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How the Guardian became the West’s Pravda

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | March 31, 2018

Here is a good example of pure, unadulterated western propaganda from the Guardian, written by one of their most senior journalists, Julian Borger. This could be straight out of of the old Soviet mouth-piece Pravda.

According to the Guardian :

China and Russia are leading a stealthy and increasingly successful effort at the United Nations to weaken UN efforts to protect human rights around the world, according to diplomats and activists.

The article continues in similar vein, blaming the two official enemies of the west for the increasingly degraded status of human rights at the UN.

As far I can tell, none of the facts in the Guardian’s story is untrue. But that does not stop it from being a blatant lie. Providing only a partial account – one serving western interests – of what is happening to human rights at the UN is not only a distortion of the truth but outright propaganda.

The only allusion to the truth – possibly inadvertent – is to be found in this quote from Louis Charbonneau, the UN director for Human Rights Watch:

The fifth committee [the UN budget panel] has become a battleground for human rights. Russia and China and others have launched a war on things that have human rights in their name.

Yes, did you spot it? You have to be quick. It was there in that word “others”. Easy to miss.

Reading between the lines of this article, one can understand that Russia is causing problems to western interests at the UN because it has an agenda – in supporting the Syrian government of Bashar Assad – that conflicts with Washington and Israel’s agenda of breaking apart the central authority holding Syria together.

Both sides are dressing up their own, self-interested agendas in the language of human rights. A real journalist should be wary of taking either side’s word at face value on this matter.

But the failure of this article as journalism goes way beyond this kind of one-sidedness.

How can a supposedly serious journalist in a supposedly serious liberal newspaper write about current threats to the protection of human rights at the UN and refer only to Russia and China? It is possible only if Borger sees his job not to act as a watchdog on power but as a promoter of a western diplomatic agenda intended to stoke anti-Russian and anti-Chinese sentiment.

Right now, the United States is defunding a vital UN institution, the refugee agency UNRWA caring for millions of Palestinian refugees. Their rights are being trampled underfoot by Israel and the US.

The Trump administration is also threatening to quit and defund the UN Human Rights Council, one of the most important international bodies monitoring human rights abuses. It is targeting the UNHRC because it regularly highlights Israel’s abuses of Palestinians under belligerent occupation.

This is the start of a report in Israel’s liberal Haaretz newspaper this week over the decision of the US yet again to threaten the Human Rights Council after it passed a resolution on Israel’s illegal settlements, which steal land and water from Palestinians and whose inhabitants regularly attack Palestinian men, women and children:

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, saying that “the United States would continue to examine our membership” in the organization following a series of decisions the council took against Israel’s policy in the occupied territories.

Sources in Brussels told Haaretz that most European countries supported decisions only after their wording was softened so as not to evoke immediate practical significance.

In short, spineless European diplomats are toning down the UN’s monitoring of Israel for its human rights abuses in an effort to stop the US from pulling down the whole edifice of the Human Rights Council.

None of this is secret information. The Trump administration has been throwing temper tantrums against the UN over its human rights work out in the open.

So was this information and context not vitally relevant to a report considering threats to the status of human rights at the UN? Or do Borger and his editors think his job is only to parrot what western officials tell him is important?

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘NATO Member is at War With Another One’ – Analyst on Turkey-France Relations

Sputnik – March 31, 2018

According to the French media, French president Emmanuel Macron is planning to deploy troops to Syria’s Manbij to help local Kurds in resisting Turkish forces. The move has reportedly been coordinated with Washington. Sputnik discussed relations between France and Turkey with Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Paris-based geopolitical analyst and journalist.

Sputnik: What can you say about the conversation between the Turkish and the French presidents? It seems that there is quite a bit of disagreement. Do you think that there are issues other than cooperation with the SDF that they are in disagreement about when it comes to Syria?

Gearóid Ó Colmáin: If you look at the history of French-Turkish relations even going back to the sixteenth century, France generally used the Ottoman Empire as a stick with which to beat the central European powers, the Habsburgs in the sixteenth century and later — Austria. I think French policy towards Turkey in the current context is similar with important differences in sense that France sees Turkey as an emerging imperial power and as a rival. It is probably one of the reasons for France’s hostility towards Turkey’s entry into European Union, because the Turkish military is extremely powerful, it’s reputed to be even more powerful than the French military and the French want military dominance in the European Union context.

That’s one tension between France and Turkey, and with respect to the Kurdish problem, the US is supporting the YPG forces, which are linked to the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] in Turkey, so, from the Turkish perspective, it is a national security threat to have a buffer state, develop in northern Syria, which will have access to the eastern Mediterranean. But the western side of the NATO coalition clearly wants that to happen. That has been the case throughout the war. The have supported the Kurds and that has been to the chagrin of the Turks. We now have a situation whereby Turkey is at war with France, effectively over the Kurdish issue. It is a proxy war. The French recently, in the mold of Francois Hollande, the former French president, accused Russia of allowing Turkey to enter Northern Syria in order to weaken and divide NATO. The French and the Americans are clearly concerned about Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia, its recent agreement to cooperate with Russia.

So Turkey is kind of in a difficult position right now — on the one hand it’s cooperating with Russia, on the other hand it’s NATO member who is effectively at war with another NATO member, i.e. France and possibly the US. We don’t know what the United States really means, what Trump really means, when he says the US is going to pull out of Syria. They reportedly have 20 military bases in the country right now. […] It looks like the French are taking over, or at least offering to take over, where the Americans are leaving off.

Sputnik: So that was the gist perhaps of Trump’s statement saying that “We’re going to be leaving Syria very very soon and let the other people take care of it.” Do you think France was intended as “the other people”?

Gearóid Ó Colmáin: It looks to me to be the case. The French are clearly pursuing US policy in Syria and have been from the very start of the war. They don’t have an independent policy in the Middle East and haven’t had an independent policy since Chirac. France is clearly working on behalf of the United States and I think that will be my reading of it right now.

Sputnik: Does France have any of its own interests in the Syrian conflict? Other than what is dictated by American policy.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin: France was traditionally the protector of Christians in the Middle East. That was the case in Lebanon, but it hasn’t been the case for a long time. France hasn’t protected anyone in this war. They have been supporting terrorism from the very start. Now not only have they been supporting terrorism against the Syrian state. […] But now they are being accused by their cohorts in terrorism, i.e. Turkey of supporting terrorism against them. France has really been in a mess since this war began. […]

Sputnik: The proposal was already declined by Ankara. They said that those who cooperate with terror groups against Turkey will become a target for Turkey. How is that going to impact Turkey’s relations with France and the EU in general?

