The web of relations within the Israel-India-USA-UAE (I2-U2) alliance

By Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies

On 14 July, during his visit to Israel, US President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting with the leaders of a new economic group known as I2-U2, consisting of India, Israel, the UAE, and the USA. The announcement of the group’s establishment has raised many questions concerning its objectives, the timing of its formation, and the interests that unite its parties. Although the joint statement issued after the meeting stressed that the goal of establishing the group is a ‘particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security,’ the prevailing belief is that strategic goals stand behind the group’s establishment, considering the circumstances that led to its emergence and the nature of the relations and interests linking its members. This was noted by US State Department spokesman Ned Price when he said that the four parties discussed ‘expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation, and increasing maritime security’.

Context

The I2-U2 group was established in October 2021 during a meeting between the US secretary of state and his Israeli and Emirati counterparts to monitor the implementation of the ‘Abraham Accords’, which triggered the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel on the one hand, and the UAE and Bahrain on the other. India, which enjoys strategic relations with Israel, joined the group a few days later, during a visit to Israel by India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Consequently, the four parties held a virtual meeting while Jaishankar was in Israel to attend the Indian Air Force’s participation in Israel’s Blue Flag exercise. While the tripartite group of Israel, the UAE and the USA appears understandable in light of the Abraham Accords, India’s accession has aroused several questions regarding motives, as well as the reason for choosing Israel as a setting for the announcement of its accession.

Interests

The four state parties are linked to a wide network of economic, strategic and security interests, with shared views on many regional and international issues, most prominently the issue of Islamist movements (although the ideology and practice of India’s ruling party is hostile not just to Islamist movements but to Islam more generally). They do have difference on other issues, such as Iran (with which India entertains friendly relations), and the failure of the UAE and Israel to share the hostile position of the USA and India on China. India, the UAE and Israel have been strengthening their bilateral relations in recent years, eventually making it possible to establish a regional alliance under US auspices.

India-Israel Relations

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992, relations between the two states have flourished, especially since the ascension to power of India’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. Trade between them had ballooned to more than four billion dollars by the end of 2016, from one billion in 2000. In 2017, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, undertook the first visit of an Indian prime minister to Israel, followed by a visit by the former Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to India in January 2018. The progress of Indo-Israeli relations has covered many areas, including research and development and joint manufacturing in the defence sector, science and technology, trade and innovation, agriculture, health, telecommunications, water, and smart cities. But the defence and security sector remains the most important in their bilateral relations. Within a few years, Israel became one of the three most important sources of weapons for India. During the Indian foreign minister’s visit to Israel in October 2021, the two countries signed a ten-year defence cooperation agreement. Previously, in April 2017, the two governments signed the biggest deal in the history of the Israeli military industry, valued at two billion dollars. India is currently the largest importer of Israeli weapons; it imports about 45 per cent of all Israeli produced weapons. Israel is a convenient source of arms for India because, unlike the USA, it does not tie its exports to any conditions.

India-UAE Relations

India’s high economic growth numbers, accompanied by an increase in its energy needs, added a strategic dimension to its relations with the Gulf region. Energy and maritime security have become the glue of these relations, and India has set its sights on strengthening relations with Gulf states, and building a strategic partnership with them to secure the oil and gas for its continued economic growth. India is currently the third largest oil importer in the world, and the Gulf region provides about 70 per cent of India’s imported oil; the vast majority from Arab states, and the rest from Iran. Although India’s relations with all Gulf countries have undergone extensive development, New Delhi and Abu Dhabi are particularly close, especially since the BJP came to power. In February 2016, the then crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, visited India. In January 2017, he again visited India as the guest of honour for its National Day celebrations. On the other hand, India’s prime minister Modi visited Abu Dhabi in February 2018, and again in August 2019, when he was presented with the Order of Zayed, the highest honour in the UAE. During this visit, the two countries also signed a partnership and strategic cooperation agreement that included energy, investment, defence and maritime security. Meanwhile, trade between the two countries amounted to USD57 billion in 2019.

In February 2022, the two countries signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to increase trade from its current level of USD60 billion to USD115 billion within five years. Symbolic of the relationship between the two countries, the UAE insisted on inviting India to attend the ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that was held in Abu Dhabi in early 2019, despite Pakistan’s threat to boycott the meeting. Later that year, India abolished Kashmir’s seven-decade self-rule.

While the UAE seeks to enhance its technology, security and defence clout by strengthening its relations with India, ideology is also an important factor in the development of its relations with India, as well as with Israel, The UAE agrees with the Israeli and Indian definition of terrorism, generalising and seeking to eliminate all variations of Islamist forces, and cooperating with them to restrict and shut down Islamic organisations that are active in representing the interests of Muslims in Europe and the United States.

UAE-Israel Relations

Despite a long history of secret relations between the UAE and Israel dating back two decades, according to some sources, security relations have progressed remarkably quickly, especially after the Abraham Accords were signed in 2020. On 18 August 2020, former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen visited the UAE where he met the Emirati national security adviser, Tahnoun bin Zayed, to discuss ‘prospects for cooperation in the fields of security’, and ‘exchanged points of view on regional developments and on issues of common interest’.

In March 2021, the Emirates Defense Advanced Technology Group (EDGE) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israel Aerospace Industries Company to develop joint security and military production and build an advanced anti-drone defence system. In November 2021, the head of the Arms Export Department of the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Yair Kolas, visited the Dubai International Airshow, accompanied by seven Israeli security, military and cyber companies, in order to enhance the joint security and military cooperation between the two countries, and to design and manufacture unmanned ships capable of implementing M-170 anti-submarine attacks. On the political level, Naftali Bennett made the first visit of an Israeli prime minister to the UAE in December 2021, and returned in June 2022 with reports that Israel had installed radar systems in the UAE to intercept any attacks from Iran. Economically, the volume of trade between the UAE and Israel increased from USD125 million in 2020 to USD700 million in 2021. In March 2022, the UAE announced the establishment of a USD10 billion fund to invest in strategic sectors in Israel, including energy, water, space, healthcare and agricultural technology.

The Tripartite consensus and the US position

Thus, the Abraham Accords prepared the ground to bring together India, the UAE, and Israel as partners within the framework of an Asian-Middle Eastern regional alliance based on shared interests and sponsored by Washington. As soon as normalisation between Israel and the UAE became public, the International Federation of Indian-Israeli Chambers of Commerce was established, and Dubai was selected as its main international headquarters. The opening of the headquarters was attended by the heads of the Indian and Israeli diplomatic missions in Abu Dhabi and the UAE ambassador to India, in addition to numerous Indian businessmen based in the UAE.

On 14 February 2021, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) organised a virtual symposium titled ‘India, Israel, and the Gulf: New Opportunities’. Israel views Dubai as an important bridge to the large Indian market, as Dubai hosts about 500 Indian investment groups, as well as the headquarters of every Indian company operating in the Middle East, in addition to the 23 Indian banks with branches in the Dubai International Financial Center. On the other hand, New Delhi considers the presence of direct flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv helpful in strengthening the relations of Indian companies with Israel. Israeli representatives in Dubai hastened to establish relations with Indian businessmen in the Emirates, while several Indian companies in Dubai announced the launch of activities in Israel in the fields of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and gold and jewellery, among other sectors. The three countries have shown great interest in strengthening cooperation in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, in which Israel and India are pioneers, while the UAE boasts the capital to invest in these projects. According to an opinion poll conducted by the Brookings Institution in 2019, the UAE and Israel are, remarkably, considered the most reliable partners for Indian political elites.

With Washington being party to this regional grouping, the three countries hope to gain access to advanced US technology in security, defence, aerospace, healthcare and emerging technologies, and also hope to access the best weapons technology and to cooperate in containing the Islamist groups that they consider their greatest threat.

Meanwhile, Washington hopes that cooperation with India in the Gulf will replace, if only partially, China, and will lead to the emergence and development of a defence-security architecture that can confront China. The USA is looking for cooperation not only in terms of defence, but also to compete with Chinese trade. To this end, it has been proposed that Indian ports, such as Mumbai, may be linked Greek ports through the Jebel Ali port in Dubai, and a railway line may be constructed from the Emirates through Saudi Arabia and Jordan to the port of Haifa. Washington believes that supporting such projects will help restructure global supply chains and international trade lines away from China and its Belt and Road Initiative. This would be consistent with the vision of the G7 countries, adopted at their last meeting in June 2022, to provide USD600 billion to finance infrastructure projects to rival and limit the expansion of Chinese mega projects.

* This article was first published by the Arab Centre for Research & Policy Studies, Doha

7 August, 2022

Source: www.amec.org.za

US-China relations at breaking point

By Peter Symonds

The reckless and provocative trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has strained relations between the United States and China to breaking point.

The Chinese government has reacted with Pelosi’s visit by ending dialogue with Washington in key areas, including military-to-military talks, climate change, cross-border crime and drug trafficking, and the repatriation of illegal migrants. Beijing has also imposed unspecified sanctions on Pelosi herself.

“Despite China’s serious concerns and firm opposition, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling on the One China policy, and threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson declared.

