Jun 042020
 

By Kevin Ryan
Global Research, June 03, 2020

Governments have used psychological warfare throughout history to manipulate public opinion, gain political advantage, and generate profits. Western governments have engaged in such tactics in the war on terrorism as well as in its predecessor, the war on communism. In both cases, state-sponsored terrorism and propaganda were used to distort the public’s perception of the threats, leading to increased governmental control of society and huge financial benefits for corporations. It appears that the same kinds of effects are being seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the features and outcomes seen in the war on terrorism and the war on communism are evident in this new “war on death.” Therefore, it’s reasonable to wonder if the extreme response to COVID-19, and its associated virus SARS-COV-2, could be another psychological operation against the public. Considering facts about the disease and the disproportionate response emphasizes the possibility.

If COVID-19 has been co-opted for manipulation of the public, through hyping the threat and pushing exploitive solutions, who is behind it and who benefits?

Let’s first review what features and outcomes the “coronavirus scare’ shares in common with the “red scare” that drove the perceived threat of communism and the “Muslim scare” behind the perceived threat of terrorism. Here are a dozen characteristics that these perceived threats share.

Fear-based and globally directed
Media saturation with bias toward fear
Data manipulation and propaganda
Censorship of opposing views
Intelligence agency control of information
Preceded by exercises mimicking the threat
Series of claims made that are later proven false
Response threatens democracy
Large increase in wealth and power for a few; increase in social inequality
Increased government control of the public and reduced individual freedoms
Response kills far more than the original threat
Evidence for manufactured events (see below)

There are also differences between the COVID-19 pandemic response and the “wars” on communism and terrorism. One difference is that, for the virus, agencies dedicated to public health have taken the lead. Although the central characters that hyped the communism threat and the terrorism threat were sometimes the same people, they tended to represent military, diplomatic, or intelligence agencies.

The primary actors driving the coronavirus lockdowns and associated control mechanisms are political leaders. However, the directives being acted upon come from the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations ostensibly responsible for international public health. Others controlling the coronavirus scare are national health agencies, most notably the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

Are these agencies acting solely in the interest of public health?

Read article here

Apr 272020
 

We live in very strange times. Just a couple of months ago none of us would have thought that we’d be “locked down” at home because of a virus. Hardly anyone had even used the term ‘Social Distancing’ before and now it’s a part of everyday language. Precedents have been set during this outbreak. This video explores those precedents and why we are being told that life may not ever be the same. I’d like to remind you that in Australia the deaths from COVID19 are still way below the average for Influenza yet we are still living with dramatically curtailed freedoms. Something to think about.

Apr 232020
 

By Max Parry
Global Research, April 22, 2020
The Unz Review 9 April 2020

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” — H.L. Mencken

As the global pandemic grips world attention, completely unnoticed by mainstream media was the release of a final report of an academic study pertaining to another previously calamitous event of international significance. On March 25th, the conclusion of a four year investigation by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was published which determined that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001 was not caused by fire.

The peer-reviewed inquiry was funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization composed of more than 3,000 building architects and engineers who are a signatory to the group’s formal appeal calling for a new investigation into the three — not two — WTC skyscrapers destroyed on 9/11. The researchers infer that the collapse of Building 7 was actually the result of a controlled demolition:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”

With or without a pandemic, it is likely corporate media would have ignored the study anyway, just as they have anything that contradicts the official story of 9/11. However, it is notable that many have drawn parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 9/11 attacks based on the widespread changes to daily life as a result of the crisis going forward. Already there is talk of nationwide lockdowns as a “new normal” with many rightly expressing concerns over civil liberties, press freedoms, the surveillance state, and other issues just as there were following 9/11. By the same measure, a false dichotomy is being established by political gatekeepers in order to silence those who dare challenge the official account as to how the coronavirus began. It is a stigmatization that is all too familiar to those who have never believed the conventional narrative that 19 Arab hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden armed only with box-cutters were solely responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that fateful day.

There is a common misconception that to believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” is to somehow lose sight of the bigger picture or systemic problems. Behind this phenomenon is a mistakenly presumed conflict between understanding the broader, overarching system versus the sinister motives of those in power who administer it — when they are inextricably linked. Political scientist Michael Parenti, who drew the ire of many of his fellow left-wing colleagues for his work on the Kennedy assassination, refers to it in his lecture “Understanding Deep Politics” as a perceived incompatibility between “the structural and the functional.” The anti-conspiracists wrongly assume that the more impersonal or wider the lens, the more profound an analysis. By this logic, the elite are absolved of conscious intent and deliberate pursuit of nefarious self-interest, as if everything is done by incidental chance or out of incompetence. Not to say efficacy applies without exception, but it has become a required gesture to disassociate oneself from “conspiracies” to maintain credibility — ironically even by those who are often the target of such smears themselves.

This applies not only to mainstream media and academics, but even leading progressive figures who have a mechanical, unthinking resistance to assigning intent or recognizing the existence of hidden agendas. As a result, it disappears the class interests of the ruling elite and ultimately assists them in providing cover for their crimes. With the exception of the Kennedy assassination — coincidentally the subject of a new epic chart-topping song by Bob Dylan — nowhere has there been more hostility to ‘conspiracism’ than regarding the events of 9/11. Just as they assailed Parenti, David Talbot and others for challenging the Warren Commission’s ‘lone gunman’ theory, leading figures on the left such as Noam Chomsky and the late Alexander Cockburn railed against the 9/11 Truth movement and today it is often wrongly equated with right-wing politics, an unlikely trajectory given it occurred under an arch-conservative administration but an inevitable result of the pseudo-left’s aversion to “conspiracies.” If polls are any indication, the average American certainly disagrees with such elitist misleaders as to the believability of the sham 9/11 Commission findings, yet another example of how out-of-touch the faux-left is with ordinary people.

