• Employee Sues Hospital That Fired Her for Reporting COVID Vaccine Injuries to VAERS
    A physician’s assistant is suing a New York hospital system, alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to complete mandatory reporting to VAERS of injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

    deborah conrad, covid vaccines, vaers logo on tablet
    COVID

    by Brenda Baletti, Ph.D.
    May 22, 2024

    deborah conrad, covid vaccines, vaers logo on tablet
    A physician’s assistant is suing a New York hospital system, alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to complete mandatory reporting of injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

    Deborah Conrad worked at United Memorial Medical Center, part of Rochester Regional Health (RRH), until October 2021, when she said she was fired for reporting vaccine-related adverse events.

    Conrad filed the lawsuit in May 2023, but the complaint wasn’t unsealed and made publicly available until February, TrialSiteNews reported last week.

    She is seeking job reinstatement and back pay for herself and civil penalties on behalf of the U.S. government.

    Most importantly, Conrad told The Defender, she hopes the lawsuit will lead to changes in how vaccine adverse events are reported.

    “How can anybody trust the vaccine program when medical professionals are not adhering to the reporting requirements of the one system we have in place that is meant to assure us that these things are safe?” she asked.

    “I want policy change. I don’t care about the money, the vindication. I want to be able to trust the health system,” Conrad said.

    Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government against an entity they allege profited from taxpayer funds by defrauding the government.

    False Claims Act cases are initially sealed while the government investigates the cases and determines whether it will intervene and take the case on itself, or allow the whistleblower to proceed with the action.

    The government decided not to intervene in the case. It is now unsealed and moving forward with Conrad as the “relator,” who gives evidence to the court on behalf of the U.S. government.

    She told The Defender the evidence she is submitting to the court is substantial — she meticulously saved every email, patient file and recorded conversations with supervisors and other hospital staff.

    United Memorial Medical Center, like all institutions in the U.S. that administered the COVID-19 vaccines, signed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, according to the complaint.

    Hand in glove holding vaccine
    The Vaccine Safety Project

    Learn More

    The agreement stipulated that organizations providing the shots and received compensation for doing so from the federal government were required to “report moderate and adverse events following vaccination” to VAERS.

    By not doing so, Warner Mendenhall, the attorney representing Conrad, told The Defender, they were out of compliance with the agreement. And, he added, the agreement clearly stipulates that non-compliance violates the False Claims Act.

    The hospital not only failed to report cases, it blocked Conrad from submitting approximately 170 reports of serious adverse events to VAERS between May 27 and Oct. 6, 2021, Conrad said.

    The hospital system also failed to report over 12,000 adverse events, the complaint alleges.

    Mendenhall said they estimated that number based on the number of people vaccinated at one of the healthcare facilities or another nearby clinic who then presented at the hospital for treatment for an injury that was likely linked to the vaccine.

    The complaint contains several examples of such cases.

    On behalf of the U.S., Conrad is seeking damages that fall into what Mendenhall described as “three buckets.”

    First, he said, each entity was paid an administrative fee — approximately $40 — for each injection. The suit seeks a refund of that money to the government for the thousands of shots administered.

    Next, for every failure to report, there is a mandatory penalty of at least $20,000. For 12,000 cases, that would total more than $240,000,000.

    Finally, the “third bucket” of damages would be the cost of the treatment that people had to pay for their vaccine injuries. By failing to meet their obligations as a vaccine provider, he said the hospital failed to provide people with the proper necessary treatment they ought to be entitled to and those costs should be reimbursed.

    If Conrad prevails in court, the hospital will go bankrupt — but that isn’t the intent, Mendenhall said.

    “We don’t want to bankrupt community hospitals,” he said. “That’s not what we are about. We want them to do their job, to do what they are supposed to do and file the reports,” he said. “And we want Deb Conrad rehired to run the program.”

    Conrad is suing only one hospital system, but there are roughly 2,800 systems in the country, Mendenhall said. “As far as I know, not a single one of them met their obligations under the vaccination program participation agreement. And they all signed it.”

    The False Claims Act, “is a way for us as a people, if we want to hold these providers accountable for their wrongdoing, we actually can do it,” Mendenhall told Trial Site News. “There’s a very clear pathway here. It’s outlined here, and they all agreed to it.”

    Ray Flores, senior outside counsel for Children’s Health Defense, told The Defender the case represented a “bold effort to hold those who allegedly defrauded the people of the United States accountable.”

    In detailing the ways the hospital precluded providers from reporting to VAERS, “the allegations in the complaint solve part of the mystery of why only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported,” he said.

    Mendenhall also represents Pfizer whistleblower Brook Jackson, who sued the drugmaker under the False Claims Act.

    Do you have a news tip? We want to hear from you!

    Contact Us

    Conrad: ‘I kept getting gaslit and made fun of and told I was crazy’

    When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Conrad had been a physician assistant for nearly 20 years. She spent most of that time as a hospitalist, working in inpatient medicine and the intensive care unit in the same hospital.

    At United Memorial, she was director of Advanced Practice Providers, sat on the medical executive board, saw patients and was the first non-physician to receive the Physician Excellence award.

    When the COVID-19 vaccine came out, her whole life changed, Conrad said. As she had done throughout her career, she reported to the hospital the safety issues and new trends in illness that she was seeing, such as elderly vaccinated people hospitalized for COVID-19 or young people with blood clots.

    In researching whether providers in other places were witnessing the same issues, Conrad discovered VAERS — which she said she and her colleagues had never been told about, despite claims later made by the hospital — and began reporting cases.

    She volunteered to take on this reporting role for the hospital, reporting all of the adverse events that came into the facility.

    As the number of adverse events grew, the reporting became too onerous, so Conrad asked the hospital to develop a plan to efficiently complete the reports, to protect patients and to remain in compliance.

    Instead, the hospital informed her it would be auditing her work.

    The hospital accused Conrad of over-reporting and being “antivaxxy.” This was a problem, the hospital informed her in an email included in the complaint, because “we are very much advocating for patients to receive the vaccine.”

    She was forbidden from filing reports for any patient she was not directly caring for, even though her leadership role meant she oversaw all patients, Conrad said.

    If she had other concerns, they said she could register them in the hospital’s internal email system, “Safe Connect,” which she did. However, those reports weren’t going anywhere.

    Concerned the events weren’t being reported and that the hospital was out of compliance with the agreement it had signed, Conrad began reaching out to the CDC, the FDA, the New York State Department of Health and the hospital accreditation board.

    Rather than receiving support, Conrad said:

    “I kept getting gaslit and made fun of and told I was crazy.

    “Then I got called into a meeting and they threatened to report me to the state for spreading misinformation, saying that basically doing VAERS reports and talking to patients about their potential side effects is misinformation, and that I was spreading vaccine hesitancy, and that’s not allowed.

    “And they said if it continued they were going to report me to have basically my license taken away. Wow. So at that point, I knew I was in real trouble.”

    She contacted a lawyer and went public with her experience on The Highwire and in The New York Times. She also started a GoFundMe campaign, anticipating her possible firing.

    The hospital threatened to report her to the New York State Society of Physician Assistants for spreading vaccine misinformation. Just a few months earlier, the same organization had nominated Conrad for a seat on the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

    In what Conrad called “direct retaliation,” on Oct. 6, 2021, she was publicly surrounded at her workstation by human resources staff and escorted to a room where she was interrogated about her public comments.

    “They basically told me, are you going to leave quietly or are we going to walk you out?” she said.

    Conrad said the firing was very public and humiliating, which she thought was meant to scare others. “As a result of me being publicly fired, it’s my understanding that now no one [at the hospital] is reporting to VAERS,” she said.

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    The Defender is 100% reader-supported. No corporate sponsors. No paywalls. Our writers and editors rely on you to fund stories like this that mainstream media won’t write.

    Please Donate Today

    Providers aren’t trained to use VAERS

    The VAERS system is the primary public reporting system for flagging vaccine safety issues. For members of the public, it’s a voluntary system. However, healthcare professionals are required to report certain events.

    Yet, Conrad said, she never learned about VAERS in her medical training and the hospital never offered training for the system. She said they never mentioned the system to staff until she complained publicly.

    “We come out of school knowing every side effect for every drug known to man, because they have no liability shield, but we are never taught there could be anything wrong with vaccines,” she said.

    “We didn’t even know there’s a reporting system. Why is that? Why do we have a liability shield for vaccines if they’re so safe? Why would we need it when we don’t have it for drugs that we know are not always safe? None of it makes sense,” she added.

    Conrad said this “flawed” and “fraudulent” system is responsible for the rise in “vaccine hesitancy.” “They blame people like me for this hesitancy,” she said, “but they are the ones who created the issue by not enforcing” safety and injury reporting.

    Instead, she said, the public health agencies normalized previously unthinkable ideas, such as it’s normal for vaccines to make people sick, or that reused cloth masks would protect from infectious disease and much more.

    Healthcare is about safety, she said. “First, do no harm. That’s the oath I took when I graduated. But they’re using the doctors to harm patients unknowingly and not teaching them about the safety mechanisms we put in place.”

    Conrad said she hopes the lawsuit will help change that. Now that it is unsealed, she said, “We’re able to go back out there and start talking about things because the public cannot forget. We cannot forget what has been done. Otherwise it’ll happen again.”

    Mendenhall said he expects a response from the hospital system next week. He predicts they will submit a motion to dismiss, which he intends to contest.

    “This is the first case of its kind,” he said. “I predict we will succeed in defending any motion to dismiss because Deb did such a good job with the evidence and her story is very compelling.”


    Employee Sues Hospital That Fired Her for Reporting COVID Vaccine Injuries to VAERS • Children's Health Defense

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/deborah-conrad-sues-hospital-fired-reporting-covid-vaccine-injuries-vaers/
    Employee Sues Hospital That Fired Her for Reporting COVID Vaccine Injuries to VAERS A physician’s assistant is suing a New York hospital system, alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to complete mandatory reporting to VAERS of injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. deborah conrad, covid vaccines, vaers logo on tablet COVID by Brenda Baletti, Ph.D. May 22, 2024 deborah conrad, covid vaccines, vaers logo on tablet A physician’s assistant is suing a New York hospital system, alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to complete mandatory reporting of injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Deborah Conrad worked at United Memorial Medical Center, part of Rochester Regional Health (RRH), until October 2021, when she said she was fired for reporting vaccine-related adverse events. Conrad filed the lawsuit in May 2023, but the complaint wasn’t unsealed and made publicly available until February, TrialSiteNews reported last week. She is seeking job reinstatement and back pay for herself and civil penalties on behalf of the U.S. government. Most importantly, Conrad told The Defender, she hopes the lawsuit will lead to changes in how vaccine adverse events are reported. “How can anybody trust the vaccine program when medical professionals are not adhering to the reporting requirements of the one system we have in place that is meant to assure us that these things are safe?” she asked. “I want policy change. I don’t care about the money, the vindication. I want to be able to trust the health system,” Conrad said. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers can file a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government against an entity they allege profited from taxpayer funds by defrauding the government. False Claims Act cases are initially sealed while the government investigates the cases and determines whether it will intervene and take the case on itself, or allow the whistleblower to proceed with the action. The government decided not to intervene in the case. It is now unsealed and moving forward with Conrad as the “relator,” who gives evidence to the court on behalf of the U.S. government. She told The Defender the evidence she is submitting to the court is substantial — she meticulously saved every email, patient file and recorded conversations with supervisors and other hospital staff. United Memorial Medical Center, like all institutions in the U.S. that administered the COVID-19 vaccines, signed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement, according to the complaint. Hand in glove holding vaccine The Vaccine Safety Project Learn More The agreement stipulated that organizations providing the shots and received compensation for doing so from the federal government were required to “report moderate and adverse events following vaccination” to VAERS. By not doing so, Warner Mendenhall, the attorney representing Conrad, told The Defender, they were out of compliance with the agreement. And, he added, the agreement clearly stipulates that non-compliance violates the False Claims Act. The hospital not only failed to report cases, it blocked Conrad from submitting approximately 170 reports of serious adverse events to VAERS between May 27 and Oct. 6, 2021, Conrad said. The hospital system also failed to report over 12,000 adverse events, the complaint alleges. Mendenhall said they estimated that number based on the number of people vaccinated at one of the healthcare facilities or another nearby clinic who then presented at the hospital for treatment for an injury that was likely linked to the vaccine. The complaint contains several examples of such cases. On behalf of the U.S., Conrad is seeking damages that fall into what Mendenhall described as “three buckets.” First, he said, each entity was paid an administrative fee — approximately $40 — for each injection. The suit seeks a refund of that money to the government for the thousands of shots administered. Next, for every failure to report, there is a mandatory penalty of at least $20,000. For 12,000 cases, that would total more than $240,000,000. Finally, the “third bucket” of damages would be the cost of the treatment that people had to pay for their vaccine injuries. By failing to meet their obligations as a vaccine provider, he said the hospital failed to provide people with the proper necessary treatment they ought to be entitled to and those costs should be reimbursed. If Conrad prevails in court, the hospital will go bankrupt — but that isn’t the intent, Mendenhall said. “We don’t want to bankrupt community hospitals,” he said. “That’s not what we are about. We want them to do their job, to do what they are supposed to do and file the reports,” he said. “And we want Deb Conrad rehired to run the program.” Conrad is suing only one hospital system, but there are roughly 2,800 systems in the country, Mendenhall said. “As far as I know, not a single one of them met their obligations under the vaccination program participation agreement. And they all signed it.” The False Claims Act, “is a way for us as a people, if we want to hold these providers accountable for their wrongdoing, we actually can do it,” Mendenhall told Trial Site News. “There’s a very clear pathway here. It’s outlined here, and they all agreed to it.” Ray Flores, senior outside counsel for Children’s Health Defense, told The Defender the case represented a “bold effort to hold those who allegedly defrauded the people of the United States accountable.” In detailing the ways the hospital precluded providers from reporting to VAERS, “the allegations in the complaint solve part of the mystery of why only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported,” he said. Mendenhall also represents Pfizer whistleblower Brook Jackson, who sued the drugmaker under the False Claims Act. Do you have a news tip? We want to hear from you! Contact Us Conrad: ‘I kept getting gaslit and made fun of and told I was crazy’ When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Conrad had been a physician assistant for nearly 20 years. She spent most of that time as a hospitalist, working in inpatient medicine and the intensive care unit in the same hospital. At United Memorial, she was director of Advanced Practice Providers, sat on the medical executive board, saw patients and was the first non-physician to receive the Physician Excellence award. When the COVID-19 vaccine came out, her whole life changed, Conrad said. As she had done throughout her career, she reported to the hospital the safety issues and new trends in illness that she was seeing, such as elderly vaccinated people hospitalized for COVID-19 or young people with blood clots. In researching whether providers in other places were witnessing the same issues, Conrad discovered VAERS — which she said she and her colleagues had never been told about, despite claims later made by the hospital — and began reporting cases. She volunteered to take on this reporting role for the hospital, reporting all of the adverse events that came into the facility. As the number of adverse events grew, the reporting became too onerous, so Conrad asked the hospital to develop a plan to efficiently complete the reports, to protect patients and to remain in compliance. Instead, the hospital informed her it would be auditing her work. The hospital accused Conrad of over-reporting and being “antivaxxy.” This was a problem, the hospital informed her in an email included in the complaint, because “we are very much advocating for patients to receive the vaccine.” She was forbidden from filing reports for any patient she was not directly caring for, even though her leadership role meant she oversaw all patients, Conrad said. If she had other concerns, they said she could register them in the hospital’s internal email system, “Safe Connect,” which she did. However, those reports weren’t going anywhere. Concerned the events weren’t being reported and that the hospital was out of compliance with the agreement it had signed, Conrad began reaching out to the CDC, the FDA, the New York State Department of Health and the hospital accreditation board. Rather than receiving support, Conrad said: “I kept getting gaslit and made fun of and told I was crazy. “Then I got called into a meeting and they threatened to report me to the state for spreading misinformation, saying that basically doing VAERS reports and talking to patients about their potential side effects is misinformation, and that I was spreading vaccine hesitancy, and that’s not allowed. “And they said if it continued they were going to report me to have basically my license taken away. Wow. So at that point, I knew I was in real trouble.” She contacted a lawyer and went public with her experience on The Highwire and in The New York Times. She also started a GoFundMe campaign, anticipating her possible firing. The hospital threatened to report her to the New York State Society of Physician Assistants for spreading vaccine misinformation. Just a few months earlier, the same organization had nominated Conrad for a seat on the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct. In what Conrad called “direct retaliation,” on Oct. 6, 2021, she was publicly surrounded at her workstation by human resources staff and escorted to a room where she was interrogated about her public comments. “They basically told me, are you going to leave quietly or are we going to walk you out?” she said. Conrad said the firing was very public and humiliating, which she thought was meant to scare others. “As a result of me being publicly fired, it’s my understanding that now no one [at the hospital] is reporting to VAERS,” she said. This article was funded by critical thinkers like you. The Defender is 100% reader-supported. No corporate sponsors. No paywalls. Our writers and editors rely on you to fund stories like this that mainstream media won’t write. Please Donate Today Providers aren’t trained to use VAERS The VAERS system is the primary public reporting system for flagging vaccine safety issues. For members of the public, it’s a voluntary system. However, healthcare professionals are required to report certain events. Yet, Conrad said, she never learned about VAERS in her medical training and the hospital never offered training for the system. She said they never mentioned the system to staff until she complained publicly. “We come out of school knowing every side effect for every drug known to man, because they have no liability shield, but we are never taught there could be anything wrong with vaccines,” she said. “We didn’t even know there’s a reporting system. Why is that? Why do we have a liability shield for vaccines if they’re so safe? Why would we need it when we don’t have it for drugs that we know are not always safe? None of it makes sense,” she added. Conrad said this “flawed” and “fraudulent” system is responsible for the rise in “vaccine hesitancy.” “They blame people like me for this hesitancy,” she said, “but they are the ones who created the issue by not enforcing” safety and injury reporting. Instead, she said, the public health agencies normalized previously unthinkable ideas, such as it’s normal for vaccines to make people sick, or that reused cloth masks would protect from infectious disease and much more. Healthcare is about safety, she said. “First, do no harm. That’s the oath I took when I graduated. But they’re using the doctors to harm patients unknowingly and not teaching them about the safety mechanisms we put in place.” Conrad said she hopes the lawsuit will help change that. Now that it is unsealed, she said, “We’re able to go back out there and start talking about things because the public cannot forget. We cannot forget what has been done. Otherwise it’ll happen again.” Mendenhall said he expects a response from the hospital system next week. He predicts they will submit a motion to dismiss, which he intends to contest. “This is the first case of its kind,” he said. “I predict we will succeed in defending any motion to dismiss because Deb did such a good job with the evidence and her story is very compelling.” Employee Sues Hospital That Fired Her for Reporting COVID Vaccine Injuries to VAERS • Children's Health Defense https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/deborah-conrad-sues-hospital-fired-reporting-covid-vaccine-injuries-vaers/
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    Employee Sues Hospital That Fired Her for Reporting COVID Vaccine Injuries to VAERS
    A physician’s assistant is suing a New York hospital system, alleging it violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to complete mandatory reporting to VAERS of injuries associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
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  • When Israel Bombed AP’s Gaza Office

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    ***

    Wednesday was Nakba Day—the day commemorating the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians with the creation of Israel, in 1948—but there was another anniversary worth remembering. The day a foreign country bombed the offices of a major U.S. press outlet, accusing it, without evidence, of harboring terrorists. And a significant portion of the US media spun the story to support the foreign country.

    On May 15, 2021, as part of its “Operation Guardian of the Walls” military campaign in Gaza, Israel bombed the Associated Press offices’ building, based on the still evidence-free claim that the AP headquarters “housed Hamas”. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the week prior, IDF bombed two other office buildings that “housed more than a dozen international and local media outlets.”



    Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) gave the tenants of the al-Jalaa Building in Gaza—which included AP, other news agencies including Al-Jazeera, and residential homes—a stern warning. IDF informed them they had one hour to evacuate their homes before the building would be bombed by Israeli missiles. Sixty minutes and three Israeli missiles later, the 12-story building was leveled to the ground.

    The IDF posted a short vague statement that provided no evidence for their claim the building was being used by terrorists but made sure to repeat the term “Hamas terror organization” four times, in just four sentences—five times if you count “Hamas military intelligence” in the headline.



    The AP’s CEO at the time, Gary Pruitt, said the news agency had been in the building for 15 years and “we have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building.”

    So could Israel have been lying? Well, retired US Army colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson seems to think so.



    Let me let me preface these remarks with I never, never, ever believe Israeli figures. I’ve been in the government too long to know that the Israelis are patent liars in their intelligence community, in their propaganda community, certainly, and in their leadership. They are inveterate liars. Let me say that again. They are liars. So you can’t believe anything that comes out of Jerusalem. It’s all propaganda.

    The fact that Israel lied to the international press just one week prior about a fake ground invasion, to trick Hamas into giving up their positions, doesn’t help Israel’s case. On the contrary, it clearly shows that Israel puts military victory over truth, and has no respect for the press.



    Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus claimed that “Hamas used the building for a military intelligence office and weapons development” but “could not provide evidence” to back up the claims without “compromising” intelligence efforts.

    This “trust me I have the evidence” bullshit is reminiscent of the false narrative that fueled the 2003 Iraq War and the more recent Trump/Russia hoax. Such a pathetic cover story is enough to make most conservatives cringe but ultimately, many conservatives were tricked into celebrating anti-American terrorism—the bombing of civilian infrastructure that housed an American news outlet.

    A pro-Israel disinformation campaign, attempting to justify the bombing, began at the Washington Free Beacon before spreading across conservative media. The Republican-aligned Beacon has a history of lying and smear campaigns. It was founded by Bil Kristol, famous for helping the Bush admin lie America into the disastrous Iraq War. It went on to fund the Fusion GPS anti-Trump research that would later, under Democrat tutelage, hire Christopher Steele, a crucial source of the Trump/Russia investigation hoax, and more recently, the Beacon reported the Jewish girl “Stabbed in the Eye” hoax as fact.

    On the same day of the AP building bombing, the Beacon published an “exclusive” to defend IDF’s missile attack on the American press in Gaza. It cited two sources: (1) a Twitter post of Beacon contributor Noah Pollak, and (2) an old article published seven years prior in 2014 by Matti Friedman, a former AP reporter, and former IDF soldier.

    Pollack’s Twitter post cited an anonymous source he described as, “a well-placed friend in the IDF,” claiming that the AP office building “contained multiple Hamas operations & offices including weapons manufacturing and military intelligence,” adding that, “The building also housed an Islamic Jihad office. And AP’s local reporters knew about it.”



    “This info will come out soon,” he said.



    Yes, that’s right. He said, “This info will come out soon.” Over three years later now, “this info” supporting his claims still hasn’t come out.