Gearóid Ó Colmáin: Turkey has already threatened the EU on several occasions — last year, year before Turkey threatened to unleash an avalanche of migrants on Europe, to intensify the migrant crisis in Europe, if the EU would not concede to their demands, regarding funding and accession conditions [to the EU]. Turkey has already basically threatened Europe with coercive engineered migration, as a form of warfare, if the European Union doesn’t fully cooperate with Turkey’s demands. That is something that you could see escalating.

READ MORE:

France Deploys Military Forces to Assist Kurdish Militants in Manbij — Reports

Erdogan ‘Saddened’ by Macron’s ‘Wrong Stance’ as France Deploys Forces to Manbij

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi crown prince wants US military to maintain presence in Syria

Press TV – March 31, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he wants the US military to extend its presence in Syria, despite American President Donald Trump’s declaration that US forces will withdraw from the war-torn Arab country in the near future.

“We believe American troops should stay for at least the mid-term, if not the long-term,” bin Salman said in a wide-ranging interview with the Times on Thursday, a few hours after Trump told a cheering crowd in Richfield, Ohio, that American troops would soon be pulled out from Syria.

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call positions held by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.

“We’re coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it (Daesh) now, very soon. Very soon, we’re coming out.”

The US currently has some 2,000 ground troops inside Syria in a declared aim of crushing the terror group, which is no longer in control of any urban center and is considered to be totally defeated in the Arab country.

Washington also maintains a military base in Syria’s eastern Dayr al-Zawr province, serving as a checkpoint through which it coordinates with anti-Damascus militias to launch purported attacks against the remaining Daesh terrorists holed up in a series of localities along the Euphrates River and a stretch of desert straddling the Iraq-Syria border.

“If you take those troops out from east Syria, you will lose that checkpoint,” bin Salman further said in the interview, which was published on Friday, adding, “And this corridor could create a lot of things in the region.”

The Syrian government and Russia, which has been engaged in an anti-terror campaign in the Arab country since September 2015 upon an official request from Damascus, have time and again called on the US to pull out its troops from the Arab country as Daesh is no longer considered a significant threat.

Syria has repeatedly blamed Riyadh of supporting anti-Damascus militants and of destabilizing the Arab country.

In late 2016, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry acknowledged that more than 1,500 of its citizens were fighting alongside anti-Damascus militant groups in Syria.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 4 Comments

Skripal case becomes even weirder

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | March 30, 2018

Those trying to make sense of the Skripal poisoning will have their work cut out following the news which has been coming out about it over the past week.

Firstly, the British police have announced that they now believe that Sergey and Yulia Skripal came into contact with the deadly chemical which poisoned them because it was smeared onto their front door.

This announcement has come after weeks of speculation during which a bewildering range of competing theories explaining how the poisoning supposedly took place have appeared in the British media.

These theories have included claims that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were (1) sprayed with the supposedly deadly chemical by a passer-by; (2) sprayed with the supposedly deadly chemical by an aerial drone; (3) contaminated by the supposedly deadly chemical which was brought from Russia in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase where it had been hidden by some third party; and (4) were poisoned by having the supposedly deadly chemical somehow inserted into Sergey Skripal’s car.

The British and other critics of Russia have recently taken to citing as ‘proof’ of Russian guilt the fact that the Russians have supposedly been proposing various theories about who might have poisoned Sergey and Yulia Skripal.

The British – who unlike the Russians have control of the crime scene and samples of the poison – have however been at least as busy proposing various theories about how Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned.

In both cases the fact that the Russian media and the British media – though not, it should be stressed, the Russian or British governments – have been busy engaging in their respective speculations about who who and how Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned is not proof of guilt.

Rather it suggests ignorance, which if anything (especially in Russia’s case) is an indicator of innocence.

As I have said on many occasions, it is the guilty who so far from engaging in a variety of different speculations tend to come up with a single alternative narrative to explain away the facts, which they then pass off as the truth in order to provide themselves with an alibi.

As to the present theory – that Sergey and Yulia Skripal came into contact with the chemical agent on their front door – note the following:

(1) The British police have not said whether the chemical agent was smeared on the outside of the door or on the inside of the door.

If it was smeared on the outside of the door, then it was an extremely reckless act which might have easily poisoned a delivery person to the house such as a postman.

If it was smeared on the inside of the door, then whilst it might have been placed there by a burglar, the greater probability must be that it was placed there by a visitor.

If so then it is likely that either Sergey or Yulia Skripal or possibly both of them have some knowledge of the identity of this person. That might make the fact that Yulia Skripal is said to be recovering and is now conscious a matter of great importance for the solution of this mystery.

(2) If Sergey and Yulia Skripal really were poisoned with the chemical agent by coming into contact with it because it was smeared on their front door, then that would mean that the chemical agent took 7 hours to take effect.

Russian ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko has claimed that the British authorities have told him that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by nerve agent A-234, a Novichok type agent which is supposedly “as toxic as VX, as resistant to treatment as soman, and more difficult to detect and easier to manufacture than VX”.

I am not a chemist or a chemical weapons expert, but such a slow acting poison seems at variance with the descriptions of A-234 and VX which I have read.

(3) The suggestion that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by coming into contact with the chemical agent on their front door must for the moment be treated as no more than a theory. It does however appear to confirm the presence of the chemical agent in the house.

If the latest theory that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by coming into contact with a chemical agent smeared on their front door begs many questions, then the news that Yulia Skripal is apparently recovering well from the effect of her poisoning, and is now conscious and speaking and is no longer in intensive care, though extremely welcome, in some ways adds further to the mystery.

It suggests that her contact with the poison was either very slight, or – if the poison was A-234 – that its potency has been exaggerated, or that it was not A-234.

That of course adds to the questions raised by the latest British theory that Sergey and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by coming into contact with the chemical agent on their front door.

Regardless, the fact that Yulia Skripal is recovering is very welcome news, not just at a human level but also because she is a key witness in the case.

Perhaps, once her recovery is complete, she can answer some of the many unanswered questions about the case.

However Yulia Skripal’s recovery highlights another extraordinary fact about the case.

In the recent proceedings in the High Court where a Judgment was obtained to allow blood samples to be taken from Sergey and Yulia Skripal in order to enable the OPCW investigators to research the chemical, Sergey and Yulia Skripal were represented by lawyers instructed by the Official Solicitor, a British official who regularly acts for parties who cannot represent themselves.

The High Court Judge who heard the case – Mr. Justice Williams – granted the Official Solicitor’s request for blood samples to be taken, saying the following:

Given the absence of any contact having been made with the NHS [National Health Service] Trust by any family member, the absence of any evidence of any family in the UK and the limited evidence as to the possible existence of family members in Russia I accept that it is neither practicable nor appropriate in the special context of this case to consult with any relatives of Mr Skripal or Ms Skripal who might fall into the category identified in s.4(7)(b) of the Act (bold italics added)

This is beyond strange given that no less a person than Sergey Skripal’s niece – who lives in Russia with the rest of Sergey Skripal’s family including his 90 year old mother – had previously been interviewed by the British media.