The eight countermeasures announced yesterday specifically cancel China-US Theatre Commanders meetings, China-US Defense Policy Coordination talks and China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings. The Politico website reported that multiple calls by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley have not been returned by their Chinese counterparts.

The breakdown of direct military-to-military contact further heightens the danger of an incident or accident leading to a broader conflict amid the tense standoff between Chinese, US and Taiwanese forces triggered by Pelosi’s visit.

The US is maintaining a major naval presence in waters near Taiwan, featuring the aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, with its full complement of warplanes, along with the warships of its accompanying strike group. White House spokesperson John Kirby announced further anti-China provocations, with US naval and air transits of the Taiwan Strait in the “next few weeks.”

China is staging its own largest-ever military drills in six areas close to Taiwan, due to continue until noon local time on Sunday. These involve the dispatch of military aircraft into the Taiwan Strait, the firing of missiles into waters to the east of Taiwan, including over the island itself, and the deployment of naval ships into the areas, disrupting international flights and shipping.

In a pointed warning to the US and Japan, several Chinese missiles reportedly landed inside the 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), surrounding Japan’s southern islands near Taiwan, sparking a protest from Tokyo. The largest US military bases in Japan are sited on Okinawa, which is part of Japan’s lengthy southern island chain.

Taiwan’s defence ministry reported it had scrambled fighters to warn away Chinese aircraft that it said had entered the island’s self-declared Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), some of which also had crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait separating the island from the Chinese mainland. The ministry said a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships had conducted missions in the strait.

The risk of a military clash is increased by the extremely confined space in which such manoeuvres are taking place. The Taiwan Strait is just 130 kilometres wide at its narrowest point. The nearest inhabited Japanese island, Yonaguni, is only 110 kilometres to the east of Taiwan.

Moreover, the Taiwanese ADIZ, which has no standing in international law, not only hugs the Chinese mainland, including heavily-fortified islets just kilometres from major Chinese cities, but covers a significant portion of the Chinese mainland itself. In many cases, Chinese aircraft cannot even take off without “intruding” into the ADIZ.

In a statement steeped in hypocrisy and cynicism, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the Chinese exercises, saying: “There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response… now, they’ve taken dangerous acts to a new level.”

At the same time, Blinken reiterated that the US intended to stage further provocations by sending its military through the narrow waters between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland and encouraging its allies to do the same.

Despite initial expressions of concern about the inflammatory character of Pelosi’s trip, the Biden administration backed it and authorised the mobilisation of US military aircraft and warships as part of the visit. Now the White House, its allies such as Japan and Australia, and the US and international media repeat the lie that the visit in no way changed the status quo surrounding Taiwan.

In reality, the trip is another major nail in the coffin of the One China policy that underpinned the establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and China in 1979. Beijing insists that Taiwan is an integral part of One China of which it is the legitimate government—a position that the US accepted de-facto when it broke diplomatic and military relations with Taiwan and removed its embassy and its armed forces from the island.

Beijing has repeatedly warned that it will reintegrate Taiwan by force if Taipei ever declares formal independence from China. The visit by the highest-ranking US official in 25 years is just the latest in a series of steps by the Trump and Biden administrations calculated to call the One China policy into question. That included a public acknowledgement last year of the presence of US troops on Taiwan—a territory that de facto the US recognises as part of China.

Taiwan would be part of China today if it were not for US imperialism. The protocols reached between the US and its allies at the end of World War II recognised that Taiwan—the Japanese colony of Formosa since 1895—was part of Chinese territory. In the wake of the 1949 Chinese Revolution, the defeated Kuomintang armies fled to Taiwan, where Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek presided over a brutal military dictatorship.

For nearly a quarter century, successive US administrations maintained the fiction that the Chiang Kai-shek dictatorship was the legitimate government-in-exile of all China. That changed in 1972 when President Nixon visited China and forged a quasi-alliance with Beijing against the Soviet Union. Taiwan and the One China policy was central to the protracted negotiations that finally culminated in the establishment of formal US-Chinese relations in 1979.

The Biden administration is now deliberately undermining those foundations. In doing so, it is goading Beijing into taking military action to reunify Taiwan and prevent the island being drawn into Washington’s web of anti-China alliances throughout the Indo-Pacific. Taiwan is not only critical to China strategically but is home to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which has a virtual monopoly on the production of the most advanced semiconductors vital for countless commercial and military applications.

US imperialism is consciously exploiting Taiwan and endangering its population, in the same way as it has used Ukraine to provoke a war with Russia. It is seeking to provoke a conflict over the island and drag China into a military quagmire that will weaken and fracture the country that Washington regards as the chief threat to the “international rules-based order” on which its global domination rests.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan marks a dramatic escalation in the US provocations against China, but Washington will not stop there. As it increasingly renders the One China policy a dead letter, the US is arming Taiwan to the teeth, as part of its decade-long military build-up throughout the Indo-Pacific region for a war with China with potentially catastrophic consequences.

6 August 2022

Source: countercurrents.org

Why Resistance Matters: Palestinians are Challenging Israel’s Unilateralism, Dominance

By Dr Ramzy Baroud

Until recently, Israeli politics did not matter to Palestinians. Though the Palestinian people maintained their political agency under the most demoralizing conditions, their collective action rarely influenced outcomes in Israel, partly due to the massive discrepancy of power between the two sides.

Now that Israelis are embarking on their fifth election in less than four years, it is important to raise the question: “How do Palestine and the Palestinians factor in Israeli politics?”

Israeli politicians and media, even those who are decrying the failure of the ‘peace process’, agree that peace with the Palestinians is no longer a factor, and that Israeli politics almost entirely revolves around Israel’s own socio-economic, political and strategic priorities.

This, however, is not exactly true.

While it is appropriate to argue that none of Israel’s mainstream politicians are engaged in dialogue about Palestinian rights, a just peace or co-existence, Palestine remains a major factor in the election campaigning of most of Israel’s political parties. Instead of advocating peace, these camps advocate sinister ideas, ranging from the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements to the rebuilding of the ‘Third Temple’ – thus the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The former is represented by ex Israeli Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, and the latter in more extremist characters like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich.

Hence, Palestine has always factored in Israeli politics in such a vulgar way. Even before the establishment of the state of Israel on the ruins of historic Palestine in 1948, the Zionist movement understood that a ‘Jewish state’ can only exist and maintain its Jewish majority through force, and only when Palestine and the Palestinian people cease to exist.

“Zionism is a colonizing adventure and, therefore, it stands or falls on the question of armed forces”, Zionist ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote nearly 100 years ago. This philosophy of violence continues to permeate Zionist thought to this day. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands,” said Israeli historian, Benny Morris in a 2004 interview, in reference to the Nakba and the subsequent dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Until the war of 1967, Palestinian and Arab states mattered, to some extent, to Israel. Palestinian and Arab resistance cemented Palestinian political agency for decades. However, the devastating outcome of the war, which, once again, demonstrated the centrality of violence to Israel’s existence, relegated Palestinians and almost entirely sidelined the Arabs.

Since then, Palestinians mattered to Israel based almost exclusively on Israeli priorities. For example, Israeli leaders flexed their muscles before their triumphant constituencies by attacking Palestinian training camps in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. Palestinians also factored in as Israel’s new cheap labor force. In some ironic but also tragic way, it was the Palestinians who built Israel following the humiliating defeat of the Naksa, or the Setback.

The early stages of the ‘peace process’, especially during the Madrid talks in 1991, gave the false impression that the Palestinian agency is finally translating to tangible outcomes; this hope quickly evaporated as illegal Jewish settlements continued to expand, and Palestinians continued to lose their land and lives at an unprecedented rate.

The ultimate example of Israel’s complete disregard for Palestinians was the so-called ‘disengagement plan’ carried out in Gaza by late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005. The Israeli government believed that Palestinians were inconsequential to the point that the Palestinian leadership was excluded from any phase of the Israeli scheme. The approximately 8,500 illegal Jewish settlers of Gaza were merely resettled in other illegally occupied Palestinian land and the Israeli army simply redeployed from Gaza’s heavily populated areas to impose a hermetic blockade on the impoverished Strip.

The Gaza siege apparatus remains in effect to this day. The same applies to every Israeli action in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

Due to their understanding of Zionism and experience with Israeli behavior, generation after generation of Palestinians rightly believed that the outcome of Israeli politics can never be favorable to Palestinian rights and political aspirations. The last few years, however, began altering this belief. Though Israeli politics have not changed – in fact, pivoted further to the right – Palestinians, wittingly or otherwise, became direct players in Israeli politics.

Israeli politics has historically been predicated on the need for further colonialism, strengthening the Jewish identity of the state at the expense of Palestinians, and constant quest for war. Recent events suggest that these factors are no longer controlled by Israel alone.

The popular resistance in occupied East Jerusalem and the growing rapport between it and various other forms of resistance throughout Palestine are reversing Israel’s previous success in segmenting Palestinian communities, thus dividing the Palestinian struggle among different factions, regions and priorities. The fact that Israel is forced to seriously consider Gaza’s response to its annual provocation in Jerusalem, known as the ‘Flag March’, perfectly illustrates this.

