The US government and the work on artificial creation of highly infectious coronaviruses in a lab in Wuhan a few Km from where the outbreak started.

For clarity; it is 100% evident that there is a cover-up into the origins of Sars-Cov-2. For example; China controlled the first WHO mission by pre-approving its members, denying it access to raw patient data, controlling (apparently) its press conference – and making sure a distracting theory about cold storage was included in its report. Now they have simply refused to cooperate with a second WHO mission. (Then, of course, there is the problem with the Wuhan lab database which was taken offline in September 2019 – and other issues with controlled information – be it removal of other published genetic data about Sars-Cov-2 from the Internet or creation of scientific stories to undermine the lab theory). The fact of a cover-up is suggestive of a crime. Of course; it is possible that there is a cover-up and no crime. This does happen.

This video shows Dr Fauci (Director of a US government agency “National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) claiming to the US Congress that the US (via NIH) did not fund “gain of function” research into Coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan China. He is being questioned by Rand Paul – a US Senator.

The issue is that the funding for Dr Shi’s work at the Wuhan lab on coronaviruses came from the NIAID. What was this work? This is a matter of public record. It can be read in the grant application:

Test predictions of CoV inter-species transmission. Predictive models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) will be tested experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice. We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential [1][2]

The science writer (and one time staff writer for Nature magazine) Dr Wade writes: “What this means, in non-technical language, is that Shi set out to create novel coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells. Her plan was to take genes that coded for spike proteins possessing a variety of measured affinities for human cells, ranging from high to low. She would insert these spike genes one by one into the backbone of a number of viral genomes (“reverse genetics” and “infectious clone technology”), creating a series of chimeric viruses.” [1]

Continue reading “The US government and the work on artificial creation of highly infectious coronaviruses in a lab in Wuhan a few Km from where the outbreak started.”

The Guardian is not a newspaper

What is the difference between a newspaper and a pamplet or party newsletter?

The former is intended to inform people. The latter is consciously partisan. One expects a newsletter produced by a political party or a pamphlet produced by a lobby group to be entirely one-sided. Traditionally, a newspaper has always balanced news reporting with its editorial line. Of course; one expects a newspaper to have a particular editorial line and to promote that. But, historically, at least one has usually been able to rely on a newspaper to actually do basic reporting and give you an accurate picture of events on the ground – before it adds its editorial line and comment.

The Guardian is something different. It purports (I think) to be a newspaper – but it behaves like a party newsletter. The following two articles – one from the Guardian and one from Al-Jazeera illustrate this well. Both are on exactly the same topics – how Afghans feel waking up to a new situation in their country with the Taliban in charge.

The Guardian article interviews only people who think the Taliban takeover is a disaster. There are emotive accounts of a young woman who feels like giving up on life and a young man who wants to leave the country. The headline is “People are broken” – taken from one of the interviews.

The Al-Jazeera article has the headline “War-weary Afghans divided on Taliban rule”. Al-Jazeera, incidentally, is no fan-boy for the Taliaban and you can find plenty of articles critcising them on Al-Jazeera. This article gives the views both of those who think the Taliban takeover is a disaster and those who think it is a good thing. (For example; one interviewee talks about the corruption under the US backed regime). The article also records that some people are just glad that the war is over and are more worried about poverty than the Taliban.

Which of these two articles is more closely representing the reality in Afghanistan? Which of these two articles is doing journalism? Which allows its readers to make up their own minds and which is just pumping out a narrative line? Which is aligned with democracy and which with totalitarianism?

Propaganda in the Guardian on the Taliban

It is amazing that anyone actually reads the Guardian. On significant stories on the international arena they just print fairy-tales. I imagine that some people pick up a newspaper not to be informed but to have their fears and prejudices confirmed. If so – the Guardian is a good choice for you.

This is from an article on the exit of the US army from Afghanistan:

There was no flourishing of Afghanistan under foreign occupation. More than 47,000 Afghan civilians died in the conflict; millions have fled as refugees to other countries. Afghanistan remains the world’s largest supplier of heroin; the country has consistently been ranked among the world’s least peaceful and most corrupt.

Perhaps we should be grateful that the author at least admits that “there was no flourishing of Afghanistan under foreign occupation”. But this line is a major factual distortion: “Afghanistan remains the world’s largest supplier of heroin”. The implication is that Afghanistan heroin was produced in Afghanistan (by the Taliban) before the US invasion in 2001 and that despite US efforts it “remains” a problem. This is 100% the opposite of the truth. In 2000 the Taliban banned opium production and production fell significantly. A UN report states: “In November/December 2000, reports from Afghanistan suggested vigorous implementation of the ban by the authorities”. [1] After the US invasion in 2001 production restarted – the Taliban were interested in the revenues which they could use to fund their fightback and, apparently, the US did little to stop production and the production of opium flourished under their occupation [2] (I’ve read that one reason for this was that they didn’t want to alienate local farmers). That Taliban have just declared that they will again ban opium production. [3] There are a flood of articles in the press of the occupier saying that this won’t happen. [4] We will see; but we can say that they did succeed last time, according to the UN.

