Never let a good opportunity to conduct deranged foreign policy when the world is preoccupied with a crisis go to waste. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
The Trump administration is reacting to the pandemic stress by lashing out at perceived internal and external enemies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leading the external onslaught.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for an “immediate global ceasefire” to focus on fighting Covid-19. He has appealed for the “waiving of sanctions that can undermine countries’ capacity to respond to the pandemic.”
But Washington is not listening.
Requests from Venezuela and Iran for emergency IMF loans to buy medical supplies were blocked by U.S. interventions.
Just a month ago Pompeo announced an increase of sanctions against Iran. The sanctions block money transfers. They make it impossible for Iran to import the medical equipment it urgently needs to counter the epidemic.
While the U.S. renewed the sanction waiver which allows Iraq to import electricity and gas from Iran the waiver is now limited to only 30 days. One third of Iraq’s electricity depends on those imports from Iran and, if the waiver is not renewed, its hospitals will go dark just when the epidemic will reach its zenith.
Parts of the Trump administration are even pressing for a wider war against alleged Iranian proxy forces in Iraq:
The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq, issuing a directive last week to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that has threatened more attacks against American troops.But the United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned that such a campaign could be bloody and counterproductive and risks war with Iran.
Some top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, have been pushing for aggressive new action against Iran and its proxy forces — and see an opportunity to try to destroy Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq as leaders in Iran are distracted by the pandemic crisis in their country.
Military leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been wary of a sharp military escalation, warning it could further destabilize the Middle East at a time when President Trump has said he hopes to reduce the number of American troops in the region.
Heaven forbid that all the money we’re borrowing to address the coronavirus and its attendant economic and financial woes prompt anyone to question the money we’re spending to maintain the American empire. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
To fight the coronavirus at home, France is removing all military forces from Iraq.
When NATO scaled back its war games in Europe because of the pandemic, Russia reciprocated. Moscow announced it would cancel its war games along NATO’s border.
Nations seem to be recognizing and responding to the grim new geostrategic reality of March 2020: The pandemic is the real enemy of us all, and while we fight it, each in his own national corner, we are in this together.
Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste, said Barack Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the financial crisis.
Emanuel was echoed this month by House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, who called the coronavirus crisis “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
What Clyburn had in mind is what Democrats advanced as their alternative to the $2.2 trillion emergency bill. It was designed to force President Trump either to swallow it whole or to take responsibility for vetoing a critical transfusion of federal funds to keep the economy alive.
Among the items stuffed in the Democrats’ proposal:
A $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed on companies receiving funds. Blanket loan forgiveness of $10,000 for students. New tax credits for solar and wind energy. Full funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal dollars for fetal tissue research.
$300 million for PBS, which has been promoting the LBGT agenda to school kids. Mandating “diversity” on corporate boards as a condition of companies receiving funds. Election “reforms” to increase Democratic turnout. Insistence that airlines, to get a bailout, offset carbon emissions from jet engines. $35 million for the Kennedy Center.
One benefit of the coronavirus panic: the US is leaving some of its smaller military bases in foreign lands because of the virus. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
“Red” (Morgan Freeman): “Hope is a dangerous thing my friend, it can kill a man…”
Andy (Tim Robbins): “Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
~ The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Two futures lie before us. Like the classic visions of late-Old Testament prophets, contemporary observers – perhaps voyeurs – of U.S. national security policy can, at this precipice of pandemic, discern, however vaguely, as dual, dichotomous prospective paths unfurl. The first, and Washington’s long-preferred, course is one of militarist escalation. It’s contours are there for us to see.
In the past couple of weeks, the Pentagon has unapologetically ramped up its proxy war with Iran – on the soil of an unmistakably unwilling “sovereign” state which has politely, if futilely, asked the US military to leave – by bombing, and killing, third-party “allies” of the Islamic Republic.
Then, though it was hardly covered or noticed, Washington killed a Somali child and an elderly disabled man in an airstrike: the 31st such US attack-from-the-sky in a Trump-accelerated campaign upon yet another country we are not at war with. US Africa Command announced, of course, that five “terrorists” had been killed in the strike with zero reports of civilian casualties. Well, naturally, it helps to have folks on the ground (hardly the norm for America’s techno-killers) to accurately access victim-status. Which is probably one reason – besides flagrant duplicity – that a UK-based airstrike monitoring group’s relevant report estimates Somali civilian casualties in US attacks since 2007 may be 73 times higher than official Pentagon claims.
