NATO declares China as global security challenge

M K Bhadrakumar 

Countercurrents | June 18, 2021

Family Portrait of NATO Allies, Brussels, Belgium, June 14, 2021

The NATO brings to mind the classic paradigm of someone all dressed up and nowhere to go. It has to constantly reinvent a reason for its existence.

The NATO is a lucrative hunting ground for the American arms industry. The bigger the NATO’s threat perceptions, the greater the scope for US exports of weaponry.

In the final analysis, NATO’s naming of China as a systemic challenge, for the first time in the alliance’s history, would have profound implications for international security. Prima facie, it will draw China and Russia even closer together. 


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The Jakarta Method Never Ended

Randy Shields

Prepare to read Vincent Bevins’s The Jakarta Method in one sitting because it’s impossible to put down. The book is a summation of the US government assisting the Indonesian military in killing approximately one million civilians from October 1965 through March 1966.

While the Vietnam War got most of the headlines, in Indonesia, the world’s third largest communist party was winning hearts, minds and elections — much to the alarm of the United States. After years of cultivating and training the Indonesian military the US decided it was time for the Indonesian working class to put away childish things like land reform and resource nationalization. The two-million strong (but fatefully unarmed) Indonesian communist party, the PKI, had to be exterminated “down to the roots.”

The mass murder starts on October 7 on Sumatra with a fanatical anticommunist commander named Ishak Djuarsa who trained at Fort Leavenworth. The police and military arrest leftists and their sympathizers en masse. Trusting peasants and factory workers turn themselves in for what they think is routine questioning and are never heard from again. For mass murder to spread so quickly it’s necessary for ethnic and religious fault lines to be exploited and “ordinary” citizens to directly participate in the killings, often under the threat of being killed themselves.

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Prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with U.S., says N. Korea’s leader Kim

Countercurrents Collective | June 18, 2021

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said North Korea should prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States, particularly confrontation, state media KCNA reported on Friday.

It was Kim’s first direct comment on the Biden administration. The remarks came during Thursday’s plenary meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s central committee, after an earlier session where Kim called for measures to tackle the “tense” food situation arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

Kim had made a detailed analysis of the policy of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden towards Pyongyang and laid out “appropriate strategic and tactical counteraction” with the United States, KCNA said.

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Tom Cotton Explains Why Warmongers Love The Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

Caitlin Johnstone

The US Congress is full to the brim with repugnant creatures, who, to begin with, never legislate for the benefit of the ordinary citizen, but even in that crowd Tom Cotton, who comes from a notoriously retrograde state, stands out for sheer vileness.

At a recent appearance on Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton took a break from masturbating to drone bombing footage to explain what it is he and his fellow psychopathic warmongers love so much about the hypothesis that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory.

“I think the American people deserve to know what caused the worst pandemic in a century,” Cotton told the show’s space alien host. “Look, China should be made to pay for their negligence and their deceitfulness at the outset of this pandemic: covering up its origins, not being open about what was happening in that lab in Wuhan.”

“There’s lots of things we could do to impose accountability on China,” Cotton gushed. “We could for instance work their allies to ensure they’re no longer getting sweetheart deals from international financial institutions like the World Bank. We could repeal the permanent most-favored nation status we foolishly gave China 20 years ago. We could cut off visas to Chinese Communist Party officials and their princeling kids who like to come to America to go to school.”

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Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccines: A journey of collaboration and revolutionary solidarity

Jyotsna Singh

People’s Dispatch | June 17, 2021

The Soberana 01 and Soberana 02 vaccines and the Soberana Plus Booster shot have been developed by the Finlay Institute of Vaccines. Photo: Mixael Porto Chiong, Javier Martínez Acosta, La Pupila Asombrada

Cuba’s emergency rollout of two homegrown vaccines last month has awed the world. For a developing country the size of the US State of Tennessee, it is quite a feat. The achievement is all the more significant when we consider the enormous difficulties caused by the US blockade which restricts access to high-technology equipment, state-of-the-art technologies and good-quality raw materials and reagents. Even when they are available, they are expensive. Cuba’s success in producing COVID-19 vaccines not only reiterates its scientific prowess but is also a testimony to its political approach to health — keeping it people-centric, ensuring mass scaling up and distribution, and using collaborative, rather than competitive, research methods.

