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New Italian Government to Trigger Crisis in EU

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 07.04.2018

The formal consultations on forming a new coalition government in Italy kicked off on April 4. The center-right coalition led by the anti-migrant League won 37% of the vote to control the most parliamentary seats while the populist 5-Star Movement won almost 33% to become the single party with the highest number of votes. Neither of them can govern alone. It does not make great difference who President Sergio Mattarella will entrust with the task to form a coalition government: the leader of the center-right League, Matteo Salvini, or Five Star’s Luigi De Mayo. The outcome will be the same – the EU will face a crisis over its Russia policy. By and large, the two are at one on the issue – they want the Russia sanctions lifted.

The Five Star is not simply Eurosceptic; it’s openly anti-EU. The movement has always been known as “part of a growing club of Kremlin sympathizers in the West”. It shares a pro-Moscow outlook with the League. “STOP absurd Russia sanctions” tweeted Matteo Salvini to make his position known. It coincides with the opinion of Ernesto Ferlenghi, the President of Confindustria Russia, a non-profit association, who asks for government’s support of Italian businesses operating in Russia. Both agree that the sanctions hurt Italian economy. Salvini lambasted his country’s decision to expel Russian diplomats over the so-called spy poisoning case. In March, he signed a cooperation agreement with United Russia party.

It’s almost certain that Italy, the 3rd-largest national economy in the eurozone, the 8th-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and the 12th-largest by GDP (PPP), will question the wisdom of sanctions war. No doubt, it will be backed by a number of countries, including Greece, Austria, Cyprus, Hungary etc. If not for pressure exercised by the EU and German leadership, the sanctions would have been eased, or even lifted, long ago, especially as Great Britain is on the way out of the bloc. The Skripal scandal can delay the discussions but not for a long time. It will die away. If there were a solid proof to bolster the accusations against Moscow, it would have been presented to public without procrastination to fuel the anti-Russia sentiments. It has not been done. The scandal is doomed to fade away gradually.

The expedience of diplomats’ expulsions has been questioned in almost all EU member states, including Germany. Its newly appointed Foreign Minister Heiko Maas insists that Europe needs Russia as an ally to solve regional conflicts. According to him, “We are open to dialogue and are counting on building confidence again bit by bit, if Russia is ready to do so.”

Austria and Greece have refused to join so far but if such a big country as Italy joins them, the EU will be in a tight spot. The sanctions are to be prolonged in early fall but Rome will block their automatic extension. Italy is too big and important to be easily made to kneel. This is an EU founding nation. The bloc is facing serious cracks and adding more bones of contention will put into question its very existence. Under the circumstances, gradual easing of sanctions to ultimately lift them is the best solution for the EU. That will put the US and Europe on a collision course, especially at a time the divisions over the Nord Stream-2 gas project go on deepening.

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has recently stated that Russia is no friend of the US. Moscow is well aware that Washington is not its friend either. It’s not about friendship but rather the need for a dialogue on equal terms to address burning issues of mutual interests.

As one can see, the US hostility toward Russia does not strengthen its standing in the world. Quite to the contrary, it makes the gap wider to alienate European allies. The relationship is complicated enough as it is. The pressure exercised by the US and the UK, its staunch European ally, to involve the EU into the anti-Russia campaign provokes stiff resistance. Its strong alliances, not disagreements with close partners that make great powers stronger.

The CAATSA law that allows punitive measures against European allies, the divisions over the Iran deal being probably decertified by the US in May, the European resistance to the US tariff policy and a lot of other things undermine the West’s alliance the US considers itself the leader of. Adding Russia to the list of European grievances hardly makes the US position in the world stronger. By ratcheting up anti-Moscow sentiments it hurts itself to make the “America First” policy much less effective than it could be, if outright hostility gave place to business-like dialogue.

Looks like those who wish Russia ill have lost an important ally. The more effort is applied to hurt Moscow, the more damage is done to West’s unity.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Venezuela Hits Back Following New Sanctions over Alleged Funding of WMD and Terrorism

By Paul Dobson | Mint Press News | April 4, 2018

Venezuelan authorities hit back at their counterparts in Panama and Switzerland this week after they approved new measures targeting Caracas.

Panama’s Economic and Finance Ministry announced this past March 27 that a warning was being issued to the Central American country’s banks advising them to limit and “diligently” supervise financial transactions involving 55 top Venezuelan officials as well as 16 private businesses allegedly associated with the Maduro government.

The list includes President Nicolas Maduro, National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena and rectors Tania D’Amelio and Socorro Hernandez, National Constituent Assembly members Diosdado Cabello and Hermann Escarra, Education Minister Elias Jaua, and Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas.

In an official statement, Panamanian authorities categorized the individuals and businesses as being “high risk in the area of money laundering, financing terrorism, and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” No evidence was, however, presented to support the allegations.

Venezuela possesses no nuclear weapons and is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as various other treaties banning the acquisition and development of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Similarly, many of those accused by Panama of allegedly financing terrorism belong to institutions which were themselves the objects of violent opposition attacks during last year’s anti-government protests – including the Supreme Court, the National Electoral Council, and regional government offices – which the Maduro administration has repeatedly described as “terrorism”.

Speaking Monday, Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab, who is included on Panama’s list, fired back, describing the accusations as “fake news” and calling on them to provide evidence.

“Show the accounts, my accounts for example, show where my name, my photo appears,” Saab challenged.

Penitentiary Affairs Minister Iris Varela, who also appears on the list, similarly denied the accusations and called on the Central American authorities to publish a “complete list” of all Venezuelan citizens who own assets in the country, placing special emphasis on those mentioned in the Panama Papers.

“Why don’t they do it [publish the complete list],” she questioned. “Simply because they have assets and fortunes that belong to the [Venezuelan] opposition.”

The recent measures follow close on the heels of an announcement last month that Panama will not recognise the results of Venezuela’s upcoming presidential election, mirroring steps taken by the Trump administration and other regional conservative governments in rejecting the May 20 vote.

Meanwhile, Switzerland also moved to apply sanctions against seven high-ranking Venezuelan functionaries last Wednesday, freezing their alleged assets in Swiss banks and applying travel bans.

In response, the Venezuelan government delivered an official letter of protest to the Swiss charge d’affaires Monday, calling the sanctions a violation of the UN Charter’s ban on unilateral coercive measures and charging Switzerland with “subordination” to Washington and Brussels’ hardline Venezuela policy.

“This erratic action… on the part of a historically neutral country like the Swiss Confederation does not create conditions for dialogue and strengthens extremist positions that seek violent solutions,” reads the text of the letter.

Venezuela’s Supreme Court also issued a declaration Monday rejecting the moves as “illegal”. Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno was named in both Swiss and Panamanian measures.

The latest international actions targeting Venezuela have, however, won praise from members the country’s right-wing opposition, including Popular Will party Political Coordinator Carlos Vecchio, who applauded the Panama measures as “the right path at this stage”.