The “cures” to the coronavirus are going to be far worse than the disease. From Rob Slane at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Would you consider the shutting down of an entire national economy for a disease such as the Black Death, which between 1347-1351 killed an estimated 60 percent of the population in the areas where it spread, to be a proportionate response? What about for a virus which carries — at the very most (see below) — a mortality rate of 1.4 percent for those who contract it?Such decisions should be weighed in the balances. In the left-hand side, there is the number of people who could die from the illness, the burden this will place on the health care system and other vital services, and the consequent misery and devastation this will cause to individuals, to families, to businesses, and to society at large. In the right-hand side, there is the possibility of economic collapse, with the mass job losses, destruction of businesses, and extreme poverty this would bring for many.
For something like the Black Death, it is something of a no-brainer. If you don’t shut down everything very quickly, not only will people start dropping dead like flies, but the economy you are attempting to save will soon have nobody to work in it. If you were foolish enough to try to keep your economy running during such a situation, you’d end up with the worst of both worlds: almost no people and almost no economy.
But what about the virus with a 1.4 percent (maximum) mortality rate for those who get it? How do the scales balance out there?
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Economy, Insurrection, Media, Medicine, Military, Politics, Propaganda
Tagged CoVid-19 coronavirus, Unintended consequences
How close are we to martial law? A lot closer than you think. From Robert Richardson at offgridsurvival.com:
The march towards martial law is something that is often ignored by the general public, often labeled as Quackery or something belonging on conspiracy websites. But what’s happening in this country is exactly what our founders warned us about, and martial law is something they took very, very seriously.
What is martial law?
If you’re looking for a definition, then Martial Law basically means using state or national military force to enforce the will of the government on the people.
Under a declaration of martial law, Constitutional freedoms and liberties are suspended, and civilians are no longer entitled to their civil rights. It basically allows the government, or a tyrannical politician, to shred the Constitution and impose its will through military force.
History of Martial Law in the United States of America
“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
In one way or another, there have always been tyrants who have used the power of government to suppress and control the public. But if we are looking for specific examples of Martial Law being used inside the United States, we don’t have to look very hard or far to find them.
Using the strictest definition of the term, we can see the roots of martial law in America take hold during the lead up to the Revolutionary war. Although there were many reasons for the war, including resistance to taxes imposed by the British parliament, the main catalyst was England’s decision to use military troops to enforce everyday law throughout the colonies.
As it does with most flues, spring will greatly diminish the coronavirus. From Bill Sardi at lewrockwell.com:
A geophysical and demographic analysis of COVID-19 coronavirus deaths in China and Italy reveals leaders in western nations have been misled that quarantine and social distancing will quell the spread of this disease. The mortal cases of infectious pneumonia continued on past quarantines. Death rates will predictably fall as temperatures and the solar UV index rise with the arrival of the Spring equinox (March 19).
Solar ultraviolet radiation produces vitamin D in exposed skin and is the overriding factor in infectious disease control.
Quarantines are counter-productive, as a chart below reveals. The full extent of a predicted spring “cure” that will predictably bring infectious disease to an abrupt halt will only become apparent in time, with the exception of the quarantined populations who now face indoor “urban lockdown” in the U.S., Italy and elsewhere.
A recently published analysis reveals influenza virus activity correlates with low-temperature/low UV radiation. That report states: “It is now becoming evident that meteorological factors are associated with seasonality of influenza virus epidemics.” Temperature and UV intensity are the No. 1 and No. 2 predictive factors for influenza activity. Crowding of populations in jails and other confined indoor quarters only prolongs the epidemic by virtue of the lack of sunlight indoors. Low temperature results in people wearing skin-covering clothes that completely blocks all skin exposure to the sun, the primary source for vitamin D in humans.
Where did the coronavirus come from? One expert says unequivocally that it came from China. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:
As you know, a novel coronavirus (initially labeled 2019-nCOV before being renamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization1) originating in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China, is rapidly spreading across the world.
The first case was reported in Wuhan on December 21, 2019. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, severe cough and pneumonia which, in more severe cases, can lead to impaired kidney and liver function and kidney failure.2,3
On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first U.S. case4 — a patient in Washington state who had recently visited Wuhan. Then, the first U.S. death was reported February 29, 2020, in Washington state.5
Less than a week later, CBS News reported March 5, 2020, that the number of deaths had quickly risen to 11 nationwide in the U.S. — 10 in Washington state and one in California.6 Not only that, but as of that day, “The World Health Organization urged governments around the world to pull out ‘all the stops’” to fight the outbreak. On the up side, China “appeared to be over the worst” of it, CBS said.