In fact Skripal’s niece was telling the BBC just days ago of her lack of knowledge of Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s condition, and was even being reported as saying on Wednesday that she understood that they had no more than a 1% chance of survival – this just hours before the British authorities announced that Yulia Skripal was making an impressive recovery.

This failure to keep the Skripal family in Russia properly informed of Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s condition and of the taking of blood samples from them, is matched by the refusal of the British authorities to allow the Russian authorities consular access to them notwithstanding that Yulia Skripal is a Russian citizen not a British citizen (the Russians say that Sergey Skripal has dual nationality and is also a Russian as well as a British citizen).

This is despite the fact that both a bilateral treaty – the 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR (of which Russia is legally the successor state) – and an international treaty – the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations – both appear to require the British authorities to grant consular access to the Russian authorities to Russian citizens such Yulia Skripal who find themselves in difficulties in Britain.

The 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR was moreover presented by the British government to Parliament and came into legal effect in 1968, which presumably makes it a part of British domestic law.

Article 35 (1) of the 1965 Consular Convention reads as follows

A consular officer shall be entitled to propose to a court or other competent authority of the receiving State the names of appropriate persons to act as guardians or trustees in respect of a national of the sending State or in respect of the property of such a national in any case where that property is left without supervision.

Article 36 (1) of the 1965 Consular Convention reads as follows

(a) A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district to communicate with, interview and advise a national of the sending State and may render him every assistance including, where necessary, arranging for aid and advice in legal matters.

(b) No restriction shall be placed by the receiving State upon the access of a national of the sending State to the consulate or upon communication by him with the consulate.

Article 5 of the 1963 Vienna Convention reads in part as follows

Consular functions consist in:

(1) (a) protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, within the limits permitted by international law;……

(e) helping and assisting nationals, both individuals and bodies corporate, of the sending State;….

(h) safeguarding, within the limits imposed by the laws and regulations of the receiving State, the interests of minors and other persons lacking full capacity who are nationals of the sending State, particularly where any guardianship or trusteeship is required with respect to such persons;….

Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention reads in part as follows

1.With a view to facilitating the exercise of consular functions relating to nationals of the sending State:

(a) consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State;

(b) if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay. The said authorities shall inform the person concerned without delay of his rights under this subparagraph;

(c) consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison,

custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation.  They shall also have the right to visit any national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention in their district in pursuance of a judgement. Nevertheless, consular officers shall refrain from taking action on behalf of a national who is in prison, custody or detention if he expressly opposes such action.

2.The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving State, subject to the proviso, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this article are intended. (bold italics added)

Article 37 of the 1963 Vienna Convention reads in part as follows

If the relevant information is available to the competent authorities of the receiving State, such authorities shall have the duty:

…..

(b) to inform the competent consular post without delay of any case where the appointment of a guardian or trustee appears to be in the interests of a minor or other person lacking full capacity who is a national of the sending State. The giving of this information shall, however, be without prejudice to the operation of the laws and regulations of the receiving State concerning such appointments;….. (bold italics added)

(I am grateful to John Helmer for sending me copies of these two treaties)

In other words it appears that the British authorities as a matter of both international law and British law should not only have informed the Russian consular authorities of Yulia Skripal’s condition and granted them full access to her, but they should also have discussed with the Russian consular authorities the application to the High Court for the taking of blood samples from her, with the Russian consular authorities rather than the Official Solicitor representing her in those proceedings.

Mr. Justice Williams, the Judge in the High Court case, was clearly worried that the Russian consular authorities were not involved in the proceedings and that members of Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s family had not been contacted or consulted.

This resulted in this fascinating discussion referred to in paragraph 12 of his Judgment

…… As a result of my having appointed a Litigation Friend for Mr and Ms Skripal I raised the issue with the parties of whether this gave rise to any notification obligation pursuant to Articles 36 and 37 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963 as Ms Skripal is a Russian national although Mr Skripal became a British national. In the field of care cases in the Family Court the President gave some guidance on this issue in In Re E (A Child) [2014] EWHC 6 (Fam). Mr Thomas QC submitted that as there is no domestic implementation of Art 37 no obligation arises. He also questioned whether the court could be a competent authority. He noted that the Convention is implemented by section 1 and Schedule 1 of the Consular Relations Act 1968 and that this does not include Article 37. I note that at paragraphs 41 and 44 in Re E (above) the President noted the issue in relation to the effect of Article 37 in public international and English domestic law. Mr Sachdeva QC drew my attention to the context in which the President offered the guidance and that it was guidance only for the purposes of care cases in the family court. Both Mr Thomas QC and Mr Sachdeva QC also submitted that even if (and it is a very big if) that guidance could be transposed into the Court of Protection there was good reason for not imposing a notification obligation still less the other obligations the President identified in paragraph 47 of Re E. I am satisfied for the reasons set out above that there is no notification obligation in law on this court. The nature and extent of any good practice which might be followed in Court of Protection cases where a foreign national is the subject of an application may require consideration in another case. In practice, the Russian consular authorities will be made aware of these proceedings because this judgment will be published. I do not consider it necessary to list the issue for the sort of further extensive argument that would be necessary to enable the court to determine if any good practice guidance should be given. (bold italics added)

Note that Mr. Justice Williams does not seem to have been told by the lawyers representing the Official Solicitor and the British National Health Service about the 1965 bilateral Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR (see above) whilst the discussion which did take place seems to have been narrowly restricted to a discussion of Article 37 of the 1963 Vienna Convention – with the lawyers telling the Judge that this has not yet been made part of the law of Britain – with nothing however being said to the Judge about what look to me to be the equally important provisions of Articles 5 and 36 (see above).

I am no expert in this area of the law, but it seems to me that Mr. Justice Williams’s unease about the way the British authorities are handling the matter is made clear by the way he went out of his way in his Judgment to say that the Russian consular authorities would be “made aware of the proceedings because this judgment will be published”.

The hearing in which Mr. Justice Williams made his Judgment took place in private, but Mr. Justice Williams specifically decided that the Judgment itself should be made public, as its preamble makes clear:

This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the witnesses must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Perhaps I am wrong but my impression from the Judge’s words is that one of his reasons for deciding to make his Judgment public was because he was concerned that the Russian consular authorities should know about it.

In addition, as various people have pointed out, the lawyers representing the Official Solicitor and the British National Health Service seem to have told the Judge that there was only limited information about Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s family in Russia, and that the Russian consular authorities had made no attempt to contact the hospital where Sergey and Yulia Skripal are being treated.

