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New Holocaust Memorial Announced for London – Sargon and Co Ask Why

First off, I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything for a few days. I’ve been busy with other things down here, but normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Yesterday, our Tory government announced that they were going to put a new memorial up commemorating the Holocaust. And Sargon of Gasbag, the man who broke UKIP, and his mate Callum over at the Lotuseaters Youtube channel have asked the obvious question: why? The proposed memorial has received widespread approval, especially from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who were highly delighted. They claimed it was needed because Holocaust denial was growing in the UK and we needed to be reminded of our part in the Shoah, the great crime against the Jews, and also against the disabled, gays and the Roma. But as the commenters on the Lotuseaters video have pointed out, they said nothing about the Slav peoples of eastern Europe, who were also massacred. This is true. Hitler hated the Slavs, and in his Tabletalk he makes it clear he was looking forward to the extermination of the Czech. After the Jews, the Poles formed the largest number of the victims of Nazi massacre and extermination, particular Polish Roman Catholic clergy. Slavs were considered subhuman under the Nuremberg race laws. Their lands were targeted for German colonisation, and those Poles, Russians and Ukrainians lucky enough to survive were to serve as an uneducated peasant class producing agricultural goods for their German masters.

The Lotuseaters are men of the right, and the extreme right at that. I find their videos difficult to watch because of the idiot sneering at the Labour party, idiot ‘woke’ lefties and similar comments that also come out of the mouth of the mad right-winger, Alex Belfield. Particularly annoying in this video was all their jokes about Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism, and how he especially wouldn’t like the memorial and agrees with Holocaust denial. It’s just right-wing libel. Corbyn, like George Galloway, has never denied the Holocaust and has a proud record of standing up for the Jews in this country, as he has done for Blacks and other ethnic minorities. His crime wasn’t anti-Semitism, but standing up for the Palestinians. The Israeli state and the ultra-Zionists, like the Board of Deputies, can’t justify it, so they smear those criticising their ethnic cleansing of Israel’s indigenous population as anti-Semites. This include proud, self-respecting Jews, who are tarnished and demonised as ‘self-hating’.

But the Lotuseaters are right to ask why we need such a memorial. They say we entered the War to stop the persecution of the Jews, when the Nazis and USSR had signed a non-aggression pact to divide Poland between. Callum even claimed that when the Soviets took over their part of Poland, they handed over its Jewish inhabitants to the Nazis to massacre. Well, I haven’t heard that before and neither did Sargon, but it doesn’t surprise me. Stalin was a vicious anti-Semite, and during the Weimar period western Communists were ordered to collaborate with Nazis despite the Nazis hatred of Marxist socialism and their persecution of the KPD under the Third Reich. It’s wrong to say we entered the War to save the Jews. We didn’t. We declared war on Nazi Germany because of our defensive alliance with France and Poland. Although there was little outright anti-Semitic persecution in Britain, low-level anti-Jewish sentiment was widespread and acceptable. There was considerable sympathy for Nazism amongst the British aristocracy, with various high-ranking individuals joining pro-Nazi organisations like the Anglo-German Fellowship. The father of Geordie Grieg, editor of the Heil, was a member of one such group. On the other hand, the Fascist parties and groups remained generally small. Britain passed laws banning the stirring up of racial hatred, and once war was declared Oswald Mosley, the head of the BUF, was sent to the Tower of London and his stormtroopers interned on the Isle of Man along with other enemy aliens. And our troops did liberate some of the concentration and death camps, along with the Russians and our other allies, and we did save the survivors from starvation, or as many as we could. There were Nazi sympathisers who served as auxiliaries in the Waffen SS, the British division of which served as the basis for neo-Nazi organisation the League of St. George. But as far as I know, there was absolutely no British state involvement with the Holocaust and I haven’t heard of any British commercial involvement with it, either. I’m therefore puzzled when the Board says it was needed to remind us of our role in it.

As for anti-Semitism in Britain, only 7 per cent of Brits have negative view about Jews. The majority have positive views of them, and a smaller number consider them no better or worse than anyone else. The Lotuseaters state that the Holocaust is taught as part of the British history curriculum. There are Holocaust deniers knocking around, but there are very few of them, at least among the vast majority of severely normal Brits, who despise them. I wondered if behind the cloaked language which didn’t name anybody in particular, the real fear was about the possible growth in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial amongst Muslims. It’s rife in the Middle East because of the Israeli colonisation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the humiliation inflicted on the Arab nations during the Six Day War. I have the impression that the majority of British Muslims despise Israel for its maltreatment of the Palestinians. However, Tony Greenstein has pointed out that the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism offer no supporting statistics or information on their website for their statement that the majority of anti-Semites are Muslim.