A more recent example was an article by left-wing journalist Ben Norton proclaiming that to call 9/11 a false flag or an “inside job” is “fundamentally a right-wing conspiracy”, in complete disregard of the many dedicated truther activists on the left since its inception. Norton insists the 9/11 attacks were simply “blowback”, or an unintended consequence of previous U.S. foreign policy support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets during the 1980s which later gave birth to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Norton argues “Al-Qaeda’s unofficial strategic alliance with the US eventually broke down” resulting in 9/11 as retaliation, completely overlooking that Washington was still supporting jihadist factions during the 1990s in Bosnia (two of which would be alleged 9/11 hijackers) and Kosovo in the Yugoslav wars against Serbia, even while the U.S. was ostensibly pursuing bin Laden for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.

A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) throws light on how Washington never discontinued its practice in Afghanistan of using jihadist proxies to achieve its foreign policy goals in the Balkans. Although it was a partisan GOP attack meant to discredit then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, nevertheless the memo accurately presents how the U.S. had “turned Bosnia into a Militant Islamic Base”:

“In short, the Clinton administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network not only involves Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities. For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden , a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups…”

It was also in Bosnia where a raid was conducted in 2002 by local police at the Sarajevo branch of a Saudi-based purported charitable organization, Benevolence International Foundation, which was discovered to be a front for Al-Qaeda. Seized on the premises was a document, dubbed the “Golden Chain”, which listed the major financial sponsors of the terrorist organization to be numerous Saudi business and government figures, including some of Osama bin Laden’s own brothers. By the 9/11 Commission Report’s own admission, this same fake Islamic charity “supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia” at the same time as the CIA.

It cannot go without mentioning that the common link between Al-Qaeda and subsequent extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram is the doctrine of Wahhabism, the puritanical sect of Sunni Islam practiced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and founded in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the religious leader who formed an alliance with the founder of the first Saudi state, Muhammad bin Saud, whose descendants make up the House of Saud royal family. The ultra-orthodox teachings of Wahhabism were initially rejected in the Middle East but reestablished by British colonialism which aligned with the Saud family in order to use their intolerant strain of Islam to undermine the Ottoman empire in a divide-and-conquer strategy. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921, Winston Churchill admitted the Saudis to be “intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty.”

This did not stop the British from supporting the House of Saud so long as it was in the interest of Western imperialism, an unholy alliance which continues to this day. However, U.S.-Saudi relations did come under scrutiny when the infamous 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” conducted by the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence were finally disclosed in 2016. The section revealed not only the numerous U.S. intelligence failures in the lead-up to the attacks but the long suspected culpability of Saudi Arabia, whose nationals were not the focus of counterterrorism because of Riyadh’s status as a U.S. ally. The declassified pages show that some of the hijackers, 15 of them Saudi citizens, received financial and logistical support from individuals linked to the Saudi government, which FBI sources believed at least two of which to be Saudi intelligence officers. One of those Saudi agents received large payments from Princess Haifa, the wife of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a stipend from the latter’s bank account which inevitably went from the go-betweens to the sleeper cell.

Read full article here

Mar 232020
 

We can’t let the coronavirus lead to a 9/11-style erosion of civil liberties
Samuel Miller McDonald
We must reject such authoritarian measures wholly, no matter who says they’re ‘necessary’

As a millennial, much of my adulthood has been punctuated by severe national emergencies. The first my generation experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. We all watched in horror as the months-long media spectacle replayed footage of the towers swallowing airplanes and crumbling into fire and dust. The moment of national solidarity and everyday heroism was brief.

The government quickly responded by attempting to achieve two things: one, expanding executive power, and two, transferring public wealth into private corporations. The Bush administration achieved the first by passing the Patriot Act, which built the foundation for what is probably the world’s most expansive surveillance state, but also by setting legal precedents that violated basic constitutional rights and by creating the Department for Homeland Security, with its aggressive constituent agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The second goal was achieved with the “war on terror”, which involved unilateral occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and subsequent military forays into many African countries. In Iraq, private security, logistics and reconstruction contractors swallowed up $138bn alone. Since 2001, $5.9tn in taxpayer dollars have gone toward wars (not to mention resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and a foreign policy blackhole that still haunts the Middle East). Neither of these goals addressed the root cause of the crisis, and arguably exacerbated the conditions that led to 9/11.

Read article here

Mar 232020
 

Today’s crisis, in many ways, resonates with the experience of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. At that time, the American people were shocked by a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. In 2001, the majority of people accepted the official narrative about these attacks, the origin and those who committed these heinous crimes. But soon many contradictions became apparent and did not support the official narrative. Honest people did not accept the official story as to why “building seven” in the World Trade Center complex (which was not hit directly), collapsed in a controlled demolition style! They were puzzled about the attack against the Pentagon at that time and still are perplexed regarding what happened to the airplane that supposedly hit and made a small hole on the side of the building, without a trace of any plane wreckage or remains of its passengers?

In this light, it is not farfetched nor unreasonable to speculate about the origin of this virus. Mr. Trump insists that this virus is “Chinese”. Mr. Pompeo repeatedly referring to the new Coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus”. The Trump Administration and commercial media, in full force, are spreading the xenophobia against Chinese people in general and Chinese-American citizens in particular. Just like September 11, once again a group of people have been singled out and terrorized through unsubstantiated and fake news, in this case, Chinese-American communities.

Read article here