The claim that the British authorities have only limited information about Sergey and Yulia Skripal’s family in Russia is difficult to reconcile with the fact that Sergey Skripal’s niece had by the date of the Judgment already been giving interviews to the British media (see above), whilst the point about the Russian consular authorities not contacting the hospital looks to me something of a red herring since I presume that the British agency which the Russian consular authorities are contacting is not the hospital but the British Foreign Office.

Now that the Russian consular authorities know of the Court proceedings concerning Yulia Skripal which have been underway it would in theory be open to them to instruct lawyers to apply for them to be joined as a party to those proceedings so that they can represent Yulia Skripal in them.

I have no idea whether they are considering doing so, but I do frankly wonder whether the sudden announcement of Yulia Skripal’s recovery – welcome news that it is – might also in part have been intended to forestall such a step by the Russian consular authorities on the grounds that Yulia Skripal is now in a position to make her own decisions.

Irrespective of what happens in the British proceedings, the Russians are now convening a meeting of the OPCW executive council on 2nd April 2018 to discuss the Skripal case and to demand answers to the questions about the case that they have been asking.

It seems however that the only role the OPCW has in the case is to verify the identity of the chemical agent used. It is not a competent body to investigate what the British authorities say is a murder attempt on Sergey and Yulia Skripal, which is currently being investigated by the British police.

The High Court Judgment however appears to confirm that the British authorities are doing all they can to freeze the Russians out of the investigation of the case – which involves an attack on a Russian citizen – and to prevent them from learning any of the facts of the case.

That looks to me to be not just a violation of due process, but based on the texts of the 1965 Consular Convention between Britain and the USSR and the 1963 Vienna Convention which I have seen also a violation of both British and international law.

Given the increasingly strange look the facts of the case are taking (see above), it is however perhaps not so surprising that the British are reluctant to share with the Russians the full facts of the case.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | 1 Comment

Open Letter to Mr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK

By John Andrews | Dissident Voice | March 31, 2018

Dear Mr Yakovenko,

I would just like to express my sincere dismay at the way my government reacted to the alleged recent poisoning of two people in Salisbury.

I recall very well the events that occurred fifteen years ago, when the British parliament was lied to about alleged weapons of mass destruction, supposedly held by Iraq, and which supposedly could strike at Britain within forty minutes. These allegations went almost completely unchallenged by the mainstream media, and our country was subsequently tricked into supporting an illegal war in Iraq. Although many people never believed the propaganda – as evidenced by the million or so protesters who marched through the streets of London at the time resisting the drive to war – the lie prevailed.

At this moment in time we have seen no verifiable evidence for the events that allegedly took place in Salisbury a couple of weeks ago. Until that evidence is forthcoming, and remembering well the deceit my own government has used in the past for its own very questionable ends, I refuse to believe that Russia had anything to do with it, and want to assure you that in this, as in many other areas of government policy, my government does not speak for me.

Neither am I impressed by the unbelievable actions of so many other countries in their expulsion of Russian diplomats from their embassies. Given the fact that there appears to be no verifiable evidence for the Salisbury incident, these actions by other countries defy logic, and strongly suggest some dark conspiracy that’s unfolding. The total abdication of responsibility of the mainstream media in their supposedly first duty of “holding government to account”, by refusing to question and challenge their actions, is yet further proof of the media’s culpability in these events – just as they were similarly culpable for the Iraq debacle of 2003.

I find the behaviour of my government in this matter completely inexcusable, and the public statements of certain of its representatives highly offensive and shameful. At this moment in time, none of them speak for me, and I do not trust a single word our mainstream media has to say on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

John Andrews
March 31, 2018

John Andrews is a writer and political activist based in England. His latest booklet is entitled EnMo Economics. Other Non Fiction books by John are: The School of Kindness; The People’s Constitution; and his fiction novel: The Road to Emily Bay.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Russia ‘Novichok’ Hysteria Proves Politicians and Media Haven’t Learned The Lessons of Iraq

By Patrick Henningsen | 21st Century Wire | March 31, 2018

If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the current atmosphere of anti Russian hysteria in the West, it’s that the US-led sustained propaganda campaign is starting to pay dividends. It’s not only the hopeless political classes and media miscreants who believe that Russia is hacking, meddling and poisoning our progressive democratic utopia – so many have pinned their political careers to this by now that’s it’s too late to turn back. As it was with Iraq in 2003, these dubious public figures require a degree of public support for their policies, and unfortunately many people do believe in the grand Russian conspiracy, having been sufficiently brow-beaten into submission by around-the-clock fear mongering and official fake news disseminated by government and the mainstream media.

What makes this latest carnival of warmongering more frightening is that it proves that the political and media classes never actually learned or internalized the basic lessons of Iraq, namely that the cessation of diplomacy and the declarations of sanctions (a prelude to war) against another sovereign state should not be based on half-baked intelligence and mainstream fake news. But that’s exactly what is happening with this latest Russian ‘Novichok’ plot.

Admittedly, the stakes are much higher this time around. The worst case scenario is unthinkable, whereby the bad graces of men like John Bolton and other military zealots, there may just be a thin enough mandate to short-sell another military conflagration or proxy war – this time against another nuclear power and UN Security Council member.

Enter stage right, where US President Donald Trump announced this week that the US is moving closer to war footing with Russia. It’s not the first time Trump has made such a hasty move in the absence any forensic evidence of a crime. Nowadays, hearsay, conjecture and social media postings are enough to declare war. Remember last April with the alleged “Sarin Attack” in Khan Sheikhoun, when the embattled President squeezed off 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles against Syria – a decision, which as far as anyone can tell, was based solely on a few YouTube videos uploaded by the illustrious White Helmets. Back then Trump learned how an act of war against an existential enemy could take the heat off at home and translate into a bounce in the polls. Even La Résistance at CNN were giddy with excitement and threw their support behind Trump, with some pundits describing his decision to act as “Presidential.”

As with past high-profile western-led WMD allegations against governments in Syria and Iraq (the US and UK are patently unconcerned with multiple allegations of ‘rebel’ terrorists in Syria caught using chemical weapons), an identical progression of events appears to be unfolding following the alleged ‘Novichok’ chemical weapon poisoning of retired British-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wiltshire on March 4th.

Despite a lack of evidence presented to the public other than the surreptitious “highly likely” assessments of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, President Trump once again has caved in to pressure from Official Washington’s anti-Russian party line and ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats – which he accused of being spies. Trump also ordered the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle, citing speculative fears that Russia might be spying on a nearby Boeing submarine development base. It was the second round of US expulsions of Russian officials, with the first one ordered by the outgoing President Obama in December 2016, kicking out 35 Russian diplomats and their families (including their head chef) and closing the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, with some calling it “a den of spies”.