David Cameron apparently approved the monument five years ago in 2016, but Boris has only just given it the go-ahead. My impression is that this has precious little about commemorating the Holocaust for itself, and everything to do with generating support for Israel. Peter Oborne in his documentary for Channel 4’s dispatches 11 years ago described how the Israel lobby had effectively captured Britain’s political parties, and especially the Tories, through parliamentary friendship groups, sponsored trips to Israel and donations from pro-Israel Jewish businessmen. Any British paper or broadcaster, including the Beeb, that dared to cover atrocities by the Israelis and their allies, like the Lebanese Christian Phalange, were attacked and smeared by the Board as anti-Semites. Hence the attacks on the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn, and the capture of the party of Keir Starmer, who has declared himself to be ‘100 per cent Zionist’. Hence also the foundation of front organisations claiming to represent Jews and combat anti-Semitism, but which are really concerned with persecuting and smearing critics of Israel, like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Labour Movement, previously Paole Zion, Workers of Zion. These two organisations were founded to combat the rise in anti-Israel sentiment following Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. My guess is that Israel and it’s satellite organisations and mouthpieces in the UK have been rattled by British support for the Palestinians following the riots around the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian districts in east Jerusalem ready for Israeli settlement. This all looks to me very much like the Israel state exploiting the Holocaust to garner support on the one hand, and the Tories using it to signal their compliance with Israel and its genocidal attitude to the Arabs on the other.

The Holocaust was a monstrous crime against humanity and it is entirely right that British schoolchildren are taught about it. But this new memorial looks like it has nothing to do with remembering the victims of the Shoah, but is simply a PR exercise to shame Brits into supporting Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Corporate Media Joins the Anti-Vaxxers When It Comes to Chinese- and Russian-Made Vaccines

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 10:44pm in

Tags 

China, Media, Russia

WASHINGTON — “Hundreds of Thai medical workers infected despite Sinovac vaccinations,” ran Reuters’ bombshell headline earlier this month. The report detailed how 618 Thai medical workers inoculated with the Chinese COVID vaccine have become infected anyway, leading to one death. As is common with such an influential newswire, Reuters’ story was picked up across the world by hundreds of publications, including The Washington Post, Yahoo! News and The New York Post.

Yet the article also notes that over 677,000 Thai medical workers have received the dose, meaning that more than 99.9% of those vaccinated have not developed COVID-19 — a fact that flies in the face of the headline’s implications. A large majority of news consumers do not read past the title, meaning that they were given the false impression that Sinovac is ineffective.

Being fully vaccinated does not offer complete protection from COVID-19. In late June, CNBC noted that well over 4,000 vaccinated Americans had been hospitalized with the virus, including 750 who died. Yet Reuters spun the news into an opportunity to spread distrust of Sinovac in Thailand, which is currently living through a rapid and unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases.

The article also took the opportunity to present the U.S. government and American company Pfizer as saviors, noting that “Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the United States later this month.” Yet in a country of 70 million people this contribution is far from a solution. Reuters’ close links to both the U.S. government and to Pfizer make this framing seem particularly questionable. Jim Smith, chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and former president and CEO of Thomson Reuters, is also on Pfizer’s board. Meanwhile, Reuters’ former global business director, Dawn Scalici, spent 33 years in the CIA, working her way up to senior director, overseeing the agency’s operations in Iraq. She left her job as National Intelligence Manager for the Western Hemisphere for the Director of National Intelligence to, in her own words, “advance Thomson Reuters’ ability to meet the disparate needs of the U.S. government.”

This is far from the first time that Reuters has pushed anti-vax paranoia against Chinese vaccines like Sinovac or Sinopharm. In January, they published an article titled “Peru volunteer in Sinopharm vaccine trial dies of COVID-19 pneumonia, university says.” Yet buried in the article is a statement from the university noting that the participant was in the control group, which received only a placebo, meaning that they had died because they didn’t receive the vaccine, not because they did, which was the clear implication of the headline.

In May, Reuters also printed a piece headlined “WHO experts voice ‘very low confidence’ in some Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine data.” Yet reading the report, the WHO maintained that it had “overall confidence in [the vaccine’s] ability to prevent the disease.” The piece’s only gripe was that the testing phase did not include enough people from certain at-risk groups, such as pregnant women or the elderly, meaning that they had very little confidence that the trialing had categorically demonstrated that the vaccine was indisputably safe for certain people with comorbidities. What, however, would a lay person, unfamiliar with scientific terminology, take from that headline?

Last week, Reuters’ article “Sinovac’s vaccine finds supporters in Singapore despite effectiveness questions elsewhere,” claimed that the reason the island city-state was importing the Chinese vaccine was that “Singapore doesn’t want to upset Beijing,” rather than that it was an effective defense against a deadly virus.

And earlier this week, the influential newswire published an article headlined “Sinopharm’s COVID-19 shot induces weaker antibody responses to Delta — Study,” despite the fact that the university undertaking the experiment declared that, “This vaccine was found very effective for the Delta variant as well.” The doctor overseeing the study concluded that “when it comes to Delta and other variants, the Sinopharm vaccine induces similar levels of antibody responses as people who have naturally been infected, which is very good.” This was reported in Chinese media, but not by Reuters, whose article conveyed exactly the opposite message.