    That alone is enough to completely discredit Pollak. But he’d already proven himself uncredible. He ran the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) (another “clown show” created by Kristol) which even the President of the Anti-Defanation League—not exactly an anti-Israel organization—called “misleading, distorted, inaccurate”. He was also caught leading an astroturfed pro-Israel counterprotest on a college campus. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)

    Nevertheless, Pollak’s completely unsubstantiated claims were published immediately by the usual suspects—Fox News, Newsmax, New York Post, etc. The Republican party-aligned outlets also followed the Beacon’s lead, citing its second source, Friedman’s 2014 article.

    Like Pollak, Friedman also had a “well-placed friend” who “suggests there were indeed Hamas offices” in the AP building.




    Oh boy, another anonymous “friend”! Despite sounding so sure of his “intimately familiar with military decision-making” friend’s secret information, Friedman also wrote on Twitter that “Contrary to what I’ve seen attributed to me today, I didn’t write [in 2014] that Hamas operated out of the same building, and don’t know if that’s true”.




    The media citing Friedman typically omitted this. And I couldn’t help but notice that the media sharing his 2014 piece in The Atlantic accusing the AP of bias, and the piece itself failed to mention his own bias—his years of service in the IDF, and his “slightly rosier view of the IDF”, according to The Times of Israel.

    Now pause for just a moment to ponder how insane it is—even if all of Friedman’s disputed 2014 claims were true—to rely on an article written in 2014 by an IDF vet, who worked at AP in 2006-2011, to justify the IDF bombing Associated Press in 2021, for which the IDF itself provided no evidence to justify.

    This is the following 2014 excerpt that made the media rounds after the 2021 bombing:

    “The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)”

    AP’s Director of Media Relations Paul Colford said Friedman’s story was “filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies”, arguing that Israel challenged the AP with as many dangerous obstacles as Hamas and that AP covered both sides of the conflict.

    [Friedman’s] arguments have been filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies…

    Like other media covering this story, we dealt with numerous obstacles, including Hamas intimidation, Israeli military censorship, anti-media incitement on both sides of the border, Hamas rocket fire and intense Israeli airstrikes that made it dangerous and difficult to get around Gaza during the fighting.

    Courageous AP staffers worked around the clock in Gaza, often at the risk of great personal harm. Intense Israeli airstrikes literally shook the high-rise building housing the AP’s office. Two AP employees were ultimately killed in Gaza, and a third critically wounded and maimed. Our body of work included images and stories about Hamas rocket fire from civilian areas, the suffering of the residents of southern Israel living under the threat of rocket, mortar and tunnel-based attacks, Hamas’ summary executions of suspected collaborators, the fears of Gazans to criticize the group, Hamas’ use of civilian areas for cover and the devastation wreaked on Gazan civilians by Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks.

    Colford confirmed that armed militants entered AP’s offices in the early days of the 2008-2009 Gaza War to intimidate AP but said that AP did not give in to the intimidation.

    Regarding a few specific issues that Mr. Friedman has raised most recently:

    The AP published numerous photos and TV footage of rockets being launched from Gaza City. AP’s Josef Federman and Hamza Hendawi collaborated on an investigation into Hamas’ use of civilian areas for rocket launches, comparing maps obtained from Israeli military intelligence to facts on the ground.

    In the early days of the war, armed militants entered the AP’s offices in Gaza to complain about a photo showing the location of a specific rocket launch. The AP immediately contacted Hamas, which insisted the men did not represent the group. The photo was not withdrawn and the men were never heard from again. Subsequent videos similarly showed rocket launches from within the urban area. Such intimidation is common in trouble spots. The AP does not report many interactions with militias, armies, thugs or governments. These incidents are part of the challenge of getting out the news — and generally not themselves news.

    The Beacon’s “exclusive” was just the beginning. The “trust us we have secret evidence” disinformation campaign continued as the pro-Israel media eagerly forwarded another empty Israeli government claim, from a nameless “senior diplomatic source”, who told the Jerusalem Post of “smoking gun” evidence that Hamas was using the same Gaza building as AP.

    “We showed [the US] the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a senior diplomatic source said. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”

    What evidence? Who exactly did they “show”? I guess we’ll never know!

    If there’s a satisfactory explanation for why IDF bombed an American news agency, you’d think Israel and the US might want to make that known. But they haven’t.

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated the claim of secret “smoking gun” evidence on CBS’s Face the Nation, saying, “We share with our American friends all that intelligence”.

    Hmmm. Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appear friendly…

    But no, Blinken said he “had not seen any evidence”.

    When asked the next day if he’d received any evidence, Blinken didn’t quite confirm receiving anything. He said, “Um…uh…it’s my understanding that uh, we’ve uh, uh received uh, some further information through, uh, uh intelligence channels.” The only thing he actually confirmed was that it’s “not something that [he] can comment on.”

    WAPO: Yesterday you said the US requested an explanation from Israel about its bombing of a high rise building containing U.S. and foreign media offices. Have you received anything? And what’s your assessment of that?

    BLINKEN: Um. We uh. Did uh. Seek uh. Further information from, uh, Israel on this question. Uh, it’s my understanding that uh, we’ve uh, uh received uh, some further information through, uh, uh intelligence channels. And that’s not something that, that I can comment on.



    Click here to watch the video

    The following month, in June 2021, Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that IDF Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi said that the AP’s journalists drank coffee with Hamas each morning in the building’s cafeteria, whether they knew it or not. The AP called the comments “patently false”, noting “there was not even a cafeteria in the building”. Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz told AP that the IDF General was speaking figuratively. However, Gantz, like all the Israeli officials before him, offered AP no evidence to support IDF’s bombing of the news agencies.

    Gantz said Israel has shared its intelligence with the U.S. government. But he indicated that Israel has no intention of making the information public, saying it did not want to divulge its sources.

    As usual, the propaganda was not limited to conservative media. The Democrat Party-aligned television network CNN platformed IDF Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. Asked, “Can you show us the evidence?” Cornicus replied, “That’s in process, and I’m sure that, in due time, that information will be presented.”

    It’s due time to come to grips with the reality that there is no evidence to justify the attack. Israel bombed an American news agency (with an American bomb), and the American government continues to cover for Israel and continues to fund continued death and destruction in Gaza.

    *

    Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles.

    All images in this article are from the author
    When Israel Bombed AP’s Gaza Office All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website button below the author’s name (only available in desktop version). To receive Global Research’s Daily Newsletter (selected articles), click here. Click the share button above to email/forward this article to your friends and colleagues. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. Global Research Wants to Hear From You! *** Wednesday was Nakba Day—the day commemorating the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians with the creation of Israel, in 1948—but there was another anniversary worth remembering. The day a foreign country bombed the offices of a major U.S. press outlet, accusing it, without evidence, of harboring terrorists. And a significant portion of the US media spun the story to support the foreign country. On May 15, 2021, as part of its “Operation Guardian of the Walls” military campaign in Gaza, Israel bombed the Associated Press offices’ building, based on the still evidence-free claim that the AP headquarters “housed Hamas”. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the week prior, IDF bombed two other office buildings that “housed more than a dozen international and local media outlets.” Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) gave the tenants of the al-Jalaa Building in Gaza—which included AP, other news agencies including Al-Jazeera, and residential homes—a stern warning. IDF informed them they had one hour to evacuate their homes before the building would be bombed by Israeli missiles. Sixty minutes and three Israeli missiles later, the 12-story building was leveled to the ground. The IDF posted a short vague statement that provided no evidence for their claim the building was being used by terrorists but made sure to repeat the term “Hamas terror organization” four times, in just four sentences—five times if you count “Hamas military intelligence” in the headline. The AP’s CEO at the time, Gary Pruitt, said the news agency had been in the building for 15 years and “we have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building.” So could Israel have been lying? Well, retired US Army colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson seems to think so. Let me let me preface these remarks with I never, never, ever believe Israeli figures. I’ve been in the government too long to know that the Israelis are patent liars in their intelligence community, in their propaganda community, certainly, and in their leadership. They are inveterate liars. Let me say that again. They are liars. So you can’t believe anything that comes out of Jerusalem. It’s all propaganda. The fact that Israel lied to the international press just one week prior about a fake ground invasion, to trick Hamas into giving up their positions, doesn’t help Israel’s case. On the contrary, it clearly shows that Israel puts military victory over truth, and has no respect for the press. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus claimed that “Hamas used the building for a military intelligence office and weapons development” but “could not provide evidence” to back up the claims without “compromising” intelligence efforts. This “trust me I have the evidence” bullshit is reminiscent of the false narrative that fueled the 2003 Iraq War and the more recent Trump/Russia hoax. Such a pathetic cover story is enough to make most conservatives cringe but ultimately, many conservatives were tricked into celebrating anti-American terrorism—the bombing of civilian infrastructure that housed an American news outlet. A pro-Israel disinformation campaign, attempting to justify the bombing, began at the Washington Free Beacon before spreading across conservative media. The Republican-aligned Beacon has a history of lying and smear campaigns. It was founded by Bil Kristol, famous for helping the Bush admin lie America into the disastrous Iraq War. It went on to fund the Fusion GPS anti-Trump research that would later, under Democrat tutelage, hire Christopher Steele, a crucial source of the Trump/Russia investigation hoax, and more recently, the Beacon reported the Jewish girl “Stabbed in the Eye” hoax as fact. On the same day of the AP building bombing, the Beacon published an “exclusive” to defend IDF’s missile attack on the American press in Gaza. It cited two sources: (1) a Twitter post of Beacon contributor Noah Pollak, and (2) an old article published seven years prior in 2014 by Matti Friedman, a former AP reporter, and former IDF soldier. Pollack’s Twitter post cited an anonymous source he described as, “a well-placed friend in the IDF,” claiming that the AP office building “contained multiple Hamas operations & offices including weapons manufacturing and military intelligence,” adding that, “The building also housed an Islamic Jihad office. And AP’s local reporters knew about it.” “This info will come out soon,” he said. Yes, that’s right. He said, “This info will come out soon.” Over three years later now, “this info” supporting his claims still hasn’t come out. That alone is enough to completely discredit Pollak. But he’d already proven himself uncredible. He ran the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) (another “clown show” created by Kristol) which even the President of the Anti-Defanation League—not exactly an anti-Israel organization—called “misleading, distorted, inaccurate”. He was also caught leading an astroturfed pro-Israel counterprotest on a college campus. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) Nevertheless, Pollak’s completely unsubstantiated claims were published immediately by the usual suspects—Fox News, Newsmax, New York Post, etc. The Republican party-aligned outlets also followed the Beacon’s lead, citing its second source, Friedman’s 2014 article. Like Pollak, Friedman also had a “well-placed friend” who “suggests there were indeed Hamas offices” in the AP building. Oh boy, another anonymous “friend”! Despite sounding so sure of his “intimately familiar with military decision-making” friend’s secret information, Friedman also wrote on Twitter that “Contrary to what I’ve seen attributed to me today, I didn’t write [in 2014] that Hamas operated out of the same building, and don’t know if that’s true”. The media citing Friedman typically omitted this. And I couldn’t help but notice that the media sharing his 2014 piece in The Atlantic accusing the AP of bias, and the piece itself failed to mention his own bias—his years of service in the IDF, and his “slightly rosier view of the IDF”, according to The Times of Israel. Now pause for just a moment to ponder how insane it is—even if all of Friedman’s disputed 2014 claims were true—to rely on an article written in 2014 by an IDF vet, who worked at AP in 2006-2011, to justify the IDF bombing Associated Press in 2021, for which the IDF itself provided no evidence to justify. This is the following 2014 excerpt that made the media rounds after the 2021 bombing: “The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)” AP’s Director of Media Relations Paul Colford said Friedman’s story was “filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies”, arguing that Israel challenged the AP with as many dangerous obstacles as Hamas and that AP covered both sides of the conflict. [Friedman’s] arguments have been filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies… Like other media covering this story, we dealt with numerous obstacles, including Hamas intimidation, Israeli military censorship, anti-media incitement on both sides of the border, Hamas rocket fire and intense Israeli airstrikes that made it dangerous and difficult to get around Gaza during the fighting. Courageous AP staffers worked around the clock in Gaza, often at the risk of great personal harm. Intense Israeli airstrikes literally shook the high-rise building housing the AP’s office. Two AP employees were ultimately killed in Gaza, and a third critically wounded and maimed. Our body of work included images and stories about Hamas rocket fire from civilian areas, the suffering of the residents of southern Israel living under the threat of rocket, mortar and tunnel-based attacks, Hamas’ summary executions of suspected collaborators, the fears of Gazans to criticize the group, Hamas’ use of civilian areas for cover and the devastation wreaked on Gazan civilians by Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks. Colford confirmed that armed militants entered AP’s offices in the early days of the 2008-2009 Gaza War to intimidate AP but said that AP did not give in to the intimidation. Regarding a few specific issues that Mr. Friedman has raised most recently: The AP published numerous photos and TV footage of rockets being launched from Gaza City. AP’s Josef Federman and Hamza Hendawi collaborated on an investigation into Hamas’ use of civilian areas for rocket launches, comparing maps obtained from Israeli military intelligence to facts on the ground. In the early days of the war, armed militants entered the AP’s offices in Gaza to complain about a photo showing the location of a specific rocket launch. The AP immediately contacted Hamas, which insisted the men did not represent the group. The photo was not withdrawn and the men were never heard from again. Subsequent videos similarly showed rocket launches from within the urban area. Such intimidation is common in trouble spots. The AP does not report many interactions with militias, armies, thugs or governments. These incidents are part of the challenge of getting out the news — and generally not themselves news. The Beacon’s “exclusive” was just the beginning. The “trust us we have secret evidence” disinformation campaign continued as the pro-Israel media eagerly forwarded another empty Israeli government claim, from a nameless “senior diplomatic source”, who told the Jerusalem Post of “smoking gun” evidence that Hamas was using the same Gaza building as AP. “We showed [the US] the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a senior diplomatic source said. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.” What evidence? Who exactly did they “show”? I guess we’ll never know! If there’s a satisfactory explanation for why IDF bombed an American news agency, you’d think Israel and the US might want to make that known. But they haven’t. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated the claim of secret “smoking gun” evidence on CBS’s Face the Nation, saying, “We share with our American friends all that intelligence”. Hmmm. Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appear friendly… But no, Blinken said he “had not seen any evidence”. When asked the next day if he’d received any evidence, Blinken didn’t quite confirm receiving anything. He said, “Um…uh…it’s my understanding that uh, we’ve uh, uh received uh, some further information through, uh, uh intelligence channels.” The only thing he actually confirmed was that it’s “not something that [he] can comment on.” WAPO: Yesterday you said the US requested an explanation from Israel about its bombing of a high rise building containing U.S. and foreign media offices. Have you received anything? And what’s your assessment of that? BLINKEN: Um. We uh. Did uh. Seek uh. Further information from, uh, Israel on this question. Uh, it’s my understanding that uh, we’ve uh, uh received uh, some further information through, uh, uh intelligence channels. And that’s not something that, that I can comment on. Click here to watch the video The following month, in June 2021, Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that IDF Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi said that the AP’s journalists drank coffee with Hamas each morning in the building’s cafeteria, whether they knew it or not. The AP called the comments “patently false”, noting “there was not even a cafeteria in the building”. Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz told AP that the IDF General was speaking figuratively. However, Gantz, like all the Israeli officials before him, offered AP no evidence to support IDF’s bombing of the news agencies. Gantz said Israel has shared its intelligence with the U.S. government. But he indicated that Israel has no intention of making the information public, saying it did not want to divulge its sources. As usual, the propaganda was not limited to conservative media. The Democrat Party-aligned television network CNN platformed IDF Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. Asked, “Can you show us the evidence?” Cornicus replied, “That’s in process, and I’m sure that, in due time, that information will be presented.” It’s due time to come to grips with the reality that there is no evidence to justify the attack. Israel bombed an American news agency (with an American bomb), and the American government continues to cover for Israel and continues to fund continued death and destruction in Gaza. * Note to readers: Please click the share button above. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to our Telegram Channel. Feel free to repost and share widely Global Research articles. All images in this article are from the author
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  • How to Write an Effective Executive Resume for Leadership Success

    Learn how to craft a compelling executive resume that showcases your leadership skills. Explore tips and strategies to master executive resume writing for optimal career advancement.

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    https://www.zupyak.com/p/4164339/t/how-to-write-an-effective-executive-resume-for-leadership-success


    How to Write an Effective Executive Resume for Leadership Success Learn how to craft a compelling executive resume that showcases your leadership skills. Explore tips and strategies to master executive resume writing for optimal career advancement. #ExecutiveResume #ResumeWritingService https://www.zupyak.com/p/4164339/t/how-to-write-an-effective-executive-resume-for-leadership-success
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  • Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read
    The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states:

    No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO,

    referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to.

    A rational examination of the texts in question shows that:

    The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact.
    The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied.
    The proposals are intended to be binding under international law.
    Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics.

    The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications.

    The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here.

    The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making

    Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty.

    The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18):

    require medical examinations;
    review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    require vaccination or other prophylaxis;
    place suspect persons under public health observation;
    implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons;
    implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons;
    implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons;
    refuse entry of suspect and affected persons;
    refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and
    implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas.
    These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9).
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19).
    Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20).
    The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21).
    Everyone has the right to work (Article 23).
    Everyone has the right to education (Article 26).
    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28).
    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30).
    These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva.

    The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on

    Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1),
    Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A).
    States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response.

    As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements.

    States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42):
    Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures.

    Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it.

    Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty.

    All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.”

    It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction.

    If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span.

    Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using.

    The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty

    The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12):

    In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers.

    And Article 20 (1):

    …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source.

    The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b).

    Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary.

    In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens.

    As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18):

    …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation…

    As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO.

    The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended.

    It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool).

    Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding?

    Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates.

    The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022:

    We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…,

    repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration:

    …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024,

    and by the Council of the European Union:

    A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics.

    The IHR already has standing under international law.

    While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect.

    The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain.

    The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty

    The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies.

    If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent.

    The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign.

    The Need for Clarification

    The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs.

    No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day).

    So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Authors

    David Bell
    David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA.

