• 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/
    CHILDRENSHEALTHDEFENSE.ORG
    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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  • The emergence of nanobot society
    OUTRAGED HUMAN













    So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS"....






    0:00

    Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin,

    0:03

    all the technologies that you are going to see here now are real.

    0:06

    And with that said

    0:07

    I'd like to first tell you the story about

    0:10

    this uh... little girl named Dana

    0:12

    she's very special for me because she's my daugther

    0:14

    and Dana was born with a leg condition requiring frequent surgeries like this one

    0:19

    uh... she had when we were in Boston

    0:21

    and um... I remember taking her to that particular surgery

    0:25

    and uh...

    0:26

    I rembember her being admitted and she was excited at first

    0:31

    and then just before they got into her the OR

    0:33

    I looked at her and she was... afraid, she was little worried and

    0:38

    who wouldn't be? Because surgeries today are complicated

    0:41

    and they're often very risky.

    0:42

    Now let's imagine a few years into the future, into the near future hopefully,

    0:47

    Dana will arrive to hospital for her ??? surgery

    0:50

    and instead of being prepped for anesthesia for the OR

    0:54

    the surgeon will just take a syringe and inside the syringe

    0:58

    there are millions of tiny robots, of tiny machines

    1:02

    that will be injected into Dana's bloodstream.

    1:04

    They will autonomously locate the place they need to be in,

    1:08

    they will excite out the injured tissue,

    1:11

    then will remove dead cells,

    1:13

    then they will...

    1:14

    stimulate and guide the regrowth of healthy cells across those tissue gaps,

    1:18

    they will release drugs that relief pain and reduce inflammation

    1:23

    and all the while Dana will be sitting on the chair

    1:25

    eating a sandwich, reading a book, might be the next

    1:28

    twilight saga book which she'll be able to read because she will be 16 by then

    1:32

    And...(giggles)

    1:33

    uh... when these robots

    1:35

    have completed their job they'll simply disintegrate

    1:39

    and disappear from her bloodstream the next day.

    1:42

    So these nanobots have been envisioned in the past 30 years

    1:45

    by people like Eric Drexler, Robert Freitas and Ray Kuzweil.

    1:49

    Today I'm going to show you that these robots exist

    1:51

    here in Israel.

    1:54

    I'll show you this syringe

    1:56

    which I've brought from my lab.

    1:58

    So this syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.

    2:03

    So these robots are each fifty nanometers

    2:06

    long as you can see in this slide under the microscope.

    2:11

    Fifty nanometers is about 2000 times thinner than the thickness of your hair

    2:16

    OK? And... umm... These robots were born actually 3 years ago

    2:20

    in a research I did with Shawn Douglas, now a UCSF Professor.

    2:24

    But over the past year and a half

    2:25

    in my group at Bar-Ilan University

    2:27

    We've been developing and testing robots for a variety of

    2:31

    medical and therapeutic tasks.

    2:33

    We've invented ways of making them safe for use

    2:37

    and non-inmunogenic

    2:38

    and we learned how to tune their stability in our bloodstream

    2:41

    to fit either short-term or long-term

    2:44

    even days long medical procedures.

    2:47

    So to carry out medical and therapeutic procedures in our body

    2:50

    with the upmost precision,

    2:51

    we need to be able to control molecules

    2:53

    Controlling molecules is a very simple challenge

    2:56

    in modern scientific knowledge.

    2:58

    OK? Let's speak for example about the class of molecules we know as drugs

    3:02

    So despite...

    3:04

    amazing progress made in the past four decades

    3:06

    the way we think about drugs and we the way we use drugs

    3:09

    has been essentially unchanged

    3:11

    and it's similar as two hundred years ago

    3:14

    right? You hear about about big pharmaceutical companies

    3:17

    spending huge amounts of money

    3:19

    searching for better, safer drugs.

    3:22

    Attempts that usually fail.

    3:24

    OK? but,

    3:25

    searching for let's say a safer cancer drug,

    3:28

    half it is a concept that has a flaw in it.

    3:30

    Because searching for a safer cancer drug

    3:32

    is basically like searching for a gun that kills only bad people

    3:36

    We don't search for such guns,

    3:37

    what we do is training soldiers to use that gun properly

    3:42

    Of course in drugs we can't do this because it seems very hard

    3:45

    But there are things we can do with drugs

    3:47

    for example, we can put the drugs

    3:49

    in particles from which they difuse slowly.

    3:51

    We can attach a drug to a carrier

    3:54

    which takes someplace but, this is not real control.

    3:57

    When we were thinking about control we're thinking about

    4:00

    processes is the real world around us

    4:02

    and what happens when we want to control a process

    4:06

    that's beyond our capabilities as humans

    4:08

    we just connect this process to a computer

    4:10

    and let the computer control this process for us.

    4:13

    OK? So that's what we do.

    4:15

    But obviously this cannot be done with drugs because

    4:19

    the drugs are so much smaller than the computers as we know them

    4:23

    The computer is in fact so much bigger

    4:25

    it's about a hundred million times bigger that any drug molecule.

    4:28

    Our nanobots which were in the syringe

    4:31

    solve this problem because they are in fact

    4:34

    computers the size of molecules.

    4:36

    and they can interact with molecules

    4:38

    and they can control molecules directly,

    4:40

    so just think about all those

    4:42

    drugs that have been withdrawn from the market

    4:45

    for excessive toxicity

    4:46

    right?

    4:47

    It doesn't mean that they are not effective,

    4:49

    they were amazingly effective,

    4:51

    they were just guns shooting in all directions

    4:53

    but in the hands of a well-trained soldier

    4:56

    or a well-programed nanobot

    4:58

    using all the existing drugs

    5:01

    we could hypothetically kill almost any disease.

    5:05

    So we might not need even new drugs.

    5:07

    We have amazing drugs already,

    5:09

    we just don't know how to control them, this is the problem

    5:11

    and our nanobots...

    5:13

    hopefully solve this problem and I'll show you how.

    5:15

    So there is an interesting question "how do we build

    5:19

    a robot or a machine the size of a molecule?"

    5:21

    so the simple answer would be: we can use molecules

    5:25

    to build this machine.

    5:26

    So we're using molecules, but we're not using just any molecule.

    5:30

    We're using the perfect, most beautiful molecule on earth, at least in my opinion,

    5:34

    which is DNA.

    5:36

    And in fact every part of the robot,

    5:38

    every part of out nanorobots:

    5:40

    Moving parts, axis, locks, chasis, software,

    5:44

    everything is made from DNA molecules.

    5:46

    And the techonology that enables us to do this

    5:49

    originated thirty years ago when the pioneering works of Nadrian Seeman,

    5:52

    culminating 7 years ago in the works of Paul Rothemund from Caltech,

    5:56

    which was also featured in TED,

    5:58

    and it's called DNA origami.

    5:59

    Now in DNA origami we do not use a piece of paper,

    6:02

    we use a single long strand of DNA

    6:05

    and we fold it into virtually any shape we want.

    6:08

    For example these shapes, so these are actual microscopic images

    6:12

    of shapes the size of molecules that were folded from DNA.

    6:16

    so the smiley you see here in the center of the screen for example

    6:19

    are a hundred nanometers in size

    6:21

    and we make billions of them in few... in a single reaction.

    6:24

    Now since 2006 several researchers, really talented ones,

    6:28

    have been expanding the limits of the technically feasible in DNA origami

    6:32

    and now we have an astonishig array of shapes and objects which we can build

    6:35

    using this technique.

    6:36

    And these researchers also gave us computer-aided design tools

    6:41

    that enable everyone

    6:43

    very very simply to design objects from DNA

    6:46

    So these CAD tools amazingly

    6:49

    enable us to focus o n the shape we want

    6:52

    forgetting the fact that these structures are in fact assemblies of molecules.

    6:57

    so this is for example a shape the computer can actually turn into DNA molecules.

    7:02

    and the output of this CAD software, as you can see,

    7:05

    is a spreadsheet with fragments of DNA

    7:08

    which you can attach to a message and send to a company

    7:11

    one of two dozen companies that make DNA by order and you'll get those DNA's

    7:16

    several days later to your doorstep

    7:18

    and when you get them all you need to do is just mix them in a certain way

    7:23

    and these molecular bricks will self-assemble into

    7:26

    millions of copies of the very structure that you designed using that CAD software

    7:30

    which is free by the way, you can download it for free.

    7:34

    So, let's have a look at our nanorobots.

    7:38

    So, this is how the nanorobots look like, it's built from DNA as you can see

    7:42

    And it resembles a clam shell in which you can put cargo

    7:45

    You can load anything you want starting from small molecules, drugs,

    7:49

    proteines, enzymes, even nano-particles. Virtually any function

    7:54

    that molecules can carry out, can be loaded into the nanobot

    7:57

    and the nanobot can be programmed to turn on and off

    8:01

    these functions at certain places and at certain times

    8:05

    this is how we control those molecules

    8:07

    and so this particular nanorobot is in an off state, it's closed,it's securely

    8:12

    sequestres anything, any payload you put inside

    8:16

    so it's not accessible to the outside of the robot,

    8:18

    for example, it cannot engage target cells or target tissues

    8:22

    But we can program the nanobot to switch to an on state

    8:26

    based on molecular cues it finds from the environment

    8:30

    so programming the robot is virtually like assemblying a combination lock

    8:34

    using disks that recognize digits,

    8:37

    but of course instead of digits we are assemblying disks that recognize molecules.

    8:42

    So these robots can turn from off to on and when they do

    8:47

    any cargo inside is now accessible,

    8:49

    it can attack target cells or target tissues

    8:52

    or other robots which you'll see later on.

    8:54

    And so we have robots that can switch from off to on

    8:58

    and off again, we can control their kinetics of transition.

    9:02

    We can control which payload becomes accessible at which time point

    9:05

    Let's see an example how these robots for example control a cancer drug

    9:12

    So what you can do is you can take nanobots,

    9:14

    you can put the nastiest cancer drug you may find

    9:17

    into the robots, even a cancer drug

    9:19

    that's been withdrawn because of excessive toxicity

    9:23

    Ok? When the robot is locked

    9:25

    and you put them in your mixture of healthy cells and tumor cells

    9:29

    nothing happens, no cell is affected, because the robot

    9:32

    safely sequesters those drugs inside.

    9:35

    When we unlock the robots

    9:37

    all cells die because the cargo inside the [robot] attacks anything on sight.

    9:42

    So all cells eventually die. In this case this is a fluorescent molecule

    9:46

    to help us see better the output.

    9:48

    But when we program the nanobots to search for tumor cells particulary,

    9:53

    so only the tumor cells

    9:56

    uh... only the tumor cells die because

    9:59

    the robot doesn't care about the bystander cells, about the healthy cells.

    10:04

    So it does not harm them at all.

    10:06

    And we have nanorobots in our lab that can target

    10:09

    about ten types of cancer already and other cell targets

    10:12

    and my team keeps expanding this range monthly.

    10:17

    So these are nanorobots and to another topic

    10:22

    organisms in nature, like bacteria and animals

    10:26

    have learned very early in evolution that working in a coordinated group

    10:29

    conveys advantage

    10:31

    and capabilities beyond those of the individual

    10:34

    and since we are interested in

    10:36

    very complex medical procedures, very complex therapeutic settings,

    10:40

    we're wondering what we could do

    10:42

    if we could engineer artificial swarm behaviors

    10:46

    into our nanobots as well so we could have extraordinarily large groups of nanobots

    10:51

    Can we teach them to behave like animals, like insects

    10:55

    and how do you do this? So the question is interesting.

    10:58

    So you could think one way to do it would be

    11:01

    to look at a natural swarm like this one of fish

    11:04

    and simulate the dynamics of the entire swarm and then try to write the codes

    11:09

    in molecules of course

    11:10

    that mimic the same behaviour

    11:12

    this is virtually impossible, it's impractical

    11:15

    what we do is we take the single fish or a single nanobot in our case

    11:20

    and you design a very basic set of interaction rules

    11:23

    and then you take this one, this nanobot, you make a billion copies of it

    11:27

    and you let the behaviours emerge from that group

    11:31

    let me show you some examples of the things we can already do

    11:35

    for example, just as ants

    11:38

    can shake hands and form physical bridges between two trees

    11:42

    or two remote parts of the same tree,

    11:44

    we already have nanorobots that can reach out for each other

    11:47

    touch each other and shake hands in such a way

    11:49

    they form physical bridges.

    11:51

    Then you can imagine these robots

    11:53

    extending, making bridges extending from one-half

    11:56

    to the other half of an injured tissue,

    11:58

    an injured spinal cord for example

    12:00

    or an injured leg in the case of Dana, my daughter

    12:03

    and once they stretched over that tissue gap

    12:06

    they can apply growth factors, as payloads, and those growth factors

    12:10

    stimulate the re-growth and guide re-growth of cells across the gap.

    12:14

    So we already did that and...

    12:17

    we have robots that can cross regulate each other just like animals do in groups

    12:21

    and this is amazing because as you can see here

    12:24

    you can have two types of robots, Type-A and Type-B

    12:28

    they can cross regulate each other, such that "A" is active

    12:32

    while "B" is not and viceversa.

    12:34

    So this is good for combination therapy

    12:36

    with combination therapy we take multiple drugs, right?

    12:39

    and sometimes two or more of these drugs

    12:41

    can collide and generate side effects,

    12:43

    but here you can put one drug here, one drug here

    12:46

    and the robots will time the activities so that

    12:49

    one drug is active, the other is not and then they can switch

    12:52

    and so two or more drugs can operate at the same time without actually colliding.

    12:57

    Another example that we did is the quorum sensing.

    13:00

    Now quorum sensing is great, it's a bacterial inspired behaviour

    13:05

    It means nanorobots can count themselves

    13:08

    and they can switch to "on" only when reaching a certain population size

    13:12

    this is a mechanism invented by bacteria in evolution

    13:15

    and they regulate amazing behaviours based on just their population density

    13:18

    for example, bioluminescence, this one of the well-studied examples

    13:23

    so our robots can count themselves and switch to on

    13:26

    only when reaching a certain population size which we can program.

    13:29

    This is great because this is a mechanism of programming a drug

    13:33

    to become active only when reaching a certain dose

    13:36

    around the target, regardless of its inherent dose-response curve.

    13:41

    One last I'm gonna show to you is computing,

    13:43

    so this nanobots can do computing.

    13:45

    How's so? If you think about your computer at home,

    13:48

    the processor of the computer is in fact a gigantic swarm of transistors

    13:53

    In an i7 core for example you have 800 million transistors approximately

    13:58

    and they're set to interact in certain ways to produce logic gates

    14:02

    and these logic gates are set to interact to produce computations

    14:05

    so we can also produce computation by setting interactions between nanorobots

    14:10

    to emulate logic gates like you see here

    14:13

    and they form chains and they form pairs

    14:15

    and my team in Bar-Ilan University [has] already developed several architectures

    14:19

    of computing based on interacting nanorobots

    14:22

    and to prototype these

    14:24

    we are using animals, very interesting animals

    14:27

    these are cockroaches,

    14:28

    they are very easy to work with, the're very sweet,

    14:30

    they're actually from South America

    14:32

    and I'm a Soutamerican myself so I fell kinda related

    14:35

    [Laughter]

    14:36

    And hum... so what we do is we inject those robots into the cockroach

    14:40

    and to do that we of course had to put the cockroaches to sleep

    14:43

    have you ever tried putting cockroach to sleep?

    14:46

    We put in the freezer for seven minutes

    14:48

    in they fall asleep

    14:49

    and we can inject these nanorobots inside

    14:52

    and after 20 minutes they start running around, they're happy.

    14:55

    And those robots

    14:57

    while they're doing this, the robots read molecules

    14:59

    from the cockroaches' inputs

    15:01

    and they write their outputs in the form of drugs

    15:04

    activated on those cockroaches' cells

    15:06

    so we can do, we can see that and we already have, as you can see,

    15:09

    architectures of interecting nanorobots that can emulate logical operators

    15:14

    and you can use these as modular parts to build any type universal computer you want

    15:19

    [....]

    15:21

    that can control multiple drugs simultaneously

    15:25

    as a result of biocomputing, this is real universal computing in a living animal.

    15:30

    Now we already have systems that have [the] computing capacity

    15:33

    of an 8-bit computer like Commodore 64.

    15:36

    To make sure we don't lose control over the nanobots after they're injected

    15:40

    my team [has] developed nanorobots that carry antennae

    15:44

    these antennae are made from metal nano-particles.

    15:47

    Now, the antennae enable the nanobots

    15:49

    to respond to externally applied electromagnetic fields

    15:52

    so these nanorobots, this version of nanobots

    15:55

    can actually be activated with a press of a button on a joystick

    15:58

    or for example using a controller

    16:01

    such as the Xbox or Wii if you ever had the chance of playing with those

    16:05

    and you can see one of my students in the lab configuring an Xbox app

    16:09

    to control nanobots.

    16:11

    For example you can imagine nanorobots being injected

    16:14

    to Dana, my daughter for example,

    16:16

    and the doctor can guide those robots

    16:19

    into the site, into the leg and just activate them with a hand gesture.