Vecchio is currently in Paris meeting with center-right French President Emmanuel Macron as part of a European tour aimed at drumming up support for more sanctions against Caracas.

During the meeting Tuesday, Vecchio, together with First Justice party leader Julio Borges and ex-Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma – who is currently fleeing the Venezuelan justice system – called on Macron’s government to apply “more sanctions” against Venezuela and to “halt Petro, gold, and capital legitimation operations,” referring to the South American country’s new crypto-currency. They also urged the French president and other European leaders “not to dialogue” with Caracas.

Translation | We propose to the government of France to support Humanitarian Intervention, criminal court trial, more sanctions, stop operations with Petro, gold and legitimation of capital to get out of the dictatorship that oppresses our people. and Disregard electoral fraud. With a dictatorship there is no dialogue

Opposition presidential frontrunner Henri Falcon, who defied the main opposition in launching his candidacy and has opposed economic sanctions in the past, has yet to issue a public statement with regard to the latest measures from Panama and Switzerland.

So far, only the US and the UK have approved economic sanctions against Caracas, while Canada and the European Union have rolled out sanctions against top Venezuelan officials

International sanctions against Venezuela have been denounced by the UN Human Rights Council as well as by UN Independent Expert Alfred de Zayas, who labeled the US-led measures “crimes against humanity” and called for the International Court of Justice to investigate.

According to Datanalisis, 55.6 percent of Venezuelans oppose economic sanctions against their country, while just 42 percent support individual sanctions targeting top officials.

Edited and with additional reporting by Lucas Koerner from Caracas.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Homeland Security wants to track journalists & analyze media ‘sentiment’

RT | April 7, 2018

The US Department of Homeland Security is looking to build a media monitoring database. When some reporters objected, a DHS spokesman dismissed their concerns as fodder for “black helicopter conspiracy theorists.”

Service providers who want to bid for the program have until April 13 to submit a capabilities statement, according to the notice posted on the federal contractor website by the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), a division of DHS charged with protecting the “physical and cyber infrastructure.”

This has led Michelle Fabio of Forbes to wonder if the DHS is trying to use the cries of “Russian meddling” to justify creating a database of journalists and social media influencers. When the Committee to Protect Journalists retweeted Fabio’s article, DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton chimed in to say the database is “nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media.”

“Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists,” he added.

Houlton adopted a similar tone in responding to an inquiry from Alex Kasprak of the fact-checking site Snopes. “You are embarrassing yourself with these questions and wild conspiracy theories,” he wrote.

With Houlton being less than helpful, perhaps the Statement of Work attached to the bid request could shed some light on what the DHS is actually looking to build. According to the six-page document, the contractor shall “provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers.”

There are six tasks being required of the contractors, starting with the ability to track more than 290,000 global news sources in over 100 languages, “including Arabic, Chinese and Russian,” and the ability to instantly translate the articles to English.

The next step would be a password-protected online platform enabling the DHS to access search results on “online articles and social media conversations,” an interactive dashboard providing “real-time monitoring, analysis, and benchmark of media coverage” and the ability to analyze the coverage in terms of content, volume, sentiment, geographical spread, influencers, language and momentum, among other things.

All this should be available in an encrypted mobile app, with enabled email alerts and customer service support.

Most interestingly, listed under “Media engagement” is the ability to access “contact details and any other information that could be relevant,” for any influencer in the database, including the publications the influencer writes for, and an overview of the influencer’s previous coverage. This database would have to be searchable, including in languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

Oh, and any staff working on the contract would have to have appropriate security clearances, ranging from Secret all the way to Top Secret with SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information).

The DHS spokesman’s snark has certainly raised some eyebrows, as official denials in Washington are never quite so forceful. One is reminded of how former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress the NSA does not “wittingly” spy on Americans. Unfortunately for Clapper, just a few months later whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the entire world that the NSA was doing just that.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Haneyya: Return March battle of awareness

Palestine Information Center – April 7, 2018

GAZA – Head of Hamas’s Political Bureau Ismail Haneyya on Saturday said that the Palestinian people are capable of challenging the Israeli occupation even under the most difficult circumstances.

Speaking at the funeral of the Palestinian photojournalist Yaser Murtaja in Gaza, Haneyya said that the Great March of Return represents a battle of awareness to emphasize on national constants, most importantly the right of return.

Haneyya praised the courage of journalist Murtaja who sacrificed his life for the sake of conveying truth to the world.

Murtaja died earlier Saturday after he succumbed to a serious injury he sustained after being deliberately shot in the abdomen by an Israeli sniper while covering peaceful protests near the border fence east of Khuza’a town in the southern Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of Palestinian citizens and dozens of journalists took part in Murtaja’s funeral chanting slogans calling for prosecuting Israel’s leaders over their crimes against the Palestinian people.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Zionist Vision Is Rooted in Five Big Lies and Four Big Thefts

Review: Enclosure – Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror

Gary Fields, ENCLOSURE: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror (University of California Press, 2017)
Review by Robert David Steele | American Herald Tribune | April 7, 2018

This is easily a six-star work of history, political economy, human rights & atrocities, and cultural engineering.

On the one hand the author is “fair and balanced” in establishing that the enclosure of the commons and the dispossession of the freemen in the UK, and the genocide and dispossession of the Native Americans in the USA, are the antecedents for what the Zionists have done to the Palestinians. On the other hand, in a cold, rigorous, exquisitely detailed manner that integrates specific legal cases (most in violation of natural and common law), specific national policies and military actions, and specific acts of cultural and geographic “engineering” that include the re-naming of all points of the landscape, and an advanced form of archeological fraud inventing an entire history of Jewish presence out of thin air, this book is the modern equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials Prosecutor’s Handbook.

This book is a case study in occupation, dispossession, and a mix of moral, political, economic, military, and geospatial mendacity rooted in the evil practices of others, but imposed on the Palestinian people by the Zionists (not to be confused with Judaism), such that any unbiased observer can easily conclude that the Zionists have done to the Palestinians what they claim the Germans did to the Jews, easily co-equal in proportional terms to the worst of the other genocides in history from China to Russia and points south.

The book has been eleven years in the making, and the methodical, reasoned, and superbly-documented nature of this narrative easily shows the investment of time and energy and review by many others. The notes and the bibliography are extraordinary, with full credit to all who have explored and documented aspects of this long-running geospatial, ethnic, and cultural atrocity.

The core mental model of the Zionists – carefully described as identical to the core mental model of the colonial powers who considered “heathens” as non-persons – is rooted in the conception of land that is open (not enclosed) and not cultivated (never mind its organic productivity) as “vacant” and subject to claim, to cultivation, to enclosure, and therefore to EXCLUSION of those who have for hundreds of years been stewards of that same land, with documented title.

This books makes clear that the Zionist vision is rooted in five big lies and four big thefts.

Five Big Lies:

LIE #1: Palestine was “unoccupied” and consisted of “dead land.”