    View all posts
    Thi Thuy Van Dinh
    Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh December 11, 2023 Government, Law, Public Health 15 minute read The Director General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) states: No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO, referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR), currently being negotiated. His statements are clear and unequivocal, and wholly inconsistent with the texts he is referring to. A rational examination of the texts in question shows that: The documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function, which countries undertake to enact. The WHO DG will have sole authority to decide when and where they are applied. The proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians and media, therefore raise important questions concerning motivations, competence, and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision-making currently vested in Nations and individuals to the WHO, when its DG decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is unusual for Nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when this has major economic and geopolitical implications. The question of whether sovereignty is indeed being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to the legislators of democratic States. They have an absolute duty to be sure of their ground. We systematically examine that ground here. The Proposed IHR Amendments and Sovereignty in Health Decision-Making Amending the 2005 IHR may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce “new normal” health control measures. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 States Parties including all 194 WHO Member States. Approval may or may not require a formal vote of the World Health Assembly (WHA), as the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism is to be used in May 2024, many countries and the public may remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications to national and individual sovereignty. The IHR are a set of recommendations under a treaty process that has force under international law. They seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to coordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency, such as pandemic, occurs. Most are non-binding, and these contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can recommend, including (Article 18): require medical examinations; review proof of vaccination or other prophylaxis; require vaccination or other prophylaxis; place suspect persons under public health observation; implement quarantine or other health measures for suspect persons; implement isolation and treatment where necessary of affected persons; implement tracing of contacts of suspect or affected persons; refuse entry of suspect and affected persons; refuse entry of unaffected persons to affected areas; and implement exit screening and/or restrictions on persons from affected areas. These measures, when implemented together, are generally referred to since early 2020 as ‘lockdowns’ and ‘mandates.’ ‘Lockdown’ was previously a term reserved for people incarcerated as criminals, as it removes basic universally accepted human rights and such measures were considered by the WHO to be detrimental to public health. However, since 2020 it has become the default standard for public health authorities to manage epidemics, despite its contradictions to multiple stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind including no arbitrary detention (Article 9). No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence (Article 12). Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state, and Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country (Article 13). Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers (Article 19). Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government (Article 21). Everyone has the right to work (Article 23). Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized (Article 28). Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein (Article 30). These UDHR stipulations are the basis of the modern concept of individual sovereignty, and the relationship between authorities and their populations. Considered the highest codification of the rights and freedoms of individuals in the 20th century, they may soon be dismantled behind closed doors in a meeting room in Geneva. The proposed amendments will change the “recommendations” of the current document to requirements through three mechanisms on Removing the term ‘non-binding’ (Article 1), Inserting the phrase that Member States will “undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations” and recognize WHO, not as an organization under the control of countries, but as the “coordinating authority” (New Article 13A). States Parties recognize WHO as the guidance and coordinating authority of international public health response during public health Emergency of International Concern and undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response. As Article 18 makes clear above, these include multiple actions directly restricting individual liberty. If transfer of decision-making power (sovereignty) is not intended here, then the current status of the IHR as ‘recommendations’ could remain and countries would not be undertaking to follow the WHO’s requirements. States Parties undertake to enact what previously were merely recommendations, without delay, including requirements of WHO regarding non-State entities under their jurisdiction (Article 42): Health measures taken pursuant to these Regulations, including the recommendations made under Articles 15 and 16, shall be initiated and completed without delay by all State Parties and applied in a transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory manner. State Parties shall also take measures to ensure Non-State Actors operating in their respective territories comply with such measures. Articles 15 and 16 mentioned here allow the WHO to require a State to provide resources “health products, technologies, and know-how,” and to allow the WHO to deploy personnel into the country (i.e., have control over entry across national borders for those they choose). They also repeat the requirement for the country to require the implementation of medical countermeasures (e.g., testing, vaccines, quarantine) on their population where WHO demands it. Of note, the proposed Article 1 amendment (removing ‘non-binding’) is actually redundant if New Article 13A and/or the changes in Article 42 remain. This can (and likely will) be removed from the final text, giving an appearance of compromise without changing the transfer of sovereignty. All of the public health measures in Article 18, and additional ones such as limiting freedom of speech to reduce public exposure to alternative viewpoints (Annex 1, New 5 (e); “…counter misinformation and disinformation”) clash directly with the UDHR. Although freedom of speech is currently the exclusive purview of national authorities and its restriction is generally seen as negative and abusive, United Nations institutions, including the WHO, have been advocating for censoring unofficial views in order to protect what they call “information integrity.” It seems outrageous from a human rights perspective that the amendments will enable the WHO to dictate countries to require individual medical examinations and vaccinations whenever it declares a pandemic. While the Nuremberg Code and Declaration of Helsinki refer specifically to human experimentation (e.g. clinical trials of vaccines) and the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights also to the provider-patient relationship, they can reasonably be extended to public health measures that impose restrictions or changes to human behavior, and specifically to any measures requiring injection, medication, or medical examination which involve a direct provider-person interaction. If vaccines or drugs are still under trial or not fully tested, then the issue of being the subject of an experiment is also real. There is a clear intent to employ the CEPI ‘100 day’ vaccine program, which by definition cannot complete meaningful safety or efficacy trials within that time span. Forced examination or medication, outside of a situation where the recipient is clearly not mentally competent to comply or reject when provided with information, is unethical. Requiring compliance in order to access what are considered basic human rights under the UDHR would constitute coercion. If this does not fit the WHO’s definition of infringement on individual sovereignty, and on national sovereignty, then the DG and his supporters need to publicly explain what definition they are using. The Proposed WHO Pandemic Agreement as a Tool to Manage Transfer of Sovereignty The proposed pandemic agreement will set humanity in a new era strangely organized around pandemics: pre-pandemic, pandemic, and inter-pandemic. A new governance structure under WHO auspices will oversee the IHR amendments and related initiatives. It will rely on new funding requirements, including the WHO’s ability to demand additional funding and materials from countries and to run a supply network to support its work in health emergencies (Article 12): In the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to a minimum of 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related products for distribution based on public health risks and needs, with the understanding that each Party that has manufacturing facilities that produce pandemic-related products in its jurisdiction shall take all necessary steps to facilitate the export of such pandemic-related products, in accordance with timetables to be agreed between WHO and manufacturers. And Article 20 (1): …provide support and assistance to other Parties, upon request, to facilitate the containment of spill-over at the source. The entire structure will be financed by a new funding stream separate from current WHO funding – an additional requirement on taxpayers over current national commitments (Article 20 (2)). The funding will also include an endowment of voluntary contributions of “all relevant sectors that benefit from international work to strengthen pandemic preparation, preparedness and response” and donations from philanthropic organizations (Article 20 (2)b). Currently, countries decide on foreign aid on the basis of national priorities, apart from limited funding that they have agreed to allocate to organizations such as WHO under existing obligations or treaties. The proposed agreement is remarkable not just in greatly increasing the amount countries must give as treaty requirements, but in setting up a parallel funding structure disconnected from other disease priorities (quite the opposite of previous ideas on integration in health financing). It also gives power to an external group, not directly accountable, to demand or acquire further resources whenever it deems necessary. In a further encroachment into what is normally within the legal jurisdiction of Nation States, the agreement will require countries to establish (Article 15) “…, no-fault vaccine injury compensation mechanism(s),…”, consecrating effective immunity for pharmaceutical companies for harm to citizens resulting from use of products that the WHO recommends under an emergency use authorization, or indeed requires countries to mandate onto their citizens. As is becoming increasingly acceptable for those in power, ratifying countries will agree to limit the right of their public to voice opposition to the WHO’s measures and claims regarding such an emergency (Article 18): …and combat false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation, including through effective international collaboration and cooperation… As we have seen during the Covid-19 response, the definition of misleading information can be dependent on political or commercial expediency, including factual information on vaccine efficacy and safety and orthodox immunology that could impair the sale of health commodities. This is why open democracies put such emphasis on defending free speech, even at the risk of sometimes being misleading. In signing on to this agreement, governments will be agreeing to abrogate that principle regarding their own citizens when instructed by the WHO. The scope of this proposed agreement (and the IHR amendments) is broader than pandemics, greatly expanding the scope under which a transfer of decision-making powers can be demanded. Other environmental threats to health, such as changes in climate, can be declared emergencies at the DG’s discretion, if broad definitions of ‘One Health’ are adopted as recommended. It is difficult to think of another international instrument where such powers over national resources are passed to an unelected external organization, and it is even more challenging to envision how this is seen as anything other than a loss of sovereignty. The only justification for this claim would appear to be if the draft agreement is to be signed on the basis of deceit – that there is no intention to treat it other than as an irrelevant piece of paper or something that should only apply to less powerful States (i.e. a colonialist tool). Will the IHR Amendments and the Proposed Pandemic Agreement be Legally Binding? Both texts are intended to be legally binding. The IHR already has such status, so the impact of the proposed changes on the need for new acceptance by countries are complicated national jurisdictional issues. There is a current mechanism for rejection of new amendments. However, unless a high number of countries will actively voice their oppositions and rejections, the adoption of the current published version dated February 2023 will likely lead to a future shadowed by the permanent risks of the WHO’s lockdown and lockstep dictates. The proposed pandemic agreement is also clearly intended to be legally binding. WHO discusses this issue on the website of the International Negotiating Body (INB) that is working on the text. The same legally binding intent is specifically stated by the G20 Bali Leaders Declaration in 2022: We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR…, repeated in the 2023 G20 New Delhi Leaders Declaration: …an ambitious, legally binding WHO convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic PPR (WHO CA+) by May 2024, and by the Council of the European Union: A convention, agreement or other international instrument is legally binding under international Law. An agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response adopted under the World Health Organization (WHO) would enable countries around the globe to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. The IHR already has standing under international law. While seeking such status, WHO officials who previously described the proposed agreement as a ‘treaty” are now insisting neither instrument impacts sovereignty. The implication that it is States’ representatives at the WHA that will agree to the transfer, rather than the WHO, is a nuance irrelevant to its claims regarding their subsequent effect. The WHO’s position raises a real question of whether its leadership is truly ignorant of what is proposed, or is actively seeking to mislead countries and the public in order to increase the probability of acceptance. The latest version dated 30 October 2023 requires 40 ratifications for the future agreement to enter into force, after a two-thirds vote in favor within the WHA. Opposition by a considerable number of countries will therefore be needed to derail this project. As it is backed by powerful governments and institutions, financial mechanisms including IMF and World Bank instruments and bilateral aids are likely to make opposition from lower-income countries difficult to sustain. The Implications of Ignoring the Issue of Sovereignty The relevant question regarding these two WHO instruments should really be not whether sovereignty is threatened, but why any sovereignty would be forfeited by democratic States to an organization that is (i) significantly privately funded and bound to obey the dictates of corporations and self-proclaimed philanthropists and (ii) jointly governed by Member States, half of which don’t even claim to be open representative democracies. If it is indeed true that sovereignty is being knowingly forfeited by governments without the knowledge and consent of their peoples, and based on false claims from governments and the WHO, then the implications are extremely serious. It would imply that leaders were working directly against their peoples’ or national interest, and in support of external interests. Most countries have specific fundamental laws dealing with such practice. So, it is really important for those defending these projects to either explain their definitions of sovereignty and democratic process, or explicitly seek informed public consent. The other question to be asked is why public health authorities and media are repeating the WHO’s assurances of the benign nature of the pandemic instruments. It asserts that claims of reduced sovereignty are ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation,’ which they assert elsewhere are major killers of humankind. While such claims are somewhat ludicrous and appear intended to denigrate dissenters, the WHO is clearly guilty of that which it claims is such a crime. If its leadership cannot demonstrate how its claims regarding these pandemic instruments are not deliberately misleading, its leadership would appear ethically compelled to resign. The Need for Clarification The WHO lists three major pandemics in the past century – influenza outbreaks in the late 1950s and 1960s, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two killed less than die each year today from tuberculosis, whilst the reported deaths from Covid-19 never reached the level of cancer or cardiovascular disease and remained almost irrelevant in low-income countries compared to endemic infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDs. No other non-influenza outbreak recorded by the WHO that fits the definition of a pandemic (e.g., rapid spread across international borders for a limited time of a pathogen not normally causing significant harm) has caused greater mortality in total than a few days of tuberculosis (about 4,000/day) or more life-years lost than a few days of malaria (about 1,500 children under 5 years old every day). So, if it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach. We are, after all, talking about restricting basic human rights essential for a democracy to function. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Authors David Bell David Bell, Senior Scholar at Brownstone Institute, is a public health physician and biotech consultant in global health. He is a former medical officer and scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Programme Head for malaria and febrile diseases at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund in Bellevue, WA, USA. View all posts Thi Thuy Van Dinh Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/why-does-the-who-make-false-claims-regarding-proposals-to-seize-states-sovereignty/
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    Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty? ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    If it is indeed the case that our authorities and their supporters within the public health community consider that powers currently vested within national jurisdictions should be given over to external bodies on the basis of this level of recorded harm, it would be best to have a public conversation as to whether this is sufficient basis for abandoning democratic ideals in favor of a more fascist or otherwise authoritarian approach.
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
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    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • WHO never Discovered SARS-COV-2 Artificial Origin but Promotes VIPs Calling for New Deal on Future Pandemics
    28 Marzo 2024
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    by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio

    VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

    “I love my brother Bobby, but I do not share or endorse his opinions on many issues, including the COVID pandemic, vaccinations, and the role of social media platforms in policing false information,” she said at the time. “It is also important to note that Bobby’s views are not reflected in or influence the mission or work of our organization.”

    These were the sentences about Robert F. Kennedy jr statements released by Kerry Kennedy, former wife of New York Governor Andrea Cuomo and Chair of the Amnesty International USA Leadership Council. Nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate. She serves on the board of directors of the United States Institute of Peace, as well as Human Rights First, and Inter Press Service (Rome, Italy).

    Zuckerberg Confession: “Establishment asked Facebook to ‘censor’ Covid posts”

    Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is one of the VIPs who signed the “Call for urgent Agreement on International Deal to Prepare for and prevent future Pandemics” (whole text below) meanwhile World Health Organization is loosing many hopes that WHO Assembly will approve the Pandemic Treaty due to the opposition of Russia an many other nations.

    WHO, EU Launch New Global Vaccine Passport Initiative: “Death Sentence for Millions”

    The appeal was launched by Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, the website of former UK prime minister., who signed it as Tony Blair, the Former UN General Secretary Ban-ki Moon, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Cark and Italian former PM Mario Monti, life senator and former manager of New York bank Goldman Sachs in business with Pfizer, nominated as president of Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, a body created by the World Health Organization during Covid-19 emergency despite his ties with Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    WUHAN-GATES – 68. THE SMOKING GUN OF MANMADE SARS-COV-2. Fauci, Wuhan & Chinese Military Scientists behind Research on Vaccine for Biodefense

    Indeed Monti was in the European Commission which financed the EPISARS project for the developing of dangerous research on Coronavirus SARS from which, in a huge affair among China and US, emerged the artificial SARS-Cov-2.

    WUHAN-GATES – 65. L’ANELLO MANCANTE DEL DIABOLICO COMPLOTTO NWO-UE: Dal SARS da Laboratorio di Monti al Vaccino COVID col Grafene di Capua

    Although WHO has not yet been able to prove the laboratory origin of the Covid-19 virus, also because it has entrusted the investigations to doctors with enormous conflicts of interest for having worked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, today it continues to insist on launch the global agreement on pandemics thanks to those same people who supported Bill Gates’ global immunization plan and the “Covid-19 pandemic planned for decades” as declared by the lawyer Robert F. Kennedy jr and as demonstrated by the patents expert David Martin on the role of Anthony Fauci, and detailed by the Gospa News investigations of the “Wuhan-Gates” cycle.

    WHO claims to develop more and major researches on viruses when it is now well established that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by man precisely because of research on biological weapons.

    Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
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    GOSPA NEWS – WUHAN-GATES INVESTIGATIONS

    GOSPA NEWS – COVID, BIG PHARMA, VACCINES

    WHO: “Call for urgent Agreement on International Deal to Prepare for and prevent future Pandemics”

    Article originally published on World Health Organization

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    A high-powered intervention by 23 former national Presidents, 22 former Prime Ministers, a former UN General Secretary and 3 Nobel Laureates is being made today to press for an urgent agreement from international negotiators on a Pandemic Accord, under the Constitution of the World Health Organizaion, to bolster the world’s collective preparedness and response to future pandemics.

    WUHAN-GATES – 69. How and Why the Spy of Biden & Gates Hid ManMade SARS-Cov-2 in US Intelligence Dossier

    Former UN General Secretary Ban-ki Moon, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Cark, former UK Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, former Malawi President Joyce Banda, former Peru President Franciso Sagasti, and 3 former Presidents of the UN General Assembly are amongst 100+ global leaders, from all continents and fields of politics, economics and health management who today issued a joint open letterurging accelerated progress in current negotiations to reach the world’s first ever multi-lateral agreement on pandemic preparedness and prevention.

    “A pandemic accord is critical to safeguard our collective future. Only a strong global pact on pandemics can protect future generations from a repeat of the COVID-19 crisis, which led to millions of deaths and caused widespread social and economic devastation, owing not least to insufficient international collaboration,” the leaders write in their joint letter.

    WUHAN-GATES – 60. NEW SCANDAL INTO WHO. French Co-Chair of Investigative Group on SARS-2 Worked in the China Bio-lab which Enhanced Coronavirus

    In the throes of the COVID-19 disaster which, officially, claimed 7 million lives and wiped $2 trillion from the world economy, inter-governmental negotiations to reach international agreement on future pandemic non-proliferation were begun in December 2021 between 194 of the world’s 196 nations. Nations set themselves the deadline of May 2024 by which they should reach agreement on what would be the world’s first ever Pandemic Accord.

    The Ninth round of Pandemic Accord negotiations are underway this week and next. Signatories of today’s open letter hope their combined influence willencourage all 194 nations to maintain the courage of their Covid-years conviction and make their own collective ambition of an international pandemic protocol a reality by the intended May deadline to enable ratification by the World Health Assembly at its May 2024 Annual General Assembly.

    And they urge negotiators “to redouble their efforts” to meet the imminent deadline and not let their efforts be blown off course by malicious misinformation campaigning against the WHO, the international organisation which would be tasked with implementing the new health accord.

    Taking a swipe at those who wrongly believe national sovereignty may be undermined by this major international step forward for public health the signatories say “there is no time to waste” and they call on the leaders of the 194 nations taking part in the current negotiations to “redouble their efforts to complete the accord by the May deadline.”

    WUHAN-GATES – 72. THE SUMMARY: WHO Intrigues on the SARS-Cov-2 Bioweapon & Vaccine Plots – McCullough reveals

    The letter, hosted on the website of The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown states, “Countries are doing this not because of some dictum from the WHO – like the negotiations, participation in any instrument would be entirely voluntary – but because they need what the accord can and must offer. In fact, a pandemic accord would deliver vast and universally shared benefits, including greater capacity to detect new and dangerous pathogens, access to information about pathogens detected elsewhere in the world, and timely and equitable delivery of tests, treatments, vaccines, and other lifesaving tools.

    “As countries enter what should be the final stages of the negotiations, governments must work to refute and debunk false claims about the accord. At the same time, negotiators must ensure that the agreement lives up to its promise to prevent and mitigate pandemic-related risks. This requires, for example, provisions aimed at ensuring that when another pandemic threat does arise, all relevant responses – from reporting the identification of risky pathogens to delivering tools like tests and vaccines on an equitable basis – are implemented quickly and effectively. As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, collaboration between the public and private sectors focused on advancing the public good is also essential.”

    WUHAN-GATES – 24. WHO & Pandemic in Gates-China’s Puppet Hands: Dr. Tedros Leader of TPLF, Islamic-Communist Rebels blamed of Last Massacre in Ethiopia by Amnesty

    “A new pandemic threat will emerge; there is no excuse not to be ready for it. It is thus imperative to build an effective, multisectoral, and multilateral approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Given the unpredictable nature of public-health risks, a global strategy must embody a spirit of openness and inclusiveness. There is no time to waste, which is why we are calling on all national leaders to redouble their efforts to complete the accord by the May deadline.”

    “Beyond protecting countless lives and livelihoods, the timely delivery of a global pandemic accord would send a powerful message: even in our fractured and fragmented world, international cooperation can still deliver global solutions to global problems.”

    Article originally published on World Health Organization

    Joint letter to leaders of WHO member states calling for an urgent agreement on a pandemic accord

    Originally published on the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown website on March, 20, 2024

    The overwhelming lesson we learned from COVID-19 is that no one is safe anywhere until everyone is safe everywhere – and that can only happen through collaboration. In response, the 194 countries which are members of the World Health Organization decided in December 2021 to launch negotiations for a new international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, a Pandemic Accord, as a “global framework” to work together to prepare for and stem any new pandemic threat, including by achieving equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

    WUHAN-GATES – 62. MANMADE SARS-Cov-2 FOR GOLDEN VACCINES: Metabiota, CIA, Biden, Gates, Rockefeller intrigued in Ukraine, China and Italy

    Negotiation of an effective pandemic accord is a much needed opportunity to safeguard the world we live in. Countries themselves have proposed this instrument, individual countries are negotiating it, and only countries will ultimately be responsible for its requirements and its success or failure.

    Establishing a strong global pact on pandemics will protect future generations from a repeat of the millions of deaths and the social and economic devastation which resulted from a lack of collaboration during theCOVID-19 pandemic. All countries need what the accord can offer: the capacity to detect and share pathogens presenting a risk, and timely access to tests, treatments and vaccines.

    An agreement is meant to be reached just two and a half months from now – countries imposed a deadline of May 2024, in time for the 77th World Health Assembly.

    WUHAN-GATES – 73. Half of Century of Covert Bioweapon Development Leading to Fauci’s SARS-Cov-2 and to mRNA Lethal Vaccines

    As countries now enter what should be the final stages of the negotiations, they must ensure that they are agreeing on actions which will do the job required: to prevent and mitigate pandemic threats. We urge solutions which ensure both speed in reporting and sharing pathogens, and in access – in every country – to sufficient tools like tests and vaccines to protect lives and minimise harm. The public and private sectors must work together towards the public good. This global effort is being threatened by misinformation and disinformation. Among the falsehoods circulating are allegations that the WHO intends to monitor people’s movements through digital passports; that it will take away the national sovereignty of countries; and that it will have the ability to deploy armed troops to enforce mandatory vaccinations and lockdowns. All of these claims are wholly false and governments must work to disavow them with clear facts.

    WUHAN-GATES – 47. SARS-2 BIOWEAPON. Pentagon’s DARPA Stopped a Risky Test in US but Funded a Secret one in UK with Gates

    It is imperative now to build an effective, multisectoral and multilateral approach to pandemic prevention,preparedness, and response marked by a spirit of openness and inclusiveness. In doing so we can send a message that even in this fractured and fragmented world, cross-border co-operation can deliver global solutions to global problems.

    We call on leaders of all countries to step up their efforts and secure an effective pandemic accord by May. A new pandemic threat will emerge – and there is no excuse not to be ready for it.

    Originally published on the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown website on March, 20, 2024

    Name Title
    Carlos Alvarado* President of Costa Rica (2018-2022)
    Michelle Bachelet* President of Chile (2006-2010)
    Jan Peter Balkenende* Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2002-2010)
    Ban Ki-moon* Eighth Secretary General of the United Nations
    Joyce Banda* President of Malawi (2012-2014)
    Kjell Magne Bondevik* Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000; 2001-2005)
    Kim Campbell* Prime Minister of Canada (1993)
    Alfred Gusenbauer* Chancellor of Austria (2007-2008)
    Seung-Soo Han* Prime Minister of the Rep. of Korea (2008-2009)
    Mehdi Jomaa* Prime Minister of Tunisia (2014-2015)
    Horst Köhler* President of Germany (2004-2010)
    Rexhep Meidani* President of Albania (1997-2002)
    Mario Monti* Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013)
    Francisco Sagasti* President of Peru (2020-2021)
    Jenny Shipley* Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-1999)
    Juan Somavía* Ninth Director of the International Labour Organization
    Helen Clark** Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
    Micheline Calmy-Rey** Former President of the Swiss Confederation
    Baroness Lynda Chalker** Former Minister of Overseas Development of the UK
    Chester A. Crocker** Former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, USA
    Marzuki Darusman** Former Attorney General of Indonesia
    Mohamed ElBaradei** Former Vice President of Egypt
    Gareth Evans** Former Foreign Minister of Australia
    Lawrence Gonzi** Former Prime Minister of Malta
    Lord George Robertson** Former Secretary General of NATO
    Gordon Brown Former Prime Minister of the UK 2007-2010
    Vaira Vike-Freiberga*** Co-Chair, NGIC; President of Latvia 1999-2007
    Ismail Serageldin*** Co-Chair, NGIC; Vice President of the World Bank 1992-2000
    Kerry Kennedy*** President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
    Rosen Plevneliev*** President of Bulgaria 2012-2017
    Petar Stoyanov*** President of Bulgaria 1997-2002
    Chiril Gaburici*** Prime Minister of Moldova 2015
    Mladen Ivanic*** Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014-2018
    Zlatko Lagumdzija*** Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN; Prime Minister 2001-2002; Deputy Prime Minister 1993-1996, 2012-2015
    Rashid Alimov*** Secretary-General Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2016-2018
    Jan Fisher*** Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2009-2010
    Sir Tony Blair Prime Minister of the UK 1997-2007
    Csaba Korossi*** 77th President of the UN General Assembly
    Maria Fernanda Espinosa*** 73rd President of the UN General Assembly
    Volkan Bozkir*** 75th President of the UN General Assembly
    Ameenah Gurib Fakim*** President of Mauritius 2015-2018
    Filip Vujanovic*** President of Montenegro 2003-2018
    Borut Pahor*** President of Slovenia 2012-2022; Prime Minister 2008-2012
    Ivo Josipovic*** President of Croatia 2010-2015
    Petru Lucinschi*** President of Moldova 1997-2001
    Boris Tadic*** President of Serbia 2004-2012
    Mirko Cvetkovic*** Prime Minister of Serbia 2008-2012
    Dumitru Bragish*** Prime Minister of Moldova 1999-2001
    Emil Constantinescu*** President of Romania 1996-2000
    Nambaryn Enkhbayar*** President of Mongolia 2005-2009
    Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic*** President of Croatia 2015-2020
    Gjorge Ivanov*** President of North Macedonia 2009-2019
    Valdis Zatlers*** President of Latvia 2007-2011
    Ana Birchall*** Deputy Prime Minister of Romania 2018-2019
    Hikmet Cetin*** Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey 1991-1994
    Jewel Howard Taylor*** Vice President of Liberia 2018-2024
    Djoomart Otorbayev*** Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan 2014-2015
    Julio Cobos*** Vice President of Argentina 2007-2011
    Ouided Bouchmani*** Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2015
    Abdul Rauf AlRawabdeh*** Prime Minister of Jordan 1999-2000
    Jadranka Kosor*** Prime Minister of Montenegro 2009-2011
    Milica Pejanovic*** Minister of Defense of Montenegro 2012-2016
    Mats Karlsson*** Former Vice-President of the World Bank
    Laimdota Straujuma*** Prime Minister of Latvia 2014-2016
    Eka Tkeshelashvili*** Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia 2010-2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs 2010
    Moushira Khattab*** Former Minister of State for Family and Population of Egypt
    Raimonds Vejonis*** President of Latvia 2015-2019
    Ilir Meta*** President of Albania 2017-2022
    Edmond Panariti*** Former Minister of Foreign affairs, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania
    Andris Piebalgs*** European Commissioner for Development 2010-2014, European Commissioner for Energy 2004-2010
    Manuel Pulgar Vidal*** Climate and Energy Global Leader at the World Wide Fund for Nature, Minister of Environment of Peru 2011-2016, President of COP20
    Yves Leterme*** Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium 2008, 2009-201
    Rovshan Muradov*** Secretary-General of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center
    Professor Erik Berglof London School of Economics and Political Science
    Professor Justin Lin Beijing University
    Professor Bai Chong-En Tsinghua School of Economics and Management Studies
    Professor Robin Burgess London School of Economics and Political Science
    Professor Shang-jin Wei Columbia University
    Professor Harold James Princeton University
    Ahmed Galal Former Minister of Finance, Egypt
    Professor Jong-Wha Lee Korea University
    Professor Leonhard Wantchekon African School of Economics, Benin
    Professor Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden Mannheim University
    Professor Kaushik Basu Cornell University
    Professor Bengt Holmstrom Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Professor Mathias Dewatripont Université Libre de Bruxelles
    Professor Dalia Marin University of Munich
    Professor Richard Portes London Business School
    Professor Chris Pissarides London School of Economics and Political Science
    Professor Diane Coyle University of Cambridge
    Mustapha Nabli Former Governor, Central Bank of Tunisia
    Professor Wendy Carlin University College London
    Professor Gerard Roland University of California, Berkeley
    Professor Nora Lustig Tulane University
    Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi London School of Economics and Political Science
    Professor Philippe Aghion College de France
    Professor Devi Sridhar University of Edinburgh
    Yu Yongding Former President of China Society in the World Economy
    Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006
    Kailash Satyarthe, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2014
    Sir Ivor Roberts Former UK Ambassador
    Sir Suma Chakrabarti Former EBRD President
    Sir Tim Hitchens Former UK Ambassador
    Alistair Burt Former Minister for Health/International Development
    Tom Fletcher Former UK Ambassador
    Julian Braithwaite Former UK Perm Rep to WHO
    John Casson Former UK Ambassador
    *indicates membership of Club de Madrid