    16:23

    And you can already see an example where we actually took

    16:26

    cancer cells and loaded robots with cancer drugs

    16:29

    and activated the drug by a hand gesture.

    16:31

    and we can actually kill cancer cells just by doing this,

    16:34

    as you can see here.

    16:36

    And the interesting thing is that

    16:39

    because the controller like the Xbox is connected to the internet,

    16:44

    the controller actually links those nanobots to the network

    16:47

    so they have an actual IP address

    16:49

    and they can be accessed from a remote device sitting on the same network,

    16:53

    for example, my doctor's smartphone

    16:55

    So, OK?, just like controlling a controller, this can be done.

    17:00

    The last thing I'm gonna show is, if you look at our body

    17:04

    you'll see that every cell type, every organ, every tissue

    17:08

    has their own unique molecular signature

    17:11

    and this is equivalent to a physical IP address made of molecules

    17:15

    and if you know these molecules

    17:17

    you can use those nanobots to browse the Organism Wide Web, as we call it

    17:21

    and you can program them to look for bits,

    17:23

    this could be for example signally molecules between cells,

    17:26

    and either fetch them for diagnostics

    17:28

    or carry them to different addresses.

    17:30

    And we already have robots that can hijack

    17:33

    signals between cells

    17:34

    and manipulate an entire network of communications between cells

    17:37

    and this is great for controlling very complex diseases in which many cell types

    17:43

    communicate and orchestrate to perpetuate a disease.

    17:46

    So before I finish I'd just like to thank

    17:50

    my amazing team at Bar-Ilan University

    17:52

    and all the colleagues that took part in this extraordinary journey,

    17:55

    starting from the George Chuch's Lab in Harvard

    17:57

    and ending today in Bar-Ilan University in the new Faculty of Life Sciences,

    18:01

    and I really hope that

    18:03

    anywhere between a year and five years from now

    18:06

    we'll be able to use this in humans

    18:08

    and finally witness the emergence of nanobot society.

    18:11

    Thank you very much.


    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/





    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-use-nanobots-and-thoughts-to-administer-drugs/


    Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally.

    Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan have built the nanobots to which medication is attached and then are injected into the body. The nanobots have a “gate” that opens or closes — thereby controlling drug release — depending on brain activity.

    In order to achieve this, the New Scientist magazine said, the researchers developed a computer algorithm that could tell whether a person’s brain was resting or carrying out some form of mental activity, such as math problems. A fluorescent-tinted drug was then added to the nanobots, which were injected into a cockroach placed inside an electromagnetic coil.

    Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally.

    This coil was then connected to an EEG cap worn by a person asked to perform mental calculations. The computer recognized increased brain activity by the cap wearer, which triggered the “gate” on the nanobots inside the cockroach, releasing the fluorescent drug that was visible as it spread through the insect’s body.

    The idea is to use the delivery system for people with mental health issues, which are sometimes triggered before sufferers are aware they need medication.

    By monitoring brain activity, the nanobots could deliver the required preventative drugs automatically,

    for example before a violent episode of schizophrenia.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2102463-mind-controlled-nanobots-could-release-drugs-inside-your-brain/


    The group has built nanorobots out of DNA, forming shell-like shapes that drugs can be tethered to. The bots also have a gate, which has a lock made from iron oxide nanoparticles. The lock opens when heated using electromagnetic energy, exposing the drug to the environment. Because the drug remains tethered to the DNA parcel, a body’s exposure to the drug can be controlled by closing and opening the gate.

    By examining when fluorescence appeared inside different cockroaches, the team confirmed that this worked.

    The idea would be to automatically trigger the release of a drug when it is needed. For example, some people don’t always know when they need medication – before a violent episode of schizophrenia, for instance. If an EEG could detect it was coming, it could stimulate the release of a preventative drug.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJPceCV51g Nanobots Successfully Used on Living Animal for the First Time - IGN News

    0:38

    to treat human ailments or weaponized

    0:40

    hijacked by a snake themed terrorist

    0:42

    organization and then used to destroy

    0:43

    Paris but I suppose it's only a matter

    0:45

    of time


    “This syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.”

    https://outraged.substack.com/p/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society?utm_source=cross-post&publication_id=1087020&post_id=143145132&utm_campaign=956088&isFreemail=true&r=1sq9d8&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

    Follow @zeeemedia
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    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/04/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society.html
    The emergence of nanobot society OUTRAGED HUMAN So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS".... 0:00 Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin, 0:03 all the technologies that you are going to see here now are real. 0:06 And with that said 0:07 I'd like to first tell you the story about 0:10 this uh... little girl named Dana 0:12 she's very special for me because she's my daugther 0:14 and Dana was born with a leg condition requiring frequent surgeries like this one 0:19 uh... she had when we were in Boston 0:21 and um... I remember taking her to that particular surgery 0:25 and uh... 0:26 I rembember her being admitted and she was excited at first 0:31 and then just before they got into her the OR 0:33 I looked at her and she was... afraid, she was little worried and 0:38 who wouldn't be? Because surgeries today are complicated 0:41 and they're often very risky. 0:42 Now let's imagine a few years into the future, into the near future hopefully, 0:47 Dana will arrive to hospital for her ??? surgery 0:50 and instead of being prepped for anesthesia for the OR 0:54 the surgeon will just take a syringe and inside the syringe 0:58 there are millions of tiny robots, of tiny machines 1:02 that will be injected into Dana's bloodstream. 1:04 They will autonomously locate the place they need to be in, 1:08 they will excite out the injured tissue, 1:11 then will remove dead cells, 1:13 then they will... 1:14 stimulate and guide the regrowth of healthy cells across those tissue gaps, 1:18 they will release drugs that relief pain and reduce inflammation 1:23 and all the while Dana will be sitting on the chair 1:25 eating a sandwich, reading a book, might be the next 1:28 twilight saga book which she'll be able to read because she will be 16 by then 1:32 And...(giggles) 1:33 uh... when these robots 1:35 have completed their job they'll simply disintegrate 1:39 and disappear from her bloodstream the next day. 1:42 So these nanobots have been envisioned in the past 30 years 1:45 by people like Eric Drexler, Robert Freitas and Ray Kuzweil. 1:49 Today I'm going to show you that these robots exist 1:51 here in Israel. 1:54 I'll show you this syringe 1:56 which I've brought from my lab. 1:58 So this syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots. 2:03 So these robots are each fifty nanometers 2:06 long as you can see in this slide under the microscope. 2:11 Fifty nanometers is about 2000 times thinner than the thickness of your hair 2:16 OK? And... umm... These robots were born actually 3 years ago 2:20 in a research I did with Shawn Douglas, now a UCSF Professor. 2:24 But over the past year and a half 2:25 in my group at Bar-Ilan University 2:27 We've been developing and testing robots for a variety of 2:31 medical and therapeutic tasks. 2:33 We've invented ways of making them safe for use 2:37 and non-inmunogenic 2:38 and we learned how to tune their stability in our bloodstream 2:41 to fit either short-term or long-term 2:44 even days long medical procedures. 2:47 So to carry out medical and therapeutic procedures in our body 2:50 with the upmost precision, 2:51 we need to be able to control molecules 2:53 Controlling molecules is a very simple challenge 2:56 in modern scientific knowledge. 2:58 OK? Let's speak for example about the class of molecules we know as drugs 3:02 So despite... 3:04 amazing progress made in the past four decades 3:06 the way we think about drugs and we the way we use drugs 3:09 has been essentially unchanged 3:11 and it's similar as two hundred years ago 3:14 right? You hear about about big pharmaceutical companies 3:17 spending huge amounts of money 3:19 searching for better, safer drugs. 3:22 Attempts that usually fail. 3:24 OK? but, 3:25 searching for let's say a safer cancer drug, 3:28 half it is a concept that has a flaw in it. 3:30 Because searching for a safer cancer drug 3:32 is basically like searching for a gun that kills only bad people 3:36 We don't search for such guns, 3:37 what we do is training soldiers to use that gun properly 3:42 Of course in drugs we can't do this because it seems very hard 3:45 But there are things we can do with drugs 3:47 for example, we can put the drugs 3:49 in particles from which they difuse slowly. 3:51 We can attach a drug to a carrier 3:54 which takes someplace but, this is not real control. 3:57 When we were thinking about control we're thinking about 4:00 processes is the real world around us 4:02 and what happens when we want to control a process 4:06 that's beyond our capabilities as humans 4:08 we just connect this process to a computer 4:10 and let the computer control this process for us. 4:13 OK? So that's what we do. 4:15 But obviously this cannot be done with drugs because 4:19 the drugs are so much smaller than the computers as we know them 4:23 The computer is in fact so much bigger 4:25 it's about a hundred million times bigger that any drug molecule. 4:28 Our nanobots which were in the syringe 4:31 solve this problem because they are in fact 4:34 computers the size of molecules. 4:36 and they can interact with molecules 4:38 and they can control molecules directly, 4:40 so just think about all those 4:42 drugs that have been withdrawn from the market 4:45 for excessive toxicity 4:46 right? 4:47 It doesn't mean that they are not effective, 4:49 they were amazingly effective, 4:51 they were just guns shooting in all directions 4:53 but in the hands of a well-trained soldier 4:56 or a well-programed nanobot 4:58 using all the existing drugs 5:01 we could hypothetically kill almost any disease. 5:05 So we might not need even new drugs. 5:07 We have amazing drugs already, 5:09 we just don't know how to control them, this is the problem 5:11 and our nanobots... 5:13 hopefully solve this problem and I'll show you how. 5:15 So there is an interesting question "how do we build 5:19 a robot or a machine the size of a molecule?" 5:21 so the simple answer would be: we can use molecules 5:25 to build this machine. 5:26 So we're using molecules, but we're not using just any molecule. 5:30 We're using the perfect, most beautiful molecule on earth, at least in my opinion, 5:34 which is DNA. 5:36 And in fact every part of the robot, 5:38 every part of out nanorobots: 5:40 Moving parts, axis, locks, chasis, software, 5:44 everything is made from DNA molecules. 5:46 And the techonology that enables us to do this 5:49 originated thirty years ago when the pioneering works of Nadrian Seeman, 5:52 culminating 7 years ago in the works of Paul Rothemund from Caltech, 5:56 which was also featured in TED, 5:58 and it's called DNA origami. 5:59 Now in DNA origami we do not use a piece of paper, 6:02 we use a single long strand of DNA 6:05 and we fold it into virtually any shape we want. 6:08 For example these shapes, so these are actual microscopic images 6:12 of shapes the size of molecules that were folded from DNA. 6:16 so the smiley you see here in the center of the screen for example 6:19 are a hundred nanometers in size 6:21 and we make billions of them in few... in a single reaction. 6:24 Now since 2006 several researchers, really talented ones, 6:28 have been expanding the limits of the technically feasible in DNA origami 6:32 and now we have an astonishig array of shapes and objects which we can build 6:35 using this technique. 6:36 And these researchers also gave us computer-aided design tools 6:41 that enable everyone 6:43 very very simply to design objects from DNA 6:46 So these CAD tools amazingly 6:49 enable us to focus o n the shape we want 6:52 forgetting the fact that these structures are in fact assemblies of molecules. 6:57 so this is for example a shape the computer can actually turn into DNA molecules. 7:02 and the output of this CAD software, as you can see, 7:05 is a spreadsheet with fragments of DNA 7:08 which you can attach to a message and send to a company 7:11 one of two dozen companies that make DNA by order and you'll get those DNA's 7:16 several days later to your doorstep 7:18 and when you get them all you need to do is just mix them in a certain way 7:23 and these molecular bricks will self-assemble into 7:26 millions of copies of the very structure that you designed using that CAD software 7:30 which is free by the way, you can download it for free. 7:34 So, let's have a look at our nanorobots. 7:38 So, this is how the nanorobots look like, it's built from DNA as you can see 7:42 And it resembles a clam shell in which you can put cargo 7:45 You can load anything you want starting from small molecules, drugs, 7:49 proteines, enzymes, even nano-particles. Virtually any function 7:54 that molecules can carry out, can be loaded into the nanobot 7:57 and the nanobot can be programmed to turn on and off 8:01 these functions at certain places and at certain times 8:05 this is how we control those molecules 8:07 and so this particular nanorobot is in an off state, it's closed,it's securely 8:12 sequestres anything, any payload you put inside 8:16 so it's not accessible to the outside of the robot, 8:18 for example, it cannot engage target cells or target tissues 8:22 But we can program the nanobot to switch to an on state 8:26 based on molecular cues it finds from the environment 8:30 so programming the robot is virtually like assemblying a combination lock 8:34 using disks that recognize digits, 8:37 but of course instead of digits we are assemblying disks that recognize molecules. 8:42 So these robots can turn from off to on and when they do 8:47 any cargo inside is now accessible, 8:49 it can attack target cells or target tissues 8:52 or other robots which you'll see later on. 8:54 And so we have robots that can switch from off to on 8:58 and off again, we can control their kinetics of transition. 9:02 We can control which payload becomes accessible at which time point 9:05 Let's see an example how these robots for example control a cancer drug 9:12 So what you can do is you can take nanobots, 9:14 you can put the nastiest cancer drug you may find 9:17 into the robots, even a cancer drug 9:19 that's been withdrawn because of excessive toxicity 9:23 Ok? When the robot is locked 9:25 and you put them in your mixture of healthy cells and tumor cells 9:29 nothing happens, no cell is affected, because the robot 9:32 safely sequesters those drugs inside. 9:35 When we unlock the robots 9:37 all cells die because the cargo inside the [robot] attacks anything on sight. 9:42 So all cells eventually die. In this case this is a fluorescent molecule 9:46 to help us see better the output. 9:48 But when we program the nanobots to search for tumor cells particulary, 9:53 so only the tumor cells 9:56 uh... only the tumor cells die because 9:59 the robot doesn't care about the bystander cells, about the healthy cells. 10:04 So it does not harm them at all. 10:06 And we have nanorobots in our lab that can target 10:09 about ten types of cancer already and other cell targets 10:12 and my team keeps expanding this range monthly. 10:17 So these are nanorobots and to another topic 10:22 organisms in nature, like bacteria and animals 10:26 have learned very early in evolution that working in a coordinated group 10:29 conveys advantage 10:31 and capabilities beyond those of the individual 10:34 and since we are interested in 10:36 very complex medical procedures, very complex therapeutic settings, 10:40 we're wondering what we could do 10:42 if we could engineer artificial swarm behaviors 10:46 into our nanobots as well so we could have extraordinarily large groups of nanobots 10:51 Can we teach them to behave like animals, like insects 10:55 and how do you do this? So the question is interesting. 10:58 So you could think one way to do it would be 11:01 to look at a natural swarm like this one of fish 11:04 and simulate the dynamics of the entire swarm and then try to write the codes 11:09 in molecules of course 11:10 that mimic the same behaviour 11:12 this is virtually impossible, it's impractical 11:15 what we do is we take the single fish or a single nanobot in our case 11:20 and you design a very basic set of interaction rules 11:23 and then you take this one, this nanobot, you make a billion copies of it 11:27 and you let the behaviours emerge from that group 11:31 let me show you some examples of the things we can already do 11:35 for example, just as ants 11:38 can shake hands and form physical bridges between two trees 11:42 or two remote parts of the same tree, 11:44 we already have nanorobots that can reach out for each other 11:47 touch each other and shake hands in such a way 11:49 they form physical bridges. 11:51 Then you can imagine these robots 11:53 extending, making bridges extending from one-half 11:56 to the other half of an injured tissue, 11:58 an injured spinal cord for example 12:00 or an injured leg in the case of Dana, my daughter 12:03 and once they stretched over that tissue gap 12:06 they can apply growth factors, as payloads, and those growth factors 12:10 stimulate the re-growth and guide re-growth of cells across the gap. 12:14 So we already did that and... 12:17 we have robots that can cross regulate each other just like animals do in groups 12:21 and this is amazing because as you can see here 12:24 you can have two types of robots, Type-A and Type-B 12:28 they can cross regulate each other, such that "A" is active 12:32 while "B" is not and viceversa. 12:34 So this is good for combination therapy 12:36 with combination therapy we take multiple drugs, right? 12:39 and sometimes two or more of these drugs 12:41 can collide and generate side effects, 12:43 but here you can put one drug here, one drug here 12:46 and the robots will time the activities so that 12:49 one drug is active, the other is not and then they can switch 12:52 and so two or more drugs can operate at the same time without actually colliding. 12:57 Another example that we did is the quorum sensing. 13:00 Now quorum sensing is great, it's a bacterial inspired behaviour 13:05 It means nanorobots can count themselves 13:08 and they can switch to "on" only when reaching a certain population size 13:12 this is a mechanism invented by bacteria in evolution 13:15 and they regulate amazing behaviours based on just their population density 13:18 for example, bioluminescence, this one of the well-studied examples 13:23 so our robots can count themselves and switch to on 13:26 only when reaching a certain population size which we can program. 13:29 This is great because this is a mechanism of programming a drug 13:33 to become active only when reaching a certain dose 13:36 around the target, regardless of its inherent dose-response curve. 13:41 One last I'm gonna show to you is computing, 13:43 so this nanobots can do computing. 13:45 How's so? If you think about your computer at home, 13:48 the processor of the computer is in fact a gigantic swarm of transistors 13:53 In an i7 core for example you have 800 million transistors approximately 13:58 and they're set to interact in certain ways to produce logic gates 14:02 and these logic gates are set to interact to produce computations 14:05 so we can also produce computation by setting interactions between nanorobots 14:10 to emulate logic gates like you see here 14:13 and they form chains and they form pairs 14:15 and my team in Bar-Ilan University [has] already developed several architectures 14:19 of computing based on interacting nanorobots 14:22 and to prototype these 14:24 we are using animals, very interesting animals 14:27 these are cockroaches, 14:28 they are very easy to work with, the're very sweet, 14:30 they're actually from South America 14:32 and I'm a Soutamerican myself so I fell kinda related 14:35 [Laughter] 14:36 And hum... so what we do is we inject those robots into the cockroach 14:40 and to do that we of course had to put the cockroaches to sleep 14:43 have you ever tried putting cockroach to sleep? 14:46 We put in the freezer for seven minutes 14:48 in they fall asleep 14:49 and we can inject these nanorobots inside 14:52 and after 20 minutes they start running around, they're happy. 14:55 And those robots 14:57 while they're doing this, the robots read molecules 14:59 from the cockroaches' inputs 15:01 and they write their outputs in the form of drugs 15:04 activated on those cockroaches' cells 15:06 so we can do, we can see that and we already have, as you can see, 15:09 architectures of interecting nanorobots that can emulate logical operators 15:14 and you can use these as modular parts to build any type universal computer you want 15:19 [....] 15:21 that can control multiple drugs simultaneously 15:25 as a result of biocomputing, this is real universal computing in a living animal. 15:30 Now we already have systems that have [the] computing capacity 15:33 of an 8-bit computer like Commodore 64. 15:36 To make sure we don't lose control over the nanobots after they're injected 15:40 my team [has] developed nanorobots that carry antennae 15:44 these antennae are made from metal nano-particles. 15:47 Now, the antennae enable the nanobots 15:49 to respond to externally applied electromagnetic fields 15:52 so these nanorobots, this version of nanobots 15:55 can actually be activated with a press of a button on a joystick 15:58 or for example using a controller 16:01 such as the Xbox or Wii if you ever had the chance of playing with those 16:05 and you can see one of my students in the lab configuring an Xbox app 16:09 to control nanobots. 16:11 For example you can imagine nanorobots being injected 16:14 to Dana, my daughter for example, 16:16 and the doctor can guide those robots 16:19 into the site, into the leg and just activate them with a hand gesture. 16:23 And you can already see an example where we actually took 16:26 cancer cells and loaded robots with cancer drugs 16:29 and activated the drug by a hand gesture. 16:31 and we can actually kill cancer cells just by doing this, 16:34 as you can see here. 16:36 And the interesting thing is that 16:39 because the controller like the Xbox is connected to the internet, 16:44 the controller actually links those nanobots to the network 16:47 so they have an actual IP address 16:49 and they can be accessed from a remote device sitting on the same network, 16:53 for example, my doctor's smartphone 16:55 So, OK?, just like controlling a controller, this can be done. 17:00 The last thing I'm gonna show is, if you look at our body 17:04 you'll see that every cell type, every organ, every tissue 17:08 has their own unique molecular signature 17:11 and this is equivalent to a physical IP address made of molecules 17:15 and if you know these molecules 17:17 you can use those nanobots to browse the Organism Wide Web, as we call it 17:21 and you can program them to look for bits, 17:23 this could be for example signally molecules between cells, 17:26 and either fetch them for diagnostics 17:28 or carry them to different addresses. 17:30 And we already have robots that can hijack 17:33 signals between cells 17:34 and manipulate an entire network of communications between cells 17:37 and this is great for controlling very complex diseases in which many cell types 17:43 communicate and orchestrate to perpetuate a disease. 17:46 So before I finish I'd just like to thank 17:50 my amazing team at Bar-Ilan University 17:52 and all the colleagues that took part in this extraordinary journey, 17:55 starting from the George Chuch's Lab in Harvard 17:57 and ending today in Bar-Ilan University in the new Faculty of Life Sciences, 18:01 and I really hope that 18:03 anywhere between a year and five years from now 18:06 we'll be able to use this in humans 18:08 and finally witness the emergence of nanobot society. 18:11 Thank you very much. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/ https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/nanobots-live-cockroach-thought-control/ https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-scientists-use-nanobots-and-thoughts-to-administer-drugs/ Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally. Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan have built the nanobots to which medication is attached and then are injected into the body. The nanobots have a “gate” that opens or closes — thereby controlling drug release — depending on brain activity. In order to achieve this, the New Scientist magazine said, the researchers developed a computer algorithm that could tell whether a person’s brain was resting or carrying out some form of mental activity, such as math problems. A fluorescent-tinted drug was then added to the nanobots, which were injected into a cockroach placed inside an electromagnetic coil. Israeli scientists say they have come up with a way for brain power to control when drugs are released into the body, by using tiny robots made out of DNA to deliver the medication internally. This coil was then connected to an EEG cap worn by a person asked to perform mental calculations. The computer recognized increased brain activity by the cap wearer, which triggered the “gate” on the nanobots inside the cockroach, releasing the fluorescent drug that was visible as it spread through the insect’s body. The idea is to use the delivery system for people with mental health issues, which are sometimes triggered before sufferers are aware they need medication. By monitoring brain activity, the nanobots could deliver the required preventative drugs automatically, for example before a violent episode of schizophrenia. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2102463-mind-controlled-nanobots-could-release-drugs-inside-your-brain/ The group has built nanorobots out of DNA, forming shell-like shapes that drugs can be tethered to. The bots also have a gate, which has a lock made from iron oxide nanoparticles. The lock opens when heated using electromagnetic energy, exposing the drug to the environment. Because the drug remains tethered to the DNA parcel, a body’s exposure to the drug can be controlled by closing and opening the gate. By examining when fluorescence appeared inside different cockroaches, the team confirmed that this worked. The idea would be to automatically trigger the release of a drug when it is needed. For example, some people don’t always know when they need medication – before a violent episode of schizophrenia, for instance. If an EEG could detect it was coming, it could stimulate the release of a preventative drug. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJPceCV51g Nanobots Successfully Used on Living Animal for the First Time - IGN News 0:38 to treat human ailments or weaponized 0:40 hijacked by a snake themed terrorist 0:42 organization and then used to destroy 0:43 Paris but I suppose it's only a matter 0:45 of time “This syringe has inside it a thousand billion robots.” https://outraged.substack.com/p/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society?utm_source=cross-post&publication_id=1087020&post_id=143145132&utm_campaign=956088&isFreemail=true&r=1sq9d8&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email Follow @zeeemedia Website | X | Instagram | Rumble https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/04/the-emergence-of-nanobot-society.html
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    The emergence of nanobot society
    So, they injected it into the military, police, emergency services.... Now everyone is injected with a device with a "real IP ADDRESS".... Thanks for reading OUTRAGED’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work. 0:00 Thank you very much. So one word of notice before we begin,
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  • The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide
    By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read
    The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed.

