Submitted by Lauren Smith…
What could possibly be a better way to usher in a racist New World Order, that’s hell-bent on population control, than an invisible enemy that gets nearly everyone to gladly jail themselves, fear physical contact with their family, friends, and neighbors, and that disproportionately kills the impoverished and African Americans?
What could possibly be a better way to bail out Wall Street’s failing repurchasing (repo) market, increase surveillance on a more granular level, and mandate an experimental global vaccination program that’s eagerly awaited even though it’s spearheaded by Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world, whose major concern is ending overpopulation in predominately non-white populations?
What could possibly provide wide enough cover to desensitize all to the massive troop buildup in Europe that encircles Russia, and the deployment of warships that threaten Venezuela, Iran, and China with invasion, and that ratchets-up its criminal economic sanctions against the most vulnerable people in these respective countries and 36 others under the hypocritical ruse that these measures are really to protect them?
What could possibly be a more effective way to accomplish repatriation, seal borders, discourage protest, and position the United States into perfect alignment for WWIII? If you’ve correctly answered imperial fascism 2020, you’ve won, they’ve lost, and the resistance takes a quantum leap forward. At minimum, one could convincingly argue that the arrival of COVID-19 is fortuitous for certain economic sectors within the United States. For even if COVID-19 is not perceived as a U.S. bioweapon, Washington is undeniably its pimp.
While most activists organize based on COVID-19 being a natural event that’s exacerbated by rabid industrialization, and that it reveals the unequivocal failure of the capitalist system to provide for its people – a very strong unifying argument on its own volition – some venture to argue COVID-19 is a bioweapon that originated in U.S. labs, believing it was first released in China, Iran, and Italy. Yet, others say it was first released in the U.S. in Wisconsin last summer and its ravages were wrongly attributed to it being a deadly reaction to vaping. In hindsight, it can be argued that the flu-like symptoms; ground-glass opacities visible in lung CT scans; and deaths of EVALI patients are eerily similar to those found in COVID-19 cases.
Consider that Wisconsin, the center of the EVALI outbreak, had a biosafety-3 lab that was caught in 2007, by a watchdog group, doing biosafety-4 experimentation with Ebola. This occurrence demonstrates the lack of oversight by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the CDC. Subsequently, the researcher, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, invented a genetically altered virus, based on H5N1, an avian influenza strain, that allows transmission between ferrets, the animal that most closely mimics the human response to flu. Another researcher was doing similar work in the Netherlands.
“Scientists believe it’s likely that the pathogen, if it emerged in nature or were released, would trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths.”
Since this possibility was unnerving to many scientists at the time, it resulted in Kawaoka’s work being halted in 2014. However, in 2019, he was allowed to resume the research. Studies like this that have a potential public health benefit (i.e. vaccine development) but could also be useful for nefarious purposes like biowarfare or bioterrorism and are referred to by scientists as dual-use research.
So, no matter how you spin it, a pandemic based on bat soup is a hard sell – despite how many times it’s repeated in the news media. It’s like 9/11. No one’s really sure what happened, but the official story is patently unbelievable to anyone not suffering from cognitive dissonance.
Overall, it’s stunning to read how the scientific community marvels at the ability of influenza type viruses to cause pandemics, because unlike Ebola people don’t die-off within days of exposure but productively transmit the airborne pathogen for two weeks undetected when asymptomatic.
“Influenza is usually transmitted by direct contact but can also be transmitted by aerosol (e.g. on a passenger plane). Indeed, international transmission is increasingly frequent. Notably, aerosol transmission of influenza requires up to 27,000 times fewer virions to induce equivalent disease. Taken together with the fact that the influenza virus is readily accessible and may be causing more deaths than previously suspected, the possibility for genetic engineering and aerosol transmission suggests an enormous potential for bioterrorism.”
Some of the more fascinating discussions in the scientific community involve ethical issues with gain-of-function experimentation. Gain-of-function research involves genetic manipulations that expand the adaptability and/or virulence of a given pathogen.