    ** Indicates membership of Global Leadership Forum

    *** Indicates membership of NGIC

    (Visited 37 times, 3 visits today)

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    https://www.gospanews.net/en/2024/03/28/who-never-discovered-sars-cov-2-artificial-origin-but-promotes-vips-calling-for-new-deal-on-future-pandemics/
    WHO never Discovered SARS-COV-2 Artificial Origin but Promotes VIPs Calling for New Deal on Future Pandemics 28 Marzo 2024 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailLinkedInTelegramCondividi 12.285 Views by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio VERSIONE IN ITALIANO “I love my brother Bobby, but I do not share or endorse his opinions on many issues, including the COVID pandemic, vaccinations, and the role of social media platforms in policing false information,” she said at the time. “It is also important to note that Bobby’s views are not reflected in or influence the mission or work of our organization.” These were the sentences about Robert F. Kennedy jr statements released by Kerry Kennedy, former wife of New York Governor Andrea Cuomo and Chair of the Amnesty International USA Leadership Council. Nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate. She serves on the board of directors of the United States Institute of Peace, as well as Human Rights First, and Inter Press Service (Rome, Italy). Zuckerberg Confession: “Establishment asked Facebook to ‘censor’ Covid posts” Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, is one of the VIPs who signed the “Call for urgent Agreement on International Deal to Prepare for and prevent future Pandemics” (whole text below) meanwhile World Health Organization is loosing many hopes that WHO Assembly will approve the Pandemic Treaty due to the opposition of Russia an many other nations. WHO, EU Launch New Global Vaccine Passport Initiative: “Death Sentence for Millions” The appeal was launched by Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, the website of former UK prime minister., who signed it as Tony Blair, the Former UN General Secretary Ban-ki Moon, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Cark and Italian former PM Mario Monti, life senator and former manager of New York bank Goldman Sachs in business with Pfizer, nominated as president of Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, a body created by the World Health Organization during Covid-19 emergency despite his ties with Wuhan Institute of Virology. WUHAN-GATES – 68. THE SMOKING GUN OF MANMADE SARS-COV-2. Fauci, Wuhan & Chinese Military Scientists behind Research on Vaccine for Biodefense Indeed Monti was in the European Commission which financed the EPISARS project for the developing of dangerous research on Coronavirus SARS from which, in a huge affair among China and US, emerged the artificial SARS-Cov-2. WUHAN-GATES – 65. L’ANELLO MANCANTE DEL DIABOLICO COMPLOTTO NWO-UE: Dal SARS da Laboratorio di Monti al Vaccino COVID col Grafene di Capua Although WHO has not yet been able to prove the laboratory origin of the Covid-19 virus, also because it has entrusted the investigations to doctors with enormous conflicts of interest for having worked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, today it continues to insist on launch the global agreement on pandemics thanks to those same people who supported Bill Gates’ global immunization plan and the “Covid-19 pandemic planned for decades” as declared by the lawyer Robert F. Kennedy jr and as demonstrated by the patents expert David Martin on the role of Anthony Fauci, and detailed by the Gospa News investigations of the “Wuhan-Gates” cycle. WHO claims to develop more and major researches on viruses when it is now well established that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by man precisely because of research on biological weapons. Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio © COPYRIGHT GOSPA NEWS prohibition of reproduction without authorization follow Fabio Carisio Gospa News director on Twitter follow Gospa News on Telegram Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published MAIN SOURCES GOSPA NEWS – WUHAN-GATES INVESTIGATIONS GOSPA NEWS – COVID, BIG PHARMA, VACCINES WHO: “Call for urgent Agreement on International Deal to Prepare for and prevent future Pandemics” Article originally published on World Health Organization All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath, in relation to the topics highlighted Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published A high-powered intervention by 23 former national Presidents, 22 former Prime Ministers, a former UN General Secretary and 3 Nobel Laureates is being made today to press for an urgent agreement from international negotiators on a Pandemic Accord, under the Constitution of the World Health Organizaion, to bolster the world’s collective preparedness and response to future pandemics. WUHAN-GATES – 69. How and Why the Spy of Biden & Gates Hid ManMade SARS-Cov-2 in US Intelligence Dossier Former UN General Secretary Ban-ki Moon, New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Helen Cark, former UK Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, former Malawi President Joyce Banda, former Peru President Franciso Sagasti, and 3 former Presidents of the UN General Assembly are amongst 100+ global leaders, from all continents and fields of politics, economics and health management who today issued a joint open letterurging accelerated progress in current negotiations to reach the world’s first ever multi-lateral agreement on pandemic preparedness and prevention. “A pandemic accord is critical to safeguard our collective future. Only a strong global pact on pandemics can protect future generations from a repeat of the COVID-19 crisis, which led to millions of deaths and caused widespread social and economic devastation, owing not least to insufficient international collaboration,” the leaders write in their joint letter. WUHAN-GATES – 60. NEW SCANDAL INTO WHO. French Co-Chair of Investigative Group on SARS-2 Worked in the China Bio-lab which Enhanced Coronavirus In the throes of the COVID-19 disaster which, officially, claimed 7 million lives and wiped $2 trillion from the world economy, inter-governmental negotiations to reach international agreement on future pandemic non-proliferation were begun in December 2021 between 194 of the world’s 196 nations. Nations set themselves the deadline of May 2024 by which they should reach agreement on what would be the world’s first ever Pandemic Accord. The Ninth round of Pandemic Accord negotiations are underway this week and next. Signatories of today’s open letter hope their combined influence willencourage all 194 nations to maintain the courage of their Covid-years conviction and make their own collective ambition of an international pandemic protocol a reality by the intended May deadline to enable ratification by the World Health Assembly at its May 2024 Annual General Assembly. And they urge negotiators “to redouble their efforts” to meet the imminent deadline and not let their efforts be blown off course by malicious misinformation campaigning against the WHO, the international organisation which would be tasked with implementing the new health accord. Taking a swipe at those who wrongly believe national sovereignty may be undermined by this major international step forward for public health the signatories say “there is no time to waste” and they call on the leaders of the 194 nations taking part in the current negotiations to “redouble their efforts to complete the accord by the May deadline.” WUHAN-GATES – 72. THE SUMMARY: WHO Intrigues on the SARS-Cov-2 Bioweapon & Vaccine Plots – McCullough reveals The letter, hosted on the website of The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown states, “Countries are doing this not because of some dictum from the WHO – like the negotiations, participation in any instrument would be entirely voluntary – but because they need what the accord can and must offer. In fact, a pandemic accord would deliver vast and universally shared benefits, including greater capacity to detect new and dangerous pathogens, access to information about pathogens detected elsewhere in the world, and timely and equitable delivery of tests, treatments, vaccines, and other lifesaving tools. “As countries enter what should be the final stages of the negotiations, governments must work to refute and debunk false claims about the accord. At the same time, negotiators must ensure that the agreement lives up to its promise to prevent and mitigate pandemic-related risks. This requires, for example, provisions aimed at ensuring that when another pandemic threat does arise, all relevant responses – from reporting the identification of risky pathogens to delivering tools like tests and vaccines on an equitable basis – are implemented quickly and effectively. As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, collaboration between the public and private sectors focused on advancing the public good is also essential.” WUHAN-GATES – 24. WHO & Pandemic in Gates-China’s Puppet Hands: Dr. Tedros Leader of TPLF, Islamic-Communist Rebels blamed of Last Massacre in Ethiopia by Amnesty “A new pandemic threat will emerge; there is no excuse not to be ready for it. It is thus imperative to build an effective, multisectoral, and multilateral approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Given the unpredictable nature of public-health risks, a global strategy must embody a spirit of openness and inclusiveness. There is no time to waste, which is why we are calling on all national leaders to redouble their efforts to complete the accord by the May deadline.” “Beyond protecting countless lives and livelihoods, the timely delivery of a global pandemic accord would send a powerful message: even in our fractured and fragmented world, international cooperation can still deliver global solutions to global problems.” Article originally published on World Health Organization Joint letter to leaders of WHO member states calling for an urgent agreement on a pandemic accord Originally published on the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown website on March, 20, 2024 The overwhelming lesson we learned from COVID-19 is that no one is safe anywhere until everyone is safe everywhere – and that can only happen through collaboration. In response, the 194 countries which are members of the World Health Organization decided in December 2021 to launch negotiations for a new international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, a Pandemic Accord, as a “global framework” to work together to prepare for and stem any new pandemic threat, including by achieving equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. WUHAN-GATES – 62. MANMADE SARS-Cov-2 FOR GOLDEN VACCINES: Metabiota, CIA, Biden, Gates, Rockefeller intrigued in Ukraine, China and Italy Negotiation of an effective pandemic accord is a much needed opportunity to safeguard the world we live in. Countries themselves have proposed this instrument, individual countries are negotiating it, and only countries will ultimately be responsible for its requirements and its success or failure. Establishing a strong global pact on pandemics will protect future generations from a repeat of the millions of deaths and the social and economic devastation which resulted from a lack of collaboration during theCOVID-19 pandemic. All countries need what the accord can offer: the capacity to detect and share pathogens presenting a risk, and timely access to tests, treatments and vaccines. An agreement is meant to be reached just two and a half months from now – countries imposed a deadline of May 2024, in time for the 77th World Health Assembly. WUHAN-GATES – 73. Half of Century of Covert Bioweapon Development Leading to Fauci’s SARS-Cov-2 and to mRNA Lethal Vaccines As countries now enter what should be the final stages of the negotiations, they must ensure that they are agreeing on actions which will do the job required: to prevent and mitigate pandemic threats. We urge solutions which ensure both speed in reporting and sharing pathogens, and in access – in every country – to sufficient tools like tests and vaccines to protect lives and minimise harm. The public and private sectors must work together towards the public good. This global effort is being threatened by misinformation and disinformation. Among the falsehoods circulating are allegations that the WHO intends to monitor people’s movements through digital passports; that it will take away the national sovereignty of countries; and that it will have the ability to deploy armed troops to enforce mandatory vaccinations and lockdowns. All of these claims are wholly false and governments must work to disavow them with clear facts. WUHAN-GATES – 47. SARS-2 BIOWEAPON. Pentagon’s DARPA Stopped a Risky Test in US but Funded a Secret one in UK with Gates It is imperative now to build an effective, multisectoral and multilateral approach to pandemic prevention,preparedness, and response marked by a spirit of openness and inclusiveness. In doing so we can send a message that even in this fractured and fragmented world, cross-border co-operation can deliver global solutions to global problems. We call on leaders of all countries to step up their efforts and secure an effective pandemic accord by May. A new pandemic threat will emerge – and there is no excuse not to be ready for it. Originally published on the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown website on March, 20, 2024 Name Title Carlos Alvarado* President of Costa Rica (2018-2022) Michelle Bachelet* President of Chile (2006-2010) Jan Peter Balkenende* Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2002-2010) Ban Ki-moon* Eighth Secretary General of the United Nations Joyce Banda* President of Malawi (2012-2014) Kjell Magne Bondevik* Prime Minister of Norway (1997-2000; 2001-2005) Kim Campbell* Prime Minister of Canada (1993) Alfred Gusenbauer* Chancellor of Austria (2007-2008) Seung-Soo Han* Prime Minister of the Rep. of Korea (2008-2009) Mehdi Jomaa* Prime Minister of Tunisia (2014-2015) Horst Köhler* President of Germany (2004-2010) Rexhep Meidani* President of Albania (1997-2002) Mario Monti* Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013) Francisco Sagasti* President of Peru (2020-2021) Jenny Shipley* Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997-1999) Juan Somavía* Ninth Director of the International Labour Organization Helen Clark** Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Micheline Calmy-Rey** Former President of the Swiss Confederation Baroness Lynda Chalker** Former Minister of Overseas Development of the UK Chester A. Crocker** Former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, USA Marzuki Darusman** Former Attorney General of Indonesia Mohamed ElBaradei** Former Vice President of Egypt Gareth Evans** Former Foreign Minister of Australia Lawrence Gonzi** Former Prime Minister of Malta Lord George Robertson** Former Secretary General of NATO Gordon Brown Former Prime Minister of the UK 2007-2010 Vaira Vike-Freiberga*** Co-Chair, NGIC; President of Latvia 1999-2007 Ismail Serageldin*** Co-Chair, NGIC; Vice President of the World Bank 1992-2000 Kerry Kennedy*** President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Rosen Plevneliev*** President of Bulgaria 2012-2017 Petar Stoyanov*** President of Bulgaria 1997-2002 Chiril Gaburici*** Prime Minister of Moldova 2015 Mladen Ivanic*** Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014-2018 Zlatko Lagumdzija*** Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN; Prime Minister 2001-2002; Deputy Prime Minister 1993-1996, 2012-2015 Rashid Alimov*** Secretary-General Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2016-2018 Jan Fisher*** Prime Minister of the Czech Republic 2009-2010 Sir Tony Blair Prime Minister of the UK 1997-2007 Csaba Korossi*** 77th President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa*** 73rd President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir*** 75th President of the UN General Assembly Ameenah Gurib Fakim*** President of Mauritius 2015-2018 Filip Vujanovic*** President of Montenegro 2003-2018 Borut Pahor*** President of Slovenia 2012-2022; Prime Minister 2008-2012 Ivo Josipovic*** President of Croatia 2010-2015 Petru Lucinschi*** President of Moldova 1997-2001 Boris Tadic*** President of Serbia 2004-2012 Mirko Cvetkovic*** Prime Minister of Serbia 2008-2012 Dumitru Bragish*** Prime Minister of Moldova 1999-2001 Emil Constantinescu*** President of Romania 1996-2000 Nambaryn Enkhbayar*** President of Mongolia 2005-2009 Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic*** President of Croatia 2015-2020 Gjorge Ivanov*** President of North Macedonia 2009-2019 Valdis Zatlers*** President of Latvia 2007-2011 Ana Birchall*** Deputy Prime Minister of Romania 2018-2019 Hikmet Cetin*** Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey 1991-1994 Jewel Howard Taylor*** Vice President of Liberia 2018-2024 Djoomart Otorbayev*** Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan 2014-2015 Julio Cobos*** Vice President of Argentina 2007-2011 Ouided Bouchmani*** Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2015 Abdul Rauf AlRawabdeh*** Prime Minister of Jordan 1999-2000 Jadranka Kosor*** Prime Minister of Montenegro 2009-2011 Milica Pejanovic*** Minister of Defense of Montenegro 2012-2016 Mats Karlsson*** Former Vice-President of the World Bank Laimdota Straujuma*** Prime Minister of Latvia 2014-2016 Eka Tkeshelashvili*** Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia 2010-2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs 2010 Moushira Khattab*** Former Minister of State for Family and Population of Egypt Raimonds Vejonis*** President of Latvia 2015-2019 Ilir Meta*** President of Albania 2017-2022 Edmond Panariti*** Former Minister of Foreign affairs, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania Andris Piebalgs*** European Commissioner for Development 2010-2014, European Commissioner for Energy 2004-2010 Manuel Pulgar Vidal*** Climate and Energy Global Leader at the World Wide Fund for Nature, Minister of Environment of Peru 2011-2016, President of COP20 Yves Leterme*** Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium 2008, 2009-201 Rovshan Muradov*** Secretary-General of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Professor Erik Berglof London School of Economics and Political Science Professor Justin Lin Beijing University Professor Bai Chong-En Tsinghua School of Economics and Management Studies Professor Robin Burgess London School of Economics and Political Science Professor Shang-jin Wei Columbia University Professor Harold James Princeton University Ahmed Galal Former Minister of Finance, Egypt Professor Jong-Wha Lee Korea University Professor Leonhard Wantchekon African School of Economics, Benin Professor Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden Mannheim University Professor Kaushik Basu Cornell University Professor Bengt Holmstrom Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Mathias Dewatripont Université Libre de Bruxelles Professor Dalia Marin University of Munich Professor Richard Portes London Business School Professor Chris Pissarides London School of Economics and Political Science Professor Diane Coyle University of Cambridge Mustapha Nabli Former Governor, Central Bank of Tunisia Professor Wendy Carlin University College London Professor Gerard Roland University of California, Berkeley Professor Nora Lustig Tulane University Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi London School of Economics and Political Science Professor Philippe Aghion College de France Professor Devi Sridhar University of Edinburgh Yu Yongding Former President of China Society in the World Economy Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006 Kailash Satyarthe, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2014 Sir Ivor Roberts Former UK Ambassador Sir Suma Chakrabarti Former EBRD President Sir Tim Hitchens Former UK Ambassador Alistair Burt Former Minister for Health/International Development Tom Fletcher Former UK Ambassador Julian Braithwaite Former UK Perm Rep to WHO John Casson Former UK Ambassador *indicates membership of Club de Madrid ** Indicates membership of Global Leadership Forum *** Indicates membership of NGIC (Visited 37 times, 3 visits today) FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailLinkedInTelegramCondividi 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    WHO never Discovered SARS-COV-2 Artificial Origin but Promotes VIPs Calling for New Deal on Future Pandemics
    by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo CarisioVERSIONE IN ITALIANO"I love my brother Bobby, but I do not share or endorse his opinions on many issues, including the COVID pandemic, vaccinations, and the role of social media platforms in policing false information," she said at the time. "It is also importa
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  • The Silent Shame of Health Institutions
    J.R. Bruning
    For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices?

    Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy.

    All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia.

    Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue.

    Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages.

    Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’

    Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications.

    So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all.

    Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this?

    The antinomies are piling up.

    We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors.

    Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering.

    There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible.

    Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are

    ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’

    In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children.

    All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses.

    What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement.

    Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go.

    In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’

    This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health:

    Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency.

    New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses.

    Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships.

    If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order.

    The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded:

    ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’

    This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver?

    Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above.

    Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets.

    If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’

    The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage?

    Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up.

    Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health.

    Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24:

    ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’

    Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’

    Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning.

    Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction.

    But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder?

    This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami.

    Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health.

    Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger.

    But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp.

    What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery.

    What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed.

    But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’

    It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy.

    Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities.

    Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed.

    The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc.

    The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet.

    Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority.

    He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education.

    Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant.

    In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit.

    Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more.

    Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients.

    Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice.

    Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported.

    Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering.

    Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications.

    Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain.

    They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19.

    Given such context, what are we to do?

    Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm.

    Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change?

    Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses?

    Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs.

    Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches.

    With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme.

    There’s another surfacing dilemma.

    Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation?

    Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that

    Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim.
    Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm.
    Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence.

    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions.

    Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers.

    Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy.

    When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation?

    In the impasse, who can we trust?

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble.

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    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions J.R. Bruning For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices? Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy. All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia. Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue. Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages. Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’ Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications. So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all. Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this? The antinomies are piling up. We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors. Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering. There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible. Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’ In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children. All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses. What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement. Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go. In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’ This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health: Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses. Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships. If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order. The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded: ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’ This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver? Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above. Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets. If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’ The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage? Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up. Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health. Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24: ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’ Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’ Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning. Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction. But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder? This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami. Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health. Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger. But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp. What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery. What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed. But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’ It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy. Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities. Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed. The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet. Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority. He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education. Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant. In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit. Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more. Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients. Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice. Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported. Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering. Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications. Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain. They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19. Given such context, what are we to do? Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm. Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change? Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses? Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches. With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme. There’s another surfacing dilemma. Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation? Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim. Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm. Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence. There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions. Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers. Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy. When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation? In the impasse, who can we trust? Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet and health.
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  • Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department
    Editor’s Note: Annelle Sheline, PhD, served for a year as a foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN.

    CNN — normal
    Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, Israel has used American bombs in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 32,000 people — 13,000 of them children — with countless others buried under the rubble, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel is credibly accused of starving the 2 million people who remain, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to food; a group of charity leaders warns that without adequate aid, hundreds of thousands more will soon likely join the dead.

    Yet Israel is still planning to invade Rafah, where the majority of people in Gaza have fled; UN officials have described the carnage that is expected to ensue as “beyond imagination.” In the West Bank, armed settlers and Israeli soldiers have killed Palestinians, including US citizens. These actions, which experts on genocide have testified meet the crime of genocide, are conducted with the diplomatic and military support of the US government.

    For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East. I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office. However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible. Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State.

    Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began. Members of civil society have refused to respond to my efforts to contact them. Our office seeks to support journalists in the Middle East; yet when asked by NGOs if the US can help when Palestinian journalists are detained or killed in Gaza, I was disappointed that my government didn’t do more to protect them. Ninety Palestinian journalists in Gaza have been killed in the last five months, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is the most recorded in any single conflict since the CPJ started collecting data in 1992.

    By resigning publicly, I am saddened by the knowledge that I likely foreclose a future at the State Department. I had not initially planned a public resignation. Because my time at State had been so short — I was hired on a two-year contract — I did not think I mattered enough to announce my resignation publicly. However, when I started to tell colleagues of my decision to resign, the response I heard repeatedly was, “Please speak for us.”