    One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva.

    A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB).

    Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella.

    The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant.

    Historical Perspective

    These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing.

    In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others.

    The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat.

    With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations.

    As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context.

    Why May 2024?

    The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place.

    They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years..

    A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions.

    The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations.

    This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO.

    The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva.

    Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent.

    Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different.

    The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm.

    To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below.

    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement.

    REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024

    Preamble

    Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.

    This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm.

    Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

    This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed.

    Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness.

    In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes.

    Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services,

    As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations.

    These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective.

    Chapter I. Introduction

    Article 1. Use of terms

    (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern.

    This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022.

    (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality.

    This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response.

    “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

    While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people.

    Article 2. Objective

    This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern.

    Article 3. Principles

    2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation

    The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary.

    3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.

    This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda).

    Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact.

    5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics

    As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes.

    The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity.

    Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these.

    In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events.

    Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance

    2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate:

    (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential.

    (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.]

    The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations.

    The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work.

    6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article.

    Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs.

    Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response

    Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?)

    Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new).

    Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery

    2. Each Party commits…[to] :

    (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations

    (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure

    (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies

    (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems

    This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking.

    (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

    This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision.

    Article 7. Health and care workforce

    This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for:

    4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment…

    Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so.

    Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews

    1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system.

    2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels.

    Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries.

    Article 9. Research and development

    Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?).

    Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production

    Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations.

    Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how

    This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc.

    Article 12. Access and benefit sharing

    This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials.

    3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]:

    (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party;

    (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs),

    Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this.

    The article then becomes yet more concerning:

    6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer:

    (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties;

    (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, …

    It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight.

    The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment.

    8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible.

    The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit.

    10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality.

    The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine.

    The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products.

    It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity.

    Article 13. Supply chain and logistics

    The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products.

    Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it).

    For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase.

    Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions

    While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing.

    Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening

    This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort.

    Article 15. Liability and compensation management

    1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms…

    2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations.

    This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does.

    This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm.

    Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk.

    These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation

    A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement.

    Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches

    A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries).

    However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed).

    Article 18. Communication and public awareness

    1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation…

    2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies.

    The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss.

    As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement.

    Article 19. Implementation and support

    3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005).

    As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other.

    Article 20. Sustainable financing

    1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall:

    (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);…

    This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it.

    3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005)

    This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva.

    It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking.

    Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions

    Article 21. Conference of the Parties

    1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established.

    2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation.

    This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion.

    Articles 22 – 37

    These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues.

    Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU).

    The WHO will provide the secretariat.

    Under Article 24 is noted:

    3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns.

    These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement.

    As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.”

    Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public.

    Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time.

    Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it.

    Further reading:

    WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website:

    https://inb.who.int/

    International Health Regulations Working Group website:

    https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html

    On background to the WHO texts:

    Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide
    An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations
    On urgency and burden of pandemics:

    https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic

    Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy
    Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk
    Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement:

    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
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    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/

