Thursday, December 31, 2020

Maintaining Your Sexual Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I have written a posting on this subject back in July and was quite interested to see that yet another government entity is weighing in on how we conduct our sex lives.

  

The Pennsylvania Department of Health posted this missive on its website back in early October 2020:


The Pennsylvania Department of Health goes on to advise Pennsylvanians that they should carefully consider how much risk they are willing to take in their sexual activity as shown on this listing:

  

"1.) You are your safest sex partner.

 

2.) Your next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact, including sex, with someone you live with who has a low risk of having COVID-19 infection helps prevent spreading COVID-19.

 

3.) If you do have sex with others outside of your household:

 

Have as few partners as possible, and pick partners you trust.

 

Talk about COVID-19 risk factors with your partner(s), just as you would discuss safer sex topics including, PrEP, condoms, and dental dams.

 

Ask partners outside your home about COVID-19 status before you meet and engage in sex. Do they have symptoms (Coronavirus Symptoms & Testing), or have they had symptoms in the last 14 days? (Most people with COVID-19 have symptoms, but some people do not.)"

 

Despite your parent's/religious leader's advice that masturbation would surely lead to blindness and/or hairy palms, apparently, as long as the COVID-19 virus is circulating, that is the only real safe way to engage in sexual activity.  Let's just say that for the time being, "touching yourself down there" is a coin toss between blindness and a coronavirus.  In addition, I'm pretty sure that asking about the possibility that their sexual partner is COVID-19 positive is pretty much going to be the last thing on most people's mind when they are about to have sex but then maybe that's just me.

 

Now, of course, the nanny state has other concerns about sex during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

"Large gatherings are not safe during COVID19, but if you attend a large gathering where you might end up having sex, below are tips to reduce your risk of spreading or getting COVID-19 through sex:

 

1.) Limit the number of partners.

 

2.) Try to identify a consistent sex partner.

 

3.) Wear a face covering, avoid kissing, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

 

4.) Wash your hands with soap and water often, and especially before and after sex.  If soap and water are not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

 

5.) If you usually meet your sex partners online, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting, subscription-based fan platforms, or chat rooms may be options for you."

 

Once again, it might just be me but I'm guessing that most people attending an orgy are not going to be terribly concerned about whether or not they are passing along the SARS-CoV-2 virus or adopting any of the other suggestions made by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

 

Let's close with this thought.  It would appear that public health officials have quite a fixation with our sexual behaviour during the pandemic.  From one government suggesting that "glory holes" are the best way to have COVID-19-free sex to the Pennsylvania government suggesting appropriate and COVID-safe behaviours during an orgy, it seems like government health departments have quite an interesting vision on their constituents' sex lives and how we generally conduct ourselves when "making the beast with two backs".


Happy 2021 everyone!


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Future of Working

The World Economic Forum, our self-appointed global superiors, have outlined what work will look like over the next half decade.  Not surprisingly, the WEF's braintrust is using the COVID-19 pandemic as the raison d'être for prompting the changes in how the useless eaters will work for a living.  Let's look at some of the highlights of this article by Desmond Dickerson, Manager of the WEF's Center for the Future of Work: 


Let's start by looking at the author's qualifications:




You will notice that Mr. Dickerson is also affiliated with Cognizant as the Manager of its Center for the Future of Work.  Here is more information on that aspect of Mr. Dickerson:



Dickerson notes that there will be four changes that will define the way that we work five years from now:

  

1.) Remotopia or working from home (WFH):  Dickerson observes that, at the beginning of 2020, less than 5 percent of workers did their jobs remotely.  This grew to more than half of "knowledge workers" (a person whose job consists of handling or using information).  He goes on to state that companies like Facebook, Google, PayPal and others have announced permanent remote working policies.  He claims that studies show that remote employees work longer hours and are more productive than their "in-office" counterparts.  Here is a graphic showing the benefits of remote working that appears in his article:

 


All of that said, as those of us who actually worked for a living know, the vast majority of jobs cannot be done from home.  While he notes that Google, PayPal and Facebook have announced a permanent WFH model, these companies make NOTHING (other than profits for their shareholders and wealth for their founders).  Most jobs involve the use of equipment that is not found in an average household (i.e. the heavy equipment used in the manufacturing, extraction and construction sectors) and, in some cases, face-to-face collaboration is the only way to "get the job done".  In my working career, it was necessary to have input from four different disciplines prior to making a final decision; I can see no way that this interdisciplinary coordination could have taken  place in a virtual meeting.  As well, the training of new staff, both newly graduated and new to the company) cannot take place while working from home; over the long-term, this will result in poorly trained employees and feelings of isolation among those who are new to a company.  So much for the idea of team work.