    Related article Opinion: What Biden needs to know about Rafah

    Across the federal government, employees like me have tried for months to influence policy, both internally and, when that failed, publicly. My colleagues and I watched in horror as this administration delivered thousands of precision-guided munitions, bombs, small arms and other lethal aid to Israel and authorized thousands more, even bypassing Congress to do so. We are appalled by the administration’s flagrant disregard for American laws that prohibit the US from providing assistance to foreign militaries that engage in gross human rights violations or that restrict the delivery of humanitarian aid.

    The Biden administration’s own policy states, “The legitimacy of and public support for arms transfers among the populations of both the United States and recipient nations depends on the protection of civilians from harm, and the United States distinguishes itself from other potential sources of arms transfers by elevating the importance of protecting civilians.” Yet this noble statement of policy has been directly in contradiction with the actions of the president who promulgated it.

    President Joe Biden himself indirectly admits that Israel is not protecting Palestinian civilians from harm. Under pressure from some congressional Democrats, the administration issued a new policy to ensure that foreign military transfers don’t violate relevant domestic and international laws.

    Yet just recently, the State Department ascertained that Israel is in compliance with international law in the conduct of the war and in providing humanitarian assistance. To say this when Israel is preventing the adequate entrance of humanitarian aid and the US is being forced to air drop food to starving Gazans, this finding makes a mockery of the administration’s claims to care about the law or about the fate of innocent Palestinians.

    Related article Opinion: The crux of Israel’s challenge

    Some have argued that the US lacks influence over Israel. Yet Retired Israeli Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Brick noted in November that Israel’s missiles, bombs and airplanes all come from the US. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting,” he said. “Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.”

    Even now, Israel is considering invading Lebanon, which brings a heightened risk of regional conflict that would be catastrophic. The US has sought to prevent this outcome but shows no appetite for withholding offensive weapons from Israel in order to compel greater restraint there or in Gaza. Biden’s support for Israel’s far-right government thus risks sparking a wider conflagration in the region, which could well put US troops in harm’s way.

    So many of my colleagues feel betrayed. I write for myself but speak for many others, including Feds United for Peace, a group mobilizing for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that represents federal workers in their personal capacities across the country, and across 30 federal agencies and departments. After four years of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to cripple the department, State employees embraced Biden’s pledge to rebuild American diplomacy. For some, US support for Ukraine against Russia’s illegal occupation and bombardment seemed to reestablish America’s moral leadership. Yet the administration continues to enable Israel’s illegal occupation and destruction of Gaza.

    I am haunted by the final social media post of Aaron Bushnell, the 25-year-old US Air Force serviceman who self-immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington on February 25: “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.”

    I can no longer continue what I was doing. I hope that my resignation can contribute to the many efforts to push the administration to withdraw support for Israel’s war, for the sake of the 2 million Palestinians whose lives are at risk and for the sake of America’s moral standing in the world.


    https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/27/opinions/gaza-israel-resigning-state-department-sheline/index.html
    Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department Editor’s Note: Annelle Sheline, PhD, served for a year as a foreign affairs officer at the Office of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN. CNN — normal Since Hamas’ attack on October 7, Israel has used American bombs in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 32,000 people — 13,000 of them children — with countless others buried under the rubble, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Israel is credibly accused of starving the 2 million people who remain, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to food; a group of charity leaders warns that without adequate aid, hundreds of thousands more will soon likely join the dead. Yet Israel is still planning to invade Rafah, where the majority of people in Gaza have fled; UN officials have described the carnage that is expected to ensue as “beyond imagination.” In the West Bank, armed settlers and Israeli soldiers have killed Palestinians, including US citizens. These actions, which experts on genocide have testified meet the crime of genocide, are conducted with the diplomatic and military support of the US government. For the past year, I worked for the office devoted to promoting human rights in the Middle East. I believe strongly in the mission and in the important work of that office. However, as a representative of a government that is directly enabling what the International Court of Justice has said could plausibly be a genocide in Gaza, such work has become almost impossible. Unable to serve an administration that enables such atrocities, I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State. Whatever credibility the United States had as an advocate for human rights has almost entirely vanished since the war began. Members of civil society have refused to respond to my efforts to contact them. Our office seeks to support journalists in the Middle East; yet when asked by NGOs if the US can help when Palestinian journalists are detained or killed in Gaza, I was disappointed that my government didn’t do more to protect them. Ninety Palestinian journalists in Gaza have been killed in the last five months, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. That is the most recorded in any single conflict since the CPJ started collecting data in 1992. By resigning publicly, I am saddened by the knowledge that I likely foreclose a future at the State Department. I had not initially planned a public resignation. Because my time at State had been so short — I was hired on a two-year contract — I did not think I mattered enough to announce my resignation publicly. However, when I started to tell colleagues of my decision to resign, the response I heard repeatedly was, “Please speak for us.” Related article Opinion: What Biden needs to know about Rafah Across the federal government, employees like me have tried for months to influence policy, both internally and, when that failed, publicly. My colleagues and I watched in horror as this administration delivered thousands of precision-guided munitions, bombs, small arms and other lethal aid to Israel and authorized thousands more, even bypassing Congress to do so. We are appalled by the administration’s flagrant disregard for American laws that prohibit the US from providing assistance to foreign militaries that engage in gross human rights violations or that restrict the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Biden administration’s own policy states, “The legitimacy of and public support for arms transfers among the populations of both the United States and recipient nations depends on the protection of civilians from harm, and the United States distinguishes itself from other potential sources of arms transfers by elevating the importance of protecting civilians.” Yet this noble statement of policy has been directly in contradiction with the actions of the president who promulgated it. President Joe Biden himself indirectly admits that Israel is not protecting Palestinian civilians from harm. Under pressure from some congressional Democrats, the administration issued a new policy to ensure that foreign military transfers don’t violate relevant domestic and international laws. Yet just recently, the State Department ascertained that Israel is in compliance with international law in the conduct of the war and in providing humanitarian assistance. To say this when Israel is preventing the adequate entrance of humanitarian aid and the US is being forced to air drop food to starving Gazans, this finding makes a mockery of the administration’s claims to care about the law or about the fate of innocent Palestinians. Related article Opinion: The crux of Israel’s challenge Some have argued that the US lacks influence over Israel. Yet Retired Israeli Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Brick noted in November that Israel’s missiles, bombs and airplanes all come from the US. “The minute they turn off the tap, you can’t keep fighting,” he said. “Everyone understands that we can’t fight this war without the United States. Period.” Even now, Israel is considering invading Lebanon, which brings a heightened risk of regional conflict that would be catastrophic. The US has sought to prevent this outcome but shows no appetite for withholding offensive weapons from Israel in order to compel greater restraint there or in Gaza. Biden’s support for Israel’s far-right government thus risks sparking a wider conflagration in the region, which could well put US troops in harm’s way. So many of my colleagues feel betrayed. I write for myself but speak for many others, including Feds United for Peace, a group mobilizing for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that represents federal workers in their personal capacities across the country, and across 30 federal agencies and departments. After four years of then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to cripple the department, State employees embraced Biden’s pledge to rebuild American diplomacy. For some, US support for Ukraine against Russia’s illegal occupation and bombardment seemed to reestablish America’s moral leadership. Yet the administration continues to enable Israel’s illegal occupation and destruction of Gaza. I am haunted by the final social media post of Aaron Bushnell, the 25-year-old US Air Force serviceman who self-immolated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington on February 25: “Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.” I can no longer continue what I was doing. I hope that my resignation can contribute to the many efforts to push the administration to withdraw support for Israel’s war, for the sake of the 2 million Palestinians whose lives are at risk and for the sake of America’s moral standing in the world. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/27/opinions/gaza-israel-resigning-state-department-sheline/index.html
    WWW.CNN.COM
    Opinion: Why I’m resigning from the State Department | CNN
    I’m unable to serve an administration that enables the atrocities in Gaza, so I have decided to resign from my position at the Department of State, writes Annelle Sheline.
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  • Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    Connor Echols12 March, 2024
    GettyImages-164224706.jpg
    This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft

    Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year?

    The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers.

    In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid.

    The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials.

    "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law"

    But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access.

    When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law.

    “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Giorgio Cafiero

    This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials.

    These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war.

    Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells.

    Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty]
    “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law."

    State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress.

    “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”.

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country"

    Exceptions make the rules

    When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot?

    This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”.

    US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience.

    Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Hanna Davis

    “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

    This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support.

    When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”.

    For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul.

    The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against.

    Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty]
    The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally.

    In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum.

    At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment.

    "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours"

    'As supportive as possible'

    When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”.

    The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time.

    “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.”

    RELATED

    In-depth

    Jessica Buxbaum

    Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress.

    Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell.

    “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said.

    Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter.

    Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols

    https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives


    https://telegra.ph/Bombs-guns-treasure-What-Israel-wants-the-US-gives-03-20
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives Connor Echols12 March, 2024 GettyImages-164224706.jpg This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year? The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers. In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid. The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials. "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law" But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law. “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile. RELATED Analysis Giorgio Cafiero This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials. These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war. Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty] “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law." State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress. “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country" Exceptions make the rules When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot? This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”. US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience. Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled. RELATED Analysis Hanna Davis “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict. This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support. When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”. For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul. The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty] The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally. In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum. At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment. "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours" 'As supportive as possible' When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”. The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time. “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.” RELATED In-depth Jessica Buxbaum Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress. Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell. “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said. Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter. Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives https://telegra.ph/Bombs-guns-treasure-What-Israel-wants-the-US-gives-03-20
    WWW.NEWARAB.COM
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    In-depth: Israel's exceptional status in US arms policy and law ensures that unending military aid is shielded from scrutiny over human rights abuses.
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  • Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    Connor Echols12 March, 2024
    GettyImages-164224706.jpg
    This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft

    Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year?

    The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers.

    In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid.

    The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials.

    "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law"

    But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access.

    When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law.

    “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Giorgio Cafiero

    This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials.

    These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war.

    Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells.

    Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty]
    “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law."

    State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress.

    “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”.

    The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country"

    Exceptions make the rules

    When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot?

    This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”.

    US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience.

    Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled.

    RELATED

    Analysis

    Hanna Davis

    “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

    This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support.

    When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”.

    For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul.

    The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against.

    Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty]
    The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally.

    In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum.

    At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment.

    "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab.

    "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours"

    'As supportive as possible'

    When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”.

    The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time.

    “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.”

    RELATED

    In-depth

    Jessica Buxbaum

    Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress.

    Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell.

    “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said.

    Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter.

    Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols

    https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives Connor Echols12 March, 2024 GettyImages-164224706.jpg This article was co-published with Responsible Statecraft Close watchers of Israel’s war in Gaza have faced a question in recent months: If the US is rushing weapons to Israel, then why hasn’t the public heard of any arms sales besides two relatively small transfers late last year? The Washington Post delivered an answer last week. Reporter John Hudson revealed that the Biden administration has approved over 100 smaller weapons packages for Israel since 7 October that fell under the $25 million threshold for formally notifying Congress - and thus the public - about the transfers. In total, these mini-sales could add up to more than $1 billion worth of US military aid. The decision to deliver US aid in smaller packages is far from unusual. The US government has done so in the past for practical and nefarious purposes alike; only about 2% of weapons transfers occur above the threshold to notify Congress, according to former officials. "When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there's a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law" But what is abnormal is the fact that many of those weapons were likely pre-positioned on Israeli territory before the war. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. When a US-made bomb slams into Gaza, there’s a real chance that it started the day in an American facility, managed by American soldiers and governed by American law. “It’s clear that it’s been a major source of arms for Israel,” said Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in protest of US support for Israel’s war. Unfortunately, Paul added, “it’s an opaque process, so it’s hard to say exactly what weapons they’re getting” from the stockpile. RELATED Analysis Giorgio Cafiero This cache of arms is just a small piece of the puzzle. Taken as a whole, US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country, according to experts and former senior US officials. These advantages include modified human rights vetting, special access to US weapons, and a veto on American arms sales to Israel’s neighbours. Up to this point, the State Department hasn’t carried out a formal assessment of Israel’s compliance with the law in its Gaza war. Experts claim these arms transfer cutouts have continued or, in some areas, been expanded since Israel launched its campaign in Gaza, which has left over 31,000 Palestinians dead and much of the strip’s population in famine or famine-like conditions. Even last month, as war crime accusations mounted, the US reportedly gave Israel at least 1,000 precision-guided munitions and artillery shells. Unlike other countries, Israel has a stockpile of American weapons on its soil to which it has privileged access. [Getty] “The bottom line is that either you have human rights standards and legal standards or you don't,” Paul said. When US officials fail to hold Israel accountable for alleged abuses, “it not only creates an exception for Israel, but it also undermines your diplomacy with other countries,” he told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "I have serious concerns that the continued transfer of weapons to Israel is facilitating indiscriminate bombing that may violate international humanitarian law," Rep. Joaquin Castro told Responsible Statecraft/ The New Arab in a statement. "Congress needs to push the Biden administration to hold Benjamin Netanyahu accountable for any use of U.S. security assistance that violates international law." State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab that all transfers to Israel since 7 October have followed US law and policy, including notifications to Congress. “We have followed the procedures Congress itself has specified to keep members well-informed and regularly brief members even when formal notification is not a legal requirement,” Miller said in a statement, adding that claims that the US has cut up weapons packages in order to avoid public scrutiny are “unequivocally false”. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. "US efforts to shield Israel from human rights restrictions and guarantee its access to continued military aid go further than for any other country" Exceptions make the rules When a Middle Eastern country asks the US for weapons, American officials’ minds go straight to Israel. Would Tel Aviv approve of the transfer? Could new fighter jets give Egypt an edge over Israel on the battlefield if their peace deal fell apart? Would Israeli officials come around if we offer them better weapons to sweeten the pot? This line of reasoning doesn’t have anything to do with the personal opinions of US officials. In fact, US law explicitly states that the US must give Israel a “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours to counter a threat from “any individual state or possible coalition of states or [...] non-state actors”. US partners are starkly aware of - and unhappy about - this reality, according to a former senior US military official in Cairo who requested anonymity to speak freely about his experience. Egyptian officials would sometimes request high-tech weapons just to “watch us squirm and come up with some way to say ‘no’ without saying the Israelis won't approve it,” the former official recalled. RELATED Analysis Hanna Davis “This is another place where it’s very explicit that Israel has a special status that no other country enjoys,” said John Ramming-Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict. This qualitative advantage is enforced by the quantitative side. Since World War II, Israel is far and away the largest recipient of US military aid. Washington’s funding for the Israeli military, which now totals $3.8 billion per year, makes up about 16% of its total budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. Israel, which can spend part of its US aid on Israeli weapons, gets this cash in an interest-bearing account in New York, making it one of only two states that get a multimillion-dollar tip on top of baseline US support. When it comes to human rights, Israel also gets special protections. Take the Leahy law, a statute that prevents specific units of foreign militaries from receiving US aid if American officials have evidence they’ve committed “gross violations of human rights”. For most countries, Leahy vetting happens before aid is disbursed. Israel gets the equipment first, and the ensuing vetting process looks different than for other countries. Lower-level State Department officials have found multiple cases in which Israeli units should lose access to American weapons under US law, but those cases are consistently blocked by higher-ups in government who usually don’t weigh in on such cases for other countries, according to Paul. The result is that, unlike Egypt and other US partners in the Middle East, no Israeli unit has ever been sanctioned under the Leahy law despite numerous credible allegations of human rights abuses, a fact that the statute’s namesake has loudly railed against. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October in Israel's war on Gaza. [Getty] The State Department has previously justified this disparity by pointing to Israel’s judicial system, which US officials believe is capable of handling human rights violations internally. In recent weeks, congressional attention has focused on whether Israel is violating a US law that prevents countries from receiving American weapons if they block US humanitarian aid in whole or in part. While the statute has rarely been enforced, the Biden administration promised to hold states accountable to the law in a recent memorandum. At this point, many experts and lawmakers believe Israel is in clear violation of this law given how little aid now enters Gaza. Yet the White House has still not offered a reason - or a formal waiver - to justify its failure to enforce its own commitment. "Given the evidence that Israel is intentionally blocking the passage of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the Biden administration has an obligation to enforce Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and move towards limitations on further offensive aid to Israel as long as the aid blockade continues," Rep. Castro told Responsible Statecraft/The New Arab. "US law explicitly states that America must give Israel a 'qualitative military edge' over its neighbours" 'As supportive as possible' When the White House moved to expedite weapons transfers to Israel after 7 October, it faced an unusual problem. The president already had more than enough authority to make this happen, but officials wanted to signal that they were being “as supportive as possible”. The solution was to further loosen laws around US arms transfers, according to Paul, who still worked in government at the time. “It's not that those were things that we'd been previously thinking about,” Paul said. “The previous position within government had been [that] Israel already has more than you could possibly want in terms of authorities and funding.” RELATED In-depth Jessica Buxbaum Now, the Senate’s supplemental spending package for Israel has provisions that would dramatically expand the secretive US stockpile on Israeli soil while loosening public reporting requirements about transfers from it. A bill with similar changes passed the House as well, signalling broad support for the proposal in Congress. Alongside already existing loopholes, these new restrictions weaken America’s case that it is committed to protecting human rights on the world stage, according to Ramming-Chappell. “The exceptional status that Israel enjoys in US arms transfer policy and law, when taken in conjunction with the devastating effects of Israel’s current campaign in Gaza, really undermines US leadership and claims to moral authority in the international sphere,” he said. Connor Echols is a reporter for Responsible Statecraft. He was previously an associate editor at the Nonzero Foundation, where he co-wrote a weekly foreign policy newsletter. Follow him on Twitter: @connor_echols https://www.newarab.com/analysis/bombs-guns-treasure-what-israel-wants-us-gives
    WWW.NEWARAB.COM
    Bombs, guns, treasure: What Israel wants, the US gives
    In-depth: Israel's exceptional status in US arms policy and law ensures that unending military aid is shielded from scrutiny over human rights abuses.
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  • Subject: Fw: Dr Mike Yeadon: Introductory statement about serious crimes per Mark Sexton communication
    To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
    Cc: Mark Sexton

    Dear Ben Bates,

    I have been asked by former policeman, Mark Sexton (copied) to introduce myself to you & to indicate the fields in which I have unequivocal evidence of criminal activity.

    Let me begin my outlining my credentials to have realised that the areas I will outline were incorrect in the first place.

    My name is Dr Mike Yeadon. I am the most senior, former “big pharma” & biotech research executive speaking out about several serious crimes in relation to what I call the “Covid era”.

    My original training was in Biochemistry & Toxicology, in which I was awarded the strongest first class joint honours degree that the School of Biomedical Sciences had ever awarded at the time (1985, University of Surrey).

    Part of my undergraduate training involved research placements at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wiltshire, where I was a small cog in the long term development of injected antidotes for nerve gas poisoning to protect British troops. I also worked at the then Central Laboratory of the Forensic Sciences Service, Aldermaston, Berkshire, adjacent to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While with the Forensic Science Service, I received training on several precision analytical methods including mass spectrometry, then a highly technically complex method.
    As far as I recall, I had security clearance for both establishments. Porton Down, then as now, is a top security facility with an international reputation.

    My PhD, in the field of Pharmacology was “On the effect of opiates on respiratory function” (1988) and this was sponsored by the MOD.

    After securing my PhD, which gave me a sound training in several additional subdisciplines of biology, chemistry & drug metabolism, I joined the pharmaceutical industry.

    I spent 24years with “big pharma”, starting at Wellcome Research Laboratories, where I briefly worked alongside a Dr Patrick Vallance (who became Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government).

    For the longest period, I was in charge of Pfizer’s global research in the field of Allergic & Respiratory Disease Therapeutics. I left Pfizer in 2011, having reached the level of Vice President, because the company had decided to exit their large R&D base in Kent. The parting was cordial. Before leaving, I sought to find new homes for the portfolio of exploratory medicines I had helped create & was gratified that Mylan U.K. Ltd, the world’s second largest generics company, acquired much of my former portfolio soon after I had left.

    I later founded & lead as CEO a highly successful biotechnology company, Ziarco Pharma Ltd. Pfizer and four other venture capital firms were investors in my company, which was acquired by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in 2017.

    My accomplishments are considered by some to have been unusual. So much so that a former Pfizer board member & previously worldwide head of R&D, Dr John LaMattina, wrote up my last venture in Forbes, a leading business magazine (February 2017).
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2017/03/15/turning-pfizer-discards-into-novartis-gold-the-story-of-ziarco/

    In summary, I have had a very strong training in multiple disciplines and over 30 years leadership experience in the field of inventing and testing new medicines for respiratory illnesses. I have an excellent analytical background and I can claim to be at least the equal of anyone advising the government in science.

    I have no history of “conspiracy theory” or political campaigns or protests. I don’t believe I made a single public comment on anything prior to 2020.