    https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide By David Bell, Thi Thuy Van Dinh March 22, 2024 Government, Society 30 minute read The World Health Organization (WHO) and its 194 Member States have been engaged for over two years in the development of two ‘instruments’ or agreements with the intent of radically changing the way pandemics and other health emergencies are managed. One, consisting of draft amendments to the existing International health Regulations (IHR), seeks to change the current IHR non-binding recommendations into requirements or binding recommendations, by having countries “undertake” to implement those given by the WHO in future declared health emergencies. It covers all ‘public health emergencies of international concern’ (PHEIC), with a single person, the WHO Director-General (DG) determining what a PHEIC is, where it extends, and when it ends. It specifies mandated vaccines, border closures, and other directives understood as lockdowns among the requirements the DG can impose. It is discussed further elsewhere and still under negotiation in Geneva. A second document, previously known as the (draft) Pandemic Treaty, then Pandemic Accord, and more recently the Pandemic Agreement, seeks to specify governance, supply chains, and various other interventions aimed at preventing, preparing for, and responding to, pandemics (pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – PPPR). It is currently being negotiated by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). Both texts will be subject to a vote at the May 2024 World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. These votes are intended, by those promoting these projects, to bring governance of future multi-country healthcare emergencies (or threats thereof) under the WHO umbrella. The latest version of the draft Pandemic Agreement (here forth the ‘Agreement’) was released on 7th March 2024. However, it is still being negotiated by various committees comprising representatives of Member States and other interested entities. It has been through multiple iterations over two years, and looks like it. With the teeth of the pandemic response proposals in the IHR, the Agreement looks increasingly irrelevant, or at least unsure of its purpose, picking up bits and pieces in a half-hearted way that the IHR amendments do not, or cannot, include. However, as discussed below, it is far from irrelevant. Historical Perspective These aim to increase the centralization of decision-making within the WHO as the “directing and coordinating authority.” This terminology comes from the WHO’s 1946 Constitution, developed in the aftermath of the Second World War as the world faced the outcomes of European fascism and the similar approaches widely imposed through colonialist regimes. The WHO would support emerging countries, with rapidly expanding and poorly resourced populations struggling under high disease burdens, and coordinate some areas of international support as these sovereign countries requested it. The emphasis of action was on coordinating rather than directing. In the 80 years prior to the WHO’s existence, international public health had grown within a more directive mindset, with a series of meetings by colonial and slave-owning powers from 1851 to manage pandemics, culminating in the inauguration of the Office Internationale d’Hygiene Publique in Paris in 1907, and later the League of Nations Health Office. World powers imposed health dictates on those less powerful, in other parts of the world and increasingly on their own population through the eugenics movement and similar approaches. Public health would direct, for the greater good, as a tool of those who wish to direct the lives of others. The WHO, governed by the WHA, was to be very different. Newly independent States and their former colonial masters were ostensibly on an equal footing within the WHA (one country – one vote), and the WHO’s work overall was to be an example of how human rights could dominate the way society works. The model for international public health, as exemplified in the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, was to be horizontal rather than vertical, with communities and countries in the driving seat. With the evolution of the WHO in recent decades from a core funding model (countries give money, the WHO decides under the WHA guidance how to spend it) to a model based on specified funding (funders, both public and increasingly private, instruct the WHO on how to spend it), the WHO has inevitably changed to become a public-private partnership required to serve the interests of funders rather than populations. As most funding comes from a few countries with major Pharma industrial bases, or private investors and corporations in the same industry, the WHO has been required to emphasize the use of pharmaceuticals and downplay evidence and knowledge where these clash (if it wants to keep all its staff funded). It is helpful to view the draft Agreement, and the IHR amendments, in this context. Why May 2024? The WHO, together with the World Bank, G20, and other institutions have been emphasizing the urgency of putting the new pandemic instruments in place earnestly, before the ‘next pandemic.’ This is based on claims that the world was unprepared for Covid-19, and that the economic and health harm would be somehow avoidable if we had these agreements in place. They emphasize, contrary to evidence that Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) origins involve laboratory manipulation, that the main threats we face are natural, and that these are increasing exponentially and present an “existential” threat to humanity. The data on which the WHO, the World Bank, and G20 base these claims demonstrates the contrary, with reported natural outbreaks having increased as detection technologies have developed, but reducing in mortality rate, and in numbers, over the past 10 to 20 years.. A paper cited by the World Bank to justify urgency and quoted as suggesting a 3x increase in risk in the coming decade actually suggests that a Covid-19-like event would occur roughly every 129 years, and a Spanish-flu repetition every 292 to 877 years. Such predictions are unable to take into account the rapidly changing nature of medicine and improved sanitation and nutrition (most deaths from Spanish flu would not have occurred if modern antibiotics had been available), and so may still overestimate risk. Similarly, the WHO’s own priority disease list for new outbreaks only includes two diseases of proven natural origin that have over 1,000 historical deaths attributed to them. It is well demonstrated that the risk and expected burden of pandemics is misrepresented by major international agencies in current discussions. The urgency for May 2024 is clearly therefore inadequately supported, firstly because neither the WHO nor others have demonstrated how the harms accrued through Covid-19 would be reduced through the measures proposed, and secondly because the burden and risk is misrepresented. In this context, the state of the Agreement is clearly not where it should be as a draft international legally binding agreement intended to impose considerable financial and other obligations on States and populations. This is particularly problematic as the proposed expenditure; the proposed budget is over $31 billion per year, with over $10 billion more on other One Health activities. Much of this will have to be diverted from addressing other diseases burdens that impose far greater burden. This trade-off, essential to understand in public health policy development, has not yet been clearly addressed by the WHO. The WHO DG stated recently that the WHO does not want the power to impose vaccine mandates or lockdowns on anyone, and does not want this. This begs the question of why either of the current WHO pandemic instruments is being proposed, both as legally binding documents. The current IHR (2005) already sets out such approaches as recommendations the DG can make, and there is nothing non-mandatory that countries cannot do now without pushing new treaty-like mechanisms through a vote in Geneva. Based on the DG’s claims, they are essentially redundant, and what new non-mandatory clauses they contain, as set out below, are certainly not urgent. Clauses that are mandatory (Member States “shall”) must be considered within national decision-making contexts and appear against the WHO’s stated intent. Common sense would suggest that the Agreement, and the accompanying IHR amendments, be properly thought through before Member States commit. The WHO has already abandoned the legal requirement for a 4-month review time for the IHR amendments (Article 55.2 IHR), which are also still under negotiation just 2 months before the WHA deadline. The Agreement should also have at least such a period for States to properly consider whether to agree – treaties normally take many years to develop and negotiate and no valid arguments have been put forward as to why these should be different. The Covid-19 response resulted in an unprecedented transfer of wealth from those of lower income to the very wealthy few, completely contrary to the way in which the WHO was intended to affect human society. A considerable portion of these pandemic profits went to current sponsors of the WHO, and these same corporate entities and investors are set to further benefit from the new pandemic agreements. As written, the Pandemic Agreement risks entrenching such centralization and profit-taking, and the accompanying unprecedented restrictions on human rights and freedoms, as a public health norm. To continue with a clearly flawed agreement simply because of a previously set deadline, when no clear population benefit is articulated and no true urgency demonstrated, would therefore be a major step backward in international public health. Basic principles of proportionality, human agency, and community empowerment, essential for health and human rights outcomes, are missing or paid lip-service. The WHO clearly wishes to increase its funding and show it is ‘doing something,’ but must first articulate why the voluntary provisions of the current IHR are insufficient. It is hoped that by systematically reviewing some key clauses of the agreement here, it will become clear why a rethink of the whole approach is necessary. The full text is found below. The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic. Much of the remaining text is essentially pointless as it reiterates vague intentions to be found in other documents or activities which countries normally undertake in the course of running health services, and have no place in a focused legally-binding international agreement. REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement. 7th March, 2024 Preamble Recognizing that the World Health Organization…is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work. This is inconsistent with a recent statement by the WHO DG that the WHO has no interest or intent to direct country health responses. To reiterate it here suggests that the DG is not representing the true position regarding the Agreement. “Directing authority” is however in line with the proposed IHR Amendments (and the WHO’s Constitution), under which countries will “undertake” ahead of time to follow the DG’s recommendations (which thereby become instructions). As the HR amendments make clear, this is intended to apply even to a perceived threat rather than actual harm. Recalling the constitution of the World Health Organization…highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. This statement recalls fundamental understandings of public health, and is of importance here as it raises the question of why the WHO did not strongly condemn prolonged school closures, workplace closures, and other impoverishing policies during the Covid-19 response. In 2019, WHO made clear that these dangers should prevent actions we now call ‘lockdowns’ from being imposed. Deeply concerned by the gross inequities at national and international levels that hindered timely and equitable access to medical and other Covid-19 pandemic-related products, and the serious shortcomings in pandemic preparedness. In terms of health equity (as distinct from commodity of ‘vaccine’ equity), inequity in the Covid-19 response was not in failing to provide a vaccine against former variants to immune, young people in low-income countries who were at far higher risk from endemic diseases, but in the disproportionate harm to them of uniformly-imposed NPIs that reduced current and future income and basic healthcare, as was noted by the WHO in 2019 Pandemic Influenza recommendations. The failure of the text to recognize this suggests that lessons from Covid-19 have not informed this draft Agreement. The WHO has not yet demonstrated how pandemic ‘preparedness,’ in the terms they use below, would have reduced impact, given that there is poor correlation between strictness or speed of response and eventual outcomes. Reiterating the need to work towards…an equitable approach to mitigate the risk that pandemics exacerbate existing inequities in access to health services, As above – in the past century, the issue of inequity has been most pronounced in pandemic response, rather than the impact of the virus itself (excluding the physiological variation in risk). Most recorded deaths from acute pandemics, since the Spanish flu, were during Covid-19, in which the virus hit mainly sick elderly, but response impacted working-age adults and children heavily and will continue to have effect, due to increased poverty and debt; reduced education and child marriage, in future generations. These have disproportionately affected lower-income people, and particularly women. The lack of recognition of this in this document, though they are recognized by the World Bank and UN agencies elsewhere, must raise real questions on whether this Agreement has been thoroughly thought through, and the process of development been sufficiently inclusive and objective. Chapter I. Introduction Article 1. Use of terms (i) “pathogen with pandemic potential” means any pathogen that has been identified to infect a human and that is: novel (not yet characterized) or known (including a variant of a known pathogen), potentially highly transmissible and/or highly virulent with the potential to cause a public health emergency of international concern. This provides a very wide scope to alter provisions. Any pathogen that can infect humans and is potentially highly transmissible or virulent, though yet uncharacterized means virtually any coronavirus, influenza virus, or a plethora of other relatively common pathogen groups. The IHR Amendments intend that the DG alone can make this call, over the advice of others, as occurred with monkeypox in 2022. (j) “persons in vulnerable situations” means individuals, groups or communities with a disproportionate increased risk of infection, severity, disease or mortality. This is a good definition – in Covid-19 context, would mean the sick elderly, and so is relevant to targeting a response. “Universal health coverage” means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. While the general UHC concept is good, it is time a sensible (rather than patently silly) definition was adopted. Society cannot afford the full range of possible interventions and remedies for all, and clearly there is a scale of cost vs benefit that prioritizes certain ones over others. Sensible definitions make action more likely, and inaction harder to justify. One could argue that none should have the full range until all have good basic care, but clearly the earth will not support ‘the full range’ for 8 billion people. Article 2. Objective This Agreement is specifically for pandemics (a poorly defined term but essentially a pathogen that spreads rapidly across national borders). In contrast, the IHR amendments accompanying it are broader in scope – for any public health emergencies of international concern. Article 3. Principles 2. the sovereign right of States to adopt, legislate and implement legislation The amendments to the IHR require States to undertake to follow WHO instructions ahead of time, before such instruction and context are known. These two documents must be understood, as noted later in the Agreement draft, as complementary. 3. equity as the goal and outcome of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, ensuring the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people. This definition of equity here needs clarification. In the pandemic context, the WHO emphasized commodity (vaccine) equity during the Covid-19 response. Elimination of differences implied equal access to Covid-19 vaccines in countries with large aging, obese highly vulnerable populations (e.g. the USA or Italy), and those with young populations at minimal risk and with far more pressing health priorities (e.g. Niger or Uganda). Alternatively, but equally damaging, equal access to different age groups within a country when the risk-benefit ratio is clearly greatly different. This promotes worse health outcomes by diverting resources from where they are most useful, as it ignores heterogeneity of risk. Again, an adult approach is required in international agreements, rather than feel-good sentences, if they are going to have a positive impact. 5. …a more equitable and better prepared world to prevent, respond to and recover from pandemics As with ‘3’ above, this raises a fundamental problem: What if health equity demands that some populations divert resources to childhood nutrition and endemic diseases rather than the latest pandemic, as these are likely of far higher burden to many younger but lower-income populations? This would not be equity in the definition implied here, but would clearly lead to better and more equal health outcomes. The WHO must decide whether it is about uniform action, or minimizing poor health, as these are clearly very different. They are the difference between the WHO’s commodity equity, and true health equity. Chapter II. The world together equitably: achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Equity in health should imply a reasonably equal chance of overcoming or avoiding preventable sickness. The vast majority of sickness and death is due to either non-communicable diseases often related to lifestyle, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, undernutrition in childhood, and endemic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. Achieving health equity would primarily mean addressing these. In this chapter of the draft Pandemic Agreement, equity is used to imply equal access to specific health commodities, particularly vaccines, for intermittent health emergencies, although these exert a small fraction of the burden of other diseases. It is, specifically, commodity-equity, and not geared to equalizing overall health burden but to enabling centrally-coordinated homogenous responses to unusual events. Article 4. Pandemic prevention and surveillance 2. The Parties shall undertake to cooperate: (b) in support of…initiatives aimed at preventing pandemics, in particular those that improve surveillance, early warning and risk assessment; .…and identify settings and activities presenting a risk of emergence and re-emergence of pathogens with pandemic potential. (c-h) [Paragraphs on water and sanitation, infection control, strengthening of biosafety, surveillance and prevention of vector-born diseases, and addressing antimicrobial resistance.] The WHO intends the Agreement to have force under international law. Therefore, countries are undertaking to put themselves under force of international law in regards to complying with the agreement’s stipulations. The provisions under this long article mostly cover general health stuff that countries try to do anyway. The difference will be that countries will be assessed on progress. Assessment can be fine if in context, less fine if it consists of entitled ‘experts’ from wealthy countries with little local knowledge or context. Perhaps such compliance is best left to national authorities, who are more in use with local needs and priorities. The justification for the international bureaucracy being built to support this, while fun for those involved, is unclear and will divert resources from actual health work. 6. The Conference of the Parties may adopt, as necessary, guidelines, recommendations and standards, including in relation to pandemic prevention capacities, to support the implementation of this Article. Here and later, the COP is invoked as a vehicle to decide on what will actually be done. The rules are explained later (Articles 21-23). While allowing more time is sensible, it begs the question of why it is not better to wait and discuss what is needed in the current INB process, before committing to a legally-binding agreement. This current article says nothing not already covered by the IHR2005 or other ongoing programs. Article 5. One Health approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response Nothing specific or new in this article. It seems redundant (it is advocating a holistic approach mentioned elsewhere) and so presumably is just to get the term ‘One Health’ into the agreement. (One could ask, why bother?) Some mainstream definitions of One Health (e.g. Lancet) consider that it means non-human species are on a par with humans in terms of rights and importance. If this is meant here, clearly most Member States would disagree. So we may assume that it is just words to keep someone happy (a little childish in an international document, but the term ‘One Health’ has been trending, like ‘equity,’ as if the concept of holistic approaches to public health were new). Article 6. Preparedness, health system resilience and recovery 2. Each Party commits…[to] : (a) routine and essential health services during pandemics with a focus on primary health care, routine immunization and mental health care, and with particular attention to persons in vulnerable situations (b) developing, strengthening and maintaining health infrastructure (c) developing post-pandemic health system recovery strategies (d) developing, strengthening and maintaining: health information systems This is good, and (a) seems to require avoidance of lockdowns (which inevitably cause the harms listed). Unfortunately other WHO documents lead one to assume this is not the intent…It does appear therefore that this is simply another list of fairly non-specific feel-good measures that have no useful place in a new legally-binding agreement, and which most countries are already undertaking. (e) promoting the use of social and behavioural sciences, risk communication and community engagement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. This requires clarification, as the use of behavioral science during the Covid-19 response involved deliberate inducement of fear to promote behaviors that people would not otherwise follow (e.g. Spi-B). It is essential here that the document clarifies how behavioral science should be used ethically in healthcare. Otherwise, this is also a quite meaningless provision. Article 7. Health and care workforce This long Article discusses health workforce, training, retention, non-discrimination, stigma, bias, adequate remuneration, and other standard provisions for workplaces. It is unclear why it is included in a legally binding pandemic agreement, except for: 4. [The Parties]…shall invest in establishing, sustaining, coordinating and mobilizing a skilled and trained multidisciplinary global public health emergency workforce…Parties having established emergency health teams should inform WHO thereof and make best efforts to respond to requests for deployment… Emergency health teams established (within capacity etc.) – are something countries already do, when they have capacity. There is no reason to have this as a legally-binding instrument, and clearly no urgency to do so. Article 8. Preparedness monitoring and functional reviews 1. The Parties shall, building on existing and relevant tools, develop and implement an inclusive, transparent, effective and efficient pandemic prevention, preparedness and response monitoring and evaluation system. 2. Each Party shall assess, every five years, with technical support from the WHO Secretariat upon request, the functioning and readiness of, and gaps in, its pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity, based on the relevant tools and guidelines developed by WHO in partnership with relevant organizations at international, regional and sub-regional levels. Note that this is being required of countries that are already struggling to implement monitoring systems for major endemic diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, and nutritional deficiencies. They will be legally bound to divert resources to pandemic prevention. While there is some overlap, it will inevitably divert resources from currently underfunded programs for diseases of far higher local burdens, and so (not theoretically, but inevitably) raise mortality. Poor countries are being required to put resources into problems deemed significant by richer countries. Article 9. Research and development Various general provisions about undertaking background research that countries are generally doing anyway, but with an ’emerging disease’ slant. Again, the INB fails to justify why this diversion of resources from researching greater disease burdens should occur in all countries (why not just those with excess resources?). Article 10. Sustainable and geographically diversified production Mostly non-binding but suggested cooperation on making pandemic-related products available, including support for manufacturing in “inter-pandemic times” (a fascinating rendering of ‘normal’), when they would only be viable through subsidies. Much of this is probably unimplementable, as it would not be practical to maintain facilities in most or all countries on stand-by for rare events, at cost of resources otherwise useful for other priorities. The desire to increase production in ‘developing’ countries will face major barriers and costs in terms of maintaining quality of production, particularly as many products will have limited use outside of rare outbreak situations. Article 11. Transfer of technology and know-how This article, always problematic for large pharmaceutical corporations sponsoring much WHO outbreak activities, is now watered down to weak requirements to ‘consider,’ promote,’ provide, within capabilities’ etc. Article 12. Access and benefit sharing This Article is intended to establish the WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing System (PABS System). PABS is intended to “ensure rapid, systematic and timely access to biological materials of pathogens with pandemic potential and the genetic sequence data.” This system is of potential high relevance and needs to be interpreted in the context that SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing the recent Covid-19 outbreak, was highly likely to have escaped from a laboratory. PABS is intended to expand the laboratory storage, transport, and handling of such viruses, under the oversight of the WHO, an organization outside of national jurisdiction with no significant direct experience in handling biological materials. 3. When a Party has access to a pathogen [it shall]: (a) share with WHO any pathogen sequence information as soon as it is available to the Party; (b) as soon as biological materials are available to the Party, provide the materials to one or more laboratories and/or biorepositories participating in WHO-coordinated laboratory networks (CLNs), Subsequent clauses state that benefits will be shared, and seek to prevent recipient laboratories from patenting materials received from other countries. This has been a major concern of low-and middle-income countries previously, who perceive that institutions in wealthy countries patent and benefit from materials derived from less-wealthy populations. It remains to be seen whether provisions here will be sufficient to address this. The article then becomes yet more concerning: 6. WHO shall conclude legally binding standard PABS contracts with manufacturers to provide the following, taking into account the size, nature and capacities of the manufacturer: (a) annual monetary contributions to support the PABS System and relevant capacities in countries; the determination of the annual amount, use, and approach for monitoring and accountability, shall be finalized by the Parties; (b) real-time contributions of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines produced by the manufacturer, 10% free of charge and 10% at not-for-profit prices during public health emergencies of international concern or pandemics, … It is clearly intended that the WHO becomes directly involved in setting up legally binding manufacturing contracts, despite the WHO being outside of national jurisdictional oversight, within the territories of Member States. The PABS system, and therefore its staff and dependent entities, are also to be supported in part by funds from the manufacturers whom they are supposed to be managing. The income of the organization will be dependent on maintaining positive relationships with these private entities in a similar way in which many national regulatory agencies are dependent upon funds from pharmaceutical companies whom their staff ostensibly regulate. In this case, the regulator will be even further removed from public oversight. The clause on 10% (why 10?) products being free of charge, and similar at cost, while ensuring lower-priced commodities irrespective of actual need (the outbreak may be confined to wealthy countries). The same entity, the WHO, will determine whether the triggering emergency exists, determine the response, and manage the contracts to provide the commodities, without direct jurisdictional oversight regarding the potential for corruption or conflict of interest. It is a remarkable system to suggest, irrespective of political or regulatory environment. 8. The Parties shall cooperate…public financing of research and development, prepurchase agreements, or regulatory procedures, to encourage and facilitate as many manufacturers as possible to enter into standard PABS contracts as early as possible. The article envisions that public funding will be used to build the process, ensuring essentially no-risk private profit. 10. To support operationalization of the PABS System, WHO shall…make such contracts public, while respecting commercial confidentiality. The public may know whom contracts are made with, but not all details of the contracts. There will therefore be no independent oversight of the clauses agreed between the WHO, a body outside of national jurisdiction and dependent of commercial companies for funding some of its work and salaries, and these same companies, on ‘needs’ that the WHO itself will have sole authority, under the proposed amendments to the IHR, to determine. The Article further states that the WHO shall use its own product regulatory system (prequalification) and Emergency Use Listing Procedure to open and stimulate markets for the manufacturers of these products. It is doubtful that any national government could make such an overall agreement, yet in May 2024 they will be voting to provide this to what is essentially a foreign, and partly privately financed, entity. Article 13. Supply chain and logistics The WHO will become convenor of a ‘Global Supply Chain and Logistics Network’ for commercially-produced products, to be supplied under WHO contracts when and where the WHO determines, whilst also having the role of ensuring safety of such products. Having mutual support coordinated between countries is good. Having this run by an organization that is significantly funded directly by those gaining from the sale of these same commodities seems reckless and counterintuitive. Few countries would allow this (or at least plan for it). For this to occur safely, the WHO would logically have to forgo all private investment, and greatly restrict national specified funding contributions. Otherwise, the conflicts of interest involved would destroy confidence in the system. There is no suggestion of such divestment from the WHO, but rather, as in Article 12, private sector dependency, directly tied to contracts, will increase. Article 13bis: National procurement- and distribution-related provisions While suffering the same (perhaps unavoidable) issues regarding commercial confidentiality, this alternate Article 13 seems far more appropriate, keeping commercial issues under national jurisdiction and avoiding the obvious conflict of interests that underpin funding for WHO activities and staffing. Article 14. Regulatory systems strengthening This entire Article reflects initiatives and programs already in place. Nothing here appears likely to add to current effort. Article 15. Liability and compensation management 1. Each Party shall consider developing, as necessary and in accordance with applicable law, national strategies for managing liability in its territory related to pandemic vaccines…no-fault compensation mechanisms… 2. The Parties…shall develop recommendations for the establishment and implementation of national, regional and/or global no-fault compensation mechanisms and strategies for managing liability during pandemic emergencies, including with regard to individuals that are in a humanitarian setting or vulnerable situations. This is quite remarkable, but also reflects some national legislation, in removing any fault or liability specifically from vaccine manufacturers, for harms done in pushing out vaccines to the public. During the Covid-19 response, genetic therapeutics being developed by BioNtech and Moderna were reclassified as vaccines, on the basis that an immune response is stimulated after they have modified intracellular biochemical pathways as a medicine normally does. This enabled specific trials normally required for carcinogenicity and teratogenicity to be bypassed, despite raised fetal abnormality rates in animal trials. It will enable the CEPI 100-day vaccine program, supported with private funding to support private mRNA vaccine manufacturers, to proceed without any risk to the manufacturer should there be subsequent public harm. Together with an earlier provision on public funding of research and manufacturing readiness, and the removal of former wording requiring intellectual property sharing in Article 11, this ensures vaccine manufacturers and their investors make profit in effective absence of risk. These entities are currently heavily invested in support for WHO, and were strongly aligned with the introduction of newly restrictive outbreak responses that emphasized and sometimes mandated their products during the Covid-19 outbreak. Article 16. International collaboration and cooperation A somewhat pointless article. It suggests that countries cooperate with each other and the WHO to implement the other agreements in the Agreement. Article 17. Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches A list of essentially motherhood provisions related to planning for a pandemic. However, countries will legally be required to maintain a ‘national coordination multisectoral body’ for PPPR. This will essentially be an added burden on budgets, and inevitably divert further resources from other priorities. Perhaps just strengthening current infectious disease and nutritional programs would be more impactful. (Nowhere in this Agreement is nutrition discussed (essential for resilience to pathogens) and minimal wording is included on sanitation and clean water (other major reasons for reduction in infectious disease mortality over past centuries). However, the ‘community ownership’ wording is interesting (“empower and enable community ownership of, and contribution to, community readiness for and resilience [for PPPR]”), as this directly contradicts much of the rest of the Agreement, including the centralization of control under the Conference of Parties, requirements for countries to allocate resources to pandemic preparedness over other community priorities, and the idea of inspecting and assessing adherence to the centralized requirements of the Agreement. Either much of the rest of the Agreement is redundant, or this wording is purely for appearance and not to be followed (and therefore should be removed). Article 18. Communication and public awareness 1. Each Party shall promote timely access to credible and evidence-based information …with the aim of countering and addressing misinformation or disinformation… 2. The Parties shall, as appropriate, promote and/or conduct research and inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic, as well as trust in science and public health institutions and agencies. The key word is as appropriate, given that many agencies, including the WHO, have overseen or aided policies during the Covid-19 response that have greatly increased poverty, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and education loss. As the WHO has been shown to be significantly misrepresenting pandemic risk in the process of advocating for this Agreement and related instruments, its own communications would also fall outside the provision here related to evidence-based information, and fall within normal understandings of misinformation. It could not therefore be an arbiter of correctness of information here, so the Article is not implementable. Rewritten to recommend accurate evidence-based information being promoted, it would make good sense, but this is not an issue requiring a legally binding international agreement. Article 19. Implementation and support 3. The WHO Secretariat…organize the technical and financial assistance necessary to address such gaps and needs in implementing the commitments agreed upon under the Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005). As the WHO is dependent on donor support, its ability to address gaps in funding within Member States is clearly not something it can guarantee. The purpose of this article is unclear, repeating in paragraphs 1 and 2 the earlier intent for countries to generally support each other. Article 20. Sustainable financing 1. The Parties commit to working together…In this regard, each Party, within the means and resources at its disposal, shall: (a) prioritize and maintain or increase, as necessary, domestic funding for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, without undermining other domestic public health priorities including for: (i) strengthening and sustaining capacities for the prevention, preparedness and response to health emergencies and pandemics, in particular the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005);… This is silly wording, as countries obviously have to prioritize within budgets, so that moving funds to one area means removing from another. The essence of public health policy is weighing and making such decisions; this reality seems to be ignored here through wishful thinking. (a) is clearly redundant, as the IHR (2005) already exists and countries have agreed to support it. 3. A Coordinating Financial Mechanism (the “Mechanism”) is hereby established to support the implementation of both the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations (2005) This will be in parallel to the Pandemic Fund recently commenced by the World Bank – an issue not lost on INB delegates and so likely to change here in the final version. It will also be additive to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and other health financing mechanisms, and so require another parallel international bureaucracy, presumably based in Geneva. It is intended to have its own capacity to “conduct relevant analyses on needs and gaps, in addition to tracking cooperation efforts,” so it will not be a small undertaking. Chapter III. Institutional and final provisions Article 21. Conference of the Parties 1. A Conference of the Parties is hereby established. 2. The Conference of the Parties shall keep under regular review, every three years, the implementation of the WHO Pandemic Agreement and take the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. This sets up the governing body to oversee this Agreement (another body requiring a secretariat and support). It is intended to meet within a year of the Agreement coming into force, and then set its own rules on meeting thereafter. It is likely that many provisions outlined in this draft of the Agreement will be deferred to the COP for further discussion. Articles 22 – 37 These articles cover the functioning of the Conference of Parties (COP) and various administrative issues. Of note, ‘block votes’ will be allowed from regional bodies (e.g. the EU). The WHO will provide the secretariat. Under Article 24 is noted: 3. Nothing in the WHO Pandemic Agreement shall be interpreted as providing the Secretariat of the World Health Organization, including the WHO Director-General, any authority to direct, order, alter or otherwise prescribe the domestic laws or policies of any Party, or to mandate or otherwise impose any requirements that Parties take specific actions, such as ban or accept travellers, impose vaccination mandates or therapeutic or diagnostic measures, or implement lockdowns. These provisions are explicitly stated in the proposed amendments to the IHR, to be considered alongside this agreement. Article 26 notes that the IHR is to be interpreted as compatible, thereby confirming that the IHR provisions including border closures and limits on freedom of movement, mandated vaccination, and other lockdown measures are not negated by this statement. As Article 26 states: “The Parties recognize that the WHO Pandemic Agreement and the International Health Regulations should be interpreted so as to be compatible.” Some would consider this subterfuge – The Director-General recently labeled as liars those who claimed the Agreement included these powers, whilst failing to acknowledge the accompanying IHR amendments. The WHO could do better in avoiding misleading messaging, especially when this involves denigration of the public. Article 32 (Withdrawal) requires that, once adopted, Parties cannot withdraw for a total of 3 years (giving notice after a minimum of 2 years). Financial obligations undertaken under the agreement continue beyond that time. Finally, the Agreement will come into force, assuming a two-thirds majority in the WHA is achieved (Article 19, WHO Constitution), 30 days after the fortieth country has ratified it. Further reading: WHO Pandemic Agreement Intergovernmental Negotiating Board website: https://inb.who.int/ International Health Regulations Working Group website: https://apps.who.int/gb/wgihr/index.html On background to the WHO texts: Amendments to WHO’s International Health Regulations: An Annotated Guide An Unofficial Q&A on International Health Regulations On urgency and burden of pandemics: https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/download/228/rational-policy-over-panic Disease X and Davos: This is Not the Way to Evaluate and Formulate Public Health Policy Before Preparing for Pandemics, We Need Better Evidence of Risk Revised Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement: 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/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide/ https://www.minds.com/donshafi911/blog/the-who-pandemic-agreement-a-guide-1621719398509187077
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    The WHO Pandemic Agreement: A Guide ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The commentary below concentrates on selected draft provisions of the latest publicly available version of the draft agreement that seem to be unclear or potentially problematic.
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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
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    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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  • The WHO Wants to Rule the World
    Ramesh Thakur
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications.