“Ralph Baric, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, last week (November 9) published a study on his team’s efforts to engineer a virus with the surface protein of the SHC014 coronavirus, found in horseshoe bats in China, and the backbone of one that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice. The hybrid virus could infect human airway cells and caused disease in mice, according to the team’s results.”
Other interesting discussions involve the resistance of certain DNA and blood types to particular infections and the sensitivity of others:
“One of the reasons COVID-19 can be so fatal to some people is because of their bodies elicit an overzealous immune response called a cytokine storm, which may originate in their DNA. A small study of patients who died from the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak found that many carried mutations that triggered this self-destructive flood of cytokine molecules. Results from studies on the genetics of COVID-19 susceptibility and severity are beginning to trickle in. One study suggests that variants in the HLA genes likely play a role. Others point to differences in the ABO blood type, as well as variants in the ACE2 gene, which codes for the protein SARS-CoV-2 latches onto to infect human cells. But the findings are all preliminary and require follow-up with larger datasets.”
Also noted by scientists are the distribution of similar DNA and blood types to particular geographical regions and ethnic groups which could potentially enable effective targeting.
“Rather than specifically triggering the toxic effects of organisms such as anthrax, the Sunshine project warned that weapons based on a new medical technique called RNA interference could shut down vital genes. If the sequence of the target gene varies between two different populations the technique could be used to interrupt key body functions in one population and not the other. If as little as 10% or 20% of a target population would be affected, this would wreak havoc among enemy soldiers on a battlefield or in an enemy society as a whole, the group said.”
Many activists discussed the U.S. unabashed proclivity for using biological weapons against its foreign enemies, especially Cuba and even testing these weapons out on its prisoners, orphans, military personnel, and civilians in both rural and urban settings.
U.S. commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, glibly remarked in January that the COVID-19 epidemic in China would be positive for the U.S. economy. Some cynical journalists believe Wuhan was a good spot for release because any genetic modifications revealed in its sequence could later be blamed on Wuhan’s biosafety level-4 lab, thus achieving plausible deniability – the CIA’s operational hallmark.
Moreover, any blowback to the U.S. from the release of COVID-19 could be used to whip-up the gullible into believing that the virus was a plot by the Chinese Communists against Trump’s America – when in fact all economic, political and social indicators show that China is eclipsing the United States. China didn’t need to shoot itself in the lung in Wuhan to take out the United States, Washington’s failing repo market, militarism, and unique brand of gangster capitalism already did the work.
“As of November 2019, the U.S. debt to China was $1.09 trillion. That’s 16% of the total public debt owned by foreign countries. Many are concerned that this gives China political leverage over U.S. fiscal policy and worry about what would happen if China started selling its Treasury holdings. It also would be disastrous if China merely cut back on its Treasury purchases. By buying Treasurys, China helped keep U.S. interest rates low. If China were to stop buying Treasurys, interest rates would rise. That could throw the United States into a recession.”
While the designing of pathogens to attack particular DNA and blood types, remains top-secret, what’s not is Washington’s extensive efforts to collect biometric data from diplomats worldwide that include DNA samples. Without question, these efforts have been met with considerable resistance and suspicion.
“Russia has raised its concerns over attempts by the U.S. military to collect DNA samples from Russian nationals, noting the potential use of such biological samples for the purpose of creating new genetic warfare weaponry.”
Domestically, the Intelligence Community has made it a stated goal to collect DNA widely but discourages its personnel from taking “at home” DNA tests because these tests can compromise security.
Russia, China, and Iran have made claims that COVID-19 is a bioweapon that was released by the U.S. during training exercises in Wuhan in October. And they have pointed out that the early pattern of COVID-19 cases showed a massive geographical leap from China to Iran and Italy – countries Washington has threatened and targeted with economic sanctions. While Italy was a surprise to many, others understood their trade with China to be a point of contention in Washington.
