Such ideals are more than matters of the utopian. In doing so, we converge on immediate solutions. We protect the forest complexity that keeps deadly pathogens from lining up hosts for a straight shot onto the world’s travel network.73 We reintroduce the livestock and crop diversities, and reintegrate animal and crop farming at scales that keep pathogens from ramping up in virulence and geographic extent.74 We allow our food animals to reproduce onsite, restarting the natural selection that allows immune evolution to track pathogens in real time. Big picture, we stop treating nature and community, so full of all we need to survive, as just another competitor to be run off by the market. […]“
COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker
Keep Civic Space Healthy
This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.
Facts about Covid-19
„[…] Below you will find regular, but not daily, updates on medical and political developments. […]“
Is the United States About to Engage in Official State Piracy Against China? Strong Precedent Points to Worrying Trend
By A. B. Abrams
April 18, 2020
„The Coronavirus crisis appears set to herald a new era of much poorer relations between China and the Western world, with Western countries having borne the brunt of the fallout from the pandemic and, particularly in the United States, increasingly blaming China at an official level for the effects. […]
n unbiased analysts shows that the disproportionate fallout in the Western world relative to East Asia is overwhelmingly due to poor preparation – and had effective South Korean style measures been implemented from the outset America would have seen only a small fraction of the cases it currently suffers from. Nevertheless, calls from the U.S. and to a lesser extent from within other Western states to make China foot the bill are manifold. […] Further evidence that the U.S. would consider unilateral commandeering of shipping against China was provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, which in April published an important paper titled ‘Unleash the Privateers’ highlighting that it remained legal under American law for U.S. security firms to be tasked with commandeering and either sinking or capturing and selling Chinese merchant ships in the event of conflict. It highlighted that China was the largest trading nation in the world with a merchant fleet several times the size of its American counterpart – and that this provided a vulnerability the U.S. should be willing to exploit. Taken together, the circumstances surrounding claims against China and moves to strip it of its sovereign immunity, the Warmbier precedent, the well timed and extremely radical naval institute paper and above all America’s need to reverse its losses and undermine China’s growing trade and economic prosperity to perpetuate its own hegemony, between them point to a high possibility of the U.S. adopting state level piracy against Chinese shipping as a future policy. While evidence strongly contradicts claims that China is responsible for the Coronavirus and the massive fallout the U.S. is now experiencing – much as evidence from American coroners and forensic scientists contradicted the claims of the Warmbier family – these inconvenient facts are highly unlikely to prevent the U.S. from taking action to secure its perceived rightful place as the leader of the global economy by seizing what it sees as its rightful property through attacks on Chinese trading vessels.[…]“
Coronavirus stimulus bill funds State Dept/USAID operations that once helped trigger polio outbreak in Syria
A look at recent USAID schemes from Pakistan to Syria shows US empire can be very hazardous to your health.
By Max Blumenthal
April 16, 2020
„[…] Operation Timber Sycamore, a semi-covert operation to topple the Syrian government, officially began in 2012. Through this multi-billion-dollar arm-and-equip operation, the CIA sent weapons over the Turkish border and placed them in the hands of fanatical Islamist fighters marketed to the American public as “moderate rebels.” Within months, large sections of the country were overrun by extremist militias, which proceeded to destroy infrastructure and place previously functional public services under their theocratic rule.