    My accomplishments in applied biomedical sciences qualify me to be taken seriously.
    I ask that the evidence I marshall is evaluated thoroughly. I am confident in my assessments, which have been tested by dozens of others, internationally well known scientists and doctors.

    https://t.me/DrMikeYeadon
    Subject: Fw: Dr Mike Yeadon: Introductory statement about serious crimes per Mark Sexton communication To: [email protected] <[email protected]> Cc: Mark Sexton Dear Ben Bates, I have been asked by former policeman, Mark Sexton (copied) to introduce myself to you & to indicate the fields in which I have unequivocal evidence of criminal activity. Let me begin my outlining my credentials to have realised that the areas I will outline were incorrect in the first place. My name is Dr Mike Yeadon. I am the most senior, former “big pharma” & biotech research executive speaking out about several serious crimes in relation to what I call the “Covid era”. My original training was in Biochemistry & Toxicology, in which I was awarded the strongest first class joint honours degree that the School of Biomedical Sciences had ever awarded at the time (1985, University of Surrey). Part of my undergraduate training involved research placements at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, Wiltshire, where I was a small cog in the long term development of injected antidotes for nerve gas poisoning to protect British troops. I also worked at the then Central Laboratory of the Forensic Sciences Service, Aldermaston, Berkshire, adjacent to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. While with the Forensic Science Service, I received training on several precision analytical methods including mass spectrometry, then a highly technically complex method. As far as I recall, I had security clearance for both establishments. Porton Down, then as now, is a top security facility with an international reputation. My PhD, in the field of Pharmacology was “On the effect of opiates on respiratory function” (1988) and this was sponsored by the MOD. After securing my PhD, which gave me a sound training in several additional subdisciplines of biology, chemistry & drug metabolism, I joined the pharmaceutical industry. I spent 24years with “big pharma”, starting at Wellcome Research Laboratories, where I briefly worked alongside a Dr Patrick Vallance (who became Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government). For the longest period, I was in charge of Pfizer’s global research in the field of Allergic & Respiratory Disease Therapeutics. I left Pfizer in 2011, having reached the level of Vice President, because the company had decided to exit their large R&D base in Kent. The parting was cordial. Before leaving, I sought to find new homes for the portfolio of exploratory medicines I had helped create & was gratified that Mylan U.K. Ltd, the world’s second largest generics company, acquired much of my former portfolio soon after I had left. I later founded & lead as CEO a highly successful biotechnology company, Ziarco Pharma Ltd. Pfizer and four other venture capital firms were investors in my company, which was acquired by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, in 2017. My accomplishments are considered by some to have been unusual. So much so that a former Pfizer board member & previously worldwide head of R&D, Dr John LaMattina, wrote up my last venture in Forbes, a leading business magazine (February 2017). https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2017/03/15/turning-pfizer-discards-into-novartis-gold-the-story-of-ziarco/ In summary, I have had a very strong training in multiple disciplines and over 30 years leadership experience in the field of inventing and testing new medicines for respiratory illnesses. I have an excellent analytical background and I can claim to be at least the equal of anyone advising the government in science. I have no history of “conspiracy theory” or political campaigns or protests. I don’t believe I made a single public comment on anything prior to 2020. My accomplishments in applied biomedical sciences qualify me to be taken seriously. I ask that the evidence I marshall is evaluated thoroughly. I am confident in my assessments, which have been tested by dozens of others, internationally well known scientists and doctors. 👉 https://t.me/DrMikeYeadon
    WWW.FORBES.COM
    Turning Pfizer Discards Into Novartis Gold: The Story Of Ziarco
    Mike was told in the fall of 2010 that Pfizer was closing the Allergy & Respiratory diseases programs and his own role as the CSO of this group was being eliminated. Rather than seek employment elsewhere, Mike had others ideas.
    Like
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  • Scott Ritter: We are witnessing the bittersweet birth of a new Russia | VT Foreign Policy
    March 10, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    Tucker Carlson’s confused exasperation over Russian President Vladmir Putin’s extemporaneous history lesson at the start of their landmark February interview (which has been watched more than a billion times), underscored one realty. For a Western audience, the question of the historical bona fides of Russia’s claim of sovereign interest in territories located on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnieper River, currently claimed by Ukraine, is confusing to the point of incomprehension.

    Vladimir Putin, however, did not manufacture his history lesson from thin air. Anyone who has followed the speeches and writings of the Russian president over the years would have found his comments to Carlson quite familiar, echoing both in tone and content previous statements made concerning both the viability of the Ukrainian state from an historic perspective, and the historical ties between what Putin has called Novorossiya (New Russia) and the Russian nation.

    For example, on March 18, 2014, during his announcement regarding the annexation of Crimea, the president observed that “after the [Russian] Revolution [of 1917], for a number of reasons the Bolsheviks – let God judge them – added historical sections of the south of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic composition of the population, and these regions today form the south-east of Ukraine.”

    Later during a televised question-and-answer session, Putin declared that “what was called Novorossiya back in tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine then. These territories were given to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet Government. Why? Who knows? They were won by Potemkin and Catherine the Great in a series of well-known wars. The center of that territory was Novorossiysk, so the region is called Novorossiya. Russia lost these territories for various reasons, but the people remained.”

    Novorossiya isn’t just a construct of Vladimir Putin’s imagination, but rather a notion drawn from historic fact that resonated with the people who populated the territories it encompassed. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was an abortive effort by pro-Russia citizens of the new Ukrainian state to restore Novorossiya as an independent region.

    Scott Ritter: Helping Crimea recover from decades of Ukrainian misrule is a tough but necessary challenge

    Read more

    Scott Ritter: Helping Crimea recover from decades of Ukrainian misrule is a tough but necessary challenge

    While this effort failed, the concept of a greater Novorossiya confederation was revived in May 2014 by the newly proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. But this effort, too, was short-lived, being put on ice in 2015. This, however, did not mean the death of the idea of Novorossiya. On February 21, 2022, Putin delivered a lengthy address to the Russian nation on the eve of his decision to send Russian troops into Ukraine as part of what he termed a Special Military Operation. Those who watched Tucker Carlson’s February 9, 2024, interview with Putin would have been struck by the similarity between the two presentations.

    While he did not make a direct reference to Novorossiya, the president did outline fundamental historic and cultural linkages which serve as the foundation for any discussion about the viability and legitimacy of Novorossiya in the context of Russian-Ukrainian relations.

    “I would like to emphasize,” Putin said, “once again that Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. It is an integral part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space. It is our friends, our relatives, not only colleagues, friends, and former work colleagues, but also our relatives and close family members. Since the oldest times,” Putin continued, “the inhabitants of the south-western historical territories of ancient Russia have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. It was the same in the 17th century, when a part of these territories [i.e., Novorossiya] was reunited with the Russian state, and even after that.”

    The Russian president set forth his contention that the modern state of Ukraine was an invention of Vladimir Lenin, the founding father of the Soviet Union. “Soviet Ukraine is the result of the Bolsheviks’ policy,” Putin stated, “and can be rightfully called ‘Vladimir Lenin’s Ukraine’. He was its creator and architect. This is fully and comprehensively corroborated by archival documents.”

    Putin went on to issue a threat which, when seen in the context of the present, proved ominously prescient. “And today the ’grateful progeny’ has overturned monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. They call it decommunization. You want decommunization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean for Ukraine.”

    In September 2022 Putin followed through on this, ordering referendums in four territories (Kherson and Zaporozhye, and the newly independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) to determine whether the populations residing there wished to join the Russian Federation. All four did so. Putin has since then referred to these new Russian territories as Novorossiya, perhaps nowhere more poignantly that in June 2023, when he praised the Russian soldiers “who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya and for the unity of the Russian world.”

    The story of those who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya is one that I have wanted to tell for some time now. I have borne witness here in the United States to the extremely one-sided coverage of the military aspects of Russia’s military operation. Like many of my fellow analysts, I had to undertake the extremely difficult task of trying to parse out fact from an overwhelmingly fictional narrative. Nor was I helped in any way in this regard by the Russian side, which was parsimonious in the release of information that reflected its side of reality.

    In preparing for my December 2023 visit to Russia, I had hoped to be able to visit the four new Russian territories to see for myself what the truth was when it came to the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. I also wanted to interview the Russian military and civilian leadership to get a broader perspective of the conflict. I had reached out to the Russian Foreign and Defense ministries through the Russian Embassy in the US, bending the ear of both the Ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, and the Defense Attache, Major-General Evgeny Bobkin, about my plans.

    While both men supported my project and wrote recommendations back to their respective ministries in this regard, the Russian Defense Ministry, which had the final say over what happened in the four new territories, vetoed the idea. This veto was not because they didn’t like the idea of me writing an in-depth analysis of the conflict from the Russian perspective, but rather that the project as I outlined it, which would have required sustained access to frontline units and personnel, was deemed too dangerous. In short, the Russian Defense Ministry did not relish the idea of me being killed on its watch.

    Under normal circumstances, I would have backed off. I had no desire to create any difficulty with the Russian government, and I was always cognizant of the reality that I was a guest in the country.

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    The last thing I wanted to be was a “war tourist,” where I put myself and others at risk for purely personal reasons. But I also felt strongly that if I were going to continue to provide so-called “expert analysis” about the military operation and the geopolitical realities of Novorossiya and Crimea, then I needed to see these places firsthand. I strongly believed that I had a professional obligation to see the new territories. Fortunately for me, Aleksandr Zyryanov, a Crimea native and director general of the Novosibirsk Region Development Corporation, agreed.

    It wasn’t going to be easy.

    We first tried to enter the new territories via Donetsk, driving west out of Rostov-on-Don. However, when we arrived at the checkpoint, we were told that the Ministry of Defense had not cleared us for entry. Not willing to take no for an answer, Aleksandr drove south, towards Krasnodar, and then – after making some phone calls – across the Crimean Bridge into Crimea. Once it became clear that we were planning on entering the new territories from Crimea, the Ministry of Defense yielded, granting permission for me to visit the four new Russian territories under one non-negotiable condition – I was not to go anywhere near the frontlines.

    We left Feodosia early on the morning of January 15, 2024. At Dzhankoy, in northern Crimea, we took highway 18 north toward the Tup-Dzhankoy Peninsula and the Chongar Strait, which separates the Sivash lagoon system that forms the border between Crimea and the mainland into eastern and western portions. It was here that Red Army forces, on the night of November 12, 1920, broke through the defenses of the White Army of General Wrangel, leading to the capture of the Crimean Peninsula by Soviet forces. And it was also here that the Russian Army, on February 24, 2022, crossed into the Kherson Region from Crimea.

    The Chongar Bridge is one of three highway crossings that connect Crimea with Kherson. It has been struck twice by Ukrainian forces seeking to disrupt Russian supply lines, once, in June 2023, when it was hit by British-made Storm Shadow missiles, and once again that August when it was hit by French-made SCALP missiles (a variant of the Storm Shadow.) In both instances, the bridge was temporarily shut down for repairs, evidence of which was clearly visible as we made our way across, and on to the Chongar checkpoint, where we were cleared by Russian soldiers for entry into the Kherson Region.

    At the checkpoint we picked up a vehicle carrying a bodyguard detachment from the reconnaissance company of the Sparta Battalion, a veteran military formation whose roots date back to the very beginning of the Donbass revolt against the Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev during the February 2014 Maidan coup. They would be our escort through the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – even though we were going to give the frontlines a wide berth, Ukrainian “deep reconnaissance groups”, or DRGs, were known to target traffic along the M18 highway. Aleksandr was driving an armored Chevrolet Suburban, and the Sparta detachment had their own armored SUV. If we were to come under attack, our response would be to try and drive through the ambush. If that failed, then the Sparta boys would have to go to work.

    Our first destination was the city of Genichesk, a port city along the Sea of Azov. Genichesk is the capital of the Genichesk District of the Kherson Region and, since November 9, 2022, when Russian forces withdrew from the city of Kherson, it has served as the temporary capital of the region. Aleksandr had been on his phone since morning, and his efforts had paid off – I was scheduled to meet with Vladimir Saldo, the local Governor.

    RT

    Genichesk is – literally – off the beaten path. When we reached the town of Novoalekseyevka, we got off the M18 highway and headed east along a two-lane road that took us toward the Sea of Azov. There were armed checkpoints all along the route, but the Sparta bodyguards were able to get us waved through without any issues. But the effect of these checkpoints was chilling – there was no doubt that one was in a region at war.

    To call Genichesk a ghost town would be misleading – it is populated, and the evidence of civilian life is everywhere you look. The problem was, there didn’t seem to be enough people present. The city, like the region, is in a general state of decay, a holdover from the neglect it had suffered at the hands of a Ukrainian government that largely ignored territories that had, since 2004, voted in favor of the Party of Regions, the party of former President Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted in the February 2014 Maidan coup. Nearly two years of war had likewise contributed to the atmosphere of societal neglect, an impression which was magnified by the weather – overcast, cold, with a light sleet blowing in off the water.

    As we made our way into the building where the government of the Kherson Region had established its temporary offices, I couldn’t help but notice a statue of Lenin in the courtyard. Ukrainian nationalists had taken it down in July 2015, but the citizens of Genichesk had reinstalled it in April 2022, once the Russians had taken control of the city. Given Putin’s feeling about the role Lenin played in creating Ukraine, I found both the presence of this monument, and the role of the Russian citizens of Genichesk in restoring it, curiously ironic.

    Vladimir Saldo is a man imbued with enthusiasm for his work. A civil engineer by profession, with a PhD in economics, Saldo had served in senior management positions in the “Khersonbud” Project and Construction Company before moving on into politics, serving on the Kherson City Council, the Kherson Regional Administration, and two terms as the mayor of the city of Kherson. Saldo, as a member of the Party of Regions, moved to the opposition and was effectively subjected to political ostracism in 2014, when the Ukrainian nationalists who had seized power all but forced it out of politics.

    Aleksandr and I had the pleasure of meeting with Saldo in his office in the government building in downtown Genichesk. We talked about a wide range of issues, including his own path from a Ukrainian construction specialist to his current position as the governor of Kherson Oblast.

    We talked about the war.

    But Saldo’s passion was the economy, and how he could help revive the civilian economy of Kherson in a manner that best served the interests of its diminished population. On the eve of the military operation, back in early 2022, the population of the Kherson Region stood at just over a million, of which some 280,000 were residing in the city of Kherson. By November 2022, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the right bank of the Dnieper River – including the city of Kherson – the population of the region had fallen below 400,000 and, with dismal economic prospects, the numbers kept falling. Many of those who left were Ukrainians who did not want to live under Russian rule. But others were Russians and Ukrainians who felt that they had no future in the war-torn region, and as such sought their fortunes elsewhere in Russia.

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    “My job is to give the people of Kherson hope for a better future,” Saldo told me. “And the time for this to happen is now, not when the war ends.”

    Restoration of Kherson’s once vibrant agricultural sector is a top priority, and Saldo has personally taken the lead in signing agreements for the provision of Kherson produce to Moscow supermarkets. Saldo has also turned the region into a special economic zone, where potential investors and entrepreneurs can receive preferential loans and financial support, as well as organizational and legal assistance for businesses willing to open shop there.

    The man responsible for making this vision a reality is Mikhail Panchenko, the Director of the Kherson Region Industry Development Fund. I met Mikhail in a restaurant located across the street from the governmental building which Saldo called home. Mikhail had come to Kherson in the summer of 2022, leaving a prominent position in Moscow in the process. “The Russian government was interested in rebuilding Kherson,” Mikhail told me, “and established the Industry Development Fund as a way of attracting businesses to the region.” Mikhail, who was born in 1968, was too old to enlist in the military. “When the opportunity came to direct the Industry Development Fund, I jumped at it as a way to do my patriotic duty.”

    The first year of the fund’s operation saw Mikhail hand out 300 million rubles (almost $3.3 million at the current rate) in loans and grants (some of which was used to open the very restaurant where we were meeting.) The second year saw the allotment grow to some 700 million rubles. One of the biggest projects was the opening of a concrete production line capable of producing 60 cubic meters of concrete per hour. Mikhail took Alexander and me on a tour of the plant, which had grown to three production lines generating some 180 cubic meters of concrete an hour. Mikhail had just approved funding for an additional four production lines, for a total concrete production rate of 420 cubic meters per hour.

    “That’s a lot of concrete,” I remarked to Mikhail.

    “We are making good use of it,” he replied. “We are rebuilding schools, hospitals, and government buildings that had been neglected over the years. Revitalizing the basic infrastructure a society needs if it is to nurture a growing population.”

    The problem Mikhail faces, however, is that most of the population growth being experienced in Kherson today comes from the military. The war can’t last forever, Mikhail noted. “Someday the army will leave, and we will need civilians. Right now, the people who left are not returning, and we’re having a hard time attracting newcomers. But we will keep building in anticipation of a time when the population of the Kherson region will grow from an impetus other than war. And for that,” he said, a twinkle in his eye, “we need concrete!”

    I thought long and hard about the words of Vladimir Saldo and Panchenko as Aleksandr drove back onto the M18 highway, heading northeast, toward Donetsk. The reconstruction efforts being undertaken are impressive. But the number that kept coming to mind was the precipitous decline in the population – more than 60% of the pre-war population has left the Kherson region since the Russian military operation began.

    According to statistics provided by the Russian Central Election Commission, some 571,000 voters took part in the referendum on joining Russia that was held in late September 2022. A little over 497,000, or some 87%, voted in favor, while slightly more than 68,800, or 12%, voted against. The turnout was almost 77%.

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    These numbers, if accurate, implied that there was a population of over 740,000 eligible voters at the time of the election. While the loss of the city of Kherson in November 2022 could account for a significant source of the population drop that took place between September 2022 and the time of my visit in January 2024, it could not account for all of it.

    The Russian population of Kherson in 2022 stood at approximately 20%, or around 200,000. One can safely say that the number of Russians who fled west to Kiev following the start of the military operation amounts to a negligible figure. If one assumes that the Russian population of the Kherson Region remained relatively stable, then most of the population decline came from the Ukrainian population.

    While Saldo did not admit to such, the Governor of the neighboring Zaporozhya Region, Yevgeny Balitsky, has acknowledged that many Ukrainian families deemed by the authorities to be anti-Russian were deported following the initiation of the military operation (Russians accounted for a little more than 25% of the pre-conflict Zaporozhye population.) Many others fled to Russia to escape the deprivations of war.

    Evidence of the war was everywhere to be seen. While the conflict in Kherson has stabilized along a line defined by the Dnieper River, Zaporozhye is very much a frontline region. Indeed, the main direction of attack of the summer 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive was from the Zaporozhye region village of Rabotino, toward the town of Tokmak, and on towards the temporary regional capital of Melitopol (the city of Zaporozhye has remained under Ukrainian control throughout the conflict to date.)

    I had petitioned to visit the frontlines near Rabotino but had been denied by the Russian Ministry of Defense. So, too, was my request to visit units deployed in the vicinity of Tokmak – too close to the front. The closest I would get would be the city of Melitopol, the ultimate objective of the Ukrainian counterattack. We drove past fields filled with the concrete “dragon’s teeth” and antitank ditches that marked the final layer of defenses that constituted the “Surovikin Line,” named after the Russian General, Sergey Surovikin, who had commanded the forces when the defenses were put in place.

    The Ukrainians had hoped to reach the city of Melitopol in a matter of days once their attack began; they never breached the first line of defense situated to the southeast of Rabotino.

    Melitopol, however, is not immune to the horrors of war, with Ukrainian artillery and rockets targeting it often to disrupt Russian military logistics. I kept this in mind as we drove through the streets of the city, past military checkpoints, and roving patrols. I was struck by the fact that the civilians I saw were going about their business, seemingly oblivious to the everyday reality of war that existed around them.

    As was the case in Kherson, the entirety of the Zaporozhye Region seemed strangely depopulated, as if one were driving through the French capital of Paris in August, when half the city is away on vacation. I had hoped to be able to talk with Balitsky about the reduced population and other questions I had about life in the region during wartime, but this time Aleksandr’s phone could not produce the desired result – Balitsky was away from the region and unavailable.

    If he had been available, I would have asked him the same question I had put to Saldo earlier in the day: given that Putin was apparently willing to return the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Ukraine as part of the peace deal negotiated in March 2022, how does the population of his region feel about being part of Russia today? Are they convinced that Russia is, in fact, there to stay? Do they feel like they are a genuine part of the Novorossiya that Putin speaks about?

    Saldo had talked in depth about the transition from being occupied by Russian forces, which lasted until April-May 2022 (about the time that Ukraine backed out of the ceasefire agreement), to being administered by Moscow. “There never was a doubt in my mind, or anyone else’s, that Kherson was historically a part of Russia,” Saldo said, “or that, once Russian troops arrived, that we would forever be Russian again.”

    But the declining population, and the admission of forced deportations on the part of Balitsky, suggests that there was a significant part of the population that had, in fact, taken umbrage at such a future.

    I would have liked to hear what Balitsky had to say about this question.

    Reality, however, doesn’t deal with hypotheticals, and the present reality is that both Kherson and Zaporozhye are today part of the Russian Federation, and that both regions are populated by people who had made the decision to remain there as citizens of Russia. We will never know what the fate of these two territories would have been had the Ukrainian government honored the ceasefire agreement negotiated in March 2022. What we do know is that today both Kherson and Zaporozhye are part of the “New Territories” – Novorossiya.

    Russia will for some time find its acquisition of the “new territories” challenged by nations who question the legitimacy of Russia’s military occupation and subsequent absorption of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions into the Russian Federation. The reticence of foreigners to recognize these regions as being part of Russia, however, is the least of Russia’s problems. As was the case with Crimea, the Russian government will proceed irrespective of any international opposition.

    The real challenge facing Russia is to convince Russians that the new territories are as integral to the Russian motherland as Crimea, a region reabsorbed by Russia in 2014 which has seen its economic fortunes and its population grow over the past decade. The diminished demographics of Kherson and Zaporozhye represent a litmus test of sorts for the Russian government, and for the governments of both Kherson and Zaporozhye. If the populations of these regions cannot regenerate, then these regions will wither on the vine. If, however, these new Russian lands can be transformed into places where Russians can envision themselves raising families in an environment free from want and fear, then Novorossiya will flourish.

    Novorossiya is a reality, and the people who live there are citizens by choice more than circumstances. They are well served by men like Saldo and Balitsky, who are dedicated to the giant task of making these regions part of the Russian Motherland in actuality, not just in name.

    Behind Saldo and Balitsky are men like Panchenko, people who left an easy life in Moscow or some other Russian city to come to the “New Territories” not for the purpose of seeking their fortunes, but rather to improve the lives of the new Russian citizens of Novorossiya.



    For this to happen, Russia must emerge victorious in its struggle against the Ukrainian nationalists ensconced in Kiev, and their Western allies. Thanks to the sacrifices of the Russian military, this victory is in the process of being accomplished.

    Then the real test begins – turning Novorossiya into a place Russians will want to call home.


