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Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Trump, Twitter And The Digital Town Hall

05.10.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Twitter permanently bans Trump

Twitter permanently bans Trump


The merits are hard to stomach for partisans long jaundiced by presumption and dislike, but the cheer at the deplatforming of Donald Trump by a range of social media platforms said as much about the nature of any sentiment about democracy as it did about those claiming to defend it. For one, it shut off a valve of fantastic, instant recognition to a figure whose thoughts are best aired rather than cellared in underground vats.

But cellaring, hiding, suppressing unsavoury viewpoints are the very things social media platforms are getting more enthusiastic about, much of it pushed on the censorious lobby that claims to have a monopoly on veracity and good behaviour. In the name of misinformation, offence and incitement, users will be either suspended, barred or subjected to digital excommunication in the name of safety.

Which brings us to the fascinating nature of Trump’s latest legal action against Twitter. In January, the former US president was banned from the platform following the January 6th riot at the Capitol building inspired by supporters riled by claims that the election had been stolen. It began as a temporary ban of 12 hours for “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy”. Two days later, the ban was made permanent. “In the context of the horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would permanently result in this very course of action,” Twitter claimed in its January 8 statement. “The company’s “public interest framework” existed to permit “the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly.” But this role did not exist “above our rules entirely” and could not be used “to incite violence, among other things.”

The reasoning behind the ban was illuminating of a social media giant sitting in shallow judgment. Two of Trump’s tweets were singled out: one claiming that 75 million “great American patriots who voted for me” would “not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”; the second stating that he would “not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” Assuming the imperious role of civics guardian, the company strained to identify these mutterings as violating “our Glorification of Violence policy”.

At the time German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the decision “problematic” while Jens Zimmermann, Social Democrat member of the Bundestag, wondered what it meant “for the future actions of social media platforms”.


President Donald Trump talks with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos

President Donald Trump talks with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos
before a town hall at National Constitution Center, September 15, 2020.


In July, Trump began his legal battle to seek reinstatement across a range of platforms, filing a class action lawsuit against Google, Twitter and Facebook. “We are demanding an end to the show-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well,” he stated at the time.

On October 1, Trump filed a more specific complaint in the Southern District of Florida claiming that Twitter “coerced by members of the United States Congress” was censoring him. The social media platform, the complaint argues, “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate”. With 88 million followers, Trump argued that his account had become “an important source of news and information about government affairs and was a digital town hall.”

The filing also made a pointed remark to Twitter’s somewhat varied approaches to users. Why permit the Taliban, “a known terrorist organization”, room to tweet about their military victories across Afghanistan yet claim that his own efforts had been accused of “glorifying violence”.

Resort was also made to Florida’s social media legislation, the Stop Social Media Censorship Act, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in May to spite “the Silicon Valley elites” only to be blocked two months later by a bemused judge. One of the plaintiffs, Steve DelBianco of the industry group NetChoice, expressed delight at the absurd proposition that the court ruling “ensured that social media can remain family-friendly”. But equally absurd was the law’s idiosyncratic drafting, which included an exemption for companies operating theme parks in Florida. It is likely to perish at the hands of the Federal Appeals Court.

Leaving aside the twaddle put forth by DelBianco, the difficulties of targeting social media platforms are almost insurmountable. Content moderation remains a pillar of using such fora, one guaranteed by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which gives the digital giants platform rather than publisher status. And the sacred First Amendment is assumed to apply to government actions rather than corporate mischief.

The efforts by Trump to place his legal arguments against Big Tech on the hook of the First Amendment has received little support. One mighty voice in the field of jurisprudence thinking Trump has a case is Alan Dershowitz, who has argued that the case “pits freedom of speech on the one hand against the First Amendment on the other.” Such reasoning can well justify why lawyers deserve a bad name, but Dershowitz sees it as the high-tech behemoths quashing free speech. “They are censoring but they’re claiming the right to do so under the First Amendment”.