    The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat.

    The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices.

    From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues.

    The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab.

    Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all.

    The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper

    In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’

    The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later:

    …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness.

    What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments.

    The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority

    The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency.

    Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries.

    The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare.

    With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world.

    Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks.

    The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights.

    Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations.

    Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority.

    US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker.

    At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’

    Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’.

    A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice.

    Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability.

    The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association.

    Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks.

    It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’

    Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden

    In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade.

    The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness.

    Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny.

    Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix.


    The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children.

    Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda.

    Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever.

    Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1).

    According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia.

    If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000.

    Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden.

    A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March

    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

    Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    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-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World Ramesh Thakur The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June. The new pandemic treaty needs a two-thirds majority for approval and, if and once adopted, will come into effect after 40 ratifications. The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) can be adopted by a simple majority and will be binding on all states unless they recorded reservations by the end of last year. Because they will be changes to an existing agreement that states have already signed, the amendments do not require any follow-up ratification. The WHO describes the IHR as ‘an instrument of international law that is legally-binding’ on its 196 states parties, including the 194 WHO member states, even if they voted against it. Therein lies its promise and its threat. The new regime will change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation into a supra-national public health authority exercising quasi-legislative and executive powers over states; change the nature of the relationship between citizens, business enterprises, and governments domestically, and also between governments and other governments and the WHO internationally; and shift the locus of medical practice from the doctor-patient consultation in the clinic to public health bureaucrats in capital cities and WHO headquarters in Geneva and its six regional offices. From net zero to mass immigration and identity politics, the ‘expertocracy’ elite is in alliance with the global technocratic elite against majority national sentiment. The Covid years gave the elites a valuable lesson in how to exercise effective social control and they mean to apply it across all contentious issues. The changes to global health governance architecture must be understood in this light. It represents the transformation of the national security, administrative, and surveillance state into a globalised biosecurity state. But they are encountering pushback in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently Ireland. We can but hope that the resistance will spread to rejecting the WHO power grab. Addressing the World Governments Summit in Dubai on 12 February, WHO Director-General (DG) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attacked ‘the litany of lies and conspiracy theories’ about the agreement that ‘are utterly, completely, categorically false. The pandemic agreement will not give WHO any power over any state or any individual, for that matter.’ He insisted that critics are ‘either uninformed or lying.’ Could it be instead that, relying on aides, he himself has either not read or not understood the draft? The alternative explanation for his spray at the critics is that he is gaslighting us all. The Gostin, Klock, and Finch Paper In the Hastings Center Report “Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics,” published on 23 December, Lawrence Gostin, Kevin Klock, and Alexandra Finch attempt to provide the justification to underpin the proposed new IHR and treaty instruments as ‘transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ The three authors decry the voluntary compliance under the existing ‘amorphous and unenforceable’ IHR regulations as ‘a critical shortcoming.’ And they concede that ‘While advocates have pressed for health-related human rights to be included in the pandemic agreement, the current draft does not do so.’ Directly contradicting the DG’s denial as quoted above, they describe the new treaty as ‘legally binding’. This is repeated several pages later: …the best way to contain transnational outbreaks is through international cooperation, led multilaterally through the WHO. That may require all states to forgo some level of sovereignty in exchange for enhanced safety and fairness. What gives their analysis significance is that, as explained in the paper itself, Gostin is ‘actively involved in WHO processes for a pandemic agreement and IHR reform’ as the director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law and a member of the WHO Review Committee on IHR amendments. The WHO as the World’s Guidance and Coordinating Authority The IHR amendments will expand the situations that constitute a public health emergency, grant the WHO additional emergency powers, and extend state duties to build ‘core capacities’ of surveillance to detect, assess, notify, and report events that could constitute an emergency. Under the new accords, the WHO would function as the guidance and coordinating authority for the world. The DG will become more powerful than the UN Secretary-General. The existing language of ‘should’ is replaced in many places by the imperative ‘shall,’ of non-binding recommendations with countries will ‘undertake to follow’ the guidance. And ‘full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons’ will be changed to principles of ‘equity’ and ‘inclusivity’ with different requirements for rich and poor countries, bleeding financial resources and pharmaceutical products from industrialised to developing countries. The WHO is first of all an international bureaucracy and only secondly a collective body of medical and health experts. Its Covid performance was not among its finest. Its credibility was badly damaged by tardiness in raising the alarm; by its acceptance and then rejection of China’s claim that there was no risk of human-human transmission; by the failure to hold China accountable for destroying evidence of the pandemic’s origins; by the initial investigation that whitewashed the origins of the virus; by flip-flops on masks and lockdowns; by ignoring the counterexample of Sweden that rejected lockdowns with no worse health outcomes and far better economic, social, and educational outcomes; and by the failure to stand up for children’s developmental, educational, social, and mental health rights and welfare. With a funding model where 87 percent of the budget comes from voluntary contributions from the rich countries and private donors like the Gates Foundation, and 77 percent is for activities specified by them, the WHO has effectively ‘become a system of global public health patronage’, write Ben and Molly Kingsley of the UK children’s rights campaign group UsForThem. Human Rights Watch says the process has been ‘disproportionately guided by corporate demands and the policy positions of high-income governments seeking to protect the power of private actors in health including the pharmaceutical industry.’ The victims of this Catch-22 lack of accountability will be the peoples of the world. Much of the new surveillance network in a model divided into pre-, in, and post-pandemic periods will be provided by private and corporate interests that will profit from the mass testing and pharmaceutical interventions. According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates jumped by one-third from $96.5 billion in 2019 to $129 billion in 2022: philanthropy can be profitable. Article 15.2 of the draft pandemic treaty requires states to set up ‘no fault vaccine-injury compensation schemes,’ conferring immunity on Big Pharma against liability, thereby codifying the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of risks. The changes would confer extraordinary new powers on the WHO’s DG and regional directors and mandate governments to implement their recommendations. This will result in a major expansion of the international health bureaucracy under the WHO, for example new implementation and compliance committees; shift the centre of gravity from the common deadliest diseases (discussed below) to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks (five including Covid in the last 120 years); and give the WHO authority to direct resources (money, pharmaceutical products, intellectual property rights) to itself and to other governments in breach of sovereign and copyright rights. Considering the impact of the amendments on national decision-making and mortgaging future generations to internationally determined spending obligations, this calls for an indefinite pause in the process until parliaments have done due diligence and debated the potentially far-reaching obligations. Yet disappointingly, relatively few countries have expressed reservations and few parliamentarians seem at all interested. We may pay a high price for the rise of careerist politicians whose primary interest is self-advancement, ministers who ask bureaucrats to draft replies to constituents expressing concern that they often sign without reading either the original letter or the reply in their name, and officials who disdain the constraints of democratic decision-making and accountability. Ministers relying on technical advice from staffers when officials are engaged in a silent coup against elected representatives give power without responsibility to bureaucrats while relegating ministers to being in office but not in power, with political accountability sans authority. US President Donald Trump and Australian and UK Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson were representative of national leaders who had lacked the science literacy, intellectual heft, moral clarity, and courage of conviction to stand up to their technocrats. It was a period of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids, with Sir Humphrey Appleby winning most of the guerrilla campaign waged by the permanent civil service against the transient and clueless Prime Minister Jim Hacker. At least some Australian, American, British, and European politicians have recently expressed concern at the WHO-centred ‘command and control’ model of a public health system, and the public spending and redistributive implications of the two proposed international instruments. US Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) warned on 5 February that ‘far too little scrutiny has been given, far too few questions asked as to what this legally binding agreement or treaty means to health policy in the United States and elsewhere.’ Like Smith and Wenstrup, the most common criticism levelled has been that this represents a power grab at the cost of national sovereignty. Speaking in parliament in November, Australia’s Liberal Senator Alex Antic dubbed the effort a ‘WHO d’etat’. A more accurate reading may be that it represents collusion between the WHO and the richest countries, home to the biggest pharmaceutical companies, to dilute accountability for decisions, taken in the name of public health, that profit a narrow elite. The changes will lock in the seamless rule of the technocratic-managerial elite at both the national and the international levels. Yet the WHO edicts, although legally binding in theory, will be unenforceable against the most powerful countries in practice. Moreover, the new regime aims to eliminate transparency and critical scrutiny by criminalising any opinion that questions the official narrative from the WHO and governments, thereby elevating them to the status of dogma. The pandemic treaty calls for governments to tackle the ‘infodemics’ of false information, misinformation, disinformation, and even ‘too much information’ (Article 1c). This is censorship. Authorities have no right to be shielded from critical questioning of official information. Freedom of information is a cornerstone of an open and resilient society and a key means to hold authorities to public scrutiny and accountability. The changes are an effort to entrench and institutionalise the model of political, social, and messaging control trialled with great success during Covid. The foundational document of the international human rights regime is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandemic management during Covid and in future emergencies threaten some of its core provisions regarding privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and rights to work, education, peaceful assembly, and association. Worst of all, they will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on more frequent declarations of actual or anticipated pandemic outbreaks. It is a basic axiom of politics that power that can be abused, will be abused – some day, somewhere, by someone. The corollary holds that power once seized is seldom surrendered back voluntarily to the people. Lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, and all the other shenanigans and theatre of the Covid era will likely be repeated on whim. Professor Angus Dalgliesh of London’s St George’s Medical School warns that the WHO ‘wants to inflict this incompetence on us all over again but this time be in total control.’ Covid in the Context of Africa’s Disease Burden In the Hastings Center report referred to earlier, Gostin, Klock, and Finch claim that ‘lower-income countries experienced larger losses and longer-lasting economic setbacks.’ This is a casual elision that shifts the blame for harmful downstream effects away from lockdowns in the futile quest to eradicate the virus, to the virus itself. The chief damage to developing countries was caused by the worldwide shutdown of social life and economic activities and the drastic reduction in international trade. The discreet elision aroused my curiosity on the authors’ affiliations. It came as no surprise to read that they lead the O’Neill Institute–Foundation for the National Institutes of Health project on an international instrument for pandemic prevention and preparedness. Gostin et al. grounded the urgency for the new accords in the claim that ‘Zoonotic pathogens…are occurring with increasing frequency, enhancing the risk of new pandemics’ and cite research to suggest a threefold increase in ‘extreme pandemics’ over the next decade. In a report entitled “Rational Policy Over Panic,” published by Leeds University in February, a team that included our own David Bell subjected claims of increasing pandemic frequency and disease burden behind the drive to adopt the new treaty and amend the existing IHR to critical scrutiny. Specifically, they examined and found wanting a number of assumptions and several references in eight G20, World Bank, and WHO policy documents. On the one hand, the reported increase in natural outbreaks is best explained by technologically more sophisticated diagnostic testing equipment, while the disease burden has been effectively reduced with improved surveillance, response mechanisms, and other public health interventions. Consequently there is no real urgency to rush into the new accords. Instead, governments should take all the time they need to situate pandemic risk in the wider healthcare context and formulate policy tailored to the more accurate risk and interventions matrix. The lockdowns were responsible for reversals of decades worth of gains in critical childhood immunisations. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 7.6 million African children under 5 missed out on vaccination in 2021 and another 11 million were under-immunised, ‘making up over 40 percent of the under-immunised and missed children globally.’ How many quality adjusted life years does that add up to, I wonder? But don’t hold your breath that anyone will be held accountable for crimes against African children. Earlier this month the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group argued that lockdowns were a ‘class-based and unscientific instrument.’ It accused the WHO of trying to reintroduce ‘classical Western colonialism through the backdoor’ in the form of the new pandemic treaty and the IHR amendments. Medical knowledge and innovations do not come solely from Western capitals and Geneva, but from people and groups who have captured the WHO agenda. Lockdowns had caused significant harm to low-income countries, the group said, yet the WHO wanted legal authority to compel member states to comply with its advice in future pandemics, including with respect to vaccine passports and border closures. Instead of bowing to ‘health imperialism,’ it would be preferable for African countries to set their own priorities in alleviating the disease burden of their major killer diseases like cholera, malaria, and yellow fever. Europe and the US, comprising a little under ten and over four percent of world population, account for nearly 18 and 17 percent, respectively, of all Covid-related deaths in the world. By contrast Asia, with nearly 60 percent of the world’s people, accounts for 23 percent of all Covid-related deaths. Meantime Africa, with more than 17 percent of global population, has recorded less than four percent of global Covid deaths (Table 1). According to a report on the continent’s disease burden published last year by the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Africa’s leading causes of death in 2021 were malaria (593,000 deaths), tuberculosis (501,000), and HIV/AIDS (420,000). The report does not provide the numbers for diarrhoeal deaths for Africa. There are 1.6 million such deaths globally per year, including 440,000 children under 5. And we know that most diarrhoeal deaths occur in Africa and South Asia. If we perform a linear extrapolation of 2021 deaths to estimate ballpark figures for the three years 2020–22 inclusive for numbers of Africans killed by these big three, approximately 1.78 million died from malaria, 1.5 million from TB, and 1.26 million from HIV/AIDS. (I exclude 2023 as Covid had faded by then, as can be seen in Table 1). By comparison, the total number of Covid-related deaths across Africa in the three years was 259,000. Whether or not the WHO is pursuing a policy of health colonialism, therefore, the Pan-African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has a point regarding the grossly exaggerated threat of Covid in the total picture of Africa’s disease burden. A shorter version of this was published in The Australian on 11 March 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 Ramesh Thakur, a Brownstone Institute Senior Scholar, is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, and emeritus professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. 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-who-wants-to-rule-the-world/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    The WHO Wants to Rule the World ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The World Health Organisation (WHO) will present two new texts for adoption by its governing body, the World Health Assembly comprising delegates from 194 member states, in Geneva on 27 May–1 June.
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  • Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?

    Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 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.

    On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day.

    Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

    However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities.

    How IS kills

    On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead.

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    Read more

    Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack?

    In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks.

    However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension.

    The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with.

    The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed.

    What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall

    Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there.

    According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack.

    RT

    After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists.

    The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans.

    As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    Read more

    ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters

    What happened afterwards

    None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime.

    Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700).

    The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022.

    The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine.

    Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die.

    RT

    Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side.

    This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself.

    All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation.

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    Read more

    Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up

    What does Ukraine have to do with it?

    Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

    Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria.

    Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person.

    The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport.

    RT

    In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections.

    After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022.

    ***

    Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.”



    Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents.


    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/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall? Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMarch 27, 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. On March 22, Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history, in the course of which 137 people were killed and 182 others were injured. The four terrorists who carried out the attack chose one of the largest exhibition and concert venues in the country, Crocus City Hall, in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of Moscow, which hosts large events every day. Even though the investigation is still ongoing, the West has already claimed that the Islamic State (IS) is responsible for the tragedy. This was first reported by some media outlets, including Reuters and CNN, and was later picked up by Western officials. For example, on Monday, this was stated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. However, when we compare this terrorist attack with other IS attacks, we notice more differences than similarities. How IS kills On that fateful Friday night, a concert by Picnic, a St. Petersburg rock band, was supposed to take place in Crocus City Hall. This fact gave rise to comparisons with the horrible terrorist attack in France in November 2015. Back then, terrorists broke into the Bataclan Theater in Paris, where a concert of the US band Eagles of Death Metal was taking place. IS claimed responsibility for the crime, which left 89 people dead. Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? Read more Weapon of mass distraction: Is the West scapegoating Islamic State over Moscow attack? In those years, IS became increasingly active throughout the world – but this was actually a sign of its decline. In its heyday, IS didn’t urge its supporters to carry out terrorist attacks, but instead called on them to “fulfill the hijrah” – i.e., move to the territories controlled by the organization. Over ten years ago, this was quite easy to do, since part of the Syrian border with Turkey was controlled by the jihadists, which allowed people to freely cross it and join their ranks. However, as the terrorists lost many of their territories, their rhetoric changed. Through its information resources, IS urged its followers to commit terrorist acts in places where they lived. This caused an upsurge in violence in Europe: a wave of terror swept through France, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and other countries. In Russia, the North Caucasus became a point of tension. The strategy was simple – anyone who supported the jihadists, wherever they lived, could record a video with an oath of allegiance to the “caliph,” send it via an automated feedback bot, and then commit a terrorist act. Often it was only the perpetrator who died, but for IS, this didn’t matter – it only cared about being mentioned in connection with the terrorist activity, which is why the organization occasionally took responsibility for crimes that it had nothing to do with. The terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, however, doesn’t match this straightforward strategy usually adopted by IS. In fact, the choice of a rock concert as the site of the terrorist attack is almost the only common feature between this attack and other acts of terror it has committed. What preceded the events at Crocus City Hall Four people who had not previously known each other were recruited to carry out the terrorist attack. One of them, Shamsidin Fariduni, was in Türkiye in February, and from there he flew to Russia on March 4. He spent at least ten days in Türkiye and investigators are currently determining who he communicated with while there. According to unofficial information, he met with a certain “Islamic preacher” in Istanbul. However, it is also known that the terrorists corresponded with the “preacher’s assistant.” According to Fariduni, this anonymous person sponsored and organized the terrorist attack. RT After arriving in Russia, Fariduni visited Crocus City Hall on March 7 in order to see the site where the crime was to be committed. From this, we may conclude that the attack was to take place soon after his arrival from Türkiye. On the same day, the US embassy in Russia warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings “over the next 48 hours” due to possible attacks by extremists. The next concert at Crocus City Hall was given by the singer Shaman, who is known for his patriotism. However, his concert on Saturday, March 9 passed without incident. In the following days, there were other performances at the venue, but apparently the terrorists were forced to adjust their plans. As a result, they chose the concert by the band Picnic, scheduled for March 22. Although this band is not as popular as Shaman, it is also known for its patriotic stance and for donating funds for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters Read more ‘The Moscow terror attack was an inside job!’ The strange and twisted world of the West’s political and media Russia haters What happened afterwards None of the terrorists planned to “join the Houris in paradise,” as is usual for IS followers. After shooting people in Crocus City Hall and setting the building on fire, they did not attack the special forces which arrived at the scene and instead got in a car and fled from Moscow. Neither did they wear “suicide belts” – a characteristic detail of IS followers who are ready to die after committing their crime. Another detail which is uncharacteristic for IS is the monetary reward promised to the terrorists. The payment was supposed to be made in two installments – before and after the attack. The terrorists had already received the first payment, amounting to 250,000 rubles ($2,700). The most important detail is the location where the terrorists were detained. Traffic cameras allowed intelligence services to monitor where they were headed. They were eventually detained on the federal highway M-3 Ukraine – a route which used to connect Russia and Ukraine but lost much of its international importance after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in 2014, and particularly after the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022. The terrorists were detained after passing the turn to route A240, which leads to Belarus. At that moment, it became obvious that there was only one place where they could be headed: Ukraine. Despite the fact that the terrorists were armed, only one of them, Mukhammadsobir Fayzov, put up resistance. All of the terrorists were detained alive, which was most likely an order given to the security forces involved in the operation. However, as we mentioned above, the terrorists themselves did not want to die. RT Moreover, they knew where to go to save their lives: to the Ukrainian border. Later, in his address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a “window” for passage had been opened for them on the Ukrainian side. This, too, is uncharacteristic for IS, since someone who carries out a terrorist act, especially an outsider, is always considered “disposable.” Even if he makes it out alive, no one will help him. Moreover, in earlier years, IS usually didn’t take responsibility for an attack if the perpetrator remained alive, as this could harm him during the investigation. However, later the organization no longer cared about this due to the deplorable state in which it found itself. All this comes down to the fact that compared to other attacks carried out by IS in the past few years, this one is strikingly different when it comes to the level of preparation, detailed planning, and financial compensation. Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up Read more Dmitry Trenin: The American explanation for the Moscow terror attack doesn’t add up What does Ukraine have to do with it? Having already mentioned Ukraine several times, we must note its links with terrorists. Since 2015, it has been known that the Security Service of Ukraine tried to recruit radical Islamists with the goal of carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks, etc. on Russian territory. Ukraine’s intelligence services were also active among the terrorists in Syria. This cooperation was marked in particular by the arrival in Ukraine of Chechen terrorist Rustam Azhiev, who served in the International Legion controlled by the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. Azhiev participated in the second Chechen campaign against the Russian Armed Forces and eventually fled to Türkiye. In 2011, he moved to Syria, where he headed the terrorist group Ajnad Al-Kavkaz. Under his command, the militants participated in hostilities against the Syrian Armed Forces and were noted for terrorist attacks directed against civilians. Azhiev operated side-by-side with groups that are recognized as terrorist organizations not only in the United States, but throughout the world. The main ally of Ajnad Al-Kavkaz was Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria. Over time, the Russian Armed Forces and Syrian Armed Forces liberated territories from terrorists and significantly reduced their supply base. As a result, Azhiev and his associates became involved in contract killings, extortion, torture, and racketeering. In 2019, Azhiev even had to publicly apologize for the actions of his associates, who kidnapped the wrong person. The terrorists had been “unemployed” for several years when in 2022, Azhiev and his associates were approached by Ukrainian intelligence services through an intermediary – field commander Akhmed Zakayev. Azhiev and his associates took part in combat operations against the Russian Armed Forces and as a reward, Azhiev was given a Ukrainian passport. RT In 2024, led by Azhiev, the terrorists participated in an attack on border settlements in Belgorod Region. In a video, Azhiev publicly admitted that the purpose of the operation was to destabilize the situation in Russia before and during the presidential elections. This was confirmed by the fact that the attacks stopped right after the elections. After the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, the Austrian newspaper Heute discovered another link between Ukraine and radical Islamists. According to the publication, which cites information from intelligence services, many suspected terrorists had entered the EU from Ukraine. For example, in December 2023, a Tajik citizen and his wife, along with an accomplice, were detained in Vienna. They were preparing an attack on St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The couple had come to the EU from Ukraine in February 2022. *** Ukraine is the place of residence not only for many terrorists, but also IS administrators and those who sympathize with the terrorists. Some of these people are actively involved in raising funds for imprisoned IS fighters in Syria and Iraq. Some of this money goes to purchasing food and medicines. But quite often, it is spent on buying weapons to carry out attacks inside prisons, and for bribing guards. Since some of the terrorists are officially “employed” in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and others work for the Security Service of Ukraine, they can both push their employers to organize a terrorist attack or do so on their own, without formally consulting the authorities. Currently, one of the versions is that an employee of the Ukrainian intelligence services could’ve been hiding under the guise of the “preacher’s assistant.” Moreover, Kiev has prior experience in carrying out terrorist acts on Russian territory – both directly, as in the case of Daria Dugina, and through intermediaries, as in the case of Vladlen Tatarsky. Therefore, using radical Islamists, such as IS followers, to carry out terrorist attacks fully corresponds to Ukraine’s strategy, which comes down to inflicting maximum damage on Russia and its residents. 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/krainian-caliphate-what-the-west-prefers-not-to-notice-when-blaming-isis-for-the-terrorist-attack-in-moscow/
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    Ukrainian ‘Caliphate’: What the West prefers not to notice when blaming ISIS for the terrorist attack in Moscow
    Kiev’s connections with terrorist groups and Islamists are recognized even in the West. Could Ukrainians be behind the massacre in Crocus City Hall?
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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.

    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.


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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
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    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
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    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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  • ‘A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that using 0.9 milliliters of castor oil capsules three times a day had similar effects for knee arthritis as 50 milligrams of diclofenac sodium (5).’

    Castor Oil: Key Health Benefits and How to Use It
    by Dr. Jockers
    FDA Disclaimer
    Affliliate Disclosure
    Privacy Policy
    castor oilCastor Oil: Key Health Benefits and How to Use It

    Castor oil is a fatty oil that is made from the castor seeds of the castor bean plant. Castor oil has many potential health benefits, including relieving constipation, supporting liver health, improving skin health, reducing inflammation, and more.

    In this article, you will learn what castor oil is. You will learn about the health benefits, and I will discuss how to use castor oil. You will learn about the potential risks and how to pick and purchase castor oil. Finally, I will explain how to make a castor oil pack to help improve your health.

    castor oil

    What Is Castor Oil

    Castor seed oil, also known as castor oil or Ricinus Communis, is made by pressing the seeds of the plant to be used for a variety of conventional purposes. It is part of the Eurphorbiaceae plant family, which is a flowering spurge family, mostly cultivated in India, South America, and Africa. Out of these places, India is responsible for about 90 percent of the castor oil global exports.

    It is also among the oldest cultivated crops in the world, making up about 0.15 percent of the world’s vegetable oils. Castor oil has an amber to green color. It has a mild scent and taste. It may be used both topically and orally as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is also used in many cosmetic products sold.




    Castor oil is made up of phytochemicals, including:

    Undecylenic acid
    Ricinoleic acid
    Rincinoleic acid is responsible for about 90 percent of the chemical structure of castor oil. It is a fatty acid that may be responsible for the numerous health properties castor oil is used for in natural and alternative medicine. When ricinoleic acid is released in the intestines, it may bind with receptors that line the intestinal tract and the smooth-muscle cells in the uterus, which may help to promote natural healing abilities (1).

    According to a 2017 review published in the Pakistani Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, castor oil may have many phytochemistry, biological and pharmacological activities, offering natural medicinal benefits (2). It may offer anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, liver-protective, free radical-scavenging, and wound-healing benefits.



    Health Benefits of Castor Oil

    Castor oil has many potential health benefits. Let’s look at each of these one by one.

    Promotes Lymphatic Drainage

    Castor oil may help to support lymphatic drainage and may help to remove the build-up of toxins and debris in the body. If your body is overloaded with environmental toxins, microbes, and debris, they may accumulate within the lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering bacteria. This may cause lymphatic stagnation.

    2007 research published in the International Journal of Toxicology has found that injecting rats with castor oil helped to suppress tumors that developed as the result of liver damage. (3). As castor oil gets absorbed through the skin, it may increase blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and lymphocyte production, which may boost immune health and benefit those with a compromised immune system.

    lymphatic

    Anti-Microbial and Anti-Inflammatory

    Castor oil may also offer anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may be a great massage oil for sore muscles, joints, and tissues. According to a 2000 study published in Mediators of Inflammation, ricinoleic acid in castor oil may offer anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits (4).

    A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that using 0.9 milliliters of castor oil capsules three times a day had similar effects for knee arthritis as 50 milligrams of diclofenac sodium (5).

    Moreover, castor oil may have immune health-boosting effects by fighting microbes. According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). When used internally, it may help to relieve constipation, thus elimination, and as a result, the removal of microbes and toxins in the gut.



    Thins Bile and Dilates the Bile Ducts

    Bile is a greenish-brown liquid or digestive juice that emulsifies fats for your small intestine to absorb. It moves from your liver to the gallbladder, and then your body stores it until it needs it for the digestion of food. Bile is essential for digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Problems with bile production, bile flow, and bile acid malabsorption may lead to abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.

    Using castor oil packs over the abdomen and liver area may not only help liver detoxification but may also help to thin the bile, dilate bile ducts, and improve bile flow. It may also help to relieve painful spasms and cramps of the bile ducts and gallbladder.

    With that said, though anecdotal and personal evidence seems to support that castor oil may benefit bile health, we need more research evidence to back this up.

    castor oil

    Supports Liver Detoxification

    Your liver serves vital functions in the body and is critical for the process of detoxification. The liver helps circulate fluid in the body and transforms toxins into a substance which then can be dissolved, flushed down the bile ducts, relocated into the small intestine, or eliminated through stool.

    Using castor oil packs over the liver area may help to support liver detoxification and liver health and reduce related health symptoms. According to a 2012 systematic review published in the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, using castor oil topically may help to support liver function and cholesterol levels (7).

    weaken immunity

    Improves Bowel Motility

    Supporting digestion may be one of the main potential health benefits of castor oil. Castor oil packs may help to improve bowel motility, which means a decreased risk of constipation and fewer digestive issues. According to a 2012 systematic review published in the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, using castor oil topically may help to reduce constipation (7).

    According to a 2011 clinical trial published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, castor oil packs may help to reduce constipation, straining during bowel movements, and the risk of incomplete bowel movements (8). According to a 2021 pilot study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, it may help to cleanse the colon before a colonoscopy (9).

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    Reduces Pain, Swelling and Edema

    Castor oil may also help to reduce pain, swelling, and edema. According to a 2018 study published in Polymers in Advanced Technology, castor oil may help to reduce inflammation pain and support wound healing (10). According to a 2000 study published in Mediators of Inflammation, ricinoleic acid in castor oil may offer anti-inflammatory effects, which may help to decrease pain and swelling (4).

    A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that castor oil may help to reduce symptoms of knee arthritis (5). Thus, it may help to lower pain and swelling linked to this condition.

    Moreover, poor circulation and poor lymphatic flow may increase swelling and edema. Because castor oil may help to support the lymphatic system and circulation, it may also reduce the risk of edema.

    edema

    Improves Circulation and Tissue Oxygenation

    Using castor oil may also help to improve circulation and tissue oxygenation. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the lymphatic system may influence the heart, lung, brain, and other organs health (11). By supporting lymphatic circulation, castor oil may help to support the cardiovascular circulatory system and tissue oxygenation too and reduce fluid retention and edema (3).

    Castor oil is also commonly used in wound healing (10). Its wound-healing effects may partly lie in supporting circulation, tissue oxygenation, and blood flow. However, we still need more research on the potential circulatory and tissue-oxygenating benefits of castor oil.

    castor oil

    Supports Healthy Immune Function

    Castor oil may support healthy immune function in a variety of ways. As we already discussed, it may help lymphatic function, which spreads across your entire body and helps to remove excess fluid, protein, and waste (11).

    Castor oil may support lymphatic drainage and blood flow. It may support the production of the lymphocyte white blood cells that fight bacteria, which may assist the health of the thymus gland, which is responsible for creating T cells for the immune system.

    It may also also help to fight and remove microbes from your body. According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6).

    weaken immunity

    Moisturizes Skin

    Castor oil also offers skin-protecting benefits. 100 percent pure castor oil is natural and free of synthetic chemicals. It is rich in healthy fatty acids that may boost skin health. Using it topically may help moisturize your skin, prevent water loss from the skin, reduce dry skin, and improve irritated skin.

    According to 2005 research published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, it may help the recovery of pressure ulcers and wound healing thanks to its moisturizing and antimicrobial benefits (12). Castor oil may also mix well with coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil, which are also beneficial for your skin health.



    Supports Wound Healing

    Moisturizing the skin is not the only skin-related potential benefit of castor oil. It has been used to improve wound healing as a natural remedy for a long time. A 2018 study published in Polymers in Advanced Technology has found that it may help to reduce inflammation pain and support wound healing (10). According to a 2005 research published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, it may help wound and pressure ulcer recovery (12).

    According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). This may help to reduce infections of the skin, reduce the risk of a staph infection, and support wound healing.

    castor oil

    How to Use Castor Oil

    If you are interested in the potential benefits of castor oil, you may wonder how to use castor oil. Here are some potential options for using castor oil, both topically and orally.

    As a Laxative for Constipation Relief

    You may try castor oil as a laxative for constipation relief, taken orally. The common oral dose to treat constipation is between 15 to 60 mL, as a single dose. This is between one and four tablespoons, taken once a day. For children between 2 and 12, the dose is generally 5 to 15 mL once a day, and for babies under age 2, it’s 5 mL once a day.

    You may mix it in water before drinking it. Always read the directions carefully. Ideally, start on the low end of the dosage and see how your body handles it. Don’t take castor oil internally for more than seven days. And always consult your healthcare practitioner before using it orally. Stop using it if you experience any side effects.

    castor oil

    Support Hair and Eyebrow Growth

    Castor oil may support hair growth and eyebrow growth. For hair growth, you may massage a few tablespoons of castor oil into your scalp and hair, then spread it all over your hair. You may leave it on overnight and wash it out in the morning.

    For your eyebrows, use a cotton swab or a clean mascara and apply a small amount of castor oil over your clean brows for about 20 minutes or longer. You may even apply it before sleep and sleep in it. Clean it with the help of a cotton swab and be careful it doesn’t get into your eyes.



    Reduce Bags Under Eyes

    Castor oil may help to reduce under-eye bags, dark circles, and hyperpigmentation. First, wash your face. Then massage 3 to 4 drops of the oil under your eyes. You may try a carrier oil, such as jojoba, almond, or coconut oil, to dilute it.

    Using your fingertips for massaging works just fine, but you may also use a jade roller. You may leave it on overnight and clean it in the morning gently. Be careful that it doesn’t get into your eyes.



    Improve Skin Health and Dandruff

    Castor oil may offer numerous skin health benefits. For acne, you may apply the oil with a clean cotton swab. You may also mix it with apple cider vinegar, frankincense essential oil, or other essential oils to reduce swelling, inflammation, pain, and scarring. To reduce breakout, you can massage some of the oil into your skin and leave it on for the night, then cleanse it off in the morning.

    For hydration, mix ¼ cup of castor oil and ¾ cup of virgin coconut or olive oil, and apply it on your face or elsewhere on your body. For moisturizing, mix ¼ cup of castor oil with olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. Massage it on your skin, leave it on overnight, then rinse. You may mix one teaspoon of castor oil with one egg yolk for a 10 to 20-minute face mask.

    For sunburns, mix coconut oil and castor oil at a 1 to 1 ratio and apply it on the affected area to reduce inflammation, redness, and pain. For dandruff and scalp issues, massage castor oil into your scalp and leave it on overnight.



    Reduce Joint or Menstrual Pain

    To reduce joint pain, you may massage castor oil into your skin on the affected area as you would with any other pain-relieving cream. About a dime-sized amount, every 3 hours or so may be helpful. Try it for three days for symptom relief.

    For menstrual cramps, you may either massage it on your lower abdomen area or use a castor oil pack. At the end of this article, you will learn about how to make and use a castor oil pack.

    castor oil packs

    Improve Bile Flow and Liver Detoxification

    We know that healthy bile flow is key for eliminating toxins from the liver, digesting and absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients and improving the microbial balance in the gut microbiome.

    Castor oil is great for improving bile flow, liver detoxification, and liver function. For this, I recommend using a castor oil pack, which I will explain in more detail at the end of this article.

    castor oil packs

    Contraindications to Using Castor Oil

    Castrol oil is generally recognized as safe. It can also be found in high concentrations in some cosmetics, including lipstick. However, according to 2007 research published in the International Journal of Toxicology, there may be some toxic effects when consumed orally, thus using it orally may not be recommended (3).

    There are currently not enough studies and clinical trials on the benefits and safety of castor oil, thus many doctors are unaware of the potential health benefits and physiological effects. Limited studies and tales of midwifery, including a 2012 report published in PNAS, have reported symptoms of nausea, cramps, and loss of fluid and electrolytes when ingesting the oil (13).

    If you ingest castor oil, it gets broken down by your small intestine into ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid acts as an irritant, which may help to relieve constipation. While this may be good news if you have constipation, this same effect may cause digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal side effects in others.

    However, if you have constipation, it may be beneficial, generally by starting with 1 teaspoon in the morning and seeing if you get the relief you need. If not, you can try 2 teaspoons the following morning. This is generally safe. If you notice any pain, discomfort, or side effects, back off.

    Sometimes castor oil is also used by some midwives to help induce labor. However, it is important that you don’t try this at home by yourself, only by the recommendation and with the support of your midwife or healthcare professional.

    However, castor oil is not for everyone. People who should avoid it may include:

    Women who are Pregnant: As I mentioned, sometimes castor oil is actually used to induce labor, and limited research evidence backs this up. This may happen because ricinoleic acid contained in the oil may signal a response from the lining of the uterus. Therefore, castor oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant unless recommended by a doctor to stimulate labor (13).
    Women Experiencing Heavy Menstrual Flow: Women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding should also avoid the use of castor oil packs during menstruation. Otherwise, these packs may possibly help to ease cramping and regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.
    Individuals with Gastrointestinal Problems: The ricinoleic acid has been found to interact with the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can worsen gastrointestinal conditions and increase symptoms or the risk of complications. Individuals experiencing ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and colitis should avoid castor oil packs unless otherwise recommended by a doctor. Other more minor and general gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation, generally respond very well to the use of castor oil packs and may be beneficial.
    Individuals with Extreme Skin Sensitivities: Castor oil packs should also not be used by anyone who has any chronic skin conditions with increased skin sensitivities. Individuals with these issues may be at an increased risk of developing a reaction from the topical application of castor oil packs (3).
    castor oil packs

    How to Purchase Castor Oil

    Whether you are looking to buy only castor oil itself or an entire kit for a castor oil pack, you need to look for a high-quality product. I highly recommend and personally use Queen of Thrones castor oil. Dr. Marisol is an expert in castor oil therapy, and she has made it much easier to use this oil with her high-quality products.

    Queen of Thrones offers quality castor oil products, including organic castor oil in a glass jar, which is what I personally use at home. Getting organic castor oil in a glass jar is important because if there is any pesticide residue contained in the oil or plastic residue (phthalates) from the bottle, it can be absorbed through the skin.

    Using high-quality products, like Queen of Thrones may help to prevent this. Use the coupon code DRJOCKERS10 at checkout with Queen of Thrones to save 10%.

    castor oil packs

    How to Make a Castor Oil Pack

    So, how do you make your own castor oil pack? Start by getting some Queen of Thrones, then follow these instructions:

    Before applying a castor oil pack to the skin’s surface, test for skin sensitivity. Rub a small amount of the oil directly onto a limited area of skin to determine if a reaction develops.
    Avoid using electric heat pads without an automatic shut-off following a period of time. According to testimonials, some people had issues falling asleep with ease during castor oil pack treatments. If you choose to get the pieces separately (as opposed to the Queen of Thrones castor oil pack), then here are instructions on how to do them correctly:
    Choose a place where you can lie down comfortably. Cover it with an old towel to avoid damage from dripping oil.
    Use a large enough flannel that’s enough to cover the area you use it on.
    Saturate the flannel with enough oil to make it wet but not dripping.
    Lie down and cover your entire abdomen area with flannel or the specific area, for example, your liver area, you are using it on.
    Cover the flannel with some plastic.
    Put some heating source on top, such as a heating pad, hot water bottle, or hot towel.
    Relax for 45 minutes to 2 hours with the castor oil pack there. Using this time for meditation or breathwork is a great idea, but you may listen to music, read, or watch your favorite show.
    When finished, wash it off with soapy water or a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of water.
    You can store your pack in the fridge and reuse it later. It’s safe to use until you see a visible change in color.
    Repeat this process at least three times per week for a month for optimal results or as recommended by your health practitioner.
    You will see that it can be a lot of work, and that is why I believe the Queen of Thrones pack makes it much easier to do as it provides the flannel with ties on it, so you don’t need to wrap yourself in plastic! Use the coupon code DRJOCKERS10 at checkout with Queen of Thrones to save 10%.



    Final Thoughts

    Castor oil is a fatty oil that is made from the castor seeds of the castor bean plant. It has many potential health benefits, including relieving constipation, supporting live health, improving skin health, reducing inflammation, and more. I recommend that you follow my tips in this article on how to use this great natural product for your health.

    If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. Our website offers long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.



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    In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential. Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

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    Sources In This Article Include:

    1. Tunaru S, et al. Castor_oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. PNAS 2012;109(23):9179-9184. DOI: 1073/pnas.1201627109

    2. Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706

    3. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Ricinoleate SE, Ricinoleic Acid, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Zinc Ricinoleate, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Ethyl Ricinoleate, Glycol Ricinoleate, Isopropyl Ricinoleate, Methyl Ricinoleate, and Octyldodecyl Ricinoleate. International Journal of Toxiciology. May 2007;26:31-77. DOI: 1080/10915810701663150

    4. Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi CA, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8. doi: 10.1080/09629350020025737. PMID: 11200362

    5. Medhi B, Kishore K, Singh U, Seth SD. Comparative clinical trial of castor_oil and diclofenac sodium in patients with osteoarthritis. Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1469-73. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2804. PMID: 1928853

    6. Al-Mamun MA, Akter Z, Uddin MJ, Ferdaus KM, Hoque KM, Ferdousi Z, Reza MA. Characterization and evaluation of antibacterial and antiproliferative activities of crude protein extracts isolated from the seed of Ricinus communis in Bangladesh. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jul 12;16:211. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1185-y. PMID: 27405609

    7. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor_Oil.International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine 2012. Link Here

    8. Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor_oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18. PMID: 21168117

    9. Takashima K, Komeda Y, Sakurai T, Masaki S, Nagai T, Matsui S, Hagiwara S, Takenaka M, Nishida N, Kashida H, Nakaji K, Watanabe T, Kudo M. Castor_oil as booster for colon capsule endoscopy preparation reduction: A prospective pilot study and patient questionnaire. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Jul 5;12(4):79-89. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v12.i4.79. PMID: 34316385

    10. Nada AA, Arul MR, Ramos DM, Kroneková Z, Mosnáček J, Rudraiah S, Kumbar SG. Bioactive polymeric formulations for wound healing. Polym Adv Technol. 2018 Jun;29(6):1815-1825. doi: 10.1002/pat.4288. Epub 2018 Mar 27. PMID: 30923437

    11. Scientists Seek to Understand Lymphatic System’s Impact on Other Organ SystemsLink Here

    12. Narayanan S, Van Vleet J, Strunk B, Ross RN, Gray M. Comparison of pressure ulcer treatments in long-term care facilities: clinical outcomes and impact on cost. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2005 May-Jun;32(3):163-70. doi: 10.1097/00152192-200505000-00004. PMID: 15931146

    13. Tunaru S, et al. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. PNAS 2012;109(23):9179-9184. DOI: 1073/pnas.120162710