Trump’s move followed an earlier UK action on March 14th, which expelled 23 Russian diplomats also accused of being spies. This was in retaliation for the alleged poisoning of a retired former Russian-British double agent in Salisbury, England.

This was my initial reaction back on March 14, 2018, during a live TV segment:

The ‘Collective’ Concern

It’s important to understand how this week’s brash move by Washington was coordinated in advance. The US and the UK are relying on their other NATO partners, including Germany, Poland, Italy, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Estonia and Lithuania – to create the image of a united front against perceived ‘Russian aggression’. As with multilateral military operations, multilateral diplomatic measures like this are not carried out on a whim.

Aside from this, there are two seriously worrying aspects of this latest US-led multilateral move against Russia. Firstly, this diplomatic offensive against Russia mirrors a NATO collective defense action, and by doing so, it tacitly signals towards an invocation of Article 5. According to AP, one German spokesperson called it a matter of ‘solidarity’ with the UK. Statements from the White House are no less encouraging:

“The United States takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies, and partners around the world in response with Russia’s use of a military grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom — the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world,” the White House said.

“Today’s actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia’s ability to spy on Americans, and to conduct covert operations that threaten America’s national security.”

What this statement indicates is that any Russian foreign official or overseas worker in the West should be regarded as possible agents of espionage. In other words, the Cold War is now officially back on.

Then came this statement: “With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences.”

In an era of power politics, this language is anything but harmless. And while US and UK politicians and media pundits seem to be treating it all as a school yard game at times, we should all be reminded that his is how wars start.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Never in modern history has mediocrity in politics been celebrated as a virtue by so many.

The second issue with the Trump’s diplomatic move against Russia is that it extends beyond the territorial US – and into what should be regarded at the neutral zone of the United Nations. As part of the group of 60 expulsions, the US has expelled 12 Russian diplomats from the United Nations in New York City. While this may mean nothing to jumped-up political appointees like Nikki Haley who routinely threaten the UN when a UNGA vote doesn’t go her way, this is an extremely dangerous precedent because it means that the US has now created a diplomatic trap door where legitimate international relations duties are being carelessly rebranded as espionage – done on a whim and based on no actual evidence. By using this tactic, the US is casting aside decades of international resolutions, treaties and laws. Such a move directly threatens to undermine a fundamental principle of the United Nations which is its diplomatic mission and the right for every sovereign nation to have diplomatic representation. Without it, there is no UN forum and countries cannot talk through their differences and negotiate peaceful settlements. This is why the UN was founded in the first place. Someone might want to remind Nikki Haley of that.

On top of this, flippant US and UK officials are already crowing that Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council. In effect, Washington is trying to cut the legs out from a fellow UN Security Council member and a nuclear power. This UNSC exclusion campaign been gradually building up since 2014, where US officials have been repeatedly blocked by Russia over incidents in Syria and the Ukraine. Hence, Washington and its partners are frustrated with the UN framework, and that’s probably why they are so actively undermining it.

Those boisterous calls, as irrational and ill-informed as they might be, should be taken seriously because as history shows, these signs are a prelude to war.

Also, consider the fact that both the US and Russian have military assets deployed in Syria. How much of the Skripal case and the subsequent fall-out has to do with the fact that US Coalition and Gulf state proxy terrorists have lost their hold over key areas in Syria? The truly dangerous part of this equation is that the illegal military occupation by the US and its NATO ally Turkey of northeastern Syria is in open violation of international law, and so Washington and its media arms would like nothing more than to be history’s actor and bury its past indiscretions under a new layer of US-Russia tension in the Middle East.

Another WMD Debacle?

Is it really possible to push East-West relations over the edge on the basis of anecdotal evidence?

Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, highlighted the recent British High Court judgement which states in writing that the government’s own chemical weapons experts from the Porton Down research facility could not categorically confirm that a Russian ‘Novichok’ nerve agent was actually used in the Salisbury incident. Based on this, Murray believes that both British Prime Minster Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Britain’s deputy UN representative Jonathan Allen – have all lied to the public and the world when making their public statements that the Russians had in fact launched a deadly chemical weapons attack on UK soil. Murray elaborates on this key point:

“This sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying. The truth is that Porton Down have not even positively identified this as a ‘Novichok’, as opposed to “a closely related agent”. Even if it were a ‘Novichok’ that would not prove manufacture in Russia, and a ‘closely related agent’ could be manufactured by literally scores of state and non-state actors.”

“This constitutes irrefutable evidence that the government have been straight out lying – to Parliament, to the EU, to NATO, to the United Nations, and above all to the people – about their degree of certainty of the origin of the attack. It might well be an attack originating in Russia, but there are indeed other possibilities and investigation is needed. As the government has sought to whip up jingoistic hysteria in advance of forthcoming local elections, the scale of the lie has daily increased.”

Murray has been roundly admonished by the UK establishment for his views, but he is still correct to ask the question: how could UK government leaders have known ‘who did it’ in advance of any criminal forensic investigation or substantive testing by Porton Down or an independent forensic investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)?

One would hope we could all agree that it’s this sort of question which should have been given more prominence in the run-up to the Iraq War. In matters of justice and jurisprudence, that’s a fundamental question and yet, once again – it has been completely bypassed.

Murray is not alone. A number of scientists and journalists have openly questioned the UK’s hyperbolic claims that Russia had ordered a ‘chemical attack’ on British soil. In her recent report  for the New Scientist, author Debora MacKenzie reiterates the fact that several countries could have manufactured a ‘Novichok’ class nerve agent and used it in the chemical attack on Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

“British Prime Minister Theresa May says that because it was Russia that developed Novichok agents, it is ‘highly likely’ that Russia either attacked the Skripals itself, or lost control of its Novichok to someone else who did. But other countries legally created Novichok for testing purposes after its existence was revealed in 1992, and a production method has even been published.”

The New Scientist also quotes Ralf Trapp, a chemical weapons consultant formerly with the OPCW, who also reiterates a point worth reminding readers of – that inspectors are only able to tell where molecules sampled in Salisbury have come from if they have reference samples for the ingredients used.

“I doubt they have reference chemicals for forensic analysis related to Russian CW agents,” says Trapp. “But if Russia has nothing to hide they may let inspectors in.”

Even if they can identify it as Novichok, they cannot say that it came from Russia, or was ordered by the Russian government, not least of all because the deadly recipe is available on Amazon for only $28.45.

It should be noted that a substantial amount of evidence points to only two countries who are the most active in producing and testing biological and chemical weapons WMD – the United States and Great Britain. Their programs also include massive ‘live testing’ on both humans and animals with most of this work undertaken at the Porton Down research facility located only minutes away from the scene of this alleged ‘chemical attack’ in Salisbury, England.