  

2.) Blue Collar, White Collar, Green Collar: Of course, given the WEF's fixation with climate change, Dickerson notes that new green business opportunities will arise, particularly as the Biden Administration rejoins the Paris Agreement. This will result in a rise in the number of workers required for the new green businesses.  Here is a quote:

 

"As new regulations and new technologies give way to new platforms and ways of doing business, the workers behind it must evolve. The rise of “green collar” jobs represents great opportunity for job creation and will be a salvation to many workers whose jobs will be eliminated by new policies around industrial carbon cuts or automation.

 

Over the past decade, digital transformation has turned every company into a tech company. The next decade is likely to see similar transformation in sustainability policies and strategies.

 

As every business becomes a green business, organizations will need to train green collar workers to combine tech skills with domain-specific training in environmentally-friendly business processes. These green collar jobs will range from solar installation technicians to ESG Directors that manage an organization’s overall portfolio of climate change reduction efforts."

 

3.) Evolution of the Gig Economy: Here is another quote from Dickerson's article:

 

"The next COO at your company will work remotely, stay with the company for six months, and never even get a company email account. But they will be the best hire you’ve ever made."

 

In a recent Forbes article, we find this quote from Ben Huffman, CEO of Contra:

 

"There is a fundamental shift to project-based employment, tricky at first, but long-term will lead to a renaissance in how we work and enable all of use to achieve greater work-life balance.  COVID-19 is an accelerant to a trend that has been long overdue."

 

What wasn't said by Mr. Huffman was that companies benefit from project-based employment because companies don't have to pay for benefits and pensions and can end workers' contracts whenever they feel like it without the added cost of severance pay.  "Better work-life balance" will be achieved but only because workers have absolutely no job security and could easily find themselves suffering from long periods of unemployment.

 

Now, let's look at a quote from Dickerson's article regarding the "gig economy":

 

"In years past, freelancing was viewed as a last resort for individuals that struck out in traditional roles or for those that were otherwise undesirable employees. Now, the most talented individuals are betting on themselves.

 

Freelancing offers agility to companies that must adapt to unexpected challenges and provides freedom to workers who want flexible and remote work arrangements. Embracing this shift positions all parties to succeed in the future of work, no matter where or when that happens.

 

As the coronavirus pandemic forces a re-think of entrenched work culture norms, the opportunity arises for disruption of professional services via the gig economy. But the tools to move towards a less exploitative and more just platform economy will be essential – with strategies that involve transparency, accountability, worker power and democratic ownership."

 

"Worker power" and "democratic ownership"?  Not going to happen, particularly with temporary employees.

 

4.) Automation and AI augment the workforce: Dickerson states that much of the conversation around the WEF's Fourth Industrial Revolution pivots around the "importance of so-called knowledge workers".  He claims that some manual labour will be eliminated by intelligent machines and that other manual jobs will be augmented by intelligent machines.  Here is a quote:

 

"...previously labour-intensive roles will see more dangerous tasks offloaded to machines. This gives rise to roles like “Man-Machine Teaming Managers” that will analyse business functions to assess the proper mix of human and robotic workflows. This is one of many other roles that will emerge at the intersection of human creativity and machine efficiency."

 

Here are Dickerson's conclusions:

 

"The COVID-19 pandemic represents an inflection point that will significantly re-shape the future of work over the next five years – and likely beyond. Understanding the second and third order effects of the pandemic are mind-bending, but key to successfully navigating the future of work.

 

While it is impossible to predict exactly how each of the trends will play out, leaders should be evaluating the range of possible outcomes and assessing their readiness should any of those scenarios play out.

 

Change preparedness will determine success for most organizations – separating the losers from the survivors and shining a light on the outright winners. It also offers the opportunity for organizations to shape the future they want rather than simply manage the future that comes."

 

Given that Mr. Dickerson is writing for the World Economic Forum, it isn't terribly surprising that he emphasizes the importance of technology (automation and artificial intelligence) in the "new Post-COVID-19 workplace" and that he promotes the idea of working from home to "save the planet".  That said, from his personal working experiences, we can see that he has led a rather sheltered work life, keeping his hands "clean" and free from any tarnishing that a manual labour job would include, making it difficult for him to see the reality facing hundreds of millions of workers around the world who are trying to cope with their own economic nightmares.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Excessive Corporate Profiteering from the COVID-19 Pandemic - A Potential Solution

While it got almost no traction in what passes for the media today, a recent House Resolution introduced by Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) looks to punish large corporations (i.e Amazon, Walmart, Zoom etcetera) that gleaned excessive profits from sales during the pandemic.  