In areas that were captured by anti-government militants, USAID enacted a $340 million program to establish a parallel government it dreamed would eventually replace the one in Damascus, which the US aimed to topple. To do so, it dumped funding into supposed “civil society” groups such as the White Helmets, and opposition media outfits like Radio Fresh. Meanwhile, a British firm called Adam Smith International received a contract to help establish a “Free Syrian Police” force capable of imposing law and order. […] Contrary to Annie Sparrow’s partisan screeds, the most likely cause for the spread of polio to militia-held bastions of Syria was the infiltration of foreign jihadists. According to an analysis by Jennifer Cole of the Royal United Services Institute, genetic sequencing linked a polio outbreak in northeastern Syria “to one of Pakistani origin…” At the time, 92 percent of the world’s polio cases occurred in Pakistan. […]“
17 Years Later: The Consequences of Invading Iraq
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies
March 19, 2020
“[…] Seventeen years ago, the U.S. armed forces attacked and invaded Iraq with a force of over 460,000 troops from all its armed services, supported by 46,000 UK troops, 2,000 from Australia and a few hundred from Poland, Spain, Portugal and Denmark. The “shock and awe” aerial bombardment unleashed 29,200 bombs and missiles on Iraq in the first five weeks of the war. […] Here is a look at 12 of the most serious consequences of the U.S. war in Iraq. […]”
THE RESISTANCE STRIKES THE US WHICH SEEKS A TRUCE IN IRAQ
By Elijah J. Magnier
April 13, 2020
„New anonymous organisations in Iraq have threatened to strike US forces if they refuse to withdraw from Iraq. One of these newly emerged organisations released its first video of an attack against a US military convoy transporting vehicles on the road between the Kurdish province of Erbil and the northern Salahuddin province, where the US maintains large military bases. US Ambassador Matthew Tueller has met with caretaker Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, expressing the will of his country to begin strategic talks with Baghdad. The US did not disclose that the US diplomat informed Mr Abdul-Mahdi about the US intention to pull out forces from Iraq and his request not to be attacked during the withdrawal of troops. Indeed, the US has already evacuated forces from 6 bases and centres of control in different places in Iraq. This is what prompted the Iraqi Kataeb Hezbollah (Brigades) to announce particularly that the organisation does not intend to strike US forces as long as they completely withdraw from the country. […]“
THERE IS NO IRANIAN-AMERICAN AGREEMENT AND NO TRUCE IN IRAQ
By Elijah J. Magnier
April 11, 2020
„[…] This time – after three failed attempts to nominate a prime minister – Al-Kazemi will be supported to form his cabinet and will have the parliamentary support needed. However, he will face severe difficulties and challenges. The US is redeploying its forces and not showing any intention of complete withdrawal. Al-Kazemi will not be able to seek an easy US withdrawal and won’t be able to disarm Iraqi organisations as he promised to do. Moreover, he will face a real economic problem because Iraq suffers from a low oil price and external debts. The income of Iraq is just over 30 billion dollars whereas it needs 80 billion to pay salaries and maintain the infrastructure as it is. Al-Kazemi will not be able to respond to demands from the street because he simply does not have enough money. Iran is not afraid who sits at the top of the Iraqi government; today’s friend may turn out to be tomorrow’s enemy. Tehran enjoys enough connections with political leaders and military commanders and head of organisations in Iraq. Iran has experienced an aggressive Prime Minister in the past, Haidar Abadi, and managed its way in Iraq, a country sensitive to a balance among its political leaders. The US doesn’t have enough leverage in Iraq to match the leverage of Iran.“
Exactly 18 Years After US Coup Against Venezuela, Pompeo and Abrams Warn Another is Coming
US regime change cheerleaders Mike Pompeo and Elliot Abrams warned Venezuala’s government not to resist the upcoming implementation of a “transitional government.”
By Alan Macleod
April 13, 2020
Palestinian Prisoners Day: Remembering Palestine’s Organic Intellectuals
By Ramzy Baroud
April 14, 2020
„April 17 officially marks Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, a day when the Palestinian people collectively remember the more than five thousand prisoners currently incarcerated in Israeli jails, many of them minors and many held without charge or trial. […] According to United Nations and Palestinian sources, between 750,000 and 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in June 1967. They include 23,000 women and 25,000 children. Currently, there are 5,250 Palestinian political prisoners in Israel, a number that is constantly growing, not only because Israel insists on maintaining its military occupation, but also because Palestinians insist on their right to resist it. Expectedly, Israel dubs any form of Palestinian resistance an act of “terrorism,” a misleading depiction of the reality of Palestinian political dissent which ultimately aims at their dehumanization, and thus justifying the subjugation of an entire nation. But Palestinians are not passive victims, either. […]“
Criminal Generosity. Mandatory Vaccination and Global Surveillance
April 17, 2020
How Joe Biden’s statement falls short on calling for Iran sanctions relief
By John Krzyzaniak
April 3, 2020
„Iran has been hit hard by the coronavirus, and US sanctions have hindered its access to drugs and medical equipment. That has led many US officials and foreign policy experts to implore the Trump administration to ease or temporarily lift sanctions. Despite what you may have read, Joe Biden is not one of them.