 

All the fake news that’s fit to print

Reuters is far from the only outlet seemingly on a crusade to discredit Sinopharm and Sinovac, however. Last year, The New York Times published an article titled “Brazil resumes Chinese vaccine trial after a brief suspension following the death of a volunteer.” Only in the penultimate paragraph did it inform readers that the person in question committed suicide. Unless the vaccine was supposed to have triggered this (which it did not assert), then the story’s premise is worthless. “Brazilian Man Commits Suicide” does not make the pages of the Times. Yet this incident proved worthy of two separate articles. It is not easy to see a reason beyond either irresponsible clickbait or active malicious intent behind the choice of headline and topic.

A recent Times exposé also heavily relied on innuendo to discredit China, its headline reading “They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They’re Battling Outbreaks.” The article profiled a trio of countries — Bahrain, Mongolia and the Seychelles — that had bought and administered Sinopharm and Sinovac. “All three put their faith, at least in part, in easily accessible Chinese-made vaccines, which would allow them to roll out ambitious inoculation programs when much of the world was going without,” author Sui-Lee Wee wrote, constantly comparing them unfavorably with American-made ones; “But instead of freedom from the coronavirus, all three countries are now battling a surge in infections.”

NYT sinopharm

The NYT featured an expose replete with Sinophobic rhetoric and alarming imagery

But what the Times did not inform readers of was that the vast majority of serious or deadly cases in those countries happened to unvaccinated individuals. The Seychelles Ministry of Health confirmed as much and continues to implore people to take the Chinese vaccine, comfortable in the knowledge it is safe. As the Ministry of Health stated on Thursday, “Misinformation is prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic and can put lives in danger by leading people to make misinformed decisions.”

Enkhsaihan Lkhagvasuren, head of Public Health Policy Implementation for the Mongolian Health Ministry, made a similar statement, noting that 96% of recent COVID-19 deaths in his country occurred in individuals who were not fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, daily cases in Bahrain had already been plummeting for a month before Wee’s piece was published and now the country currently averages fewer than 100 new cases per day.

The New York Times has long cast aspersions about the dangers of the Chinese products, producing stories such as:

  • “In Coronavirus Vaccine Race, China Strays From the Official Paths” (July 16, 2020);
  • “China Gives Unproven Covid-19 Vaccines to Thousands, With Risks Unknown” (September 26);
  • “Vaccine Unproven? No Problem in China, Where People Scramble for Shots” (November 17);
  • “Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Gets Key Push, but Doubts Swirl” (December 9);
  • “Turkey and Brazil Say Chinese Vaccine Effective, With Sparse Supporting Data” (December 25);
  • “China Has All It Needs to Vaccinate Millions, Except Any Approved Vaccines” (December 29);
  • “Disappointing Chinese Vaccine Results Pose Setback for Developing World” (January 13);
  • “China Wanted to Show Off Its Vaccines. It’s Backfiring” (January 25).

All of these were authored or co-authored by Wee, a journalist with no background in science or medicine, according to her bio on LinkedIn. And all relied on innuendos and conjecture to repeat the same overarching message.

The Washington Post has also denigrated what it sees as “China’s subpar shots,” with columnist Josh Rogin consistently pushing the dubious lab-leak hypothesis, even when other outlets were describing it as a baseless conspiracy theory.

 

Condemning vaccine skepticism at home, promoting it abroad

The New York Times has long condemned vaccine skepticism at home, castigating conservatives for their reluctance to get inoculated. Presenting the far-right as a direct threat to national security, in March the Times warned that “extremist organizations are now bashing the safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines in an effort to try to undermine the government.” “Mistrust of a coronavirus vaccine could imperil widespread immunity,” it worried in July 2020, adding that, “[b]illions are being poured into developing a shot, but the rapid timetable and President Trump’s cheerleading are creating a whole new group of vaccine-hesitant patients.”

Reuters, too, has presented itself as a pro-science organization, even running a fact checking department debunking rumors regarding vaccines. Yet an indication of how much care is taken over these can be gleaned from one fact check from June, which starts with the sentence “Refiling to correct typo in paragraph two and headline” — clearly a note from the writer to the editing team. For nearly a month it has stood uncorrected, suggesting that no one at the newswire read it, either before or after publishing.

Covid misinformation

A man receives one of 700,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by China in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 16, 2021. Rahmat Gul | AP

“It’s striking how similar the techniques [are] that Fox News uses to frighten people about the U.S. vaccination campaign and those that The New York Times, Reuters and others use to scare people about Chinese vaccines,” Jim Naureckas, editor of media watchdog organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, told MintPress. “It’s not hard to take advantage of laypeople’s unfamiliarity with probability to make little dangers seem big. In both cases, though, media outlets are putting people’s lives at risk for a political purpose — in effect conducting germ warfare through psychological warfare,” he added.

There is no need for such mistrust. Both Sinopharm and Sinovac are inactivated virus vaccines which use inactivated or killed viral particles that cannot replicate. This method is one of the oldest and most established techniques, used by Jonas Salk to create his famous polio vaccine. The method is still used to make modern Hepatitis A and flu shots. Sinopharm and Sinovac contain proteins that the body’s immune system responds to, stimulating the production of anti-COVID antibodies, preparing it to fight off any real infection later. The vaccines were designed to be more effective against more severe cases of COVID-19, with studies showing both inventions to be sufficiently capable of preventing symptomatic infection and particularly useful in preventing hospitalizations.