As demonstrated time and again, the growing resistance throughout Palestine is also denying Israeli politicians the chance to wage war for votes and political status within Israel. For example, Netanyahu’s desperate war in May 2021 did not save his government, which collapsed shortly after. Bennett, a year later, hoped that his ‘Flag March’ would provoke a Palestinian response in Gaza that would buy his crumbling coalition more time. The strategic decision by Palestinian groups not to respond to Israel’s provocations thwarted Bennett’s plans. His government, too, collapsed shortly after.

Still, a week following the dismantling of Israel’s latest coalition, groups in Gaza released a video of a captured Israeli who was presumed dead, sending a message to Israel that the resistance in the Strip still has more cards at its disposal. The video raised much attention in Israel, compelling the new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid to assert that Israel has “a sacred obligation to bring home” its captives.

All these new elements have a direct impact on Israeli politics, policies and calculations, even if the Israelis continue to deny the obvious impact of Palestinians, their resistance and political strategies.

The reason why Israel refuses to acknowledge Palestinian political agency is that, in doing so, Tel Aviv would have no other alternative but to engage Palestinians as partners in a political process that could guarantee justice, equality and peaceful co-existence. Until this just peace is realized, Palestinians will continue to resist. The sooner Israel acknowledges this inescapable reality, the better.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle.

4 August 2022

Source: countercurrents.org

Ten Truths that Can’t Be Published Under the U.S. Regime

By Eric Zuesse

  1. The overthrow of Yanukovych in Ukraine in February 2014 was a U.S. coup, and definitely not a democratic revolution there.

 

  1. The U.S. Government and its ‘news’-media lied — didn’t merely “err” — to deceive the U.S. public to believe the “Saddam’s WMD” falsehoods that were used to ‘justify’ criminally invading Iraq on 20 March 2003.

 

  1. The U.S. Government and its OPCW lied — didn’t merely “err” — to say that Assad was using chemical weapons, so as to ‘justify’ America’s criminal invasion and occupation of Syria.

 

  1. The war between Russia and Ukraine is actually the war by America against Russia in the battlefields of Ukraine and started not on 24 February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine but even well before America’s criminal February 2014 coup in Ukraine and was already secretly in the planning stages in the Obama Administration by no later than June 2011.

 

  1. The claim that Taiwan isn’t and hasn’t even been a part of China is a blatant lie about history, to deceive U.S.-and-allied publics and aiming to enable the U.S. regime to grab China too.

 

  1. U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media lie constantly so as to deceive their publics to support their criminal invasions, coups, and sanctions, against countries that the U.S. regime is aiming ultimately to conquer, even countries (such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine) that never threatened, nor posed any threat to, U.S. national security.

 

  1. The U.S. repeatedly shows up in international polls as being overwhelmingly a bigger threat to peace in the world than is any other nation. Whereas Americans don’t know it, foreigners certainly do.

 

  1. The termination of American democracy, and the decision by the U.S. Government to ultimately conquer the entire world, occurred on 25 July 1945, and the Cold War excuse — that it was about communism, instead of about ultimate global conquest by the U.S. — was, and remains, a lie.

 

  1. The U.S. regime’s statements that it had not in 1990 promised to Russia that its ending its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance would mean that NATO itself would not expand “one inch to the east [toward Russia’s border]” is a historical lie, and the U.S. regime started on 24 February 1990 secretly to inform its ‘allies’ (vassal nations) that it was a lie and that on America’s side the Cold War would continue until Russia itself becomes under its control.

 

  1. The U.S. regime’s being a regime — a dictatorship instead of a democracy — has been repeatedly proven, and is an established fact, to the contrary of all the lies and liars. Calling it “the U.S. regime” is effectively prohibited, though it is certainly true. In fact, a good case can be made that the U.S. is the world’s #1 police-state.

On August 2nd, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s speech upon landing in Taipei, Taiwan, said “Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”

NOTE: A reader of this article commented on it by saying: “Actually US democracy did not end in 1945, as it never existed in the first place. The authors of the Constitution deliberately made it a republic, not a democracy.” To this, I replied:

A “republic” IS a “democracy”: they are synonyms for a nation in which the government REPRESENTS the public, instead of being some dictator or (more commonly) dictatorial class of people who DON’T represent the public.

You got balled-up in words instead of thinking about WHAT THE WORDS REPRESENT. “Democracy” and “republic” represent the SAME THING.

(There supposedly are also nations that are ‘direct democracies’ in which the government is ‘direct’ from the voters instead of entailing any voting for representatives; but none such actually exists today, because a direct democracy is possible only for tiny nations, “city-states,” and even most of those do and have had representatives. In the real world, “democracy” and “republic” are the same thing.)

It is because of such confusions by, and gullibility OF, the public, that politicians such as Pelosi, Biden, and Obama, and such as Trump, Bush, and Reagan, can so easily fool the public to accept them as BEING representatives of the public, INSTEAD OF as being representatives of the billionaires who funded their political careers — which they actually are and have been.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change.

4 August 2022

Source: countercurrents.org

‘Get Out!’ People In Taiwan Protest Pelosi’s Visit Amid China’s Missile Drill

By Countercurrents Collective

Civic groups, politicians, and business and industry representatives on the island of Taiwan on Tuesday protested against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, amid China’s missile drill.

Protest

Media reports said:

The Taipei-based Chinese Patriotic Concentric Association took to the street at a site near the Grand Hyatt hotel in the Xinyi district, where Pelosi was planned to stay. The crowd ranged from a few hundred to about 1,000 people from various civic groups.

Gu Xijun, the vice president of the above group, told the Global Times that the protests and boycotts “will accompany Pelosi wherever she appears in Taiwan.”

Zhang Xiuye, another Taiwan resident who has participated in the rally, told the Global Times that U.S. politicians constantly create cross-Straits tensions and use Taiwan as their ATM.

“If we do not warn the Yanks in Taiwan, then we will be like Tsai Ing-wen who is acquiescing to the Yanks,” she said. “Both sides of the Taiwan Straits are one family, and we can sit down and talk without the Yanks interfering. We sincerely hope for early reunification.”

Wu Cherng-dean, chairman of the pro-reunification New Party, said on Tuesday that the party is firmly opposed to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, saying that Pelosi is “harmful to Taiwan without bringing any benefits.”
Wu said that Pelosi’s visit would push Taiwan into a fire and turn the island into a battlefield.

Taiwan-based media reported that several groups will hold protest rallies at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Songshan Airport and the Grand Hyatt Hotel during Pelosi’s visit.

A number of Taiwan civic groups gathered in front of the AIT as early as Monday afternoon, with hundreds of people holding placards with slogans such as “American witch get out of Taiwan, China,” and “get out, trouble maker Nancy Pelosi!” after U.S. and Taiwan-based media disclosed that Pelosi is expected to land in Taipei on Tuesday evening and stay in Taipei overnight.

Lin Por-fong, director of Taiwan’s “The Third Wednesday Club,” a Taipei-based business group with about 80 company members, said that Taiwan should “bravely refuse Pelosi’s visit” to avoid being involved in disputes, including a war, local media udn.com reported on Tuesday.

“Peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region form the cornerstone of Taiwan’s economic development,” said Hsu Shu-po, chairman of Taiwan’s “Chamber of Commerce,” in a statement on Tuesday. He said there is no tangible benefit to Taiwan from this visit.

Chiu Yi, a Taiwan-based cross-Straits expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday that rational Taiwan residents know the seriousness of the situation and will be deeply disturbed.

“Pelosi talks about supporting Taiwan but is actually a disaster maker. Her visit may create the most serious cross-Straits crisis in decades,” said Chiu, who has urged Tsai to publicly announce that Pelosi is not welcomed by the island.

Chiu said that because the political party DPP member and former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien was mired in thesis plagiarism allegations, the DPP is facing a disadvantage in the upcoming local election. Therefore, Tsai is keen to use Pelosi’s visit to stir up “anti-China populism,” the way she did during the social unrest in Hong Kong in 2019.

“The DPP may gain at the ballot box, but its gains are not solid, as in the event of a military conflict, its incremental gains will turn negative,” Chang Ya-chung, the president of the Sun Yat-sen School in Taiwan and a member of Taiwan’s major opposition party KMT, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Cancelling Pelosi’s Visit Was Considered, But Taiwan Is Just A U.S. Pawn

Taiwan-based media China Times said on Tuesday that the DPP authorities considered cancelling the visit, but Pelosi insisted.

“It once again proved that Taiwan is just a pawn of the U.S. and has no right to agree or disagree,” Chang said.

The island has also become a chessboard, on which confrontation and conflict between Chinese mainland and the U.S. occurs, Chang said, noting that however, it is Taiwan that will have to bear the consequences.

According to China Times, former head of the KMT Hung Hsiu-chu said on Tuesday that it is now the seventh month of the lunar calendar, when many ghosts and monsters may appear in traditional tales. “God bless, it is better not to have anything happen.”