Cuba has four vaccines and one booster shot in different clinical trial stages. Of those, Abdala has finished phase-3 clinical trials, and the trials for Soberana 02 should conclude by this month. Both trials enrolled nearly 45,000 volunteers. The placebo arm was kept small due to the pandemic situation, and those volunteers are now also being vaccinated. The vaccines are expected to get full regulatory approval in the next couple of months.

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Maceo’s rejection of surrender lives on in Cuba

Born on June 14, 176 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, with two greats of Cuban independence as parents, General Antonio Maceo Grajales led Mambi troops across the island from East to West battling the Spanish colonial yoke, along a trail of courage, dignity and patriotism, which continues to illuminate our sovereign country before the world

Eduardo Palomares Calderón

Granma | June 14, 2021

Antonio Maceo Plaza de la Revolución in Santiago de Cuba, the work of Alberto Lescay.

A Titan was born on June 14, 176 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, with two greats of Cuban independence as parents. General Antonio Maceo Granjales led Mambi troops across the island from East to West battling the Spanish colonial yoke, along a trail of courage, dignity and patriotism, which continues to illuminate our sovereign country before the world.

Hand in hand with his mother Mariana Grajales, along with his father Marcos Maceo and brothers, Antonio de la Caridad took the road to the scrub just two days after Céspedes launched the struggle at the Demajagua, and would only cease after 28 years of hard battle, when his 26th wound left lifeless his “bronze” body which had withstood some 800 combat actions.

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Vilma chose to live on the side of duty

On the 14th anniversary of Vilma Espin’s death, Cubans recall her as someone in love with life, who long after abandoning this world, continues at our side

Madeleine Sautié Rodríguez

Granma | June 18, 2021

Death is a definitive word, but there are beings for whom it is hardly fitting, since dying means that something has ended. Vilma is among those who, in love with life, would give it up for her people, to live on in glory. Even after abandoning this world 14 years ago, she continues at our side.

We could say a great deal about what she did, about the girl from Santiago – the second Cuban woman to graduate in Chemical Engineering – who chose a path that took her away from a comfortable existence, to Revolution.

Among the many images that come to mind is that of the young student conspiring to put an end to a corrupt, subservient regime, who began writing pamphlets and went on to become a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and Political Bureau and president of the Federation of Cuban Women, the FMC, a huge organization fighting for women´s rights and dignity.

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The words we choose matter: recognising the importance of language in decolonising global health

Franziska Hommes, Helena Brazal Monzó, Rashida Abbas Ferrand, Meggan Harris, Lioba A Hirsch, Emilie Koum Besson, John Manton, Toyin Togun and Robindra Basu Roy

The Lancet | July, 2021

Recognition of the relevance of colonial history to the contemporary practice of global health is not new, but the recent increase in visibility and prominence given to it by global health institutions and flagship journals is welcome when accompanied by meaningful reflection and action.1

The goal of decolonising global health is to critically reflect on its history, identify hierarchies and culturally Eurocentric conceptions, and overcome the global inequities that such structures perpetuate.2 We must reflect on the terminology we use when we discuss global health challenges, phrase research questions, write papers, teach students, or interact with patients, research participants, and the public. Although our choice of words shapes an audience’s understanding of global health, the restricted range of expressions and terms prevents us from offering more nuanced and appropriate perspectives. The conceptualisation of English terms in other languages is often limited to literal translation that struggles to reproduce the same meaning, as highlighted by recently emerging technical terms, such as social distancing. Thus, to make real progress in the process of decolonising global health in our minds and practices, awareness, reflection, and change of language are fundamental.

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COVID-19 widened the gap in universal access to energy, clean cooking fuel: UN report

Down To Earth | June 10, 2021

COVID-19 widened the gap in universal access to electricity, clean cooking fuel: UN report

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has made basic electricity services unaffordable for up to 30 million people, who could previously afford access, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.

The number of people without access to electricity had reduced to 759 million in 2019 from 1.2 billion globally in 2010, the paper mentioned. “But the financial impact of COVID-19 has undone the gains in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.”

In 2030, an estimated 660 million people will still not have access to electricity, the report said.

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