Continue reading “Propaganda in the Guardian on the Taliban”

The horror, the horror

There has been a bombing attack at Kabul airport. News reports are that civilians have died. An Islamic State affliate operating in Iraq is thought to be the likely culprit though as of now no group has claimed responsibility for the carnage. (Update: Islamic State have claimed it on their Telegam channel apparently. Which leads me to wonder why they haven’t been kicked off Telegram)

Tom Tugendhat who is chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs is reported by the Independent as saying (on ‘Twitter’):

The attack on innocent people at Kabul airport simply trying to escape the horror of Taliban rule shows exactly who the group has brought with them. The pattern is well established – from Nigeria and Mali to Syria and Iraq whenever Islamist extremists take power, terror follows.

I wanted to comment on this because it points to a particular outlook – one which I would say is profoundly delusional. I suspect that even if this is an usually direct statement of the belief system the basic ideas here are those shared by at least part of the UK’s military and political ruling factions.

Islamic State has been active in Afghanistan for some years and have carried out dozens of terror attacks. For example here is a BBC report about an attack in August 2020. [1] These attacks took place while the UK was occupying Afghanistan. It cannot be said that the Taliban “brought this group with them”.

The Taliban are a local Afghan movement. I don’t know what evidence links them to Nigeria, Mail and Syria. The purport of these remarks is to try to use this attack on Kabul airport to heap opprobrium on the Taliban. But the reality is that the Taliban are an enemy of Islamic State who regard them as apostates. The actual story here would be that, amazingly enough, both the UK and the Taliban have a common enemy in Islamic State.

It is offensive and ignorant to dismiss the Taliban as “extremists” – as much of the Western media and political classes do. There are many different interpretations of Islam. The Taliban follow a particular branch (which also manifests in parts of India and Pakistan [2]). Of course – their treatment of women is not based on a notion of “equal rights”, they don’t belive in parliamentary democracy (which I imagine they might see as some kind of blasphemous attempt to replace the law stemming from God and the Koran), their judicial system metes out harsh punishments. Not Western values, certainly. But a coherent religious philosophy.

As for “terror follows”, like many Western elites, the author of these remarks seems to think that the tens of thousands of civilian deaths which followed from the US/UK invasion of Afganistan – including many which didn’t simply “follow from” but were directly caused by UK/US actions – are not terror but the hundreds caused by groups such as ISIS (an enemy of the Taliban again) are. That takes some doing. I don’t know – but the toddler who was blown up by this US Hellfire missile (for example) probably felt some terror. [3] These kinds of actions were related to a “relaxation of conditions” for airstrikes which, according to a US monitoring group “resulted in a massive increase in civilian casualties”. [4] In all 71,000 civilians died in Afghanistan. [4] The UN breaks down responsibility for civilian deaths in the first half of 2021 like this: Taliban 39%, Islamic State 9%, 16% other anti-government of undetermined elements, 25% by pro-government forces, remainder crossfire. [5] It is a very approximate extrapolation but if we combine the two sources and assume the proportions were approximately the same throughout the war we get approximately 18,000 civilian deaths caused directly by pro-government forces (the US and allies and their trained and supplied Afghan National army). “Following from” the illegal US/UK invasion of Iraq an absolute minimum tally of dead civilians as a result of violence is 180,000 (but we know for example from Wikileaks that the US tried to downplay civilian deaths they caused so this figure will be higher – no wonder the British government is letting Assange languish in a terrorist prison). [6] Thousands of these were killed directly by the US in direct fire. This was an illegal war which the UK joined on false pretences.

The fact is that death “follows from” UK military adventurism far more than it does from the Taliban.

Update

I would concur with the analysis expressed by the head of National Security for Pakistan expressed in this interview in the Guardian. If the West does not engage with the Taliban and instead isolates them (sanctions, blocking aid programmes etc.) that is likely to lead to the very problems we claim to be concerned about.

Update 2

This is the US military confirming that the Taliban has cooperated with them to prevent terror attacks around the airport:

Gen McKenzie said that cooperation with the Taliban has probably thwarted other planned attacks on the airport:

“We share versions of our information with the Taliban, so that they can actually do some searching out there for us and we believe that some attacks have been thwarted by them,” the general said. “They don’t get the full range of information we have, but we give them enough to act in time and space to try to prevent these attacks.” [7]

This is a refutation it would seem of the view that the Taliban are somehow responsible for the Islamic State attack on the airport. On the contrary this appears to show that they have worked with the US and prevented other attacks.

Notes

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53633450
  2. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/23/hold-the-taliban-and-sharia-law-in-afghanistan
  3. https://www.rt.com/usa/533035-us-drone-pilots-afghanistan-leak-footage/
  4. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/civilians/afghan
  5. https://unama.unmissions.org/civilian-casualties-set-hit-unprecedented-highs-2021-unless-urgent-action-stem-violence-%E2%80%93-un-report
  6. https://www.iraqbodycount.org/
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2021/aug/26/afghanistan-live-news-updates-evacuation-refugees-taliban-kabul-airport-latest?page=with:block-6127eb9a8f08b1506f20fdab#block-6127eb9a8f08b1506f20fdab