Biden’s April 2 statement on Iran, coronavirus, and sanctions makes no mention of lifting or easing sanctions whatsoever. Instead, it merely asks the Trump administration to take a number of limited actions to clarify what is already true: US sanctions don’t apply to humanitarian goods like medical equipment or drugs. Biden’s specific requests include issuing licenses to pharmaceutical and medical device companies and giving clear guidance to aid organizations. […]“
Iran’s Nurses Are Martyrs to Trump’s Maximum Pressure
By Negar Mortazavi
April 16, 2020
„The Trump administration’s sanctions have made it impossible for Iranian medical personnel to keep themselves safe amid the pandemic. […]“
Opposing an IMF Loan to Iran: Not an Outlier, Not a Barrier to Aid
By Patrick Clawson
The Washington Institute
April 14, 2020
„[…] To be sure, Tehran has had much difficulty accessing its foreign exchange reserves for humanitarian trade because of U.S. restrictions on transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. Yet an IMF loan would have exactly zero impact on that issue. What does help on that front is Treasury’s quiet policy change in March to allow foreign transactions with the Central Bank for the purpose of countering coronavirus. Exporters are already leaping at this opportunity in South Korea, where Iran holds many billions of dollars in reserves; the policy change applies to other key reserve locations as well. Thus, anyone concerned about getting medical supplies to Iran should be focusing on these newly accessible reserves rather than IMF loans. In short, the IMF loan controversy will have no impact on the country’s ability to purchase humanitarian goods. It is inappropriate for news outlets, EU governments, or anyone else to claim that blocking the loan will impede Iran’s access to such goods. The real obstacle lies in Tehran’s failure to use the many resources it can already access.“
Visions Of The Post-Coronavirus World – Part IV: Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Rezaee: ‚An International… Social Movement Must Be Launched‘; Our Foreign Policy Must ‚Prioritize The Expulsion Of The U.S.‘ From The Region; ‚We Must Be Ready… For The Victory Of Humanity’s Savior‘ – The Mahdi
April 7, 2020
„Mohsen Rezaee, secretary of the Iranian regime’s Expediency Council whose members are appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and whose role it is to advise him, published an article on April 2, 2020 via the Fars news agency. In the article, Rezaee, who is also a former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), discussed the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic for the world. He stated that the pandemic had exposed the malady infecting humankind – the sick world order based, according to him, on the liberal, capitalist West and on the American values of freedom and democracy. He said that in the wake of the pandemic, the Western order will make way for a new world order whose center of gravity will be Asia. Revolutionary Iran, he added, will play a unique role in leading the new world, and to this end it must advance the values of the Islamic revolution in order to cure all humanity’s ills.[…]“
Visions Of The Post-Coronavirus World – Part V: Iranian Regime Mouthpiece ‚Kayhan‘: God Sent The Coronavirus To Expose The Hollow, Atrophied Nature Of Western Civilization Versus The Human And Life-Affirming Civilization Of Islam; America, Israel Manufactured, Spread The Coronavirus In The World
April 17, 2020
„In the recent days, the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan has devoted several editorials to explaining to the Iranian public why the coronavirus pandemic has befallen the world and the lessons that the world should derive from it. In an April 6, 2020 editorial the daily postulated that the coronavirus is a product of the godless Western civilization, which takes pride in science for its own sake and which also created the atom bomb and chemical weapons. […]“
A Technical and Policy Note on Iran’s Recent Uranium Enrichment Capacity Claims – An Annex summarizes the status of Iran’s enrichment program, based on the last quarterly report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By David Albright and Sarah Burkhard
The Institute for Science and International Security
April 15, 2020