  

Here is the text from H.Res. 1267 "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress must pass a pandemic excess profits tax on large corporations who have achieved windfall profits due to the COVID-19 public health crisis":

 


Here is a screen capture from Ms. Gabbard's website outlining her reasons for introducing the excess profits tax:

 


Here is the key paragraph:

 

"Big tech corporations and big box retailers are among those who have made excessive profits during the COVID-19 pandemic, while mom and pop shops are being forced to close their doors due to government-mandated restrictions. Because of this, these large corporations will be better positioned with a competitive advantage over small businesses in a post-pandemic economy. Congress must reinstate the WWII-era excess profit tax used at that time to prevent war-time profiteering, and dedicate the funds collected to helping small businesses recover. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and have borne the brunt of this crisis. We need to support our small businesses and make sure that they are able to thrive and compete."

  

Recent research by Robin Greenwood et al at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that small firms were particularly at risk thanks to the COVID-19-related shutdowns.  Here is a quote (my bolds):

 

Small firms are especially vulnerable to the crisis, not not because the pandemic has especially affected industries dominated by small firms, but instead because small firms􏰃 balance sheets are more vulnerable to losses in revenues.

 

Figure 6 confirms that large firms in need of restructuring have multiple options available, while small firms have no other option but to liquidate. Above $500m of liabilities, close to 80% of the bankruptcy filings end up as a Chapter 11-backed reorganization. The contrast with small businesses is striking: Below $1m of liabilities, 90% of the filings are straight-out liquidations, while less than 5% of bankruptcies end- up as re-emergence from a Chapter 11 filing. For a small firm, failure typically means liquidation....

 

Frictions to restructuring small firms are substantially larger. Even small disruptions to cash flow can trigger restructuring as many of these firms maintain low cash buffers and lack access to lines of credit (Bartik et al 2020). Based on the June 27 Census Pulse Survey, including financial assistance and loans, only 30% of small businesses reported having enough cash to maintain operations for another three months....

 

Chapter 11 bankruptcy imposes costs that can be as high as 30% of a small businesses, making it close to prohibitive for many small businesses even if they wish to continue. Consistent with this, small firms are more likely to simply shut down."

 

Here is a graphic from the paper showing the percentage of small businesses in various sectors of the American economy that have experienced a severe negative impact thanks to the COVID-19 response:

 

Here is a graphic from the paper showing the year-over-year change in revenues across the same industries:

 

 

In sharp contrast, let's look at one of the leading contenders for excessive profiteering, Amazon. Here are a selection of graphics showing key metrics from the company's Q3 report:




As you can see, on a year-over-year basis, Amazon's net sales are up 37 percent and net income is up 197 percent despite the fact that the economy was in a recession and that many consumers saw their household incomes slashed.

 

While it is unlikely that Representative Gabbard's proposal will ever see the light of day as it winds its way through Congress, it is quite clear that Amazon is one of the bill's prime targets.  Given that Amazon appears to have been guilty of price-gouging during the pandemic as you can see here, unless we all want to shop at the world's largest online emporium and make Jeff Bezos even wealthier, something will have to be done to ensure that Main Street American businesses have an opportunity to sell their goods on a level playing field.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Polyethylene Glycol - The Prize in Every Vial of COVID-19 Vaccine

While it may not appear terribly topical, research from 2013 - 2014 by Johans Verhoef and Thomas Anchordoquy entitled "Questioning the Use of PEGylation for Drug Delivery" as shown here:

 

...may cause some concern for those being vaccinated against COVID-19 by either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine since polyethylene glycol has never before been approved for a vaccine.

 

Here is the abstract from the article:

 

"Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is widely utilized in drug delivery and nanotechnology due to its reported “stealth” properties and biocompatibility. It is generally thought that PEGylation allows particulate delivery systems and biomaterials to evade the immune system and thereby prolong circulation lifetimes. However, numerous studies over the past decade have demonstrated that PEGylation causes significant reductions in drug delivery, including enhanced serum protein binding, reduced uptake by target cells, and the elicitation of an immune response that facilitates clearance in vivo. This report reviews some of the extensive literature documenting the detrimental effects of PEGylation, and thereby questions the wisdom behind employing this strategy in drug development."