Withering scorn has been levelled at that view. “Unlike delusional Dershowitz,” Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu insisted with smug confidence, “I read the First Amendment and it does not apply to private sector companies.” Laurence Tribe, formerly Carl M. Loeb Professor at Harvard Law School, took a dim view of his former colleague. “How low can a former law professor sink? To call a bogus lawsuit on a fake version of the First Amendment an important case, much less ‘the most important’ of the century? Has he no shame?”

Democratic strategist Kaivan Shroff, conforming to the fashion of the times, suggested a retributive remedy: the cancellation of Dershowitz’s status as emeritus professor. Harvard Law School had “a professional and ethical responsibility to its community – past, present and future – to associate with faculty who are ethical and have a high regard for the law.”

For all such righteous splutters, Dershowitz and Trump have a point in pointing out a symptom of the US body politic that has become cripplingly apparent: business and the interests of capitalism have come to control speech, its circulation, its distribution. For decades, they had already come to guide politicians and political parties, exercising influence through campaign donations. Why run for elected office when you can buy it?

In 2010, the US Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission found that limits upon “independent political spending” from corporations and private interest groups violated the First Amendment. Those with deep purses could only deem this the natural order of things: if you have cash, spend it to influence opinion in the name of free speech. Put rather simply, such speech was a shield big capitalism could well employ if it needed to. (Rep. Lieu, take note.)

Gore Vidal used to remark that anyone seeking the keys to the White House could only do so with the approval of the Chase Manhattan Bank. Had he lived to see the Trump cancellation saga, he may well have added those Big Tech titans to the sterile committee of electoral approval.


By Binoy Kampmark at Oriental Review on September 05, 2021. Original here.









The vaccinated are not people but things owned

04.10.21 | De Situ Orbis

The vaccinated are not people but things owned by 666


In the US, the Supreme Court has ruled that vaccinated people worldwide are products, patented goods, according to US law, no longer human.

Through a modified DNA or RNA vaccination, the mRNA vaccination, the person ceases to be human and becomes the OWNER of the holder of the modified GEN vaccination patent, because they have their own genome and are no longer "human" (without natural people), but "trans-human", so a category that does not exist in Human Rights.

The quality of a natural person and all related rights are lost.

This applies worldwide and patents are subject to US law.

Since 2013, all people vaccinated with GM-modified mRNAs are legally trans-human and legally identified as trans-human and do not enjoy any human or other rights of a state, and this applies worldwide, because GEN-POINT technology patents are under US jurisdiction and law, where they were registered.


Source of the decision of the US Supreme Court here.


US Supreme Court decision









NATO Enlargement?

03.10.21 | Duarte Pacheco Pereira

Flags at NATO headquarters

Flags at NATO headquarters


According with General Hastings Lionel “Pug” Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay, NATO first Secretary General, the purpose of the Alliance was

to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down 

but, as the Russians are out today, NATO's purpose is certainly no longer to keep them out.


NATO Membership

NATO Membership



How Much Will It Cost To Enlarge NATO?

By Leonid Savin at Oriental Review on September 23, 2021

On 8 September, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of America’s leading security and foreign policy think tanks, published a study on NATO enlargement.

Its main emphasis was on the requirements of NATO’s armed forces and the costs involved. The very publication of the study is fairly symptomatic. While discussions at the yearly summits focus on the possible admission or deferment of new members, and US and UK representatives are constantly seeking to co-opt other states, which is a part of the rhetorical politics, a rational analysis of the pros and cons suggests a systematic routine, with detailed calculations based on previous experiences.

The authors of the study initially maintain that the project arose as a result of NATO success and a changing European security environment due to “a hostile and militarily strengthened Russia”. They also state that the value of NATO itself or its past enlargement is not in question. “Rather, the purpose of these discussions is to enhance the security of the United States and its NATO allies and to support stability in Europe broadly. Burden sharing of such future commitments would be an important political and military issue.”

Indeed, the size of each country’s contribution has been the subject of heated debate among members of the alliance over the past ten years. Obviously, the authors are raising the issue deliberately so that the decision-makers have enough time to develop the necessary mechanisms and options.