„On April 8, 2020, one day before Iran’s Nuclear Technology Day, a spokesperson for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) announced that Iran could produce 60 “advanced” centrifuges a day, with the goal to reach an enrichment capacity of 250,000 separative work units (swu) per year, ultimately one million swu per year.1 It is unlikely, for several reasons, that Iran will reach this capacity with its existing advanced centrifuges for many years, if ever. Currently, its enrichment capacity is about 7500 swu per year (see Annex). This capacity represents a growth of about 20 percent since November 2019 with almost three quarters of that capacity invested in first generation IR-1 centrifuges, the rest in a mélange of advanced centrifuges. To reach 250,000 swu per year, Iran would need to increase its current enrichment capacity 30-fold, entailing the installation and operation of tens of thousands of advanced centrifuges. This goal seems out of Iran’s reach, faced with advanced centrifuges that rarely work as planned and often fail, with a chaotic program that appears to be developing far too many centrifuges, all at best mediocre and poorly performing, and with little chance of ever competing economically with Russian and European centrifuges that supply most of the enrichment needs of nuclear power reactors in the world, including Iran’s own Bushehr reactor. […]“
Iranian public opinion highlights need to redouble efforts to save the JCPOA
By Nancy Gallagher
Director, Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM), University of Maryland
February 27, 2020
„[…] Iranians want their government to push back against foreign pressure, not cave to it, or turn the other cheek. After U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, 60 percent said in May 2019 that Iran should withdraw, too, rather than remain committed along with the other P5+1 countries. The Rouhani government pursued the latter course of action for a year, then started to incrementally exceed some JCPOA limits in an effort to get other signatories to provide more of the promised benefits. That policy was much more popular (74% approval in October 2019) than the previous wait-and-see approach. Comparable numbers favored tit-for-tat responses to other forms of foreign pressure, including violations of Iranian airspace and water, and attacks on Iranian vessels and planes.Despite economic unhappiness, public support for additional nuclear concessions remains low. In October 2019, after a series of more stringent U.S. sanctions had taken effect, only 4 percent of survey Iranians said Iran should accept U.S. demands for a longer-duration agreement, only 35 percent approved of that in return for greater sanctions relief than the JCPOA offered, and 58 percent remained unconditionally opposed to a longer agreement. The 48 percent of respondents who said that sanctions have had a great negative impact are no more willing to extend the duration of JCPOA limits than those who say sanctions have had some, little, or no negative effect. These numbers mirrored Iranian responses when the same questions were asked in 2016 after Trump’s election. […]“
Iran’s defense ministry makes mass delivery of new drones to army
April 18, 2020
„Iran’s defense ministry has made mass delivery of new combat and surveillance drones, including a jet-powered multipurpose UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to Army’s Air force and Air Defense Force. […]“
100 DAYS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF SOLEIMANI: DID THE US ACHIEVE ITS OBJECTIVES?
By Elijah J. Magnier
April 18, 2020
„[…] The strategic consequences of Soleimani’s assassination and the Iranian direct bombing of the US bases are boosting the “Axis of the Resistance” as never before. Iran’s allies seem now to have no fear of confronting the US face-to-face on any platform. Soleimani was not killed on the battlefield but by a drone guided from afar. Iran gave notice to the US about the timing of the bombing of its bases and fulfilled its plan, allowing US and coalition forces to hide in their shelters. The assassination of Soleimani turned against the US and in favour of the “Axis of the Resistance”- despite its loss of an important leader.“
100 DAYS AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF SOLEIMANI: DID THE US ACHIEVE ITS OBJECTIVES?
By Elijah J. Magnier
April 19, 2020
„[…] Trump wanted to change the Rules of Engagement and aimed to “have it all”. He will end up asking the Iraqis for an “honourable withdrawal” from Mesopotamia. The assassination of Soleimani offered the “Axis of the Resistance” what Iran could otherwise never have obtained from Iraq – US withdrawal. The loss of Soleimani and Muhandes has strengthened Iran’s position on several fronts. Iran returned to its previous “best policy”, a tried and tested tradition of reaping successes from US missteps in the Middle East.“