 

As background, polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a water-soluble, hydrophilic molecule petroleum-derived compound made from ethylene glycol (which you may know best as the main ingredient in antifreeze).  It is found in a significant number of products including skin creams, toothpastes, personal lubricants, food additives, cosmeticslaxatives and, when attached to various protein medications, will allow for slower clearing of the protein from the blood.  It also has a significant number of industrial uses. 

 

There is a downside to PEG that are of significant concern.  Recent research by Priya Sellaturay et al in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice as well as the National Institutes of Health website as shown here:

 

...demonstrates that certain individuals can have severe allergic reactions to PEG including near-fatal anaphylaxis.

 

This is not the only study to note this issue.  A 2019 study by Vicente Jover Cerda et al notes that several anaphylactic reactions can occur in people who are hypersensitive to pharmacological and cosmetic products that contain PEG as shown here:


Here is a link to another study on PEG as a cause of anaphylaxis from 2016 which found that 72 percent of contemporary human blood samples contained anti-PEG antibodies, up from 56 percent of samples from the 1970s to 1990s with the potential for hypersensitive or anaphylactic reactions , likely a result of increased exposure to polyethylene glycol in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals:

 

...and an article from December 2019 on the Physician's Weekly website (original link here) from research done by Cosby Stone et al as shown here:

 

From the research on PEG, some researchers suggest that allergies to certain pharmaceuticals may not be related to the active ingredients in the drugs, rather the reaction could be due to the presence of polyethylene glycol, a commonly used ingredient in pharmaceuticals.

  

Now, with this information in mind, let's look at the contents of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from information released by the United States Food and Drug Administration as part of its Emergency Use Approval process: 

 

1.) Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

 

2.) Moderna vaccine

 

As you can see, Just like Cracker Jacks, there's a prize in every package (vial)!  In these two vaccines, the mRNA is wrapped in lipid nanoparticles that help carry the mRNA to human cells.  These lipid nanoparticles are "PEGylated" or chemically attached to polyethylene glycol molecules that coat the exterior of the particles, allowing for a longer life span to improve absorption.

 

Given the growing number of anaphylactic responses to COVID-19 vaccines given the relatively low penetration rate of the vaccines into the general population and the possibility that one of the inactive ingredients in the vaccines may be responsible, it will be interesting to see how many more severe allergic reactions occur as hundreds of millions of people around the world receive their "jab", particularly as the second dose of vaccine is administered.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Herd Immunity and How the World Health Organization is Altering the COVID-19 Narrative

With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines taking place around the world in an effort to stem the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and provide vaccine-induced immunity, as the group taking the lead role in the response to the pandemic, the World Health Organization's responsible for driving the narrative.

 

That said and given that it is a very important concept during the COVID-19 pandemic, let's look at how the World Health Organization described "herd immunity" on June 9, 2020 as shown on this screen capture sourced from the Wayback Machine:

 


Here is the key phrase from the June 9, 2020 definition:

  

"Herd immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection."

 

Now, let's look at the World Health Organization's current definition of herd immunity from a screenshot of the organization's website on October 15, 2020:

 

 

According to the new definition of herd immunity, it can only exist "when a high percentage of the population is vaccinated" and cannot be achieved by "exposing us to it (a virus)".  Basically, the World Health Organization is telling us that science has changed since June 2020 and that two hundred thousand years of homo sapiens evolution and its impact on the human immune system have been for naught.  According to the organization, the only way to achieve herd immunity is through the administration of a vaccine since only vaccines can train our immune systems, not exposure to a virus.

  

Given that the World Health Organization receives hundreds of millions of dollars annually from Bill Gates, the world's foremost proponent of vaccines and the world's foremost untrained expert on vaccinology and epidemiology as shown here:

 


...one might almost think that there is an agenda at play during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the World Health Organization has been bought and paid for.  And let's not forget that there has never been a vaccine that caused any harm to the human race (sarcasm intended).


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Biderman Chart of Coercion: A Roadmap for Government Coercion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Back in 1956, Dr. Alfred D. Biderman created a report that was delivered on November 13, 1956 to a combined meeting of the Section on Neurology and Psychiatry with the New York Neurological Society.  The presentation was part of a panel discussion on the Communist Methods of Interrogation and Indoctrination and covers the brainwashing techniques use by the North Koreans and Chinese on captured American pilots.