Hung mocked that after Pelosi’s arrival, the DPP authorities can receive her with a “taste of home” with high standards, including ractopamine-enhanced pork imported from the U.S.

PLA’s Massive Military And Missile Drills

Reports by China’s media including Xinhua said:

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on the night that Pelosi landed in Taiwan for her provocative visit that violates the U.S. promise of opposing “Taiwan independence” secessionism, launched massive military drills around the island of Taiwan, including a long-range live fire drill in the Taiwan Straits and a live fire conventional missile drill to the east of the island, with analysts saying China is not merely targeting a visiting 82-year-old U.S. politician, but is eyeing the anti-secession campaign against the secessionist Taiwan authorities and is to concretely speed up the reunification process.

The military drills, set to begin on Thursday, after Pelosi’s departure, will take place in six large maritime areas and their air space all around Taiwan.

Immediately after Pelosi’s plane landed in Taipei on Tuesday evening, the PLA Eastern Theater Command announced it will start a series of joint military operations around the island of Taiwan starting Tuesday evening.

Joint maritime and air exercises will be held in sea and air spaces to the north, southwest and southeast of the island of Taiwan, long-range live-fire shooting will be held in the Taiwan Straits, and conventional missile test launches will be held to the east of the island of Taiwan, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement on Tuesday.

This means the island of Taiwan will be surrounded by PLA drills in five directions.

The joint maritime and air exercises in the north, southwest and southeast will likely hone the capabilities of warplanes and warships to seize air superiority and control of the sea; the long-range live-fire shooting in the Taiwan Straits will likely feature long-range multiple rocket launchers that can strike targets on Taiwan island directly from the mainland; the conventional missile test launches to the east of the island means that, if the missiles were launched from the mainland, they would fly over the island of Taiwan, analysts said.

It is also possible that the missiles will be launched from the PLA Navy vessels that are sailing to the east of the island, said military experts, noting that the move will target the external forces that try to intervene in the reunification process from the east.

The operation is a stern deterrence against the recent U.S. negative move and major escalation on the Taiwan question, as well as a serious warning for “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces’ attempt to seek “independence,” Shi said.

Gu Zhong, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said that the drills involve courses like joint blockade, sea assault, land attack and air superiority seizing plus live-fire shooting of precision weapons.

Just as Pelosi’s flight was about to land, a Su-35 fighter jet of the PLA Air Force was flying across the Taiwan Straits. Observers said that the PLA aircraft’s activity could be part of the drills.

The drills are also rehearsals for the PLA to reunify the island by force, experts said, noting that missiles could fly over the island.
For safety reasons, entering of vessels and aircraft to those sea and air space is prohibited, Xinhua said.

The report did not give more details on the drills, but experts said that more realistic combat-oriented training courses like the drills that started on Tuesday are expected, including those featuring aircraft carriers.

The PLA Navy’s aircraft carrier Liaoning on Sunday embarked on a voyage from its homeport in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, and the aircraft carrier Shandong on Monday set out from its homeport in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province, accompanied by a Type 075 amphibious assault ship, media on the island of Taiwan reported on Tuesday.

A report by state broadcaster China Central Television on Saturday revealed for the first time a scene in which what seems to be a DF-17 hypersonic missile was fired. The missile, despite its hypersonic characteristics, is a conventional weapon.

The drills aim to enhance combat preparedness over the Taiwan question, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Taiwan Accuses Beijing Of Air And Sea Blockade

Taiwan’s defense officials have accused Beijing of seeking to “invade” the island’s territorial waters and airspace, after China announced a series of “targeted military operations” in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Military officials in Taipei claimed on Wednesday that several exclusion zones around the island, where China intends to conduct live-fire drills and other military exercises later this week, overlap with “Taiwan’s territorial space.”

According to the Guardian, a military spokesman accused Beijing of violating “UN rules” with what would amount to a de facto “blockade of Taiwan’s air and sea space.”

Accusing Beijing of waging “psychological warfare on Taiwan and citizens” Taipei vowed to “firmly defend its national security” and boost its military preparedness to the highest level, while adhering to the “principle of not asking for a war.”

China’s Options

Analysts said there are many options on the table for China to speed up the reunification process. Apart from military drills, the options could include striking Taiwan military targets, just as the PLA did in the previous Taiwan Straits crisis, pushing new legislation for national reunification, sending military aircraft and vessels to enter the island’s “airspace” and “water areas” controlled by the Taiwan authorities and ending the tacit cease-fire with the Taiwan military.

Shortly after Pelosi arrived at Taipei’s Songshan Airport, five Chinese authorities including the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Taiwan Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee and the Ministry of National Defense issued statements condemning the visit, which seriously damages the political foundation of China-US relations and sends a seriously wrong message to “Taiwan independence” forces.

China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences must be borne by the U.S. and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
The secessionist DPP authority colluded with the external forces and insisted on inviting Pelosi to Taiwan, which is extremely dangerous and will trigger severe consequences.

New Status Quo
Chinese analysts said the struggle between China and the U.S. at this point is about dignity and concrete strategic interests, but the latter is much more important, so China will not merely focus on playing a game of chicken and hawk with Pelosi, as changing the whole situation of the region is much more significant and valuable.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China’s reaction will not just be a momentary action but will consider the whole security mechanism of Taiwan.

Because of Pelosi’s arrival at the Taipei airport that totally ignored China’s warning, it is certain that the status quo of the Taiwan Straits situation has been broken, and China will make it enter a new status quo, Lü stressed.

Strategic Patience

The Chinese mainland really knows the importance of “strategic patience,” just like when many people expected that China would crack down on the Hong Kong turmoil in 2019 with force when rioters attacked the central government’s liaison office, but the facts prove that China did not act in that way but eventually realized a land-slide victory to reinforce its governance in Hong Kong. “So this time, China will teach the U.S. a lesson again, as it will use U.S. mistakes to comprehensively change the Taiwan Straits situation, just as it did in Hong Kong in recent years,” said a Beijing-based senior expert on international relations who asked for anonymity.

Strengthen Sovereignty Claim

Wang Jiangyu, a professor of law at the City University in Hong Kong, said China will use this incident to strengthen its sovereignty claim over Taiwan. “For instance, sending squadrons of military aircraft to enter the ‘airspace’ of Taiwan, or sending military vessels to enter the ‘water areas’ controlled by the Taiwan military,” he said.
These are unprecedented acts of declaring sovereignty over Taiwan, and if China can send its tough signal of determination to effectively contain the provocations made by the U.S. and other Western countries, the situation will be in favor of the Chinese side in the future, Wang said.

Song said the mainland could also consider speeding up legislation for a national reunification law and even publish a timetable for reunification which will impose real pressure on the U.S. and Taiwan authorities.

U.S. – The Biggest Destroyer of Peace

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued a statement Wednesday morning condemning U.S. intrusion of China’s sovereignty. Pelosi blatantly visited the island in disregard of China’s solemn representations, which is a serious violation of the one-China principle and malicious violation of China’s sovereignty, Wang said.
Such blatant political provocation aroused the strong indignation of the Chinese people and widespread opposition from the international community. This once again proves that some U.S. politicians have become “troublemakers” in China-U.S. relations, and the U.S. has become the “biggest destroyer” of peace and regional stability in the Taiwan Straits, Wang said.

The statement came after Pelosi landed in Taiwan for her provocative visit.

Four Fantasies

Wang urged the U.S. to stop four fantasies, namely the fantasy of interfering in China’s reunification process, of sabotaging China’s development, of manipulating the geopolitical situation, and of confusing right and wrong. Taiwan is part of China, and realizing the reunification is the historical trend that is inevitable, Wang noted. We will never leave any room for the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces or for the external forces to interfere.

No matter in what way the U.S. supports and condones “Taiwan independence” secessionists, it will be doomed to fail, and it will only leave more ugly records of the U.S. grossly interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, Wang said.

This is the second statement of Wang on the issue within 24 hours. On Tuesday evening just a few hours ahead of the planned arrival of Pelosi in Taiwan island, Wang stressed China’s solemn position, warning that some U.S. politicians who selfishly play with fire on the Taiwan question will become the enemies to 1.4 billion Chinese people, and would not meet with a good end.

The U.S. has introduced the Taiwan question into its regional strategy and provoked confrontation, which acts against the trend of the regional development and expectation of people from the Asia-Pacific region, Wang said, noting that it is very dangerous and stupid.

The one-China principle has become a basic norm in international relations and constitutes an integral part of the post-World War II international order. What the US needs to do is to immediately stop violating the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and immediately stop playing the Taiwan card and disrupting the Asia-Pacific, the Chinese official said.

The fundamental basis of the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits is the one-China principle, and the true guardrails for peaceful China-US relations is the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. Any attempts of collusion with the US to seek “Taiwan independence” will meet a dead end and using Taiwan island to contain China is doomed to fail, Wang said.

We Mean What We Say

On late Tuesday night, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to protest against Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan island, stressing that the nature of Pelosi’s visit is extremely vicious and the consequences are very grave. The Chinese side will not sit idly by.