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    ‘A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that using 0.9 milliliters of castor oil capsules three times a day had similar effects for knee arthritis as 50 milligrams of diclofenac sodium (5).’ Castor Oil: Key Health Benefits and How to Use It by Dr. Jockers FDA Disclaimer Affliliate Disclosure Privacy Policy castor oilCastor Oil: Key Health Benefits and How to Use It Castor oil is a fatty oil that is made from the castor seeds of the castor bean plant. Castor oil has many potential health benefits, including relieving constipation, supporting liver health, improving skin health, reducing inflammation, and more. In this article, you will learn what castor oil is. You will learn about the health benefits, and I will discuss how to use castor oil. You will learn about the potential risks and how to pick and purchase castor oil. Finally, I will explain how to make a castor oil pack to help improve your health. castor oil What Is Castor Oil Castor seed oil, also known as castor oil or Ricinus Communis, is made by pressing the seeds of the plant to be used for a variety of conventional purposes. It is part of the Eurphorbiaceae plant family, which is a flowering spurge family, mostly cultivated in India, South America, and Africa. Out of these places, India is responsible for about 90 percent of the castor oil global exports. It is also among the oldest cultivated crops in the world, making up about 0.15 percent of the world’s vegetable oils. Castor oil has an amber to green color. It has a mild scent and taste. It may be used both topically and orally as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is also used in many cosmetic products sold. Castor oil is made up of phytochemicals, including: Undecylenic acid Ricinoleic acid Rincinoleic acid is responsible for about 90 percent of the chemical structure of castor oil. It is a fatty acid that may be responsible for the numerous health properties castor oil is used for in natural and alternative medicine. When ricinoleic acid is released in the intestines, it may bind with receptors that line the intestinal tract and the smooth-muscle cells in the uterus, which may help to promote natural healing abilities (1). According to a 2017 review published in the Pakistani Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, castor oil may have many phytochemistry, biological and pharmacological activities, offering natural medicinal benefits (2). It may offer anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, liver-protective, free radical-scavenging, and wound-healing benefits. Health Benefits of Castor Oil Castor oil has many potential health benefits. Let’s look at each of these one by one. Promotes Lymphatic Drainage Castor oil may help to support lymphatic drainage and may help to remove the build-up of toxins and debris in the body. If your body is overloaded with environmental toxins, microbes, and debris, they may accumulate within the lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering bacteria. This may cause lymphatic stagnation. 2007 research published in the International Journal of Toxicology has found that injecting rats with castor oil helped to suppress tumors that developed as the result of liver damage. (3). As castor oil gets absorbed through the skin, it may increase blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and lymphocyte production, which may boost immune health and benefit those with a compromised immune system. lymphatic Anti-Microbial and Anti-Inflammatory Castor oil may also offer anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may be a great massage oil for sore muscles, joints, and tissues. According to a 2000 study published in Mediators of Inflammation, ricinoleic acid in castor oil may offer anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits (4). A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that using 0.9 milliliters of castor oil capsules three times a day had similar effects for knee arthritis as 50 milligrams of diclofenac sodium (5). Moreover, castor oil may have immune health-boosting effects by fighting microbes. According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). When used internally, it may help to relieve constipation, thus elimination, and as a result, the removal of microbes and toxins in the gut. Thins Bile and Dilates the Bile Ducts Bile is a greenish-brown liquid or digestive juice that emulsifies fats for your small intestine to absorb. It moves from your liver to the gallbladder, and then your body stores it until it needs it for the digestion of food. Bile is essential for digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Problems with bile production, bile flow, and bile acid malabsorption may lead to abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and other digestive issues. Using castor oil packs over the abdomen and liver area may not only help liver detoxification but may also help to thin the bile, dilate bile ducts, and improve bile flow. It may also help to relieve painful spasms and cramps of the bile ducts and gallbladder. With that said, though anecdotal and personal evidence seems to support that castor oil may benefit bile health, we need more research evidence to back this up. castor oil Supports Liver Detoxification Your liver serves vital functions in the body and is critical for the process of detoxification. The liver helps circulate fluid in the body and transforms toxins into a substance which then can be dissolved, flushed down the bile ducts, relocated into the small intestine, or eliminated through stool. Using castor oil packs over the liver area may help to support liver detoxification and liver health and reduce related health symptoms. According to a 2012 systematic review published in the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, using castor oil topically may help to support liver function and cholesterol levels (7). weaken immunity Improves Bowel Motility Supporting digestion may be one of the main potential health benefits of castor oil. Castor oil packs may help to improve bowel motility, which means a decreased risk of constipation and fewer digestive issues. According to a 2012 systematic review published in the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, using castor oil topically may help to reduce constipation (7). According to a 2011 clinical trial published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, castor oil packs may help to reduce constipation, straining during bowel movements, and the risk of incomplete bowel movements (8). According to a 2021 pilot study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, it may help to cleanse the colon before a colonoscopy (9). poop, 16 Ways to Achieve Healthy Poop Reduces Pain, Swelling and Edema Castor oil may also help to reduce pain, swelling, and edema. According to a 2018 study published in Polymers in Advanced Technology, castor oil may help to reduce inflammation pain and support wound healing (10). According to a 2000 study published in Mediators of Inflammation, ricinoleic acid in castor oil may offer anti-inflammatory effects, which may help to decrease pain and swelling (4). A 2009 randomized controlled trial published in Phytotherapy Research has found that castor oil may help to reduce symptoms of knee arthritis (5). Thus, it may help to lower pain and swelling linked to this condition. Moreover, poor circulation and poor lymphatic flow may increase swelling and edema. Because castor oil may help to support the lymphatic system and circulation, it may also reduce the risk of edema. edema Improves Circulation and Tissue Oxygenation Using castor oil may also help to improve circulation and tissue oxygenation. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the lymphatic system may influence the heart, lung, brain, and other organs health (11). By supporting lymphatic circulation, castor oil may help to support the cardiovascular circulatory system and tissue oxygenation too and reduce fluid retention and edema (3). Castor oil is also commonly used in wound healing (10). Its wound-healing effects may partly lie in supporting circulation, tissue oxygenation, and blood flow. However, we still need more research on the potential circulatory and tissue-oxygenating benefits of castor oil. castor oil Supports Healthy Immune Function Castor oil may support healthy immune function in a variety of ways. As we already discussed, it may help lymphatic function, which spreads across your entire body and helps to remove excess fluid, protein, and waste (11). Castor oil may support lymphatic drainage and blood flow. It may support the production of the lymphocyte white blood cells that fight bacteria, which may assist the health of the thymus gland, which is responsible for creating T cells for the immune system. It may also also help to fight and remove microbes from your body. According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). weaken immunity Moisturizes Skin Castor oil also offers skin-protecting benefits. 100 percent pure castor oil is natural and free of synthetic chemicals. It is rich in healthy fatty acids that may boost skin health. Using it topically may help moisturize your skin, prevent water loss from the skin, reduce dry skin, and improve irritated skin. According to 2005 research published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, it may help the recovery of pressure ulcers and wound healing thanks to its moisturizing and antimicrobial benefits (12). Castor oil may also mix well with coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil, which are also beneficial for your skin health. Supports Wound Healing Moisturizing the skin is not the only skin-related potential benefit of castor oil. It has been used to improve wound healing as a natural remedy for a long time. A 2018 study published in Polymers in Advanced Technology has found that it may help to reduce inflammation pain and support wound healing (10). According to a 2005 research published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, it may help wound and pressure ulcer recovery (12). According to a 2016 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it may help to fight a variety of different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6). This may help to reduce infections of the skin, reduce the risk of a staph infection, and support wound healing. castor oil How to Use Castor Oil If you are interested in the potential benefits of castor oil, you may wonder how to use castor oil. Here are some potential options for using castor oil, both topically and orally. As a Laxative for Constipation Relief You may try castor oil as a laxative for constipation relief, taken orally. The common oral dose to treat constipation is between 15 to 60 mL, as a single dose. This is between one and four tablespoons, taken once a day. For children between 2 and 12, the dose is generally 5 to 15 mL once a day, and for babies under age 2, it’s 5 mL once a day. You may mix it in water before drinking it. Always read the directions carefully. Ideally, start on the low end of the dosage and see how your body handles it. Don’t take castor oil internally for more than seven days. And always consult your healthcare practitioner before using it orally. Stop using it if you experience any side effects. castor oil Support Hair and Eyebrow Growth Castor oil may support hair growth and eyebrow growth. For hair growth, you may massage a few tablespoons of castor oil into your scalp and hair, then spread it all over your hair. You may leave it on overnight and wash it out in the morning. For your eyebrows, use a cotton swab or a clean mascara and apply a small amount of castor oil over your clean brows for about 20 minutes or longer. You may even apply it before sleep and sleep in it. Clean it with the help of a cotton swab and be careful it doesn’t get into your eyes. Reduce Bags Under Eyes Castor oil may help to reduce under-eye bags, dark circles, and hyperpigmentation. First, wash your face. Then massage 3 to 4 drops of the oil under your eyes. You may try a carrier oil, such as jojoba, almond, or coconut oil, to dilute it. Using your fingertips for massaging works just fine, but you may also use a jade roller. You may leave it on overnight and clean it in the morning gently. Be careful that it doesn’t get into your eyes. Improve Skin Health and Dandruff Castor oil may offer numerous skin health benefits. For acne, you may apply the oil with a clean cotton swab. You may also mix it with apple cider vinegar, frankincense essential oil, or other essential oils to reduce swelling, inflammation, pain, and scarring. To reduce breakout, you can massage some of the oil into your skin and leave it on for the night, then cleanse it off in the morning. For hydration, mix ¼ cup of castor oil and ¾ cup of virgin coconut or olive oil, and apply it on your face or elsewhere on your body. For moisturizing, mix ¼ cup of castor oil with olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. Massage it on your skin, leave it on overnight, then rinse. You may mix one teaspoon of castor oil with one egg yolk for a 10 to 20-minute face mask. For sunburns, mix coconut oil and castor oil at a 1 to 1 ratio and apply it on the affected area to reduce inflammation, redness, and pain. For dandruff and scalp issues, massage castor oil into your scalp and leave it on overnight. Reduce Joint or Menstrual Pain To reduce joint pain, you may massage castor oil into your skin on the affected area as you would with any other pain-relieving cream. About a dime-sized amount, every 3 hours or so may be helpful. Try it for three days for symptom relief. For menstrual cramps, you may either massage it on your lower abdomen area or use a castor oil pack. At the end of this article, you will learn about how to make and use a castor oil pack. castor oil packs Improve Bile Flow and Liver Detoxification We know that healthy bile flow is key for eliminating toxins from the liver, digesting and absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients and improving the microbial balance in the gut microbiome. Castor oil is great for improving bile flow, liver detoxification, and liver function. For this, I recommend using a castor oil pack, which I will explain in more detail at the end of this article. castor oil packs Contraindications to Using Castor Oil Castrol oil is generally recognized as safe. It can also be found in high concentrations in some cosmetics, including lipstick. However, according to 2007 research published in the International Journal of Toxicology, there may be some toxic effects when consumed orally, thus using it orally may not be recommended (3). There are currently not enough studies and clinical trials on the benefits and safety of castor oil, thus many doctors are unaware of the potential health benefits and physiological effects. Limited studies and tales of midwifery, including a 2012 report published in PNAS, have reported symptoms of nausea, cramps, and loss of fluid and electrolytes when ingesting the oil (13). If you ingest castor oil, it gets broken down by your small intestine into ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid acts as an irritant, which may help to relieve constipation. While this may be good news if you have constipation, this same effect may cause digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal side effects in others. However, if you have constipation, it may be beneficial, generally by starting with 1 teaspoon in the morning and seeing if you get the relief you need. If not, you can try 2 teaspoons the following morning. This is generally safe. If you notice any pain, discomfort, or side effects, back off. Sometimes castor oil is also used by some midwives to help induce labor. However, it is important that you don’t try this at home by yourself, only by the recommendation and with the support of your midwife or healthcare professional. However, castor oil is not for everyone. People who should avoid it may include: Women who are Pregnant: As I mentioned, sometimes castor oil is actually used to induce labor, and limited research evidence backs this up. This may happen because ricinoleic acid contained in the oil may signal a response from the lining of the uterus. Therefore, castor oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant unless recommended by a doctor to stimulate labor (13). Women Experiencing Heavy Menstrual Flow: Women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding should also avoid the use of castor oil packs during menstruation. Otherwise, these packs may possibly help to ease cramping and regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. Individuals with Gastrointestinal Problems: The ricinoleic acid has been found to interact with the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can worsen gastrointestinal conditions and increase symptoms or the risk of complications. Individuals experiencing ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and colitis should avoid castor oil packs unless otherwise recommended by a doctor. Other more minor and general gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, cramping, and constipation, generally respond very well to the use of castor oil packs and may be beneficial. Individuals with Extreme Skin Sensitivities: Castor oil packs should also not be used by anyone who has any chronic skin conditions with increased skin sensitivities. Individuals with these issues may be at an increased risk of developing a reaction from the topical application of castor oil packs (3). castor oil packs How to Purchase Castor Oil Whether you are looking to buy only castor oil itself or an entire kit for a castor oil pack, you need to look for a high-quality product. I highly recommend and personally use Queen of Thrones castor oil. Dr. Marisol is an expert in castor oil therapy, and she has made it much easier to use this oil with her high-quality products. Queen of Thrones offers quality castor oil products, including organic castor oil in a glass jar, which is what I personally use at home. Getting organic castor oil in a glass jar is important because if there is any pesticide residue contained in the oil or plastic residue (phthalates) from the bottle, it can be absorbed through the skin. Using high-quality products, like Queen of Thrones may help to prevent this. Use the coupon code DRJOCKERS10 at checkout with Queen of Thrones to save 10%. castor oil packs How to Make a Castor Oil Pack So, how do you make your own castor oil pack? Start by getting some Queen of Thrones, then follow these instructions: Before applying a castor oil pack to the skin’s surface, test for skin sensitivity. Rub a small amount of the oil directly onto a limited area of skin to determine if a reaction develops. Avoid using electric heat pads without an automatic shut-off following a period of time. According to testimonials, some people had issues falling asleep with ease during castor oil pack treatments. If you choose to get the pieces separately (as opposed to the Queen of Thrones castor oil pack), then here are instructions on how to do them correctly: Choose a place where you can lie down comfortably. Cover it with an old towel to avoid damage from dripping oil. Use a large enough flannel that’s enough to cover the area you use it on. Saturate the flannel with enough oil to make it wet but not dripping. Lie down and cover your entire abdomen area with flannel or the specific area, for example, your liver area, you are using it on. Cover the flannel with some plastic. Put some heating source on top, such as a heating pad, hot water bottle, or hot towel. Relax for 45 minutes to 2 hours with the castor oil pack there. Using this time for meditation or breathwork is a great idea, but you may listen to music, read, or watch your favorite show. When finished, wash it off with soapy water or a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of water. You can store your pack in the fridge and reuse it later. It’s safe to use until you see a visible change in color. Repeat this process at least three times per week for a month for optimal results or as recommended by your health practitioner. You will see that it can be a lot of work, and that is why I believe the Queen of Thrones pack makes it much easier to do as it provides the flannel with ties on it, so you don’t need to wrap yourself in plastic! Use the coupon code DRJOCKERS10 at checkout with Queen of Thrones to save 10%. Final Thoughts Castor oil is a fatty oil that is made from the castor seeds of the castor bean plant. It has many potential health benefits, including relieving constipation, supporting live health, improving skin health, reducing inflammation, and more. I recommend that you follow my tips in this article on how to use this great natural product for your health. If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. Our website offers long-distance functional health coaching programs. For further support with your health goals, just reach out and our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey. Inflammation Crushing Ebundle The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life! As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health. In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential. Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below! autoimmune conditions Sources In This Article Include: 1. Tunaru S, et al. Castor_oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. PNAS 2012;109(23):9179-9184. DOI: 1073/pnas.1201627109 2. Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706 3. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Ricinoleate SE, Ricinoleic Acid, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Zinc Ricinoleate, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Ethyl Ricinoleate, Glycol Ricinoleate, Isopropyl Ricinoleate, Methyl Ricinoleate, and Octyldodecyl Ricinoleate. International Journal of Toxiciology. May 2007;26:31-77. DOI: 1080/10915810701663150 4. Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi CA, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8. doi: 10.1080/09629350020025737. PMID: 11200362 5. Medhi B, Kishore K, Singh U, Seth SD. Comparative clinical trial of castor_oil and diclofenac sodium in patients with osteoarthritis. Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1469-73. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2804. PMID: 1928853 6. Al-Mamun MA, Akter Z, Uddin MJ, Ferdaus KM, Hoque KM, Ferdousi Z, Reza MA. Characterization and evaluation of antibacterial and antiproliferative activities of crude protein extracts isolated from the seed of Ricinus communis in Bangladesh. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jul 12;16:211. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1185-y. PMID: 27405609 7. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor_Oil.International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine 2012. Link Here 8. Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor_oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18. PMID: 21168117 9. Takashima K, Komeda Y, Sakurai T, Masaki S, Nagai T, Matsui S, Hagiwara S, Takenaka M, Nishida N, Kashida H, Nakaji K, Watanabe T, Kudo M. Castor_oil as booster for colon capsule endoscopy preparation reduction: A prospective pilot study and patient questionnaire. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Jul 5;12(4):79-89. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v12.i4.79. PMID: 34316385 10. Nada AA, Arul MR, Ramos DM, Kroneková Z, Mosnáček J, Rudraiah S, Kumbar SG. Bioactive polymeric formulations for wound healing. Polym Adv Technol. 2018 Jun;29(6):1815-1825. doi: 10.1002/pat.4288. Epub 2018 Mar 27. PMID: 30923437 11. Scientists Seek to Understand Lymphatic System’s Impact on Other Organ SystemsLink Here 12. Narayanan S, Van Vleet J, Strunk B, Ross RN, Gray M. Comparison of pressure ulcer treatments in long-term care facilities: clinical outcomes and impact on cost. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2005 May-Jun;32(3):163-70. doi: 10.1097/00152192-200505000-00004. PMID: 15931146 13. Tunaru S, et al. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. PNAS 2012;109(23):9179-9184. DOI: 1073/pnas.120162710 colon cancer, Colon Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, and Support Strategies Was this article helpful? YesNo https://drjockers.com/castor-oil-key-health-benefits/
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    Castor Oil: Key Health Benefits and How to Use It
    Castor oil has many potential health benefits, including relieving constipation, supporting liver and skin health and much more.
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