 

A familiar foe

China is not the only foreign source of vaccines towards which Western corporate media have displayed profound hostility; the Russian Sputnik V vaccine has also drawn considerable skepticism. Reuters has published a slew of articles highlighting the supposed shortcomings of Sputnik, including a news brief noting that Brazil had rejected the vaccine. Yet this was published over a month after a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report boasted that among its best achievements of 2020 was combatting the “malign influence” of Russia in the Western hemisphere by pressuring the Brazilian government to shun Sputnik. When this was picked up by Brasil Wire and other local media, it caused a national scandal.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which owns the rights to Sputnik, described Reuters as carrying out a disinformation campaign through “false and inaccurate” reporting that is full of anonymous sources from the Western pharmaceutical lobby groups. Worthy of note here is that Reuters was secretly funded by the British government during the Cold War to run anti-Soviet propaganda and that leaked documents show that this close relationship continues to the present day. The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working with the company on operations designed to “weaken Russia,” in their own words. That a similar deal regarding China could be in place is not out of the question.

The Washington Post has also displayed similar skepticism about vaccines coming from enemy countries. In an article entitled “The Russians and the Chinese are touting their vaccines. Should we trust them?” the newspaper allowed a scientist from rival vaccine maker Moderna to claim that we should take Russian and Chinese results “with two grains of salt,” seemingly confirming the RDIF’s accusations. The same Moderna source claimed that Russia would never allow its vaccine to be subject to an approval process by E.U. regulators, an assertion that was almost immediately disproven.

Like the Chinese vaccines, Sputnik’s effectiveness has been confirmed, with studies showing that it can boast a 92% efficiency rating.

Sputnik V: EU Sacrifices Its Citizens by the Thousands on the Altar of Anti-Russia Point-Scoring

 

Manufacturing a new enemy

The wave of skepticism over (foreign) vaccines is based not on science but rather on geopolitical considerations. In the last decade, China — and, to a lesser extent, Russia — have become the United States’ top international rivals. In 2011, the Obama administration began what it called the U.S.’ “pivot to Asia” — an attempt to encircle Beijing with military bases. Today, there are more than 400 ringing the People’s Republic.

The 2021 Pentagon budget makes clear that there will be a significant move away from the Middle East and a redeployment of resources to East Asia, which will become America’s “priority theater” in years to come. Another region of conflict will be the Arctic, where warming temperatures will open up valuable sea lanes for exploitation. Already, many in Washington are advocating for the occupation of Norway as a measure to counter a supposed Russian threat.

The constant fear-mongering in the press has had a significant effect: a recent poll found that American public opinion towards China and Russia has collapsed to below Cold War levels, with only 20% and 22% of the U.S. holding positive opinions about those countries, respectively.

This is a far cry from nine years ago, when the same polls showed that public opinion towards China was decidedly positive. And when Mitt Romney attempted to cast Russia as the United States’ number one geopolitical foe during the 2012 presidential debates, his Democratic opponents mocked him relentlessly. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back…the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Barack Obama quipped.

Today, there is little disagreement between the two parties as to who the United States’ two primary enemies are, and the rhetoric and sabre rattling continues to escalate. In February, the Atlantic Council — the semi-official think tank of NATO, staffed by senior military figures from NATO member states — published a 26,000-word report describing China as “the single most important challenge facing the United States” today. The report advised the U.S. to use the power of its military to draw a number of “red lines” around China, beyond which the U.S. would respond. This included essentially any Chinese or North Korean military action in the Asia-Pacific region, or any Chinese cyber attacks on the U.S. or its allies. Failure to do so, they advised President Biden, would result in “national humiliation.”

The report also laid out what a successful China policy would look like by 2050: “[T]he United States and its major allies continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all the major indices of power” and head of state Xi Jinping “has been replaced by a more moderate party leadership; and … the Chinese people themselves have come to question and challenge the Communist Party’s century-long proposition that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined to an authoritarian future.” In other words, that U.S. pressure had resulted in regime change in Beijing.

In May, political and military leaders from Western nations met at the Alliance of Democracies Summit, where one of the big talking points was establishing an “Asian NATO” to push back at what they saw as intolerable Chinese aggression in the region. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster endorsed the plan, describing the Chinese Communist Party as without a doubt the number one threat to democracy in the world.

But while China is not sailing its warships to the coasts of California or Maine, the opposite is happening on the other side of the globe. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the U.S. undertook a series of provocative military actions, surveying Chinese coastal defenses from the sea and the air. In July of last year, the U.S.S. Peralta came within 41 nautical miles from China’s maritime boundary. Meanwhile, American nuclear bombers have flown over Chinese ships near Hainan island.

US Military Planners Advise Expanded Online Psychological Warfare against China

 

Economic war

Alongside the military build up, the U.S. is also carrying out an economic war with its foes, attempting to curtail China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a huge economic development plan for Asia, Europe, Africa and Australasia. With a similar lack of success, the U.S. attempted to cajole Germany into abandoning the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, which will allow up to 110 billion m3 of Russian gas to be pumped into Germany (and much of Europe), forging a deeper economic codependence between the two countries. Both China and Russia are also under a considerable U.S. sanctions regime.