Here is the title page of what has become known as the Biderman Report which, coincidentally appears on the National Institutes for Health website:

 


Here is a chart (known as the Biderman Chart of Coercion) from the report showing the coercive methods used by the Communists for "eliciting individual compliance":

 

I'm wondering if any of my readers would happen to think that some of these techniques sound familiar?

 

Let's look at each of the techniques in turn and summarize the methods being used by governments around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

1.) Isolation - social distancing, physical distancing, quarantines at home and in other facilities, semi-isolation from elderly family members, lack of physical contact with loved ones, lack of ability to attend funerals and weddings.

 

2.) Monopolization of Perception - general restriction of all movement, prevent social gatherings including church, meetings, sporting events, concerts, complete control of the mainstream media and its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

3.) Induced Debilitation/Exhaustion - stay-at-home orders, exercising and socializing is banned, exposed to 24 hour a day, 7 day a week negative media coverage.

  

4.) Threats - threats of fines and or imprisonment for breached emergency order laws, threaten to close businesses, threaten shuttering of all travel, threaten mandatory vaccines, heavy-handed use of police to enforce laws created under Emergency Orders.

 

5.) Occasional Indulgences - some intermittent reopening of stores and restaurants under strict rules including social distancing/capacities, increase the number of people that are allowed to meet in homes, churches, long-term care centres, allow small weddings and funerals.

  

6.) Demonstrating "Omnipotence" and "Omniscience" - force dependency on government handouts because of massive unemployment levels related to shuttering of the economy, develop surveillance techniques to ensure that social distancing and quarantining rules are being adhered to, float trial balloons about the need for a government-mandated Universal Basic Income, use of social media to ensure that only the pro-vaccine narrative receives coverage while all other theories are considered "fake news".

  

7.) Degradation - humiliate people who refuse to wear masks, social distance or accept vaccination, force people to walk in a certain direction in public places and stand in certain places when eating in line, force people to wait in line to access goods and services.

 

8.) Enforcing Trivial Demands - family members must not be in close contact with each other, suggestions like wearing a mask or using glory holes while having sex, force people to wear masks while in their own home while at the same time government officials don't obey their own proclamations.

 

It's very clear that governments, intentionally or unintentionally, are following every aspect of the Biderman Chart of Coercion during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to control our every behaviour and force us to become willing automatons who cannot think for ourselves while those who are "in charge" cherry pick the rules that they wish to follow because, after all, they are both omnipotent and omniscient.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Adverse Reactions to Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine

Now that governments around the world are rolling out the "only solution" to the most deadly pathogen ever  to plague the human race (other than politicians), recent guidelines by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are most pertinent.

 

On Saturday December 19th, 2020, Thomas Clark MD, MPH, the Deputy Director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases made the following presentation to the ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group:


During that presentation, he noted the following reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine currently being administered in the United Kingdom:

 

 

He also noted the following occurrences in the United States after the administration of 112,807 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine (to December 19, 2020):

 

 

It was recommended that persons with anaphylactic responses to the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should not receive additional doses of the vaccine, a particularly important recommendation given by Pfizer that this vaccine requires a second vaccination after three weeks to be effective as shown here:

 

While the number of anaphylactic reactions is not terribly alarming (unless you happen to be one of the victims, here are the full statistics showing the report of adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine after 112,807 doses were administered:

 

In total, up to December 18, 2020, 3,150 registrants or 2.8 percent of all persons vaccinated had what can only be described as a significant reaction to the vaccine or what the CDC terms a "health impact event" which it defines as:

 

1.) inability to perform normal daily activities

 

2.) unable to work

  

3.) required care from a doctor or other health care professional

  

As well, it is important to note that a total of 514 pregnant women had been vaccinated.  This is rather surprising given that the vaccine has not been tested on pregnant women and that the FDA clearly stated in its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that the company must undertake a large scale study of adverse events of special interest along with deaths and hospitalizations for pregnant women as shown here:

 


Additionally, here is what the United Kingdom's National Health Service has to say about administering the Pfizer vaccine to women of child-bearing age, pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding:



Given that Pfizer's own research showed that the number of adverse reactions to the vaccine increases after the second vaccination, it will be interesting to see how many "health impact events" occur over the coming months once more of the world is vaccinated for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


The Truth About Washington's Involvement in Syria

A recent interview held with James Jeffrey, the outgoing United States Social Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the international military intervention against ISIL provides us with a "glimpse behind the curtain" of American policy towards Syria.  While many would like to think that James Jeffrey is a product of the Trump Administration, in fact, that could not be further from the truth as shown here:



...and here:

 


In the recent past, in an interview with Defense One, Jeffrey has admitted that Washington hide the actual number of United States troops in Syria:

 


Here is the quote (my bolds throughout):

 

"But even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. 

