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CCD Integration into NATO “Counter-Disinformation” Ops Is Stepping Up

CCD Integration into NATO “Counter-Disinformation” Ops Is Stepping Up–

Sept. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)–Ukraine’s notorious Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD) announced proudly on Sept. 20 that its specialists had participated in the Sept. 13-15 “Counter Disinformation Wargames” organized by the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (“Hybrid COE”) with the support of the NATO Center of Excellence for Strategic Communications in Latvia.

Hybrid COE reported on Sept. 20 also that seven national teams had “practiced countering malicious disinformation disseminated by a red cell simulating Russia, China and their proxies in a closed information environment” during the games, held in Riga, Latvia. For its part, the CCD reported that their team had “learned about the experience of the Czech Republic, Turkey, Slovakia, Finland, Moldova, the Netherlands, as well as other NATO and EU countries in countering Russian and Chinese disinformation,” and “discussed ways of cooperation and joint action algorithms in the context of implementation of joint measures to counter current and projected threats to national security and national interests.” No mention was made as to whether producing joint “blacklists” of foreign figures opposing NATO’s war policies was discussed.

Hybrid COE is another so-called “autonomous institution” created as an extension of NATO.


Amb. Chrysanthopoulos Will Be in First Greek Political Delegation to Russia

Amb. Chrysanthopoulos Will Be in First Greek Political Delegation to Russia–

Sept. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)–Ambassador (Ad Hon) Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, well known to the Schiller Institute as a frequent speaker and supporter, will be a member of the first Greek political delegation to visit Russia since the beginning of the Russia Special Military Operation in the Ukraine. Invited by Municipal Authorities of St. Petersburg for a conference on the fight against Fascism, the delegation will also include Panagiotis Lafazanis, former minister and head of the “Democratic Movement of National Liberation,” and Kostas Karaiskos, head of the “Spartakos” faction and municipal councilor of Komotini district in Greece. It is needless to say all three individuals strongly oppose Greece’s, NATO’s and the European Union’s anti-Russian policy.

The delegation will speak at an event that will be held at the School of International Relations of the historical State University of Saint Petersburg on the fight against Fascism during World War Two. They will speak about Manolis Glezos, the first Greek partisan of the anti-Nazi-anti-fascist front in World War II. In that context they will discuss the modern struggle against a unipolar totalitarian world of the neoliberal globalization of the multinationals and against neo-Nazism and neo-fascism that are rearing their heads again in Europe according to an article in the Greek website, Iskra.gr.

They will also have the opportunity to hold high-level meetings with officials of the St. Petersburg region as well as interviews with Russian media such as TASS. In a statement released by the delegation they declare, “Our presence in Russia should be seen as a bridge for a just peace in Europe and a bridge of friendship to the Russian people, cooperation with Russia and a positive turn in Greek-Russian relations with our country abandoning the anti-Russian sanctions, the shipments of Greek arms to Ukraine and the use of American bases in Greece, for equipping the “junta” and the neo-Nazis of Kiev and the encirclement of Russia.”


Pope Francis Is the Latest Target of Ukraine’s Myrotvorets Hit Squad

Aug. 31, 2022 (EIRNS)–On August 28, the website of the fascist Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”) hit squad in Ukraine attacked Pope Francis for his recent comments about the assassinated Russian journalist Darya Dugina. Although they did not place His Holiness on their official hit list (at least not yet), the Myrotvorets site warned: “The Myrotvorets Center is closely following statements by the Pope. We note with astonishment that Francis of Rome is voicing Kremlin talking points and belittling the blood-letting of the fascist Russian invaders of Ukraine.”

The remarks by Pope Francis that were considered offensive were made while addressing a congregation in the Vatican on Aug. 24: “Whether they are Ukrainians or Russians … I think of so much cruelty, of the many innocents who are paying for the madness, the madness of all sides because war is madness… I think of the poor girl (Darya Dugina) who was blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for the war.”