Other economic strong-arming has included the Trump administration attempting to force Chinese-owned social media company TikTok to sell itself to an American rival, trying to block the rollout of global 5G technology under Chinese company Huawei, and leaning on social media platforms to silence Chinese voices. Last year, a U.S.-government-funded think tank convinced Twitter to delete over 170,000 accounts sympathetic to the Chinese government on one day alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a convenient tool in ramping up anti-China sentiment among the American public, with both Trump and Biden using the virus’s apparent Chinese origins for political capital. Trump himself consistently referred to it as the “China virus” and, even more derisively, as the “Kung Flu.” Going further, Florida Senator Rick Scott claimed that every Chinese citizen is a Communist spy and should be treated as such. In such a climate, racist attacks on Asian-Americans have soared.

Russia has also been the target of a similar infowar, with Russian public broadcaster RT taken off the air in some U.S. markets, its staff forced to register as foreign agents under a 1938 law passed to counter Nazi propaganda. Both countries have also been accused of using heretofore unknown microwave weapons against American secret agents and diplomats.

“Unchallenged Orientalism”: Why Liberals Suddenly Love the Lab Leak Theory

 

Upside-down world

A number of articles in corporate media suggest that what they fear about the Chinese and Russian vaccines is not that they are ineffective, but that they are indeed effective, and will allow those countries to score diplomatic wins. “China and Russia are using coronavirus vaccines to expand their influence. The U.S. is on the sidelines,” ran one Washington Post headline. The New York Times seemed to agree: “Brazil Needs Vaccines. China Is Benefiting,” it wrote, worrying that Sinopharm and Sinovac are giving China “enormous leverage in pandemic-ravaged nations,” noting that Brazil has recently softened its hardline stance against Huawei’s 5G network, supposedly in response to help from China. The idea that the U.S. could counter this by using its enormous political and diplomatic power to waive intellectual property rights to vaccine production — meaning that it could be made freely all around the world — was not considered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep inequalities around the globe. In the United States and other rich nations that hoarded them, vaccines are plentiful and freely available to all. But they have been met with enormous skepticism from the public. A Morning Consult poll found that 30% of Americans are still skeptical of them or categorically refuse to be immunized. In what has become a partisan culture war, more than 97% of Americans recently hospitalized and 99.5% of those dying of COVID-19 are unvaccinated, according to the CDC and the Surgeon General.

Meanwhile, in the Global South, there is a huge desire to be vaccinated, but this is being blocked by U.S. actions. Western nations, who possess far more vaccines than they could ever use themselves, are refusing to waive intellectual property rights, preventing worldwide production. U.S. sanctions, too, are stopping Cuba from importing the raw material it needs to ramp up production of its domestically-produced COVID vaccines. The island also has a shortage of syringes, thanks to the U.S. blockade, meaning it cannot even fully vaccinate its own citizens.

While many Americans see the coronavirus as in the rear-view mirror, across the globe it is still raging, with more than 8,000 people dying daily and more than half a million testing positive, as the world enters a third wave of infections. Many countries have barely started vaccinating their populations, and reports suggest the world’s poor will have to wait until 2024 or longer to receive a shot. For instance, the Democratic Republic of the Congo — Africa’s third largest and second most populous country — has vaccinated only 0.09% of its citizens (fewer than 1 in 1,000).

Vaccines from other countries could help this acute shortage. Yet it is clear that many in Washington do not want this to happen. Corporate media have spent the last 18 months insisting that we “trust science” and condemning domestic conspiracy theories about the trustworthiness of vaccines. Yet when it comes to foreign vaccines, that belief in the scientific method is sacrificed on the altar of politics, putting people’s lives at risk to help advance America’s geopolitical goals.

The consistent message to the world in U.S. media has been “The Chinese (and Russian) vaccines are ineffective or dangerous. Do not take them.” Apart from being factually incorrect, for many in the Global South, Sinovac, Sinopharm or Sputnik are their only choice, meaning this message is endangering millions of people. Others have no access to vaccines whatsoever.

Likewise, domestic vaccine skepticism has been strongly condemned, with individuals and organizations removed from social media and even prevented from using platforms such as Patreon to support their work. But international vaccine skepticism is not only not censored, it is actively encouraged and boosted by many of our largest and most trusted news sources, who, in a feat of extraordinary irresponsibility, are actively putting people’s lives at risk to score political points.

Feature photo | A nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas. John Locher | AP

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

The post Corporate Media Joins the Anti-Vaxxers When It Comes to Chinese- and Russian-Made Vaccines appeared first on MintPress News.