 

We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019."

 

Now, let's look at a recent interview with Jeffrey that appeared in Al-Monitor, an award-winning news website that provides reporting from the Middle East

 

Here is what he has to say about how he (in conjunction with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) convinced the Trump Administration about the wisdom of dealing militarily with Syria and how Israel was involved in punishing its neighbour:

 

"Secretary Pompeo and I convinced people in the administration of this: If you don’t deal with the underlying problem of Iran in Syria, you’re not going to deal in an enduring way with IS. We saw this all as one thing.

 

"We then also had the Israeli air campaign. The US only began supporting that when I came on board. I went out there and we saw Prime Minister Netanyahu and others, and they thought that they were not being supported enough by the US military, and not by intelligence. And there was a big battle within the US government, and we won the battle…

 

Basically, first and foremost is denial of the [Assad regime] getting military victory. But because Turkey was so important and we couldn’t do this strategy without Turkey, that brought up the problem of the Turkish gripes in northeast Syria. So my job was to coordinate all of that.


So you throw all those together — the anti-chemical weapons mission, our military presence, the Turkish military presence, and the Israeli dominance in the air — and you have a pretty effective military pillar of your military, diplomatic and isolation three pillars.

 

So that was how we put together an integrated Syria policy that nestled under the overall Iran policy. The result has been relative success because we — with a lot of help from the Turks in particular — have managed to stabilize the situation."

 

Here is an up-to-date map showing who controls the ground in Syria:



This would suggest that the situation is far from "a relative success".


Here's what Jeffrey has to say about the involvement of Iran in Syria when asked whether he felt that Iran was closer to withdrawing from Syria:

 

"Well the Iranians have withdrawn a lot of their people. One reason is they’re financially under a great deal of pressure, and Syria is very expensive for them. More and more the Iranians are divesting that back to the Syrians. And they haven’t been able to bail the Syrians out, other than some — under adventuresome conditions — shipments of oil supplies, which sometimes make it, sometimes don’t. I’ll just leave it at that…

 

The Iranian ability to truly establish a southern Lebanon-style threat to Israel by long-range systems has also been blocked by the Israeli strikes, which are enabled, to some degree, by US diplomatic and other support, which I won’t go into in more detail, but it is significant.


We have basically blocked Iran’s longer-term goals and put its present presence under pressure. Is that enough pressure to get Iran to leave? I don’t know. Whether we can actually roll them back, I don’t know. But I do know that it is absolutely an essential part of any larger agreement. Whatever level of pain we are inflicting on the Iranians, the Russians, and the Assad regime is not going to go away until Iran leaves."

 

Interestingly, enough, Jeffrey also brings up the topic of U.S. troops in Syria and why they were hiding this information from the President and the American public:

 

"We at the State Department never provided any troop numbers to the president. That’s not our job. We didn’t try to deceive him. He kept on publicly saying numbers that were way below what the actual numbers were, so in talking to the media and talking to Congress, we had to be very careful and dodge around. Furthermore, the numbers were funny. Do you count the allies that didn’t want to be identified in there? Do you count the al-Tanf garrison? Do you count the Bradley unit that was going in and out?

 

We were gun shy because the president had three times given the order to withdraw. It was a constant pressuring and threatening to pull the troops out of Syria. We felt very vulnerable and may have been a little bit punch drunk on fear because it made so much sense to us. I understand his concerns about Afghanistan. But the Syria mission is the gift that keeps on giving. We and the SDF are still the dominant force in [northeast] Syria."

 

Let's close with this final quote from James Jeffrey:

 

"And of course, we’ve ratcheted up the isolation and sanctions pressure on Assad, we’ve held the line on no reconstruction assistance, and the country’s desperate for it. You see what’s happened to the Syrian pound, you see what’s happened to the entire economy. So, it’s been a very effective strategy."

 

Basically, to hell with Syrians.  After all, it's their fault that Bashar al-Assad is their leader.

 

Apparently, in James Jeffrey's world, its okay to punish a nation and its beleaguered civilian population for the better part of a decade and hide information from the Commander-in-Chief and the American public just because Washington wanted to see an end to Bashar al-Assad who is still  the democratically elected President of Syria.  If Washington is interested in ridding the world of a political leader who is deemed to breach human rights, it need look no further than Saudi Arabia.