That quickly led to a protest by Ukraine’s envoy to the Vatican, Andrey Yurash, who called the remarks “disappointing,” because it is a mistake to speak about the “aggressor” and the “victim” in “the same categories.” Then Kiev summoned the Vatican envoy, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, to lodge a formal complaint, which Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told the media about on Aug. 25. Kuleba also said “Ukraine’s heart was torn by the Pope’s words,” calling them “unjust.”

The Pope has been considering a trip to Ukraine, but has made it clear that he will only go if he can also travel to Russia. This is a standard Vatican diplomatic effort to maintain neutrality in such conflicts. The Zelensky government in Kiev has made it clear they are totally opposed to such a Russia trip by the Pope.


A Group of 9/11 Families Tells Biden Afghan Central Bank Funds “are Theirs, Not Ours”

A Group of 9/11 Families Tells Biden Afghan Central Bank Funds “are Theirs, Not Ours”

Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a letter to President Joe Biden dated Aug. 16, 77 members of the 9/11 families called on him to affirm that the $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank funds currently being held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York belong to the Afghan people and should be returned to them. To use those funds to pay off 9/11 family members in court judgments “is legally suspect and morally wrong,” the letter argues, and urges Biden to modify his Feb. 11, 2022, Executive Order and “affirm that the Afghanistan Central Bank funds belong to the Afghan people and the Afghan people alone.”

In previous court cases, some 9/11 families were awarded $3.5 billion from the confiscated funds, while the Biden administration began negotiations with the Taliban to create a mechanism by which to distribute the remaining $3.5 billion to the Afghan people, stipulating that the Taliban could not access it, and offering the spurious argument that the Afghan Central Bank lacked the appropriate regulatory and other means to handle the funds responsibly. Following the recent killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri, the administration halted negotiations on creating this alternative mechanism on the pretext that the Taliban hadn’t broken with Al Qaeda.

The letter from the families notes that earlier legal suits brought by a small group of 9/11 family members, “and the legal claims involved, are complex. But these arguments are founded on a false premise. This money does not belong to the Taliban,” as the lawsuits claimed. “This money comes from Afghanistan’s Central Bank, and as such, it belongs to the Afghan people. Victims of terrorism, including 9/11 victims, are entitled to their day in court. But they are not entitled to money that lawfully belongs to the Afghan people,” the letter charges.

The letter goes on to describe the impoverishment of the Afghan people, with nearly nine million at risk of starvation. While affirming that these funds belong to the Afghan people won’t solve Afghanistan’s problems, and figuring out how to transfer the funds is a formidable task, it underscores, the simple reality is that the money “is theirs, not ours.”


Germany: New Appeal for Ceasefire in Ukraine Published in Die Zeit

Germany: New Appeal for Ceasefire in Ukraine Published in Die Zeit

June 30, 2022 (EIRNS)–A list of 21 prominent Germans and two international signers (Richard Falk and Jeffrey Sachs) published in today’s Die Zeit a new appeal to Western governments for an all-out and immediate effort to achieve a quick, negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict. Among the German signers is Gen. (ret.) Erich Vad, former military advisor to Angela Merkel. An immediate reaction from Andrej Melnik, Ukrainian Ambassador to Berlin followed.

The signers call for a “diplomatic full-scale offensive” as the only way to get out of “the present dead-end,” referring to military experts, who consider victory for Ukraine—with a return of all occupied territories including Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea—unrealistic. They question continuing weapons deliveries and demand, “An immediate cease-fire,” the title of their call. “Continuing the war to achieve full victory of Ukraine over Russia leads to thousands of further victims of war, who die for a goal that does not seem realistic.”

In an immediate reaction to this, Ukrainian Ambassador and attack-dog in Berlin, Andrej Melnik, had a fit on twitter: “Not again, what a bunch of pseudo-intellectual losers you all Varwicks, Vads, Kluges, Prechts, Yogeshwars, Zehs & Co. [names of some signers] should finally go to hell with your defeatist ‘advise’. Bye.” Andrij Melnyk zu Augstein, Precht und Co.: Schert Euch zum Teufel! [Go to hell!]