Scum! London Lifeboatmen Abused Following Patel’s Demands about Channel Migrants

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 5:14am in

Really, what kind of people are the Tories turning us into? A week or so ago, Mike reported on his blog that our smirking, vile home secretary had demanded that the RNLI shouldn’t rescue the migrants trying to cross the Channel in dinghies and other flimsy, unseaworthy craft. The Lifeboats refused. Quite apart from their duty to rescue everyone at sea by reason of simple morality and humanitarianism, their patron is Her Maj and it’s written into their charter. Which means they’re answerable to the Queen, not the smug racist in Johnson’s cabinet. That’s supposed to refer to Patel, but I admit, it could also mean any one of them, including Johnson himself. Yesterday Mike reported that a lifeboat crew on the Thames in London had been abused. This looks like they did so from anger at the Lifeboats refusal to kowtow to Patel’s commands over the migrants. It’s disgusting. As the TV series following Britain’s and Ireland’s lifeboat service has amply shown, these are extremely courageous men and women risking their lives to save others often in conditions of appalling danger, in storms and raging seas. They’re also unpaid volunteers, so by anyone’s standards, they’re heroes.

Mike in his article about this revolting incident pointed out that the people hurling insults at the lifeboat crew would be very glad to be rescued by them if they met with an accident on the Thames and were going under for the third time. Quite. I also think that nearby ships are formally required by maritime law to rescue or give aid to ships in trouble. I don’t know, but if that’s true, then it means that the lifeboats have a legal duty to rescue migrants trying to cross the Channel, quite apart from their duty to the Queen and regardless of what Priti Patel has to say. Not that I think she has any respect at all for international law. She and the rest of her party of bandits have shown they have none whatsoever for British law and our unwritten constitution when it suits them.

But it’s the simple, callous rejection of any kind of humanitarian concern for the welfare of others that worries me. It shows that Patel wants to withhold aid from people in peril of their lives. In short, she is quite happy seeing the migrants drown rather than have them cross the Channel. Mike’s posted that the Tories are rapidly crossing from Fascism to Nazism, and I posted the other day about the similarities between their assault on democracy and the Nazi suspension of German civil liberties during their seizure of power. Patel’s call for the lifeboats to ignore the Channel migrants and the real threat of them drowning is well on the way to Nazi morality. It reminds me of the comment by Heinrich Class, the chairman of the Pan-German League, about his generations rejection of the liberalism of the 1848 generation of German radicals and nationalists. Their watchwords had been ‘patriotism, tolerance, humanity’. But the new generation of German nationalists utterly rejected their fathers’ and grandfathers’ values. Class said, ‘We youngsters had moved on; We were nationalist pure and simple. We wanted nothing to do with tolerance if it sheltered the enemies of the Volk and the state. Humanity n the sense of that liberal idea we spurned, for our Volk was bound to come off worse.’ In J. Noakes and G. Pridham, Nazism 1919-1946 1: The Rise to Power 1919-1934, 4. ‘Enemies of the Volk and the state’ – that seems very much to be the attitude of the Tories towards the Channel migrants. Hence Patel’s decision to house them in appalling conditions in what could be considered concentration camps.

The end result of the development of the extreme nationalism of ethno-nationalist groups like the Pan-German League and their rejection of the liberal values of tolerance and humanity was the Nazis and the horrors of the Third Reich – the internment and massacre of millions, including the disabled, Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and political prisoners, because simply by existing they were enemies of the Volk and the state.

Johnson, Patel and the rest of their vile crew haven’t yet destroyed British democracy and traditional British values, but they’re taking us in that direction. They have to be stopped before they take us further towards a similar viciously intolerance, murderous dictatorship.

Endless War Keeps The Middle East On The Floor

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 3:01pm in

Ross Ashcroft, met up with Magnier to get some independent insight into what the the latest American bombing campaign means for the wider region.

The post Endless War Keeps The Middle East On The Floor appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Endless War Keeps The Middle East On The Floor

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 3:01pm in

Ross Ashcroft, met up with Magnier to get some independent insight into what the the latest American bombing campaign means for the wider region.

The post Endless War Keeps The Middle East On The Floor appeared first on Renegade Inc.

Luke Harding’s Continued Employment Discredits All Western Media

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 10:29am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/5140dfc1ac9b74e76c728ce36190a59f/href

Collusion author Luke Harding continues to receive mainstream traction authoring stories which generate headlines in influential media outlets around the world promoting his theory that Trump conspired with the Kremlin, despite the fact that both he and his theory have been completely and utterly discredited many times over.

The Guardian has published an article co-authored by Harding on “what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents” which “suggest” that Russian officials had a conversation which delivers “apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on the future president.”

“The paper refers to ‘certain events’ that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow,” says Harding with his two co-authors. “Security council members are invited to find details in appendix five, at paragraph five, the document states. It is unclear what the appendix contains.”

“Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature,” the article reads, adding, “Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.”

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Note the highly qualified language, an ever-present phenomenon in the thinly sourced Russiagate stories we were inundated with throughout the entirety of Trump’s presidency: “suggest”, “assessed to be”, “apparent”, “appearing to”, “seem to”.

Also note how Harding and company do not know what’s in the appendix referenced which supposedly elaborates on their most incendiary claim.

Also note how “Western intelligence agencies” are the authoritative sources behind these claims.

Beyond this, the actual document provided by The Guardian has come under scrutiny for containing numerous linguistic errors unlikely to have been made by native Russian speakers.