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    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/scott-ritter-we-are-witnessing-the-bittersweet-birth-of-a-new-russia/


    https://telegra.ph/Scott-Ritter-We-are-witnessing-the-bittersweet-birth-of-a-new-Russia--VT-Foreign-Policy-03-11
    Scott Ritter: We are witnessing the bittersweet birth of a new Russia | VT Foreign Policy March 10, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. Tucker Carlson’s confused exasperation over Russian President Vladmir Putin’s extemporaneous history lesson at the start of their landmark February interview (which has been watched more than a billion times), underscored one realty. For a Western audience, the question of the historical bona fides of Russia’s claim of sovereign interest in territories located on the left (eastern) bank of the Dnieper River, currently claimed by Ukraine, is confusing to the point of incomprehension. Vladimir Putin, however, did not manufacture his history lesson from thin air. Anyone who has followed the speeches and writings of the Russian president over the years would have found his comments to Carlson quite familiar, echoing both in tone and content previous statements made concerning both the viability of the Ukrainian state from an historic perspective, and the historical ties between what Putin has called Novorossiya (New Russia) and the Russian nation. For example, on March 18, 2014, during his announcement regarding the annexation of Crimea, the president observed that “after the [Russian] Revolution [of 1917], for a number of reasons the Bolsheviks – let God judge them – added historical sections of the south of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic composition of the population, and these regions today form the south-east of Ukraine.” Later during a televised question-and-answer session, Putin declared that “what was called Novorossiya back in tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine then. These territories were given to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet Government. Why? Who knows? They were won by Potemkin and Catherine the Great in a series of well-known wars. The center of that territory was Novorossiysk, so the region is called Novorossiya. Russia lost these territories for various reasons, but the people remained.” Novorossiya isn’t just a construct of Vladimir Putin’s imagination, but rather a notion drawn from historic fact that resonated with the people who populated the territories it encompassed. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was an abortive effort by pro-Russia citizens of the new Ukrainian state to restore Novorossiya as an independent region. Scott Ritter: Helping Crimea recover from decades of Ukrainian misrule is a tough but necessary challenge Read more Scott Ritter: Helping Crimea recover from decades of Ukrainian misrule is a tough but necessary challenge While this effort failed, the concept of a greater Novorossiya confederation was revived in May 2014 by the newly proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. But this effort, too, was short-lived, being put on ice in 2015. This, however, did not mean the death of the idea of Novorossiya. On February 21, 2022, Putin delivered a lengthy address to the Russian nation on the eve of his decision to send Russian troops into Ukraine as part of what he termed a Special Military Operation. Those who watched Tucker Carlson’s February 9, 2024, interview with Putin would have been struck by the similarity between the two presentations. While he did not make a direct reference to Novorossiya, the president did outline fundamental historic and cultural linkages which serve as the foundation for any discussion about the viability and legitimacy of Novorossiya in the context of Russian-Ukrainian relations. “I would like to emphasize,” Putin said, “once again that Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. It is an integral part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space. It is our friends, our relatives, not only colleagues, friends, and former work colleagues, but also our relatives and close family members. Since the oldest times,” Putin continued, “the inhabitants of the south-western historical territories of ancient Russia have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. It was the same in the 17th century, when a part of these territories [i.e., Novorossiya] was reunited with the Russian state, and even after that.” The Russian president set forth his contention that the modern state of Ukraine was an invention of Vladimir Lenin, the founding father of the Soviet Union. “Soviet Ukraine is the result of the Bolsheviks’ policy,” Putin stated, “and can be rightfully called ‘Vladimir Lenin’s Ukraine’. He was its creator and architect. This is fully and comprehensively corroborated by archival documents.” Putin went on to issue a threat which, when seen in the context of the present, proved ominously prescient. “And today the ’grateful progeny’ has overturned monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. They call it decommunization. You want decommunization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean for Ukraine.” In September 2022 Putin followed through on this, ordering referendums in four territories (Kherson and Zaporozhye, and the newly independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) to determine whether the populations residing there wished to join the Russian Federation. All four did so. Putin has since then referred to these new Russian territories as Novorossiya, perhaps nowhere more poignantly that in June 2023, when he praised the Russian soldiers “who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya and for the unity of the Russian world.” The story of those who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya is one that I have wanted to tell for some time now. I have borne witness here in the United States to the extremely one-sided coverage of the military aspects of Russia’s military operation. Like many of my fellow analysts, I had to undertake the extremely difficult task of trying to parse out fact from an overwhelmingly fictional narrative. Nor was I helped in any way in this regard by the Russian side, which was parsimonious in the release of information that reflected its side of reality. In preparing for my December 2023 visit to Russia, I had hoped to be able to visit the four new Russian territories to see for myself what the truth was when it came to the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. I also wanted to interview the Russian military and civilian leadership to get a broader perspective of the conflict. I had reached out to the Russian Foreign and Defense ministries through the Russian Embassy in the US, bending the ear of both the Ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, and the Defense Attache, Major-General Evgeny Bobkin, about my plans. While both men supported my project and wrote recommendations back to their respective ministries in this regard, the Russian Defense Ministry, which had the final say over what happened in the four new territories, vetoed the idea. This veto was not because they didn’t like the idea of me writing an in-depth analysis of the conflict from the Russian perspective, but rather that the project as I outlined it, which would have required sustained access to frontline units and personnel, was deemed too dangerous. In short, the Russian Defense Ministry did not relish the idea of me being killed on its watch. Under normal circumstances, I would have backed off. I had no desire to create any difficulty with the Russian government, and I was always cognizant of the reality that I was a guest in the country. Western ‘expertise’ on the Ukraine conflict could lead the world to a nuclear disaster Read more Western ‘expertise’ on the Ukraine conflict could lead the world to a nuclear disaster The last thing I wanted to be was a “war tourist,” where I put myself and others at risk for purely personal reasons. But I also felt strongly that if I were going to continue to provide so-called “expert analysis” about the military operation and the geopolitical realities of Novorossiya and Crimea, then I needed to see these places firsthand. I strongly believed that I had a professional obligation to see the new territories. Fortunately for me, Aleksandr Zyryanov, a Crimea native and director general of the Novosibirsk Region Development Corporation, agreed. It wasn’t going to be easy. We first tried to enter the new territories via Donetsk, driving west out of Rostov-on-Don. However, when we arrived at the checkpoint, we were told that the Ministry of Defense had not cleared us for entry. Not willing to take no for an answer, Aleksandr drove south, towards Krasnodar, and then – after making some phone calls – across the Crimean Bridge into Crimea. Once it became clear that we were planning on entering the new territories from Crimea, the Ministry of Defense yielded, granting permission for me to visit the four new Russian territories under one non-negotiable condition – I was not to go anywhere near the frontlines. We left Feodosia early on the morning of January 15, 2024. At Dzhankoy, in northern Crimea, we took highway 18 north toward the Tup-Dzhankoy Peninsula and the Chongar Strait, which separates the Sivash lagoon system that forms the border between Crimea and the mainland into eastern and western portions. It was here that Red Army forces, on the night of November 12, 1920, broke through the defenses of the White Army of General Wrangel, leading to the capture of the Crimean Peninsula by Soviet forces. And it was also here that the Russian Army, on February 24, 2022, crossed into the Kherson Region from Crimea. The Chongar Bridge is one of three highway crossings that connect Crimea with Kherson. It has been struck twice by Ukrainian forces seeking to disrupt Russian supply lines, once, in June 2023, when it was hit by British-made Storm Shadow missiles, and once again that August when it was hit by French-made SCALP missiles (a variant of the Storm Shadow.) In both instances, the bridge was temporarily shut down for repairs, evidence of which was clearly visible as we made our way across, and on to the Chongar checkpoint, where we were cleared by Russian soldiers for entry into the Kherson Region. At the checkpoint we picked up a vehicle carrying a bodyguard detachment from the reconnaissance company of the Sparta Battalion, a veteran military formation whose roots date back to the very beginning of the Donbass revolt against the Ukrainian nationalists who seized power in Kiev during the February 2014 Maidan coup. They would be our escort through the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – even though we were going to give the frontlines a wide berth, Ukrainian “deep reconnaissance groups”, or DRGs, were known to target traffic along the M18 highway. Aleksandr was driving an armored Chevrolet Suburban, and the Sparta detachment had their own armored SUV. If we were to come under attack, our response would be to try and drive through the ambush. If that failed, then the Sparta boys would have to go to work. Our first destination was the city of Genichesk, a port city along the Sea of Azov. Genichesk is the capital of the Genichesk District of the Kherson Region and, since November 9, 2022, when Russian forces withdrew from the city of Kherson, it has served as the temporary capital of the region. Aleksandr had been on his phone since morning, and his efforts had paid off – I was scheduled to meet with Vladimir Saldo, the local Governor. RT Genichesk is – literally – off the beaten path. When we reached the town of Novoalekseyevka, we got off the M18 highway and headed east along a two-lane road that took us toward the Sea of Azov. There were armed checkpoints all along the route, but the Sparta bodyguards were able to get us waved through without any issues. But the effect of these checkpoints was chilling – there was no doubt that one was in a region at war. To call Genichesk a ghost town would be misleading – it is populated, and the evidence of civilian life is everywhere you look. The problem was, there didn’t seem to be enough people present. The city, like the region, is in a general state of decay, a holdover from the neglect it had suffered at the hands of a Ukrainian government that largely ignored territories that had, since 2004, voted in favor of the Party of Regions, the party of former President Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted in the February 2014 Maidan coup. Nearly two years of war had likewise contributed to the atmosphere of societal neglect, an impression which was magnified by the weather – overcast, cold, with a light sleet blowing in off the water. As we made our way into the building where the government of the Kherson Region had established its temporary offices, I couldn’t help but notice a statue of Lenin in the courtyard. Ukrainian nationalists had taken it down in July 2015, but the citizens of Genichesk had reinstalled it in April 2022, once the Russians had taken control of the city. Given Putin’s feeling about the role Lenin played in creating Ukraine, I found both the presence of this monument, and the role of the Russian citizens of Genichesk in restoring it, curiously ironic. Vladimir Saldo is a man imbued with enthusiasm for his work. A civil engineer by profession, with a PhD in economics, Saldo had served in senior management positions in the “Khersonbud” Project and Construction Company before moving on into politics, serving on the Kherson City Council, the Kherson Regional Administration, and two terms as the mayor of the city of Kherson. Saldo, as a member of the Party of Regions, moved to the opposition and was effectively subjected to political ostracism in 2014, when the Ukrainian nationalists who had seized power all but forced it out of politics. Aleksandr and I had the pleasure of meeting with Saldo in his office in the government building in downtown Genichesk. We talked about a wide range of issues, including his own path from a Ukrainian construction specialist to his current position as the governor of Kherson Oblast. We talked about the war. But Saldo’s passion was the economy, and how he could help revive the civilian economy of Kherson in a manner that best served the interests of its diminished population. On the eve of the military operation, back in early 2022, the population of the Kherson Region stood at just over a million, of which some 280,000 were residing in the city of Kherson. By November 2022, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the right bank of the Dnieper River – including the city of Kherson – the population of the region had fallen below 400,000 and, with dismal economic prospects, the numbers kept falling. Many of those who left were Ukrainians who did not want to live under Russian rule. But others were Russians and Ukrainians who felt that they had no future in the war-torn region, and as such sought their fortunes elsewhere in Russia. Fyodor Lukyanov: How does the Russia-Ukraine conflict end? Read more Fyodor Lukyanov: How does the Russia-Ukraine conflict end? “My job is to give the people of Kherson hope for a better future,” Saldo told me. “And the time for this to happen is now, not when the war ends.” Restoration of Kherson’s once vibrant agricultural sector is a top priority, and Saldo has personally taken the lead in signing agreements for the provision of Kherson produce to Moscow supermarkets. Saldo has also turned the region into a special economic zone, where potential investors and entrepreneurs can receive preferential loans and financial support, as well as organizational and legal assistance for businesses willing to open shop there. The man responsible for making this vision a reality is Mikhail Panchenko, the Director of the Kherson Region Industry Development Fund. I met Mikhail in a restaurant located across the street from the governmental building which Saldo called home. Mikhail had come to Kherson in the summer of 2022, leaving a prominent position in Moscow in the process. “The Russian government was interested in rebuilding Kherson,” Mikhail told me, “and established the Industry Development Fund as a way of attracting businesses to the region.” Mikhail, who was born in 1968, was too old to enlist in the military. “When the opportunity came to direct the Industry Development Fund, I jumped at it as a way to do my patriotic duty.” The first year of the fund’s operation saw Mikhail hand out 300 million rubles (almost $3.3 million at the current rate) in loans and grants (some of which was used to open the very restaurant where we were meeting.) The second year saw the allotment grow to some 700 million rubles. One of the biggest projects was the opening of a concrete production line capable of producing 60 cubic meters of concrete per hour. Mikhail took Alexander and me on a tour of the plant, which had grown to three production lines generating some 180 cubic meters of concrete an hour. Mikhail had just approved funding for an additional four production lines, for a total concrete production rate of 420 cubic meters per hour. “That’s a lot of concrete,” I remarked to Mikhail. “We are making good use of it,” he replied. “We are rebuilding schools, hospitals, and government buildings that had been neglected over the years. Revitalizing the basic infrastructure a society needs if it is to nurture a growing population.” The problem Mikhail faces, however, is that most of the population growth being experienced in Kherson today comes from the military. The war can’t last forever, Mikhail noted. “Someday the army will leave, and we will need civilians. Right now, the people who left are not returning, and we’re having a hard time attracting newcomers. But we will keep building in anticipation of a time when the population of the Kherson region will grow from an impetus other than war. And for that,” he said, a twinkle in his eye, “we need concrete!” I thought long and hard about the words of Vladimir Saldo and Panchenko as Aleksandr drove back onto the M18 highway, heading northeast, toward Donetsk. The reconstruction efforts being undertaken are impressive. But the number that kept coming to mind was the precipitous decline in the population – more than 60% of the pre-war population has left the Kherson region since the Russian military operation began. According to statistics provided by the Russian Central Election Commission, some 571,000 voters took part in the referendum on joining Russia that was held in late September 2022. A little over 497,000, or some 87%, voted in favor, while slightly more than 68,800, or 12%, voted against. The turnout was almost 77%. Sergey Poletaev: As the second anniversary of the Russia–Ukraine conflict approaches, who has the upper hand? Read more Sergey Poletaev: As the second anniversary of the Russia–Ukraine conflict approaches, who has the upper hand? These numbers, if accurate, implied that there was a population of over 740,000 eligible voters at the time of the election. While the loss of the city of Kherson in November 2022 could account for a significant source of the population drop that took place between September 2022 and the time of my visit in January 2024, it could not account for all of it. The Russian population of Kherson in 2022 stood at approximately 20%, or around 200,000. One can safely say that the number of Russians who fled west to Kiev following the start of the military operation amounts to a negligible figure. If one assumes that the Russian population of the Kherson Region remained relatively stable, then most of the population decline came from the Ukrainian population. While Saldo did not admit to such, the Governor of the neighboring Zaporozhya Region, Yevgeny Balitsky, has acknowledged that many Ukrainian families deemed by the authorities to be anti-Russian were deported following the initiation of the military operation (Russians accounted for a little more than 25% of the pre-conflict Zaporozhye population.) Many others fled to Russia to escape the deprivations of war. Evidence of the war was everywhere to be seen. While the conflict in Kherson has stabilized along a line defined by the Dnieper River, Zaporozhye is very much a frontline region. Indeed, the main direction of attack of the summer 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive was from the Zaporozhye region village of Rabotino, toward the town of Tokmak, and on towards the temporary regional capital of Melitopol (the city of Zaporozhye has remained under Ukrainian control throughout the conflict to date.) I had petitioned to visit the frontlines near Rabotino but had been denied by the Russian Ministry of Defense. So, too, was my request to visit units deployed in the vicinity of Tokmak – too close to the front. The closest I would get would be the city of Melitopol, the ultimate objective of the Ukrainian counterattack. We drove past fields filled with the concrete “dragon’s teeth” and antitank ditches that marked the final layer of defenses that constituted the “Surovikin Line,” named after the Russian General, Sergey Surovikin, who had commanded the forces when the defenses were put in place. The Ukrainians had hoped to reach the city of Melitopol in a matter of days once their attack began; they never breached the first line of defense situated to the southeast of Rabotino. Melitopol, however, is not immune to the horrors of war, with Ukrainian artillery and rockets targeting it often to disrupt Russian military logistics. I kept this in mind as we drove through the streets of the city, past military checkpoints, and roving patrols. I was struck by the fact that the civilians I saw were going about their business, seemingly oblivious to the everyday reality of war that existed around them. As was the case in Kherson, the entirety of the Zaporozhye Region seemed strangely depopulated, as if one were driving through the French capital of Paris in August, when half the city is away on vacation. I had hoped to be able to talk with Balitsky about the reduced population and other questions I had about life in the region during wartime, but this time Aleksandr’s phone could not produce the desired result – Balitsky was away from the region and unavailable. If he had been available, I would have asked him the same question I had put to Saldo earlier in the day: given that Putin was apparently willing to return the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to Ukraine as part of the peace deal negotiated in March 2022, how does the population of his region feel about being part of Russia today? Are they convinced that Russia is, in fact, there to stay? Do they feel like they are a genuine part of the Novorossiya that Putin speaks about? Saldo had talked in depth about the transition from being occupied by Russian forces, which lasted until April-May 2022 (about the time that Ukraine backed out of the ceasefire agreement), to being administered by Moscow. “There never was a doubt in my mind, or anyone else’s, that Kherson was historically a part of Russia,” Saldo said, “or that, once Russian troops arrived, that we would forever be Russian again.” But the declining population, and the admission of forced deportations on the part of Balitsky, suggests that there was a significant part of the population that had, in fact, taken umbrage at such a future. I would have liked to hear what Balitsky had to say about this question. Reality, however, doesn’t deal with hypotheticals, and the present reality is that both Kherson and Zaporozhye are today part of the Russian Federation, and that both regions are populated by people who had made the decision to remain there as citizens of Russia. We will never know what the fate of these two territories would have been had the Ukrainian government honored the ceasefire agreement negotiated in March 2022. What we do know is that today both Kherson and Zaporozhye are part of the “New Territories” – Novorossiya. Russia will for some time find its acquisition of the “new territories” challenged by nations who question the legitimacy of Russia’s military occupation and subsequent absorption of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions into the Russian Federation. The reticence of foreigners to recognize these regions as being part of Russia, however, is the least of Russia’s problems. As was the case with Crimea, the Russian government will proceed irrespective of any international opposition. The real challenge facing Russia is to convince Russians that the new territories are as integral to the Russian motherland as Crimea, a region reabsorbed by Russia in 2014 which has seen its economic fortunes and its population grow over the past decade. The diminished demographics of Kherson and Zaporozhye represent a litmus test of sorts for the Russian government, and for the governments of both Kherson and Zaporozhye. If the populations of these regions cannot regenerate, then these regions will wither on the vine. If, however, these new Russian lands can be transformed into places where Russians can envision themselves raising families in an environment free from want and fear, then Novorossiya will flourish. Novorossiya is a reality, and the people who live there are citizens by choice more than circumstances. They are well served by men like Saldo and Balitsky, who are dedicated to the giant task of making these regions part of the Russian Motherland in actuality, not just in name. Behind Saldo and Balitsky are men like Panchenko, people who left an easy life in Moscow or some other Russian city to come to the “New Territories” not for the purpose of seeking their fortunes, but rather to improve the lives of the new Russian citizens of Novorossiya. For this to happen, Russia must emerge victorious in its struggle against the Ukrainian nationalists ensconced in Kiev, and their Western allies. Thanks to the sacrifices of the Russian military, this victory is in the process of being accomplished. Then the real test begins – turning Novorossiya into a place Russians will want to call home. ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/scott-ritter-we-are-witnessing-the-bittersweet-birth-of-a-new-russia/ https://telegra.ph/Scott-Ritter-We-are-witnessing-the-bittersweet-birth-of-a-new-Russia--VT-Foreign-Policy-03-11
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    Scott Ritter: We are witnessing the bittersweet birth of a new Russia
    Building Novorossiya back up after Ukrainian neglect and war is a monumental but unavoidable task
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  • Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism?
    Kevin Barrett, Senior EditorMarch 9, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    By Kevin Barrett, for Crescent international

    As I write this in late February 2024 CE (mid-Sha‘ban 1445 Hijri) the official number of Palestinians murdered by zionist aggression in the al-Aqsa Storm war has risen to nearly 30,000. The real number is considerably higher, since many victims are still buried beneath layers of rubble. Nearly 70,000 have been injured. Most of those killed and maimed have been women and children.

    The martyrs dispatched quickly to paradise are luckier than the survivors, who are forced to endure almost unimaginable horrors. The zionists have blockaded food in a deliberate attempt to slowly starve Gazans to death. Social media videos abound showing crying mothers unable to find so much as a crumb for their famished children. Surviving families, many of whom have lost loved ones, lack housing, heat, and warm clothing in the midst of the cold, rainy winter.

    The demonic zionists have deliberately bombed water, sewage, electrical, fuel, and health care infrastructure. They have destroyed the majority of Gaza’s housing, in an effort to mass-murder Gazans and expel the survivors. The destruction of Palestinian homes and life support has forced 1.4 million people to take shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Now the zionists are intensifying their bombing of Rafah in the latest episode of their “final solution to the Palestinian problem.”

    On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) agreed with South Africa’s contention that there is probable cause to believe that Israel is committing genocide (see also here). Any nation on earth could invoke the made-in-USA “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine and use military force in an effort to stop the #GazaHolocaust. The very first nations that might be expected to act are those that share Palestine’s Arabic language and culture. And yet only two relatively small and weak Arab nations have tried: Lebanon and Yemen. The larger, richer, and more powerful states, beginning with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have been missing in action.

    What explains this bizarre situation, in which the weak show courage while the strong reek of abject cowardice? Let’s begin with the cowardice. Egypt has basically been a zionist colony ever since the traitor Anwar Sadat “abnormalized” with Israel in 1979. Since then, the Egyptian military has been awash in American funding, with nearly $100 billion in bribes convincing junta leaders to continue betraying their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

    Today, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi finds himself in a tight spot, as Israel pushes him to endorse genocide and open the border to Palestinian refugees, which would enable the complete erasure of the people of Gaza. To his credit, el-Sisi has thus far refused, saying that any expulsion of Palestinians to Egypt would cause Cairo to break off relations and return to an anti-Israel war footing. But ominously, Egypt is building a gigantic human cattle pen on the Gaza border, “just in case” or so el-Sisi says.

    Saudi Arabia, historically a source of both lip service and a degree of real support for Palestine, has gradually followed Egypt’s path of abject surrender. The current de facto ruler, Mohammad Bin Salman, implicitly endorsed zionist claims to al-Quds (Jerusalem) by acquiescing to Donald Trump’s “Abraham Accords” fiasco, setting the stage for the current catastrophe. Today, the Saudis are trying to make amends for that mistake by insisting on “no normalization without a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders” and strengthening the Kingdom’s peace deal with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, even in the face of US pressure to join Washington’s anti-Yemen “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” better known as “Operation Genocide Guardian.”

    It is ironic that Saudi Arabia is tacitly (though not actively) supporting Ansarullah’s blockade of Israeli-bound shipping. After all, it was the Saudis themselves who originally dragged the US into their war on Ansarullah in 2015. Now the tables are turned, and the Americans are trying to drag the Saudis into an anti-Yemen war, so far without success.

    Saudi Arabia has a nearly two-trillion-dollar adjusted GDP, while Yemen’s is a mere $0.2 trillion. By that measure, Yemen’s economy is one-hundredth the size of the Saudi economy. But despite its apparent weakness, Yemen was not only able to defeat the Saudis and their western backers in a nine-year war, but is now taking military action to try to stop the genocide of Gaza.

    Lebanon, too, boasts a mere $0.2 trillion GDP, one percent of Saudi Arabia’s and one-twentieth the size of Egypt’s. But like Yemen, Lebanon has distinguished itself by taking military action in support of Palestine. Throughout Israel’s genocide of Gaza, the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah, the de facto main branch of the Lebanese military, has been pounding the zionists nonstop, puncturing Israel’s “Iron dome,” forcing 200,000 zionist settlers to flee the northern strip of Occupied Palestine, and diverting Israel’s forces from the Gaza genocide campaign.

    So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper? There are two categorically different kinds of answers: political (dunyawi) and theological-spiritual (rouhani).

    Politically, most leaders feel constrained by circumstance; their choices are dictated by the limits of the possible. Caught between a proverbial rock (zionist power) and a hard place (their own people’s support for Palestine) they try to walk a fine line, careful not to anger the zionists too much lest they become targets, while offering sufficient lip service to the Palestinian cause to at least minimally placate their subjects.