The letter was signed by Jakob Augstein (publicist), Richard A. Falk (professor of international law), Svenja Flaßpöhler (philosopher), Thomas Glauben (professor of agricultural economics), Josef Haslinger (writer), Elisa Hoven (professor of criminal law), Alexander Kluge (filmmaker and author), Christoph Menke (professor of philosophy), Wolfgang Merkel (professor of political science), Julian Nida-Rümelin (philosopher), Robert Pfaller (philosopher), Richard D. Precht (philosopher), Jeffrey Sachs (professor of economics), Michael von der Schulenburg (former UN diplomat), Edgar Selge (actor), Ilija Trojanow (writer), Erich Vad (retired Gen, former military advisor to Angela Merkel), Johannes Varwick (professor of international politics), Harald Welzer (social psychologist), Ranga Yogeshwar (science journalist), and Juli Zeh (writer).


South African Foreign Minister Tells Blinken: We’re Sovereign, and We’ll Do Things Our Way

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)–Americans, and others in the West, could take a lesson from African leaders, who are not taking orders from arrogant elites demanding capitulation. South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters on Monday, with Secretary of State Tony Blinken sitting next to her, that she objected to “patronizing bullying” coming from the West: “Because when we believe in freedom – as I’m saying, it’s freedom for everybody – you can’t say because Africa is doing this, you will then be punished by the United States…. One thing I definitely dislike is being told `either you choose this or else.’ When a minister speaks to me like that … I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be [so] treated.”

Blinken is on a three-nation trip to Africa, a trip widely billed as aimed at countering Russian and Chinese influence in the area. Playing “Mr. Nice Guy” did not score Blinken points in South Africa. In the joint press conference given by Blinken and Pandor after holding the first U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in nearly eight years, Pandor made three key points, in addition to her refusal to join geopolitical blocs:

On China and Africa: “Countries are free to establish relationships with different countries. African countries that wish to relate to China, let them do so, whatever the particular form of relationships would be. We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say, it does cause instability for all of us, because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive at a point of rapprochement, where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries, because that’s extremely important for all of us. These are two great powers, the two biggest economies in the world. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.”

On Blinken’s push for “democracy,” one of the four U.S. priorities in the administration’s “Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy,” Pandor recommended:

“If your tactic is to approach African countries and say that, `listen, you must be democratic either and use our model, it works,’ I think it’s bound to lead to some failure.” All countries and peoples deserve the right to exercise their civil and political rights, but how that should be approached is the issue,” she said. She noted that “there has been a lot of external interference in Africa [which] has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on,” much of that stemming from foreign interest in “Africa’s rich mineral wealth.”

And, Pandor spoke eloquently against the war and “apartheid” in which Palestinians are forced to live, as an example of the double-standard often played by those who say they are defending the principles of the UN charter: “Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.”


Sanctions Crippling the Syria that Was Once Proudly and Steadily Growing

Aug. 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a study, “Syrian Arab Republic: Access to Electricity and Humanitarian Needs,” in March 2022, documenting meticulously, respecting Syria, what Helga Zepp-LaRouche contends in her July 12, 2022 statement, “Lift Sanctions Against Russia Immediately!”: that sanctions are a “brutal form of warfare” that kill, and must be lifted everywhere they are currently enforced.

In 2011, the European Union enforced sanctions against Syria with the intent to overthrow the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, following the Bernard Lewis Plan overthrow and eventual killing of the leaders of Iraq and Libya. Britain, the U.S., and other nations joined the sanctions regime, and the range of sectors of the Syrian economy against which they were applied was expanded. The U.S. and other nations carried out military intervention in Syria in 2011, first using proxy terrorist groups, then directly.

Syria’s electricity sector was brutally targeted. The OCHA study reports, “Two of the country’s 13 major power plants were fully destroyed: the Zeyzoun Power Plant in Idlib governate (487 MW installed capacity) and the Aleppo Thermal Power Station (1,065 MW installed capacity).” The World Bank reported that six other power plants were partially destroyed.