Then there’s the little itty bitty problem that the president who the authors claim was beholden to the Kremlin via kompromat was indisputably far more hawkish toward Moscow than both the president who preceded him and the president who replaced him. If Kremlin intelligence did indeed compromise Trump with blackmail, a claim for which the Mueller investigation found no evidence, then it was a very poor investment indeed as it clearly had no impact on US foreign policy.

But the most damning evidence of all against this claim is the fact that serial fabulist Luke Harding had anything to do with it.

This is after all the same reporter who authored The Guardian’s notorious 2018 claim that Trump crony Paul Manafort had meetings with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, an evidence-free claim that was clearly false from the moment it was published and discredited even further by the fact that the Mueller investigation found no evidence for it. The same author who was involved in publishing a WikiLeaks password which led to unredacted documents becoming public. The same author who was humiliatingly incapable of substantiating his allegations of Trump-Russia collusion when he finally encountered an interviewer who challenged him to defend the titular claim in his book, Collusion.

https://medium.com/media/c3b9f1ad4f4390376c9a08fed021137d/href

Luke Harding should not be able to find employment anywhere more influential than the far side of a cashier’s counter, yet here he is still getting his ridiculous stories published by one of the most influential news media outlets in the English-speaking world.

Given legitimacy by The Guardian’s publication, other western media are picking up this transparently bogus story and hyping it through the roof, from the Daily Beast headline “Reported Kremlin Leak Appears to Confirm Existence of Trump ‘Kompromat’” to the Forbes headline “Trump Kompromat Claimed: Kremlin Documents Reportedly Show Putin Conspiring For Billionaire” to the Raw Story headline “‘The pee tape is real’: Critics claim Kremlin leak confirms ‘every awful thing said about Trump ends up being absolutely true’”.

These articles will generate plenty of clicks, and they will make sure mainstream liberals maintain their virulent hatred of Russia. What they will not do is help anyone form a truth-based worldview.

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If you needed any more proof that western media does not exist to tell you the truth about the world, there you go. The news in our society exists not to create an informed populace but to preserve partisan worldviews which protect the interests of the imperialist oligarchic class.

____________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Mr H Reviews Russian Horror Movie ‘Superdeep’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/07/2021 - 4:20am in

Mr H is a Youtuber who reviews mainly Science Fiction and Horror movies. In the video below, he gives a good review to Superdeep, a Russian creature feature very much in the same gory vein as John Carpenter’s classic The Thing. Spoilers: The movie is about a group of scientists and explorers who go down Russia’s deepest borehole, where they encounter a type of fungus that infects its victims, turning them into vegetable monsters. Mr H was impressed with the quality. It has excellent special effects, and was made on the incredibly low budget of $4 million. Pacing, he says, is a problem and there were moments when the film sagged. But it had been given a budget of $8 million, he feels it could have easily held its own with the big budget contemporary American films. He especially gets irritated with the flicks that are made for $200 million, but the green screen effects are still sloppy and obvious. And he’s particularly enthusiastic about this flick as its return to the old style, mechanical, physical effects of rubber monsters and models, rather than CGI.

I’ve got a couple of Russian movies here on DVD. One is First in Space, about Yuri Gagarin’s historic manned spaceflight, the other is Guardians, a superhero movie about a team of men and women given special powers by a secret KGB project launched by Stalin. Scattered across the Russian federation, Georgia and the Central Asian republics, the team must come together to stop the evil villain from taking over Russia and the world. The special effects in both movies are excellent, while Guardians has all the tropes of the superhero movie, including secret, immoral government projects. The only difference with western, American superhero flicks is that it’s set in Russia, and so the heroes’ final showdown with the villain is in Moscow, natch, rather than New York or Los Angeles. I can very well believe that the SFX in Superdeep are similarly well done.

I also like the fact that this film uses practical SFX. I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, before the rise of CGI, and was fascinated by the skills of the model makers and make-up artists. Artists like Rob Bottin and Rick Baker really expanded the boundaries of what could be done using latex and their work on films like The Howling and The Thing is still very much admired. In recent years there has been a revival of interest in practical effects in films like Harbinger One, which made it very clear that it was inspired by The Thing and Alien. One of the complaints a number of people have made about CGI is that, no matter how well it’s done, it doesn’t have the convincing presence real, physical effects. This is a film I’d actually like to see, but unfortunately it’s on one of the streaming channels, like Netflix, and I don’t want to subscribe just for one movie.

Andrew Bacevich: America on the Downhill Slope

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/06/2021 - 4:52pm in

Musing on how America wound up where it is.

The Almaz – The Soviet Union’s Armed Spy Space Station

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/06/2021 - 9:17pm in

This is another fascinating little video from the military historian Mark Felton. I’ve put up a couple of his videos demolishing the stories about Nazi UFOs and space/time travel. But some real aerospace and military technology comes very close to Science Fiction. In this video, he talks about the Almaz armed spy stations launched by the Soviet Union in the 1970s. They were manned spacecraft, designed to photograph NATO military targets during the tense days of the Cold War. They were launched under the cover of a civilian space programme, Salyut. And to protect them from western attack, each station was armed with a rapid fire aircraft gun. It’s an idea close to the Bond film, Moonraker, in which Bond tackles Hugo Drax and his minions aboard their own space station.