LIE #2: Zionists have earned, claimed, and are rightful owner of Israel not just by the contrived Balfour Declaration, itself a crime against humanity (this my opinion, the Balfour Declaration is mentioned only twice in 318 pages), but by virtue of Zionist patrimony – the cultivation of land, the building of settlements and the building of walls.

LIE #3: Every place in Palestine has a Hebrew name, with the Palestinian names that have been used for hundreds of years virtually assassinated – shades of Stalinism and historical revisionism. As Shlomo Sand has so carefully argued, Israel is an invented land, there is absolutely no basis in fact to its claims to Palestine. [It can also be said that both the Jewish and Catholic religions were invented as control mechanisms serving Caesar — I leave it to others to posit whether this might be true of other religions rooted in dogma.]

LIE #4: Every archeological site that can be found (or fabricated) is alleged to “prove” that Judaism has been deeply established across Palestine and particularly in Jerusalem, for hundreds of years. This is a lie. From allegedly serious history books to the Wikipedia comic book pages, the Zionists have fabricated history and done it so well – along with their broad ability to censor countervailing narratives – that loosely educated individuals incapable of doing primary research believe the Zionist lies about heritage sites.

LIE #5: Poor little Zionists are a beleaguered people being attacked by Palestinians who are incapable of working hard or creating new settlements and farms and so on. It is impossible to read this book without feeling the deepest sense of outrage over what the Zionists have done to the Palestinians in their ambition to “settle” Israel at any cost. It merits comment that the “Jewish state” is by definition a racist, genocidal state precisely because it excludes the Palestinians and other non-Jews, and anyone that does not “get” that is stupid or bribed or blackmailed into embracing the Zionist narrative.

Four Big Thefts:

THEFT #1: The outright seizures of land to which the Palestinians have had varied forms of hereditary title, and the use of “national security” to jump from 10% legitimate Jewish ownership to 85% Zionist control regardless of the legalities, is a theft co-equal to that of the colonial powers against the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africa, but unique for being so concentrated and persistent, and in the Middle East.

THEFT #2: The seizure of the Negev stands as a special case and is ably documented by the book. 90% of all Palestinians living there were EVICTED, turned into REFUGEES.

THEFT #3: The seizure of the Galilee stands as a special case and is ably documented by the book. In the course of discussing THEFT #2 and THEFT #3 the author makes it clear that “cultural engineering” is a modern term for genocide. The Bedouins specifically, the Palestinians generally, have been GENOCIDED to create the “Jewish” state.

THEFT #4: Not discussed in this book but very well documented by Chuck Spinney among others, is the Zionist theft of water from the Jordanians in particular – the “miracle in the desert” is rooted in theft – very long underground pipelines violating Jordanian sovereignty and depleting the Jordanian aquifers, presumably with the complicity of the ruling family of Jordan.

The author is superb at explaining the intersection of Locke’s labor theory of value that perverted our understanding of the term – the “labor” of the indigenous is vastly more valuable because it does not destroy nature and impose what are now known as “true costs” – ecological and social costs – but by perverting the term, Locke justified the triumph of a factory and rent-seeking system of labor over the kinship and stewardship model of labor.

The true cost of Western civilization – its many benefits not-with-standing – is waste and war and the destruction of cultural, ecological, ethnic, experiential, and linguistic diversity.

I have a note about two thirds of the way through the book, after the author discusses how the Zionists decided to act outside of God’s framework: Israel in its present formation is BLASPHEMY. It is a direct violation of God’s plan and timing, it is an act of man, it is Satanic evil incarnate.

It is of great import to me to learn through the author’s scholarship that the Zionists have had a written plan for the conquest of Palestine since 1899. To achieve their goals – which I hasten to add are in my view REVERSIBLE – they have reduced the original Palestinian population of 900,000 in 1947 by 750,000 – they have genocided, through displacement if not death, 83% of the Palestinian population.

The author discusses Jerusalem, without doing what Henry Siegman and others have done, which is to say, challenged the rights of the Zionists to Jerusalem.

The author’s focus is on how the Zionists have used control of transportation to isolate the Palestinians clinging to Jerusalem, at the same time that they are building walls and using every tool they have including outright military theft of land, to eradicate the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem. In this I find the Arab leaders complicit, gutless, and culpable along with the Zionists for crimes against humanity associated with the occupation of the Holy City.

To end on a positive note, while weeping for the Zionist rape of Palestine: if President Donald Trump can unite the Koreas and denuclearize the North while eventually demilitarizing the South once the unification is completed, he can restore Palestine to the Palestinians. If there is to be a Jewish state, it must be a small Jewish state centered on Tel Aviv. From Gaza to Jericho the Palestinian nation must be restored. Jerusalem should become an international city with no Zionist military or official presence. All that is required to achieve this end is the complete cessation of US funding and support for Zionist atrocities: $30,000 a year for every man, woman, and child in Zionist Israel. ENOUGH!

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Canada’s NDP Should Not Allow Dominant Media to Determine Palestine Policy

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | April 6, 2018

The NDP leadership’s suppression of debate on the Palestine Resolution exposed the hollow nature of its democracy. It also highlighted party insiders’ extreme deference to the dominant media.

As I detail here, the party machinery employed a variety of manoeuvres to avoid debating a Palestine Resolution unanimously endorsed by the NDP youth convention, many outside groups and over 25 riding associations. Far and away the most widely backed foreign policy resolution at the party’s recent convention, it mostly restated official Canadian policy, except that it calls for “banning settlement products from Canadian markets, and using other forms of diplomatic and economic pressure to end the occupation.”

The suppression of the Palestine Resolution wasn’t an anomaly or based on arcane policy disagreement, as party apparatchiks have repeatedly claimed since the convention. For two decades the party machinery has put Palestine resolutions sponsored by the Socialist Caucus and submitted to conventions by different riding associations at the bottom of the priority list, which means they are not discussed at the convention. During more recent conventions a broad range of internationalist minded party activists have come close to rallying a sufficient number of delegates to overturn the de-prioritization of Palestine solidarity resolutions at poorly publicized sessions before the main plenary. According to the Socialist Caucus website, at the 2011 convention “delegates at the foreign policy priorities panel succeeded in moving the Canadian Boat to Gaza resolution from very low on the list up to #2 position. But minutes before we could vote on approval of the content of the resolution, party officials herded 30 to 40 MPs and staff into the room to vote it down.”

In another authoritarian anti-Palestinian move, during the 2015 federal election the NDP responded to Conservative party pressure by ousting as many as eight individuals from running or contesting nominations to be candidates because they defended Palestinian rights on social media. In the most high profile incident, Morgan Wheeldon was dismissed as the party’s candidate in a Nova Scotia riding because he accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza, when it killed 2,200 mostly civilians in the summer of 2014.

Ousting a candidate elected by a riding association or suppressing debate on a widely endorsed resolution are stark examples of anti-Palestinian authoritarianism. But, a simple look at the polls highlights the party leadership’s democratic deficit on the subject. According to a 2017 poll, most NDP members have a negative or very negative view of the Israeli government and believe Canada is biased towards Israel. Even without the party taking up the issue, the Ekos poll of 1,000 Canadians found that 84% of NDP members are open to sanctioning Israel and 92% thought the Palestinian call for a boycott was reasonable.