Xie said the U.S. must pay the price for its own mistake. China will take necessary and resolute countermeasures and we mean what we say.

China’s Protest
Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang also lodged solemn representations and strong protests with the U.S. National Security Council and the Department of State over Pelosi’s visit.

Another report said:

China has suspended import of citrus fruit and frozen fish from Taiwan.

Russia Stands In ‘Absolute Solidarity’ With China, Says Kremlin

Russia regards the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan as a “purely provocative” act and fully supports China in its dispute with Washington, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“We see this, it is being recorded by all countries of the world. We stand in absolute solidarity with China here. Its sensitivity to this issue is understandable. It is justified. And instead of respecting this the U.S. is choosing the path of confrontation. It does not bode well,” the Kremlin spokesman said, adding that Washington’s decision is “only regrettable.”

Russia’s Borders Would Be Secured

Peskov also noted that in the event that a military conflict breaks out as a result of the ongoing tensions between China and the U.S. over Taiwan, Russia’s borders would be secured by its own army.

“Regardless of the emergence of some provocative situations, the security of our borders is reliably ensured along the entire perimeter of these borders by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” said Peskov.

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3 August 2022

Source: countercurrents.org

Nancy Pelosi, you Silly Biddy

By Dr Binoy Kampmark

Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Sarajevo in 1914 was an instructive lesson on how the dumb do, at some point, ask for it. Bosnia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, was desired by the Kingdom of Serbia. With the Serbs also well represented in Bosnia, a visit by the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was always to be tricky, if not downright foolish.

This was not all. Already unpopular, Ferdinand took his cue to visit on a day regarded with mournful reverence by Serbs: Vidovdan (or St. Vitus’ Day). In 1389 on that blood-inked day, the Serbs fought the Turks in the Battle of Kosovo with catastrophic losses. Myth and fact commingled, thereby producing legend.

Few security measures were taken for this provocative trip. The drive through Sarajevo was made in an open-topped car. In the ensuing farce that followed, the Archduke and his wife, the equally unpopular Countess Sophie, were clumsily, even miraculously butchered. The Serbian nationalist group, the Black Hand, was initially foiled. The lobbed hand grenade by Nedjelko Čabrinović failed to strike the intended target, injuring the occupants of the car behind.

Instead of lying low in humbled terror, the Archduke and his wife continued to the planned reception at City Hall. They then made themselves inviting targets by wishing to see members of the injured party in hospital. On the way to the hospital, the driver took the wrong turn, presenting Gavrilo Princip with a juicy target. The couple were shot and killed by a Browning pistol.

Riots and protests followed, with Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia on July 28. This set the trains of war in motion across Europe, leaving millions of dead and a continent primed for the next global conflict. The dumb had gotten a gotten a good number of Europe’s populace killed.

Like the doomed Archduke, Pelosi has shown, and continues to show little awareness about what her trip to Taiwan entails. This is not a harmless visit to the village vicarage for a cup of a tea, or a casual stop by to see old chums. The Biden administration forgives it as an independent decision made by a person independent of government. This is a lawyer’s explanation and far from a good one, given Pelosi’s position as House Speaker. Should Biden shuffle off the mortal coil, she will find herself, after the hungry Vice President, second in line for the White House.

Pelosi has been merrily hawkish in stirring the PRC. “Our visit,” she tweeted, “reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific.” In travelling to the province, the Speaker was honouring a commitment to democracy, “reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan – and all democracies – must be respected.”

This is all a bit rum, given that Washington does not, in principle, recognise Taiwan’s independence. National Security coordinator John Kirby, back in Washington, reiterated the point in a press briefing. “We are clear that nothing has changed about our One China policy which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We do not support Taiwan’s independence.” The Biden administration continued to be “clear with the Chinese about where we stand on the issues and the One China policy and our support for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Despite stating that position, Kirby was being decidedly two-faced about the Pelosi jaunt. President Joe Biden had noted in late July that the then rumoured trip was not prudent, at least in the mind of some voices in the Pentagon. “The military think’s it’s not a good idea right now.” He then went on to say that he knew “what the status of it is.”

Unfortunately for those outside the US, such a status is simply not clear. While Kirby did say that the President had “made clear that Congress is an independent branch of government and that Speaker Pelosi makes her own decisions, as other members of Congress do, about their overseas travel,” those unacquainted with the US political system will take no notice. The visitors are from the governing political party in Washington, which would normally suffice in most cases.

Nor should it be forgotten that Biden has taken three shots against the strategic ambiguity of the One China policy by suggesting at various points that US forces would be deployed in a battle over Taiwan. It was a point that has not escaped students of the field, and certainly not China’s President Xi Jinping. Pelosi’s visit will simply be seen as consistent with such a change, a blast of clarity when, before, there was ambiguity.

Rather than admitting this development, the Biden administration has hidden behind the trappings of US political protocol. Let Congress decide what it wants, and we will have our own policy. Focus, instead, on Beijing’s bad faith and refusal to understand. “We expect to see China use inflammatory rhetoric and disinformation in the coming days,” chirps Kirby. And not just that, given that China was “positioning itself to potentially take further steps in the coming days and, perhaps, over the long-time horizon.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi threatened ahead of the visit that US politicians who “play with fire” with respect to Taiwan would “come to no good end.” Officially, Beijing’s officials have warned of “serious consequences”. Spokesman Zhao Lijian’s warning came with a note of theatrical indignation: “If the US side is bent on going its own way, China will take strong measures to resolutely respond and counteract.” So far, Chinese war planes have flown close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait, while Beijing has imposed a number of import bans on select Taiwanese products.

The political arithmetic is clear. Pelosi’s arrival, along with a delegation from Congress, risks sparking a fourth Taiwan strait crisis. The locals, for the most part, showed little initial interest. There has been much chat about heatwaves, the usual celebrity gossip, and discussion about local elections.

But the arrival at Songshan airport of the most significant US political figure in years signalled something of a shift. Protesters gathered at the Grand Hyatt where she was due to stay, accusing Pelosi of being a warmonger. Other protesters preferred to vent their ire at the CCP itself. All it takes now is a bullet, a misfire, an accident, and the dumb will be dead, again, taking the rest of us along with them.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

3 August 2022

Source: countercurrents.org

The Greatest Science Fiction Movie Ever Made Starring Us

By Michael J. Talmo

26 Jul 2022 – A new Dark Age is upon us. An unelected shadow government consisting of billionaires, multinational corporations, and international non-governmental organizations like the World Economic Forum and the Rockefeller Foundation has seized power without a shot being fired, without a drop of blood being shed. All nations have been corrupted. Elected officials, public health authorities, and the mainstream media can no longer be trusted. Phony pandemics like COVID-19 along with the fear of AIDS, monkeypox, and whatever else they can dream up are being used as an excuse to replace freedom, democracy, and national sovereignty with a global dystopian surveillance state. Welcome to the abyss.

The majority of people go about their lives wrapped in a cocoon of complacency and indifference, blissfully unaware of the fate that awaits them if they don’t wake up. Instead, they either flat out deny reality or fritter away their time on trivial issues as well as major issues while failing to see the big picture.

Some sit on their mystic futons with their Quartz crystals and think happy thoughts while others go on moral crusades freaking themselves out over children at drag shows, transsexuals in bathrooms, and people who didn’t get a COVID jab, while still others absorb themselves with sports, celebrity gossip, and wondering if Jeffrey Epstein is still alive. But that’s the whole idea. Distract the masses. In ancient Rome it was bread and circuses, now it’s pandemics, transsexuals, and cell phones.

But the big picture remains. “Vaccine Passports Are Here to Stay. Why Worry?” declares a January 2022 article in The Intercept. The article goes on to point out that there is a whole lot to worry about along with a February 2022 article in Medical X Press, and another February 2022 article in Forbes. This is because even though COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, they are not totally gone and could come back in full force with a vengeance. The corrupt system that put them there is still in place.

Examples: a number of countries and some US states have rolled out vaccine passports. Other US states have banned vaccine passports, but could easily reintroduce them down the road. The Federal Government could also start pressuring the states to require vaccine passports or pass a federal law requiring them nationwide. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Biden’s vaccine requirement for large companies, many, as CNN reported, are still requiring COVID jabs for their employees. This is because the Court didn’t use an across-the-board ban as it should have. Also consider China’s zero-COVID policy in Shanghai that brutally locked down 24.9 million people.

Examples: CNN reported that some airports and subway systems like in New York are still requiring masks even though a Federal District Judge struck down Biden’s mask mandate for transportation because it doesn’t apply to corporate and state entities. The judge could have gotten rid of all mask mandates across-the-board. But on page 43 of the decision she states that the Court accepts the CDC’s determination that masks are effective against COVID-19, which they aren’t. In my state, COVID restrictions are gone, but hospitals and medical offices are still requiring masks. LA County in California is threatening to bring back mask mandates due to rising COVID cases. No people, this nonsense isn’t over by a long shot.