GLOBAL CLASS WARFARE
Either way, all respected activists see the vulnerability of the impoverished and African Americans to COVID-19 as a function of a domestic & foreign policy that’s rooted in slavery and exploitation. So, no matter how COVID-19 arrived, it’s time to understand its appearance as an unprecedented opportunity to unleash class warfare on a global scale.
Despite the CIA’s longstanding and pervasive operations Gladio and Condor, and Trump’s political strategist Steve Bannon’s promotion of U.S. imperial fascism throughout Europe and Latin America, massive grassroots protests erupted in France, Chile, Columbia, Brazil and Argentina against neoliberal policies, fascist governments and austerity measures in 2019. What hasn’t been seen is massive protests in the United States since the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
But, given the Intelligence Community’s stranglehold over the news, social media, and Hollywood style productions through operation Mockingbird and its actual infiltration now into the corporate and alternative news media as writers and newscasters, this is no surprise. Moreover, the Intelligence Community actively continues COINTELPRO against dissidents, especially African Americans and Environmentalists and has a long-standing symbiotic relationship with religious organizations. Yet, despite extrajudicial killings, lawfare jailings and persecutions of resistance leaders worldwide – such as the bounty placed on the sitting elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, it’s an accomplishment that protest and independent new media remain inextinguishable. This is a clear victory and not to be underestimated.
While the resistance doesn’t have a cohesive global movement under one leader, what it’s achieved is a patchwork quilt of independent activist groups. It can be argued that this is its strength and makes it more difficult to infiltrate and eradicate. The only vulnerability remains typical COINTELPRO type sabotage such as infighting, competition, and identity politics. Since all dissidents bleed red blood irrespective of gender, race, color, creed, and sexual orientation and preference, and view each other as comrades and companeros, the movement will advance. When party platform differences are placed aside and the imperial enemy is clear, resistance is unstoppable.
Activist, educator, and co-host of WBAI’s Voices of Resistance program, Lucy Pagoada-Quesada explains that no matter what obstacles are put in the resistance’s path, the solution is always “organize, educate and mobilize”. Many activist groups follow this playbook faithfully to great success. Through webinars, educational forums are becoming membership drives and effective calls to actions despite COVID-19 restrictions on assembly and movement.
Through webinars, political economy is taught by the Party for Socialism & Liberation; labor history is taught by Workers World; and, Struggle LaLucha, teaches about Vladimir Lenin and unites essential workers from different economic sectors in actions; Ajamu Baraka, the national organizer and spokesperson for The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), explains the connection between domestic and global issues and leads actions that protect Venezuela and Iran from military invasion and economic sanctions – critical situations that are concealed by the pandemic’s hype
CODE PINK hosts “WTF is Going on in Latin America”, which provides ongoing critical news coverage that shows resistance to Washington’s imperial fascism. Co-founder, Medea Benjamin’s reports from the front-lines in Bolivia during Washington’s backed white nationalist fascist coup against indigenous president Evo Morales were invaluable, and CODE PINK’s campaign to Divest from the War Machine is not to be missed.
Tangible results from webinars and outreach involve support for communities through mutual-aid as well as the organizing of strikes and car caravans to free prisoners and ICE detainees; defend workers, and put rent payments on hold. Sara Flounders, writer and organizer with the International Action Center, Workers World Newspaper and SanctionsKill.org, says she’s “extremely busy coordinating webinars and car caravans lately.” A car caravan is scheduled for International Workers Day (May 1) in NYC, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. It will conclude at Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office.
Cooperation Jackson’s called for a general strike on May 1.
“A Call to Action: Towards a General Strike to End the COVID-19 Crisis and Create a New World, provides the rationale and the broad demands that Cooperation Jackson says must ground the strike. The overall principle and strategic goal of the action is that the people must make demands that will transform our broken and inequitable society, and build a new society run by and for us – the working-class, poor, oppressed majority.”
Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance, speaks about the importance of strikes, seeing the one scheduled for May 1 as the beginning:
“The General Strike campaign will be ongoing with actions on the first of every month…This new era of mass strikes builds on successful strikes by teachers, healthcare workers, hotel workers, and others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the last two years, there has been the largest number of major work stoppages in 35 years with more than 400,000 workers involved in strikes in both 2018 and 2019. This continues in 2020 with a wave of wildcat strikes. Striking is the most powerful tool of the people. United action magnifies popular power and shows those in power that they cannot ignore us any longer.”
Many voters dissatisfied with the United States’ corporate party duopoly, and/or still reeling from the recent loss of the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, are actively engaged and now seeking to support socialist candidates such as Gloria La Riva & Leonard Peltier and those offered by the Green Party. Many believe this is a critical time for third party candidates to gain ballot access throughout the United States at all electoral levels. Will third party candidates win the presidency? Probably not, but they raise bread & butter issues and unite constituencies that resist neoliberal economic policies and fascism both nationally and internationally. Additionally, incremental change at the local level can’t be underestimated.
ROLE OF INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY DEFECTORS
Activist groups know this is not a time for exclusivity and nitpicking, this is a time to adopt the well-known adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” By focusing on commonalities, imperial fascism and its deep state intelligence community lackeys can be defeated. COVID-19 shows the world that the system is totally out of control and must be stopped by any means necessary. Activists recognize that former intelligence community members and military personal have undermined the opposition with their heroism and truth-telling. Shining examples of whistleblowers are Philip Agee, John Kiriakou, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning. In NYC, The Big Apple Coffee Party has taken the lead in defending journalist, Julian Assange, and whistleblower, Chelsea Manning.
ROLE OF THE RULING ELITE
While COVID-19 certainly benefits members of the ruling elite that are most vested in the military-industrial complex, fossil fuel, financial and pharmaceutical industries, and its tech titans, it doesn’t benefit them all and some may not believe the end justifies the means when it comes to pandemics. The ruling elite might agree on bottom-line benefits, but power is never static. Jockeying for position reveals exploitable fissures. Capitalism remains, even at the highest echelons, a zero-sum game that is inherently cannibalistic by its contradictions – as evident by the fight between Amazon and Microsoft for the Pentagon’s Jedi cloud contract – a contract that reads like the premise of the Hollywood blockbuster movie Terminator. These contradictions are now ripe for weaponization.
While the proletariat and underclass are not surprised by the ravages of COVID-19 against them in an intrinsically unjust sociopolitical economic system, the pandemic has now demonstrated to the petty-bourgeois and even the bourgeoisie itself that quarantines are no party; essential workers are essential; all the best restaurants are closed; and now their maid, driver or sex-slave’s cough can kill them. And, it’s a real drag to find a country that allows a jet to land these days. Dissidents within the ruling elite can join the resistance in its divestment campaigns and also anonymously fund independent grassroots organizations; striking workers go-fund-me campaigns, and independent news media – just leave co-optation and capture out. Activists know many progressive organizations and independent news media that were neutered by the donner class and are alert to the tricks. Sabotage and whistleblowing are also great ways for the dissident elite to get down with the people.
COVID-19 is not the time to fight for breadcrumbs and concessions, but the time to fight for revolutionary changes. Join one of the activist groups listed above; follow webinars; help your neighbors and community; support the growth of Socialist and Green political parties and, observe general strikes as workers, consumers, protesters, writers, videographers, etc.
Power to the people.
Lauren Smith is an independent journalist. Her work has been published by Alliance for Global Justice, Black Agenda Report, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, The Duran, Global Research, CA, Monthly Review, and Telesur amongst others. She holds a BA in Politics, Economics, and Society from SUNY at Old Westbury and an MPA in International Development Administration from New York University. Her historical fiction novel based on Nicaragua’s 1979 revolution is due out this year.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.