No issue better highlights the divide between members’ wishes and leadership actions. In short, the Palestine question symbolizes the weakness of NDP internal democracy.

Various historic and current ties between the party brass and Israel lobby groups contributed to their suppressing debate on the Palestine Resolution, but while important, these relations aren’t the defining factor. Nor, is the party leadership’s hostility to members’ wishes on Palestine primarily ideological. Unlike his predecessor, party leader Jagmeet Singh isn’t anti-Palestinian. Rather, he is an ambitious politician operating in an anti-Palestinian political culture.

The main force driving the suppression of debate on the Palestine Resolution was fear of mainstream media backlash. Party leaders believe (correctly) that the Palestine Resolution’s call for a ban on settlement products, which after a half-century of illegal occupation should be entirely uncontroversial, would elicit a corporate media backlash. Additionally, they are right to fear the dominant media’s capacity to shape attitudes, especially on issues far removed from people’s daily concerns.

The dominant media can also be cynically manipulative. On the eve of the convention the Globe and Mail, probably at the prodding of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, published a story linking planned speaker Tamika Mallory to Louis Farrakhan. The story was titled “Supporter of homophobic, anti-Semitic U.S. religious leader to speak at NDP convention.” Even though Mallory was to speak as an organizer of last year’s Women’s March in Washington, half the story was about Palestine resolutions, which Mallory had nothing to do with. In fact, the convention organizers who invited her to speak confusingly renamed, deprioritized and then blocked the Palestine Resolution from being debated. To add insult to injury, most Palestine Resolution proponents would have preferred fewer convention speakers to give members more time to debate/determine party policy.

Electorally focused NDP leaders are right to fear media backlash for challenging Canada’s anti-Palestinian status quo. But, at some point members need to ask themselves why devote time, money, votes, etc. to a social democratic party, especially at a level where they’ve never formed government, if it is unwilling to push the parameters of official debate to the left? While those receiving a salary from the organization may feel differently, expanding the range of ‘politically acceptable’ discussion is a central reason for a third party’s existence.

And really, why be scared of the big bad media wolf? NDP provincial governments have legislated substantial social gains despite media-generated hysteria. The media decried the introduction of the Agricultural Land Reserve in B.C., public auto insurance in Manitoba and the party’s crowning glory, Medicare. Big media bitterly denounced the party when it implemented Medicare in Saskatchewan in 1962. During the 23-day-long doctors’ strike in response to Medicare, the Moose Jaw Times Herald ran editorials headlined: “Ugly Image of Dictators”, “Neutrality Never Won Any Fight For Freedom”, “Legal Profession Next to be Socialized” and “The Day That Freedom Died In Saskatchewan”. That editorial claimed “the people of Saskatchewan are now awakening and find that their province has been slowly, and in recent months much more rapidly, transformed from a free democracy into a totalitarian state, ruled by men drunk with power.”

In fact, the dominant media has condemned almost every progressive policy implemented by the left in the world over the past two centuries, from public schools, to banning child labour, pensions, shorter work days, daycare and more.

Leaving aside the abandonment of real left wing policy at the core of the NDP’s ‘avoid media backlash at all costs’, this may not even be the best short-term electoral strategy. The media has vilified leftist (pro-Palestinian) Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, but he is well placed to be the next Prime Minister of Britain. On a lesser scale a similar dynamic is at play with Bernie Sanders in the US.

On the specific question of the NDP’s challenge to Canadian complicity in Palestinian dispossession, the growth of online news and global television stations makes it easier than ever — if the party cared to try — to defend critical positions. Additionally, the long-standing nature of the conflict, the growing number of Canadians from countries more sympathetic to Palestinians and decades of solidarity activism on the subject, mean there are many politically active people who are yearning for a challenge to the Liberal/Conservative status quo. They are likely to be galvanized by media attacks.

NDP Palestine policy offers a sort of barometer by which to evaluate the party’s commitment to democracy and social justice. Right now the forecast doesn’t look good.


Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation .

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Demography, Hypocrisy and Absurdity

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | April 6, 2018

According to the Israeli army, Jews are now a minority in Israeli-controlled territory. Palestinians outnumber them. This is despite all the creative measures Israel has used to minimize the number of Palestinians and boost the number of Jews.

These measures include killing, starving and preventing adequate medical treatment for Palestinians (especially in Gaza but also in the West Bank), seizing and destroying their homes and property, separating families, outright expulsion (from Jerusalem, for example), capturing and terrorizing children, and making economic activity all but impossible. The purpose is to get Palestinians to leave, reproduce in smaller numbers or simply die more quickly. Despite some success with each of these, the goal continues to elude its pursuers.

Part of the reason is that the number of Jews is not keeping pace. More than a million are estimated to have emigrated from Israel in the last decade, even though they continue to be counted as Israeli Jews. Israel has found “Jews” among Peruvian Indians, Ethiopian tribes and minority groups from India. American Jews who opt to be buried in Israel are considered “immigrants” and given Israeli citizenship. Nevertheless, it appears to be a losing battle, according to army statistics.

Now the Diaspora Ministry is coming to the rescue. It recommends admitting as “Jews” populations that have an “affinity to Israel and Judaism. These include communities that declare themselves to be Jewish but are not recognized as such, as well as communities (like the marranos in Spain), that have a historical Jewish connection, in some cases more than half a millennium old. In these cases, the immigrants would have to “convert” to Orthodox Judaism, as was done with the Ethiopians, Peruvians and Indians.

Although this proposal is controversial, it holds potential for a more creative (but possibly more justified) solution to the demographic “bomb” that the other measures are attempting to address. Ancestry has always been the eligibility criterion for becoming an Israeli citizen. Currently, proving a Jewish grandparent is sufficient. The Diaspora Ministry proposal would extend the definition to include those descended from a historically Jewish population.

This is the key that enables a creative solution. Since Israelites were the original Jewish population, who better to recruit than their descendants, some of whom may have converted to other religions since that time? The most likely candidates are those still living in the region where the Israelites lived. There is strong historical evidence that many of them were among the first to convert to Christianity and later Islam. Many of them can trace branches of their family back hundreds of years or even more than a millennium in the same location.

While it is true that much of this population might be uninterested in converting, there are many Israeli “Jews” that are already Buddhist, Baha’i, Christian (Russian Orthodox), and atheist. Religion need not be an obstacle; just consider them Jews and give them Israeli citizenship, as has been done with so many others without asking for conversion. This has the advantage of eliminating the non-Jewish Palestinian population (by considering them Jewish) while doubling the Jewish population (by the same means) of Israel and all the territories that it controls.

Giving Palestinians Jewish status is obviously much more than a demographic solution, because it holds the potential to solve a host of other problems – perhaps most of the outstanding issues – with the Palestinians. Considering them Jews would make them legally indistinguishable from other Israeli citizens (not the “second-class” status of Palestinian citizens of Israel) and therefore endow them with truly equal rights.