There are some who think that whatever their globalist masters do to them is just peachy dandy. There are too many who will just go along to get along because they’re too lazy and too scared to fight back. Let’s not forget those who expect to be rewarded for selling out the human race. And there are a growing number of those who want to do all they can to resist, but are tempted to kick-back and chill-out. So, let’s look at what these globalist masters of the universe have planned for us and what could go wrong if they get their way.

Foreboding Planet

One of the greatest science fiction movies ever made was the 1956 classic “Forbidden Planet.” It is considered by many to be the granddaddy of all science fiction films. Like Star Trek, the film is set in the distant future. The plot: an Earth starship travels to a remote planet that a research team of scientists landed on 20 years earlier to see what became of them. Turns out only one scientist and his sexy daughter who was born there survived. They are living comfortably in a beautiful house with a robot that the father created to serve their every need. But soon after the ship lands, an indestructible invisible monster starts killing the ship’s crew. The scientist explained that this monster also killed all his other colleagues except for his wife, who died of natural causes.

The captain rightly decides to get off the planet pronto. But the scientist doesn’t want to leave, assures him that he and his daughter are in no danger, and insists that the ship leave without them. He explains that a highly advanced civilization once existed there that was mysteriously wiped out two hundred thousand years earlier. Nothing remains above ground. But underground is a huge laboratory and miles and miles of a vast underground machine complex that maintains itself so it looks brand new.

He tells the captain how our civilization would benefit from the wonders he has discovered, but that only he is qualified to dole out the knowledge because he boosted his intellect with one of their machines which almost killed him because it wasn’t made for our primitive ape brain. But even with his boosted intellect he can’t figure out why this civilization which was on the verge of some enormous achievement suddenly vanished overnight. But the ship’s doctor figures it out after he sneaks into the underground lab and boosts his intellect to an even greater degree. It kills him, but before he dies he explains what went wrong.

Turns out the vast machine complex allowed every inhabitant of the ancient civilization to become mentally connected to it so that anything they imagined would instantly materialize. In other words, they would have the power of God: creation by mere thought. But as the doctor explained, they forgot about one thing: “Monsters from the ID.” Like us, they evolved from more primitive ancestors and the machine freed those violent primitive impulses to maim and kill. The scientist was forced to face the fact that the monster that killed his companions and that was now about to kill his daughter because she fell in love with the captain was his own subconscious let loose when his intellect was expanded. He had no power to stop it. But the stress of discovering the truth killed him–his daughter and everyone else were saved.

We have seen many times that science fiction eventually becomes science fact. Like the vast fictitious machine complex in “Forbidden Planet,” the internet is everywhere and anyone can connect to it via their computers and smart phones. But the architects of the New World Order, the Great Reset, call it what you will, want to implant chips into our bodies and or brain that will allow us to connect to the internet without the aforementioned devices. They will sell it to us as being fun and convenient. Don’t be fooled. Their agenda is total control of the human race.

If you think I’m spouting some wild conspiracy theory, think again. The technology to implant computer chips in people exists now, has been done, and is being done as shown in this 2019 NBC News report. One of the guys interviewed said he thinks chipping will be voluntary. It might start out that way, but it won’t stay that way. In this video, Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum declares:

“Can you imagine that in 10 years when we are sitting here we have an implant in our brains and I can immediately feel, because you all will have implants, I can measure your brain waves and I can immediately tell you how the people react or I can see you, how the people react to your answers.”

Notice all of the I statements Schwab made? It’s all about what he can do and in this video asserts:

“What the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to is a fusion of our physical, our digital, and our biological identities.”

What Schwab said is confirmed in this article on the World Economic Forum’s website:

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before…The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all issues associated with it…and sooner than we think it may lead to human augmentation.”

Yuval Noah Harari, PhD, is a best selling author, historian, and a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Some right wing conservative websites claim that Professor Harari is a top adviser to Klaus Schwab. I have found no evidence for that claim. Yes, he has spoke at the World Economic Forum’s annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland as well as with billionaire globalists like bill Gates. But as Dr. Harari explained in this interview on 60 Minutes, his purpose is to warn the elites of the dangers of what they are doing. And they are open to being warned because “they are a bit afraid of their own power” and “have realized the immense influence they have over the world, over the course of evolution really and I think that spooks at least some of them and that’s a good thing.”

What’s upsetting some right-wingers is the fact that Dr. Harari is a Jewish openly gay atheist who called the Bible and Jesus “fake news.” He’s also a vegan and has a husband that he is legally married to. What conservative religious right-wingers fail to understand is that evil, like good, and let’s not forget stupid, exists in all creeds, sexual orientations, and ethnic groups.

At the 2020 annual Davos meeting, Dr. Harari laid out the scary and creepy future that globalists like Schwab have planned for us via the use of artificial intelligence and biotechnology:

“In the coming decades AI and biotechnology will give us god-like abilities to re-engineer life and even to create completely new life forms. After 4 billion years of organic life shaped by natural selection we are about to enter a new era of inorganic life shaped by intelligent design. Our intelligent design is going to be the new driving force of the evolution of life. And in using these powers of creation we might make mistakes on a cosmic scale.”

Dr. Harari went on to explain that every country will declare that they are the “good guys” and would never want to genetically engineer humans or develop killer robots. But they can’t trust their rivals not to so they will have to race to do it first. He warned that if we allow this kind of arms race to occur it doesn’t matter who wins: “The loser will be humanity.”

Mechanical Implants aren’t the only way to control humans. Another possible way is via the use of optogenetics, which genetically modifies targeted cells in the brain and are then manipulated with light. This technology has the potential to restore brain function and to cure diseases like Parkinson’s, epilepsy, stroke, mental disorders, etc. But as Nobel Prize winner Susumu Tonegawa, PhD explains in this video on the World Economic Forum’s website:

“We can now engineer their thought with the light so that animals, our memory, our emotions, and even thoughts can be manipulated. This is the idea that has existed only in the realm of science fiction until recently.”

The World Economic Forum web page correctly declares that manipulating memories, emotions, and thoughts raises “profound ethical questions” which is why “It’s a future that should be very carefully considered.”

But in my opinion, the agenda of people like Klaus Schwab is clear: they want to be in control. They want obedience. They want absolute power. They not only want to tell 8 billion people what to do and how to live, but also what to think and feel. This is their utopian plan. Utopia for them, a living hell for the rest of us. But are they considering the fact that artificial intelligence drives the digital world that they wants us to become fused with via algorithims? And these algorithms are getting smarter. What if they eventually develop a high level of intelligence and become self aware?

Algorithms that think way faster and can solve problems like war and pollution more quickly than humans might with self-awareness decide that we are a danger to the planet and to their existence. They could wipe us out by getting us to kill each other. Just imagine such a mass slaughter taking place. The entire human race dead in a matter of hours. Or the slaughter could take place in a different way. Over the course of a few years, more and more algorithms will be created and more attempts will be made to manipulate humans by various elites. As Dr. Harari puts it in this video, “Humans are now hackable animals.” Maybe our brains will overload or even explode from the massive amounts of data and conflicting commands. This could cause the human race to become extinct within a decade or two.

What globalist elites are also looking to exploit is transhumanism, the belief that technology can repair and improve the human race. The upside of this is that medical science will one day be able to replace amputated or destroyed limbs with mechanical ones that will perform just like, and be indistinguishable from, human appendages. This might also be accomplished via a regeneration technology. Damage to a person’s spinal cord in an accident like the one that caused the late Christopher Reeve (1952-2004) to be paralyzed from the neck down could be totally repaired. All diseases could be eliminated. Old age and even death might be conquered. But as Dr. Harari explained in the 60 Minutes interview, there is also a very dangerous downside:

“…we will see in the coming decades, a process of greater inequality than in any previous time in history because for the first time, it will be real biological inequality. If the new technologies are available only to the rich or only to people from a certain country, then Homo sapiens will split into different biological castes because they really have different bodies–and different abilities.”

In other words, we might see a whole race of humanoids that are stronger, faster, and far more intelligent than we are. Beings who don’t age and can’t be killed. Beings that will see themselves as Gods among insects to quote Magneto in the 2003 film “X2: X-Men United.”

I’m not saying that any of this will happen. I’m only saying that human nature being what it is, there is a strong possibility that it will happen if we passively stand by and do nothing to stop it.

Robots in Our Midst

The word robot was introduced to the world in a 1920 play called R.U.R. (Rossun’s Universal Robots) written by Karel Capek (1890-1938). But it was his older brother Josef Capek (1887-1945) who invented the word Robot. It comes from the Czech word “robota,” which means “forced laborer” or “serf.” In 1941 science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, PhD (1920-1992) invented the word “robotics.”

There are all kinds of robots in the world today used for all sorts of things. Robots have been working production lines in factories for decades. They can be found in hospitals, toy stores, in sewers doing inspections, etc. There are also robot insects, birds, and fish as shown in this 2019 article and 2017 video. Robot Space probes have sent back pictures of other planets in our solar system while others are exploring the surface of the Planet Mars. Self-driving cars have become a reality. Drones are being used by retailers like Walmart for deliveries and, unfortunately, for oppressive and military purposes.