    That balancing act has become more difficult since October 7. Any Arab leader who takes active steps to support Palestine will be painting a target on his back—and the stronger the steps, the bigger the target. Yet any Arab leader who is seen as complicit in the genocide risks being overthrown by his own people.

    The leaders of Hizbullah and Ansarullah already have zio-American targets painted on their backs. They have less to lose, are principled rather than merely pragmatic, and therefore are free to seek Allah’s good pleasure doing the right thing: actively resisting the zionist genocide of Gaza. Whereas leaders like Bin Salman and el-Sisi, presiding over states whose economies and militaries are intertwined with American and hence zionist money and power, would have to take huge risks in order to return their countries to forthrightly anti-zionist positions. And even if they did, and survived, there is no guarantee that, given the current balance of power, they would have much of a chance of succeeding in saving Gazans, much less fully defeating the zionist genocidaires.

    So, from a worldly political viewpoint, the situation is bleak. Arab leaders are simply acting within constraints imposed by the power of circumstance.

    But how did they, and their regimes, arrive in such circumstances? By way of a long process of cultural decline. Whole peoples, led by their elites, have repeatedly chosen expediency over ethics, laziness over diligence, egotism over islam (submission of the self to God).

    According to well-known ahadith, one of the signs of Yawm al-Qiyyama is that “the lowest and the worst man in the nation will become its leader.” The world may not quite have reached that point yet, but it isn’t far off. Today, leaders who represent the best of their nation, like those of Hizbullah and Ansarullah, are the exceptions. Most leaders are neither pious nor courageous nor brilliant. When an uncommonly good leader arises, like Imran Khan in Pakistan, he risks being assassinated or imprisoned.

    So, the deeper reason the Arab nation is so helpless today is that it, like much of the rest of the world, has declined in spiritual quality, allowing itself to be divided and conquered by the forces of evil. The mediocre-at-best leaders that predominate in today’s Arab lands, like the shattered and corrupted societies they preside over, are simply not a match for demonic energy of the zionist shayateen.

    But the seeds of better leadership, planted in places like Yemen and Lebanon and Iran and (insha’Allah) Pakistan, are beginning to sprout. As the secular-materialist west declines, and Zio-American power with it, the circumstances constraining Arab leadership will change, and the possibility of good leadership reviving united Arab and Islamic lands (rather like Putin’s leadership reviving Russia) will become manifest.

    Whatever worldly conquests the zionist dajjal acquires will be only temporary, and will bring the Occupation demons no real happiness nor any respite from their self-inflicted torment of hatred, greed, and cruelty. In the end, it will be seen that they were only digging their own graves—all the way to hell. For as the Qur’an tells us, “They plot and Allah plans; and Allah is the best of planners.” (Surat al-Anfal, 30).



    Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

    He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard-driving weekly radio show funded by listener subscriptions at Substack and the weekly news roundup FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN).

    He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

    Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

    Archived Articles (2004-2016)

    www.truthjihad.com

    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/why-are-arab-regimes-so-impotent-in-the-face-of-zionist-barbarism/


    https://telegra.ph/Why-Are-Arab-Regimes-So-Impotent-in-the-Face-of-Zionist-Barbarism-03-09
    Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism? Kevin Barrett, Senior EditorMarch 9, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. By Kevin Barrett, for Crescent international As I write this in late February 2024 CE (mid-Sha‘ban 1445 Hijri) the official number of Palestinians murdered by zionist aggression in the al-Aqsa Storm war has risen to nearly 30,000. The real number is considerably higher, since many victims are still buried beneath layers of rubble. Nearly 70,000 have been injured. Most of those killed and maimed have been women and children. The martyrs dispatched quickly to paradise are luckier than the survivors, who are forced to endure almost unimaginable horrors. The zionists have blockaded food in a deliberate attempt to slowly starve Gazans to death. Social media videos abound showing crying mothers unable to find so much as a crumb for their famished children. Surviving families, many of whom have lost loved ones, lack housing, heat, and warm clothing in the midst of the cold, rainy winter. The demonic zionists have deliberately bombed water, sewage, electrical, fuel, and health care infrastructure. They have destroyed the majority of Gaza’s housing, in an effort to mass-murder Gazans and expel the survivors. The destruction of Palestinian homes and life support has forced 1.4 million people to take shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Now the zionists are intensifying their bombing of Rafah in the latest episode of their “final solution to the Palestinian problem.” On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) agreed with South Africa’s contention that there is probable cause to believe that Israel is committing genocide (see also here). Any nation on earth could invoke the made-in-USA “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine and use military force in an effort to stop the #GazaHolocaust. The very first nations that might be expected to act are those that share Palestine’s Arabic language and culture. And yet only two relatively small and weak Arab nations have tried: Lebanon and Yemen. The larger, richer, and more powerful states, beginning with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have been missing in action. What explains this bizarre situation, in which the weak show courage while the strong reek of abject cowardice? Let’s begin with the cowardice. Egypt has basically been a zionist colony ever since the traitor Anwar Sadat “abnormalized” with Israel in 1979. Since then, the Egyptian military has been awash in American funding, with nearly $100 billion in bribes convincing junta leaders to continue betraying their Palestinian brothers and sisters. Today, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi finds himself in a tight spot, as Israel pushes him to endorse genocide and open the border to Palestinian refugees, which would enable the complete erasure of the people of Gaza. To his credit, el-Sisi has thus far refused, saying that any expulsion of Palestinians to Egypt would cause Cairo to break off relations and return to an anti-Israel war footing. But ominously, Egypt is building a gigantic human cattle pen on the Gaza border, “just in case” or so el-Sisi says. Saudi Arabia, historically a source of both lip service and a degree of real support for Palestine, has gradually followed Egypt’s path of abject surrender. The current de facto ruler, Mohammad Bin Salman, implicitly endorsed zionist claims to al-Quds (Jerusalem) by acquiescing to Donald Trump’s “Abraham Accords” fiasco, setting the stage for the current catastrophe. Today, the Saudis are trying to make amends for that mistake by insisting on “no normalization without a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders” and strengthening the Kingdom’s peace deal with Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, even in the face of US pressure to join Washington’s anti-Yemen “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” better known as “Operation Genocide Guardian.” It is ironic that Saudi Arabia is tacitly (though not actively) supporting Ansarullah’s blockade of Israeli-bound shipping. After all, it was the Saudis themselves who originally dragged the US into their war on Ansarullah in 2015. Now the tables are turned, and the Americans are trying to drag the Saudis into an anti-Yemen war, so far without success. Saudi Arabia has a nearly two-trillion-dollar adjusted GDP, while Yemen’s is a mere $0.2 trillion. By that measure, Yemen’s economy is one-hundredth the size of the Saudi economy. But despite its apparent weakness, Yemen was not only able to defeat the Saudis and their western backers in a nine-year war, but is now taking military action to try to stop the genocide of Gaza. Lebanon, too, boasts a mere $0.2 trillion GDP, one percent of Saudi Arabia’s and one-twentieth the size of Egypt’s. But like Yemen, Lebanon has distinguished itself by taking military action in support of Palestine. Throughout Israel’s genocide of Gaza, the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah, the de facto main branch of the Lebanese military, has been pounding the zionists nonstop, puncturing Israel’s “Iron dome,” forcing 200,000 zionist settlers to flee the northern strip of Occupied Palestine, and diverting Israel’s forces from the Gaza genocide campaign. So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper? There are two categorically different kinds of answers: political (dunyawi) and theological-spiritual (rouhani). Politically, most leaders feel constrained by circumstance; their choices are dictated by the limits of the possible. Caught between a proverbial rock (zionist power) and a hard place (their own people’s support for Palestine) they try to walk a fine line, careful not to anger the zionists too much lest they become targets, while offering sufficient lip service to the Palestinian cause to at least minimally placate their subjects. That balancing act has become more difficult since October 7. Any Arab leader who takes active steps to support Palestine will be painting a target on his back—and the stronger the steps, the bigger the target. Yet any Arab leader who is seen as complicit in the genocide risks being overthrown by his own people. The leaders of Hizbullah and Ansarullah already have zio-American targets painted on their backs. They have less to lose, are principled rather than merely pragmatic, and therefore are free to seek Allah’s good pleasure doing the right thing: actively resisting the zionist genocide of Gaza. Whereas leaders like Bin Salman and el-Sisi, presiding over states whose economies and militaries are intertwined with American and hence zionist money and power, would have to take huge risks in order to return their countries to forthrightly anti-zionist positions. And even if they did, and survived, there is no guarantee that, given the current balance of power, they would have much of a chance of succeeding in saving Gazans, much less fully defeating the zionist genocidaires. So, from a worldly political viewpoint, the situation is bleak. Arab leaders are simply acting within constraints imposed by the power of circumstance. But how did they, and their regimes, arrive in such circumstances? By way of a long process of cultural decline. Whole peoples, led by their elites, have repeatedly chosen expediency over ethics, laziness over diligence, egotism over islam (submission of the self to God). According to well-known ahadith, one of the signs of Yawm al-Qiyyama is that “the lowest and the worst man in the nation will become its leader.” The world may not quite have reached that point yet, but it isn’t far off. Today, leaders who represent the best of their nation, like those of Hizbullah and Ansarullah, are the exceptions. Most leaders are neither pious nor courageous nor brilliant. When an uncommonly good leader arises, like Imran Khan in Pakistan, he risks being assassinated or imprisoned. So, the deeper reason the Arab nation is so helpless today is that it, like much of the rest of the world, has declined in spiritual quality, allowing itself to be divided and conquered by the forces of evil. The mediocre-at-best leaders that predominate in today’s Arab lands, like the shattered and corrupted societies they preside over, are simply not a match for demonic energy of the zionist shayateen. But the seeds of better leadership, planted in places like Yemen and Lebanon and Iran and (insha’Allah) Pakistan, are beginning to sprout. As the secular-materialist west declines, and Zio-American power with it, the circumstances constraining Arab leadership will change, and the possibility of good leadership reviving united Arab and Islamic lands (rather like Putin’s leadership reviving Russia) will become manifest. Whatever worldly conquests the zionist dajjal acquires will be only temporary, and will bring the Occupation demons no real happiness nor any respite from their self-inflicted torment of hatred, greed, and cruelty. In the end, it will be seen that they were only digging their own graves—all the way to hell. For as the Qur’an tells us, “They plot and Allah plans; and Allah is the best of planners.” (Surat al-Anfal, 30). Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. He is the host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard-driving weekly radio show funded by listener subscriptions at Substack and the weekly news roundup FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN). He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS, and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host. Archived Articles (2004-2016) www.truthjihad.com ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/why-are-arab-regimes-so-impotent-in-the-face-of-zionist-barbarism/ https://telegra.ph/Why-Are-Arab-Regimes-So-Impotent-in-the-Face-of-Zionist-Barbarism-03-09
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    Why Are Arab Regimes So Impotent in the Face of Zionist Barbarism?
    So why are mice like Yemen and Lebanon roaring, while lions like Saudi Arabia and Egypt whimper?
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  • BIDEN ADMIN DEPLOYED AIR FORCE TEAM TO ISRAEL TO ASSIST WITH TARGETS, DOCUMENT SUGGESTS


    Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests
    Ken Klippenstein, Matthew Petti
    January 11 2024, 3:33 p.m.
    A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 11, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
    Targeting intelligence — the information used to conduct airstrikes and fire long-range artillery weapons — has played a central role in Israel’s siege of Gaza. A document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the U.S. Air Force sent officers specializing in this exact form of intelligence to Israel in late November.

    Since the start of Israel’s bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’s strike on October 7, Israel has dropped more than 29,000 bombs on the tiny Gaza Strip, according to a U.S. intelligence report last month. And for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza since at least early November, ostensibly for hostage recovery by special forces. At the time the drones were revealed, U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.”

    “I’ve directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise the Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” said President Joe Biden three days after the Hamas attack.

    But several weeks later, on November 21, the U.S. Air Force issued deployment guidelines for officers, including intelligence engagement officers, headed to Israel. Experts say that a team of targeting officers like this would be used to provide satellite intelligence to the Israelis for the purpose of offensive targeting.

    “They’re probably targeting people, targeting officers,” Lawrence Cline, who served as an intelligence engagement officer in Iraq before retirement, told The Intercept. Targeting intelligence refers to the identification and characterization of enemy activities including missile and artillery launches, location of leadership and command and control centers, and key facilities. “What I can see is we’ve got a lot of global assets in terms of satellites and the like and the Israelis have a lot in terms of more localized radar coverage.”

    The deployment guidelines were issued by the Pentagon’s Air Force component command for the Middle East, Air Forces Central, on November 21. The document provides deployment instructions to air personnel sent to the country, including an “Air Defense Liaison Team” as well as “airmen assigned as the Intelligence Engagement Officer (IEO).”

    Intelligence engagement officers, Cline explained, coordinate intelligence between the U.S. and partner militaries. When deployed in Iraq, Cline, who now works as an instructor for the Defense Department Counterterrorism Fellowship Program, recalled that he and other IEOs comprised a small team who spent “probably three quarters of our time working with the Iraqis, the other quarter checking in with headquarters,” adding that “it was sort of half and half a liaison and advising.”

    Asked about the airmen’s mission, the Defense Intelligence Agency referred questions to the Air Forces Central, which did not respond to a request for comment. Neither the Office of the Secretary of Defense nor Central Command responded to requests for comment.

    Most Read

    The intelligence engagement process provides a low-profile mechanism through which the U.S. can coordinate with the Israeli military, a valuable tool amid the political sensitivity of the conflict.

    A U.S. Army primer defines intelligence engagement as a “powerful” tool that is useful “especially when U.S. policy might restrict our interaction,” as it “often does not require large budgets or footprints.” Experts say that may be the case here.

    Tyler McBrien, managing editor of Lawfare, a website specializing in national security law, said that there seems to be an “Israel exception” to the U.S. rules around military assistance.

    Past presidents have issued several executive orders banning the U.S. government from carrying out or sponsoring assassinations abroad. This ban has been interpreted to include wartime targeting of civilians, according to a recent Foreign Affairs article by Brian Finucane, a former legal adviser for the State Department who now works for Crisis Group.

    And the so-called Leahy law, a set of budget amendments named for Sen. Patrick Leahy, requires the U.S. government to vet foreign military units for “gross violations of human rights” when providing training or aid to those units. Several progressive members of Congress have raised concerns that U.S. aid to Israel — both before and during the present war — violates that requirement.

    “For air advisory missions, which I imagine involve intelligence sharing and training, specific domestic legal restrictions such as the Leahy law and the assassination ban would likely come into play,” McBrien said. But the Leahy vetting process is “reversed” for Israel; rather than vetting Israeli military units beforehand, the U.S. State Department sends aid and then waits for reports of violations, according to a recent article by Josh Paul, who resigned from his post as a State Department political-military officer over his concerns with U.S. support for Israel.

    “As a general matter, U.S. officials who are providing support to another country during armed conflict would want to make sure they are not aiding and abetting war crimes,” Finucane told The Intercept. He emphasized that the same principle applies to weapons transfers and intelligence sharing.

    The Israeli military intentionally strikes Palestinian civilian infrastructure, known as “power targets,” in order to “create a shock,” according to an investigation by the Israeli news website +972 Magazine. Targets are generated using an artificial intelligence system known as “Habsora,” Hebrew for “gospel.”

    “Nothing happens by accident,” an Israeli military intelligence source told +972 Magazine. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.”

    The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to conceal the nature of its support for the Israeli military. The Pentagon quietly tapped a so-called Tiger Team to facilitate weapons assistance to Israel, as The Intercept has previously reported. The administration has also declined to reveal which weapons systems it’s providing Israel and at which quantities, insisting that the secrecy is necessary for security reasons.

    “We’re being careful not to quantify or get into too much detail about what they’re getting — for their own operational security purposes, of course,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a press briefing in October.

    This contrasts with its support for Ukraine, about which it has been far more transparent. The administration has provided an itemized list of its weapons assistance to Ukraine, a country facing at least as much of a threat amid the invasion of Russia. The White House has never addressed the incongruity. Past administrations have also provided detailed public information about U.S. targeting support for the Saudi and Emirati military campaigns in Yemen, which U.S. officials claim was meant to reduce civilian casualties.

    The secrecy “may reflect the fact that the U.S. has interests that are in tension, the Biden administration has interests that are in tension,” Finucane said. “On the one hand, they want to publicly embrace Israel and support Israel, providing what seems to be unconditional support. On the other hand, they don’t want to be perceived as taking the country into another war in the Middle East.”

    https://theintercept.com/2024/01/11/israel-air-force-targeting-intelligence/
    BIDEN ADMIN DEPLOYED AIR FORCE TEAM TO ISRAEL TO ASSIST WITH TARGETS, DOCUMENT SUGGESTS Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests Ken Klippenstein, Matthew Petti January 11 2024, 3:33 p.m. A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on January 11, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images) Targeting intelligence — the information used to conduct airstrikes and fire long-range artillery weapons — has played a central role in Israel’s siege of Gaza. A document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act suggests that the U.S. Air Force sent officers specializing in this exact form of intelligence to Israel in late November. Since the start of Israel’s bombardment in retaliation for Hamas’s strike on October 7, Israel has dropped more than 29,000 bombs on the tiny Gaza Strip, according to a U.S. intelligence report last month. And for the first time in U.S. history, the Biden administration has been flying surveillance drone missions over Gaza since at least early November, ostensibly for hostage recovery by special forces. At the time the drones were revealed, U.S. Gen. Pat Ryder insisted that the special operations forces deployed to Israel to advise on hostage rescue were “not participating in [Israel Defense Forces] target development.” “I’ve directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise the Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” said President Joe Biden three days after the Hamas attack. But several weeks later, on November 21, the U.S. Air Force issued deployment guidelines for officers, including intelligence engagement officers, headed to Israel. Experts say that a team of targeting officers like this would be used to provide satellite intelligence to the Israelis for the purpose of offensive targeting. “They’re probably targeting people, targeting officers,” Lawrence Cline, who served as an intelligence engagement officer in Iraq before retirement, told The Intercept. Targeting intelligence refers to the identification and characterization of enemy activities including missile and artillery launches, location of leadership and command and control centers, and key facilities. “What I can see is we’ve got a lot of global assets in terms of satellites and the like and the Israelis have a lot in terms of more localized radar coverage.” The deployment guidelines were issued by the Pentagon’s Air Force component command for the Middle East, Air Forces Central, on November 21. The document provides deployment instructions to air personnel sent to the country, including an “Air Defense Liaison Team” as well as “airmen assigned as the Intelligence Engagement Officer (IEO).” Intelligence engagement officers, Cline explained, coordinate intelligence between the U.S. and partner militaries. When deployed in Iraq, Cline, who now works as an instructor for the Defense Department Counterterrorism Fellowship Program, recalled that he and other IEOs comprised a small team who spent “probably three quarters of our time working with the Iraqis, the other quarter checking in with headquarters,” adding that “it was sort of half and half a liaison and advising.” Asked about the airmen’s mission, the Defense Intelligence Agency referred questions to the Air Forces Central, which did not respond to a request for comment. Neither the Office of the Secretary of Defense nor Central Command responded to requests for comment. Most Read The intelligence engagement process provides a low-profile mechanism through which the U.S. can coordinate with the Israeli military, a valuable tool amid the political sensitivity of the conflict. A U.S. Army primer defines intelligence engagement as a “powerful” tool that is useful “especially when U.S. policy might restrict our interaction,” as it “often does not require large budgets or footprints.” Experts say that may be the case here. Tyler McBrien, managing editor of Lawfare, a website specializing in national security law, said that there seems to be an “Israel exception” to the U.S. rules around military assistance. Past presidents have issued several executive orders banning the U.S. government from carrying out or sponsoring assassinations abroad. This ban has been interpreted to include wartime targeting of civilians, according to a recent Foreign Affairs article by Brian Finucane, a former legal adviser for the State Department who now works for Crisis Group. And the so-called Leahy law, a set of budget amendments named for Sen. Patrick Leahy, requires the U.S. government to vet foreign military units for “gross violations of human rights” when providing training or aid to those units. Several progressive members of Congress have raised concerns that U.S. aid to Israel — both before and during the present war — violates that requirement. “For air advisory missions, which I imagine involve intelligence sharing and training, specific domestic legal restrictions such as the Leahy law and the assassination ban would likely come into play,” McBrien said. But the Leahy vetting process is “reversed” for Israel; rather than vetting Israeli military units beforehand, the U.S. State Department sends aid and then waits for reports of violations, according to a recent article by Josh Paul, who resigned from his post as a State Department political-military officer over his concerns with U.S. support for Israel. “As a general matter, U.S. officials who are providing support to another country during armed conflict would want to make sure they are not aiding and abetting war crimes,” Finucane told The Intercept. He emphasized that the same principle applies to weapons transfers and intelligence sharing. The Israeli military intentionally strikes Palestinian civilian infrastructure, known as “power targets,” in order to “create a shock,” according to an investigation by the Israeli news website +972 Magazine. Targets are generated using an artificial intelligence system known as “Habsora,” Hebrew for “gospel.” “Nothing happens by accident,” an Israeli military intelligence source told +972 Magazine. “When a 3-year-old girl is killed in a home in Gaza, it’s because someone in the army decided it wasn’t a big deal for her to be killed — that it was a price worth paying in order to hit [another] target. We are not Hamas. These are not random rockets. Everything is intentional. We know exactly how much collateral damage there is in every home.” The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to conceal the nature of its support for the Israeli military. The Pentagon quietly tapped a so-called Tiger Team to facilitate weapons assistance to Israel, as The Intercept has previously reported. The administration has also declined to reveal which weapons systems it’s providing Israel and at which quantities, insisting that the secrecy is necessary for security reasons. “We’re being careful not to quantify or get into too much detail about what they’re getting — for their own operational security purposes, of course,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters during a press briefing in October. This contrasts with its support for Ukraine, about which it has been far more transparent. The administration has provided an itemized list of its weapons assistance to Ukraine, a country facing at least as much of a threat amid the invasion of Russia. The White House has never addressed the incongruity. Past administrations have also provided detailed public information about U.S. targeting support for the Saudi and Emirati military campaigns in Yemen, which U.S. officials claim was meant to reduce civilian casualties. The secrecy “may reflect the fact that the U.S. has interests that are in tension, the Biden administration has interests that are in tension,” Finucane said. “On the one hand, they want to publicly embrace Israel and support Israel, providing what seems to be unconditional support. On the other hand, they don’t want to be perceived as taking the country into another war in the Middle East.” https://theintercept.com/2024/01/11/israel-air-force-targeting-intelligence/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Biden Admin Deployed Air Force Team to Israel to Assist With Targets, Document Suggests
    Guidance issued for intelligence officers in Israel appears to show the U.S. military providing intelligence for airstrikes in Gaza.
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