Problems with the Official Story

If we put aside for the moment any official UK government theory, which is based on speculation backed-up by a series of hyperbolic statements and proclamations of Russian guilt, there are still many fundamental problems with the official story  – maybe too many to list here, but I will address what I believe are a few key items of interest.

The UK police have now released a statement claiming that the alleged ‘Novichok’ nerve agent was somehow administered at the front door of Sergie Skripal’s home in Wiltshire. This latest official claim effectively negates the previous official story because it means that the Skripals would have been exposed a home at the latest around 13:00 GMT on March 4th, and then drove into town, parking their car at Sainsbury’s car park, then having a leisurely walk to have drinks at The Mill Pub, before for ordering and eating lunch at Zizzis restaurant, and then finally leaving the Zizzis and walking before finally retiring on a park bench – where emergency services were apparently called at 16:15 GMT to report an incident. Soon after, local Police arrived on the scene to find the Skripals on the bench in an “extremely serious condition”. Based on this story, the Skripals would have been going about their business for 3 hours before finally falling prey to the deadly WMD ‘Novichok’. From this, one would safely conclude that whatever has poisoned the pair was neither lethal nor could it have been a military grade WMD. Even by subtracting the home doorway exposure leg of this story, it hardly adds up – as even a minor amount of any real lethal military grade WMD would have effected many more people along this timeline of events. Based on what we know so far, it seems much more plausible that the pair would have been poisoned at Zizzis restaurant.

When this story initially broke, we were told that the attending police officer who first arrived on the scene of this incident, Wiltshire Police Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey – was “fighting for his life” after being exposed to the supposed ‘deadly Russian nerve agent’. As it turned out, officer Bailey was treated in hospital and then discharged on March 22, 2018. To our knowledge, no information or photos of Bailey’s time in care are available to the public.

The public were also told initially that approximately 4o people were taken into medical care because of “poison exposure”. This bogus claim was promulgated by mainstream media outlets, like Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper. In reality, no one showed signed of “chemical weapons” exposure, meaning that this story was just another example of mainstream corporate media fake news designed to stoke tension and fear in the public. We exposed this at the time on the UK Column News here:

To further complicate matters, this week we were told that Yulia Skripal has now turned the corner and is in recovery, and is speaking to police from her hospital bed. If this is true, then it further proves that whatever the alleged poison agent was which the Skripals were exposed to – it was not a lethal, military grade nerve agent. If it had been, then most likely the Skripals and many others would not be alive right now.

Unfortunately, in the new age of state secrecy, we can expect that most of the key information relating to this case may be sealed indefinitely under a national security letter. In the case of Porton Down scientist David Kelly, the key information is sealed (hidden) for another 60+ years (which means we might get to see it in the year 2080). This means that we just have to take their word for it, or to borrow the words of the newly crowned UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson – any one asking questions, “should just go away and shut up.”

Such is the level of decorum and transparency in this uncomfortably Orwellian atmosphere.

While Britain insists that it has ‘irrefutable proof’ that Russia launched a deadly nerve-gas attack to murder the Skripals, the facts simply do not match-up with the rhetoric.

The Litvinenko Conspiracy Theory

It’s important to note that as far as public perceptions are concerned, the Skripal case has been built directly on top of the Litvinenko case.

In order to try and reinforce the speculation, the media have resurrected the trial-by-media case of another Russian defector, former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who is said to have died after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in his tea at a Mayfair restaurant. Despite not having any actual evidence as to who committed the crime, the British authorities and the mainstream media have upheld an almost religious belief that Vladimir Putin had ordered the alleged poisoning of Litvinenko.

The media mythos was reinforced in 2016, when a British Public Inquiry headed by Sir Robert Owen accused senior Russian officials of ‘probably having motives to approve the murder’ of Litvinenko. Again, this level of guesswork and speculation would never meet the standard of an actual forensic investigation in a real criminal court, but as far as apportioning blame to another nation or head of state – it seems fair enough for British authorities. Following the completion of the inquiry, Sir Robert had this to say:

“Taking full account of all the evidence and analysis available to me, I find that the FSB operation to kill Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr Patrushev and also by President Putin.”

Owen’s inquiry was not definitive. Quite the opposite in fact, and in many ways it mirrors the Skripal case as it has been presented to the public. Despite offering no evidence of any criminal guilt, Owen’s star chamber maintained that President Vladimir Putin “probably” approved the operation to assassinate Litvinenko. Is “probably” really enough to assign guilt in a major international crime? When it comes to high crimes of state, the answer seems to be yes.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marina Zakharova, that UK inquiry was “neither transparent nor public” and was “conducted mostly behind doors, with classified documents and unnamed witnesses contributing to the result…”

Zakharova highlighted the fact that two key witnesses in the case – Litvinenko’s chief patron, UK-based anti-Putin defector billionaire oligarch Boris Berezovsky, and the owner of Itsu restaurant in London’s Mayfair where the incident is said to have taken place – had both suddenly died under dubious circumstances. The British authorities went on to accuse two Russian men in the Litvineko murder, businessman Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry Kovtun. Both have denied the accusations. Despite the lack of any real evidence, the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklisted both Lugovoi and Kovtun, as well as Russian persons Stanislav Gordievsky, Gennady Plaksin and Aleksandr I. Bastrykin – under the Magnitsky Act, which freezes their assets held in American financial institutions, and bans them from conducting any transactions or traveling to the United States. This is a familiar pattern: even if the case is inconclusive, or collapses due to a lack of evidence, the policies remain in place.

Despite all the pomp and circumstance however, the official conspiracy theory failed to sway even Litvinenko’s own close family members. While Litvinenko’s widow Marina maintains that it was definitely the Russian government who killed her husband, Alexsander’s younger brother Maksim Litvinenko, based in Rimini, Italy, believes the British report is “ridiculous” to blame the Kremlin for the murder of his brother, stating that he believes British security services had more of a motive to carry out the assassination.

“My father and I are sure that the Russian authorities are not involved. It’s all a set-up to put pressure on the Russian government,” said Litvinenko to the Mirror newspaper, and that such reasoning can explain why the UK waited almost 10 years to launch the inquiry into his brother’s death. Following the police investigation, Alexander’s father Walter Litvinenko, later said that he had regretted blaming Putin and the Russian government for his son’s death and did so under intense pressure at the time.

For anyone who is also reticent to accept the proclamations of the British state and the mainstream media on the Litvinenko case, it’s worth reading the work of British journalist Will Dunkerly here.

With so many questions hanging over the actual validity of the British state’s accusations against Russia, it’s somewhat puzzling that British police would say they are still ‘looking for similarities’ between the Skripal and Litvinenko cases in order to pinpoint a modus operandi.

The admission by the British law enforcement that their investigation may take months before any conclusion can be drawn also begs the question: how could May have been so certain so quick? The answer should be clear by now: she could not have known it was a ‘Novichok’ agent, any more than she could know that ‘Russia did it.’

