Financial War: Russia & China vs U.S. & NATO

The financial war between Russia with China’s tacit backing on one side, and America and her NATO allies on the other has escalated rapidly. It appears that President Putin was thinking several steps ahead when he launched Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

We have seen sanctions fail. We have seen Russia achieve record export surpluses. We have seen the rouble become the strongest currency on the foreign exchanges.

We are seeing the west enter a new round of European monetary inflation to pay everyone’s energy bills. The euro, yen, and sterling are already collapsing — the dollar will be next. From Putin’s point of view, so far, so good.

Russia has progressed her power over Asian nations, including populous India and Iran. She has persuaded Middle Eastern oil and gas producers that their future lies with Asian markets, and not Europe. She is subsidising Asia’s industrial revolution with discounted energy. Thanks to the west’s sanctions, Russia is on its way to confirming Halford Mackinder’s predictions made over a century ago, that Russia is the true geopolitical centre of the world.

There is one piece in Putin’s jigsaw yet to be put in place: a new currency system to protect Russia and her allies from an approaching western monetary crisis. This article argues that under cover of the west’s geopolitical ineptitude, Putin is now assembling a new gold-backed multi-currency system by combining plans for a new Asian trade currency with his new Moscow World Standard for gold.

Currency developments under the radar

Unreported by western media, there are some interesting developments taking place in Asia over the future of currencies. Earlier this summer, it emerged that Sergei Glazyev, a senior Russian economist and Minister in charge of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEU), was leading a committee planning a new trade currency for the Eurasian Economic Union.

As put forward in Russian and EAEU media, the new currency is to be comprised of a mixture of national currencies and commodities. A weighting of some sort was suggested to reflect the relative importance of the currencies and commodities traded between them. At the same time, the new trade settlement currency was to be available to any other nation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the expanding BRICS membership. The ambition is for it to become an Asia-wide replacement for the dollar.

More specifically, the purpose is to do away with the dollar for trade settlements on cross-border transactions between participants. It is worth noting that any dollar transaction is reflected in US banks through the correspondent banking system, potentially giving the US authorities undesirable economic intelligence, and information on sanction-busting and other activities deemed illegal or undesirable by the US authorities. Furthermore, any transaction involving US dollars becomes a matter for the US legal system, giving US politicians the authority to intervene wherever the dollar is used.

As well as removing these disadvantages, through the inclusion of a basket of commodities there appears to be an acceptance that the new trade currency must be more stable in terms of its commodity purchasing power than exists with that of the dollar. But we can immediately detect flaws in the outline proposal. The mooted inclusion of national currencies in the basket is not only an unnecessary complication, but any nation joining it would presumably trigger a wholesale rebalancing of the currency’s composition.

Including national currencies is a preposterous suggestion, as is any suggestion that the commodity element should be weighted by trade volumes transacted between participating states. Instead, an unweighted average of energy, precious metals, and base metals makes more sense, but even that does not go far enough. The reasons are illustrated by the two charts in Figure 1.

The upper chart shows baskets of different categories of commodities indexed and priced in dollars. Between them, they represent a wide range of commodities and raw materials. These baskets are considerably less volatile than their individual components. For example, since April 2020 oil has risen from a distorted minus figure to a high of $130, whereas the energy basket has risen only 6.3 times, because other components have not risen nearly as much as crude oil and some components might be rising while others might be falling. Agriculture raw materials are comprised of cotton, timber, wool, rubber, and hides, not raw materials liable to undesirable seasonality. But the average of the four categories is considerably more stable than its components (the black line).

We are moving towards price stability. However, all commodities are priced in US dollars, which being undesirable, cannot be avoided. Pricing in gold, which is legal money, eventually resolves this problem because it can be fixed against participating currencies. The result of pricing the commodity categories in gold and the average of them is shown in the lower chart.

Since 1992, the average (the black line) has varied between 0.37 and 1.66, and is currently at 0.82, or 18% less than in January 1992. This is as stable as it gets, and even this low volatility would probably be less if the dollar wasn’t itself so volatile and the gold price manipulated by nay-saying western authorities. To further illustrate these points, Figure 2 shows the dollar’s volatility in terms of crude oil.

Before the abandonment of Bretton Woods in 1971, the price of oil hardly changed. Since then, measured by gold the dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power. Furthermore, the chart shows that it is the dollar which is extremely volatile and not oil, because the price of oil in gold is relatively constant (down only 20% from 1950), while in dollars it is up 33.6 times with some wild price swings along the way. Critics of measuring prices in gold ignore the fact that legal money is gold and not paper currencies or bank credit: attempts by governments and their epigones to persuade us otherwise are propaganda only.

Therefore, Glazyev should drop currencies from the proposed basket entirely and strive to either price a basket of non-seasonal commodities in gold, or alternatively simply reference the new currency to gold in a daily fix. And as the charts above confirm, there is little point in using a basket of commodities priced in dollars or gold when it is far simpler for the EAEU nations and for anyone else wishing to participate in the new trade currency to use a trade currency directly tied to the gold price. It would amount to a new Asian version of a Bretton Woods arrangement and would need no further adjustment.

Attributing them to excessive credit, from recent statements by President Putin it is clear he has a better understanding of currencies and the west’s inflationary problems than western economists. Intellectually, he has long demonstrated an appreciation of the relationship between money, that is only gold, and currency and credit. His knowledge was further demonstrated by his insistence that the “unfriendlies” pay for energy in roubles, taking control of the media of energy exchange into Russia’s own hands and away from those of his enemies.

In short, Putin appears to understand that gold is money and that the rest is unreliable, weaponizable, credit. So, why does he not just command a new trade currency to be created, backed by gold?

Enter the new Moscow gold standard

Logic suggests that a gold-backed currency will be the outcome of Glazyev’s EAEU committee’s trade currency deliberations after all, because of a subsequent announcement from Moscow concerning a new Russian bullion market.

In accordance with western sanctions, the London Bullion Market refused to accept Russian mined and processed gold. It was then natural for Russia to propose a new gold market based in Moscow with its own standards. It is equally sensible for Moscow to set up a price fixing committee, replicating that of the LBMA. But instead of it being the basis for a far larger unallocated gold deposit account offering by Russian and other banks, it will be a predominantly physical market.

Based in Moscow, with a new market called the Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange, the Moscow Gold Standard will incorporate some of the LBMA’s features, such as good delivery lists with daily, or twice daily fixings. The new exchange is therefore being promoted as a logical replacement for the LBMA.

But could that be a cover, with the real objective being to provide a gold link to the new trade currency planned by Glazyev’s EAEU committee? Timing suggests that this may indeed be the case, but we will only know for sure as events unfold.

If it is to be backed by gold, the considerations behind setting up a new trade currency are fairly straightforward. There is the Chinese one kilo bar four-nines standard, which is widely owned, has already been adopted throughout Asia, and is traded even on Comex. Given that China is Russia’s long-term partner, that is likely to be the standard unit. The adoption of the Chinese standard in the new Moscow exchange is logical, simplifying the relationship with the Shanghai Gold Exchange, and streamlining fungibility between contracts, arbitrage, and delivery.

Geopolitics suggest that the simple proposition behind the establishment of a new Moscow exchange will fit in with a larger trans-Asia plan and is unlikely to move at the glacial pace of developments between Russia and China to which we have become accustomed. The gold question has become bound up in more rapid developments triggered by Russia’s belligerence over Ukraine, and the sanctions which quickly followed.

There can be little doubt that this must be leading to a seismic shift in gold policy for the Russian Chinese partnership. The Chinese in particular have demonstrated an unhurried patience that befits a nation with a sense of its long history and destiny. Putin is more of a one-man act. Approaching seventy years old, he cannot afford to be so patient and is showing a determination to secure a legacy in his lifetime as a great Russian leader. While China has made the initial running with respect to gold policy, Putin is now pushing the agenda more forcefully.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the strategy was to let the west make all the geopolitical and financial mistakes. For Putin perhaps, the lesson of history was informed by Napoleon’s march to the gates of Moscow, his pyrrhic victory at Borodino, and his defeat by the Russian winter. Hitler made the same mistake with Operation Barbarossa. From Putin’s viewpoint, the lesson was clear — Russia’s enemies defeat themselves. It was repeated in Afghanistan, where the American-led NATO enemy was conquered by its own hubris without Putin having to lift so much as a finger. That is why Russia is Mackinder’s Pivot Area of the World Island. It cannot be attacked by navies, and supply line requirements for armies make Russia’s defeat well-nigh impossible

Following the Ukraine invasion, Putin’s financial strategy has become more aggressive, and is potentially at odds with China’s economic policy. Being cut off from western markets, Putin is now proactive, while China which exports goods to them probably remains more cautious. But China knows that western capitalism bears the seeds of its own destruction, which would mean the end of the dollar and the other major fiat currencies. An economic policy based on exports to capitalistic nations would be a passing phase.

China’s gold policy was aways an insurance policy against a dollar collapse, realising that she must not be blamed for the west’s financial destruction by announcing a gold standard for the yen in advance of it. It would be a nuclear equivalent in a financial war, only an action to be taken as a last resort.

Developments in Russia have changed that. It is clear to the Russians, and most likely the Chinese, that credit inflation is now pushing the dollar into a currency crisis in the next year or two. Preparations to protect the rouble and the yuan from the final collapse of the dollar, long taught in Marxist universities as inevitable, must assume a new urgency. It would be logical to start with a new trade settlement currency as a testbed for national currencies in Asia, and for it to be set up in such a way that it would permit member states to adopt gold standards for their own currencies as well.

Possession of bullion is key

The move away from western fiat currencies to gold backed Asian currencies requires significant gold bullion ownership at the least. The only members, associates, and dialog partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the EAEU whose central banks have not increased their gold reserves since the Lehman failure when the credit expansion of dollars began in earnest, are minor states. Since then, between them they have added 4,645 tonnes to their reserves, while all the other central banks account for only 781 tonnes of additional gold reserves.

But central bank reserves are only part of the story, with nations running other, often secret national bullion accounts not included in reserves. The appendix to this article shows why and how China almost certainly accumulated an undeclared quantity of bullion, likely to be in the region of 25,000 tonnes by 2002 and probably more since.

Since 2002, when the Shanghai Gold Exchange opened and China’s citizens were permitted for the first time to own gold, gold delivered into public hands has totalled a further amount of over 20,000 tonnes. While the bulk of this is jewellery and some has been returned to the SGE as scrap for re-refining, it is clear that the authorities have encouraged Chinese citizens to retain gold for themselves, which traditionally has been real money in China.

According to Simon Hunt of Simon Hunt Strategic Services, as well as declared reserves of 2,301 tonnes Russia also holds gold bullion in its Gosfund (the State Fund of Russia) bringing its holdings up to 12,000 tonnes. This is significantly greater than the 8,133 tonnes declared by the US Treasury, over which there are widespread doubts concerning the veracity of its true quantity.

Obviously, the Asian partnership has a very different view of gold from the American hegemon. Furthermore, in recent months evidence has confirmed what gold bugs have claimed all along, that the Bank for International Settlements and major bullion operators such as JPMorgan Chase have indulged in a price suppression scheme to discourage gold ownership and to divert bullion demand into synthetic unallocated accounts.

The secrecy that surrounds reporting of gold reserves to the IMF raises further suspicions over the true position. Furthermore, there are leases and swaps between central banks, the BIS, and bullion dealers that lead to double counting and bullion recorded as being in possession of governments and their central banks but being held by other parties.

As long ago as 2002 when the gold price was about $300 per ounce, Frank Veneroso, who as a noted analyst spent considerable time and effort identifying central bank swaps and leases, concluded that anything between 10,000 and 15,000 tonnes of government and central bank gold reserves were out on lease or swapped — that is up to almost half the total official global gold reserves at that time. His entire speech is available on the Gold Antitrust Action Committee website, but this is the introduction to his reasoning:[i]

“Let’s begin with an explanation of gold banking and gold derivatives.

“It is a simple, simple idea. Central banks have bars of gold in a vault. It’s their own vault, it’s the Bank of England’s vault, it’s the New York Fed’s vault. It costs them money for insurance – it costs them money for storage— and gold doesn’t pay any interest. They earn interest on their bills of sovereigns, like US Treasury Bills. They would like to have a return as well on their barren gold, so they take the bars out of the vault and they lend them to a bullion bank. Now the bullion bank owes the central bank gold—physical gold—and pays interest on this loan of perhaps 1%. What do these bullion bankers do with this gold? Does it sit in their vault and cost them storage and insurance? No, they are not going to pay 1% for a gold loan from a central bank and then have a negative spread of 2% because of additional insurance and storage costs on their physical gold. They are intermediaries—they are in the business of making money on financial intermediation. So they take the physical gold and they sell it spot and get cash for it. They put that cash on deposit or purchase a Treasury Bill. Now they have a financial asset—not a real asset—on the asset side of their balance sheet that pays them interest—6% against that 1% interest cost on the gold loan to the central bank. What happened to that physical gold? Well, that physical gold was Central Bank bars, and it went to a refinery and that refinery refined it, upgraded it, and poured it into different kinds of bars like kilo bars that go to jewellery factories who then make jewellery out of it. That jewellery gets sold to individuals. That’s where those physical bars have wound up—adorning the women of the world…

“We have gotten, albeit crude, estimates of gold borrowings from the official sector from probably more than 1/3 of all the bullion banks. We went to bullion dealers, and we asked, “Are these guys major bullion bankers, medium bullion bankers, or small-scale bullion bankers?” We classified them accordingly and from that we have extrapolated a total amount of gold lending from our sample. That exercise has pointed to exactly the same conclusion as all of our other evidence and inference—i.e., something like 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of borrowed gold.”

Veneroso’s findings were stunning. But two decades later, we have no idea of the current position. The market has changed substantially since 2002, and today it is thought that swaps and leases are often by book entry, rather than physical delivery of bullion into markets. But the implications are clear: if Russia or China cared to declare their true position and made a move towards backing their currencies with gold or linking them to gold credibly, it would be catastrophic for the dollar and western fiat currencies generally. It would amount to a massive bear squeeze on the west’s longstanding gold versus fiat policy. And remember, gold is money, and the rest is credit, as John Pierpont Morgan said in 1912 in evidence to Congress. He was not stating his opinion, but a legal fact.

In a financial crisis, the accumulated manipulation of bullion markets since the 1970s is at significant risk of becoming unwound. The imbalance in bullion holdings between the Russian Chinese camp and the west would generate the equivalent of a financial nuclear event. This is why it is so important to understand that instead of being a longstop insurance policy against the Marxist prediction of capitalism’s ultimate failure, it appears that the combination of planning for a new trade currency for Asian nations centred on members of the EAEU, coinciding with the introduction of a new Moscow-based bullion standard, is now pre-empting financial developments in the west. That being the case, a financial nuclear bomb is close to being triggered.


China’s gold policy

China actually took its first deliberate step towards eventual domination of the gold market as long ago as June 1983, when regulations on the control of gold and silver were passed by the State Council. The following Articles extracted from the English translation set out the objectives very clearly:

Article 1. These Regulations are formulated to strengthen control over gold and silver, to guarantee the State’s gold and silver requirements for its economic development and to outlaw gold and silver smuggling and speculation and profiteering activities.

Article 3. The State shall pursue a policy of unified control, monopoly purchase and distribution of gold and silver. The total income and expenditure of gold and silver of State organs, the armed forces, organizations, schools, State enterprises, institutions, and collective urban and rural economic organizations (hereinafter referred to as domestic units) shall be incorporated into the State plan for the receipt and expenditure of gold and silver.

Article 4. The People’s Bank of China shall be the State organ responsible for the control of gold and silver in the People’s Republic of China.

Article 5. All gold and silver held by domestic units, with the exception of raw materials, equipment, household utensils and mementos which the People’s Bank of China has permitted to be kept, must be sold to the People’s Bank of China. No gold and silver may be personally disposed of or kept without authorization.

Article 6. All gold and silver legally gained by individuals shall come under the protection of the State.

Article 8. All gold and silver purchases shall be transacted through the People’s Bank of China. No unit or individual shall purchase gold and silver unless authorised or entrusted to do so by the People’s Bank of China.

Article 12. All gold and silver sold by individuals must be sold to the People’s Bank of China.

Article 25. No restriction shall be imposed on the amount of gold and silver brought into the People’s Republic of China, but declaration and registration must be made to the Customs authorities of the People’s Republic of China upon entry.

Article 26. Inspection and clearance by the People’s Republic of China Customs of gold and silver taken or retaken abroad shall be made in accordance with the amount shown on the certificate issued by the People’s Bank of China or the original declaration and registration form made on entry. All gold and silver without a covering certificate or in excess of the amount declared and registered upon entry shall not be allowed to be taken out of the country.

These articles make it clear that only the People’s Bank was authorised to acquire or sell gold on behalf of the state, without limitation, and that citizens owning or buying gold were not permitted to do so and must sell any gold in their possession to the People’s Bank.

Additionally, China has deliberately developed her gold mine production regardless of cost, becoming the largest producer by far in the world.[ii] State-owned refineries process this gold along with doré imported from elsewhere. Virtually none of this gold leaves China, so that the gold owned today between the state and individuals continues to accumulate.

The regulations quoted above formalised the State’s monopoly over all gold and silver which is exercised through the Peoples Bank, and they allow the free importation of gold and silver but keep exports under very tight control. The intent behind the regulations is not to establish or permit the free trade of gold and silver, but to control these commodities in the interest of the state.

This being the case, the growth of Chinese gold imports recorded as deliveries to the public since 2002, when the Shanghai Gold Exchange was established and the public then permitted to buy gold, is only the more recent evidence of a deliberate act of policy embarked upon thirty-nine years ago. China had been accumulating gold for nineteen years before she allowed her own nationals to buy when private ownership was finally permitted. Furthermore, the bullion was freely available, because in seventeen of those years, gold was in a severe bear market fuelled by a combination of supply from central bank disposals, leasing, and increasing mine production, all of which I estimate totalled about 59,000 tonnes. The two largest buyers for all this gold for much of the time were private buyers in the Middle East and China’s government, with additional demand identified from India and Turkey. The breakdown from these sources and the likely demand are identified in the table below:

In another context, the cost of China’s 25,000 tonnes of gold equates to roughly 10% of her exports over the period, and the eighties and early nineties in particular also saw huge capital inflows when multinational corporations were building factories in China. However, the figure for China’s gold accumulation is at best informed speculation. But given the determination of the state to acquire gold expressed in the 1983 regulations and by its subsequent actions, it is clear China had deliberately accumulated a significant undeclared stockpile by 2002.

So far, China’s long-term plans for the acquisition of gold appear to have achieved some important objectives. To date, additional deliveries to the public through the SGE now total over 20,000 tonnes.

China’s motives

China’s motives for taking control of the gold bullion market have almost certainly evolved. The regulations of 1983 make sense as part of a forward-looking plan to ensure that some of the benefits of industrialisation would be accumulated as a risk-free national asset. This reasoning is similar to that of the Arab nations capitalising on the oil-price bonanza only ten years earlier, which led them to accumulate their hoard, mainly held in private as opposed to government hands, for the benefit of future generations. However, as time passed the world has changed substantially both economically and politically.

2002 was a significant year for China, when geopolitical considerations entered the picture. Not only did the People’s Bank establish the Shanghai Gold Exchange to facilitate deliveries to private investors, but this was the year the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation formally adopted its charter. This merger of security and economic interests with Russia has bound Russia and China together with a number of resource-rich Asian states into an economic bloc. When India, Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan join (as they now have or are already committed to do), the SCO will cover more than half the world’s population. And inevitably the SCO’s members are looking for an alternative trade settlement system to using the US dollar.

At some stage China with her SCO partner, Russia, might force the price of gold higher as part of their currency strategy. You can argue this from an economic point of view on the basis that possession of properly priced gold will give her a financial dominance over global trade at a time when we are trashing our fiat currencies, or more simply that there’s no point in owning an asset and suppressing its value for ever. From 2002 there evolved a geopolitical argument: both China and Russia having initially wanted to embrace American and Western European capitalism no longer sought to do so, seeing us as soft enemies instead. The Chinese public were then encouraged, even by public service advertising, to buy gold, helping to denude the west of her remaining bullion stocks and to provide market liquidity in China.

What is truly amazing is that the western economic and political establishment have dismissed the importance of gold and ignored all the warning signals. They do not seem to realise the power they have given China and Russia to create financial chaos as a consequence of gold price suppression. If they do so, which seems to be only a matter of time, then London’s fractional reserve system of unallocated gold accounts would simply collapse, leaving Shanghai as the only major physical market.

This is probably the final link in China’s long-standing gold strategy, and through it a planned domination of the global economy in partnership with Russia and the other SCO nations. But as noted above, recent events have brought this outcome forward.

[i] See https://www.gata.org/node/4249

[ii] Following covid, China’s production has declined from over 400 tonnes annually to closer to 300 tonnes.

Source: GSI Exchange

Four Intelligence Scandals and a Culture War • Stratfor #spooks

Originally Published on March 8, 1999

Source: Stratfor Worldview
Four Intelligence Scandals and a Culture War
Mar 8, 1999 | 06:00 GMT

Summary

Four intelligence scandals blew up in the past week or so: A blown U.S. intelligence collection operation in Iraq; Chinese theft of nuclear weapons secrets from Los Alamos; the claim that Israel’s Mossad had taped Clinton having phone sex with Monica Lewinsky and was using it to blackmail Clinton into stopping a mole hunt for an Israeli agent in the White House; and suspicion that Greece had traded U.S. and NATO jamming codes to the Russians. However true each of these is, somebody has clearly launched a campaign against the Clinton White House. Depending on your point of view, this is either another in an endless series of attempts by a vast right-wing conspiracy to discredit the President or a desperate attempt to warn the country about the incompetence or malfeasance of the Administration. But it does not strike us as accidental that these four reports all hit the major media within a few days of each other. We see a “culture war” underway between the Clinton Administration and the national security apparatus. Underlying it is a fundamental disagreement as to the nature of the international system, the threat faced by the United States and the appropriate policies that ought to be followed.

Analysis

What made last week remarkable was the sudden, simultaneous emergence of four completely unconnected stories of espionage and international duplicity. The stories varied widely over content and time frame. What they had in common was that each involved the United States in some way and all broke into the headlines within a few days of each other. We present them here in no particular order:

A report in the Washington Post asserted that the Central Intelligence Agency had placed agents on the staff of UNSCOM, the United Nations unit that had been assigned to inspect Iraqi weapons production facilities under UN Security Council resolutions. Claims that the weapons inspectors were being used by the CIA had been circulating for months. Indeed, Saddam Hussein had created a major crisis when he decided not to permit American members of the team into Iraq because they were, according to him, CIA agents. Two things made the Post story interesting. First, it provided some hints as to how the U.S. had used UNSCOM remote monitoring to intercept Iraqi communications. Second, the Post story appears to have originated within official Washington circles and has not been met with a spate of denials.


The New York Times broke a story late in the week that claimed that Chinese intelligence had penetrated Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and that it had, over many years, extracted technical information on the construction of miniaturized nuclear warheads. Such miniaturization is critical for the construction of warheads with multiple, independently targeted, re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), which the United States and Soviet Union had built, but which China had not been able to construct until they had allegedly stolen plans from Los Alamos. Apparently, the theft had been discovered in 1995, but according to these reports, the Clinton Administration had deliberately ignored the warnings because creating a public crisis would interfere with the Administration’s plans for engagement with China. The Administration did not deny the espionage claim, but did state that they had tightened security.
The New York Post published a story claiming that a book written by Gordon Thomas would claim that Israel’s Mossad had tapped Monica Lewinsky’s phone (along with another, unnamed intelligence agency) and had recorded her having phone sex with the President. The story went on to claim that Mossad had used the tapes to blackmail Clinton. The President then called off a hunt for a suspected Israeli mole in the White House because of Israeli threats that they would release the tapes. In a later interview, Thomas backed off the blackmail claims, stating that Danny Yatom, head of Mossad at the time, had ruled out blackmail. He continued to maintain that Mossad had obtained the tapes.
Last weekend, the Washington Post broke a story stating that the United States had temporarily halted the sale of aircraft to Greece. The reason was that evidence had come to light that Greece, a U.S. ally and member of NATO, had provided the Russians with extremely sensitive codes that would enable someone to jam NATO aircraft. In exchange, according to the reports, Russia gave Greece a system known as SPN-2, which would interfere with the targeting capabilities of NATO aircraft. Presumably, Greece would have used this system against Turkey. Once the reports surfaced, Washington asserted that weapons sales to Greece would resume, because the reports were inaccurate and the transaction had not taken place.
So it was quite a week for fans of espionage and intrigue. Two stories seem pretty much confirmed. No one is denying that the U.S. used UNSCOM as a vector for U.S. espionage activity, nor is anyone denying that China had stolen extremely sensitive information about U.S. nuclear technology. The White House is denying and Israel is saying nothing about the Lewinsky wiretaps and even the author is backing off the blackmail charge. The U.S. is confirming the suspension of weapons sales to Greece but is claiming that investigation has shown that the Greeks did not do what they had been charged with. So two of the stories seem to be pretty much confirmed and two are being denied with varying degrees of plausibility.

We could spend days trying to untangle each of these events without getting to the bottom of them. Let’s, therefore, look at what we know for certain. First, last week saw a surge of very public assertions about espionage being conducted either by the United States or directed toward the United States. Second, while each of them appear unconnected, there is a single, underlying theme: that the Clinton Administration, through the personal actions of the President and through his foreign policy, has left major national security breaches that have materially damaged the United States. Third, that the very existence of these leaks in this concentrated form is proof of the second claim, which is that the Clinton Administration does not know how to conduct a coherent, professional, national security policy.

What emerged from the week was an extremely embarrassing, blown intelligence operation against Iraq that essentially confirmed that Saddam Hussein was telling the truth and the U.S. was lying when Saddam charged that UNSCOM was a tool of U.S. intelligence. It also created a huge credibility gap for all future UN operations with U.S. participation. So, the week revealed that even when the U.S. mounts an effective espionage operation, it cannot control it well enough to keep it from blowing up very publicly.

The other three leaks tended to show enormous recklessness by the White House in pursuing its policies. The China story seemed to show that the White House was so eager for good relations with China that it would not confront China with clear evidence of espionage directed toward securing some of the most vital secrets of the United States. The Greek story carried this theme further by implicitly claiming that the failure of the United States to redefine NATO had enabled the Greeks continuing access to U.S. technology in the post-Cold War world. This, in turn, left U.S. security in the hands of unreliable nations whose interests had dramatically diverged from U.S. interests. Finally, the Lewinsky-Mossad story left the impression of a White House not only casual about national security issues, but willing to open itself to blackmail for the most frivolous of reasons.

In other words, either by coincidence or intention, someone worked very hard to make it appear that the Clinton Administration was wholly incapable of protecting either U.S. secrets or vital, on-going espionage operations. Now, coincidences happen, and it is certainly possible that this avalanche of leaks about U.S. intelligence failures, or successes turned into failures, was coincidence. But what an avalanche of coincidence it was to have all four of these stories breaking into the media within days of each other. What a further coincidence that two of these stories broke in the Washington Post while a third broke into the New York Times. The fourth, the Lewinsky-Mossad story, may well have been a coincidence since we suspect the story was planted by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, as pre-publication publicity. The Chinese, Greek and Iraqi stories, however, all went to major, national media. That meant that the leakers had credibility and access. They were not mid-level officials.

The leakers on the Greek story appear to come from Congress. The structure of the stories made it clear that congressional sources were dissatisfied with the results of the Department of Defense examination and one can infer from that that the source was on either the Senate or House oversight committees. Indeed, those committees are possible sources for both the Iraq and China story as well. Again, assuming that the avalanche was not a remarkable coincidence, we can expand our hypothesis to claim that elements in Congress and in the intelligence communities decided this week to go public with an extraordinary record of something between malfeasance and incompetence far more damaging than anything to do with sex in the Oval Office.

That may well be the trigger to this week’s events. It is now clear that President Clinton has survived the Lewinsky affair. The final shot, the story that he had actually raped a women years before in Arkansas, seems not to have hit the mark. Whatever personal damage was done to Clinton, he is not going to be forced from office. But lurking behind Lewinsky and Whitewater have been charges that the Administration, particularly in its dealings with China, traded national security for business opportunities for politically connected corporations.

But even behind this, even behind the hints of corruption and malfeasance, there has been a deep-seated sense within the defense and intelligence communities that the Administration was simply not sensitive to the national security needs of the United States. From the beginning, there has been a deep policy and cultural divide between the national security apparatus that was honed and seasoned during the Cold War and the Clinton Administration. For the Clintonites, the need to maintain engagement with China and Greece, for example, outweighed archaic concerns about weapons system security. Attention to the fine details of covert operations, which would dictate not operating within the easily exposed milieu of UNSCOM, was not seen as a priority. Maintaining communication security and not calling a mistress on an open telephone line was not taken seriously. Someone in the national security community, or among its congressional allies, decided this week to open a new campaign against the President.

Whoever the leakers were this week, they are trying to paint a picture of an Administration that was simply indifferent to the classical concept of national security. The end of the Lewinsky affair has, it appears to us, opened a new battlefield in which the stakes are much higher. The President and his Administration are being charged with being either fools or knaves when it comes to defending the security interests of the United States. Now, there is the obvious question as to whether the charges in their particulars are true. But it is clear that the Iraq and China stories are true. The congressional oversight committees will probe the truth of the Greek story. And if Mossad didn’t tap Monica’s phone, it was only because of pure luck and not by Presidential caution.

The real issue here is cultural. On one side, those leaking these charges are claiming that the national security state is not archaic, that protecting the integrity of U.S. military and covert operations remains a priority above all other considerations. On the other side, there is the view of the world in which national security considerations, properly understood, have created a new hierarchy of values. In this view, cooperating with China on maintaining financial stability in Asia is more important than weapons technology theft and working with Greece as a conduit to Serbia or the Kurds is more important than keeping jamming codes out of Russian hands. The argument is that maintaining operational security over a covert operation in Iraq is less important than the short-term goal of getting the information needed, since the U.S. has the ability to live through the embarrassment of exposure and the loss of exposed collection systems. Indeed, in the extreme, the argument is that the existence of an Israeli mole in the White House is less important than keeping Netanyahu at the bargaining table with Arafat.

Rulers have traditionally compromised intelligence operations for higher, policy goals. That is to be expected. What surfaced this week, however, has been the charge that the Administration systematically ignored national security issues such as collection systems, jamming codes, and even nuclear technology, in favor of policy goals of dubious value. This is the real debate: were these trade-offs worth it? What did the United States achieve by ignoring foreign operations or failing to maintain its own operational security?

Apart from the truly sensational revelations of the last week, there is a deep policy debate that involves how the United States views the world. If we view the world as having genuinely evolved to a point at which traditional security issues are now marginal, then the Clinton Administration’s behavior (assuming the stories are true at all) is understandable. If, on the other hand, the world continues to behave today much as it did for the past few centuries, then national security considerations remain central. Scandals aside, this is what was being debated in Washington this week.

The West’s Dangerously Simple-Minded Narrative About Russia and China – Unz Review

The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous. It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressing diplomacy.

Europe should reflect on the fact that the non-enlargement of NATO and the implementation of the Minsk II agreements would have averted this awful war in Ukraine.

The essential narrative of the West is built into US national security strategy. The core US idea is that China and Russia are implacable foes that are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” These countries are, according to the US, “determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The irony is that since 1980 the US has been in at least 15 overseas wars of choice (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Serbia, Syria, and Yemen just to name a few), while China has been in none, and Russia only in one (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union. The US has military bases in 85 countries, China in 3, and Russia in 1 (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union.

President Joe Biden has promoted this narrative, declaring that the greatest challenge of our time is the competition with the autocracies, which “seek to advance their own power, export and expand their influence around the world, and justify their repressive policies and practices as a more efficient way to address today’s challenges.” US security strategy is not the work of any single US president but of the US security establishment, which is largely autonomous, and operates behind a wall of secrecy.

The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts. A generation earlier George W. Bush, Jr. sold the public on the idea that America’s greatest threat was Islamic fundamentalism, without mentioning that it was the CIA, with Saudi Arabia and other countries, that had created, funded, and deployed the jihadists in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere to fight America’s wars.

Or consider the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, which was painted in the Western media as an act of unprovoked perfidy. Years later, we learned that the Soviet invasion was actually preceded by a CIA operation designed to provoke the Soviet invasion! The same misinformation occurred vis-à-vis Syria. The Western press is filled with recriminations against Putin’s military assistance to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad beginning in 2015, without mentioning that the US supported the overthrow of al-Assad beginning in 2011, with the CIA funding a major operation (Timber Sycamore) to overthrow Assad years before Russia arrived.

Or more recently, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recklessly flew to Taiwan despite China’s warnings, no G7 foreign minister criticized Pelosi’s provocation, yet the G7 ministers together harshly criticized China’s “overreaction” to Pelosi’s trip.

The Western narrative about the Ukraine war is that it is an unprovoked attack by Putin in the quest to recreate the Russian empire. Yet the real history starts with the Western promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not enlarge to the East, followed by four waves of NATO aggrandizement: in 1999, incorporating three Central European countries; in 2004, incorporating 7 more, including in the Black Sea and Baltic States; in 2008, committing to enlarge to Ukraine and Georgia; and in 2022, inviting four Asia-Pacific leaders to NATO to take aim at China.

Nor do the Western media mention the US role in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych; the failure of the Governments of France and Germany, guarantors of the Minsk II agreement, to press Ukraine to carry out its commitments; the vast US armaments sent to Ukraine during the Trump and Biden Administrations in the lead-up to war; nor the refusal of the US to negotiate with Putin over NATO enlargement to Ukraine.

Of course, NATO says that is purely defensive, so that Putin should have nothing to fear. In other words, Putin should take no notice of the CIA operations in Afghanistan and Syria; the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999; the NATO overthrow of Moammar Qaddafi in 2011; the NATO occupation of Afghanistan for 15 years; nor Biden’s “gaffe” calling for Putin’s ouster (which of course was no gaffe at all); nor US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stating that the US war aim in Ukraine is the weakening of Russia.

At the core of all of this is the US attempt to remain the world’s hegemonic power, by augmenting military alliances around the world to contain or defeat China and Russia. It’s a dangerous, delusional, and outmoded idea. The US has a mere 4.2% of the world population, and now a mere 16% of world GDP (measured at international prices). In fact, the combined GDP of the G7 is now less than that of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), while the G7 population is just 6 percent of the world compared with 41 percent in the BRICS.

There is only one country whose self-declared fantasy is to be the world’s dominant power: the US. It’s past time that the US recognized the true sources of security: internal social cohesion and responsible cooperation with the rest of the world, rather than the illusion of hegemony. With such a revised foreign policy, the US and its allies would avoid war with China and Russia, and enable the world to face its myriad environment, energy, food and social crises.

Above all, at this time of extreme danger, European leaders should pursue the true source of European security: not US hegemony, but European security arrangements that respect the legitimate security interests of all European nations, certainly including Ukraine, but also including Russia, which continues to resist NATO enlargements into the Black Sea. Europe should reflect on the fact that the non-enlargement of NATO and the implementation of the Minsk II agreements would have averted this awful war in Ukraine. At this stage, diplomacy, not military escalation, is the true path to European and global security.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed The Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Sachs is the author, most recently, of “A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism” (2020). Other books include: “Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable” (2017) and The Age of Sustainable Development,” (2015) with Ban Ki-moon.

Provoking China – Updates from Global Times

🇨🇳 🇹🇼 🇺🇸 #China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to Speaker #Pelosi’s visit to #Taiwan, stating that it “is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious démarche and strong protest to the #UnitedStates.”

The statement added that “These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it.”

China Launches Live-Fire Drills Off Taiwan With US Carrier Group Nearby, As Pelosi’s Plane En Route To Asia

American Buddhist Net

According to prior comments from President Biden, the Pentagon wants House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cancel her visit to Taiwan – but now pending her possible arrival in Taipei the US military has moved a Navy strike group into the South China Sea led by the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

The USS Reagan left a port call in Singapore and is now patrolling waters near China, with Beijing flexing its own military muscle by launching fresh naval exercises near the self-ruled island – and more worrisomely issuing threats that the PLA military is on stand-by to respond with “forceful measures” if needed.  Turkey’s EHA media outlet on Saturday is circulating (unverified) video purporting to show large US warplane formation flyovers of the South China sea, with destroyers below…

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Provoking Beijing, by Moon of Alabama

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

The U.S is dancing on the edge of war with Russia and now Washington wants to do the same with Beijing. It’s a mark of the delusions gripping Washington that they think this can end well. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China:

The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration.Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall…

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The international political debacle proves that the unipolar system is crumbling

Multipolarity is inevitable

Desultory Heroics

By Guilherme Wilbert

Source: The Saker

With the recent political events involving such different parts of the world, but usually for the same reasons: popular dissatisfaction, rising prices, and the like. And these causes arise with the decision-making errors of Western leaders, who end up suppressing popular opinion, in what generates a kind of democratic government in the archetype but doesn’t really care about its people.

The most practical example arises when countries try to enter into military alliances without popular consultation as to whether the people agree with what is at stake. The Nordics in NATO were a very clear example of this.

The politicians who now manage the finances of powers within Europe were clearly not prepared for what is happening, mainly because in the global production chain, which involves Russia, now sanctioned, reflects much more on the sanctioning regional economy than on the sanctioned one. Plus it…

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China’s 640-Ton ‘Iron Monster’ Can Erect Colossal Bridges In a Few Days • Interesting Engineering

The SLJ900/32, aka Iron Monster, at work

Launching the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, China has proven to be the heir to the tradition of the Silk Road. The project comprises land-and-sea routes that link about 70 countries, approximately two-thirds of the world.

What enabled China to initiate and carry out this project was the developed construction machines that not only expedite the construction processes but resulted in cost and resources efficiency. SLJ900/32, locally known as the Iron Monster, is a step forward in bridge construction that lifts, carries, and sets prefabricated and full-length track sections at the loaded speed of 3.1 mph (5 km/h), leaving no place for the prolonged on-site assembling process.

More than 2,000 years ago, the Han Dynasty established the Silk Road, a network of land-and-sea routes that built a bridge between the east and west transforming China into a geoeconomic center. Inspired by the Silk Road, the People’s Republic of China commenced the Belt and Road initiative to link Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Silk Road Economic Belt, the on-land routes of the project, links East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe while the Maritime Silk Road connects China’s coastlands to Europe.

As the need for more land and nautical routes to complete the Belt and Road project increased, there was a demand for more progressive machines to increase the pace of this large-scale project. Therefore, Iron Monster, alongside other machinery, was invented to fulfill the goal of connecting three continents throughout a marine and land network.

Even though critics claim this project forces Chinese debts on poorer countries setting the Chinese World Order, these inventions are still of high importance in construction engineering. Designed by the Shijiazhuang Railway Institute and manufactured by the Beijing Wow Joint Machinery Company, SLJ900/32 constructs long bridges with numerous spans at a notable speed.

One of the real-life instances of SLJ900/32 is the longest road-rail steel arch bridge project in the world: the Yibin Jinsha River Railway Bridge. Before the Yibin Jinsha, it took 12 hours to travel between Sichuan and Guizhou provinces in China, but now, the estimated travel time dropped to three hours. Another example, which is one of the several high-speed rail projects, is the one linking Inner Mongolia and the rest of the country as part of China’s vision of an 18,641.1-mile-long (30,000 km) high-speed rail.

The bridge girdling machine moves via its 64 fully rotating wheels divided into 4 blocks. The construction process begins as it carries the beams all the way from the very edge of the bridge to the installation point, where it will be connected to a predetermined pillar. Then, using a pneumatic structure, the machine is moored to the first pillar to extend to the second one, anchoring to it, and place the beam. Afterward, SLJ900/32 continues the same steps with the new segment in tow.

Requiring much less human resources in comparison with crane-used bridge constructions, Iron Monster still requires a crew to overlook the entire process besides cleaning and maintaining its various parts. The crew’s job starts as the machine sets the segment and the whole procedure repeats till the completion of the bridge.

The machine has proven to be efficient, specifically in larger construction projects including the Belt and Road, due to the frugal use of human resources, eliminating the cost of expensive scaffolding, and the increased pace of project performance. Moreover, its 640-ton (580 tonnes) weight requires the bridges to bear more than the maximum load, which is accounted as an unexpected added value and results in more safety for the bridges constructed using this machinery.

Unfortunately, the money and technology used to build these machines should be repeated every four years for their lifespan allows them to lay about 700 to 1,000 bridge spans- the distance between two intermediate supporters for the bridge- which gives them longevity of approximately four years.

Source: https://interestingengineering.com/chinas-640-ton-iron-monster-can-erect-colossal-bridges-in-a-few-days

Will the Military Industrial Complex Permit Good Relations Between the U.S. and China? • Strategic Culture Foundation

Source: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/11/16/will-military-industrial-complex-permit-good-relations-between-us-and-china/

The world would benefit enormously if Joe Biden terminated its ascent by coming to terms with China and Russia, Brian Cloughley writes.

At the recent semi-successful United Nations COP26 conference on climate change there was an unexpected revelation that the U.S. and China had engaged in some thirty virtual meetings on the subject over the past year. Their decision to “jointly strengthen climate action” was very welcome from the environment point of view, and even more welcome because it demonstrated that Washington and Beijing could actually get along in one aspect of international relations. It also raised the question as to whether they could ever sit down together and discuss the equally pressing problem of looming conflict.

When U.S. climate envoy John Kerry announced the agreement he acknowledged that although “the United States and China have no shortage of differences” it seemed that “on climate, cooperation is the only way to get this job done.” In this, however, he seemed to be taking a different track to President Joe Biden, who played into the ever-welcoming hands of Washington hawks on November 2 when he castigated Presidents Xi and Putin for non-appearance at the COP gathering. This, he declared, was a “big mistake” and contrasted with the fact that “we showed up” but “they didn’t show up… It is a gigantic issue and they just walked away. How do you do that and claim to have any leadership mantle?”

It is barely credible that the President of the United States would state that the Presidents of the world’s other most important countries are not effective leaders. The BBC’s record of his diatribe is disturbing, as it demonstrates a desire for confrontation rather than a genuine preparedness to calm things down. He said that “the fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader — not showing up, come on.” He continued by declaring that Russia’s wilderness was burning while President Putin “stays mum” about the problem. He did not know, or deliberately ignored the fact that, as the BBC reported, “before Mr Biden’s speech Mr Putin virtually addressed a meeting on forest management at the COP26 summit on Tuesday, saying that Russia takes the ‘strongest and most vigorous measures to conserve’ woodlands.”

There was little surprise that as COP26 was drawing to a close, President Xi warned against a return to “Cold War-era” divisions when it was made known that he and President Biden would meet on November 15. He said plainly that “attempts to draw ideological lines or form small circles on geopolitical grounds are bound to fail,” and China’s Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, expanded on the subject at a function in Washington of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, saying that China “always bears in mind the fundamental interests of the people of both countries and the whole world, and handles China-U.S. relations from a strategic and long-term perspective”.

Most people are aware that China has a long-term view on its place in the world, and even President Biden, in his message to the gathering, declared that “from tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to addressing the existential threat of climate crisis, the relationship between the U.S. and China has global significance. Solving these challenges and seizing these opportunities will require the broader international community to come together as we each do our part to build a safe, peaceful and resilient future.” He did not, however, place any emphasis on bilateral negotiations, which was left to President Xi, who wrote that “China-U.S. relations are at a critical historical juncture. Both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice.”

President Xi’s desire that China should get together with the United States specifically to plan a joint way ahead for a peaceful future has not been echoed in Washington where, as reported by the Straits Times, “the White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Washington and Beijing had ‘an agreement in principle’ to have a virtual summit before the end of the year.” Her explanation was that “this is part of our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition between our countries,” while stressing that it was “not about seeking specific deliverables.” In other words, don’t let anybody get their hopes up that Mr Biden would pursue collaboration that will lead to improved bilateral relations. He might not go so far down into the insult sewer as to reiterate his previous public declaration that Mr Xi doesn’t have a “leadership mantle”, but it is unlikely there will be long-term substance.

It is not surprising that Mr Biden is reluctant to compromise, because the Pentagon and its associates have already notified the world they consider China to be menacing and that the United States should “meet the pacing challenge presented by the PRC’s increasingly capable military and its global ambitions”.

In its November 3 Report to Congress, the Pentagon details “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” and presents the Pentagon’s case for continuing to expand the U.S. military and acquire even more staggeringly expensive weaponry. As the New York Times reported, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said that China “is clearly challenging us regionally, and their aspiration is to challenge us globally… they have a China dream, and they want to challenge the so-called liberal rules-based order.” The Washington Post noted the Report’s concern about China’s global vision, in that it “already has established a military base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. To support its goals, it wants to build more facilities overseas and is considering more than a dozen countries that include Cambodia, Pakistan and Angola. Such a network could interfere with U.S. military operations and support offensive operations against the United States.”

The Pentagon’s warning that China’s establishment of a military base in a foreign country constitutes a threat is absurd to the point of risibility, especially in the context of the U.S. military footprint which extends to “750 military base sites estimated in around 80+ foreign countries and colonies/territories.” Further, it is calculated that the U.S. spends more on its military than the combined defence budgets of eleven major countries : China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Australia.

It is not surprising that William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger wrote in TomDispatch on November 9 that “The arms industry’s lobbying efforts are especially insidious. In an average year, it employs around 700 lobbyists, more than one for every member of Congress… A 2018 investigation by the Project On Government Oversight found that, in the prior decade, 380 high-ranking Pentagon officials and military officers had become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for weapons contractors within two years of leaving their government jobs.” And of even more concern for the workings of democracy it is sinister, in the words of Dan Auble, that “defence companies spend millions every year lobbying politicians and donating to their campaigns. In the past two decades, their extensive network of lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defence policy.”

Good luck to Mr Biden. Let us hope that he will sacrifice popularity for peace and that he will bear in mind the words of his illustrious predecessor President Eisenhower, sixty years ago, that “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Indeed it has risen. But the world would benefit enormously if Joe Biden terminated its ascent by coming to terms with China and Russia.

Climate and COVID Delivered from the Same Technocratic Trojan Horse of Tyranny: Discerning the Globalist Truth from a Bill Gates Interview • Political moonshine

We need a new way of doing the vaccines. Those blindsiding and dystopian words derive from an interview of Bill Gates following the administration to the world of 7.4 billion doses of experimental mRNA pseudo-vaccines. A new way to replace the new way, he said. The interview unfolds like a Globalist infomercial oozing and dripping the requisite narrative and talking points and it should be consumed fully but only after first consuming the discernment of truth provided here.

Through the application of a discerning lens, one can see the truth that Bill Gates proffers and it will present here as unvarnished and tethered back to existing work and positions so as to provide a comprehensive and fulsome explanation of what is being done to us and how they’re doing it.

Through the lens of a poker player or a psychologist – take your pick, whichever hat fits best – observing basic elements of human nature like facial expressions, hand gestures and body position undo Gates relative to the content he provides. In short, Bill must be a horrendous card player because he is incapable of lying without specific tells, such as his uncontrollable wry smile and his attempts to veil it when it gets away from him.

Between that smile and his hands of arthritic disfigurement, he’s a difficult if not unbearable person to tolerate and especially so against the backdrop of his wealth, power and nefarious designs for all of us. The type of miscreant to cower on his knees and perhaps shit his pants in the absence of all that and in the face of true adversity, like the scenario of standing alone and across from an unprivileged, informed and motivated grown man with the skill set and desire to redress his grievances in biblical fashion.

How I miss the good old days. Digressing.

A new way to replace the new way is what Gates told us in his interview sourced from Jordan Schachtel and featured at Zero Hedge. Schachtel excludes the bulk of the interview getting right to COVID meat and potatoes and I’m slowing it down and translating all of the important segments because they deliver abundant and meaningful details once discerned.

The interview [linked in the ZH item] featured by Dean Godson of the Policy Exchange between Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP and Gates centers on “the future of liberal democracies” and the ways technology and climate can “change the rules of the game.” Let’s be clear here. Despite the Policy Exchange being described as center-right to right, the first several minutes of this interview reveals naked Globalism and demonstrates that there is nothing right about this.

Gates is describing the elements of our Trojan Horse that he will expand on collectively.

In consideration of climate and technology changing the rules, Hunt quotes Gates’ book, “This is going to be hard. We need cooperation with China.”

China’s installed proxy, Joe Biden, factors into this equation further bearing down on the governance of the U.S. since the functional usurpation of Article II Executive authority on 13 Mar 20. Gates isn’t seeking to tie together a relationship as he’s suggesting here, rather he’s establishing useful pretext for the future and in reference to an existing relationship. Moreover, does anyone recall electing Gates or him having gone to medical school?

At this point, Gates and Hunt have built most of the horse with China, climate and technology and with COVID-19 on deck.

Pertaining to climate, Gates said, “In 2015, we didn’t have a focus on innovation” and “the cause was not talked about that much.”

Consider this contrary headline and quote from CBS News on 12 Dec 15, ‘Technology that could disrupt the course of climate change,’

“When President Obama spoke at a news conference at the end of his two-day appearance at the COP21 climate conference in Paris, he stressed the need to seek innovative solutions to combat climate change.

“I actually think we’re going to solve this thing,” he said. “We have to push away fear and have confidence that human innovation, our values, our judgment, our solidarity, it will win out.”

Many experts believe seeking innovative solutions is key to making a dent in carbon emissions and ensuring that Earth doesn’t eventually warm to catastrophic levels, commonly considered anything beyond the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius above the average temperature from before the Industrial Revolution.”

Climate and COVID Delivered from the Same Technocratic Trojan Horse of Tyranny: Discerning the Globalist Truth from a Bill Gates Interview — Political moonshine

US Response To China’s Hypersonic Missile Test Fails For Third Time – National Justice

Source: National Justice

By: Eric Striker

Earlier this week, the Financial Times broke the story that China successfully tested a hypersonic glider capable of delivering a nuclear payload. 

The alleged launch, which Chinese officials are publicly denying, occurred in late July. American defense systems are incapable of countering the technology, which travels through space to complete a revolution around earth. 

The combination of a glider with an orbiter is not groundbreaking and has been replicated in the past by the US. What makes the Chinese prototype unique is that it is designed to strike a target with a mounted nuclear weapon that evades current radar and missile defense technology.  

The timing of the Pentagon leaking this story to the Financial Times appears to have been a deliberate act to build hype for the US’ most recent hypersonic weapons tests this week. 

Yet, in a shocking embarrassment, the booster rockets meant to propel America’s version of the device failed during a trial in Alaska. As a result, the prototype’s hypersonic body could not be tested

This is now the Pentagon’s third failed attempt at launching the space-age weapon since April. Analysts are now warning that China and Russia may be further ahead of the US in the arms race than previously thought. 

The weapons contractor Lockheed Martin has been tasked with taking the lead in developing hypersonic missiles. The company is able to secure contracts from the Pentagon by lobbying and buying off politicians in Congress.

The amount of corruption involved in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) contracts with the military defense industry appears to be catching up to Washington. Last February the US Air Force admitted that Lockheed’s expensive F-35 jet, which was meant to revolutionize American air supremacy, is a failure. The F-35 program in total is expected to waste an eye-watering $1.7 trillion by the time its over. 

China’s military budget is $252 billion a year while America’s is $733 billion. US military spending has long been criticized as a source of graft and fraud that appears to be causing problems for America’s ability to project imperial power as competitors arise.

The Biden administration’s appointment of Lloyd Austin to lead the DoD despite his massive conflicts of interest related to his deep financial ties to the weapons industry has been noted as a personification of this issue. 

Turkey’s existential choice: BRI or bust • The Cradle

By: Matthew Ehret

Source: The Cradle • Turkey’s existential choice: BRI or bust

Two destinies are pulling on West Asia from two opposing visions of the future.

As devotees of the rules-based order laid out by Zbigniew Brzezinski 40 years ago strive to uphold their dystopic model of dividing populations to feed endless wars, a more optimistic program of cooperation is being ushered in by China’s ever-evolving Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

While many nations have jumped on board this new paradigm with enthusiastic support, others have found themselves precariously straddling both worlds.

Turkey plays footsie with great powers

Chief among those indecisive nations is the Republic of Turkey, whose leader was given a harsh wake up call on 15 July, 2016. It was on this date that Russian intelligence provided Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the edge needed to narrowly avoid a coup launched by followers of exiled Islamist leader Fetullah Gulen.

The timing of the coup has been subject to much speculation, but the fact that it occurred just two weeks after Erdogan’s letter of apology to Putin went public was likely not a coincidence. The apology in question referred to Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian fighter jet flying in Syrian airspace in November 2015, killing a soldier and very nearly activating NATO’s collective security pact.

For years instrumental in providing weapons and logistical support to ISIS in both Iraq and Syria (via Operation Timber Sycamore), it is possible Erdogan was tiring of being used to further western interests in the Levant, when it had its own, quite different, aspirations in those territories.

Whatever the case, since that fateful day, Turkey’s behavior as a player in West Asia took on an improved (though not entirely redeemed) character on a number of levels. Chief among those positive behavioral changes is Ankara’s participation in the Astana process with Tehran and Moscow to demilitarize large swathes of Syria. Turkey then purchased Russian S400 medium-long range missile defense systems, and has recently advanced plans to jointly produce submarines, jet engines and warships with Russia, while also accelerating the construction of a nuclear reactor built by Rosatom.

That said, old habits die hard, and Turkey has been caught playing in both worlds, providing continued support for the terrorist-laden Free Syrian Army and Al Qaeda offshoot Hayat Tahrir Al Sham in Syria’s Idlib governorate. Turkey now has a total of 60 military bases and observation posts that provide protection for these and other militant groups in the country’s north.

The Middle Corridor option

On an economic level, Turkey’s ambition to become a gateway between Europe and Asia along the New Silk Road also indicates Erdogan’s resolution to break from his previous commitments to join the European Union and engage more intricately with the East.

Turkey’s 7500 km Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor is an ambitious project that runs parallel to the northern corridor of the BRI connecting China to Europe.

This corridor, which began running in November 2019, has the benefit of cutting nearly 2000 km of distance off the active northern corridor and provides an efficient route between China and Europe. The route itself moves goods from the north-eastern Lianyungang Port in China through Xinjiang into Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and on to Europe via land and sea routes. Erdogan has previously stated that “the Middle Corridor lies at the heart of the BRI” and has called to “integrate the Middle Corridor into the BRI.”

Other projects that are subsumed by the Middle Corridor include the $20 billion Istanbul Canal which will be a 45km connection between the Black and Marmara Seas (reducing traffic on the Bosporus) as well as the Marmara undersea railway, Eurasian Tunnel, and the third Istanbul Bridge.

Without China’s increased involvement, not only will these projects fail to take shape, but the Middle Corridor itself would crumble into oblivion. Chinese trade with Turkey recently grew from $2 billion in 2002 to $26 billion in 2020, more than 1,000 Chinese companies have investment projects throughout the nation, and Chinese consortiums hold a 65 percent stake in Turkey’s third largest port.

Restraining Ankara’s options

These projects have not come without a fight from both internal forces within Turkey and external ones. Two major Turkish opposition parties have threatened to cancel the Canal Istanbul as a tactic to scare away potential investors at home and abroad. And internationally, financial warfare has been unleashed against Turkey’s economy on numerous levels.

Credit ratings agencies have downgraded Turkey to a ‘high risk’ nation, and sanctions have been launched by the US and EU. These acts have contributed to international investors pulling out from Turkish government bonds (a quarter of all bonds were held by foreign investors in 2009, collapsing to less than 4 percent today) and depriving the nation of vital productive credit to build infrastructure. These attacks have also resulted in the biggest Turkish banks stating they will not provide any funding to the megaproject.

Despite the fact that Chinese investments into Turkey have increased significantly, western Financial Direct Investments (FDIs) have fallen from $12.18 billion in 2009 to only $6.67 billion in 2021.

Dialing down its Uyghur project

As with Turkey’s relations with Russia, Erdogan’s desperate need to collaborate with China in the financial realm has resulted in a change of policy in his support for Uyghur extremists. Of the 13 million Chinese Uyghurs, 50,000 live in Turkey, many of whom are part of a larger CIA-funded operation aimed at carving up China.

For many years, Turkey has provided safe haven to terrorist groups like the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement, which cut its teeth fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Operatives affiliated with the World Uyghur Congress, funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy and based in Germany, have also found fertile soil in Turkey.

In 2009, Erdogan publicly denounced China for conducting a genocide on Muslims living in Xinjiang (long before it became de rigueur to do so in western nations). After Turkey’s 2016 failed coup, things began to change. In 2017, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated: “We will absolutely not allow in any activities in Turkey that target or oppose China. Additionally, we will take measures to eliminate any media reports targeting China.”

There are many parallels to Turkey’s protection of radical Islamic groups in Idlib, but Ankara’s protection of radical anti-China Uyghur groups was more gradual. However, recent significant moves by Erdogan have demonstrated good faith, including the 2017 extradition treaty signed with China (ratified by Beijing though not yet by Ankara), an increased clampdown on Uyghur extremist groups, and the decision to re-instate the exclusion order banning World Uyghur Congress president Dolkun Isa from entering Turkey on 19 September, 2021.

Might the INSTC bypass Ankara?

Not only is Turkey eager to play a role in China’s BRI and secure essential long term credit from Beijing – without which its future will be locked to the much diminished fortunes of the European Union – but Ankara has also factored the growing International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) into its calculus.

A multimodal corridor stretching across a dozen nations, the INSTC was launched by Russia, India and Iran in 2002 and has been given new life by China’s BRI. In recent years, members of the project have grown to also include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Syria, Belarus, Oman and Bulgaria.

While Turkey is a member of the project, there is no guarantee that the megaproject will directly move through its borders. Here too, Erdogan is keen to stay on good terms with Russia and its allies.

The Middle Corridor loses its shine
Up until now, Turkey’s inability to break with zero-sum thinking has resulted in the self-delusion that Turkey’s Middle Corridor would be the only possible choice China had to move goods through to Europe and North Africa.

This perception was for many years buoyed by the war across the ISIS-ridden region of Syria and Iraq (and the relative isolation of Iran), which appeared to ensure that no competing development corridor could be activated.

However, Iran’s entry into the BRI as part of its 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership struck with China in March, and its ascension to full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in September, has provided an attractive new east-west alternative route to the Middle Corridor.

This potential branch of the New Silk Road connecting China with Europe via Iran, Iraq and Syria into the Mediterranean through Syria’s port of Latakia provides a unique opportunity to not only reconstruct the war-torn West Asian nations, but to also create a durable field of stability after decades of western manipulation.

This new route has the additional attraction of incorporating Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab states into a new strategic dynamic that connects Eurasia with an African continent desperate for real development. As of this writing, 40 sub-Saharan African nations have signed onto China’s BRI.

The first glimmering light of this new corridor took form in a small but game-changing 30 km rail line connecting the border city of Shalamcheh in Iran with Basra in Iraq. Work began this year, with its $150 million cost supplied by the semi-private Mostazan Foundation of Iran.

Foreseeing a much larger expansion of this historic connection, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq stated: “Iraq can be connected to China through the railways of Iran and increase its strategic importance in the region … this will be a very big change and Iran’s railways will be connected to Iraq and Syria and to the Mediterranean.”

Ambassador Masjidi was here referring to the provisional agreement reached among Iran, Iraq and Syria in November 2018 to build a 1570 km railway and highway from the Persian Gulf in Iran to the Latakia Port via Iraq.

Already, Iran’s construction-focused investments in war-torn and sanction-torn Syria have grown immensely, boosting estimated trade between the two nations with an additional $1 billion over the next 12 months.

Indicating the higher development dynamic that is shaping the Iraq–Iran railway, Iraq’s Prime Minister stated in May 2021 that “negotiations with Iran to build a railway between Basra and Shalamcheh have reached their final stages and we have signed 15 agreements and memorandums of understanding with Jordan and Egypt regarding energy and transportation lines.”

Indeed, both Egypt and Jordan have also looked east for the only pathway to durable peace in the form of the New Silk Road. The trio of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq began setting the stage for this Silk Road route with a 2017 energy agreement designed to connect the electricity grids of the three nations and also construct a pipeline from Basra to Aqaba in Jordan followed by a larger extension to Egypt.

Iraq and the New Silk Road
In December 2020, Iraq and Egypt agreed on an important oil for reconstruction deal along the lines of a similar program activated earlier by former Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and his Chinese counterpart in September 2019. The latter project was seriously downgraded when Mahdi stepped down in May 2020, and although PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has begun to repair Chinese relations, Iraq has not yet returned to the level of cooperation reached by his predecessor.

To date, the only major power that has shown any genuine concern for Iraq’s reconstruction – and been willing to invest actual resources toward it – has been China.

Despite the trillions of dollars wasted by the United States in its brutal invasion and occupation of the country, not a single energy project has been built by US dollars there. In fact, the only power plant constructed after 2003 has been the Chinese-built 2450 mW thermal plant in Wassit which supplies 20 percent of Iraq’s electricity. Iraq requires at least 19 GW of electricity in order to supply its basic needs after years of western bombardment strategically targeting its vital infrastructure.

To this day, hardly any domestic manufacturing exists in Iraq, with 97 percent of its needs purchased from abroad, and entirely with oil revenue. If this dire situation is to be reversed, then China’s oil-for-construction plan must be brought fully back online.

The kernel of this plan involves a special fund which will accumulate sales of discounted Iraqi oil to China until a $1.5 billion threshold is reached. When this happens, Chinese state banks have agreed to add an additional $8.5 billion, bringing the fund to $10 billion to be used on a full reconstruction program driven by roads, rail, water treatment, and energy grids, as well as soft infrastructure like schools and healthcare.

Where the western economic models have tended to keep nations underdeveloped by emphasizing raw material extraction with no long-term investments that benefit its citizenry, creating no manufacturing capabilities or an increase in the powers of labor, the Chinese-model is entirely different, focusing instead on creating full spectrum economies. Where the former is zero sum and a closed system, the latter model is win-win and open.

If Turkey can find the sense to liberate itself from the obsolete logic of zero sum geopolitics, then a bright future will await all of West and Central Asia.

There is no reason to believe that the Middle Corridor will in any way be harmed by the success of an Iran–Iraq–Syria Silk Road corridor, or by its African extensions. By encouraging the development of collaborative relations, large scale infrastructure, and full-spectrum economic networks, abundance can be created in these regions to offset the underdevelopment and stagnation of recent years.

What Has Publicly Blaming Cyber Attacks on Governments Solved? • Foreign Policy Journal

Source: Original Article

Written by: Emilio Iasiello

Blaming cyber attacks on governments has become routine, but has it resulted in accountability, punishment, or reduction in hostile cyber activities?

In the ongoing cyber tete-a-tete between nation states, the digital domain has been used to conduct an array of operations including network exploitation, data theft, network disruption, and network destruction. Additionally, states have used the cyber domain and the tools therein (e.g., social media, chat rooms, bulletin boards, blogs) to enable other more traditional operations of statecraft such as propaganda, disinformation, and social/political influence operations. Long considered difficult to attribute, governments are more confident in publicly identifying the states they believe are responsible for covert cyber activities against them. In an effort to strengthen such claims, levying legal indictments against the individuals responsible—often foreign nationals with a direct tie to a government or a military—has become popular. The United States in particular has engaged in this practice, executing indictments for cyber activities since 2014 against state actors with direct or tangential ties to foreign governments.

The tactic seemed practical at first, bringing formal charges against suspected government actors, and by extension, implicating that government for supporting, or at least, giving tacit approval of, the activities. The May 2014 indictment against five actors tied to the People’s Liberation Army appears to have had direct influence in China and the United States agreeing not to not to hack each other for commercial advantage in 2015. For a brief period after, this seemed to work with a noticeable reduction in the volume of Chinese theft of intellectual property. However, this was short lived with China allegedly resuming normal level of cyber operations in 2018.

Still, proponents of the indictment strategy have pointed out that an important gain was made—persuading China to curb its previous levels of data theft; in essence, the indictment appeared to have influenced a state’s cyber behavior. While it did not last, it could be argued that even the momentary success suggested that the approach was viable and just needed adjustment for to accomplish strategic deterrence. After all, shortly after the 2014 China-U.S. agreement was made, China entered into similar understanding with Russia in 2015, and ultimately led the G20 (including China) to make a comparable arrangement in November 2015. Many G20 nations were among those that China had also targeted via its global cyber espionage and intellectual property theft operations.

Unsurprisingly, these agreements have not deterred commercial cyber theft, nor more traditional cyber espionage activities, particularly from China that likely views industrial cyber theft a national security imperative for the country’s continued economic development. As long as China sees economic strength as essential to its emergence as a global leader, supporting Chinese companies that are important to accomplishing this goal could be perceived as less about commercial advantage and more about preserving its national interests. This is an important nuance to keep in mind when understanding why China continues to do what it does. Countries finally began to see the futility in trying to make certain countries like China honor these agreements in 2019 when 27 governments signed a joint statement to advance responsible state behavior in cyberspace. Notably, neither China nor Russia were signatories.

Where diplomatic overtures have thus failed, the U.S. has resorted to indictments and has since levied them against official and non-official actors linked to Iran, North Korea, and Russia. As of this writing, these indictments have not yielded the obvious objective—state deterrence from conducting the crimes for which they have been charged. However, this raises the hopeful question—if deterrence wasn’t the primary objective, have indictments achieved what was truly intended? Certainly, indictments could be foils used to further other U.S. political or economic objectives. If so, their influence may not be readily seen as instrumental to achieving seemingly unrelated strategic goals.

Another likely objective is to get on record that a particular government is responsible for illicit cyber activity, thereby letting the world know of its culpability. This seems to be closer to the mark. Prior to May 2014, attribution made in public was mostly accusatory and based on speculation and suspicion, or at least without providing classified evidence to strengthen claims. Indictments have since changed that paradigm, purposefully made for global consumption and to make it clear who the charging state believes to be behind a specific incident. Since there is little hope that any of these individuals will be extradited to the United States, indictments seem less about arrest and prosecution and more about demonstrating capability to identify culprits by detailing their operations. Simply, punishment does not appear to be the primary motive.

Other states have now joined the public attribution bandwagon. In March 2020, Chinese computer security company Qihoo 360 reported that the CIA had been conducting an 11-year cyber espionage campaign against Chinese organizations and in April identified South Korean cyber espionage activity targeting Chinese health organizations for COVID-19 information. Qihoo 360 works closely with the Chinese government, which has prompted concerns with companies like Microsoft collaborating with the company. Although not an official arm of the Chinese government, its stature as a global cyber security leader and a primary supplier of security and monitoring equipment to the People’s Republic of China raises the question of how the company could be used as the voice for leadership. Iran, too, is no stranger to calling out perpetrators of cyber attacks, citing the United States and Israel for various cyber attacks. Even North Korea blamed the United States for knocking it off the Internet, after the former had accused North Korean hackers of attacking Sony in November 2014.

It remains to be seen if or when other foreign governments will step up to the next level and levy cyber indictments against other countries. It is likely that they will wait and see how the United States fares with this approach and if any favorable results are realized. The recent removal of two Russian companies from indictment set forth by special counsel Robert Mueller illustrates a potential impediment to indictment strategy, further raising the question of its effectiveness at deterring future cyber incidents by state and/or state-related entities. One of the companies challenged the charges, hiring a law firm to defend it, marking the first time a defendant has been willing to go to court on a cyber-related indictment. The potential threat of exposing classified information was one reason provided for this result. The fact that the charges were dropped may encourage other indicted individuals and entities to follow suit, potentially derailing the strategy, reducing it to an exercise in making formal attribution.

Cyber operations were once clandestine and mysterious; now, states are emboldened to pull back the curtain and sanitize them in the public spotlight. What remains consistent for now is that public attribution—whether via accusation, indictment, or naming and shaming—has done little to change state behavior, decrease volume of activity, or deter future activity. It’s clear that any one approach—whether it be a legal action, economic influence, a retaliatory strike, or diplomatic engagement—is not a silver bullet, and should not be done independently of each other if any progress is to be made in how cyber space is used for and against states. They must be done in concert and in proportion to the inciting incident, and with a quantifiable, reachable, goal in mind. Absent that, the stakes are not high enough to incite the change that’s often talked about but never done. Perhaps states should consider the fable of the shepherd boy who called wolf before making public attribution. Calling wolf frequently does not get the volume of support to stop the threat; rather, it numbs ears so that they don’t listen and ignore signs that that pack is closing in.

China Leads The 6G Charge • ZERO HEDGE

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/forget-5g-china-leads-6g-charge

While the world is still very much in the transition phase with 5G, research is already well underway for the next iteration of the technology standard for mobile broadband networks – 6G.

Statista’s Martin Armstrong notes that, according to a whitepaper by Samsung it takes an average of ten years for a new standard to become ready for commercialization, with 5G taking eight years. The tech giant suggested a potential rollout date of 2028-2030 for 6G, highlighting the urgent need for progress to be made.

As this infographic shows, the country at the front of this new charge is China.

Data from the Cyber Creative Institute as covered by Nikkei Asia shows that of around 20,000 6G-related patent applications as of August 2021, 40.3 percent originated from the Asian superpower. The United States isn’t far behind, however, claiming 35.2 percent of the applications. The home of Samsung, South Korea, is in fifth place (when combining applications for European countries) with 4.2 percent.

The source assessed patent applications for nine core 6G technologies including communications, quantum technology, base stations and artificial intelligence. 6G is expected to be about ten times faster than 5G.

Iran has joined the SCO, now it needs to turbo-boost its economy • THE CRADLE

Source: https://thecradle.co/Article/analysis/2019

With Iran’s full accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) complete, Tehran now needs to wrangle big trade deals with its new regional friends to offset US sanctions against its beleaguered economy.

“Today, we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization),” Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Friday, putting to rest the rampant speculation that Iran will officially accede to Asia’s most coveted security organization.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with a high level diplomatic and economic delegation to attend the annual two-day SCO summit. The visit, marking Raisi’s first foreign trip, is already a dazzling success for the new head of state. The Islamic Republic had, until today, only enjoyed SCO observer status (since 2005), and had undergone two previous failed attempts to gain full membership.

The announcement of Iran’s accession to the SCO comes as little surprise to experts who predicted that Tehran’s comprehensive strategic partnership agreement with China last March and its subsequent announcement of a similar agreement with Moscow, would pave the way for Iran’s upgraded SCO status. Recent developments in Afghanistan have only confirmed for Beijing and Moscow – the organization’s main stakeholders – the value of Iran within the regional security organization.

Founded in 2001, the SCO brings together regional powers, such as Russia and China, along with India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The organization represents a geographical region of 60 million square kilometers (23 million square miles) and a population of over 3 billion.

Economy of the SCO

During its first 20 years, the SCO was largely viewed as a political and security grouping of countries that sought to cooperate against “terrorism, separatism, and extremism.” However, it has recently also sought to bolster economic cooperation among members and is expected to further develop these ambitions in the coming years.

In 2018, at the Qingdao summit in China, the SCO adopted an agreement consisting of 17 documents, which included action plans for economic cooperation between the SCO member states and the need “to examine the prospects of expanding the use of national currency in trade and investment.”

The SCO’s eight member states, four observer states, and six dialogue partners boast a total economic volume of close to $20 trillion and a total foreign trade volume of $6.6 trillion, 100 times larger than the values of 20 years ago.

For Iran and its ailing, US-sanctioned economy, joining the SCO provides access to significantly larger markets and the world’s fastest-growing international corridors. It also further consolidates Tehran’s unofficial alliance with major powers Moscow and Beijing against the West on issues such as Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s trade with SCO members

According to the latest data announced by Iran’s Customs Administration (IRICA), the value of trade between Iran and the members of the SCO (including observer states) reached $28 billion during the last Iranian calendar year (ending 21 March, 2021). That makes China Iran’s single largest trade partner with a trade value of $18.9 billion, almost two thirds of Iran’s total trade with SCO members.

Despite being one of the pivotal members of the organization, Russia ranks fourth in terms of trade volume with Iran, after India ($3.4b) and Afghanistan ($2.3b), recording only $1.6 billion in total trade with the Islamic Republic. According to the Iranian data, Pakistan stands fifth in terms of trade value with Iran within the bloc, while the remaining six countries have a combined trade value of just $569 million.

IRSN

Considering Iran’s total trade volume of $73.89 billion during the last Iranian (1339) calendar year – $11.2 billion lower than the previous year – Tehran’s trade with the SCO countries has already approached nearly 38 percent of its total trade, 26 percent of which was with China alone.

Iran’s other top trade partners are Iraq, UAE, and Turkey respectively, followed by Afghanistan in the same period.

US sanctions

While Iran’s accession to full membership status in the SCO can theoretically boost the country’s trade with other member states, there are significant obstacles which are unlikely to allow Tehran to reap an economic windfall, at least in the short run.

Among Iran’s most difficult obstacles is a series of US-led sanctions against the country’s financial and transportation institutions, in addition to being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global intergovernmental organization tasked with devising standards on combating money laundering and ‘terrorism financing.’ Given the exposure of most countries to US markets and financial networks, and due to the risk of heavy penalties or loss of access to US and European markets, major companies are reluctant to do business with Iran.

The former head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), Mohammad-Reza Modudi, was quoted by local media earlier this week as saying that many countries, including Iran’s neighbors such as Iraq, “are not willing to do business with Iran out of fear of being sanctioned by American banks or the US Treasury.”

He added that despite Iran’s good production capability, exporting many of the Iranian-made products will not be easy. “We [Iran] have not prepared the needed capacity for these products to be competitive in international markets,” Modudi explained.

Compounding Iran’s lack of focus on the economic benefits of the SCO, is the fact that other Iranian officials view the SCO through a purely political and security lens. Hossein Malaek, Iran’s former ambassador to China, believes that Tehran’s membership in the SCO “has nothing to do with economic issues.”

In an interview with ILNA news agency last month, Malaek was quoted as saying that “Iran’s presence in the Shanghai Agreement will not have any economic aspect, and this cooperation only has security aspects,” and emphasized that “no economic agreement will be signed between Iran and the SCO.”

The political and security benefits of becoming a member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization might outweigh other benefits for Iran in the short run. However, if Tehran helps secure the SCO’s energy needs by increasing oil and gas output to its new partners, and facilitates much-needed land access to other markets in West Asia and Europe in the long term, Iran’s economy stands to benefit substantially from its new eastward alignment.

Part II of IV—A Brief History of World Credit & Interest Rates • 500 A.D. – 1690 A.D. The Fall of Rome to End Dark Ages | Armstrong Economics

The fate of the Roman Empire of the West had been cast with the sack of Rome in 410 AD by the Goths followed by the Vandals in 455 AD. What was once Rome was divided with the Franks in Gaul (France), Visigoths in Spain, Angles, Saxons and Jutes in Britain and theOstrogoths followed later by the Lombards in Italy. However, the barbarians had long admired Roman culture and subsequently became civilized. Much of the Roman culture and monetary system was thereby retained. While many of these new barbarian states continued to mint coinage in Roman style and denomination, eventually gold began to disappear from the money supply to be replaced by silver coinage in the form of a denier, denaro, phenig and penny all taking their name from the old Roman denarius.

The Byzantine Empire was certainly not immune to crisis concerned debt. The moneylenders and moneychangers were quite unpopular. They were forbidden to hold public office as time went by. The empress Sophia in 567 A.D. summoned the moneylenders before her and confiscated all agreements to, and pledges of, debt thereby simply forgiving all debts – a move that was obviously welcomed by the populace.

By the year 622, the Arab nations were on the rise. They had conquered Egypt, Syria and Persia and in 669 they took Asia Minor by storm. In 698, the Arab armies captured even Carthage and followed with an invasion of Spain in the year 711. The Arab goal to conquer the balance of Europe was finally thwarted at the Battle of Tours in 732. Nevertheless, the Arabs controlled the Mediterranean, which had essentially cut off all trade in Western Europe. The economy diverted to one of agriculture and mercantilism died a quite death. Cut off from world trade, the Latin tongue began to disappear and the emergence of independent languages began throughout Western Europe.

This was the atmosphere that history has labeled the “Dark Ages” and while coinage existed, the lack of commerce and increased hoarding had seriously reduced circulation. It was the rise of Charlemagne that brought light to this dark period in man’s history. Much of the circulating currency was still old Roman coins. Charlemagne brought forth a great monetary reform that has survived into our present day. He introduced the “denier” which was a silver coin eventually referred to as a penny. Twelve of these silver pennies equaled one “sou” which later became known as a shilling in many parts of Europe. Twenty shillings equaled one pound.

The Capitularies of Charlemagne, circa 800 A.D., also dealt with the issue of credit. Undoubtedly, this legal code had been highly influenced by the severe inflationary trends and debt crises that had plagued the final years of the Roman Empire. The charge of interest on loans was strictly forbidden. It was during this period when the evils of excessive debt were viewed not only as destructive socially but as a sin under church law known as usury. Any exception to this view on charging interest remained highly controversial for the following thousand years well into the Middle Ages.

The tenth century was a period of slow advance. While much of central Europe did not benefit, the Venetians gained major concessions in trade from Constantinople and the uptrend in trade brought with it wealth. Moneylenders in Venice were actually respected while banking facilities re-emerged out of the need to finance maritime ventures. The Vikings began to settle back into the position of traders rather than raiders and secure a dominant role in maritime trade between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, the Arab power, that had dominated the previous century and brought about the Dark Ages in Western European culture, gave way to decay. By the eleventh century, the Europeans were pushing the Arabs out of Sicily and Sardinia. By 1096, the First Crusade had re-established Italian dominance in the Mediterranean once again.

Nonetheless, the eleventh century was not void of its speculations and inflations. Currency was in a constant state of confusion and the practice of debasing the precious metal content, which had been absent in the West since the final days of Rome, reappeared. Merchants became wealthy enough that they emerged as the new bankers capable of lending to the king. The economic power of Venice had continued to expand and more sophisticated financial transactions, such as insurance, began to emerge.

Records of interest rates in Western Europe during this time are hard to find. When transactions were recorded, most have not survived unlike the clay tablets of Babylon. But documents have survived largely beginning with the late twelfth century. Of the evidence that has emerged, again we find that interest rates were rather high in poor nations, such as Britain, and significantly lower in the major trading nations. Although interest rates in Britain were 43% per annum or much higher, it must be kept in mind that long-term loans were not the norm. Interest rates were typically quoted on a weekly basis – 2 pence on the pound per week (43 1/3% per annum). This was the going rate for the best-secured loan. Those with poor collateral or credit were paying 80-120% per annum.

The thirteenth century was an age of accelerated economic expansion. The Mongol conquest of Asia played the final role in destroying the Arab Empire. This also opened the door for trade with China and it was the era of Marco Polo. Genoa rose to challenge Venice and Florence emerged as the strong international banking center. But even in the thirteenth century, the credit of merchants and landowners was viewed to be much better than that of government. Nobles were on the decline and much of the land became freehold.

Interest rates to a prince were often 30-40% as in the case of the Emperor Frederic II. Legal limits on interest rates began to rise once again. In Modena, the maximum rate was set at 20% while in Milan and Genoa the maximum rate was established at 15%. The trading cities remained quite wealthy and the legal maximum rates of interest were typically much less. In Verona, the maximum rate was 12.5% while in Sicily it was set at 10%. The maximum legal rate in Britain, however, remained at 43 1/3%. Germany perhaps had the highest during this period – 173%.

The prosperity of the thirteenth century brought with it inflation and speculation once again. Commodity speculating was common and many bankers participated with depositor’s funds. Currency was still being debased and new gold coinage was struck in Florence (florin) and in Venice (ducat). Economic prosperity had reached it peak.

The fourteenth century brought with it the Hundred Years War and the Black Plague. Both the kings of England and France defaulted on their national debts and most of the banks in Italy went broke. Financial chaos had become so widespread that in Venice, the bankers were forbidden from speculating in commodities and the government required that two fifths of all deposits be invested in the public debt. The world economy was in severe decline. Interest rates during the fourteenth century rose dramatically. Italy often charged 50% on loans to the once prosperous Netherlands and questionable loans demanded rates of interest as much as 100% per annum.

The fifteenth century was one of transition and expansion. The early part of this century still suffered from periodic plagues and the evils of unsound finance. But the wealth of nations also began to shift. Both the Dutch and English began to emerge as important international traders. In the central part of Europe, the cities of Geneva, Augsburg and Nuremberg rose in importance serving as the trade bridge between the new economic powers of the Dutch and English linking them with the Italians. Florence regained her glory and the Medici Bank of that city became the largest in Europe with branch offices scattered throughout Europe and into Northern Africa and Levant. Venice, however, continued to lead in trade ahead of Genoa.

Contemporary writers of the era have recorded much of the atmosphere. Once again this century brought forth the re-emergence of the capitalist. These were individuals who were extremely wealthy and no longer needed to be merchants or traders. They profited as moneylenders and were held in high esteem once again. This set the tone for a new age of capitalism. Trade was no longer the main goal – everyone wanted to acquire more money instead of land. This was a similar atmosphere that had existed in Socrates day. Nations sought new gold deposits more so than trade, which resulted in wars that were often fought for financial consideration.

The credit of government or the crown was still very dubious. In both France and England loans to the crown were forced upon the people who were paid no interest whatsoever. This quickly laid the foundation for greater organized taxation that followed in the centuries thereafter. Those who were willing to lend to the crown did so at high rates of interests. Charles VIII of France was reported to have paid 42% to 100% on a loan to the Genoa banking house of Sauli to fund his invasion of Italy after the Medici refused.

Commercial business rates declined from the 10-12% range in Italy down to 5%-8%. The emergence of local savings and loans known as “montes pietatis” were formed in many towns beginning around 1462. The montes pietatis were intended to provide much more reasonable rates charging 6% in comparison to the normal pawn rates of 32.5%-43.5%. Some pawnshops during this period were legally limited to 20% as was the case in Florence.

The sixteenth century was a powerful period in time. This was the century that opened the world leading with the discovery of the Americas. But the vast hoards of precious metals brought back from the Americas created sharp increases in inflation. Commodity prices rose dramatically – nearly 300% during 1550 to 1620. England, Spain and France all competed for dominance in the Americas and in Europe. This rapid rise in inflation and the loss of a monopoly on trade through the Mediterranean caused a decline in Italian influence. Royal debtors defaulted on the Italian banks and Italy was on its way toward becoming a second class economic power.

Despite the fact that usury laws still prevailed in church doctrine, the expansion of debt was prolific. Much of the debt was incurred for war. There were but only 25 years during this century when large-scale wars in Europe were absent. Local towns and cities had gained in credit worthiness and when funds ran out, the crown exploited the credit of the towns and cities sending most of them into financial ruin.

There was a sufficient quantity of debt issued from around Europe that the first major exchange emerged in Antwerp. The exchange grew to 5000 members and bills of exchange, bonds, demand notes, deposit certificates and credit instruments of all sorts were traded back and forth daily. An exchange emerged trading commodities in Antwerp and the city became the new financial capital of Europe with hundreds of ships visiting its port each day.

The ravages of debt were soon to worsen. Antwerp was forced into default by the unsound finances of the Spanish Crown in 1570. In 1576, unpaid Spanish mercenary armies sacked Antwerp and the exchange was destroyed. The marauding armies also sacked Rome and financial chaos grew. The financial turmoil in Italy and Spain, combined with the surge in inflation, aided greatly in creating the Protestant Reformation.

The French & Spanish Defaults
During the seventeenth century, the practices of unsound finance finally took their toll. The Crowns of Spain and France defaulted on all their debts and they destroyed their Italian and German bankers in the process. In fact Spain defaulted on her debts in 1607, 1627 and again in 1649. Despite the seemingly rich gold and silver flows coming from the New World, everything had been pledged as collateral often five to ten years in advance. All the gold and silver flowed straight to the Genoa bankers and the Spanish money supply became greatly debased and reduced to a mere copper standard.

The Spanish default destroyed the Fuggers who had risen during the sixteenth century to be perhaps the largest banker up until that time. They were located in Augsburg and had been the first great German bankers with a reported capital base of 5 million guilders. This once great banking establishment was completely ruined by the defaults of Spain.

The French defaults were also dramatic. There were two main periods of severe debt crisis in France in 1589 and 1648. The crisis of 1648 essentially destroyed the remaining Italian bankers – primarily Florentines. An exchange in Paris had emerged in 1639 where credit instruments traded regularly. The French government “rentes” (perpetual loans) traded rather well until the debt crisis of 1648. The French finances were again reformed where interest rates on previous government notes was arbitrarily reduced to 5% while other perpetual notes were simply paid off at a fraction of the previous agreements.

Out of this turmoil, the Dutch gained independence from Spain. The southern provinces had been given to Spain in 1598 as a dowry for the daughter of Philip II who history recalls as Isabella. Quickly after independence, the Dutch built a trading empire instituting new rules and banking practices that would serve as a model for other nations decades later. Germany went through the Thirty Year’s War (1618-1648) which was largely a struggle between Protestant and Catholic factions. This kept Germany as a collection of small states and the demise of the Fugger banking house more or less sealed the fate of Germany during this period in time.

England was ruled by the Stuarts and practiced reasonably sound finance in comparison to that of France and Spain. Gresham had revised the finances of the British government actually instilling a sense of honor to finance. His famous law for which he is best known, bad money drives out good, struck at the heart of depreciating currencies through debasement. Another major advantage of Britain was that it stayed away from foreign moneylenders for the most part. This helped to concentrate wealth within the domestic economy. However, England had practiced the art of forced loans to the Crown so one should not look upon England as a well managed affair during this period. Debts began to rise but the practice of forced loans came to an end under Charles II during the last quarter of this century.

The phrase most commonly used for two people going out to dinner when each party pays their own way is “going dutch.” This saying has its roots in the seventeenth century. The small Dutch Republic fought wars against England and France. The French actually invaded Holland but were defeated when the Dutch opened the dikes. But a large part of the success of the Dutch was owed to their efficient credit system within which even the government enjoyed honorable status and low interest rates.

The efficient Dutch government brought much faith and prosperity. There was more capital in Holland than borrowers. Speculation emerged as always whenever capital has concentrated to such an extent. The first stock market trading emerged in Amsterdam in 1613. Debt issues began trading on the exchange in 1672. Of course one has to mention the famous Tulip Speculation. The highest recorded price paid for a single tulip bulb took place in 1636 for the incredible sum of 4600 florins. In 1985 U.S. dollars, this would be close to $460,000 using gold at $400 per ounce.

The financial transformation of Britain came with the revolution of 1688. Previously, the Stuarts and Tudors restricted and controlled affairs. England never had a significant bank, exchange or organized money market and its national debt was never organized either. As capital began to concentrate during the later part of the seventeenth and primarily during the eighteenth century, prosperity and the emergence of the capitalist developed.

Prior to the revolution of 1688, banking began to evolve in the form of goldsmiths. These chaps quickly began to learn what the Italian bankers had discovered more than a hundred years before that only a small portion of the deposits needed to be retained to cover withdrawals. The large part of the deposits could be lent for interest or invested. Goldsmiths began to pay interest on deposits once this was discovered. But still many of the most prominent goldsmiths were ruined when Charles II suspended all payments on his debts to them in 1672.

Nonetheless, English banking contributed to the evolution of the industry. Checks were known to have been used dating as far back as the 1670’s. Receipts for deposits of gold with the goldsmiths circulated as paper money transferring assets from one person to another without physically handling the gold. The charging of interest had been considered to be a sin under the Catholic Church doctrine. Most Italian bankers got around this through clever means of disguising the interest as foreign exchange fees or transfer costs. In Britain, however, there were legal limitations on how much interest could be charged, but there were no laws against usury. Therefore, the receipts and contracts of debt circulated much more freely since they were drafted in British pounds rather than in some confusing foreign exchange contango.

 

Source: 500 A.D. – 1690 A.D. The Fall of Rome to End Dark Ages

UNC215, an alleged China-linked APT group targets Israel orgs

A China-linked cyber-espionage group has targeted Israeli organizations and government institutions in a campaign that began in January 2019.

The attacks were detailed by cybersecurity firm Mandiant, the state-sponsored hackers used false flags in attempts to disguise themselves as Iran-linked threat actors.

Mandiant experts tracked the group as UNC215, its TTPs overlaps the China-linked APT27 cyberespionage group, but they have no sufficient evidence to say the the two groups are the same

“In early 2019, Mandiant began identifying and responding to intrusions in the Middle East by Chinese espionage group UNC215. These intrusions exploited the Microsoft SharePoint vulnerability CVE-2019-0604 to install web shells and FOCUSFJORD payloads at targets in the Middle East and Central Asia. There are targeting and high level technique overlaps with between UNC215 and APT27, but we do not have sufficient evidence to say that the same actor is responsible for both sets of activity.” reads the report published by Mandiant. “APT27 has not been seen since 2015, and UNC215 is targeting many of the regions that APT27 previously focused on; however, we have not seen direct connection or shared tools, so we are only able to assess this link with low confidence.”

The UNC215 group exploited typically a flaw in Microsoft SharePoint, tracked as CVE-2019-0604, to compromise vulnerable installs.

Once gained initial access to the target infrastructure, the attackers performed an extensive internal network reconnaissance and harvested credentials to conduct additional malicious activities. Experts reported that the attackers also used a non-public network scanner named WHEATSCAN along with custom malware such as FOCUSFJORD web shell and HYPERBRO to spy on internal systems and maintain persistence within the target organizations.

UNC215
The group was very sophisticated and spent a significant effort to fly under the radar, such as removing malware artifacts. The attackers also use to insert in the artifacts foreign language strings as false flags.

“The use of Farsi strings, filepaths containing /Iran/, and web shells publicly associated with Iranian APT groups may have been intended to mislead analysts and suggest an attribution to Iran. Notably, in 2019 the government of Iran accused APT27 of attacking its government networks and released a detection and removal tool for HYPERBRO malware.” continues the report.

In some attacks, UNC215 also used an Iranian hacking tool that was leaked on Telegram in 2019.

The interest of Chinese groups in the Israeli ecosystem is not surprising, Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars into Israeli technology startups.

Chinese organizations are also working on important construction projects in Israel such as the railway between Eilat and Ashdod, a private port at Ashdod, and the port of Haifa.

“The activity detailed in this post demonstrates China’s consistent strategic interest in the Middle East. This cyber espionage activity is happening against the backdrop of China’s multi-billion-dollar investments related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its interest in Israeli’s robust technology sector.” concludes the report. “China has conducted numerous intrusion campaigns along the BRI route to monitor potential obstructions—political, economic, and security—and we anticipate that UNC215 will continue targeting governments and organizations involved in these critical infrastructure projects in Israel and the broader Middle East in the near- and mid-term.”

US Foreign Policy Adrift: Why Washington No Longer Calls the Shots – from Anti-War Blog

Original: Article Here

Jonah Goldberg and Michael Ledeen have much in common. They are both writers and also cheerleaders for military interventions and, often, for frivolous wars. Writing in the conservative rag, The National Review, months before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Goldberg paraphrased a statement which he attributed to Ledeen with reference to the interventionist US foreign policy.

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business,” Goldberg wrote, quoting Ledeen.

Those like Ledeen, the neoconservative intellectual henchman type, often get away with this kind of provocative rhetoric for various reasons. American intelligentsias, especially those who are close to the center of power in Washington DC, perceive war and military intervention as the foundation and baseline of their foreign policy analysis. The utterances of such statements are usually conveyed within friendly media and intellectual platforms, where equally hawkish, belligerent audiences cheer and laugh at the warmongering muses. In the case of Ledeen, the receptive audience was the hardline, neoconservative, pro-Israel American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Predictably, AEI was one of the loudest voices urging for a war and invasion of Iraq prior to that calamitous decision by the George W. Bush Administration, which was enacted in March 2003.

Neoconservatism, unlike what the etymology of the name may suggest, was not necessarily confined to conservative political circles. Think tanks, newspapers and media networks that purport – or are perceived – to express liberal and even progressive thought today, like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, have dedicated much time and space to promoting an American invasion of Iraq as the first step of a complete US geostrategic military hegemony in the Middle East.

Like the National Review, these media networks also provided unhindered space to so-called neoconservative intellectuals who molded American foreign policy based on some strange mix between their twisted take on ethics and morality and the need for the US to ensure its global dominance throughout the 21st century. Of course, the neocons’ love affair with Israel has served as the common denominator among all individuals affiliated with this intellectual cult.

The main – and inconsequential – difference between Ledeen, for example, and those like Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, is that the former is brazen and blunt, while the latter is delusional and manipulative. For his part, Friedman also supported the Iraq war, but only to bring “democracy” to the Middle East and to fight “terrorism.” The pretense “war on terror,” though misleading if not outright fabricated, was the overriding American motto in its invasion of Iraq and, earlier, Afghanistan. This mantra was readily utilized whenever Washington needed to “pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall.”

Even those who genuinely supported the war based on concocted intelligence – that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction, or the equally fallacious notion that Saddam and Al-Qaeda cooperated in any way – must, by now, realize that the entire American discourse prior to the war had no basis in reality. Unfortunately, war enthusiasts are not a rational bunch. Therefore, neither they, nor their “intellectuals,” should be expected to possess the moral integrity in shouldering the responsibility for the Iraq invasion and its horrific consequences.

If, indeed, the US wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan were meant to fight and uproot terror, how is it possible that, in June 2014, an erstwhile unknown group calling itself the “Islamic State” (IS), managed to flourish, occupy and usurp massive swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territories and resource under the watchful eye of the US military? If the other war objective was bringing stability and democracy to the Middle East, why did many years of US “state-building” efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, leave behind nothing but weak, shattered armies and festering corruption?

Two important events have summoned up these thoughts: US President Joe Biden’s “historic” trip to Cornwall, UK, in June, to attend the 47th G7 summit and, two weeks later, the death of Donald Rumsfeld, who is widely depicted as “the architect of the Iraq war.” The tone struck by Biden throughout his G7 meetings is that “America is back,” another American coinage similar to the earlier phrase, the “great reset” – meaning that Washington is ready to reclaim its global role that had been betrayed by the chaotic policies of former President Donald Trump.

The newest phrase – “America is back” – appears to suggest that the decision to restore the US’ uncontested global leadership is, more or less, an exclusively American decision. Moreover, the term is not entirely new. In his first speech to a global audience at the Munich Security Conference on February 19, Biden repeated the phrase several times with obvious emphasis.

“America is back. I speak today as President of the United States, at the very start of my administration and I am sending a clear message to the world: America is back,” Biden said, adding that “the transatlantic alliance is back and we are not looking backward, we are looking forward together.”

Platitudes and wishful thinking aside, the US cannot possibly return to a previous geopolitical standing, simply because Biden has made an executive decision to “reset” his country’s traditional relationships with Europe – or anywhere else, either. Biden’s actual mission is to merely whitewash and restore his country’s tarnished reputation, marred not only by Trump, but also by years of fruitless wars, a crisis of democracy at home and abroad and an impending financial crisis resulting from the US’ mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately for Washington, while it hopes to “look forward” to the future, other countries have already staked claims to parts of the world where the US has been forced to retreat, following two decades of a rudderless strategy that is fueled by the belief that firepower alone is sufficient to keep America aloft forever.

Though Biden was received warmly by his European hosts, Europe is likely to proceed cautiously. The continent’s geostrategic interests do not fall entirely in the American camp, as was once the case. Other new factors and power players have emerged in recent years. China is now the European bloc’s largest trade partner and Biden’s scare tactics warning of Chinese global dominance have not, seemingly, impressed the Europeans as the Americans had hoped. Following Britain’s unceremonious exit from the EU bloc, the latter urgently needs to keep its share of the global economy as large as possible. The limping US economy will hardly make the substantial deficit felt in Europe. Namely, the China-EU relationship is here to stay – and grow.

There is something else that makes the Europeans wary of whatever murky political doctrine Biden is promoting: dangerous American military adventurism.

The US and Europe are the foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which, since its inception in 1949, was almost exclusively used by the US to assert its global dominance, first in the Korean Peninsula in 1950, then everywhere else.

Following the September 11 attacks, Washington used its hegemony over NATO to invoke Article 5 of its Charter, that of collective defense. The consequences were dire, as NATO members, along with the US, were embroiled in their longest wars ever, military conflicts that had no consistent strategy, let alone measurable goals. Now, as the US licks its wounds as it leaves Afghanistan, NATO members, too, are leaving the devastated country without a single achievement worth celebrating. Similar scenarios are transpiring in Iraq and Syria, too.

Rumsfeld’s death on June 29, at the age of 88, should serve as a wake-up call to American allies if they truly wish to avoid the pitfalls and recklessness of the past. While much of the US corporate media commemorated the death of a brutish war criminal with amiable noncommittal language, some blamed him almost entirely for the Iraq fiasco. It is as if a single man had bent the will of the West-dominated international community to invade, pillage, torture and destroy entire countries. If so, then Rumsfeld’s death should usher in an exciting new dawn of collective peace, prosperity and security. This is not the case.

Rationalizing his decision to leave Afghanistan in a speech to the nation in April 2021, Biden did not accept, on behalf of his country, responsibility over that horrific war. Instead, he spoke of the need to fight the “terror threat” in “many places,” instead of keeping “thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country.”

Indeed, a close reading of Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan – a process which began under Trump – suggests that the difference between US foreign policy under Biden is only tactically different from the policies of George W. Bush when he launched his “preemptive wars” under the command of Rumsfeld. Namely, though the geopolitical map may have shifted, the US appetite for war remains insatiable.

Shackled with a legacy of unnecessary, fruitless and immoral wars, yet with no actual “forward” strategy, the US, arguably for the first time since the inception of NATO in the aftermath of World War II, has no decipherable foreign policy doctrine. Even if such a doctrine exists, it can only be materialized through alliances whose relationships are constructed on trust and confidence. Despite the EU’s courteous reception of Biden in Cornwall, trust in Washington is at an all-time low.

Even if it is accepted, without any argument, that America is, indeed, back, considering the vastly changing geopolitical spheres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Biden’s assertion should, ultimately, make no difference.

APT31 Unleashing Malware Attacks Worldwide

APT31

Suspected attribution: China

Target sectors: Multiple, including government, international financial organization, and aerospace and defense organizations, as well as high tech, construction and engineering, telecommunications, media, and insurance.

Overview: APT31 is a China-nexus cyber espionage actor focused on obtaining information that can provide the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises with political, economic, and military advantages.

Associated malware: SOGU, LUCKYBIRD, SLOWGYRO, DUCKFAT

Attack vectors: APT31 has exploited vulnerabilities in applications such as Java and Adobe Flash to compromise victim environments.

Ideological Sovereignty In a Multipolar World – Alexander Dugin

In the modern world, a multipolar model is clearly taking shape – almost taking shape. It replaced the unipolarity that was marked after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and especially the USSR. And the unipolar world, in turn, replaced the bipolar one, in which the Soviet camp geopolitically and ideologically opposed the capitalist West. These transitions between different

Source: Ideological Sovereignty In a Mul6tipolar World

The United Nations and the Modern Globalist Organizations

From my Instagram. I don’t use it much lately, my original Instagram earned over 2,000 subscribers with active engagement but I posted a Black Sun Wheel more than once and they banned me. Infact, this was the actual one that got me banned:

Notice how it has a bee in the middle. And it’s a honey comb backdrop. This concerned “bee power”…bees are our allies in the ecosystem…but our ecosystem, our way of living, our heritage, culture, values, traditions, norms, customs, rituals, reality – our very existence – is under attack on many fronts from the (((Globalist))) consortium outlined in the above Instagram post. The UN wants the world to adapt a one world culture. This involves eliminating race, color, religion, national identity, gender, YOU.

The End of World Order and American Foreign Policy – by the Council on Foreign Relations May 2020

The following document was issued by the Council on Foreign Relations in May 2020:

The CFR is the upper echelon of the globalist organizations (as you will see members of the CFR are on the Board of Directors of the World Economic Forum, Morgan Stanley, the CIA, America University, the Carlyle Group, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Kissinger Associates, Inc., BlackRock, Warburg Pincus, National Academy of Medicine, McKinsey Global Institute, Alphabet, Princeton University and CNN amongst others. The organization was established in 1921.

The self-ascribed purpose of the CFR is as follows:

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

Founded in 1921, CFR carries out its mission by maintaining a diverse membership, with special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders; convening meetings at its headquarters in New York and in Washington, DC, and other cities where senior government officials, members of Congress, global leaders, and prominent thinkers come together with Council members to discuss and debate major international issues; supporting a Studies Program that fosters independent research, enabling CFR scholars to produce articles, reports, and books and hold roundtables that analyze foreign policy issues and make concrete policy recommendations; publishing Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal on international affairs and U.S. foreign policy; sponsoring Independent Task Forces that produce reports with both findings and policy prescriptions on the most important foreign policy topics; and providing up-to-date information and analysis about world events and American foreign policy on its website, CFR.org.”

Source: https://www.cfr.org/about

Their self-ascribed claim of being “independent” and being “non-partisan are complete bullshit. Have a look at this diagram which shows the depth of the penetration of reach of this organization:

CREDIT: Swiss Policy Research

Notes from the Essay:

The authors of the paper state “that along with U.S.-Soviet competition and the Cold War, the COVID-19 pandemic represents the most serious challenge to the U.S.-led international order. They call this “a moment of radical international uncertainty” that “occurs at a troubling time geopolitically, including the withdrawal of the United States from global leadership.”

In other words, they are in lockstep with the language of the Great Reset – just like everyone else.

It is especially noted that Kissinger’s motivation in geopolitical struggles often included the benefit of a future relationship with China:

“During his years in once, Kissinger above all else sought to apply his concept and objectives of world order to the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union and to prepare for the emergence of China as an eventual world power.”

The End of World Order and American Foreign Policy – Page 6

The two primary authors of the article give an assessment of geopolitical state of affairs since the pandemic began to emanate worldwide:

“the pandemic has undermined order by straining governments, dividing societies, exacerbating societal inequalities, heightening tensions between the United States and China, and demonstrating the vast gap between global problems and the world’s ability to address them through existing international institutions.

The End of World Order and American Foreign Policy – Forward V

This is also a regurgitation of the language coming out of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset, as the entire core of the Great Reset is to repurpose geopolitical politics, rework international institutions and – also – in line with the Kalergi Plan – establish a one world culture where the Americans, Soviets (former nations of the USSR) and the Chinese work towards miscegenation and race mixing to lose their own borders, language, cultures, heritage – abandon any/all in-group preferences – to evolve into the “One World Culture” called for by the Rothschild consortium created, Bolshevik inspired, Zionist run United Nations.

The following are some of my favorite fear porn quotes from the release – which basically they are laying the framework for an endemic to run concurrent with the forever wars in Syria, Afganistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere:

“This is a moment of radical international uncertainty. Despite many commentaries to the contrary, it is difficult to predict what the long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis will be on the quest for world order” – which is basically saying “this fucking thing sucks for you but it gives us work to do”

“By contrast, although this crisis occurs at a troubling time geopolitically, including the withdrawal of the United States from global leadership, until the pandemic it was a period of interdependence and prosperity for many countries.”

this is a reassurance that the last bastion of freedom – the Constitutional rights afforded to Americans will perish as a result of the fall of American global hegemony. Freedom of expression, association, speech and assembly, the right to bear arms in the advent of a tyrannical government, private property ownership, the right to a fair trial, certain educational, religious, medicinal and cultural freedoms – KISSINGER IT ALL GOODBYE ONCE THE LAUNCH OF THE DIGITAL ID IN TANDEM WITH THE DIGITAL CURRENCY ISSUED FROM THE BANK OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS COMES INTO PLAY.

These following questions are wonderful:

“Will medical shortcomings trigger mass migration?”

...there used to a time when the UN allowed asylum for refugees. Refugees are people that are in mortal danger if they return to their war-torn homelands. However, over the course of the past decade, the United Nations has done a brilliant job of meme’ing a refugee and an economic migrant into the same thing. This statement basically says that “western nations have the moral imperative to take “migrants” from all over the entire planet AND AND it will be their duty to provide proper medical treatment….and it must be free of cost to the migrants or else it is a RASICM (per the ADL).

Will mass digital surveillance become more attractive
if it offers an alternative to economic shutdown?

….seriously they write like this? Of course it becomes more attractive to the ones gathering intelligence by mass surveillance. This is just a foreshadowing of the coming Communitarianism.

You know I wanted to do this deep analysis of this CFR bulletin because it was interesting at first but the entire thing is just loud cheer FOR GLOBOHOMO. NEO-LIBERAL, DEBT-LADEN, RACELESS, BORDERLESS, GENDERLESS, CHILDLESS, GODLESS, UBI-FUNDED CONSUMERIST CAPITAL WHERE EVERYTHING IS MEANT TO EXPLODE.

THE CFR IS THE ENEMY, I HAVE FOLLOWED THEM FOR TWENTY YEARS. THEY ARE ZIONIST MOUTHPIECES. THEY ARE ONES THAT SEND OUT THE MEMOS. THE MEMOS OF THE GLOBOHOMOGAYPLEX.

From Medium: WE ARE ALL CIVILIAN WAR HOSTAGES OF THE GLOBAL CAPITAL — this is not a “pandemic”

WE ARE ALL CIVILIAN WAR HOSTAGES OF THE GLOBAL CAPITAL — this is not a “pandemic” on Medium.

https://ift.tt/3ptQk0r

So far, wars have served as an occasion for massive capital destruction — apparently Corona is now fulfilling the same purpose in a less violent way.

THE WAR SUBSTITUTE

“Capitalism carries war like a cloud the rain,” said the French social revolutionary Jean Jaurès. In busy times when many people already have almost everything they need, the market will eventually be saturated. Bad for the targeted growth rates of capital. In war, on the other hand, traders earn twice: first from destruction, then from rebuilding. Destroying capital to the extent desired would only bring about a really big war. But the atomic armament with the danger of the total extinction of mankind stands in the way. What to do? Corona could represent the desired solution for the capital faction: the greatest possible economic devastation, but a more manageable destruction of human life. Perhaps — one could conclude — we would have been spared Corona had there been no atomic bomb. Without the spread of nuclear weapons, the current corona campaign would have been neither possible nor necessary. That it is taking place is a civilizational advance. Sounds a little crazy? May be. But if you want to understand the world in crazy times, you should also examine trains of thought that may initially seem crazy. It may turn out that things can ultimately be explained with a solid old vulgar Marxist worldview. Capitalism cannot be had without war We live in a time in which the principle of capitalism rules the world almost down to the last corner, and down to the most private and intimate emotions of the people. I take this as a given and forego evidence — whoever does not share this premise will not enjoy the following either. The principle of capitalism is profit making. In other words: capital, in the form of money and possessions with a monetary value, must continuously be utilized in a way that leads to the increase of this very capital. That is the principle to which everything has to be subordinated, no matter what the cost, including the lives of millions of people. Their misery and death are not meant badly on the part of capital, but simply necessary for the realization of capital, or just collateral damage that is not so important. The valorisation of capital takes place in the organized production of goods and services that are not produced for their utility but for their profitability; for this purpose capital buys labor. Profit, as we have learned from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is based on the fact that labor, like all goods, is paid on average at its production price — that is, according to the amount of labor that is required to produce and produce it entertain — but in turn creates value that is greater. Capital appropriates this difference, the “surplus value”, quite legally: This is the profit of which, to their great regret, the individual capitals have to give up parts to the state, to lenders and so on. Today the situation has changed from the time of Marx and Engels; the increase of money or capital through purely fictitious money and speculative transactions — which already existed before capitalism — plays a considerably greater role today in relation to the “real” production of goods and services. The capital must be utilized and multiply in the process — if nothing is produced over long distances in this process, that obviously does not matter. Now, as we have known since Marx and Engels, capitalism is not conceivable without recurring crises. The production of goods and services — and even more so the fictitious economy of the capital and money markets — are not controlled on the basis of the probable needs of the people, but expanded until it is no longer possible. This situation occurs regularly when the produced goods and services are largely no longer for sale due to a lack of (purchasing power) demand (overproduction crisis) or when capital has increased so much that there are simply no more profitable investment opportunities (overaccumulation crisis). Capital that can no longer be used profitably — that is the GAU, the greatest accident that can be assumed for capitalism. These crises can only be overcome if capital is destroyed on a large scale.

The audience doesn’t usually notice that. On the surface, it is only about conquering foreign territories, raw materials and markets or making them dependent on one’s own capitalist nation. All of these war aims exist — and if successful they would supply the domestic capital of the warring nation with new profitable investment opportunities. But war is always infinitely expensive and it is the opposite of productivity; it destroys capital in large quantities in all participating countries. The belligerent state — the state with Marx understood as the executive committee of national capital — must of course be concerned with burdening the losses and the destruction of capital as much as possible on “the other”, that is to say on the war opponents, including the so-called common people in their own country. But parts of the local capital can (and should) perish in the war. There remain bankruptcies, ruins, land, production facilities, know-how that can be taken over cheaply by the victorious capital factions, at home and abroad. Then there is again room to roll up your sleeves and earn money on “reconstruction” — the surviving capital can multiply again unchecked, until the next bang. With the widespread use of nuclear weapons after the Second World War, the realization that wars can only be fought to a very limited extent has evidently gained acceptance. You can still raid countries on the periphery. A war against a nuclear-armed state would most likely lead to the fact that not all nuclear weapons of the enemy can be switched off even with the most superior weapon technology — and if only two or three bombs of the enemy are used, the “costs” of the war are also simply too high for the attacker. Whoever shoots first, dies second, is the logic of war in the age of nuclear weapons. Apart from that, after a “victorious” nuclear war one can hardly profitably acquire the rubble of capital and the markets of the defeated state: there is no profit to be made with an uninhabitable desert. What to do — without nuclear war? The recurring over-accumulation crises remain, but war as a solution to capital destruction is largely canceled. As I said, peripheral states such as Iraq or Libya or Grenada can still be invaded, but even that is of little use: the destruction of the economies of such countries hardly leaves any gaps in the world market that “Western” capital could profitably fill and the defeated states become failed states in which one does not want to invest capital. What is left there? Capitalism, punished for its downfall, is forced to find ways to destroy capital on a large scale without waging a major war. Sometimes, in dire straits, rescue approaches from unexpected directions, such as the implosion of socialism, which really no longer exists around 1989. There could be no end of loot without a “hot” war, and lots of new profitable investment opportunities opened up. It is bitter that, contrary to the divine order, parts of the booty did not go to “Western” capital, but to Russian oligarchs who now have their own capitalist nation-state with Vladimir Putin’s state apparatus; but at least. Only, that was 30 years ago and the effect has fizzled out. The over-accumulation crisis strikes again relentlessly. When it came to light in 2008 as the “financial crisis”, the states could still half-fill it with tons of invented money; As everyone knew, the crash was successfully delayed, but made worse for the future: the vast amounts of money that naturally ended up in large capital have inflated it even further — and there are no investment opportunities for all this capital. One expression of this is the fact that practically no interest has been paid on money since then; no individual capital would like to expand through borrowed money, because there are no longer any profitable investment opportunities, apart from pure speculation with real largely worthless securities. There must urgently be opportunities to destroy capital on a large scale, otherwise the world will end, because, from the perspective of capitalism and its prophets, the collapse of the capitalist system is of course identical with the end of the world. Little things, like the sudden deflagration of the DAX group Wirecard, destroy at most a few dozen billion euros or dollars — these are peanuts, that is not a solution.

THE CORONAVIRUS AS A SOLUTION

Whenever you think it doesn’t work anymore, a little light comes from somewhere, my grandmother’s tear-off calendar already knew — and was therefore more correct than Marx and Engels, who could not have dreamed that crisis capitalism would still exist 150 years later , and apparently more unchallenged than ever. And really, the little light brought enlightenment, appropriately at Christmas time, in Wuhan in China, although they don’t care about Christmas there. It was christened SARS-CoV-2. This new or at least hitherto unknown virus and the disease it caused in a relatively small proportion of infected people called Covid-19, which can be fatal for a few per thousand of infected people (similar to influenza), was not an invention and was not planned. In any case, assumptions about this do not seem convincing to me. But “Corona” was an unexpected opportunity, and after a certain period of hesitation and uncertainty, capitalism grabbed it by the head. In business as in politics, real success is always based on the fact that the actors do not simply work through their plans as precisely as possible — as business administration propagates — but that they can take on unexpected opportunities at any time. Which of course becomes easier if the opportunity could not be foreseen at the specific point in time, but one had already dealt with possible opportunities of this kind. If the opportunity really does come, it is not easily overlooked, and options for action that have already been considered or even practiced are available. There have been many scenarios, pandemic plans, and staff exercises at national and international level in recent years. The preferred story was essentially always the same: a new virus, preferably from China, mutated or jumped from wildlife to humans, is spreading rapidly around the world, causing severe and potentially fatal respiratory diseases. The story was obvious insofar as there have been influenza epidemics for more than a hundred years that follow this pattern. To be sure, mankind has got used to it; I didn’t even notice at the time that we in Germany had the most violent flu epidemic in a long time with — according to calculations by the Robert Koch Institute — around 25,100 deaths. But these epidemics have existed and will continue to exist in the future, and it makes sense to prepare for them. Totalitarian high-performance medicine In capitalism, however, the preparation for epidemics takes place according to capitalist rules. One of these is totalitarian high-performance medicine that does not deal with people or with health and the possibilities of their (re) production, but, increasingly specialized, with isolated disease units and their treatment and prevention using highly profitable products from the pharmaceutical and device industries in the context of profit-oriented hospital factories. Health policy, from the local hospital to the World Health Organization (WHO), is controlled by capitalist owners, “sponsors” or other influencers; As is well known, after the US exit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is often associated with the vaccine industry, is now the largest financier of the WHO and thus only the most striking evidence of the multiple interests of the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and those associated with them Medical researchers with the actions of the — formerly quite honorable — WHO. By the term “totalitarian” I mean the peculiarity that, unlike other capital groups, the medical-industrial complex does not have to limit itself to “offering” its goods and services to the public — and using all sorts of tricks to entice the public into “ voluntarily ”to buy). Instead, this medicine has saved the special authority and position of the medicine man from pre-capitalist times, who proclaims absolute truths and gives instructions to be followed.

Sometimes we are also tempted to consume medical services, such as consuming a new car or a new fitted kitchen; In contrast to car or kitchen appliance manufacturers, top medicine has the option, if necessary, of simply telling us what we — in the sense of the respective medical specialty and its prophets — now have to do and have ourselves done. And if any Pope happens to be the right figure in any of the numerous special disciplines of high-performance medicine for social and state processes taking place for completely different reasons, then Saint Christian Drosten believes that he can control the state and its apparatus regulated in the Infection Protection Act like the Holy Inquisition at the time the “secular arm” who did the dirty work of the executions. “Totalitarian” is the basic attitude of this ruthless special medicine, which considers itself justified to regulate everyone and everything in the possession of the highest truth. Whether the Drostens wield real power or are just the propaganda bastards in a play that is directed elsewhere is not yet said. For the representatives of top totalitarian medicine, a real, threatening, conceivable epidemic means fame and honor, research funding and industrial contracts and at least a feeling of considerable power and importance. It is understandable that some “leading virologists” tend to exaggerate in principle. SARS, MERS, EHEC, swine flu — the widespread extermination of mankind by nasty viruses is promised to us every few years, the audience almost began to get bored with the umpteenth remake of the same horror film. For a change, there was also BSE, it’s not always just the virologists who should get something from the matter. Behind the hubris of the virologists is the very factual business interests of the pharmaceutical industry, especially the vaccine manufacturers, who earn their money by scare-mongering stupidly and already know how to keep their panic professors happy. This time everything is different Despite the profitable tendency to exaggerate, previous “pandemics” have been limited. People were scared a lot, a lot of money was made with drugs and vaccines, but that’s it after a few weeks. Whether the drugs and vaccine doses that we all paid dearly were actually used or had to be destroyed is not so important either — the money had been collected, capital had increased, now life can go on, capitalism does not exist after all only from the pharmaceutical industry. And the scenarios, pandemic plans and exercises were not meant so seriously that one would have drawn serious consequences from them. A small district administrator from the Schleswig-Holstein province, whose heart belongs to disaster control, was “a bit shocked” because: “At a higher level, there was a transnational disaster control exercise in 2007, where the pandemic scenario was practically played out. It was about an influenza virus, but the analysis could have looked up many of the problems from the spring, for example with protective clothing for medical staff. I got the impression that these work results have fizzled out ineffectively ”(1).

The evaluation of the above mentioned exercise LUEKEX 2007 also showed that there is a lack of reliable knowledge as to whether and to what extent face masks effectively reduce the risk of infection in everyday situations. Corresponding research was urgently requested (2), but of course did not take place. They had more important things to do than research into preventive health protection in the terrible pandemics that were certainly threatening at any time. In 2020 everything was different. Once again one of the usual pandemics was found, the WHO could have caused some excitement, governments could have stored vast amounts of overpriced useless — and potentially even harmful — vaccination doses, the disease would have been around 8th place on the hit list of causes of death for a few weeks could climb, the audience would have passed the time with the new edition of the horror film — and after six months many would not have known what exactly this disease had been called in the spring or so. The world would have straightened out again until the next “pandemic”, which, given the current workings of the WHO, is guaranteed to be declared in five years at the latest. But this time, wherever, the insight emerged that a pandemic — a terrible disease threatening the whole world — could be a good substitute for the Third World War, which was no longer militarily feasible. “Insight” is perhaps an exaggeration; someone does not necessarily have to have rationally and consciously decided that now should be war. Social, i.e. historical and political-economic laws prevail in capitalism — just as in previous social formations — as a rule behind the backs of those involved. These must necessarily obey the laws, if punished for their downfall, but they do not have to know or understand them. It is enough for them to feel what needs to be done now. And that was felt: Big money had long been waiting for the next bang, which everyone knew (and not only felt) that it was inevitable. The tension grew. The disaster warning from the industry-controlled virology popes and the WHO fell on more fertile ground than usual: the expected disaster had finally arrived. There is something relieving and activating about this: a catastrophe that actually takes place opens up possibilities for action, one no longer has to stare like the rabbit at the snake that is expected at any time. In such a situation, one does not check whether the disaster warning appears to be correct, and a comparison with past, severely exaggerated reports of this kind does not come to mind: We trembled long before the expected bang, now it is finally here and we can do something. The thought that it might just be a fake bang or that only the Drostens of this world could have a bang would only bother us now.

LEARNING FROM CHINA

The fact that the alleged horror came from China was compounded. Western capital and its mass media have long been obsessed with the love-hate relationship with China: China is an up-and-coming competitor that is certainly trusted to overtake the “most powerful industrial nations” of the West; China is realizing a capitalism that seems to be far more successful than the “Western” variety, and at the same time makes it clear that it will not be subordinate to any Western domination; Irritatingly, China makes it clear that the bourgeois-democratic facade is not necessary for the successful development of a capitalist nation; So China would be the perfect mortal enemy — but at the same time China is an indispensable trade and economic partner of the most powerful western industrial capitals, which would hardly survive without the “China business”, whether they are called Apple or Volkswagen. China is our future. China is exciting. This China now considers a virus to be new and dangerous — and initially deals with it very calmly. Criminal carelessness, “our” mass media have to crow, millions will die because China ignores the virus and suppresses the warner. Then, no one knows why, China turned around and imposed drastic restrictions and bans. Criminal human rights violations, “our” mass media have to crow, something so terrible is fortunately completely unthinkable in western democracies. After that, China announced that the problem was as good as resolved, with the exception of some infections from foreign travelers. Then the thought arose: What the Chinese can do, we should be able to do as well. Now we should really hit it, it even seems to have helped. And all the cumbersome and expensive frippery with democracy and human rights actually disturbs business here rather than being useful to us. So, let’s get into battle: learning from China means learning to win. — If SARS-CoV-2 had not appeared in China, but in Argentina or Kenya, for example, then the “Western world” would have been interested in about as much as Ebola or less, since it is also considerably less dangerous than Ebola Pathogen. One can now speculate about whether someone “directed” and whether there are identifiable persons and (of course secret) committees who at a certain point in time decided to repurpose “Corona” for a major war. That doesn’t seem really important to me. It is certainly of historical interest to examine the people involved and concrete decision-making structures. But sometimes you get to so-called conspiracy theories too quickly. As screeching as the corona warriors and their mass media denounce every critic as “conspiracy theorists”, conspiracy theories sometimes seem almost sympathetic. But they have the problem that they personalize social or political-economic processes. They create the illusion: If this and that bad person had not pulled on this and that strings, we would have been spared all the misery. But it wouldn’t be. The constraints of the capitalist economy prevail largely independently of individual actors who can be identified by name. If they hadn’t acted, then others would have done it, a little earlier or a little later, in the same or a similar way. Petty-bourgeois intellectuals — like the author of these lines — tend to overestimate the power of individual heads — preferably their own. The fact that the actors are only responsible as character masks for the implementation of the silent compulsion of the circumstances and are largely interchangeable, of course, also offends one’s own conviction of one’s own uniqueness.

THE WAR IS PICKING UP SPEED

The governments of the leading western industrial nations did not all go into the corona war at the same time and with the same enthusiasm. Statesmen like Emmanuel Macron spoke of “war” at an early stage, while the administrations led by Boris Johnson and Donald Trump initially did not expect too much of the matter. But once a world war like this takes off, one cannot escape. The countries of the periphery followed anyway, with very few exotic exceptions — whether because of their religious orientation towards the example of the capitalist states of the first guard, or because of the usual discreet influence of Western advisors, investors, the World Bank and the IMF, WHO et cetera, that makes little difference in the result. A great war is never waged for one purpose alone. And the meaning of war in the capitalist economy, the destruction of capital — if possible exclusively at the expense of the “opponents” and one’s own lower classes — is not really suitable as an official war goal that could sweep away the bulk of the population. The population is not the problem, however; the Corona story is completely sufficient to create the necessary war mood, and the propaganda machine knows its craft. The individual warring powers each use the opportunity to advance their interests through the war. After the Trump administration was no longer able to prevent the USA from entering the war, it is now pursuing the goal of damaging China in order to avert the downfall of the USA — de facto, of course, of delaying at best. In the corona war, Germany believes that it is taking important steps towards realizing its geostrategic goals formulated by Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg in the “September program” in 1914: domination of a united Europe as a basis for reaching out to world power. That is why all war damage in one’s own country is poured in with vast amounts of invented money — except of course the damage to those who are not systemically relevant for the functioning of capitalism. According to the calculation, you will get away with it better than France, which after the departure of Great Britain is the only remaining competitor “on an equal footing” for supremacy in the European Union (EU). The other large economies within the EU, Italy and Spain are unlikely to recover after the end of the war and will fall back to the rank of marginalized countries that are dependent on Germany or France — such as Greece or Portugal. To make this process irreversible, it makes sense to extend the war with a “second wave”. The “big leap forward” made possible by the corona war to an economic and social order based entirely on electronic communication, in which every activity for business and the state can be completely saved, monitored, evaluated and blocked at any time, could definitely be expanded further ; who knows when such a good opportunity will come up again. In peacetime, all the political talk about “digitization” unfortunately does not lead to real visible progress.

THE BATTLE OF TWO LINES

On the other hand, there are also intra-capitalist contradictions in one’s own country: the cost of war increases with every week, and the requirement of capital destruction has largely already been fulfilled or, to put it positively: it is now time to distribute the booty and start a new orgy of capital utilization. That is why there are increasing voices that the state should no longer support all corona-damaged companies, but only those that are “viable”, that is, who will probably be among the war profiteers; and the bankruptcy applications suspended by the special corona law should no longer be delayed. The bankruptcy wave is intentional, in capitalist Newspeak it is called “structural adjustment”. And there are increasing voices in the large, system-bearing media that give facts and figures to consider on the subject of “Corona”, which you were not allowed to take note of a few weeks ago if you were not denounced as a Covidiot and right-wing aluminum hat conspiracy theorist wanted to. The situation is contradictory: not only for the domination of Europe and the world, but also for the short-term profit of the pharmaceutical industry, the IT and Internet economy — and, as a side effect, also the bicycle dealers and pizza services — an intensification of the war is desirable during the The auto industry, the petroleum industry and everything related to civil aviation are slowly running out of air. Obviously the decision as to whether and how the war should be continued is still contested (3); this naturally leads to dissonances and contradictions in the mass media, which no longer know exactly in which direction to direct their propaganda cannons. How could they? When in the spring of a few weeks in Germany the corona hysteria became the corona state, the infection protection law was converted into a general emergency law and basic civil rights were sacrificed to the state of emergency to an unbelievable and obviously unfounded extent, one was horrified and incredulous before this development: Why you do that? How can they? What’s next? Some felt reminded of 1933, when the total state was established in no time with the consent of the large majority of the population. It seems to me that the events of 2020 can be compared more with 1914 than suddenly — and in the perception of many contemporaries apparently: now finally — the world war “broke out”, which had been in the air for a long time (4). The interpretation of current events as a new form of (world) war in the atomic age makes a number of developments that initially appear absurd and unexpected become more understandable. “War” is a phenomenon that has been rooted in our culture for thousands of years. The idea of “war” is not only passed on in the social consciousness, but at least as strongly in the collective subconscious. This kind of thing does not go away just because there has not been a war in Germany or on its borders for 75 years — a situation that has been steadfastly worked on since 1990, but that’s another story. “War” means an alternative reality: other laws, social rules and morals apply, the entire system of coordinates into which human activity fits is different in “war”. Self-evident and fundamental rules of social coexistence are no longer in force, “You shouldn’t kill” becomes “Kill!”. This reinterpretation of all moral or ethical ideas is not a problem — everything is different now, it’s war. When the war is over, the rules of civil social coexistence apply again; these are practically not affected at all, but of course they cannot apply during the “war” state of emergency. In a war, all members of the warring nation must stick together, cooperation, submission and willingness to make sacrifices are absolutely necessary — with regard to willingness to make sacrifices, there is of course an exception for members of the respective ruling class who prefer to become war profiteers. Doubts about the war are not allowed, anyone who expresses even the slightest concern is a traitor to the country and should be ostracized. Everything must submit to war. Martial law applies.

THE HOUR OF THE EXECUTIVE

War is the hour of the executive. Parliament has to approve the war and to approve legal and financial conditions, after which it has done its duty and will no longer play a role until the end of the war. With the Infection Protection Act, a suitable enabling law was already in place for the corona war. With the addition of the “epidemic situation of national scope” (5), this was supplemented by the dictatorial powers that appeared to be necessary for the Federal Minister of Health, and supplementary budgets had to be approved. After that, the executive decides alone, from the generals in federal and state governments down to the smallest non-commissioned officer in the village public order office. War is a sublime experience for the military and, in the corona war, for the warring administrations. Anyone who had a time-consuming and stressful job in peacetime, with no room for a significant private life, is constantly watched and fought by the opposition and their own “party friends” who are just waiting for a mistake to bring down members of the government and to conquer their posts, and mostly without any noteworthy effects or successes (there are numerous former ministers at federal and state level who have left virtually no traces after several years in office) — in the (corona) war they suddenly have far-reaching options for action and can unrestrainedly into people’s lives rule into the most intimate details. “Intimate” is to be understood literally here. In Schleswig-Holstein, for example, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health are allowed to stipulate that both partners — more than two are forbidden anyway — must wear a mouth and nose cover during sexual intercourse and leave their address for the health department (6). There are supposed to be people who claim that the enjoyment of orgasm can be increased if it is accompanied by an almost fatal strangulation — whether the gentlemen had this in mind and wanted to encourage the shortness of breath during the sexual act or whether the envy of the health minister played a role, whose companion in life lives in New York and is therefore only allowed to communicate with him via the Internet during the corona war and who now wants to spoil sex for other people due to the lack of his own opportunity is not known. — So far, these rules only apply to paid sexual services; The gentlemen will also notice that the “risk of infection” with every sexual contact with people who do not belong to the same household is just as high as in a brothel. Anyone who can suddenly move so much and exercise so much power over other people’s lives can finally feel themselves and can finally believe that they are important. This intoxicating feeling of power arises not only when every provincial general can enact his own laws in his area of operation, and often quite different from the commander of the neighboring province; You are powerful and also relieved of the responsibility for the consequences of your own actions if you have to implement the surprising instructions of the highest army command unprepared, as the Kiel Prime Minister in the case of the school closings (7). In general, unlimited power is most beautiful when, in the event of going wrong, you can say afterwards that you only had to obey orders and that you are therefore not responsible for anything. The older ones among us remember how annoying the war stories of the old men were in our youth and how euphoric they told of their war time; the war victims, if they had survived, preferred to remain silent. The next generation of young people will learn to hate the transfigured faces with which their grandparents’ generation, today’s decision-makers, will rant about their contribution to saving humanity through the corona war, while the young people will patch up the pieces of the war and the costs over decades has to pay off.

At the beginning of the First World War, there was the famous saying of Kaiser Wilhelm II: “I don’t know any parties anymore, I only know Germans.” Even in the Corona War, there are no more parties. In the provinces it looks like the locally responsible member of the Bundestag of the Greens, together with her colleagues from the CDU and SPD and her colleague from the Left, publishes a press release (8) in which she calls on the population to obey: “We expressly encourage you to find out more about the coronavirus from the Federal Ministry of Health or the Robert Koch Institute. Rumors or information from dubious sources should not be taken into account. “ The analogy to Kaiser Wilhelm’s war also makes it easier to understand a phenomenon that has plunged many people into perplexity and despair: the practically total absence of left opposition to the corona campaign, the complete swinging of left organizations and publications and almost all of the left or left-liberal intelligentsia on the line a war that should obviously have been rejected. In 1914, “the Left” was practically identical to Social Democracy, which for its part was a very large movement that was broad in terms of content and organization. The basic social democratic knowledge of the prewar period included internationalism, anti-militarism and the awareness that the hostile antagonism was between the working class of all countries on the one hand and the various national bourgeoisies on the other, not between the working class of Germany and the working class of France and so on. With the beginning of the war everything was forgotten, Karl Liebknecht was alone in the SPD parliamentary group with his rejection of war credits. The left was, then as now, fixated on the state in its political ideas and demands, and its functionaries secretly or openly strive for little posts in the state apparatus. Socialism, the lofty goal, turned out to be the mere desire for social democracy in the “revolution” of 1918 to replace the monarchist and bourgeois government officials with social democratic comrades without even attempting to make substantial changes in the state and society. The state had shown the left through the socialist laws what it thought of it, but the social democracy steadfastly and increasingly believed in this very state, despite all verbal radical omissions. It is probably the same today: If the state declares a state of war, declaring itself and its people to be in dire need, then this left cannot stand aside, but must put aside all criticism and go to war with them. Criticism of the machinations of the pharmaceutical industry and the medicine that is dependent on it, criticism of the constant restriction of basic democratic rights and the expansion of state surveillance, etc., all of which are basic components of left-wing identity, must be put on hold at the hour of greatest need for the state. And if the state declares the hour of greatest need, then critical questions about the justification of this declaration of war would only be treason. In the corona war, with the complete failure of the left, we are actually only experiencing one phenomenon that we have known for more than 100 years and whose return was to be expected. It would be interesting to investigate (but exceeds my historical knowledge) whether the failure of the left in the war in 1918 and in the following years did not contribute to driving dissatisfied and disoriented sections of the population into the arms of right-wing groups, such as right-wing radicals and fascist groups today try, not without success, to gain ground in the spontaneous opposition to the corona war and to thrust into the vacuum left by the failure of the left. Intellectuals at war The same applies to left-wing liberal intellectuals. Their ancestors, the academic youth of 1914, were mostly not “left”, but had pursued equally enthusiastic and utopian ideas in the youth movement as the students of the 68s and 1970s. In 1914 they were thrilled that there was finally war. In contrast to today, students and high school students, sometimes class by class, volunteered for the front and died quickly as inexperienced soldiers. Today, the left-liberal intelligentsia is less shaped by students in their youthful exuberance, but by established academic middle class. They limit themselves to propaganda and prefer to leave the disadvantages of the war to the lower classes.

The talk about solidarity, reason and humanity, which is allegedly shown by wearing muzzles and complying with the most absurd corona rules, is just as broadcast-conscious and mendacious as the enthusiasm for war in 1914, but homeschooling for the child in their own children’s room with their own computer is quite comfortable, and on weekends you drive to the weekend house in the country, where there are no masks. The sacrifices have to be made by the others who sit unemployed with three children in their small social flat in the skyscraper and are not allowed to send the little ones to kindergarten or even to the playground. While the war volunteers with higher education in 1914 ultimately contributed to plunging their own people into misery and misery, which they supposedly had to protect from the evil enemy, their descendants today support the terror against the ancients, who as victims of the as “Solidarity” declared campaign of the corona warriors in their homes were taken into solitary confinement, without daily structure and without social contacts, without reasonable medical care, without hope and with no prospect of an early end to the oppression, in the case of lack of insight — for example because of dementia — medication sedated or restrained in bed with judicial authorization. The repugnance and mendacity of the talk of “solidarity” and “protection of our elderly” can easily compete with the flagrant prose of the war transfiguration of 1914 and the following years. These left-wing war volunteers also make up the majority of the mainstream public and private media staff. However, a special people gathers here. They became journalists when they were young, out of pursuit of clarification and spreading the truth — an honorable motive. The mute constraint of circumstances has taught them that with these lofty goals you usually get nothing, especially not a full-time, well-paid editor. With criticism and clarification — even in the late-night program or in the feuilleton — you can only get away with it if you were one of the first to have the right nose for the topic “in the air” and is therefore graciously accepted by the editorial board. Most of them have only learned to follow every emerging topic as the second, third, umpteenth infusion; so your journalistic B-goods just barely remain for sale. They can be dispensed with at any time during the next reorganization or publishing merger. This situation cannot really be endured, because these people are usually not stupid enough to simply completely ignore the contradiction between claim and daily reality. Endurance takes strength and alcohol. Since they do not drink lukewarm Doppelkorn but expensive Italian red wine, they do not consider themselves to be alcoholics. If you suddenly turn these people into war correspondents, they blossom. At last they can get involved and do missionary work unchecked, play a leading role in the salvation of humanity or their own people — emerging doubts about the meaningfulness of the military mission would only have a disruptive effect. Under these circumstances, the step from investigative journalism to embedded journalism is only small. The feeling, which can only be suppressed with difficulty, that something is wrong with this war and that one is actually only being abused, turns into an all the more intense hatred of all who dare to contradict or even dare to ask critically. The hateful character assassination of all critics of the corona campaign is psychologically necessary to kill any sense that the critics may be right on one point or another and that you yourself have finally become a traitor to your own ideals. If they didn’t do so much damage, you might feel sorry for the Corona war correspondents. Collateral damage The corona war comes — and this is new — without targeted mass killing. However, as in every great war, there is a huge number of deaths that are recorded as collateral damage. But that is part of the war and is no reason to forego war. Nobody cares that dozens, if not hundreds of millions of people will also starve to death as a result of the corona campaign this year and the next. The fact that hundreds of thousands will die prematurely because of the extensive collapse of medical care in the periphery is of no further interest. The destruction of these human lives is not directly intended — that the corona war was invented to reduce the world’s population, I believe is a rumor.

But it is true: These people are not systemically relevant to capitalism. The preservation of their lives therefore naturally plays no role in a war that is supposed to be waged to save every single old man and woman. The situation is somewhat different with the economic collapse of the countries on the periphery: here, collateral damage observed with a shrug of shoulders is mixed with deliberate calculation. If you have been able to buy mineral resources, land and national companies for the proverbial apple and ’n egg, in the future these countries will be forced to sell themselves for the rotten apple alone and forego the egg. These are positive prospects for capital that could make a prolongation of the war appear useful. How is it all supposed to end? If the interpretation of the “corona measures” developed here as a qualitatively new form of world war without (nuclear) weapons is correct, then certain prognoses should be derived from it. The first question that arises is when the war will finally end. This can take a long time: the cultural pattern of “war” in the western world includes the historical phenomenon of the Thirty Years’ War. The military defense of Western values in the Hindu Kush is also not far removed from this time frame. The German Chancellor, who is known to be more prudent, announced early on that a “new normal” (with a muzzle obligation for everyone — wearing the mask replaces wearing the party badge of the non-partisan war party) is being sought, and it can be assumed that this formulation was not thoughtless. In other words, the German leadership is not interested in a short-term campaign, but — as one of the war aims — in a fundamental social transformation at home as well, and this takes time. It has already been explained above that the foreign war aims also make a longer war appear reasonable. In the first weeks of the corona campaign, with good will, the country’s political leadership could still be convinced that they actually believed in the Drosten pandemic, and the stated goal was to flatten the curve or avoid overloading the health care system. This goal was clearly achieved quickly. The actual war probably only began afterwards, and it is designed for the long term: the pandemic will last until a vaccine is available, it has now been announced, which means that the war is planned to last several years. For propaganda reasons, of course, the availability of a vaccine had to be predicted for the foreseeable near future, here for spring 2021, which would have meant a war that would have lasted one year; more could not be expected of the audience. Of course, everyone knew that developing and approving a reliable vaccine against a novel infection usually takes more than ten years than three years, is extremely difficult for human coronaviruses, and has not been achieved in the case of the HIV virus for 35 years. In other words, if you no longer want to deny the federal government’s sanity at this stage, then there must have been plans to extend the campaign to several years at this point in time. The government will not abandon this perspective of its own accord. Another question is: How can and should this war end? In our imagination, the cultural pattern “war” has three possible outcomes: victory, defeat or armistice. A victory in this war would, according to the inherent logic of the war propaganda of the past few months, mean eradicating the virus. Obviously, this is impossible (9). Viruses of this kind do not disappear — but sometimes become more harmless over time due to various mutations — and the method of war also ensures that it cannot be won: By defining a positive result of a PCR test as “Covid-19 Infection “, years after the death of the last SARS-CoV-2, there would still be” proof “of constant” new infections “. The virus cannot be declared “eradicated”, the war cannot be won. Unfortunately, the virus cannot sign a “ceasefire” in principle, so this variant is also canceled. All that remains is defeat. In the face of inevitable defeat, belligerent parties can be driven to acts of desperation that far surpass the previous course of the war in senselessness and cruelty.

April and May 1945 provided terrifying examples of this. Not a good prospect. Now our consciousness, rooted in a long cultural tradition, knows not only the three possible — or in the case of the Corona war: actually impossible — war outcomes also irregular cases, such as the proverbial “Hornberger Shooting”: at some point the battle no longer takes place, the war creeps without knowing whether someone won and if so, who. This “impossible” outcome of the war is currently becoming apparent, for example, in the Afghanistan war. Would it also be conceivable for the corona war? That would, however, assume that the belligerents would have other things in mind in the course of time and therefore gradually abandon their campaign without being able to determine an exact time when the war ended. The war would have to lose its importance, almost imperceptibly. It can take a long time. Another, and even less pleasant, variant would bring the war to an end when a new, even worse — so this time perhaps: real and not just erupting in the fantasy of the drostens of this world — catastrophe attracts all attention and capacities and the corona war is dwarfed and gradually forgotten by it. Not a nice view either. Finally, in the good old Marxist tradition, a really positive perspective should also be considered: The peoples are fed up with the war and are using powerful mass actions, general strikes and so on to force its end to the bitter resistance of the ruling class, which with the end of the war is swept away by a revolution. It would be nice, but for the prophecy that the corona war could end like this, I am currently lacking historical optimism. It is easier to imagine the end of humanity these days than the end of capitalism. Another question is easier to answer: What should become of the immensely powerful armaments industry and the Bundeswehr if classic, conventional and nuclear armaments prove to be unnecessary in the Corona World War? Well, you don’t have to worry about the men — women are rarely to be found there. On the one hand, it has just been decided that up to 15,000 members of the armed forces will be deployed inside the corona war, making it clear that the new type of warfare also offers prospects for classic military apparatus. The imposition and enforcement of martial law and the use against one’s own population have never been alien to soldierly thinking. On the other hand, the strategists have been talking about cyber war as the future field of warfare for a number of years, and the booming IT industry, already largely militarily shaped in its origins, is happy to expand its existing close cooperation with the arms industry and the military. Military drones, armed or unarmed, are just one particularly striking example of the integration of heavy industry and IT in the arms business. The armaments industry will find ways to earn money from virtual warfare and to develop systems that optimize the instruments of the somewhat provisional corona war for future opportunities. And finally, in the virtual world war according to the corona pattern, the capital that is still tied up in the classic heavy industrial part of the armaments industry is not left in the rain: For regime change in countries on the periphery with insubordinate government, tanks and frigates will still be needed in 20 years.

THE NEXT WAR IS CANCELLED

The answer to the question, should the Corona war be over, when is the next event of this kind to be expected? WHO-style “pandemics” occur on average every three to five years and in all likelihood will continue to do so. The next corona war will be canceled for now. Because a big war with the destruction of relevant parts of capital — preferably abroad — is regularly necessary under capitalism, but the time intervals are considerably greater. In the next “pandemic”, the “reconstruction” so called by the European Union, ie the new phase of capital accumulation and expansion at the expense of the taxes to be paid by working people and falling social benefits, will not be over for a long time. One can therefore assume with a probability bordering on certainty that the Drosten will explain to us at the next pandemic why it is not so dangerous this time and any comparison with Covid-19 is inadmissible, although the next virus may actually cause significantly more people to die is called SARS-CoV-2. As far as the PCR tests are concerned, Drosten will remember what he already knew six years ago: “This method is so sensitive that it can detect a single genetic molecule of this virus. If, for example, such a pathogen scurries over the nasal mucous membrane of a nurse for a day without becoming ill or noticing anything, then it is suddenly a Mers case. Where previously terminally ill were reported, now suddenly mild cases and people who are actually very healthy are included in the reporting statistics ”(10). And where is the progress of civilization now? According to the thesis put forward for discussion here, the corona war is a new form of world war that can fulfill all the functions of a major war that are necessary for capitalism to survive, without using the weapons previously regarded as “military” and without direct (!) Killing to be consciously planned and implemented by people. This new type of warfare converges with the forms of cyber war and “hybrid warfare” that have been discussed and increasingly practiced in the military apparatuses of the leading countries for years, so it is not really new in all aspects. The progress now consists in the fact that, even without the abolition of capitalism — which, thank God, does not seem to be in the queue — it will in any case be possible to avoid the final big bang of the atomic world war. Nuclear war cannot be ruled out, but at least it is no longer inevitable if capitalism is retained. The same applies to the slaughter of millions of people in the metropolises. Conventional wars and the use of weapons of mass destruction have not disappeared from this planet, but will continue to take place in the struggle of the metropolises against the periphery and in the proxy wars between countries on the periphery. As in so many other cases, this civilizational progress is by no means a cause for pure joy. But at least: under the given circumstances it is progress.

(1) Norddeutsche Rundschau, September 29, 2020, page 10. (2) “Already in the preparation for the exercise it became clear that there was a lack of detailed, scientifically sound knowledge regarding the benefit of barrier measures using mouth and nose protection (MNS) or masks for the general population. The implementation of corresponding epidemiological studies is indispensable for the further development of the corresponding recommendations. “, Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, LÜKEX project group: Evaluation report of the third transnational crisis management exercise” LÜKEX 2007 “by the LÜKEX project group, as of April 15, 2008, page 46. (3) Chancellery Minister Helge Braun accordingly expected the meeting of the Chancellor and the Prime Minister — in months for the first time in person and not as a video conference — on October 14, 2020. a “historical debate”, see for example Norddeutsche Rundschau, October 15, 2020, page 15 ; the expected or hoped-for decision in the battle between the two lines did not materialize at this meeting.

(4) Friedrich Engels as early as 1887: “Eight to ten million soldiers will strangle each other and eat all of Europe as bare as never before has a swarm of locusts. The ravages of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three to four years and spread over the whole continent; Famine, epidemics, general wilderness of armies and masses caused by acute distress; hopeless confusion of our artificial machinery in trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; The collapse of the old states and their traditional state wisdom, so that all the crowns roll by the dozen over the pavement and nobody can find them who can pick them up … “, Marx / Engels, Werke MEW 21, page 350 following. (5) Law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases in humans (Infection Protection Act — IfSG) Paragraph 5. (6) State ordinance to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Corona Control Ordinance — CoronaBekämpfVO) of October 1, 2020, Section 9 Paragraph 2, Schleswig-Holstein. (7) Interview with Daniel Günther, including Norddeutsche Rundschau, August 28, 2020, page 3: “March 12 was decisive for me when we went to school and daycare during a long-planned meeting between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor — have notified closings. I couldn’t foresee that. But from then on I knew that we were in crisis mode and that governance would be very different from what I had experienced in the two and a half years before. “ (8) Dr. Ingrid Nestle (Greens), Cornelia Möhring (left), Michael von Abercron (CDU) and Ernst Dieter Rossmann (SPD): Joint appeal of the Bundestag members of the Pinneberg district, March 20, 2020, https://www.ingrid-nestle.de/press/joint-appell-der-bundestag-members-des-Kreis-Pinneberg /, last accessed October 25, 2020. (9) Incidentally, the (almost) complete eradication that is in principle possible with some types of viruses is sometimes a Pyrrhic victory — at the end of August 2020 the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) proudly announced the success of the smallpox vaccination campaign, which is now also being used in Africa Poliovirus is eradicated. Only: The successful eradication relates to the “wild” polio — vaccination must continue, because now there is “the persistent threat of polio from the vaccine,” said WHO Director General for the Africa Region, Matshidiso Moeti. Outbreaks of mutated vaccine viruses, the “circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV)”, are currently occurring in underimmunized communities in sixteen countries, according to: Dr. med. Mabuse №247, September / October 2020, page 8. (10) Kutter, Susanne (Interview): Virologist Drosten in conversation 2014, “The body is constantly attacked by viruses”, Wirtschaftswoche May 16, 2014, (quoted from https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/forschung/virologe-drosten-im-versraech-2014-der-körper-iststaendig-von-viruses-attacked/9903228-all.html, last accessed on October 25, 2020.

GOOD IF TRUE:  Israel Threatens to Abandon America, Ally With China And Russia After Securing $40B In U.S. Aid

Knesset member Ayoob Kara, who is part of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, on Tuesday threatened that Israel is prepared to abandon America and ally with China .

Source: Israel Threatens to Abandon America, Ally With China And Russia After Securing $40B In U.S. Aid

 

GOOD RIDDANCE!!!