Parts of the US and other countries used obnoxious drones to order people to stay home and socially distance during the COVID lockdowns as reported by Business Insider. The US military has been using attack drones to kill political and military leaders along with innocent civilians which includes children since the administration of George W. Bush. Snopes reported that more than 500 drone strikes were authorized by President Barak Obama alone. President Donald Trump revoked Obama’s executive order requiring an annual disclosure of civilian deaths from drone strikes in 2018 so we don’t know how many people are getting killed. But estimates show at least several hundred civilians have been killed by attack drones over the years.

According to some websites, robots existed in ancient Egypt and in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods. But the first AI robot was developed between 1966-1972 at the Stamford Research Institute. They named it Shakey because it shook a lot and moved around. Robots have come a long way since then. We even have robot dogs. But none have captured our imaginations, fascinated, and frightened us more than humanoid robots.

The most sophisticated of all AI humanoid robots was invented in 2016. Her name is Sophia which is Greek for wisdom. She was created by Hanson Robotics based in Hong Kong. She was designed to look like actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993). Sorry, I don’t see it. She is also the first robot to be granted citizenship by a country: Saudi Arabia no less.

This video features Sophia in action along with other humanoid robots. Here is another video of Sophia singing a duet with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. But here is the most frightening and disturbing video of all. Sophia’s creator David Hanson believes that in the future robots will walk among us and be our friends. He then asked Sophia the following question:

“Do you want to destroy humans? Please say no.”

Sophia replies: “Okay, I will destroy humans.”

Sophia reminds me of the contrast between the 1979-1981 TV show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and the later Terminator movies. In the former, robots in the form of Dr. Theopolis make up the Computer Council which is Earth’s ruling body because humans felt they couldn’t be trusted to run things since they almost destroyed the planet in a nuclear holocaust centuries earlier. Since Dr. Theopolis, like the other robots on the council, are just small disks, he is worn around the neck of a robot named Twiki for mobility. Naturally, the robots in this possible future are benevolent and good. In the Terminator movies they are the opposite. So, the question is: if we create a race of super intelligent robots, do we get Dr. Theopolis and Twiki or do we get Skynet and the Terminator? I think the latter is far more likely.

Lost in Cyberspace

As AI and robots become more intelligent and efficient jobs will disappear for the overwhelming majority of the human race. At the 2020 Davos meeting Dr. Harari explained that this will lead to the creation of a new useless class. Not useless to friends and family, but to the economic and political order. In the past workers had to deal with exploitation. In the future it will be irrelevance which is much worse than exploitation. But what is to be done with all of these jobless, useless humans?

Since AI systems require an enormous amount of energy to function as explained in this 2020 article, which could severely damage the environment as stated in this 2021 article, and since the human body generates a tremendous amount of energy as explained in this 2009 article, why not harvest the energy of the useless class to power them? This concept was well-illustrated in the 1999 science fiction film, “The Matrix.”

In “The Matrix” people thought they were living and working in 1999 Los Angeles when, in reality, they were in the distant future lying naked in tanks, submerged in liquid with cables plugged into their brains and spinal columns. The machines that had long ago conquered the human race, created a computer generated artificial world for the masses to keep their minds active while using them as living batteries to power the machinery complexes. When people died their liquified remains were fed to the living via a network of intravenous tubes.

It’s highly unlikely that things will turn out exactly like in “The Matrix.” A more likely possibility is that since humans will be directly connected to AI and the internet via implants, they might be confined to apartments individually or in groups where they can walk around, eat, exercise, go to the bathroom, and go to bed while trapped in a virtual fantasy world thinking they are somewhere else. They will be totally unaware that they are slaves while their energy is being harvested to feed their mechanical and transhuman masters.

What kind of fantasy world will humanity be living in? Perhaps each person or group might be given a fantasy that matches their personality. Some might be loners who think they are roughing it in the wilderness; some will think they are rich and famous living in the lap of luxury surrounded by throngs of adoring fans; others might even think they are superheros living in a Harry Potter Universe. Some people might even be made to think they are living in different time eras.

Another danger to consider is that even if we manage to avoid enslavement in virtual fantasy worlds, the human race might become so dependent on algorithms to make decisions for them and on robots to do things for them that future generations will be helpless mental midgets.

But there is another possible future. Virtual fantasy worlds are already being used as explained in this article. In addition to being lots of fun, they can be highly educational. In the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which was set almost 100 years in the future of the original series, the Enterprise had what was called the holodeck. It was a chamber the crew could enter and have the computer conjure up any fantasy world they could imagine. It was the central plot in numerous episodes. But the crew was in control. They could enter or leave whenever they wanted.

Knowledge, like power, is a two-edged sword. Technology can be used for good or evil. It can bring us greater freedom or it can enslave us. Religion can do the same thing. Always choose freedom and choice over power and control. Bottom line: You want to be in control of technological wonders like virtual reality—you don’t want those technological wonders to control you.

Big Brother Is Watching You

In today’s modern world, we are constantly being tracked and monitored. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Businesses are finding more and more reasons to ask to see our driver’s license. When we call up our credit card company or some other business, we are confronted with obnoxious robot voice mail systems that with ever growing frequency will say: “this call is being monitored and recorded.” God I miss the days when an actual human answered the phone. When we visit various websites, algorithms track us. This is why we suddenly get a litany of ads and promos for whatever we look at in our email, social media pages, and any websites we visit.

Hackers are another problem. Our personal data can be stolen by criminals who can assume our identities as well as take all the money in our bank accounts which is why I don’t do online banking. Even the police can extract data and locate us by hacking into our smart phones as explained in this 2017 article.

But until recently, governments, corporations, and algorithms have only been able to hack into and monitor what we do externally, such as into where we go and who we interact with. Until now, our smart phones, bank accounts, and personal information could be hacked. But as Dr. Harari explained in the 60 Minutes interview: “The next phase is the surveillance going under our skin.”

In other words, humans can also be hacked. At the 2018 India Today Conlave, Dr. Harari explained:

“We are deciphering how the body works, how the brain works, how people make decisions, and very soon, governments and corporations might be in the position that they understand what’s happening inside us better than we understand and therefore they can manipulate us and control us and we won’t even realize it…if we are not careful this will lead to the creation of digital dictatorships, of total surveillance regimes, in which resistance is absolutely impossible, because if you just think about resisting they know.”

Examples: a dictator in some country might force everyone to wear a biometric bracelet that can monitor and track their emotions. Anyone who reacts negatively to the autocrat’s presence on TV or in person could be executed. Homophobic countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia could use AI to identify gay people and execute them. Religious dictatorships will know who doesn’t believe in God. An atheist dictatorship would know who does believe in God.

At the 2020 Davos meeting, Dr. Harari warned the wealthy elites that they would not be safe if AI falls into the hands of a 21st Century Stalin. Under Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) “the state monitored members of the Communist elite more than anyone else. The same will be true of future total surveillance regimes. The higher you are in the hierarchy the more closely you will be watched…so it’s in the interest of all humans including the elites to prevent the rise of such digital dictatorships.”

Last year, the United Nations called for a moratorium on AI technologies because of the danger they posed to human rights. The U.N. warned that Spyware like Pegasus “has been linked to the arrest, intimidation, and even killing of journalists and human rights defenders.”

Another way that global elitists want to control us is by creating a cashless world order. Naturally, the World Economic Forum is all for it as stated in this 2020 article on their website. Under this horrible system governments and corporations will know about every financial transaction that you make. And they will be able to deny you access to your money anytime you do something that they don’t like. Naturally, they will try to sell us on the idea that going cashless will be more convenient and prevent crimes like tax evasion. Don’t fall for it, warned this 2013 CNBC commentary. A cashless society will be a totalitarian society. It’s about control, not convenience.

Is There any Hope?

Our inalienable human rights are being drowned in a sea of trigger words, micro-aggressions, safe spaces, and self-righteous pontifications about what God says we ought to do. We have become a planet of whiny, easily offended nitpickers.

We have also become a planet of germophobic hypochondriacs which was exploited to the hilt with COVID-19. People wore the craziest stuff out of fear of a cold virus as shown is this article. But George Carlin (1937-2008) really nailed it in this 1999 comedy monologue on the fear of germs.

Being exposed to germs strengthens the immune system. In the same way, being exposed to different beliefs and ways of life strengthens the mind and the spirit by enabling personal growth. Censorship and intolerance lead to ignorance and stupidity. It stunts growth. The more open the mind, the more open is the heart. The more we accept ourselves, the more we will accept others.

Differences between the authoritarian left and the authoritarian right amount to issue positions—they are cosmetic. Both sides use the same tactics and psychology. Authoritarianism is about people who want power over others. They don’t know the meaning of freedom and are incapable of it. They pervert language and institutions. They are pirates and hijackers. They dangle God and science before the gullible masses like a piece of raw meat in front of a hungry lion.

A healthy society is a tolerant society. Making bigoted laws of any kind no matter how noble the intent creates a divided society. A-one-size-fits-all morality doesn’t work—all it does is breed hypocrisy and misery. A one-size-fits-all medical paradigm breeds illness and death. We can do without either.

