Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, France and UAE conduct joint military exercises amid rising Turkish threat



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

In a significant move, the United Arab Emirates “is participating for the first time, along with new arrival France, in the joint Greek-Egyptian-Cypriot Medusa-10 training exercises being held Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 off the coast of Alexandria.”

The presence of this alliance in the Mediterranean sends a strong message to Turkey, although “their true value lies in the political cooperation taking place in the region as the countries seek to confront Ankara while being wary of provoking Turkey too much.”

However benign the expressed intentions are, the mere specter of Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates coordinating efforts is a provocation to Erdogan, who has been himself a provocation to these countries.

  • Turkey has slammed the UAE for “hypocritical behavior” over normalizing relations with Israel.
  • In early August, Egypt and Greece signed an agreement “designating an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean.” Soon after, Erdogan declared that deal null and void. But then in October, Egypt ratified a maritime deal with Greece, setting its Mediterranean Sea boundary with Greece.
  • Erdogan has also verbally attacked France, calling the French leader Macron “mentally ill” over Macron’s comments about Islam and efforts to protect France’s freedom of expression following the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty for insulting Muhammad.
  • In October, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned Greece and Cyprus “that a wave of Turkish-backed jihadists will be a problem for Greece in the future.”
  • Turkey’s ongoing occupation of northern Cyprus and its violations of economic zones of Cyprus, not to mention its repeated violations of Greek airspace, have demonstrated the supremacist imperative Erdogan is pursuing

A collaborative effort by the EU, UN and NATO that saw a Turkish vessel commandeered by German inspectors, in efforts to control the Turkish army’s flow into Libya, has already caused outrage in Turkey. This, in addition to the Mediterranean military exercises, demonstrates a new resolve to push back against Turkish aggressiveness.

“Exercise in Eastern Mediterranean,” by Sean Matthews, Al-Monitor, December 2, 2020:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is participating for the first time, along with new arrival France, in the joint Greek-Egyptian-Cypriot Medusa-10 training exercises being held Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 off the coast of Alexandria.

The Emirati presence in the military exercises comes less than two weeks after signing a strategic partnership agreement with Greece Nov. 18, which was described to Al-Monitor as “a major achievement from Athens’ point of view” by Kostas Ifantis, professor of international relations at Panteion University in Athens.

“It is the first time in the post-WWII era that Athens concludes a bilateral agreement of this magnitude. What brought the two together in such an urgent way is Turkey and the overreaching revisionism of Ankara. It is an arrangement aiming at containing Turkey and making the deterrent strategies of both Greece and the UAE more credible,” Ifantis added.

The UAE, which has been locked in a rivalry with Turkey since 2013 over what it views as Ankara’s destabilizing support for the Muslim Brotherhood, has sided with Greece in recent years as the Hellenic country confronts Turkey over a series of maritime disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We share with Greece the same view toward Turkey regarding its policies in the Mediterranean,” Ebtesam al-Ketbi, president of the Emirates Policy Center in Abu Dhabi, told Al-Monitor. “We are trying to cooperate to face the political Islam which Turkey is using as a cover for its expansion and regional policies.”

Until now, one of the more visible examples of that support was in August when Greek and Turkish warships collided in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf nation dispatched F-16 fighter jets to the island of Crete.

The recent inclusion of UAE forces in the Medusa-10 training exercises, alongside its partners who share an interest in checking Turkey’s ambitions, appears to be an attempt to build on the momentum of the Greek-Emirati agreement and send a message of unity before the December European Union (EU) summit when Turkish sanctions are to be discussed.

The Greek-Emirati deal solidifies a bilateral framework for more defense cooperation between the two countries situated on near opposite geographical boundaries of the Middle East.

“The new agreement institutionalizes the stationing of military forces of one country to the territory of the other, which is very important for defense-oriented purposes,” Antonia Dimou, director of the Middle East and Persian Gulf Unit at the Athens-based Institute for Security and Defense Analyses, told Al-Monitor.

“Let’s not forget that Turkey has a presence at the doorstep of the UAE via its base in Qatar; now, through the agreement with Greece, the UAE expands a presence at the doorstep of Turkey,” Dimou said….


POLICE STATE NJ GovERNOR MURPHY Tells REPUBLICAN Matt Gaetz He’s ‘Not Welcome’ in State Anymore




republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:

On Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, issued a sharp rebuke to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) after photos and video of Gaetz attending a New York Young Republicans gala held in Jersey City appeared on social media. The event was in apparent violation of the state’s COVID-19 social-distancing and masking guidelines.

“I can’t believe this,” Murphy said during his daily COVID-19 press conference on Friday. “On social media this morning, from the New York Young Republican Club that allegedly snuck into Jersey City last night to hold a gala fundraiser after they couldn’t find a venue in their own city due to the pandemic.”

Imagine that.

The governor continued, “So from the videos on social media and certainly this picture there is no obvious attempt to enforce social distancing or face masks, even though wearing masks indoors in New Jersey is mandatory at organized gatherings when individuals are not eating or drinking.”

According to Murphy, “It is also beyond the pale that a member of Congress” would attend this event, and referred to Gaetz as “Matt Putz.”

Gaetz, Murphy says, is a “fool” for attending the event and said all those who attended the gala “should be ashamed of themselves.”

Then the governor made a statement directly to Rep. Gaetz: “I hope you’re watching, Matt. You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly, I don’t ever want you back in this state.”

Gaetz responded to the governor’s criticism on Twitter. “You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey,” he tweeted.

Murphy’s criticism of the event stands in contrast to his own violation of his social-distancing guidelines back in June, when he—you guessed it—participated in a Black Lives Matter protest.

Murphy is one of many elected Democrats who violate their own COVID restrictions, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, who dined indoors and without a mask with a bunch of lobbyists the same week he told California residents to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot participated in a Biden victory celebration in violation of her own COVID restrictions. Nancy Pelosi infamously got her hair done at a San Francisco hair salon that wasn’t even supposed to be open—and didn’t wear a mask.

The list goes on and on.

The president of the New York Young Republican Club insists that all local laws and regulations were followed.

However, the venue where the event was held has since been shut down by the state. Rep. Gaetz called on Jersey residents to “escape the tyranny” and move to Florida.

Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

KERIK: Biden Received ‘Mathematically Impossible’ Spike in Votes When Suspicious Ballots Counted in Georgia

‘Papers Please’: Government Prepares to Issue COVID-19 Vaccination Cards

A Department of Health and Human Services employee holds a COVID-19 vaccine record card Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington D.C. The cards will be sent out as part of vaccination kits from Operation Warp Speed. (Department of Defense photo)

A display shows items that will be provided with COVID-19 vaccines at Operation Warp Speed headquarters in Washington, D.C. Nov. 13, 2020. Operation Warp Speed is an effort by several U.S. government components and public partnerships to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational & research purposes:
You knew it was coming, and now it is official. COVID-19 vaccinations could begin distribution in the next three weeks, according to WSAV in Savannah, Georgia. With the glorious two-step vaccine that is likely to make you feel ill for a few days with each dose, you will get a COVID vaccination card:

The Department of Defense on Wednesday released the first images of a COVID-19 vaccination record card and vaccination kits.

“Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,” Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, said in a CNN report.

There is a rationale for providing the patient with a record. According to the CDC:

“For most COVID-19 vaccine products, two doses of vaccine, separated by 21 or 28 days, will be needed. Because different COVID-19 vaccine products will not be interchangeable, a vaccine recipient’s second dose must be from the same manufacturer as their first dose.”

Of course, the information on the type and date you received the vaccine could be given on a piece of paper or something less formal than a card. It is not hard to figure out how this record is likely to be used, so if you get the vaccine, laminate it. They were nice enough to make them wallet-sized.

This will allow a whole range of businesses and services to require you to show the card in order to shop, get a haircut, or use other services. Hotels and airlines may decide to require proof of vaccination to travel. This is despite no significant outbreaks on planes or associated with hotels.

This is insane for several reasons. First, the news regarding immunity in recovered patients is very positive. Studies of those who have had COVID-19 demonstrate that while antibodies provide the initial response, a long-term response from T & B memory cells in the immune system is durable and provides protection from reinfection. If COVID-19 is similar to SARS, studies have shown this long-term immune response is still active after 17 years. The good news is that the two viruses have a structure that is 80% similar, and they utilize the same method to enter cells.

Why would someone with active immunity need to receive a vaccine? The short answer is they don’t. The CDC and the testing companies should be working on an accurate test for commercial use to detect this response. If the experts assert that this virus will act wildly different from its close cousins, they will need an extraordinary explanation.

Next, some percentage of the population has the same-long term immune response based on exposure to other coronaviruses. The same commercially available test for recovered patients could be administered before vaccination to see if it is necessary. This is not to encourage anti-vax sentiment, but if natural immunity exists, it seems the decision to take one should be between a patient and his or her doctor.

Finally, there is some rather disappointing rhetoric coming out of Pfizer’s chairman. With all we have understood about how vaccines function for decades, the statement also stretches credibility. Albert Bourla told Dateline NBC  that the pharmaceutical company was “not certain” if the vaccine prevented the coronavirus from being transmitted, adding, “This is something that needs to be examined.”

This makes one wonder what 90% effective means. It appears it means it is effective in causing a vaccinated person to develop antibodies against COVID-19. It is hard to understand why this would not be sufficient to stop transmission if it effectively stops illness. According to the CDC, people who don’t become ill with COVID-19 are not primary drivers of infection, and a recent study in China found 300 asymptomatic cases with no transmission to their nearly 2,000 close contacts.

It also seems like this is something that could have been tested during the trials. The COVID-19 vaccine does use new technology, but how the immune system works once it is triggered is not. If the virus can be transmitted from a vaccinated person, these companies have developed a therapeutic, not a vaccine by any traditional definition. Vaccines provide immunity, and vaccinated persons act as a brake on transmission. If this is not the case, it would require another extraordinary explanation.

It will be tough to sell a vaccine that changes absolutely nothing about the public policies governing the way many Americans live. Masks, distancing, and shutdowns will still be possible. Figuring out the answer to the possible transmission after vaccination is now job #1 for Pfizer.