The study focuses on five countries: Georgia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, and Sweden. “Three of these countries – Georgia, Ukraine, and Bosnia Herzegovina – are actively seeking membership. Finland and Sweden are not seeking membership and remain committed to nonalignment.” Yet Bosnia and Herzegovina’s desire is a moot point because of the hardline anti-NATO position of one of its entities, Republika Srpska, and the specific status of the federal entity itself with limited sovereignty. However, the experience of Montenegro and Macedonia has shown that small Baltic countries can be absorbed by NATO fairly quickly if the conditions are right, i.e., their agents of influence have been placed in the country’s key decision-making bodies.

The authors also point to a surprising dilemma regarding European states. “The non-U.S. NATO members produce good capabilities for crisis response, small contingencies, and security cooperation, conducting many such missions since the end of the Cold War. For large-scale operations, the capabilities are severely limited. Compared with Russia, … the spending and forces of non-U.S. NATO members are far greater. However, NATO has difficulty deploying even small forces. NATO, which fielded 40 divisions (about 360 combat battalions) in Northern Europe during the Cold War, strained to stand up four battalion task forces in the Baltic states.”


NATO Enlargement? - 1

US President Joe Biden (L) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) meet during a NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2021. – The 30-nation alliance hopes to reaffirm its unity and discuss increasingly tense relations with China and Russia, as the organization pulls its troops out after 18 years in Afghanistan.


In other words, non-US NATO members are fairly combat ready. The question is who they see as a threat and against whom they are intending to use their armed forces. Clearly, if a whole chapter of the study has been devoted to Russia, then the country is not merely being suggested as a possible aggressor against which a collective defence strategy is needed, it is being presented as one. Therefore, opinions among non-US NATO members regarding Moscow’s ambitious and aggressive intentions need to be maintained in order to shape public opinion accordingly and obtain the necessary support from governments. Meanwhile, it has been shown that it is the armed forces themselves and the economic capabilities of these countries that are of significant interest to NATO. Since they can afford relatively high expenditures, they are a worthwhile acquisition for improving NATO’s overall capabilities.

Yet Sweden, for example, rightly considers NATO to have several weaknesses, such as dependence on America’s general strategy; overlapping responsibilities between NATO commanders, troop contributors and host countries that complicate a possible strengthening and enlargement; the relative weakness of members in the East; a lack of infrastructure in Europe that makes rapid troop movement and deployment problematic; and a lack of essential equipment in some countries.

The authors also note an issue with slow decision-making. It is obvious that enlarging the alliance will only complicate the process. Moreover, there have always been difficulties in choosing a political and military strategy in times of conflict. “In considering a concept for defense, NATO planners have long faced a difficult choice: maintaining a forward defense that holds territory but is potentially fragile or conducting a mobile defense that gives up ground initially and requires a later counteroffensive. Mobile defense has many militarily attractive features and figures prominently in discussions about maneuver warfare. However, the politics are difficult. Nations are loath to cede any territory to an adversary, even temporarily, even though a strategic withdrawal might make military sense. Further, counteroffensives inevitably expand the geographical scope of operations and often the political scope as well. These enlargements raise the stakes of a conflict and could induce the use [sic] nuclear weapons.”

Previous discussions on the issue have revealed a certain consensus within NATO that there should be a three to one advantage or even higher. There must also be a high level of expertise in training troops for mobile operations and a preparedness for civilian casualties and property losses. There is no evidence of this among NATO members, as shown by the exercises in recent years and NATO’s “effectiveness” in Afghanistan.

With regard to possible candidates for NATO membership, their potential and geopolitical importance are outlined as follows.

NATO has been holding annual joint exercises with Georgia since 2016 and maintains a permanent office in the country to “facilitate political/military dialogue in practical cooperation” between Tbilisi and Brussels.