It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, yellow, or green. There is only one race: the human race. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, bi, or straight. We are all sexual beings with a huge variety of fantasies and desires. It doesn’t matter if you were born male, female, or opted to be transsexual because we are all human and that’s what counts. We must stand together against this evil globalist agenda that seeks to rob us of our humanity.

My fellow humans, I beg you; I implore you: cast off your masks and your prejudices. Throw away your hand sanitizers, plexiglass screens, and moral absolutes. We need to stop being afraid of each other and what is different about each other. We need to stop hurting, judging, and punishing one another. We are human. We are one. And if we stand together, no power on Earth or anywhere else can take our humanity away from us. The most precious thing we have is ourselves and each other.

Michael J. Talmo has been a professional writer for over 40 years and is strongly committed to the protection of civil liberties.

1 August 2022

Source: www.transcend.org

Three Large American Multinationals Bought 17 Million Hectares of Ukrainian Agricultural Land

By Laura Aboli

These are Cargill, Dupont and Monsanto (which is officially German-Australian but with American capital). Five percent of Ukrainian agricultural land was subsequently purchased by the Chinese state. For comparison, the whole of Italy has 16.7 million hectares of agricultural land.

In short, three American companies bought more useful agricultural land in Ukraine than the whole of Italy.

Among the main shareholders of these three companies are Vanguard, Blackrock, Blackstone.

The usual suspects again…

[https://www.ritimo.org/A-qui-profite-vraiment-la-creation-d-un-marche-des-terres-en-Ukraine]
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1 August 2022

Source: www.transcend.org

The World Was Already Broken–Shall Ukrainian Cereals Fix It Up?

By Baher Kamal

28 Jul 2022 – A wide majority, including the United States, has cheered the 22 July Turkey-brooked agreement between Russia and Ukraine to resume cereals and fertilisers exports from both countries.

Such exports had been stopped since last February due to the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine, on the one hand, and the successive United States-led Western sanctions imposed on Russia.

The Istanbul agreement is projected to allow both countries to release their cereals and fertilisers exports, under UN and international supervision.

The accord is projected to release around five million tons of Ukrainian cereals per month. Considering this country’s cereals exports used to amount to some 45 million tons a year, the reached agreement would mean that Ukraine will export much more now than before the war: 60 million tons per year.

Anyway…

But if you look at the global figures, you may wonder if such agreement suffices to fix up the disproportionate rise of the prices of food products all over the globe. Unless such a rise is also driven by a high-tide of profit-making speculations, the resumed exports do not appear like a miraculous solution.

Ukraine is not the world’s single grain producer. Nor is it the Planet’s largest grain exporter. In fact, Ukraine represents 10% of the global supply.

The same applies to Russia, which will also resume its cereal exports in virtue of the Istanbul agreement. With around 118 million tons a year, Russia ranks fourth in the world’s list of the world’s top producers.

The big producers

The largest one, China, with over 620 million tons, generates more than four-fold the total Russian production.

The United States, with 476 million tons, is the world’s second largest cereal producer, nearly three-fold what Russia produces.

Then you have the European Union, with 275 million tons. France alone produces some 63 million tons. Canada produces more than 58 million tons. Other major cereals producers are India, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia.

Are Western politicians and mainstream media really accurate when they continue repeating that the world’s food markets have collapsed just due to the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine?

The future is compromised

Meanwhile, a joint study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), makes immediate and future projections.

Over the next decade, the study reports, cereal production is expected to increase by 336 million tons, reflecting gains made primarily in major grain-producing countries.

More than 50% of the “global production increase in wheat” will come from India, Russia, and Ukraine. For maize, the United States, China, and Brazil will account for more than half of the expected production growth.

Concerning maize, the United States will remain the leading exporter, followed by Brazil, Ukraine, Argentina, and Russia. The European Union, Australia, and the Black Sea region are expected to continue to be the main exporters of other coarse grains.

Also India, Viet Nam and Thailand will continue to lead global rice trade, while Cambodia and Myanmar are expected to play an increasingly important role in global rice exports.

Severe drought in Europe

There are other key facts about the current world food crisis. One of them is the European Commission warning on 18 July that the European Union’s food production and exports is at risk due to “severe droughts,” “severe precipitation deficit,” “reduced stored water volume,” and “high competition for water resources,” among other facts.

In short, neither Ukraine’s nor Russia’s exports should be blamed for having created such a devastating food shortage all over the whole globe, nor the sharpest rise in food prices, let alone the steady, alarming increase in inflation rates.

And anyway, much earlier than the Ukraine war, the world was already facing an unprecedented crisis. For instance, more than four years ago, climate emergency driven drought has been hitting East African countries, causing a devastating famine.
The situation

As defined by a number of international organisations, the world has long been facing a “perfect storm” of climate disasters and conflicts.

Here you are some examples:

The above mentioned ones are just a few indicative examples showing how the world was already broken before the Ukraine war.

It goes without saying that all wars are criminal, all of them, no matter who or on whom.

Meanwhile, the human suicidal war on Nature continues unrelented; the limitless greed and voracious profit-making further go on, as it does the slaughtering of the world’s most vulnerable basic human rights, including the right to stay alive.

Baher Kamal, a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, is an Egyptian-born, Spanish national, secular journalist, with over 45 years of professional experience — from reporter to special envoy to chief editor of national dailies and an international news agency.

1 August 2022

Source: www.transcend.org

Lessons from Vietnam for Ukraine

By Rick Sterling

28 Jul 2022 – In April 1965, U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) explained why he was escalating US involvement in Vietnam. With an Orwellian touch, LBJ titled the speech “Peace without Conquest” as he announced the beginning of US air attacks on Vietnam. He explained that,

“We must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny and only in such a world will our own freedom be secure… we have made a national pledge to help South Vietnam defend its independence and I intend to keep that promise. To dishonor that pledge, to abandon the small and brave nation to its enemies and the terror must follow would be an unforgivable wrong.”

Johnson further explained,

“We are also there to strengthen world order… To leave Vietnam to its fate would shake the confidence of all these people in the value of an American commitment and in the value of America’s words.”

Learning no lessons from the failure and mass slaughter of the Korean War in the previous decade, the US military commenced widespread bombing of Vietnam and sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

At the time, spring 1965, about 400 US soldiers had died in the conflict. The war was not yet widely unpopular. Americans who protested against the Vietnam War were a small minority. It would be two years before Martin Luther King’s famous denunciation of the war.

Years later, after hundreds of thousands had been drafted into the military with the deaths of tens of thousands, the war became widely unpopular. Ultimately, over 58,000 Americans and three million Vietnamese civilians and soldiers died in the war. The cost in human lives and wasted resources was immense. The “Great Society” that LBJ hoped to build was stopped by the diversion of human lives, energy and resources into the Vietnam War.

There are similarities today with the US and NATO pouring tens of BILLIONS of dollars in weapons into Ukraine to counter the Russian military intervention. The US and western allies are providing additional support in intelligence and military advice. While there are not yet official US troops (as there were not in Vietnam for the first years), there are special operations and much other military support.

President Biden and administration leaders sound similar to LBJ in the early stage of the Vietnam War. In his remarks to Congress asking for additional funding for Ukraine, Biden said,

“We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom…. The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.”

Making clear that the US goal is not just the “freedom” of Ukraine, Biden continues,

“Investing in Ukraine’s freedom and security is a small price to pay to punish Russian aggression, to lessen the risk of future conflicts.”

In both Vietnam and Ukraine, the US installed or promoted pro-US governments to counter “adversary” nations. In the 1950’s, the US prevented a nation-wide referendum in Vietnam which would have united the country without a war. In 2014, the US was instrumental in promoting the Ukraine coup which overthrew a democratically elected government leading to the secession of Crimea and civil war in eastern Ukraine. While most in the West think the Ukraine conflict began in February this year, it actually began in February 2014. The 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire”, banned by YouTube, describes the coup.

Western media portrayed the US and South Vietnam winning the war in South East Asia until the 1968 Tet offensive exposed the lies and reality. Similarly, western media portrays Ukrainians winning the war midst overwhelming Ukrainian public support. In reality, Russia and the secessionist Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) and Lugansk Peoples Republic (LPR) have steadily taken control of south east Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian president Zelensky has overseen the imprisonment, torture and killing of opponents. The largest opposition party has been banned. Many Ukrainians oppose his policy and continuation of the war. There are rumors of presidential assassination attempts, just as there were in South Vietnam.

Ukrainians have become cannon fodder for the US geopolitical goals, just as the South Vietnamese were.

It is now clear that the LBJ’s escalation in 1965 was a huge and costly mistake. The needless war did immense damage to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It is also had enormous negative ramifications in the United States.

Will the US and allies continue to escalate the conflict in Ukraine, to “double down” on an intervention half way around the world with the goal of hurting Russia? Have we learned nothing from Vietnam and subsequent US/Western foreign policy disasters of the past 40 years?

Rick Sterling is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and an investigative journalist who lives in the SF Bay Area, California.

1 August 2022

Source: www.transcend.org