“As a result of this damage, the country’s electricity generation capacity fell from 5,800 MW in 2010… to 4,000 MW in 2018.”  The further tightening of sanctions caused Syria’s installed electricity generation capacity to fall to 2,000 MW in 2021, a collapse of 63%! Obtaining replacement parts and maintaining the surviving plants, due to sanctions, has become even more acute. Whereas, in 2010, “93% of the country had access to electricity,” that is sharply down today. Compared to 2010 standards, today’s Syrian population consumes 85% less electricity per capita, twelve years later. Thirty percent of Syria’s population has access to electricity for only 2 hours per day. That slashes electricity to industry, and households, and all the equipment that goes with that.

But electricity is the source for powering all other features of society. Around 2010, “access to safe drinking water in Syria was estimated at 92% in rural communities and 98% in urban centers. Seven major water systems serve the country’s eight largest cities…. However,” the study emphasizes, “by 2019 annual public water production in Syria had fallen by 40% relative to pre-crisis levels (from 1,700 Mn cubic meters in 2010 to 1,020 Mn cubic meters in 2019.” But to use water from groundwater and springs, or most rivers, requires continuous electricity to pump water and distribute it, a commodity Syria now lacks as the study highlights.

The lack of electricity (and water) also means there is sometimes insufficient power to run medical facilities and health clinics. Because of damage to infrastructure, Syria runs its schools on two shifts. In the second shift, in particular, often there is no clean water in the bathrooms, and not enough electricity to heat the schools. Some students study at home by candlelight.

The OCHA’s ReliefWeb website reported March 12, 2022, “this year, 90 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line, and more than 80 percent are food insecure. Families say they are eating less, cutting meals, and going into debt to meet their basic needs.” {Emphasis added.}

As Zepp-LaRouche says in her July 12 statement, sanctions “are a brutal form of warfare against the respective populations of the sanctioned states with the aim of making their living conditions so intolerable that they rise up against their respective leaderships, and overthrow them. But the victims are always the people.” It is past time to lift them in Russia, Syria, and everywhere.


Greek Amb. Chrysanthopoulos Scored the Ukraine Blacklisting of Schiller Institute on RT TV

Aug. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–Greek Ambassador Ad Hon., and member of the Schiller Institute, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos presented the blacklisting of the Schiller Institute by the Center for Combating Disinformation (CCD) of Ukraine, in an interview this week on RT television. While being interviewed on the recent Amnesty International Report denouncing the Ukrainian military’s use of human shields, the Ambassador went into a full briefing on the blacklisting, referring directly to the Schiller Institute. He declared that conducting this blacklist operation exposes the fascist nature of the Ukrainian regime. The Ambassador is also a signatory to the Schiller Institute petition denouncing the blacklisting. The entire interview can be seen here.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche on Pakistani TV – Security Depends on Development

EIRNS, June 23–Pakistan’s PTV World program Views on News, hosted by Faisal Rehman who spoke with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and other guests concerning security and development issues facing the new Pakistani government. Zepp-LaRouche’s theme was that there must be peace and development for Afghanistan. She asked, “How long do you want to keep fighting? The grievances of the past are not the starting point for defining the future.” Mrs. LaRouche called for the integration of Afghanistan with the Belt and Road initiative.  The full program can be viewed here.


German Jurist and Author: German Chancellor Must Denounce Ukraine Fascist Hit List

Aug. 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–The widely-read German website NachdenkSeiten posted an article on Aug. 8 by Dr. Wolfgang Bittner, a well-known jurist and author who spoke at a Schiller Institute conference on June 18 (his presentation is here) and who was put on the Ukraine CCD hit list. The article, under the title: “Ukraine’s Blacklist – the Federal Chancellor must act,” notes, that in addition to himself and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the list includes Rolf Mützenlich, the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party caucus in the Bundestag. (It must be noted that Chancellor Olaf Schulz is a member of the SPD.)

 Dr. Bittner writes, from a machine translation: “The political situation is appalling and the persecution of dissenters in connection with the Ukraine war is taking the form of unbridled fascism. It is unacceptable that state terrorism is being carried out here under the eyes of the world public. The persecution of critics and opposition figures by Ukrainian government organizations must be stopped immediately. The federal government is called upon to lodge a protest with the Zelensky government against the discrimination against German nationals… and to stop all aid for Ukraine. The list of the CCD must be deleted immediately.” 


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