By Ron Unz
March 14, 2023
On Friday geopolitical plates of tectonic scale may have visibly shifted as Iran and Saudi Arabia, two of the most important countries in the Middle East and erstwhile bitter adversaries, announced that they had reestablished diplomatic relations after a lengthy round of negotiations held with top Chinese officials in Beijing.
Back in 1945, President Franklin Roosevelt famously met on an American cruiser with Ibn Saud, and our important alliance with oil-rich Saudi Arabia came into being.
Though sometimes stressed during the 1973 Oil Embargo and in the aftermath of the 9/11 Attacks, the relationship remained our most important in the Arab World, being responsible for the rise of the Petrodollar and the maintenance of our own greenback as the world's reserve currency. With America's industrial base having been reduced to a mere shadow of its once global dominance and our country plagued by horrendous annual budget deficits and accumulated debt, much of our national prosperity and current standard of living probably today depends upon that maintaining that status.
Meanwhile, during the four decades since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, no country in the region has been a greater object of American hostility than Iran. As recently as January 2020, we assassinated Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran's greatest military commander, who had been considered a likely presidential candidate in their 2021 elections.
There are obviously many long-term factors behind this apparent diplomatic revolution, notably including China's economic rise and its position as the leading purchaser of Middle Eastern oil. Over a decade ago, I had described these powerful trends, which have now become obvious to the entire world.
- China's Rise, America's Fall Ron Unz • The American Conservative • April 17, 2012 • 6,600 Words
However, I think that the colossal arrogance of our own country, and the extent to which we have increasingly abused and victimized our own allies and vassals over the years must surely have been a huge contributing factor. One problem with relying too heavily upon the power of your dishonest propaganda is that you may continue to believe in it yourself even after most of the intended targets of your deception have stopped doing so.
In late September, a series of massive underwater explosions severely damaged the Russian-German Nord Stream pipelines, perhaps Europe's most important civilian energy infrastructure, a particularly devastating blow at a time when Europe was suffering its worst energy crisis in generations.
The enormous scale and extreme difficulty of these deep water demolitions led German investigators to quickly declare that a state actor had likely been responsible. Yet strangely enough, this huge event received minimal coverage in the American mainstream media. After briefly quoting anonymous government officials who absurdly suggested that the Russians had destroyed their own pipelines, our press immediately lost interest in the story, which soon disappeared with almost no follow-up or investigation. A gigantic environmental disaster seemed to draw negligible media interest from the legions of normally hair-trigger environmentalists.
The obvious reason for this strange lack of curiosity and the resulting blanket of silence was the likely identity of the perpetrators, which had grave political implications. Top American leaders had issued numerous public threats against those pipelines and seemed to rejoice in their successful destruction, so there seemed an overwhelming likelihood that our own country had played a central role in the illegal attacks, among the worst peacetime examples of industrial terrorism in world history. If enough Europeans began to suspect that their American allies had destroyed energy infrastructure so vital to Germany and the rest of the continent, our NATO alliance would be dealt a devastating blow and might be set on the road to dissolution.
- American Pravda: Of Pipelines and Plagues Ron Unz • The Unz Review • October 3, 2022 • 3,900 Words
One of America's most powerful international weapons is its overwhelming control over the global news ecosystem, and a complete blanket of media silence was soon enforced, causing that huge event to quickly fade from public consciousness. When someone such as Prof. Jeffrey Sachs mentioned what had probably happened on Bloomberg TV, he was quickly yanked off the air."We are on a path of escalation to nuclear war, nothing less" - Jeffrey D. Sachs
Most ordinary Westerners live their lives trapped within the cocoon of our controlled media, and only a small minority of them may have recognized the magnitude of this historical event, with only a sliver blaming anyone other than the demonized Russian enemy.
But I doubt that this blindness applied to political leaders worldwide, who certainly understood what had probably happened. If America's reckless and criminal government had wantonly destroyed the vital civilian infrastructure of its closest NATO allies, potentially crippling Europe's economy, how could it ever be trusted to respect the lives and property of other countries? Surely the leadership of Saudi Arabia and many other important nations began asking themselves such questions.