Of course, this proposal is unlikely to be considered seriously, no matter how well it fits the twisted logic of who qualifies as a Jew and is eligible to become an Israeli citizen. This is because of an insurmountable obstacle that trumps all others – racism. Whatever other considerations might be relevant, Palestinians are for Israel and the Zionist leadership, “the Enemy”. Israel defines itself and its Jewish population in opposition to Palestinians, who are to be kept out of sight and functionally disenfranchised if their existence has to be conceded at all.  In fact, the objective is to make them disappear altogether, as more than a century of Zionist vision and planning has made clear.

There is little point in trying to find logical and acceptable solutions of this kind. Israel is not seeking peace, accommodation, compromise, or tolerance. From the point of the Zionist leadership, there is no benefit to it. The Israeli economy, culture and social structure depend entirely upon a hostile relationship with Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors. The only currently acceptable solution for Israel is complete capitulation; i.e., for Palestinians to give up all claims to their land and existence as a nation. Even that is doubtful, because Israel could potentially collapse if it doesn’t find new enemies. But there is no danger of that.

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 6 Comments

Australia Confirms its Colonial Status With Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 05.04.2018

Both the prime minister and the Foreign Minister are trained lawyers. As part of the training they would have been imbued with some of the most profound and enduring concepts of the common law. These include such fundamental points as the presumption of innocence; the onus of proof being upon the accuser; the standard of proof in serious cases being very high; that the evidence should be considered by an impartial arbiter; that the conclusion should be based upon admissible evidence; and that one should refrain from prejudicial pre-trial statements at the risk of being held in contempt of Court.

Both politicians frequently express their belief in the “rules based international order” and the “rule of law”, both phrases acknowledging a support of a legal based process in the conduct of national and international affairs.

That their professed support for basic notions of justice and legal process is no more than a rhetorical device was made abundantly clear in the joint media release of 27 March 2018 and the subsequent joint press conference in which they unleashed a barrage of criticism at Russia over that countries alleged involvement in the alleged nerve gas attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English provincial town of Salisbury.

One of the notable omissions from Turnbull and Bishop’s media release and press conference was any reference to the word “alleged.” It was simply assumed by the pair that Russia was guilty and deserving of punishment.

Their professed outrage did not even have the benefit of originality. The United Kingdom government had sent out a six-slide PowerPoint presentation to 80 foreign embassy officials in Moscow. That document was leaked and its contents published in the Kommersant business daily.

In that document, the section headed “A New Phase of Russian Aggression” the following points were made:

1. A military grade Novichok nerve agent was positively identified by experts at Porton Down, an 0PCW accredited laboratory.

2. Novichok is a group of agents developed only by Russia and not declared under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

3. Its use is a violation of the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons under article 1 of the CWC.

4. It was the first use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

5. We are without doubt that Russia is responsible. No country bar Russia has the combined capability, intent and motive. There is no plausible alternative explanation.

In a separate slide headed “A Long Pattern of Russian Malign Activity” the United Kingdom government listed a series of “malign” incidents, which they attributed to Russia. These included the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006; the 2008 invasion of Georgia; the 2014 occupation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine; the 2014 shooting down of MH 17; the 2016 interference in the United States presidential election; and now the attempted assassination of the Skripals.

All of these points were faithfully echoed by Turnbull and Bishop in the media release and the joint press conference. Let us look briefly at each of the five bullet points listed above and repeated by Turnbull and Bishop.

A military grade Novichok nerve agent positively identified by Porton Down

Novichok is not properly described as a nerve agent. The term is a translation from the Russian meaning “new type”. In the United Kingdom High Court decision of Justice Williams on 22nd of March 2018 His Honour referred to the evidence (given in secret) of the Porton Down “experts.” The blood samples taken from the Skripals he said, indicated exposure to a “nerve agent or related compound…… a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.”

It is precisely because of this lack of certainty that the United Kingdom belatedly (and contrary to the CWC) finally referred the matter to the OPCW for technical analysis. This followed repeated requests to do so from the Russian government, which were ignored, as were requests from the Russian government for blood samples that they were entitled to pursuant to the CWC. The results of that technical analysis will not be known for some weeks. One might have thought that withholding judgement until that analysis was available would at the very least be a prudent course to follow.

Novichok developed only by Russia and not declared under the CWC

This is also demonstrably false. Research into the Novichok type agents were experimented with in the 1980s in a Soviet controlled laboratory in Uzbekistan. Their developer Dr Vil Mirzayanov defected to the United States in the 1980s and published a book detailing his experiments. This book, which was published in 1992, included the “recipe” for producing Novichok type nerve agents.

Notwithstanding the convenient availability of the “recipe” there was no successful production of a Novichok type agent until very recently, by Iran, under the supervision of the OPCW. The veracity of Dr Mirzayanov’s work was doubted by the OPCW itself, which did not list Novichok class agents on its schedule of banned substances.

The Chemical Weapons Convention was not opened for signature until 13 January 1993 and did not come into force until 1997. It was therefore impossible for Russia to declare anything to the OPCW when that body did not exist.

The relevant history of this matter is detailed for example in an interview given by a former senior OPCW official to the Insurge website and published under the heading “Former OPCW official: No, conclusive proof of Russian complicity in Salisbury attack.”

The Uzbekistan Laboratory was demolished by the United States pursuant to an OPCW program. The United States, along with a number of countries including the United Kingdom were perfectly capable of replicating and improving upon Mirzayanov’s published research.

The OPCW has also certified that Russia’s chemical weapons stock has been destroyed. If the United Kingdom and Australia have evidence that this is not the case then they ought to provide that evidence instead of making wild and baseless allegations.

Article 1 certainly does prohibit the use of chemical weapons. Notwithstanding this ban they have been used for example, by terrorists in Syria, armed, financed and supported by the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The use of those weapons was yet another example of an attempt to blame Syria and its allies Russia and Iran for actions by groups fighting for the regime change objectives of the United States and United Kingdom.

The first use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II

This is another falsehood. Porton Down is and has been since its founding in 1916 a major chemical and biological weapon’s research centre, conducting experiments on both animals and humans.

Even the United Kingdom newspaper the Guardian, in the days when it was more willing to challenge the official mythology, published an article by Rob Evans as far back as 2004. The article was entitled “The Past Porton Down Can’t Hide” and demonstrated that human beings were experimented upon in the post-World War II period, in Europe and elsewhere, resulting in multiple deaths.

Russia is the only country with the combined capability, content and motive. There is no plausible alternative.

This claim is simply risible. A number of countries had and have the capability. As to intent and motive, no one, least of all the British, have been able to ascribe a plausible motive to Russia. On the contrary, there are powerful arguments why Russia would not be so inclined to so publicly and clumsily attempt to murder a former spy whom it had pardoned and released in an exchange many years earlier.

That is more than can be said of the United Kingdom and United States, both of whom have multiple reasons for demonizing Russia in advancing their own geopolitical objectives. As to “plausible alternatives”, these have been set out by Richard Sakwa, a respected British analyst. Logic and common sense are not the least of the components missing from the British argument.

In respect of the second set of allegations relied upon by the British and faithfully echoed by Turnbull and Bishop, analysis similarly exposes the claims for the disinformation and propaganda that they are.

With Litvinenko’s death for example, it has never been established who was responsible. A British judicial inquiry (ironically at the time when Theresa May was Home Secretary) was unable to confirm who was responsible, despite a valiant attempt to smear Russia. As to who was responsible, there were a number of plausible alternatives, as William Dunkerley (The Phony Litvinenko Murder 2017) and the present author among others have made clear.

The British and their Australian acolytes similarly play fast and loose with the history of the Russian-Georgian mini-war in 2008 where Georgia manifestly was the aggressor. A history of this conflict was analysed in a 702-page report by the European Union. One sentence from page 11 of the report makes my point: “The shelling of Tskhinvali by the Georgian armed forces marked the beginning of the large scale conflict in Georgia.”

Russia reclaimed Crimea which had been part of Russia for centuries until “gifted” by Khrushchev to Ukraine in 1954. The absorption of Crimea back into Russia followed an overwhelming vote in favour by the Crimeans (more than 90% of whom supported Putin in the recent Russian presidential election). If one wishes to talk about the destabilization of Ukraine, then the American financed and organized coup in February 2014 would be a good starting point.

One would then go on to examine the nature and conduct of the frankly fascist regime in Kiev, and their constant violation of the Minsk accords. Neither aspect gets much coverage in the United Kingdom or Australian media. That would after all disrupt the “blame Russia” narrative with some uncomfortable truths.

The United Kingdom and Australia repeat the claim that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of MH 17. That’s a tragedy that is actually the subject of an ongoing enquiry headed by the Dutch. It has gone very quiet lately and the likely reason is that the US satellite data which recorded the whole incident has been handed over to the Dutch authorities on condition that it was not published. The only plausible reason for such an embargo is that the satellite data do not support the “Russia did it” narrative.

The British and the Australian governments also repeat the tired and long since discredited narrative alleging Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Special prosecutor Mueller has striven mightily for 18 months and has come up with exactly zero in evidence to support the narrative of Russian interference.

There is on the other hand ample evidence of interference both before and after the election by forces within the United States closely associated with the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and former President Obama. Even the joint House intelligence committee has given up on chasing that phantom. Not that one would know that from reading the Australian media or listening to its politicians so addicted to fake narratives such as demonstrated by the media release and press conference of Turnbull and Bishop.

In short, it may readily be seen that Turnbull and Bishop violate each and every one of the common law principles they purport to uphold. Instead, they act as no more then lackeys of US and UK imperialism. It would almost be laughable were it not for the fact that their hubris, ignorance and stupidity may well involve Australia in yet another war. The consequences of that are too terrible to contemplate.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

‘I give you 24 hours to resign’: 1st OPCW chief on how John Bolton bullied him before Iraq War

RT | April 7, 2018

The first OPCW chief, who tried to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, told RT how US foreign policy hawk John Bolton threatened him over his refusal to resign prior to the 2003 Iraq War.

Jose Bustani, the first director-general of the global chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), sat down with RT and revealed how John Bolton, a Bush-era official and now Donald Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, bulldozed the way for the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, led the organization from 1997 until 2002, when he was ousted after falling out of favor with the US. At the time, he was trying to convince Iraq and Libya to join the organization, meaning that the two countries would have been obliged to dispose of all chemical weapons if they had any.

He said that according to reliable intelligence he had as director-general, “it was obvious that during the first Iraq War everything had been destroyed [by Iraq],” and there was “nothing left for Iraq to be accused of possessing chemical weapons.”

In 2001, OPCW inspectors examined Iraqi facilities, and it was “a successful operation,” after which Bustani’s informal dialogue with the Iraqis and Libyans about joining the organization made a breakthrough, he recalled.

But diplomatic efforts and peacemaking did not sit well with Washington, because “they had plans already to take some action – military action – against Iraq,” Bustani claims. Shortly afterwards, the Bush administration began to aggressively lobby for his removal, and it became “a tragic story” for him, he said.

“I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why,” Bustani told RT. “He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington.”

He resolutely refused to resign, only to see Bolton again at OPCW headquarters in The Hague several weeks after the phone conversation. “He came to my office and said: ‘You have to resign and I give you 24 hours, this is what we want. You have to leave, you have to resign from your organization, director-general.'”

Bustani said he “owed nothing” to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: “OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are.”

According to Bustani, two of his children were in New York at the time, and his daughter was in London. He told Bolton: “My family is aware of what’s going on, so [they’re] prepared to face consequences.” The reply shocked Bolton, who then left the office.

On April 21, 2002, a special meeting was finally held in The Hague, and Bustani’s removal was carried out by a vote of 48–7, with 43 abstentions. The diplomat said those who abstained were from developing countries, and that his own government in Brazil “left me behind.”

“He’s not a man you can have a dialogue with,” Bustani said when asked about his opinion on the newly-appointed National Security Adviser. “On the basis of my own experience, I don’t believe that Mr. Bolton is capable of being a National Security Adviser to any government of the United States.”

Bolton, who was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in the Bush administration from 2002-2004, and ambassador to the UN, “has prejudices, he made a number of announcements that are worrisome,” including on North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

The latter is critical, Bustani says, “because it could be a new Iraq with much more serious consequences with impact on the whole Middle East today.

“And I believe that, as a result of the Iraqi invasion, for example, you have today Daesh [Arabic acronym for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS)] and… different fanatic Islamic movements” tearing the region apart.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rapidly Evolving Skripal Story: Evidence of the Destruction of an Anglo-American Plan

By James O’Neill | OffGuardian | April 7, 2018

On 4th of March 2018 former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found on a park bench in Salisbury England at 16. 15 hours in an unconscious state.

They were tended to by a number of passers by who included a doctor, an off duty nurse and some civilians. It was not known at that stage what had caused the Skripal’s illness. No one had any reason to believe that they were the victims of any nerve agent, and accordingly took no precautions against such a possibility. Despite the very well documented dangers of even casual contact with nerve agents, none of those helpful citizens suffered any ill-effects.

The Skripals were taken to hospital where they have remained ever since. The public were told that they were both in a coma and unable to communicate in any way. Yet on the morning of 7 March 2018 Yulia Skripal accessed the Russian equivalent of her Facebook page (VKontakte).

There are a number of possible explanations for this. She may have briefly returned to consciousness and her first thought was to access VKontakte before relapsing. Alternatively her VK could have been hacked, but that would not have been easy and there is no known evidence to support this possibility. A third possibility, implicit in the words of her treating physician, was that she “came to her senses.” Precisely what that meant is unclear because it was never elaborated upon.

The hospital authorities have disclosed that Yulia is now fully awake, eating, drinking and talking, these and other questions may be able to be asked and answered. Precisely what we are told about Yulia’s answers depends upon who is allowed to talk to her. Another of the disturbing aspects of this case is that none of her family, her fiancé, or the Russian consulate authorities has been permitted access.

This latter fact is directly contrary to the provisions of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The British have pretended that this did not apply to Ms Skripal as she was a Russian national (unlike Sergei who had dual British citizenship) because article 37 of the Convention had not been incorporated into English law.

The judge who heard an application for the taking of blood samples came to this conclusion, apparently without reference to, or being advised by counsel acting for the Skripals on behalf of the British government, that there was in fact a consular treaty between the then Soviet Union and Britain. This treaty was ratified in 1968 and specifically provides for the right of consular access. Article 36 of the treaty provides:

(1) (a) A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district to communicate with, interview and advise a national of the sending state and it 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.

Notwithstanding this provision, which as the terminology makes clear, is not optional but mandatory, the British continue you to refuse the Russian consular staff their lawful access to the Skripals.

In that same court case (NoB228376 & 13228382 [2018] EWCOP 6 Judgement 22 March 2018) the judge was also apparently not told by counsel that while the Skripals “appeared to have some relatives in Russia” they had not been advised of the application before the court and neither were the Russian authorities. According to the judgement the Russians would find out about the court case after the event because the judge intended to publish his findings!

Ms Skripal does not just “appear” to have relatives in Russia. She has her grandmother and also a fiancé with whom she was living. She also has a cousin, Victoria, with whom she has recently had a conversation according to Russian TV that has released a transcript of the discussion.

The Russian authorities have also released copies of multiple requests made to the British government for consular access and other information. Not only were the requests ignored, contrary to the treaty quoted above, but the judge was not even informed that such requests had been made.

The judgement ordering the taking of blood samples from the Skripals was for the purposes of technical analysis to try and determine what caused their illness, from whence the presumed nerve agent had originated, and possibly identified who might be responsible. Then again it might not, for a host of technical reasons.

The point here however, is that the order was made on 22 March 2018 when the answers to those key questions were not known, unless of course the British themselves or one of their allies were the perpetrators. Both the Police who were inquiring into what was a possible attempted homicide, and the scientific investigation by both Porton Down and the technical team at the OCPW to whom the matter was eventually referred, said that the results would take some time and possibly weeks.

Yet on 14 March 2018, one week before the judgement, and weeks before the scientific results could possibly be known, British prime minister Therese May was telling the House of Commons that the culprit was a nerve agent “of a type developed by Russia” that had been used, and that it was “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.”

Whether or not May appreciated it, such a statement amounted to her declaring that Russia had committed an act of war against the United Kingdom, contrary to international law. Her statements, together with those of her foreign minister Boris Johnson, carried hyperbole to extreme lengths. It immediately brings to mind the Mad Queen from Alice in Wonderland who demanded the sentence before the verdict.

That was not the end of the British rhetorical overkill. The Salisbury hospital authorities directly contradicted the British government’s claims of dozens of people having been affected by the alleged nerve agent. The Consultant at Salisbury Hospital, Dr Stephen Davies, wrote a letter to The Times saying

no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.

Davies told the newspaper that only three persons were being treated, presumably the Skripals and Detective Sergeant Bailey. Note that the physician was careful not to specify precisely what the three were being treated for, other than that it was not nerve agent poisoning.

This rare example of sanity in the mainstream media was lost in the ongoing stampede to indict, convict and sentence Russia before all of the evidence had been gathered and analysed.

The campaign of vilification against Russia was extended further by the British government circulating a six-page document to 80 foreign embassies in Moscow setting out their “case” for blaming Russia. That “case” was simply risible. Its manifold falsehoods and absurdities have been pointed out elsewhere (O’Neill Australia confirms its colonial status with expulsion of Russian diplomats www.journal-neo.org 5 April 2018).

That did not prevent Australia and more then 20 other allies of the United Kingdom expelling diplomats on no further ground than giving their support to the British government and its absurd claims. Not even all of Britain’s NATO and EU allies and partners were prepared to jump on that particular bandwagon, not to mention the more than 160 nations in the world who dissociated themselves from the allegations.

The means by which the Skripals became infected has also been a subject of constantly changing scenarios. At various times the nerve agent was said to have been brought into Britain in Yulia’s suitcase; that it was placed their car’s air system; and that it was placed on the doorknob of the front door to Mr Skripal’s home.

Here again there were logical contradictions. The nerve agent was said to be up to 8 times more toxic than VX (a nerve agent of a type developed by the British and used in the Kuala Lumpur assassination of a relative of North Korea’s President Kim.) Yet that door was touched multiple times by police and others without them becoming infected.

Even more problematic was the four-hour time gap between when the Skripals left their house and suddenly taking ill before being found on the park bench in central Salisbury. The word “suddenly” is apt because CCTV footage of pair 15 minutes before being discovered on the park bench shows them alive, seemingly healthy and walking along a Salisbury Street without difficulty after having a meal at Zizzi’s restaurant.

If the claims of Novichok’s toxicity are true, then the front door handle could not possibly have infected them. If the nerve agent was so weak that it takes four hours to do its job of rendering targets dead or immobilized, then its utility as a weapon is less than useless.

The weight of logic therefore points to them being infected at some point during the 15 minute interval between leaving the restaurant and being found. Unless either eyewitnesses come forward; the CCTV cameras caught the crucial moment; or the now recovered Yulia is able to shed light on what happened, it may never be possible to ascertain the perpetrators.

On 3 April 2018 a further huge hole was blown in the British government’s case. The director of Porton Down’s defence science and technology laboratory told Britain’s SKY TV News that they had been unable to identify the source of the Novichok agent said to have been used against the Skripals.

The sophistication of the agent used was such, Mr Aitkenhead said, that it could “probably” be deployed only by a nation state. While Russia might be presumed to have such capability, the same is equally true of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, China and a significant number of other states with advanced technical capabilities (Hayward et al http://www.timhayward.wordpress.com 1 April 2018).

The Porton Down statement directly contradicts the assertions of Theresa May, Boris Johnson and their Australian counterparts Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop. The latter pair, in the joint media release of 27 March 2018 said, “this attack is part of a pattern of reckless and deliberate conduct by the Russian state.” It would be unwise to hold one’s breath waiting for an apology from those politicians and a withdrawal of the reckless, unfounded and inflammatory statements.

Instead, the mainstream media has either ignored the Porton Down statement and its implications, or they have been complicit in obscuring the original unequivocal claims of Russian culpability espoused by May, Turnbull and others (http://www.moonofalabama.org 4 April 2018). This dishonesty has been evident throughout this whole saga.

The issue yet to be properly addressed by the investigation is who had the means, motive and opportunity to carry out what increasingly looks like a false flag attack, and a not very competent one at that.

A series of events occurred shortly before the attack on the Skripals that possibly provide some insight into the perpetrator’s motives. First, the so-called Russiagate witch-hunt, attempting to blame Russia for “interfering” (rich in irony) in the 2016 United States presidential election had spectacularly collapsed.

That particular campaign against Russia had relied heavily upon a dossier produced by a “former” British spy named Christopher Steele. In the weeks preceding the Skripal attack it was revealed by Britain’s conservative newspaper the Daily Telegraph among others, that Sergei Skripal had links with Steele and another major player, Pablo Miller, in the Steele dossier saga when they worked together during the time of Skripal’s betrayal of his country. Miller also lived in Salisbury and was known to have had contact with Skripal.

Secondly the Anglo American attempt at regime change in Syria through its terrorist proxies and others had failed miserably thanks largely to Russian and Iranian intervention.

Those terrorist groups have being responsible for a number of false flag chemical weapons attacks blamed upon the Assad Government. With the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian and Russian forces found a significant cache of chemical weapons materials. The Russians announced that those materials were clearly destined to be used in another false flag attack that would provide the justification for United States and its “coalition” allies, including Australia, to mount air and missile attacks upon Syrian and Russian forces.

The chemical cache discovery, which received minimal coverage in the western media, was accompanied by a blunt warning from the Russian military command, that any such air and missile attack would be met with retaliation, including against the source of the attack. This was a clear warning to US ships and missile sites. The discovery of the chemical weapons and materials and the blunt warning were sufficient to deter any attack. Clearly however, the Anglo American forces were angered by their plans being thwarted.

Thirdly, on 1 March 2018 President Putin addressed a joint sitting of the Russian Parliament. Part of that speech announced a range of new weapons that were years ahead of any western systems. Russia not only had the capacity to defend itself with its sophisticated S400 anti-missile systems, it could retaliate against any western military attack with devastating force, against which the west had no defence.

Fourthly, despite a prolonged campaign of vilification against Mr Putin, he was overwhelmingly re-elected by the Russian people for a further six-year term. That result was entirely consistent with his level of popularity as revealed in opinion polls conducted by Western polling agencies.

Those results did not stop the western media from a alleging that the vote was rigged, or that Putin did not allow real opposition, and some other desperate claims. The American analyst Gilbert Doctorow has written a number of articles demolishing the western media’s claims, although one is unlikely to see them given wider coverage. (http://www.consortiumnews.com 15 March 2018) Western “analysts” for the most part prefer the comfort of your own prejudices.

In the light of these four factors, it is a reasonable hypothesis that the Skripal attack was a sign of the increasing desperation of some western governments, chief among them the United States and United Kingdom. The propaganda barrage and the pointless posturing over diplomatic expulsions gave those governments and others foolish enough to be taken in by their patently nonsensical allegations some brief self-satisfaction.

The latest revelations from Porton Down however, are exposing that anti-Russia campaign for the shoddy and deceptive conduct that it is. In time, the Skripal incident will be placed alongside the Gulf of Tonkin, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, the attacks upon Yugoslavia in 1996, Afghanistan in 2001, Libya in 2011, and Syria in 2015 as examples of provocations justifying the destruction of societies that threaten Western hegemony.

The Russia-China strategic alliance; the progressive de-dollarization of the world’s economy; and the success of defeats of Anglo American plans in Ukraine, North Korea and elsewhere indicate that the geopolitical balance of the world is changing rapidly. The challenge will be to discourage the increasingly desperate crazies who inhabit Western centres of power from embarking upon a war to try and reverse the inevitable destruction of their rapidly failing plans for “full spectrum dominance.”

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 2 Comments

London’s Sincerity in Quest for Truth of Skripal Case in Serious Doubt

Sputnik – April 7, 2018

Anton Utkin, a former UN chemical weapons inspector in Iraq, told Sputnik that the decisions by the UK with regard to the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal demonstrate that London isn’t truly committed to getting to the bottom of the case.

According to the chemical weapons expert, right now London is “sitting an examination” on the sincerity of its objective quest for the truth in the attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found unconscious at a shopping center on March 4, which the UK promptly accused Russia of orchestrating.

“London’s disinclination to provide any information on the case, its unwillingness to cooperate and reluctance to openly investigate the matter so that everybody understands their moves and what is going on, indicates that the exam hasn’t been passed,” Utkin told Sputnik.

As for the accusations by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that Moscow tried to undermine the independent inquiry of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) by proposing a joint UK-Russia investigation into the matter at the emergency session of the OPCW Executive Council, the expert said that the joint investigation would be self-defeating for the UK.

“I’m afraid London wouldn’t be able to accept the results that it would be possible to achieve within a joint investigation,” he said, “They will fight it tooth and nail.”

The analyst also pointed out that OPCW was invited by the UK to provide “technical assistance” rather than inspection.

“Inspection has a unique right to collect samples wherever its wants and interview whoever it believes is relevant, while the OPCW technical assistance delegation has no such rights. It can collect samples where it is allowed to and interview only those approved [by the UK],” Utkin said.

“And taking into account that it is a technical assistance, in accordance with the confidentiality agreement under the OPCW concord, technically the results of the analysis shouldn’t be made public,” he explained.

Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the OPCW, said Wednesday that the results of the sample analyses of the substance used to poison Skripal and his daughter were expected to be received by early next week.

“Once the results of the analyses of the samples are received, the secretariat will produce a report on the basis of these results and will transmit a copy of this report to the United Kingdom,” he said.

According to Uzumcu, the United Kingdom has expressed its wish to be “as transparent as possible” and has already indicated its preference to disclose the report to other state parties of the OPCW. According to Utkin, it is still possible that London will change its mind, taking into account that suspicions are accumulating around the UK’s accusations against Russia.

He stressed that the UK has already violated a number of provisions of the OPCW convention; for instance, by failing to make efforts to settle controversial issues through the exchange of information and consultations and by issuing an ultimatum, with Peter Wilson, permanent representative of the UK to the OPCW, demanding explanations from Russia within 24 hours, while Russia was given no information on what it should explain.

“In accordance with the the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the party is given 10 days to respond, but after 24 hours had passed, Russia was accused, and that was it,” the expert noted.

He said that what Russia can do is abandon moves dependent on voting by the organization’s Executive Council and simply continue staying within the bounds of the convention, as it has so far. On March 13, upon being faced with all the ungrounded allegations, Russia requested that the UK provide the necessary information and offered to switch to a dialogue mode, in accordance with article 9.2.

“Russia offers all ways of cooperation but stumbles across unwillingness to cooperate,” Utkin said, adding that the Convention allows for a number of steps to overcome this reluctance.

For example, Russia can submit a request via the Executive Council asking explanation from the UK, which would mean that without negotiating on the issue all 41 countries would demand that London provides the information. Or via a similar request Russia can demand details from all the countries that at some point produced Novichok, the nerve agent in the case. At a recent Executive Council session Russia provided information backed by evidence on a number of countries where the nerve agent could be produced.

“I believe it is becoming obvious that many countries made haste by following the UK demarche”, Utkin concluded.

See also:

Moscow: UK Justification for Refusal to Grant Skripal’s Niece Visa “Doesn’t Hold Water”

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment