Norway May Become Battleground Between U.S. and Russia, Says Expert

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Colonel Tormod Heier highlighted that strengthening the U.S. military presence in Norway would have negative consequences for the Scandinavian country. According to Norwegian state-owned media NRK in an article titled “Can Joe Biden become dangerous for Norway?” Colonel Heier, a professor at the Norwegian Defence College, said Norway could turn into a battlefield if tensions broke out between the U.S. and Russia.

“Norway is part of the great power rivalry between the United States and Russia. The probability increases that Norway will become a battlefield in the event of a conflict or a crisis becoming out of control between the Russians and Americans,” he said.

The military expert, who pointed out that the U.S. is afraid of Moscow’s nuclear capabilities, said Washington has recognized Norway’s important strategic role in the Arctic because it is the closest country to Russia in the region. Highlighting that the U.S. is following a strategy of deterring Russia, Heier stated that Norway should balance the two powers in the current situation and said “Norway and the U.S. are in a new Cold War with Russia.”

It was claimed earlier this year that four American B-1B Lancer-type bombers would be based in Norway. Norwegian officials did not confirm the claim. It is worth noting that B-1B Lancers were previously capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but were later reduced to carrying long-range cruise missiles. It is not a far stretch to anticipate that these bombers may once again be able to carry nuclear weapons.

Norwegian Defense Ministry spokesman Hårek Elvenes said that the temporary use of Norwegian airports for the U.S. would be nothing new and that “cooperation with our most important ally is both natural and necessary to have a good overview and control in the High North.” He then emphasized the role of “firmness and predictability” as guidelines for Norway’s security policy.

However, the activation of a U.S. military presence in Norway, including the placement of strategic bombers, does not contribute to stability and could turn the Arctic into a hot zone. In January 2020, U.S. military planes used the runway on Jan Mayen, a Norwegian island isolated in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of Greenland. Using the runway was to assess landing conditions and safety for the U.S. Air Force and its potential use of the island that is located within the Arctic Circle.

Norway has repeatedly cited Russia as one of the main threats to the country while Russia has accused Norway of taking antagonistic actions to try and contain its interests in the Arctic. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a 15-year-plan for the Arctic, titled: “On the Basics of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the Period Until 2035,” which was authored by the Ministry of the Far East and Arctic. The plan identifies challenges to Russia’s national security and the regions trade potential, and it is for this reason that by 2035 Russia aims to build up to 40 Arctic vessels, new railways and seaports, and upgrade regional airports.

One study found that it is estimated that the Arctic has 90 billion barrels of oil that is yet to be discovered, equal to 5.9% of the world’s known oil reserves – about 110% of Russia’s current oil reserves or 339% of U.S. reserves. The Arctic also has an estimated 1,669 trillion cubic feet of gas, equal to 24.3% of the world’s current known reserves. This equates to 500% of U.S. reserves, 99% of Russia’s reserves, and 2,736% of Canada’s natural gas reserves. There are also large quantities of metals and minerals, including gold, diamonds, copper, iron, zinc, and uranium.

In addition to this vast amount of wealth, ice is melting in the North Sea, meaning a new trade route will emerge that will cut the delivery of commercial cargo from China to Europe by 40%. Russia stands to gain the most when Arctic resources can be exploited and the new trade route linking China with Europe opens.

For these reasons, it is unacceptable for the U.S. to allow Russia to gain such an advantage. Washington is utilising all its Arctic allies, especially Norway and Canada, but also “near-Arctic” partners like the UK, to pressure Russia through provocative military actions to deter the country from exploiting its advantages in the Arctic. However, since Russia’s coastline accounts for 53% of the Arctic Ocean’s entire coastline, it renders the goal to contain Russia in the Arctic region as impossible. Although Norwegian defense experts like Colonel Tormod Heier recognizes this reality, it appears that decision makers in Oslo are yet to accept this and will continue to follow Washington’s policies against Russia in the Arctic.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Featured image is from US Department of Defense

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COVID-19: Israel Donates Vaccines to Countries that Moved Embassies to Jerusalem

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The Czech Republic, Guatemala and Honduras, which have all moved their embassies or diplomatic offices to Jerusalem, will receive coronavirus vaccines from Israel, local media reported. 

Israel’s public broadcaster Kann reported on Tuesday that vaccines from Israel’s stock would be given to the three countries along with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s office told Kann that after several countries asked for assistance, Israel agreed to donate “a limited amount of vaccines that were not being used”.

“Therefore it was decided to help with a symbolic amount of vaccines for medical staff of the Palestinian Authority and for some countries that asked Israel,” the office said.

According to Gili Cohen, a diplomatic correspondent at Kann, a plane arrived in Israel from Honduras early on Tuesday to receive the vaccines.

The Czech Republic confirmed it had received a small Israeli shipment, Reuters reported.

Israel has the world’s highest number of vaccines administered per capita, with nearly half of its population immunised. But its rollout has been criticised by its government’s refusal to inoculate the Palestinians.

Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF, criticised Israel on Tuesday for failing to give vaccines to the Palestinians.

“Israel is an occupying power and has millions of vaccines. Palestine is the occupied territory and has barely a few thousand,” said Matthias Kennes, MSF’s medical adviser to Palestine.

Kennes, who works as a nurse for MSF in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, noted the lack of vaccines in the OPTs and how “you are over 60 times more likely to have a vaccination in Israel than in Palestine”.

He also highlighted how the recent delivery of vaccines to Gaza would not be enough to protect health care workers and people most vulnerable to Covid-19.

Last week, the PA criticised Israel for blocking a vaccine delivery to Gaza from the occupied West Bank. Following the backlash, Israel eventually approved the delivery.

The World Bank has warned that the Palestinians’ Covid-19 vaccination plan faces a $30m funding shortfall, and has called on Israel to cooperate with the PA and for wealthier countries to donate to ease the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Israel’s army radio reported that Netanyahu was considering donating vaccines to developing countries. Among these countries is one with which it does not have diplomatic relations, yet it would donate the vaccines in exchange for normalisation.

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One Third of Freshwater Fish Face Extinction, New Report Warns

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The latest warning of the Earth’s mounting extinction crisis is coming from its lakes and rivers.

A new report from a coalition of 16 conservation groups warns that almost a third of freshwater fish species face extinction because of human activity.

“Nowhere is the world’s nature crisis more acute than in our rivers, lakes and wetlands, and the clearest indicator of the damage we are doing is the rapid decline in freshwater fish populations. They are the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine, and we must heed the warning,” Stuart Orr, WWF global freshwater lead, said in a statement Tuesday announcing the report.

WWF is one of the many organizations behind the report, along with the Alliance for Freshwater Life, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy, to name a few. Together, the groups emphasized the incredible diversity of the world’s freshwater fish and their importance for human wellbeing.

By Freshwaters Illustrated via the WWF report

There are a total of 18,075 freshwater fish species in the world, accounting for 51 percent of all fish species and 25 percent of all vertebrates. They are an important food source for 200 million people and provide work for 60 million. But their numbers are in decline. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has declared 80 to be extinct, 16 of those in 2020 alone. The numbers of migratory freshwater fish such as salmon have declined 76 percent since 1970, while mega-fish such as beluga sturgeon have fallen by 94 percent in the same time period. In fact, freshwater biodiversity is plummeting at twice the rate of biodiversity in the oceans and forests.

Despite this, freshwater fish get much less attention than their saltwater counterparts, the report authors say. Titled “The World’s Forgotten Fishes,” it argues that policy makers rarely consider river wildlife when making decisions.

The main threats to freshwater fish include building dams, syphoning river water for irrigation, releasing wastewater and draining wetlands. Other factors include overfishing, introducing invasive species and the climate crisis.

“As we look to adapt to climate change and we start to think about all the discussions that governments are going to have on biodiversity, it’s really a time for us to shine a light back on freshwater,” Orr told NBC News.

To protect these forgotten fishes, the report authors outlined a six-point plan:

1. Let rivers flow more naturally;
2. Improve water quality in freshwater ecosystems;
3. Protect and restore critical habitats;
4. End overfishing and unsustainable sand mining in rivers and lakes;
5. Prevent and control invasions by non-native species; and
6. Protect free-flowing rivers and remove obsolete dams.

They also called on world leaders to include freshwater ecosystems in an ambitious biodiversity agreement at the upcoming UN Convention on Biological Diversity conference in Kunming, China.

By Hkun Lat/WWF-Myanmar

But the solution will require more than just government action.

“It’s now more urgent than ever that we find the collective political will and effective collaboration with private sector, governments, NGOs and communities, to implement nature-based solutions that protect freshwater species, while also ensuring human needs are met,” Carmen Revenga of The Nature Conservancy told BBC News.

Read the report here.

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The Vaccine (Dis)Information War

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So, good news, folks! It appears that GloboCap’s Genetic Modification Division has come up with a miracle vaccine for Covid! It’s an absolutely safe, non-experimental, messenger-RNA vaccine that teaches your cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response, just like your body’s immune-system response, only better, because it’s made by corporations!

OK, technically, it hasn’t been approved for use — that process normally takes several years — so I guess it’s slightly “experimental,” but the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have issued “Emergency Use Authorizations,” and it has been “tested extensively for safety and effectiveness,” according to Facebook’s anonymous “fact checkers,” so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

This non-experimental experimental vaccine is truly a historic development, because apart from saving the world from a virus that causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms (or, more commonly, no symptoms whatsoever) in roughly 95% of those infected, and that over 99% of those infected survive, the possibilities for future applications of messenger-RNA technology, and the genetic modification of humans, generally, is virtually unlimited at this point.

Imagine all the diseases we can cure, and all the genetic “mistakes” we can fix, now that we can reprogram people’s genes to do whatever we want … cancer, heart disease, dementia, blindness, not to mention the common cold! We could even cure psychiatric disorders, like “antisocial personality disorder,” “oppositional defiant disorder,” and other “conduct disorders” and “personality disorders.” Who knows? In another hundred years, we will probably be able to genetically cleanse the human species of age-old scourges, like racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, etcetera, by reprogramming everyone’s defective alleles, or implanting some kind of nanotechnological neurosynaptic chips into our brains. The only thing standing in our way is people’s totally irrational resistance to letting corporations redesign the human organism, which, clearly, was rather poorly designed, and thus is vulnerable to all these horrible diseases, and emotional and behavioral disorders.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. The important thing at the moment is to defeat this common-flu-like pestilence that has no significant effect on age-adjusted death rates, and the mortality profile of which is more or less identical to the normal mortality profile, but which has nonetheless left the global corporatocracy no choice but to “lock down” the entire planet, plunge millions into desperate poverty, order everyone to wear medical-looking masks, unleash armed goon squads to raid people’s homes, and otherwise transform society into a pathologized-totalitarian nightmare. And, of course, the only way to do that (i.e., save humanity from a flu-like bug) is to coercively vaccinate every single human being on the planet Earth!

OK, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t make much sense, this crusade to vaccinate the entire species against a relatively standard respiratory virus, but that’s just because you are still thinking critically. You really need to stop thinking like that. As The New York Times just pointed out, “critical thinking isn’t helping.” In fact, it might be symptomatic of one of those “disorders” I just mentioned above. Critical thinking leads to “vaccine hesitancy,” which is why corporations are working with governments to immediately censor any and all content that deviates from the official Covid-19 narrative and deplatform the authors of such content, or discredit them as “anti-vax disinformationists.”

For example, Children’s Health Defense, which has been reporting on so-called “adverse events” and deaths in connection with the Covid vaccines, despite the fact that, according to the authorities, “there are no safety problems with the vaccines” and “there is no link between Covid-19 vaccines and those who die after receiving them.” In fact, according to the “fact-checkers” at Reuters, these purported “reports of adverse events” “may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable!”

Yes, you’re reading between the lines right. The corporate media can’t come right out and say it, but it appears the “anti-vax disinformationists” are fabricating “adverse events” out of whole cloth and hacking them into the VAERS database and other such systems around the world. Worse, they are somehow infiltrating these made-up stories into the mainstream media in order to lure people into “vaccine hesitancy” and stop us from vaccinating every man, woman, and child in the physical universe, repeatedly, on an ongoing basis, for as long as the “medical experts” deem necessary.

Here are just a few examples of their handiwork …

  • In California, a 60-year-old X-ray technologist received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. A few hours later he had trouble breathing. He was hospitalized and died four days later. His widow says she’s not ready at this point to link her husband’s death to the vaccine. “I’m not putting any blame on Pfizer,” she said, “or on any other pharmaceutical company.” So, probably just another coincidence.
  • A 78-year-old woman in California died immediately after being vaccinated, but her death was not related to the vaccine, health officials assured the public. “(She) received an injection of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer around noon. While seated in the observation area after the injection, [she] complained of feeling discomfort and while being evaluated by medical personnel she lost consciousness.” Despite the sudden death of his wife, her husband intends to receive a second dose.
  • Also in Michigan, a 90-year-old man died the day after receiving the vaccine, but, again, this was just a tragic coincidence. As Dr. David Gorski explained, “the baseline death rate of 90-year-olds is high because they’re 90 years old,” which makes perfect sense … unless, of course, they died of Covid, in which case their age and underlying conditions make absolutely no difference whatsoever.

And then there are all the people on Facebook sharing their stories of loved ones who have died shortly after receiving the Covid vaccine, who the Facebook “fact checkers” are doing their utmost to discredit with their official-looking “fact-check notices.” For example …

OK, I realize it’s uncomfortable to have to face things like that (i.e., global corporations like Facebook implying that these people are lying or are using the sudden deaths of their loved ones to discourage others from getting vaccinated), especially if you’re just trying to follow orders and parrot official propaganda … even the most fanatical Covidian Cultists probably still have a shred of human empathy buried deep in their cold little hearts. But there’s an information war on, folks! You’re either with the Corporatocracy or against it! This is no time to get squeamish, or, you know, publicly exhibit an ounce of compassion. What would your friends and colleagues think of you?!

No, report these anti-vaxxers to the authorities, shout them down on social media, switch off your critical-thinking faculties, and get in line to get your vaccination! The fate of the human species depends on it! And, if you’re lucky, maybe GloboCap will even give you one of these nifty numerical Covid-vaccine tattoos for free!

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CJ Hopkins
February 23, 2021
Photos: (1) UNICEF; (2) WTKR; (3) Facebook post (with permission); (4) thegrabill/Twitter

Consent Factor disclaimer and note on author CJ Hopkins: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate
Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian sci-fi novel, Zone 23, or Volume I and II of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

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A People’s History of Struggle: Liberty or Lockdown

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UK health minister Matt Hancock has warned the government’s timeline for unlocking coronavirus restrictions could be slowed as ministers remain “vigilant” against infection rates. What began in March 2020 as a three-week lockdown to ‘save the NHS’ has turned into a year-long clampdown on fundamental liberties with the spectre of freedom through vaccination (‘COVID status certificates’) and the eventual roll out of all-encompassing digital IDs on the horizon.

In the meantime, children’s education, small independent businesses, livelihoods and lives have been wrecked all in the name of a coronavirus whose impact has been overstated – certainly if we take time to deconstruct the media narrative of 120,000 ‘COVID-19 deaths’ in the UK to see how that figure has been arrived at.

For example, the vast majority of the deceased had on average almost two serious life-threatening co-morbidities and ‘COVID deaths’ are defined as someone who had a positive COVID test result within 28 days of death, regardless of subsequent cause of death.

Moreover, in the UK, the average age of a ‘COVID death’ is 82.4, in a country where life expectancy is 81.

Fear rather than science has been key to UK government strategy. Using lockdowns to control the virus has little if any scientific basis. On the other hand, there is much evidence that shows lockdowns destroy lives. Little wonder then that behavioural strategists are included as part of the top committee (SAGE) advising ministers. And little wonder, therefore, that the public overestimates the threat of COVID-19.

What has disturbed many commentators, such as former Chief Justice Lord Sumption, is that the media, politicians and ordinary people have rolled over and accepted the erosion of fundamental civil liberties – and by implication, the tyranny of lockdown, based on a corruption of science and the type of medical hubris that Ivan Illich alluded to many decades ago.

These are liberties that ordinary people fought and struggled (and often died) for down the ages.

What is just as disturbing is that prominent commentators on the ‘left’ have supported the restrictions, often calling for tighter controls. Other voices on the left have been conspicuous by their silence. These figures have wholeheartedly bought into the official COVID-19 narrative – the people who are usually first in line to criticise and challenge anything a Conservative administration does.

The aim here is not to regurgitate what has already been stated in the many articles that have appeared over the last year about the current crisis of capitalism or the ‘great reset’. The aim of this article is intended as a brief reminder.

There is a tradition of struggle in Britain which many people appear to have abandoned – the very people who would be expected to carry on that proud tradition.

People’s struggle

Arthur Leslie Morton’s ‘A People’s History of England’ is a classic text. Morton (1903-1987) takes us back to when humans first inhabited England and then on a forward journey that ends on the eve of the Second World War. His book shows that countless millions have inhabited the place we call England, from ancient hunter-gatherer tribes and the ‘Beaker People’, to the Vikings, Normans and those of the industrial age.

If you are familiar with the words of the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan, they may well resonate when reading Morton’s book. Sagan stated that generals, kings, rulers and politicians have spilled rivers of blood just to become temporary masters of some or other part of the planet and that endless cruelties have been visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the globe upon inhabitants in another corner.

However, in all of this cruelty and bloodshed, Morton accounts for the plight of the ordinary person, both in England and abroad, who has borne the brunt of war, famine, exploitation and the political machinations of tyrants and unscrupulous leaders, whether Roman, medieval monarch, feudal baron or modern-day capitalist.

He describes the rise of feudalism and its decline, the agrarian revolution, the English Revolution, the rape of Ireland, colonial expansion and the Industrial Revolution.

As this land grew to be the pre-eminent world power, ordinary people struggled to find a voice within these shifting tectonic plates of history. Nevertheless, they succeeded.

Morton discusses the development of the working class movement and subsequent struggles: he notes the impact of the Peasants’ Revolt, Peterloo, trade unionism and many other inspiring events that litter the historical landscape of England.

The conclusion to be drawn is that most change that has benefited ordinary people has resulted from the actions of ordinary folk themselves. Such benefits have never been handed out freely by the rich and powerful. This is true for women’s rights and political freedoms, as much as it is for workers’ rights or any other number of gains.

This is worth bearing in mind as Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock et al decide whether to ‘give back’ to the public their liberties. History shows that once the powerful seize more power, they do not cede it unless forced to.

If Morton shows us anything, it is that, when conscious of their collective interests, ordinary folk acting together can and do make a difference.

Whether we look at Klaus Schwab’s ‘great reset’ and what it entails, the struggle of Indian farmers against Facebook, Google, Amazon and Cargill (etc) or Bill Gates and his plan to vaccinate the planet, geoengineer the climate or roll out his and his tech-giant cronies’ warped vision for a one-world fake-food agriculture, it is becoming increasingly clear that the rich and powerful are mounting an ultimate power grab.

Based on their warped techno-utopian vision of the future, they want to exert total control of farming, food, nature, personal identities, information, the climate, our bodies – just about everything that will shape the rest of this century and beyond.

They want to ‘build back better’ by ensuring they own everything and you own nothing. Lockdowns have been a convenient tool for helping to kick-start their ‘new normal’.

A L Morton’s book can teach us much about resisting tyranny – but only if we listen.

An abridged version of ‘A People’s History of England’ (edited by Giles Wynne)  can be accessed here.

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Colin Todhunter is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.

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The Mounting Censorship of Independent Media

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Report of Illegal $80 Million Arms Transfer by Erik Prince to Libyan Warlord Raises Question of Who’s Backing Former Blackwater CEO

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Erik Prince, the founder and former CEO of the mercenary firm Blackwater and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, sent weapons to a Libyan warlord in violation of a United Nations arms embargo, according to a confidential U.N. document reported Friday by the New York Times. 

The U.N. report, which investigators sent to the Security Council on Thursday, reportedly details how Prince sent foreign mercenaries armed with attack aircraft, gunboats, and cyberwarfare capabilities to support renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar during a major 2019 battle in eastern Libya.

According to the U.N. report, the mercenary operation cost $80 million and included a plan to form a hit squad to locate and assassinate commanders opposed to Haftar.

Haftar, a one-time CIA asset considered Libya’s most powerful warlord, has fought to overthrow the North African nation’s internationally recognized government during the country’s second civil war since the overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 Arab Spring revolts. Haftar has enjoyed various degrees of support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia. British, French, U.S., and UAE warplanes have also assisted his forces.

In 2019, Trump reportedly granted permission for Haftar—who stands accused of ordering his troops to commit war crimes—to launch an air campaign against the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord, attacks which killed hundreds of civilians in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The U.N. report raises questions about whether Trump was complicit in Prince’s violation of the international arms embargo against Haftar’s forces.

Anas el-Gomati, director of Libyan think tank Sadeq Institute, told Al Jazeera that using mercenaries allows leaders to “outright refuse that you have any knowledge of what’s going on.”

“To what degree did Trump help facilitate this war alongside Erik Prince?” asked el-Gomati, who also wondered whether “Erik Prince was coordinating with Russian Wagner Group mercenaries in Libya, and has helped them establish a foothold in the way he helped the United Arab Emirates establish a foothold in Libya.”

Another unanswered question is who funded Prince’s $80 million operation. Wolfram Lacher, a Libya expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, told the Times that Prince has “been linked to the Trump administration, the Emirati leadership, and the Russians.”

“For me, the question is who is tacitly backing him?” asked Lacher.

Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, founded Blackwater—now called Academi after being sold twice—in 1997. He rose to prominence during the George W. Bush administration and the so-called War on Terror, in which the U.S. relied heavily upon private contractors. On September 16, 2007, Blackwater guards massacred 17 men, women, and children in Nisour Square in Baghdad, Iraq.

Last December, Trump pardoned four of the Nisour Square killers, who had been sentenced to 12 years to life in prison for crimes including first-degree murder.

Trump and Prince have long enjoyed warm relations. Prince was a major Trump donor whose sister, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed as secretary of education in 2017.

This isn’t the first time Prince has been accused of breaking domestic and international laws against weapons transfers. In 2012 his anti-piracy security force in Somalia was accused by the U.N. of “the most brazen violation of the arms embargo by a private security company.” Prince was also reportedly the target of an FBI investigation last year for weaponizing crop dusters.

From Common Dreams: Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

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Featured image: Erik Prince is the brother of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. (Photo: The Oxford Union/REX Shutterstock)

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The Temporary Collapse of Texas Is Foreshadowing the Total Collapse of the United States

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We are getting a very short preview of what will eventually happen to the United States as a whole.  America’s infrastructure is aging and crumbling.  Our power grids were never intended to support so many people, our water systems are a complete joke, and it has become utterly apparent that we would be completely lost if a major long-term national emergency ever struck.  Texas has immense wealth and vast energy resources, but now it is being called a “failed state”.  If it can’t even handle a few days of cold weather, what is the rest of America going to look like when things really start to get chaotic in this country?

At this point, it has become clear that the power grid in Texas is in far worse shape than anyone ever imagined.  When extremely cold weather hit the state, demand for energy surged dramatically.  At the same time, about half of the wind turbines that Texas relies upon froze, and the rest of the system simply could not handle the massive increase in demand.

Millions of Texans were without power for days, and hundreds of thousands are still without power as I write this article.

And now we are learning that Texas was literally just moments away from “a catastrophic failure” that could have resulted in blackouts “for months”

Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.

As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state.

I can’t even imagine how nightmarish things would have eventually gotten in Texas if there had actually been blackouts for months.

According to one expert, the state really was right on the verge of a “worst case scenario”

The worst case scenario: Demand for power outstrips the supply of power generation available on the grid, causing equipment to catch fire, substations to blow and power lines to go down.

If the grid had gone totally offline, the physical damage to power infrastructure from overwhelming the grid could have taken months to repair, said Bernadette Johnson, senior vice president of power and renewables at Enverus, an oil and gas software and information company headquartered in Austin.

For years, I have been telling my readers that they have got to have a back up plan for power, because during a major emergency the grid can fail.

And when it fails, it can literally cost some people their lives.  I was deeply saddened when I learned that one man in Texas actually froze to death sitting in his own recliner

As Texas suffered through days of power outages, a man reportedly froze to death in his recliner with his wife clinging to life beside him.

The man was found dead in his Abilene home on Wednesday after being without power for several days in the record cold.

Most Americans don’t realize that much of the rest of the world actually has much better power infrastructure than we do.  Just check out these numbers

In Japan, the average home sees only 4 minutes of power outages per year. In the American Midwest, the figure is 92 minutes per year. In the Northeast, it’s 214 minutes; all those figures cover only regular outages and not those caused by extreme weather or fires.

As our population has grown and our infrastructure has aged, performance has just gotten worse and worse.  In fact, things ran much more smoothly all the way back in the mid-1980s

According to an analysis by Climate Central, major outages (affecting more than 50,000 homes or businesses) grew ten times more common from the mid-1980s to 2012. From 2003 to 2012, weather-related outages doubled. In a 2017 report, the American Society of Civil Engineers reported that there were 3,571 total outages in 2015, lasting 49 minutes on average. The U.S. Energy Administration reports that in 2016, the average utility customer had 1.3 power interruptions, and their total blackout time averaged four hours.

America is literally crumbling all around us, and it getting worse with each passing year.

Our water systems are another example.

In Texas, the cold weather literally caused thousands of pipes to burst.  The damage caused by all of these ruined pipes is going to be in the billions of dollars.

Right now, we are being told that a total of 797 water systems in the state are currently reporting problems with “frozen or broken pipes”

Some 13.5 million people are facing water disruptions with 797 water systems throughout the state reporting issues such as frozen or broken pipes, according to Toby Baker, executive director for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. About 725 systems are under a boil water advisory, Baker said during a press conference Thursday.

Overall, approximately 7 million residents of the state live in areas that have been ordered to boil water, and it could take months for service to fully return to normal.

Without water, none of us can survive for long, and it is absolutely imperative that you have a back up plan in case your local system goes down.

In Houston, people that are without water in their homes have been forced to line up to fill buckets at a public spigot

Meanwhile, in scenes reminiscent of a third world country, Houston residents resorted to filling up buckets of water from a spigot in a local neighborhood.

One Houston resident, whose power has just gone back on Thursday after three days but still has no water, told DailyMail.com: ‘It is crazy that we just watched NASA land on Mars but here in Houston most of us still don’t have drinking water.’

You can watch video of this happening right here.  Of course if your local water system completely fails, there won’t even be a public spigot available for you to get water.

Shortages of food and other essential supplies are also being reported in Texas.

For Philip Shelley and his young wife, the situation became quite desperate fairly rapidly

Philip Shelley, a resident of Fort Worth, told CNN that he, his wife Amber and 11-month-old daughter, Ava, were struggling to stay warm and fed. Amber is pregnant and due April 4.

“(Ava) is down to half a can of formula,” Shelley said. “Stores are out if not extremely low on food. Most of our food in the refrigerator is spoiled. Freezer food is close to thawed but we have no way to heat it up.”

So what would they have done if the blackouts had lasted for months?

All over the state, extremely long lines have been forming at local supermarkets.  In some cases, people have started waiting way before the stores actually open

Joe Giovannoli, 29, arrived at a Central Market supermarket in Austin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, an hour-and-a-half before it opened. Minutes later, more than 200 people had lined up behind him in the biting 26-degree weather.

Giovannoli’s wife is three months pregnant and the power in their one-bedroom Austin apartment blinked out Tuesday night. After a water pipe broke, firefighters also turned off the building’s water, he said. Giovannoli said he realized he still had it better than many others across Texas, but worried how long things will take to get back to normal.

This is happening in communities across Texas, and you can see video of one of these “bread lines” right here.

Of course those that had gotten prepared in advance did not have to wait in such long lines because they already had food.

Sadly, even though Joe Giovannoli had gotten to the supermarket so early, he later received really bad news

A few minutes before the store opened its doors, a manager stepped outside and warned those waiting in line that supplies inside were low: No produce, no baked goods, not much canned food.

“We haven’t had a delivery in four days,” he said.

Remember, this is just a temporary crisis in Texas that is only going to last for a few days.

So what would happen if a severe long-term national emergency disrupted food, water and power systems for months on end?

All it took to cause a short-term “collapse scenario” in the state of Texas was some cold weather.

Eventually, much worse things will happen to our nation, and it has become clear that we are not ready.

So get prepared while you still can, because time is running out.

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Michael Snyder has published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, which are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.

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Video: The 2021 Worldwide Corona Crisis

We bring to the attention of our readers this Global Research Video documentary produced by Ariel Noyola Rodriguez, featuring Prof. Michel Chossudovsky.

We are at the crossroads of one of the most serious crises in World history.

We are living history, yet our understanding of the sequence of events since January 2020 has been blurred.

Worldwide, people have been misled both by their governments and the media as to the causes and devastating consequences of the Covid-19 “pandemic”. 

“Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties and the “Right to Life”.

click the bottom right hand corner to view in full screen

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Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Small and medium sized capital are slated to be eliminated. Big capital prevails.

A massive concentration of corporate wealth is ongoing.

Its a diabolical “New World Order” in the making.

Red Zones, the facemask, social distancing, the closing down of schools, colleges and universities,

no more family gatherings, no birthday celebrations, music, the arts: no more cultural events,

sport events are suspended, no more funerals, no more weddings, “love and life” is banned outright.

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