Georgia is militarily inferior to Russian army units in the Caucasus by a ratio of two to one. Even with NATO involvement, there are at least two conditions that must be met for Georgia to be successful in a military operation against Russia. 1) The ability to move significant military forces quickly by air using military transport aircraft. 2) Turkey’s involvement in the conflict, including the deployment of military contingents on Turkish soil and their subsequent movement into Georgia by land and sea.

NATO is also counting on air superiority in such a conflict.

This proposed deterrence would also require serious measures: the deployment of a NATO division, a US division, and hardware and components for heavy equipment; and the permanent presence of US air defence forces.

Infrastructure, troop deployment and rotation, and military exercises will cost $7 billion a year. Half of this will be borne by the US and the other half by NATO’s European members.

Ukraine is more complicated. The report was published before the signing of agreements between Belarus and Russia on 9 September that also involve military integration, hence it does not take into account Belarus’s involvement in a potential conflict on the side of Russia. Otherwise, the estimates would have been different.

But again, the authors fantasise about Russian aggression and cite a simulated scenario in which Russian troops seize the eastern portion of Ukraine, encircling the Ukrainian military who will try to defend Kharkiv and a number of other cities in the east. Although the scenario has NATO air forces punishing Russian troops, they are unable to stop their advance. NATO would require three months to create the necessary conditions for a counterattack, but Russia would retaliate with tactical nuclear weapons.

Strengthening Ukraine’s security would require the permanent deployment of three brigades (one US and two NATO); the procurement and deployment of equipment; the deployment of an air defence brigade; and the presence of US instructors and a division staff (250 personnel), two US air squadrons and one NATO. All this would cost $27 billion.

The Donbas factor with Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population is also taken into account. The suppression of an uprising is expected to be a costly affair. Five years of “peacekeeping” would cost $98 billion, with a further $130 billion for five years of counterinsurgency activities. The experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq were taken into account when working out the estimates (most likely with an element of corruption benefiting US subcontractors).

With Bosnia and Herzegovina, the main problem is the Serb population and the position of Serbia itself. It is expected that an incursion will also have to be withstood, costing $24.6 billion. It is telling that, in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the report talks as if the country is already a member of NATO and troops will have to be deployed there to maintain law and order.

With Sweden, the authors once again let their imaginations run wild. “In a NATO conflict with Russia, for example, during a Russian incursion into the Baltic states, Sweden would be deeply involved. Because Finland acts as a buffer against Russia, land attack is extremely unlikely. Instead, Sweden would have three defensive challenges: protecting itself from Russian air and missile attacks, securing its vast territory against Russian infiltration, and defending Gotland Island and other key infrastructure so that NATO military forces could use them to protect the flow of forces to the Baltic states and elsewhere.” This would require the advance deployment of aircraft and air defences to cover Gotland and a number of positions in Sweden, costing the US $3.2 billion, with NATO needing to add a further $6.4 billion.

It is noted that “[b]eyond the purely military challenges, Sweden faces a political-military challenge in joining NATO: NATO membership does not just guarantee Swedish territory against outside aggression – it also requires that Sweden become involved in other countries’ conflicts, something it has not done since the eighteenth century.” This will deter Stockholm from making such a decision.

Finland actively cooperates with countries in the West, including participation in manoeuvres with NATO and the US. It is assumed that the Finns have no interest in inviting foreign troops onto its soil for fear of provoking Russia. In order to somehow justify a conflict between Russia and Finland, the authors put forward a scenario involving occupation of the Aland Islands, which would force Helsinki to retaliate. But Finland does not have the necessary class of military aircraft nor the air defence system to stand up to Russia. And should NATO want to come to its rescue, it will take a long time owing to geography and distance. Minimum deterrence would cost a little over $1 billion, while a more qualitative strengthening would cost $5.3 billion.

But, as with Sweden, Finland will have to come to terms with its new role.

While the political solution and technical issues regarding new members are still hypothetical, the report clearly shows America’s intention not only to present Russia as a future threat to and enemy of Europe, but also to give the appearance of hopelessness and a lack of any kind of alternative for both NATO members and relatively neutral states alike.


Originally published here. Republished here.









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