A Plastic Cold War

Historically speaking, in the absence of any real mandate or moral authority, governments suffering from a chronic identity crisis and will often seek to define themselves not what they stand for, but what (or who) they are in opposition to. This profile suits both the US and UK perfectly at the moment. Both governments are limping along with barely a mandate, and have orchestrated two of the worst and most hypocritical debacles in history in Syria and Yemen. With their moral high-ground long gone, both countries require an existential enemy in order to give their missions legitimacy.  The cheapest, easiest option is to reinvigorate a framework which was already there, and that’s the Cold War. Reds under the bed. The Russian are coming. It’s cheap and easy because it’s already been seeded with 70 years of Cold War propaganda and institutionalized racism in the West directed against Russians. If you don’t believe me, just go look at some of the posters, watch the TV propaganda in the US, or look at the horrific McCarthy witch hunts. I grew up being taught, “never again!” and that “welcome to the future: those days of irrational paranoia are behind us now.” That madness was mainstream and actively promoted by government and mainstream media.

You would have to be at the pinnacle of ignorance to deny that this is exactly what we are seeing today, albeit a more plastic version, but just as immoral and dangerous.

Dutifully fanning the flaming of war, Theresa May has issued her approval of the NATO members diplomatic retaliation this week exclaiming, “We welcome today’s actions by our allies, which clearly demonstrate that we all stand shoulder to shoulder in sending the strongest signal to Russia that it cannot continue to flout international law.”

But from an international law perspective, can May’s ‘highly likely’ assurances really be enough to position the west on war footing with Russia? When Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked these same fundamental questions on March 14th, he was shouted down by the Tory bench, and also by the hawkish Blairites sitting behind him.

Afterwards, the British mainstream press launched yet another defamation campaign against Corbyn with the UK’s Daily Mail calling the opposition leader a “Kremlin Stooge”, followed by British state broadcaster the BBC who went through the effort of creating a mock-up graphic of Corbyn in front of the Kremlin (pictured above) apparently wearing a Russian hat, as if to say he was a Russian agent. It was a new low point in UK politics and media.

When considering the mainstream media’s Corbyn smear alongside the recent insults hurled at Julian Assange by Tory MP Sir Alan Duncan who stood up in front of Parliament and called the Wikileaks founder a “miserable worm”, what this really says is that anyone who dares defy the official state narrative will be beaten down and publicly humiliated. In other words, dissent in the political ranks will not be tolerated. It’s almost as if we are approaching a one party state.

Would a UN Security Council member and nuclear power really be so brazen as to declare on another country guilty without presenting any actual evidence or completing a genuine forensic investigation?

So why the apparent rush to war? Haven’t we been here before, in 2003? Will the people of the West allow it to happen again?

As with Tony Blair’s WMD’s in 2003, the British public are meant to take it on faith and never question the official government line. And just like in 2003, the UK has opened the first door on the garden path, with the US and its ‘coalition’ following safely behind, shoulder to shoulder. In this latest version of the story, Tony Blair is being played by Theresa May, and Boris Johnson is playing Jack Straw. On the other side of the pond, a hapless Trump is the hapless Bush. Both Blair and Straw, along with the court propagandist Alastair Campbell – are all proven to have been liars of the highest order, and if there were any real accountability or justice, these men and their collaborators in government should be in prison right now. The fact they aren’t is why the door has been left wide open for the exact same scam to be repeated again, and again.

Iraq should have taught us all to be skeptical about official claims of chemical weapons evidence, and to face the ugly truth about how majors wars are waged by deception – by our own governments. What does it tell us about today’s society if people still cannot see this?

That’s why it was wrong to let Blair, Bush and others off the hook for war crimes. By doing so, both the British and Americans are inviting a dark phase of history to repeat itself again, and again.

It’s high time that we break the cycle.

***

Author Patrick Henningsen is a global affairs analyst and founder of independent news and analysis site 21st Century Wire, and host of the SUNDAY WIRE weekly radio show broadcast globally over the Alternate Current Radio Network (ACR).

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Return marches are humanitarian and a holy duty, insists senior Christian official

MEMO | March 31, 2018

The secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Islamic-Christian Dialogue in Lebanon insisted on Friday that the Palestinian return marches are humanitarian activities and a holy, ethical and national duty, Al-Resalah has reported.

“Any Palestinian resistance action aimed at protecting the country and human dignity is a religious duty guaranteed by all religions,” said Father Antoine Daou. He noted that the aim of the return marches is to achieve freedom and regain rights. “These are spiritual goals also guaranteed by all religions.”

Israel’s fear of such marches, suggested Daou, reflects the aggressive face of the state. “This was evident in its brutal treatment of the unarmed civilians.” Gaza’s residents, he added, are looking for salvation for all oppressed Palestinians. “They are taking the path of freedom which aims to end persecution and oppression.”

The senior Christian official said that such action corrects the moral compass of the Arab nations, which has been lost recently.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Insight – Porton Down Dorset Biological Warfare Experiments

In 1997, newly declassified Ministry of Defence documents revealed that during the Cold War, scientists from the Microbiological Research Establishment, Porton Down, had repeatedly sprayed the southern counties of England with massive amounts of two types of live bacteria (E.coli MRE162 and Bacillus globigii). In 1998, Westcountry Television broadcast this report which revealed the concerns felt by many Dorset residents who were calling for an Independent Public Inquiry.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Russian diplomat expulsions signal crude side of Western intention

Global Times – 2018/3/27

On March 26, the US, Canada, and several European Union countries expelled Russian diplomats from their respective foreign embassies and consulates in retaliation against Russia’s alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. As of this writing, 19 countries, including 15 EU member states, have shown their support to Great Britain by enforcing such measures.

On March 4, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were rushed to a hospital after they were found unconscious at a park in Salisbury. It was later reported the father and daughter had come into contact with an obscure nerve agent. UK government officials said the Skripals were attacked by “Novichok,” a powerful Soviet-era chemical nerve agent used by the military.

The British government did not provide evidence that linked Russia to the crime but was confident from the beginning there could be no other “reasonable explanation” for the attempted assassination. Great Britain was so convinced of their Russia theory, they wasted no time taking the lead in levying sanctions against the country by quickly expelling Russian diplomats from London. Shortly afterwards, UK capital officials reached out to NATO and their European allies who provided immediate support.

The accusations that Western countries have hurled at Russia are based on ulterior motives, similar to how the Chinese use the expression “perhaps it’s true” to seize upon the desired opportunity. From a third-person perspective, the principles and diplomatic logic behind such drastic efforts are flawed, not to mention that expelling Russian diplomats almost simultaneously is a crude form of behavior. Such actions make little impact other than increasing hostility and hatred between Russia and their Western counterparts.