The Almaz, ‘Diamond’, stations consisted of three sections. There was the main, piloted station module, a cargo section for resupply, and a launch and return craft. The stations were launched using a Proton rocket, and carried a two-three man crew, in space for 20 to 30 days before returning to Earth and being replaced by the next crew. They were armed with 25 mm Rikhtor guns, a modified version of the tail canon used on the Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder Russian bomber. The Russians were afraid that vibrations from the canon might damage the spacecraft, and so arranged a test firing. Salyut 3 (Almaz 2) was due to come to the end of its life in July 1974, and so was selected as a suitable test vehicle. After the last crew left on the 19th of that month, the station was remotely operated so that it targeted and shot down a defunct Soviet satellite. The Almaz station, the satellite, and the spent rounds were all burned up when they re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere afterwards. To date, Russia is the only country that has fired a weapon in space, but this may change.

I remember the Salyut space programme. It was always presented as just civilian research into living in space, and people were impressed by the lengths of time the Russians were able successfully to keep crews in orbit. However, these achievements were never as spectacular or interesting as the Moon landings. Now it’s been revealed that they were military spy missions, a fact that has almost certainly been revealed as a consequence of the Fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War.

It’s not just with the Bond film Moonraker that the Almaz stations have a similarity. In Kubrick’s and Clarke’s classic SF film, 2001, the world is on the brink of a nuclear war. After the first section, which shows a group of primitive hominids being led to intelligence by the black monolith on the prehistoric Earth, the film cuts to space, showing various satellites gliding in orbit while the Orion space shuttle makes it complex maneuvres to dock with the wheel-like space station. Although their purpose isn’t obvious, as Kubrick didn’t want people to think his film was repeating the themes of his Cold War nuclear satire, Dr Strangelove, these satellites are actually orbiting nuclear weapons platforms. Real killer satellites like them, but using ‘pop-up’ lasers to destroy nuclear missiles, were designed as part of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative, or ‘Star Wars’ programme. There have been a number of books written about possible future wars in space, such as The Shape of Wars to Come, and a year or so ago former president Donald Trump called for the creation of an American space force. Which I think has provided the subject matter for a comedy on Netflix or one of the other streaming channels.

The arming of the Almaz stations shows how terrifyingly close the threat of war in space is to reality. I hope that for the sake of the world we manage to halt the militarisation of space and keep space exploration and, hopefully, colonisation, peaceful. Although this may be difficult given rising tensions between the West, Russia and China.

UFO Report Provides No New Information But Plenty Of Fodder For Cold Warrior Policymakers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/06/2021 - 10:12am in

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released its hotly anticipated UFO report, which at nine pages in length with no new information is about as spectacular a letdown for UFO enthusiasts as you could possibly get. It does however contain multiple lines which will likely be useful for cold warrior policymakers going forward, just as we forecast earlier.

In summary:

  • The ODNI says there do appear to be unidentified objects in US airspace behaving in ways the government can’t yet explain.
  • No direct mention is made of the possibility that these objects could be extraterrestrial in origin.
  • Direct mention is made of the possibility that UFOs could be highly advanced Russian or Chinese technology.
  • UFOs “pose a hazard to safety of flight” and could be a national security threat.

Those last two points are the only ones which US policymakers of any significance are going to pay attention to.

“UAP [Unidentified Aerial Phenomena] clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security,” the report says. “Safety concerns primarily center on aviators contending with an increasingly cluttered air domain. UAP would also represent a national security challenge if they are foreign adversary collection platforms or provide evidence a potential adversary has developed either a breakthrough or disruptive technology.”

“UAP pose a hazard to safety of flight and could pose a broader danger if some instances represent sophisticated collection against U.S. military activities by a foreign government or demonstrate a breakthrough aerospace technology by a potential adversary,” the report adds.

“Some UAP may be technologies deployed by China, Russia, another nation, or a non-governmental entity,” it also says.

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While the authors of the report also say they “currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary,” the fact that Russia or China magically leapfrogging US technology by centuries seventy years ago has been validated as a possibility by the report is a gift to cold warriors eager to ramp up aggressions and inflame a high-budget arms race against those nations.

Among those cold warriors is Senator Marco Rubio, one of the handful of individuals behind this strange new UFO narrative’s entry into mainstream attention. Rubio released the following statement shortly before the report was published:

“For years, the men and women we trust to defend our country reported encounters with unidentified aircraft that had superior capabilities, and for years their concerns were often ignored and ridiculed. This report is an important first step in cataloging these incidents, but it is just a first step. The Defense Department and Intelligence Community have a lot of work to do before we can actually understand whether these aerial threats present a serious national security concern.”

As I’ve been saying repeatedly, the odds of this new UFO narrative entering mainstream consciousness courtesy of the Pentagon, military/intelligence operatives, and corrupt warmongering politicians at the same moment the US begins implementing a new cold war against Russia and China is far too convenient for mere coincidence to be a likely explanation. We can expect to see the hawkish agendas of warmongers like Marco Rubio further advanced by this new UFO narrative going forward.

_________________________

Sorry for no audio on this one; we’re out of town today.

The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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