Ukraine Lessons for PH: Biolabs, Financial Warfare, Nuclear Leaks, Peace Prospects?
THE conventional concept of warfare is the use of military weapons — tanks, artillery, airstrikes, infantry, ships. Aside from the possibility of nuclear weapons, however, there are methods of warfare being used extensively today that are even more damaging to peoples and economies, if not as immediately fatal. What are some new weaponization, how damaging are they, how are they addressed?
Currency reserves confiscation. The US-led G7 western nations have frozen $650 billion of Russian reserves, essentially canceling all the funds saved up by the Russian peoples that are still in international reserves. Russia has only $40 billion worth of euro and US dollar debt. This cripples a country’s ability to purchase supplies or sell for incomes to finance a conflict, or even purchase goods for basic survival or health. The US has also applied this to Iraq, Venezuela and Afghanistan, among others, causing starvation and pandemic disasters, even though the US was the aggressor.
Blocking the SWIFT clearing system. Potentially devastating since the system is controlled by just the US alone, where they can monitor all transactions as well as disable any transactions through the US dollar, after the US unilaterally canceled the gold convertibility agreed with the world. The US is applying it to Iran, supposedly due to continued nuclear arms development, which the European Union and even former state and defense secretaries have testified as untrue, also creating great hardship to the peoples.
Trade embargoes and sanctions. Few people understand that a major reason that a nation’s defense needs to be extended beyond its border is that it can be strangled and destroyed through embargoes, so access to ports, sea and land corridors are essential to the defense of sovereignty. This is why the Black Sea and the South China Sea are areas of conflict, especially with the US proven to very quickly block trade access, every few years as they did to Iran, Syria and others.
Access to technologies can be blocked and keep nations backward and dependent on the US and allies. Consider the European Union, including the UK and Germany, which wished to purchase the more technically advanced and price-wise superior Huawei equipment; the US forced the EU and others to cancel purchases, while Australia and India did so voluntarily. Are cited security reasons valid? The US has been caught red handed several times spying on EU leaders, entire populations as revealed by Edward Snowden. China has not been proven to do so outside of China; not to say it’s not possible, but Huawei even offered allowing total testing of its technology, licensing it to US-run independent companies, but the US not only refused, but “kidnapped” the daughter of the Huawei chairman through Canada for the US on charges of dealing secretly and illegally with Iran, and Canadian and US courts disallowed the clear evidence proving otherwise obtained in emails of HSBC, which were never denied as genuine.
Selectivity and hypocrisy through media hegemony. These are super weapons, allowing winning support around the world and painting others as aggressors and oneself as hero, through fake news and lies, or facts without context. Note that the US and the UK illegal invasions of Iraq, Libya, etc. — all opposed by the United Nations, with far more people killed, or Mideast attacks on Yemen and Palestinians supported by US and UK arms — were never subject to sanctions, financial or even court cases of any significance. Even ICC officials were subject to punishment by the US. The US controls the top of the world’s largest media dissemination entities, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which can selectively ban without any understandable explanations or consistency. YouTube has just banned RT and Sputnik, which critics label as “state-sponsored-media” that provide far more evidence and real sources in their reports than the Western media reports based on “allegations” and “anonymous sources.”
Alternative and partial solutions will become major considerations for countries — increase self-reliance in supplies and markets, hold reserves in other currencies and assets like gold, counter confiscation of assets.
Biological warfare. The Ukraine invasion has exposed the existence of some 30 biolabs in Ukraine, financed by the US. Originally the US totally denied their existence. Recently exposed by Russia and asked by the US Senate if bioweapons were being researched there, Victoria Nuland evaded answering and simply said that the US was very concerned that biological material and deadly pathogens should be prevented from falling into the hands of the Russians, and immediately asserted that any bio attack would be by the Russians.
All the western news outlets accepted later, without verification, and disseminated worldwide a US government explanation stating: “Fact Check: DoD Has worked with Ukraine to eliminate bioweapons left behind by the Soviet Union since 2005…” For the last 17 years? Really?! Why are there 30 labs in Ukraine?
The US and media continue to deny this and accuse Russia of disinformation, despite Nuland’s admission and Robert Polk of the Defense Department Threat Reduction Agency admitting the US has continued research into deadly pathogens. It is illegal to be developing, transferring and stockpiling dangerous biomaterial worldwide, per the Biological Weapons Convention. The US has been financing and developing pathogens and bioweapons over 300 biolabs worldwide and refuses international monitoring of them.
Everyone will need to keep developing their biological crisis management capabilities going forward even as the Covid-19 virus seems to subside.
Prospects for peace are improving and decreasing simultaneously. Because there are parties profiting and desiring war. Continuing discussions have opened up humanitarian corridors, initially blocked by ultra nationalist Ukrainians, but now used. The West plays up the difficulties of the people, and while true, it is clear in videos the people are stressed but well dressed and relatively relaxed, unlike in areas of US invasions.
Every time Zelenskyy says that Ukraine is now willing to consider not joining NATO, and to discuss (not yet agree to) the political structures in East Ukraine, the US and the UK propose to send a new and more powerful batch of weapons — first for the MiGs out of Poland, then the added planes, missiles and anti-tank arms. Every time a new agreement seems within reach, the US adds sanctions, forcing the Russians to do some countermeasures that are demonized.
Events are sensationalized to provoke. Contrary to what Western media reported: Snake Island Ukrainians were all sent home, they did not die fighting; the nuclear plant fire was not due to Russian bombing but a firefight; International Atomic Energy Agency attested radioactivity levels never increased… Ukrainians and Russians worked together to ensure early repair and reactivation to service the populations.
We Filipinos are particularly susceptible to the above fake news, known for not having a tradition of verifying through research but simply accepting the view of friends, opinion (not knowledge) leaders, and media that blindly quote the Western news sources like Reuters, AFP, CNN, etc.
The greatest danger to recognize — there are people who really profit from and for geopolitical reasons want expanded wars around the world to prevent their loss of centrality. Who are they? Find out by following the money. Follow our research… more next week.
- Is Rappler inciting another Ukraine in the Philippines?
- History, betrayals behind Ukraine invasion
- We should avoid becoming the Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen of Asia.
Adolfo Paglinawan served as press attaché of the Philippine Embassy in Washington and to the United Nations in New York. He is the author of “A Problem for Every Solution,” editor of sovereignph.com and resource expert in several news programs. He is a director of the Phil-BRICS Institute for Strategic Studies.
Also published in Manila Times. We welcome logical feedback and possibly working together with compatible frameworks. (firstname.lastname@example.org)