Then a month ago, any remaining doubts vanished, as the exact details of America's attack against Germany's energy infrastructure were revealed in a bombshell expose by Seymour Hersh, who had spent a half-century as one of America's most renowned investigative journalists.
- Seymour Hersh: Standing Tall in a Sea of Lies Ron Unz • The Unz Review • February 13, 2023 • 2,000 Words
Although Hersh's story was totally boycotted by the mainstream press, within 24 hours over a million people had read it worldwide on Substack. His subsequent interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! was viewed over two million times on Youtube, with various other interviews adding many hundreds of thousands of additional views.Reporter Seymour Hersh on "How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline": Exclusive TV Interview
Hersh's revelations prompted Russia to call a special session of the UN Security Council to discuss the pipeline attacks, and this drew important testimony from Prof. Sachs and former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern. These developments finally forced the Washington Post to drudgingly mention Hersh's blockbuster weeks after it had first been published, finally breaking the mainstream media blockade.
- "But That Newspaper Is Dead" Ron Unz • The Unz Review • February 27, 2023 • 2,400 Words
With the ripples of Hersh's reporting beginning to spread, the German government and its Chancellor Olaf Scholz faced a very difficult dilemma.
During late 2021, Scholz had been standing next to President Joseph Biden at a press conference when the latter publicly threatened to eliminate the pipelines, so German voters might reasonably suspect their own leader's complicity after that threat was carried out. Attention had to be diverted in a different direction.President Biden on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline if Russia Invades Ukraine: "We will bring an end to it."
Last week, Scholz took a sudden, unscheduled trip to privately meet with Biden in DC, and a couple of days later stories suddenly appeared in the New York Times and Germany's Die Zeit weekly blaming the pipeline attacks upon an unspecified group of pro-Ukraine activists. The articles cited anonymous government sources, with most of the details being both vague and risible.
Deploying a ton of powerful military explosives in deep water was obviously a very challenging covert operation, requiring highly-specialized diving equipment and skilled demolitions experts, but according to German sources it had been carried out by a handful of unknown activists on a rented sailboat, a total absurdity. The Times account was more vague if hardly more persuasive, pointing to mysterious Ukrainian activists as the culprits and only acknowledging the very detailed expose of Hersh, one of its former star reporters, in the 26nd paragraph. The German claims of a sailboat-based attack was soon discussed in the Wall Street Journal, though the skeptical reporters emphasized how extremely difficult it would have been to carry out such a major undersea operation in such limited circumstances.
A German who blogs at the Moon of Alabama website had been heavily following the pipeline attacks from the beginning. He reasonably described these sudden anonymous media stories as merely constituting journalistic chaff, aimed at obscuring the very detailed account of the attack already provided by Hersh and perhaps diverting attention from some of the follow-up stories the Pulitzer Prize winner might plan to release.
The hosts of the Grayzone podcast showed photos of the sailboat allegedly used in the massive military attack and ridiculed the absurd cover-story that our government had concocted.Nordstream blame game begins - The Grayzone live
Indeed, when Hersh was informed what his former newspaper had published, he was stunned, saying that he couldn't believe that they would have ever written anything so stupid.
Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, U.S. Officials SayNew intelligence reporting amounts to the first significant known lead about who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe.
A few days later, Hersh was interviewed on Chinese television, and he explained his personal sources of information. A half-century earlier many of the young GIs serving in Vietnam had been deeply impressed by his honest war reporting, and during the decades that followed some had risen very high within our military and intelligence establishments. These individuals swore an oath to the American Constitution rather than to any particular American president, and many of them were appalled at the idiocy of the Biden Administration's decision to destroy Europe's energy pipelines, providing Hersh with the detailed account that he published.Watch: What's the story behind Nord Stream pipeline sabotage?
In that interview, Hersh understandably ridiculed the absurd claims that a shadowy group of Ukrainian activists on a sailboat could have carried out any operation as obviously massive and complex as the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines. His Chinese interlocutor objected that there was a historical precedent, which seemed to puzzle the journalist until she explained she was referring to the 9/11 Attacks, officially blamed upon a small group of Islamic fanatics. Based upon his memoirs, Hersh seems a deeply conventional thinker on all such controversial topics and living within the bubble of the Western mainstream media, he may never have questioned the official 9/11 narrative or considered that obvious analogy with the pipeline attacks. But the attitude of his interviewer demonstrated that deep suspicions about what had actually happened on 9/11 are probably widespread across China and most of the non-Western world.
Just before the twentieth anniversary, I published a lengthy reconstruction of those seminal events, and I would recommend it to those so interested.
- American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years Ron Unz • The Unz Review • September 7, 2021 • 7,800 Words
I suspect that most world leaders reacted with total disbelief to the story of the Ukrainian activists on a rented sailboat, shocked not that the Western governments and their subservient media outlets would lie, but that their lies would be so utterly ridiculous. So not only had the Biden Administration illegally destroyed the crucial energy pipelines of its European vassals, but it had apparently made no effort to even prepare a plausible cover-story to camouflage its criminal attacks. What independent-minded national leader would want to align himself with a hegemonic power so arrogant and incompetent? The American government had demonstrated the total bankruptcy of its strategic thinking, exactly what we might expect to see in the late stages of a decaying empire.
A few days ago, Prof. Sachs was interviewed by a podcaster in Germany, and he was absolutely scathing in his description of the total irrationality and recklessness of the Neocon-dominated American government.Jeffrey Sachs on Seymour Hersh, Nord Stream Bombing, Ukraine & the Cold War with China
Although I assume that all these facts have certainly become known to the ruling elites of most non-Western countries, I think they may increasingly be reaching a much broader audience as well, despite America's stranglehold over the traditional electronic media.
Our own website is a small one, and only about a dozen of our articles have ever broken 100,000 views. But almost exactly a year ago, just prior to the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Mike Whitney published a piece entitled "The Crisis in Ukraine Is Not About Ukraine. It's About Germany," arguing that the primary motive for the looming conflict was America's effort to disrupt growing economic ties between Germany and Russia, with the Nord Stream pipelines being the most important example of this. Strong German-Russian cooperation would be very beneficial for both countries but might greatly diminish America's European influence, so we were fomenting a war to prevent such Eurasian integration, though the result might be the destruction of Ukraine and severe economic damage to both Germany and Russia.
This article quickly attracted enormous global readership and has now reached nearly a million views, with the bulk of that traffic coming from WhatsApp users on the Indian subcontinent. Assuming many of those individuals at least glanced at the contents, their perspective on American policy may have become much more realistic, recognizing that our government was ruthlessly impoverishing its European vassals in order to maintain its own power, with the elected leaders of those countries regularly betraying the interests of the citizens they claimed to serve. The worldwide dissemination of such contrary ideas from alternative Western Internet sources may increasingly undercut the dishonest narrative long promoted by Hollywood and CNN.
Most credulous Westerners may fail to accept the reality of any factual information unless it has been endorsed by their own maintream media, but others around the world may have a different perspective. Over the last year, the Western global media has portrayed Russia's Ukraine war as an outrageous, unprovoked act of naked aggression, unleashing a propaganda-barrage more intense than anything I can remember and demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin to an unprecedented extent. Putin quickly denounced these attacks as coming from "an empire of lies," but they were widely expected to result in Russia's international isolation, leading to severe economic stress.
However, the reality has been entirely different. Although Americans and other Westerners apparently absorbed most of this propaganda, the impact elsewhere has been minimal, with 60-70% of the world's population residing in countries still maintaining good relations with Russia despite our enormous pressure to the contrary. So in some respects, it is America and the rest of the West that has actually become isolated. In real terms, China's industrial output is larger than the combined total for America and the European Union, and our erratic and increasingly provocative behavior has moved China much closer to Russia than it has ever previously been. I had emphasized these trends six months ago, and they have only become more obvious since then.
Meanwhile, many years of arrogant and oppressive American behavior towards so many other major countries has produced a powerful backlash of support for Russia. According to news reports, the Iranians have provided the Russians with large numbers of their advanced drones, which have been effectively deployed against the Ukrainians. Since World War II, our alliance with Saudi Arabia has been a linchpin of our Middle Eastern policy, but the Saudis have now repeatedly sided with the Russians on oil production issues, completely ignoring America's demands despite threats of retaliation from Congress. Turkey has NATO's largest military, but it is closely cooperating with Russia on natural gas shipments. India has also moved closer to Russia on crucial issues, ignoring the sanctions we have imposed on Russian oil. Except for our political vassal states, most major world powers seem to be lining up on Russia's side.
Since World War II one of the central pillars of global American dominance has been the status of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency and our associated control over the international banking system. Until recently we always presented our role as neutral and administrative, but we have increasingly begun weaponizing that power, using our position to punish those states we disliked, and this is naturally forcing other countries to seek alternatives. Perhaps the world could tolerate our freezing the financial assets of relatively small countries such as Venezuela or Afghanistan, but our seizure of Russia's $300 billion in foreign reserves obviously tipped the balance, and major countries are increasingly seeking to shift their transactions away from the dollar and the banking network that we control. Although the economic decline of the EU has caused a corresponding fall in the Euro and driven up the dollar by default, the longer-term prospects for our continued currency hegemony hardly seem good. And given our horrendous budget and trade deficits, a flight from the dollar might easily collapse the US economy.
Soon after the outbreak of the Ukraine War, the eminent historian Alfred McCoy argued that we were witnessing the geopolitical birth of a new world order, one built around a Russia-China alliance that would dominate the Eurasian landmass.
Although probably only a small fraction of Westerners are yet aware that America destroyed Europe's energy pipelines, many others around the world are much less ignorant, and the same may also be true of even more consequential matters. As mentioned above, mainstream Chinese broadcast journalists apparently have a very different view of the 9/11 Attacks than the one universally presented by the American media, and I think this is also the case with regard to the global Covid epidemic.
Just over six months ago, I published an article pointing out that both the Russian and Iranian governments have publicly accused America of releasing the Covid virus in a deliberate biowarfare attack, and the Chinese government has implied the same thing, with such speculation reportedly being widespread across Chinese social media.
- Challenging America's Lords of Illusion Ron Unz • The Unz Review • August 22, 2023 • 2,700 Words
Twenty million people including well over a million Americans have died from this global epidemic and the lives of many billions have been disrupted. Just as the basic facts of the Nord Stream pipeline attacks soon suggested likely American culpability, the same was also true with regard to the Covid outbreak. For nearly three years I have been publishing a long series of articles pointing to the strong perhaps overwhelming evidence that the global disaster was the result of blowback from a botched American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), a possibility utterly unimaginable to anyone in America's political class.
In several of his numerous interviews, Hersh has joked that his lengthy expose had only amounted to explicating the obvious, merely providing the exact details of something that had been almost immediately apparent, and I think that much the same is also true of the Covid epidemic. For those who wish to understand why Russian, Iranian, and Chinese officials have been making these charges, I would recommend my long series of articles, also provided in a freely downloadable ebook.
- Covid/Biowarfare Series Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words
For twelve months, I've been regularly promoting several of my podcast interviews, which effectively summarize the crucial information and have been available on Rumble. But since Youtube is so much more widely used, I've now also uploaded them to a newly created Youtube channel:
Kevin Barrett, FFWN • February 16, 2022 • 15mCOVID-19 Bio-Attack Smoking Gun!
Geopolitics & Empire • February 1, 2022 • 75m • SoundCloud AudioRon Unz: COVID-19 Was an 'Anti-Economy' Bioweapon by the U.S. Against China
Red Ice TV • February 3, 2022 • 130mCovid: An American Biowarfare Attack
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.