The UK government should have an independent investigation conducted into the Skripal poisoning by representatives from the international community. An effort such as this would provide results strong enough for those following the case to make up their minds on who should or shouldn’t be accused of the crime. Now, the majority of those who support Britain’s one-sided conclusion happen to be members of NATO and the EU, while others stood behind the UK due to long-standing relations.

The fact that major Western powers can gang up and “sentence” a foreign country without following the same procedures other countries abide by and according to the basic tenets of international law is chilling. During the Cold War, not one Western nation would have dared to make such a provocation and yet today it is carried out with unrestrained ease. Such actions are nothing more than a form of Western bullying that threatens global peace and justice.

Over the past few years the international standard has been falsified and manipulated in ways never seen before. The fundamental reason behind reducing global standards is rooted in post-Cold War power disparities. The US, along with their allies, jammed their ambitions into the international standards so their actions, which were supposed to follow a set of standardized procedures and protocol, were really nothing more than profit-seizing opportunities designed only for themselves. These same Western nations activated in full-force public opinion-shaping platforms and media agencies to defend and justify such privileges.

As of late, more foreign countries have been victimized by Western rhetoric and nonsensical diplomatic measures. In the end, the leaders of these nations are forced to wear a hat featuring slogans and words that read “oppressing their own people,” “authoritarian,” or “ethnic cleansing,” regardless of their innocence.

It is beyond outrageous how the US and Europe have treated Russia. Their actions represent a frivolity and recklessness that has grown to characterize Western hegemony that only knows how to contaminate international relations. Right now is the perfect time for non-Western nations to strengthen unity and collaborative efforts among one another. These nations need to establish a level of independence outside the reach of Western influence while breaking the chains of monopolization declarations, predetermined adjudications, and come to value their own judgement abilities.

It’s already understood that to achieve such international collective efforts is easier said than done as they require foundational support before anything can happen. Until a new line of allies emerges, multi-national associations like BRICS, or even the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, need to provide value to those non-Western nations and actively create alliances with them.

What Russia is experiencing right now could serve as a reflection of how other non-Western nations can expect to be treated in the not-to-distant future. Expelling Russian diplomats simultaneously is hardly enough to deter Russia. Overall, it’s an intimidation tactic that has become emblematic of Western nations, and furthermore, such measures are not supported by international law and therefore unjustified. More importantly, the international community should have the tools and means to counterbalance such actions.

The West is only a small fraction of the world and is nowhere near the global representative it once thought it was. The silenced minorities within the international community need to realize this and prove just how deep their understanding is of such a realization by proving it to the world through action. With the Skripal case, the general public does not know the truth, and the British government has yet to provide a shred of evidence justifying their allegations against Russia.

It is firmly believed that accusations levied by one country to another that are not the end results of a thorough and professional investigation should not be encouraged. Simultaneously expelling diplomats is a form of uncivilized behavior that needs to be abolished immediately.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

UK’s new defense strategy: Con-Fusion Doctrine

By John Wight | RT | March 30, 2018

The Fusion Doctrine – no, not the title of the next Bond movie, the name of the UK’s new security and defense strategy.

And, yes, you guessed it: a key threat cited within this security strategy, set out in a new UK government report, is Russia.

Described as a mechanism to “strengthen [Britain’s] collective approach to national security,” the Fusion Doctrine aims to combine and harness the UK’s economic, security, technological, and military capabilities with this objective in mind.

As mentioned, among the array of threats cited, Russia, predictably, has been placed front and center. This is on the basis that Moscow was allegedly responsible for, with regard to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the “indiscriminate and reckless use of a military-grade nerve agent on British soil.”

It gets worse. The Skripal poisoning, we are told, “happened against a backdrop of a well-established pattern of Russian State aggression. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was the first time since the Second World War that one sovereign nation has forcibly taken territory from another in Europe. Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbas and supported the Assad regime, including when the regime deliberately ignored its obligation to stop using chemical weapons. Russia has also violated the national airspace of European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption, including meddling in elections.”

The scale of the distortion incorporated in the aforementioned passage is simply breathtaking. It confirms that in Whitehall ideological blinkers are mandatory when it comes to surveying a world that London, in its capacity as a key pillar of the Pax Americana that ensued after the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, has played an egregious role in helping to destabilize.

This pattern of destabilization includes the dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia, culminating in the bombing of Serbia in 1999 (of which more later); the destruction of Iraq in 2003; the destruction of Libya in 2011, leading not to the birth of liberal democracy, as claimed, but instead to the country being transformed from a functioning state into a failed state, precipitating the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. This pattern also includes an attempt to topple the legitimate Syrian government over the past seven years with support for an opposition dominated by sectarian extremists intent on turning Syria into a vast killing field of its minority communities.

As for Crimea, I deal with the fatuous claim of Russian aggression here. Suffice to say that in 2014 a democratically elected and internationally recognized government in Kiev was overthrown in a violent coup, actively supported and sponsored by Western governments, including London.

The coup – which went by the suitably benign name of Euromaidan, after Maidan Square in central Kiev, where peaceful protests turned into armed confrontation with Ukrainian police and security personnel after neo-Nazis and fascists took charge – was a brutal violation of the democratic rights of millions of Ukrainian citizens, including millions of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, people whose physical well-being was placed in danger as a consequence.

The claim that Russia’s actions in the aftermath of these ugly events can be described as aggression is ludicrous. On the contrary, the intervention undertaken by Moscow compares favorably to NATO’s intervention in the internal affairs of internationally recognized governments, specifically the bombing of Serbia in 1999, which led to the establishment of Kosovo as an independent state in 2008.

The key differences between Kosovo and Crimea are: 1) unlike the former, not one bomb or missile was dropped and not one shot was fired during Russia’s intervention, and 2) unlike the people of Kosovo, the people of Crimea were afforded the right to decide their future in a democratic referendum thereafter.

Theresa May’s assertion that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury is at the time of writing as baseless as the accusation of Russian state interference in the 2016 US presidential election, the Brexit referendum of the same year, or indeed the litany of national elections that have failed to turn up the desired and expected result in recent times.

Rather than base her assertion on concrete evidence, May has allowed her government to be led by a feral media, which has whipped up toxic Russophobic tropes redolent of the 19th rather than 21st century, into adopting a new Cold War paradigm.

The real motive for this paradigm is not concern over any threat Moscow may pose to Western democracy or security, as claimed. The real motive for this new Cold War paradigm is Russia’s refusal to bow to Western hegemony – the very same that has been responsible for unremitting chaos and carnage in the name of democracy.

Thus the UK’s new Fusion Doctrine should be renamed the Confusion Doctrine.

March 31, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment