Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

We want to hear from Scotland Yard, not media reports on Skripals’ case – Russian envoy to UK

RT | July 19, 2018

Moscow is waiting for any official statement on the Skripal attack suspects, Russian ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, has said in the wake of media reports that police identified some “Russians” as the culprits.

On Thursday, the Press Association reported that British investigators believe they identified “the suspected perpetrators” of the March poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. After analyzing CCTV footage, they reportedly came to the conclusion that some “Russians” are involved in the attack.

Commenting on the media claims, the Russian envoy said that official London remains silent on the issue, stressing that media reports often fail to find any confirmation.

“These are media reports, unfortunately there are no official statements from the British side. I want to hear from Scotland Yard, from the Foreign Office. Many versions [published] in the newspapers are not confirmed on the official level,” Yakovenko told journalists in Moscow.

The envoy also warned that Moscow “will exert pressure” on London, including through official requests and dialogue, over the Skripal case, as it is “a political issue.” He also plans to discuss the issue during the meeting with the UK’s new foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt.

The Skripal case was not on the agenda during the recent Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki as London failed to provide evidence not only to Russia, but even to its allies, Yakovenko noted.

“If the British had managed to provide any official information regarding the ongoing investigation, it might have been a topic for [Trump-Putin] discussion,” the envoy said. “But because the British side still does not provide anything to the Russian side, and moreover, presented nothing to its allies, then what is there to actually discuss?”

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury in March. In late June, a British couple, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, were exposed to the same substance in the town of Amesbury, around 12km from Salisbury. After Sturgess died on June 8, the Russian embassy in the UK said that a leak at the Porton Down chemical laboratory, located some 8km from both Salisbury and Amesbury, might be to blame for the incidents.

The UK authorities have pointed a finger at Moscow for the Skripals’ poisoning since March, while still failing to present any evidence. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack, asking to share the data on the incident, but still has received nothing but allegations so far.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

You’ll never guess where the next James Bond villain is from…

RT | July 19, 2018

James Bond’s nemesis in the upcoming 007 film will be (now whisper it)… Russian. In what could be a sign of the times, it’s the first time in 20 years the fictional English spy will be battling it out with a Moscow baddie.

1999’s ‘The World Is Not Enough’ was the last Bond film to star a significant Russian villain – Victor ‘Renard’ Zokas, an ex-KGB agent turned-high tech terrorist, played with a questionable accent by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle.

The movie, once again starring Daniel Craig as Bond, has the working title ‘Bond 25’. It will be directed by Danny Boyle. Filming is scheduled to commence in December, with a proposed release date of October 2019, the Mirror reports.

The makers of the 007 film franchise are said to be seeking a 30 to 60-year-old leading male, from Russia or the Balkans. Producers say he must be “charismatic, powerful, innovative, cold and vindictive.”

As if one leading role being Russian wasn’t a scary enough proposition for James Bond fans, producers have revealed they intend to also cast a female in a leading role as a Russian. They must be “very striking” with “strong physical combat skills.”

Her character is described as “intelligent, brave, fierce and charming, she’s witty and skilful, a survivor.” The two Russian principal characters are rumored to have a Maori henchman who must possess “combat skills” and be “ruthless and loyal.”

Bond has a history of trading shots with evil characters from behind the old Iron Curtain in movies such as ‘From Russia With Love’. The prospective Russian villains will be following in the footsteps of Rosa Klebb and General Orlov.

Dua Lipa, the London-born singer-songwriter, is rumored to have been chosen to perform the theme song.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Film Review, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

The Salisbury Poisonings: How the Ducks Led Down a Rabbit Trail, Then to Some Potentially Crucial Information

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | July 16, 2018

Nothing is simple in the Salisbury poisonings. Nothing makes much sense. The reason for this is not because no credible explanation exists which might make sense of it all. It is because the authorities have sold us a narrative which is not credible, which does not make sense, and they have done so whilst withholding crucial details about the case from the public. Here are three pieces of key information that they have withheld, which they could easily release, and which may well help with the investigation:

1. The connection between Mr Skripal and Christopher Steele of Orbis Business Intelligence, which is the organisation behind the infamous “Trump Dossier”

2. CCTV footage of Sergei and Yulia Skripal on 4th March 2018, which undoubtedly exists (see below)

3. Mr Skripal’s movements between the hours of 9am and 4pm on 4th March 2018.

Of these three pieces of information, the first may or may not be important to the case. However, whether it is important or not, I can well understand why the authorities do not wish it to be made public. If it ever did become common knowledge, regardless of whether it is directly connected with this case or not, it would be hugely embarrassing to the British Government, since it would inevitably lead to the suspicion that the real interference story of the 2016 US election was not the Russian Government’s alleged attempts to get Mr Trump elected (apparently done with the sinister method of placing a few innocuous adverts on Facebook), but rather the attempts of British intelligence (and possibly the Government) to try to stop him being elected. So I can see why they don’t want this to be common knowledge.

But with regard to points number 2 and 3, no such excuse can be considered reasonable, unless there is an alternative explanation to the one offered by the British Government. They want the culprit(s) to be caught, don’t they? They want the case to be completed to everyone’s satisfaction, don’t they? Right, so why is it the public haven’t been shown any CCTV footage of Mr Skripal from 4th March (except a second or two of a car driving down Devizes Road), even though it exists? And why don’t we know with any certainty Mr Skripal’s movements that day, even though this information should be extraordinarily simple to obtain. They could just ask him, couldn’t they, since he is apparently in their care? Bit strange that he apparently doesn’t want the details of his movements known, even though they could help catch the perpetrators, isn’t it? Draw your conclusions accordingly.

Trying to make sense of the case is like trying to square the circle, whilst nailing jelly to the wall, at the same time as attempting to thread a camel through the eye of a needle. However, just occasionally, a piece of disinformation put out by the Government or the media can lead to some quite interesting new pieces of information. As you will see.

In my previous piece on the case, I noted that on 25th March a number of newspapers carried pieces stating that some boys had been taken into hospital to be checked over, as they had been seen on CCTV from 4th March feeding ducks with none other than Mr Skripal. These articles mentioned the place as being the Avon Playground, which is within The Maltings, where the infamous bench is located.

However, in an article in the Sun on 28th March, the paper tracked down one of the boys, Aiden Cooper, interviewing him and his parents, Luke and Victoria. The piece was accompanied by four pictures, one of which had the caption: “Aiden with his parents by the pond where he spoke to Skripal”. However, the odd thing about this was that the location of the pictures was not Avon Playground at all; rather it was Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which is now very much of interest, having been closed off after the subsequent poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

After my piece, I managed to get in contact with Aiden’s mother, Victoria, who has very helpfully answered a few questions I put to her. Firstly, she has confirmed that – as one or two commenters on my previous piece rightly suggested – the photographs that appeared in The Sun were indeed taken in a different park to the one the duck-feeding took place, because they couldn’t get access to the Avon Playground. And so the Avon Playground, within The Maltings, was indeed the place that the duck-feeding occurred. My apologies for this. I was going on what the Sun pictures and the caption stated, which unfortunately turned out to be disinformation, but I should perhaps have attempted to verify this first.

Having said this, my correspondence with Mrs Cooper has led to one or two pieces of information which I think are of interest.

♦    Firstly, she has confirmed that the duck-feeding incident was indeed caught on CCTV, and that this was shown to her, her partner and Aiden by the police. She also said that the footage was really clear.

♦    Secondly, she remembers the time of the incident on the CCTV as being 1:15, but her partner believes it was 1:45. If it was 1:15, this would seriously mess up the police timeline, as they have stated that Mr Skripal was driving down Devizes Road towards the City at 1:35. However, if it was 1:45, this would fit well with that timeline, and with their statement that Mr Skripal parked in Sainsbury’s car park at 1:40. At least we can be sure that the duck incident took place pre-Zizzis.

♦    Thirdly, I asked what Mr Skripal was wearing, and Mrs Cooper confirmed that he was wearing “a leather jacket and blue jeans”.

♦    When I asked about the picture of the two people seen on CCTV in Market Walk, she confirmed that these are definitely not the two people Aiden had been feeding ducks with, and that – and this is very important – the CCTV they had been shown of the duck feeding had shown a “really clear picture” of Aiden with Mr Skripal with Yulia standing behind.

♦    Finally – and here is potentially the most significant thing – when I asked if the female who was with Mr Skripal had a red bag, Mrs Cooper confirmed that this was indeed the case.

I need to caveat what I am about to say with a disclaimer. Without seeing the CCTV footage, we cannot be sure whether this red bag is significant or not. However, what we can say is as follows:

  • At 1:45 (or possibly 1:15), Sergei and Yulia Skripal were feeding ducks in the Avon Playground / Maltings, and Yulia Skripal was seen carrying a red bag. The incident was captured on CCTV.
  • At 15:47, a smartly dressed couple, who were not Sergei and Yulia Skripal, were filmed on CCTV walking through Market Walk. The woman was carrying a red bag.
  • At 16:03, a couple were seen on the bench in The Maltings, having been overcome by some sort of toxic substance. Next to the bench was a red bag, which was taken away in an evidence bag later on.

What to make of this?

As I say, without seeing that CCTV footage, we cannot be sure whether Yulia’s red bag is the same as the one in Market Walk or the one at the bench. But it is too curious a coincidence to pass over. If it is the same bag in all three instances, then we have the opposite scenario to the one I posited in Part 5 of my recent 6-part series. Whereas there I put forward the theory that the couple walking through the Market Walk were delivering a bag to Mr Skripal, this new piece of information opens up a new possibility – and I stress it is just a possibility – that the couple walking through Market Walk were the recipients of the bag from the Skripals.

Make of it what you will. Let’s just say that if this is indeed yet another rabbit trail, the police could easily clear it up by releasing into the public domain the CCTV footage they have of Mr Skripal feeding ducks, which also shows his daughter, who is carrying a red bag. They have no objection to releasing footage of Mr Skripal buying lottery tickets on different days, which is all very interesting, I’m sure, to somebody or other. Yet no footage of Mr Skripal and Yulia on the day of the poisoning, even though it’s key to the case. Why is that, I wonder?

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting

By Patrick ARMSTRONG | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.07.2018

NOTE: Because “NATO” these days is little more than a box of spare parts out of which Washington assembles “coalitions of the willing”, it’s easier for me to write “NATO” than “Washington plus/minus these or those minions”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on” after two people were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Wiltshire. (BBC)

The Russian state could put this wrong right. They could tell us what happened. What they did. And fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue. We have said they can come and tell us what happened. I’m waiting for the phone call from the Russian state. The offer is there. They are the ones who could fill in all the clues to keep people safe. (UK security minister Ben Wallace)

Leaving aside their egregious flouting of the elemental principle of English justice, note that they’re uttering this logical idiocy: Russia must have done it because it hasn’t proved it didn’t. Note also, in Javid’s speech, the amusing suggestion that Russia keeps changing its story; but to fit into the official British story “novichok” must be an instantly lethal slow acting poison which dissipates quickly but lasts for months.

This is an attempt to manipulate our perception of reality. In a previous essay I discussed NATO’s projection of its own actions onto Russia. In this piece I want to discuss another psychological manipulation – gaslighting.

The expression comes from the movie Gaslight in which the villain manipulates her reality to convince his wife that she is insane. Doubt the official Skripal story and it is you – you “Russian troll” – who is imagining things. Only Russian trolls would question Litvinenko’s deathbed accusation written in perfect English handed to us by a Berezovskiy flunky; or the shootdown of MH17; or the invasion of Ukraine; or the cyber attack on Estonia. Only a Russian troll would observe that the fabulously expensive NATO intelligence agencies apparently get their information from Bellingcat. Argumentum ad trollem is everywhere: count the troll accusations here or admire the clever anticipatory use of the technique there.

This is classic gaslighting – I’m telling the truth, you’re the crazy one.

We may illustrate the eleven signs of “gaslighting” given in Psychiatry Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis with recent events.

They tell blatant lies.

The Skripals were poisoned by an incredibly deadly nerve agent that left them with no visible symptoms for hours but not so deadly that it killed them; at least not at Easter; nor the policeman; a nerve agent that could only have been made in Russia although its recipe was published in the open media; that poison having been administered on a doorknob that each had to have touched at the exact same minute that no one else touched; a nerve agent so deadly that they only bothered to clean up the sites 51 days later. And so on: a different story every day. But your mind must be controlled by Putin if you smell a falsehood at any point. And, now we have it all over again: apparently the fiendishly clever Russian assassins smeared the doorknob and then, rather than getting out of town ASAP, sauntered over into a park to toss the container. (Remember the fiendishly clever Russian assassins who spread polonium everywhere?)

And, speaking of proven, long term, repeating liars: remember when accusing the British government of complicity in torture renditions was a conspiracy theory? Well, it turns out the conspiracy was by the other side. “Conspiracy Theorist” is the perfect gaslighting accusation, by the way: you’re the crazy one.

They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

The Skripal case gives a perfect illustration: here’s the UK Foreign Secretary saying Porton Down told him it was Russian (“absolutely categorical”) And here’s the UK Foreign Office disappearing the statement: We never said Porton Down confirmed the origin. It’s rare to get such a quick exposure of a lie, so it’s useful to have this example. Here is an obvious fake from BellingcatAlready the Douma story is being re-polished now that the OPCW has said no organophosphates.

Most of the time it takes years to reveal the lie: gaslighters know the details will be forgotten while the impression remains. 64 years later we learn the “conspiracy theorists” were right about the CIA/UK involvement in the Iran coup. It’s rather amazing how many people still believe the proven liars this time around.

They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

Russians cheat at the sports you follow, scatter nerve agents and radioactive material in places you could be in, sneak into the voting booth with you, blow up airplanes you might be on and tear up the “very fabric of our democracy.” Your favourite actor tells you “we are at war with Russia“.

And the children! The boy on the beachThe boy in the ambulanceBana from AleppoMiraculous recoveries.  Dramatic rescues with camera! Dead children speaking. And finally, the little girl, Trump and the Time cover.

If it’s a child, they’re gaslighting you.

They wear you down over time.

Skripal story fading? How about a CW attack in Syria? No? Back to MH17: same story with one new obviously suspicious detail. Pussy Riot is forgotten and Pavlenskiy an embarrassment, but “Russian bear in Moscow World Cup parade video sparks PETA outrage“! This is what is known as a Gish Gallop: the gaslighter makes 47 assertions, while you’re thinking about the first, he makes 20 more: in former times it was recognised by the the folk saying that “a fool can ask more questions than ten wise men can answer”. But the fools quickly come up with more: dead dogs in Russia: without tuk-tukswith tuk-tuks; your choice.

You are worn down by ten new fake outrages every month: all expressed in simplistic terms. How much context is stuffed into this imbecilic headline? The Plot Against Europe: Putin, Hungary and Russia’s New Iron Curtain. How many thousand words, how many hours to discuss it intelligently? Too late! Time for “Trump and Putin’s Too-Friendly Summit” (NYT 28 June). Forget that! “Sexism at Russia World Cup the worst in history as female fans and broadcasters are harassed“. (Telegraph 30 June). Gone! “We already gave Syria to Putin, so what’s left for Trump to say?” (WaPo 5 July) Stop wondering! “Amesbury poisoning: Here’s what we know about the novichok victims” (Sky News 6 July). No! Trumputin again! “Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?” (NY Mag 8 July). Gish Gallop. The sheer volume of easily-made accusations forces two conclusions: they’re right and you’re wrong (smoke: fire) or, more simply, eventually you – you crazy one! – give up.

Their actions do not match their words.

They bomb hospitals on purposewe bomb them by accident. Discussed further here but the essence of the point is that

it would be physically impossible for Russia to be more destructive than NATO is.

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble.

They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

There are direct rewards of course: cue Udo Ulfkotte; many benefits to swimming with the stream; swimming the other way, not so many. It’s only after they retire that British generals question the story, the cynic observes. German generals too. Maybe even US generals.

But for the rest of us, NATO bathes us in gush: “NATO’s Enduring Mission – Defending Values, Together“. Together, our values: we – you and I – have the good values. NATO loves to praise itself “the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships.” Remember Libya? “A model intervention” said the NATO GenSek of the time. Here is the view on the ground. Most of the “migrants” tearing Europe apart are fleeing the destruction of NATO’s wars. NATO backs (plus/minus minions) the intervention in Mali, a country destabilised by its destruction of Libya. Cue the positive reinforcement: “Projecting Stability: an agenda for action“. In NATOland the gaslight burns bright: “Nato chief: Vladimir Putin ‘weaponising’ refugee crisis to ‘break’ Europe“. NATO keeps pouring butterscotch sauce on the rubble: “NATO is based on some core values – democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty” (25 June).

All I can say, over and over again, is Libya. NATO destroyed Libya, weird as it was, killed Qaddafi, weird as he was, and smugly congratulated itself: “NATO’s Victory in Libya: The Right Way to Run an Intervention“. Ubi solitudinum faciunt pacem appelant. But should that thought occur to you, you’re part of “Russia’s secret plan to destroy EU and NATO“.

They know confusion weakens people.

Remember PropOrNot? Sites that do not agree with the Establishment are Russian bots! Authenticated experts! 100% reliable! The WaPo published the list; when under attack even from proponents of the Putindunnit hysteria, it feebly backtracked: it “does not itself vouch for the validity”. Vermont power grid hack? WaPo fell for that one too. Confusion from the endless Gish Gallop about Putin: in December 2015 I compiled a number: Aspergers, pychopath, slouching and on and on and on.

You may be confused but the gaslighter isn’t: Russia’s to blame for whatever-it-was!

They project.

NATO projects all the time and this headline from the NYT is classic: “Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression“. I discuss NATO’s projection here.

They try to align people against you.

NATO exerts a continual pressure for unanimity. Again, the Skripal story is a good example: London accused Russia and, “in solidarity“, Russian diplomats were expelled all over the world. Allies took its word for it. Now the doubts: in Germany especially. Sanctions must be imposed on Russia because we must be in solidarity with Kiev. “Solidarity” on migrants. “Solidarity” is perhaps the greatest virtue in NATOland. We will hear more pleas for solidarity as NATO dies: when mere “solidarity” is the only reason left; there’s no reason left.

They tell you or others that you are crazy.

It also must be said that when elected officials — including members of Congress — and media platforms amplify propaganda disseminated by Russian trolls, they are aiding the Russians in their efforts.

The goal is to undermine democracy. So you want America to look unstable and Americans not to trust each other.

How Russian Trolls Won American Hearts andMinds

An “existential threat posed by digitally accelerated disinformation“. So no forgiveness to you, crazy Putin trolls. And don’t dare doubt that American democracy is so feeble that it can be directed by a few Facebook ads. Never forget that NATO’s opponents are crazy: Putin is a “madman“; Qaddafi was “crazy“; Saddam Hussein “insane“; Milosevic “rabid“. Only crazy people would defend crazy people.

They tell you everyone else is a liar.

Honest people don’t have to tell you they’re trustworthy, and neither, once upon a time, did the BBC. The Atlantic Council smoothly moves from “Why Is the Kremlin So Fixated on Phantom Fascists?” in May 2017 to “Ukraine’s Got a Real Problem with Far-Right Violence (And No, RT Didn’t Write This Headline)” in June 2018. But it still calls Russia the liar: “Why the Kremlin’s Lies Stick” (May 2018). The Atlantic Council hopes you’re dumb enough not to notice that Russia hasn’t changed its line but the gaslighters have. (Remember O’Brien and two plus two?)

Russian Federation is not the USSR.

I said it the last time: the USSR did lots of things in its time – influencing, fiddling elections, fake news, gaslighting and so on. But, in those days the Communist Party was the “leading and guiding force” but today it’s the opposition. Things have changed in Moscow, but NATO rolls on.

Some hope, though.

While many people are still taken in by the gaslighters, there are hopeful signs. Once upon a time Internet versions of the mass media allowed comments. Gradually, one by one, they shut down their comments sections because of “trolls”, “fake news” and offended “standards” but really because of disagreement. Perhaps the most famous case is that of the Guardianan entire website, has been created by people whose comments were rejected because they violated “community standards”. I always read the comments in the Daily Mail, especially the best rated, and on the Skripal stories, the comments are very sceptical indeed of the official story. For example.

This is rather encouraging: for gaslighting really to work, the gaslighter either has to be in such a position of power that he can completely control the victim’s surroundings or in such a position of authority that the victim cannot imagine doubting what he says. Those days are gone.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Chief Rabbi Vs. Labour Party

By Gilad Atzmon | July 17, 2018

The BBC reports this morning that Britan’s chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said Labour will be “on the wrong side” of the fight against racism unless it toughens up its anti-Semitism code of conduct.

Rabbi Mirvis said Labour’s new anti-Semitism definition sent “an unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community”.

Apparently the Chief Rabbi is not alone. The J Post reports this morning that “Sixty-eight British rabbis signed an open letter decrying antisemitism in the country’s labor Party and calling on the party to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.”

Labour has defended its new code as the most “comprehensive” of any party.

But one may wonder, why do we need a special definition for antisemitsm? Is a general and universal denouncement of racism, bigotry and discrimination of all kinds not sufficient?  Are Jews somehow special?

The new Labour code does endorse the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism and includes behaviours it lists as likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic – yet Jewish critics point out that it leaves out four examples from that definition:

*  Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country

*  Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour

*  Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations

*  Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis

Far from being surprising, Corbyn’s Labour see Israeli criminality as a problem and insists upon the right to criticise the actions of the Jewish State and its lobbies in political, cultural and historical contexts.

Rabbi Mirvis attacked the omission of these examples by the Labour and said it was “astonishing that the Labour Party presumes it is more qualified” to define anti-Semitism than the Jewish community.

The Rabbi could be slightly confused here.  Jews are more than welcome to define antisemitsm, as they like, but the labour party has the duty to define what it regards as an anti Jewish bigotry in accordance to its own alleged universal values.

Mirvis said Labour risked being on the “wrong side of the fight” against racism and intolerance

I would argue however that the Labour party, Rabbi Mirvis and most British Jewish institutions are on the wrong side of history here. If racism and Bigotry are defined as the discrimination of X for being X (X=woman, Jew, Black, Muslim, Gay, White etc.), then for Britain to move forward and to sustain the spirit of the common law, it must oppose all forms of racism and bigotry all together and equally.

To fight racism we need to follow one simple universal guideline rather than looking for the specific demands of one group or another.

Support Gilad’s legal costs.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

UK drone personnel could be liable for war crimes

MEMO | July 17, 2018

A two-year probe by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on drones claims that British military personnel could be prosecuted for murder and complicit in alleged war crimes, a report launched today reveals.

The inquiry – ‘The UK’s use of Armed Drones: Working with Partners’ – received 17 written evidence submissions and conducted six oral evidence sessions by experts in the field. Some 19 recommendations were put forward to “guarantee a solid foundation for UK drone policy and operations moving forward”.

The inquiry called upon the British government to immediately publish its “targeted killing” policy, just as the United States and Israel have done previously, but more importantly to establish “an independent scrutiny mechanism responsible to Parliament in the event that any UK drone (armed or unarmed) is used in an operation where lethal force is employed,” the report said.

Currently, all drone strikes involving civilian casualties and cases where British nationals have been killed go without any transparency or accountability.

The report raises concern that the ongoing uncertainty about government policy may leave front-line British personnel in considerable doubt about whether what they are being asked to do is lawful, therefore exposing them to the risk of criminal prosecution for murder or complicity in murder.

The UK’s military engagement in Syria and Iraq since 2014 against Daesh “raised some serious questions about the legality, efficacy, and strategic coherence” of the British targeted killing programme. “The APPG argues that there is a political and ethical imperative for the government to review and clarify its procedures for using drones and all the multi-national systems that back them up, lest ambiguities in the current position leave the UK dangerously exposed to legal challenges arising either from its own direct use of drones, or effective complicity in their use by others”, the report said.

Parliament’s concerns about the legality of the drone programme began in 2015, when a British drone targeted two British nationals, Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin. The killings took place in Syria, at a time when military action was not mandated by the British Parliament. Rights Watch UK, a British human rights organisation working for a just and accountable security, requested the disclosure of the legal basis for targeting British citizens abroad.

Top secret documents attained by the American news website, The Intercept, revealed that Menwith Hill Station, based in North Yorkshire in England, is being used to track and pass on intelligence information to the United States for drone strikes. Complicity in US drone strikes has raised questions over unlawful killings.

The UK is working with partners around the globe, sharing intelligence and collaborating on operational missions. Middle Eastern states are also involved in the killing programme, including Qatar.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 2 Comments

Lord Correlli Barnett and the Collapse of American Power

By Martin SIEFF | Strategic Culture Foundation | 16.07.2018

My old teacher and mentor, Elie Kedourie, Professor of Politics at the University of London liked to say that Clio, the Greek muse of history had a great sense of humor and irony. This thought comes vividly to mind rereading one of the most important books ever written on the causes of the decline and disintegration of the British Empire in the first half of the 21th century, Correlli Barnett’s The Collapse of British Power.

Barrett’s enormous and still controversial masterpiece was published in 1972. Yet today it has a greater relevance than ever. For every time “Britain” is mentioned in the text, cross the word out, then replace it with “the United States” or “America” and his explanations for British decline and fall apply and explain even more presciently the current dilemmas of the United States.

Barnett gave as major reasons for the collapse of British power strategic over-extension after World War I when the British, already administering an empire covering one quarter of the entire land territory and one quarter of the human race, stretched even further and saw themselves as the global hyper-power and police, charged with maintaining a true World Order across the entire planet.

Today, those words and conceptions have an especially eerie and contemporary ring.

By claiming to be the global hyper-power, Barnett cogently argued, the British instead guaranteed that they could not even remain as an international superpower. They overextended and exhausted themselves. They over-stretched and exhausted their land combat forces in a plethora of minor wars and counter-insurgencies around the world, most notably in Iraq, Palestine, Ireland and Afghanistan – all regions that have today an astonishingly contemporary ring.

In the end Britain’s imperial leaders extended their network of guarantees to the tiny, unstable and narrowly parochial states of Central and Eastern Europe, ensuring their inevitable strategic collisions with first Germany and then the Soviet Union – again, strategic misconceptions that echo with especial relevance today.

Barnett most of all explored the crumbling and collapse of Britain’s once awesome industrial base. He put this down to a fatal, blind – indeed deluded – reliance on the workings of the free market without any government intervention, encouragement or protection for strategic industries.

Britain practiced Free Trade from 1860 to 1931 except for the four years of World War I at the very same time its arch rivals Germany, the United States and Imperial Japan applied high industrial and agricultural tariffs and successfully developed their modern industries and rural economies, dramatically raising the standard of living of their peoples in the process.

The British then, like the Americans today believed in Free Trade as an economic panacea blind to the avalanche of empirical, practical evidence to the contrary.

Like modern Americans, they laid exaggerated importance on theoretical university education in the humanities and on liberal theories of economics and politics, while their ruling elites were pathetically ignorant of what today are known in the United States as the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

It is therefore no coincidence that Margaret Thatcher, the only British leader to revive and stabilize her country’s economy and international standing since World War II, had worked professionally as a research scientist in the chemical industry. Thatcher also regarded Barnett as her favorite historian and raised him to the House of Lords as a Life Peer, an almost unprecedented honor for an academic British scholar.

Today Thatcher is gone but Barnett lives on at a remarkable 91. He followed up his 1972 masterpiece with three searing sequels on how the British threw away the manufacturing advantages they still enjoyed after being rescued in World War II by the alliance and support of the United States and the Soviet Union. Those three later books, The Audit of War: The Illusion and Reality of Britain as a Great Nation (1986), known in the United States as The Pride and the Fall; The Lost Victory: British Dreams and British Realities, 1945-50 (Macmillan, 1995) and The Verdict of Peace: Britain between her Yesterday and the Future remain definitive works today. They are known collectively as The Pride and Fall Sequence.

Ironically, Barnett greatly admired the America of the first half of the 20th century and held it up as an example of wise industrial, social, economic and strategic policies that Britain should have emulated but did not.

Instead the opposite happened, the Americans following the end of the Cold War plunged precisely into the same mad and futile dreams of eternal global leadership as the British had done, dragging them inexorably into one vicious, morally reprehensible and financially exhausting little “colonial” war after another to crush emerging national, social and economic movements around the world. They failed repeatedly.

Eventually these self-righteous and moralistic – but never moral – policies propelled Britain and its Empire into the one catastrophe they should have avoided at all costs – another world war.

Barnett recognized the fateful path the United States had taken. In 2003, never fearful of controversy he was scathingly critical of the US invasion of Iraq and its claimed moral and grand strategic goals. Clio, Muse of History must have applauded.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Time to Invite Russian Diplomats Back with an Apology

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 16.07.2018

On 4th of March 2018 former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were discovered on a park bench in Salisbury England in a distressed state. They were treated by passers-by, including a doctor, before being taken to Salisbury General Hospital.

The hospital initially treated the Skripals for a suspected drug overdose as the symptoms they exhibited were consistent with poisoning by fentanyl, a substance 10 times stronger than heroin, and with which the hospital had prior experience. The hospital’s initial diagnosis was confirmed in an article that appeared in the Clinical Services Journal on 27 April 2018. After the journal’s online article was publicized on social media, references to “fentanyl” were changed to “a substance.”

It was not the first or last time that the official story about what happened to the Skripals was changed.

Three days after the Skripals were found, the British government issued a “D” Notice. The ‘Notice”, officially a “request” but in effect a demand, forbade mention of Mr Skripal’s friend Pablo Miller. Why publicity about Mr Miller was to be suppressed is one of the features of this case, and apart from the initial report in the UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph, which led to the ‘D’ Notice, he has not been referred to again in the mainstream media.

On 12 March 2018 the British Prime Minister Theresa May made her first statement to the House of Commons in which she alleged that the Skripals had been poisoned with a nerve agent “of a type developed by Russia,” and that it was “highly likely” Russia was responsible.

The British government subsequently circulated a memorandum and power point presentation to 80 embassies setting out the argument that Russia was responsible for what happened to the Skripals, and seeking support for their intention to expel Russian diplomats as a punishment. The various allegations made in the PowerPoint presentation were at best contentious and some were demonstrably untrue. It is suffice for present purposes however to focus only on the claims of alleged Russian responsibility for the Skripal attacks.

A number of countries, including Australia, acceded to the British demand and expelled diplomats. The statement made by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing that two Russian diplomats would be expelled made no attempt to establish the truth of the matter or indicate any desire to do so. His statement simply echoed the allegations made in the British document.

Turnbull said that the use of a chemical weapon to try to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal reflected a “pattern of recklessness and aggression” by the Russian government that had to be stopped. Russia, he said was threatening no less than “the democratic world” in deliberately undermining the international rules based order. He went on to list a series of other alleged transgressions that echoed the claims made by the United Kingdom government.

One of the interesting features of this case is that not only was it a rush to judgement before the evidence could possibly have been gathered and analysed, but that the mainstream media and the politicians have not deviated from their initial claims, despite the wealth of evidence that has subsequently emerged.

Like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, they demanded the sentence before the evidence had been presented, and also like Alice in the eponymous story, asked us to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

The diligent reader is able to readily ascertain just how lengthy that list of impossible things is. It is suffice for present purposes to mention only a few to demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s entire story is a fabrication that would be funny were its potential consequences not so serious.

The United Kingdom government claimed that the Skripals had been poisoned by “a military grade nerve agent” that they see it was a Novichok “of a type of developed by Russia.” From that combination of alleged facts, we were expected to infer that only the Russians could have been responsible.

”Novichok” is a sufficiently Russian sounding nomenclature to give superficial credence to at least part of the claim. The first difficulty however is that there is no “Novichok” nerve agent. The term simply refers to a class of organophosphate chemical weapons. It is true that this class of chemical weapon was developed in the former Soviet Union, as described in a book published by a former employee of the chemical centre, readily available on Amazon.

That manufacturing and research development centre was demolished pursuant to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1999, as was described as the time in an article in the New York Times. Material from the demolition process was taken back to the United States. All of this information is readily available and politicians and journalists prior to their making claims about nerve agents “of a type developed by Russia” should have known it

The Novichok class of nerve agents may or may not have been initially developed by the Soviet Union, but that is a far cry from linking the substance allegedly used in Salisbury with that original program. A number of European governments have acknowledged that they possess the Novichok class of nerve agents.

A search of the United States Patent Office records however, reveals that between 2002 and November 2017 81 patents were applied for using the name “Novichok”. A patent filed in April 2013 includes a description of a delivery method, including bullet like projectiles that can target a single person.

Secondly, the former United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom on 12 March 2018 that the nerve agent used on the Skripals was an A234. You are a number of problems with this claim quite apart from Mr Johnson’s general difficulty with the truth. The consulting surgeon at Salisbury Hospital, Dr Steven Davies had a letter to The Times newspaper published on 14 March 2018 in which he stated that “no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.” In contradistinction to unsubstantiated claims that as many as 40 people had been affected, Dr Davies referred to only three patients receiving treatment in this context. This was presumably a reference to the two Skripals and a police officer.

A234 is a highly toxic substance, 8 to 10 times more powerful then VX (of a type developed by the UK) that had been used to kill a relative of North Korean leader Kim at the Kuala Lumpur airport. VX will kill within a few minutes, yet the A234 allegedly used on the Skripals failed to kill or even severely disable them or the third alleged victim, detective Sergeant Bailey.

A further and likely conclusive reason to reject A234 as the substance used, was that the report by the OPCW based on samples collected from Salisbury 17 to 18 days after the incident said that the substance in the samples was of “high purity”.

The scientific evidence, again readily ascertainable by a reasonably diligent journalist is that A234 and similar substances degrade rapidly. It is literally impossible for samples collected 17 to 18 days after the event to be of “high purity.” The purity also makes it impossible to identify the specific source of the manufacture, and furthermore guarantees that it originated in a properly equipped laboratory. That OPCW report effectively destroyed the last shreds of the UK government’s claims.

Given that Bailey and the Skripals have both made complete recoveries, it could not have been a “military grade” nerve agent that caused their plight. There is also the indisputable fact that whatever was used on the Skripals could not have come from Yulia’s suitcase, the air vents of their motor vehicle, or the front door knob of Mr Skripal’s house, or any of the other fantastical claims made at various times by the UK government for the simple reason that they were alive and well approximately six hours after leaving the house.

During that time the Skripals visited the cemetery, had a meal at Zizzi’s restaurant, and had an untroubled walk through the centre of Salisbury, captured by the CCTV camera. The fact that they both took ill, at the same time and in the same specific location, leads to the almost irresistible inference that they were attacked at or near the park bench where they were found in a distressed state.

For these various reasons, and a great deal of the others in the now considerable body of literature on this topic, we do not know with what they were attacked, nor by whom. At best we know approximately where and at approximately what time. A proper inquiry, as opposed to the wild and unjustified accusations and premature conclusions constantly reiterated in the mainstream media, would approach this question with an open mind. It has been abundantly clear that a proper enquiry is the furthest thing from the minds of the British government or their acolytes such as Australia.

A proper inquiry would also consider the relevance of motive. There has been no plausible suggestion, much less evidence, as to why the Russian government would wish to do the Skripals harm, and some solid reasons why the Russian government would be the least likely candidate to wish ill upon the Skripals.

This brings us back to Sergei Skripal, his history and the aforementioned D notices. One of those D notices inhibited publication of the details relating to Pablo Miller. That raises the obvious question, not pursued by the mainstream media unfettered by the D notice, as to why the British government would wish to protect Mr Miller’s identity and his links to Mr Skripal.

Miller and Skripal are friends, both living in Salisbury and known to socialize together. Their history goes rather deeper. Miller is a former MI6 officer and during the time that Skripal was a double agent in the employ of the Russian GRU Agency and selling Russian secrets to the British, Miller was his ‘handler.’

Miller worked in Moscow in conjunction with Christopher Steele, the assumed author of the infamous Trump dossier that collected together various allegations about Trump’s Russian activities, both business and personal.

That dossier was commissioned by the Democratic National Committee on behalf of Trump’s opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Hilary Clinton. The DNC commissioned Fusion GPS who in turn contracted with Orbis Business Intelligence. Christopher Steele was the principal of Orbis and Miller was one of his associates.

The American outlet Buzzfeed released the complete dossier on 10 January 2017 and on the same day the May government issued a D notice prohibiting the British press from revealing Steele to be the author. The Wall Street Journal however, published his name the following day.

According to the Czech magazine Respekt, Skripal had recent links to Czech intelligence and he travelled to both the Czech Republic and Estonia in 2016 and had met with intelligence officers from both countries.

This evidence strongly supports the inference that Skripal was still an active agent on behalf of the British who were known to be strongly opposed to the election of Donald Trump. Given Skripal’s knowledge of Russian intelligence, his links with the intelligence community in at least four countries, his close ties to both Miller and Steele going back to his GRU days, and at least according to one textual analysis of the dossier, it is entirely possible that Skripal was in fact one of the authors of the dossier.

These facts are now well established. At the very least it raises serious questions about who else might have a motive to give Mr Skripal a “message.” Whoever was responsible, the incident was certainly used by the UK government as part of a wider campaign to discredit the Russian government in general and President Putin in particular. In this endeavour, they have been willingly aided and abetted by the Australian government and mainstream media.

The failure of either to acknowledge the manifold flaws in the original allegations and to accept that the UK government’s version has been comprehensively discredited is an enduring disgrace.

At the very least the Russian government is owed an apology. That would go at least some way to acknowledging that the premature judgement and intemperate response has damaged Australia’s international image and its foreign relations.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos

By Aidan O’Brien | CounterPunch |July 13, 2018

Ireland’s oldest university – Trinity College Dublin – gave Hillary Clinton an honorary doctorate in late June. It was one big love in. Clinton was paraded and praised like a people’s champion. And in return Clinton fawned over Dublin’s cutting edge liberal politics.

A Trinity College professor orated about Clinton: “Almost sixty-six million people have given her their vote of confidence, sharing her belief that a true democracy is a society in which everyone is equally valued as a human being.”

And Clinton’s response: “These last few years in Ireland have been a testament to the power of young people to shape the future – from the 2015 marriage equality referendum, which saw historic youth turnout, to this year’s abortion referendum…. No demographic is better positioned to be a force on the side of democracy, progress and equality.”

Behind these delusions, platitudes and lies there is a logic. A disturbing one – one that actually built Trinity College Dublin way back in 1592. And one that sustains the same College today in 2018. It sustains Clinton too. It’s the logic of imperialism. And the shameless culture of empire worship that goes with it.

Hillary Clinton personifies the last thirty years of US imperialism. And so by honoring her, Trinity College honors three decades of US savagery across the planet. Firstly, during Hillary’s “reign”, there were the wars which the US orchestrated – for example, in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. And secondly, there’s the neoliberal wars against the global working class which Bill and Hillary Clinton have sold nonstop – from NAFTA (1994) to the repeal of Glass-Steagall (1999) and onto the bailout of the banks (2008 – to the present). The resulting social chaos across the world is a testament to Hillary Clinton’s politics. She more than Donald Trump is the face of the corrupt American Empire.

Her contempt for America, democracy and the world is no secret. The Podesta emails (released by WikiLeaks in 2016) – for example – reveal a two faced politician: a Wall Street Clinton and a Main Street Clinton. For $225,000 a speech Clinton tells the banksters the truth. And for votes she tells the American people fairytales. In her own words: “But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

Referring to the Podesta emails in October 2016, the New York Times noted that: “Mrs. Clinton describes herself as “far removed” from average Americans and their finances.” The reason? “The Clintons have made more than $120 million in speeches to Wall Street and special interests since Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001.” These facts sum up the deep politics of Clinton. To say the least, she represents America’s 1%.

And so she had no problem dismissing half of America’s 99% as “a basket of deplorables”. And no problem either conspiring against the other half of America’s 99% – those who vote Democrat. In November, 2017 CNN reported: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren [Massachusetts] said she believes that the Democratic National Committee [DNC] was “rigged” in favor of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary. Asked…… by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether she believes that the Democratic campaign organization was tipped in favor of Clinton over her primary opponent, independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren responded without hesitation: “Yes.””

Because Clinton’s political machine had all the corporate money – she or her handlers got to pick the members of the DNC. Therefore in key Democratic primaries the superdelegates, which decided the vote, were her puppets. Such are Clinton’s democratic credentials.

Clinton’s real heart of darkness, however, is found in the bowels of US foreign policy. The key to understanding Hillary Clinton’s view of the world and humanity is Madeleine Albright (Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State). And the key to understanding Albright’s dark heart is her infamous words on CBS television in 1996. Asked about the death of 500,000 children – caused by the US / UK sanctions against Iraq – Madeleine Albright said that “we think the price is worth it”.

This barbaric sentiment reflects the soul of Hillary Clinton’s Weltanschauung because it was Hillary who prompted Bill Clinton to appoint Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State. Hillary clearly identified herself with Albright’s take on the world. Writing in popsugar.com in 2016, Lisette Mejia quotes Albright as saying: “I would not have been secretary of state if it had not been for Hillary Clinton….. She would go to [Bill] and say,…. ’Why wouldn’t you name Madeleine? She is more in tune with your views than anyone else and she expresses them better than anyone else.”

The fact that Hillary Clinton tried to quickly follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton (she twice attempted to be the US President  – in 2008 and 2016), indeed suggests that Madeleine Albright was “more in tune with [her own] views than anyone else”. And expressed “them better than anyone else”. And the fact that Hillary actually ended up following in the footsteps of Albright in the US Department of State (she was Obama’s first Secretary of State, 2009-13), points to a startling parallel between these two female imperialists. One that eerily manifested itself in another blunt barbaric remark caught on camera. When asked in a 2011 television interview to comment on the murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi (and indirectly on the murder of Libya – a clear case of genocide), Hillary casually said “we came, we saw, he [and Libya] died”. And then she laughed.

No one has expressed the horrors of US imperialism in the last three decades better than Hillary Clinton (in one guise or the other). And no one has supported them more than Hillary Clinton.

So why did Trinity College Dublin celebrate her? Firstly: as Edward Said wrote in a 2003 preface to his book Orientalism (1978), “there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.” Trinity College Dublin is the embodiment of this chorus.

And secondly: Trinity College Dublin was built in 1592 by the first queen of chaos (Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I), so it only makes sense that it celebrates the latest queen of chaos – Hillary Clinton (the image is Diana Johnstone’s). The chaos theory of Empire is in the DNA of Ireland’s model university. Trinity College might reject the chaos of revolution (a statue of Edmund Burke – the critic of the French Revolution – guards the entrance of the university), but it has always defended the chaos of imperialism.

When Britain’s Tudor Queen built Trinity College in Dublin – the Irish were like the Iraqis and Libyans of today. They were fair game, thrash, expendable, a price worth paying and a laugh. And Trinity College rationalized it for the imperialists. That was it’s raison d’être.

Edward Said explains, in his book Culture And Imperialism (1993), the Irish situation back then as follows: “In Ireland, [Angus] Calder says, the idea of murdering Gaels was from the start ‘as part of a royal army or with royal approval, [considered] patriotic, heroic and just.’ The idea of English racial superiority became ingrained; so humane a poet and gentleman as Edmund Spenser in his View of the Present State of Ireland (1596) was boldly proposing that since the Irish were barbarian Scythians, most of them should be exterminated.”

The idea of Irish inferiority and the inferiority of colonized people’s everywhere ‘became ingrained’ in places like Trinity College Dublin. How else could the Empire have survived?

Today the American establishment continues what the British establishment started way back in the 16th century. And so places like Trinity College Dublin continue to dress up barbarism in the clothes of civilization – yesterday they did it for Britain, today for America. As Noam Chomsky has insinuated so often – the general rule is that intellectuals lie for a living. Ireland’s intellectual-class have just proved the point.

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

July 13, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Globalist Elite Fears Peace, Wants War

By Federico PIERACCINI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.07.2018

The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that “peace could break out between Russia and the United States”.

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The following so stretches credulity that sources will have to be cited and exact quotations given to be believed.

A case in point is the following title: “Fears growing over the prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin.” The Times does not here fear a military escalation in Ukraine, an armed clash in Syria, a false-flag poisoning in England, or a new Cold War. The Times does not fear a nuclear apocalypse, the end of humanity, the suffering of hundreds of millions of people. No, one of the most authoritative and respected broadsheets in the world is fearful of the prospect of peace! The Times is afraid that the heads of two nuclear-armed superpowers are able to talk to each other. The Times fears that Putin and Trump will be able to come to some kind of agreement that can help avert the danger of a global catastrophe. These are the times in which we live. And this is the type of media we deal with. The problem with The Times is that it forms public opinion in the worst possible way, confusing, deceiving, and disorienting its readers. It is not by accident the world in which we live is increasingly divorced from logic and rationality.

Even if the outcome of this meeting does not see any substantial progress, the most important thing to be achieved will be the dialogue between the two leaders and the opening of negotiation channels for both sides.

In The Times article, it is assumed that Trump and Putin want to reach an agreement regarding Europe. The insinuation is that Putin is manipulating Trump in order to destabilize Europe. For years now we have been inundated with such fabrications by the media on behalf of their editors and shareholders, all part of the deep state conglomerate. Facts have in fact proven that Putin has always desired a strong and united Europe, looking to integrate Europe into the Eurasian dream. Putin and Xi Jinping would like to see a European Union more resistant to American pressure and able to gain greater independence. The combination of mass migration and sanctions against Russia and Iran, which end up hurting Europeans, opens the way for alternative parties that are not necessarily willing to [obey] Washington’s marching orders.

Trump’s focus for the meeting will be to convince Putin to put even more pressure on Europe and Iran, perhaps in exchange for the recognition of Crimea and the ending of sanctions. For Putin and for Russia it is a strategic issue. While sanctions are bad, the top priority for Moscow remains the alliance with Iran, the need to further strengthen relations with European countries, and to defeat terrorism in Syria. Perhaps only a revision of the ABM treaty and the withdrawal of these weapons from Europe would be an interesting offer for Putin. However, reality shows us that the ABM treaty is a pillar of Washington’s military-industrial complex, and that it is also Eastern European countries that want such offensive and defensive systems in their own countries, seeing them as a deterrents against Russia. Are they victims of their own propaganda, or are billions of dollars pouring into their pockets? Either way, it does not really matter. The most important point for Moscow will be the withdrawal of the Aegis Ashore ABM systems as well as military ships with the same Aegis system. But this is not something that Trump will be able to negotiate with his military leaders. For the military-industrial complex, the ABM system, thanks to maintenance, innovation and direct or indirect commissions, is a gravy train that too many interests intend to keep riding.

From the Kremlin’s point of view, the removal of sanctions remains necessary for the restoration of normal relations with the West. But this would be difficult to achieve, given that Moscow would have little to offer Washington in exchange. The strategists at the Pentagon demand a withdrawal from Syria, an end to support for Donbass, and a cessation of relations with Iran. There is simply too much divergence to reach a common position. Moreover, Europe’s sanctions against Russia benefit Washington, as they hurt the Europeans and thereby undermine what is a major trading competitor to the US. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) can be looked at in the same light, blocking US allies from doing business with Iran.

Putin will keep faith with his commitments to Syria and with his allies, unwilling to betray his word even for the recognition of Crimea. On the other hand, as already mentioned, the priority remains the removal of the ABM; and while Crimea is already under the control of the Russian Federation, Syria remains an unstable territory that risks propelling Islamist terrorism to Russia’s soft underbelly in the Caucasus. For Moscow, involvement in Syria has always been a matter of national security, and this certainly remains the same now, even with Donald Trump’s unrealistic offers.

It should be kept in mind that Putin is aiming for a medium- to long-term strategy in the Middle East, where Iran, Syria and the entire Shiite arc serves to counter Saudi and Israeli aggression and hegemony. This strange alliance has emerged as the only way to deter war and dial down the heat in the region, because the crazy actions from Netanyahu or Mohammad bin Salman are deterred by a strong Iranian military. Preventing a confrontation between Iran and Saudis/Israelis also means not making Tehran appear weak or isolated. Such considerations seem beyond the strategists in Washington, let alone in Tel Aviv or Riyadh.

While it is difficult to achieve a positive outcome from the meeting between Trump and Putin, it is important that there is a meeting in the first place, contrary to what The Times thinks. The media and the conglomerate of power that revolves around the US deep state fear diplomacy in particular. The same narrative that was proclaimed weeks before and after the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un is being repeated with regard to Trump’s meeting with Putin.

Washington bases its power on force, both economic and military. But this power also rests on the posture assumed and image projected. The United States and its deep state considers negotiating with opponents to be wrong and counterproductive. They consider dialogue to be synonymous with weakness, and any concession is interpreted as surrender. This result of 70 years of American exceptionalism and 30 years of Unipolarity, has allowed the US the ability to decide unilaterally the fate of others.

Today, in a multipolar world, the dynamics are different and therefore more complex. You cannot always employ a zero-sum mentality, as The Times does. The rest of the world recognizes that a dialogue between Putin and Trump is something positive, but we must not forget that, as in Korea, if diplomacy does not bring significant progress, then the hawks surrounding Trump will again be in the ascendant. The tasks for Rouhani, Putin and Kim Jong-un are complex and quite different from each other, but they share in common the belief that dialogue is the only way to avoid a catastrophic war. But apparently, peace is not the best possible result for everyone.

July 13, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

The Holes in the Official Skripal Story

By Craig Murray | July 12, 2018

In my last post I set out the official Government account of the events in the Skripal Case. Here I examine the credibility of this story. Next week I shall look at alternative explanations.

Russia has a decade long secret programme of producing and stockpiling novichok nerve agents. It also has been training agents in secret assassination techniques, and British intelligence has a copy of the Russian training manual, which includes instruction on painting nerve agent on doorknobs.

The only backing for this statement by Boris Johnson is alleged “intelligence”, and unfortunately the “intelligence” about Russia’s secret novichok programme comes from exactly the same people who brought you the intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programme, proven liars. Furthermore, the question arises why Britain has been sitting on this intelligence for a decade and doing nothing about it, including not telling the OPCW inspectors who certified Russia’s chemical weapons stocks as dismantled.

If Russia really has a professional novichok assassin training programme, why was the assassination so badly botched? Surely in a decade of development they would have discovered that the alleged method of gel on doorknob did not work? And where is the training manual which Boris Johnson claimed to possess? Having told the world – including Russia -the UK has it, what is stopping the UK from producing it, with marks that could identify the specific copy erased?

The Russians chose to use this assassination programme to target Sergei Skripal, a double agent who had been released from jail in Russia some eight years previously.

It seems remarkable that the chosen target of an attempt that would blow the existence of a secret weapon and end the cover of a decade long programme, should be nobody more prominent than a middle ranking double agent who the Russians let out of jail years ago. If they wanted him dead they could have killed him then. Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps. Putin therefore, on this reading, was willing to sacrifice both the secrecy of the novichok programme and the spy swap card just to attack Sergei Skripal. That seems highly improbable.

Only the Russians can make novichok and only the Russians had a motive to attack the Skripals.

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding. In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors.

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear.

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fueling tension with Russia.

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal’s MI6 handler Pablo Miller’s work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump.

Plainly, the British government’s statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts.

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller’s long term friend, the BBC’s Mark Urban, that the Russians “may have been” tapping Yulia Skripal’s phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack.

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets. I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia’s phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed.

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there.

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury?

Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily. Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around. Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain.

Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses. The odds of that happening are virtually nil. And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective?

Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected.

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tony amount can kill?

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly? Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies.

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

From Holocaust Industry to Judicial Industry

By Hafsa Kara-Mustapha | American Herald Tribune | July 12, 2018

For decades Palestinians insisted that whatever European Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime, Palestinians should not be made to pay for it.

That of course fell on deaf ears while generations of Zionist Jews continued to milk the horrors of the Second World War in order to justify to world opinion Israel’s genocidal policies in Palestine.

In 2000, American academic Norman Finkelstein produced a book that would eventually shed light on Zionist methods used to reap much financial as well as political capital out of the concentration camps.

Since then it has been revealed that much of the literature was often faked, exaggerated or imagined. These embarrassing revelations would come to light but rapidly swept under the carpet as long as Holocaust survivors were still alive and able to be wheeled out at any given opportunity to inflate Israel and Zionist organisations’ coffers.

Perhaps the most mystifying and tragic-comical is the heart-wrenching Anne Frank diary. Described for years as the account of a young teenage girl forced to live in hiding because of her Jewish faith, it emerged once the copyrights on the book came to an end that the story had in fact been written by her father thus extending by some thirty years the [copyrighted] monetary potential of this work whose authenticity is now difficult to ascertain.

Never the less, with all the Chutzpah Israel’s advocates are known for, the Diary we are told still represents an accurate depiction of life for the Franks during WW2. Except that its entire premise is now proved to be wrong and that those who exposed it in the past were accused of the dubious ‘absence of belief’ otherwise known as Holocaust denial. The most pressing case that comes to mind is that of French philosopher and resistance fighter Roger Garaudy who was accused of that very crime for noting that the original manuscript written in ball point pen could not have been genuine since those pens were introduced in the 50’s, years after the alleged demise of little Anne in Bergen Belsen.

His crime was considered such that when he died in 2012 his family were forced to cremate his remains, despite it being contrary to his religious beliefs, because the Jewish Defence League had promised to come and unearth his body and desecrate his grave.

Needless to say no action was taken against this group in France despite their threat against a deceased war hero who fought the Nazis.

Today of course Holocaust survivors are harder to come-by. Nature being what it is, these victims or supposed victims of Nazi crimes, are meeting their natural ending forcing Israel and its supporters to look for new ways to make money and increase the Israel sympathy capital.

That however is an increasing hard sell as more and more people come to the realisation that while Israel claims to be a victim, it is the one responsible of the occupying, destroying, slaughtering and subjugating of the Palestinian people.

A new era, a new financial plan

In recent years it has been more obvious that falling foul of the pro-Israel thought police is a career-jeopardising if not career-breaking move. This is why even the most notorious bigots, famed for spewing out hatred for all and sundry, are careful not to cross the ‘Jewish’ line.

Katie Hopkins well-known for her extreme views which included comparing drowned black children to cockroaches has always been very careful to broadcast her love for Judeo-Zionism. Often tweeting about her admiration for Israel and how Netanyahu is a brilliant leader. Yet even she fell foul of the ‘tribe’ when she called for a ‘final solution’ for Muslims. That vocabulary, viewed as exclusive to Jewish suffering lead to her consequent dismissal from her radio-hosting job which had up until then remained safe despite her outrageous outbursts.

In the context of dying Holocaust survivors coupled with young generations no longer interested in the WW2 narrative, new forms of funding have to be unearthed. For the Zionist lobby a new opportunity offering generous financial return has appeared: the Judicial sector.

Hiding, as ever, behind the dubious claim of Antisemitism, Zionist organisations have taken it upon themselves to sue left right and centre anyone breathing in the opposite direction of Tel Aviv, or should it be Jerusalem?

With anti-Semitism increasingly difficult to define Zionists in the UK have discovered a new lucrative project. Thanks to an ever favourable pro-complainant British legal system, Zio milk-maids have found a new cash cow with a near-endless supply udder. Irrespective of the value of the complaint, these organisations will make money whatever the outcome.

Forget the Holocaust industry and make way for the Judicial industry: a way to extract money from journalists, activists, authors and even comedians for saying something that Israel supporting Jews will claim is anti-Semitic in a bid to favour a Zionist narrative of world events i.e.: if Jews suffer from anti-Semitism, then the existence of Israel and supporting it –even when it commits endless crimes- is justified.

This financial planning has obviously been made easy by a complicit political class and media that has allowed the most dubious of definitions to apply to allegations of Antisemitism.

In today’s world claiming there is no anti-Semitism is anti-Semitic. Criticising the gunning down of 20 year old nurses is anti-Semitic, drawing a cartoon of Israeli premier is anti-Semitic actually even defending yourself from claims of anti-Semitism is well anti-Semitic. The buck –or should I say shekel- stops with Zionists and whoever says otherwise is an… you get the picture.

Looked at thoroughly some claims are truly ridiculous except that to Israel supporters they are anything but.

In recent years they have successfully brought charges against a plethora of free-thinkers and have made a great deal of money doing it.

When in 2014, the Israeli army was pounding yet again civilians in Gaza, a group of UK Zionist Jews decided that the most civilised response to this latest onslaught was to set up an organisation that would tackle anti-Semitism. The idea behind this latest Zionist endeavour is that criticism of excessive use of force against a people that have no army or navy and are living under siege is offensive to Jews.

Some would argue that it’s the mass slaughter of innocent men and women that should offend Jews as well as Christians, Muslims, Taoists, atheists, deists, agnostics, Sikhs etc… but it is apparently an affront to Britain’s Jewish population to report accurately on what happens in Gaza.

With that in mind the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) was founded in a bid to expose and counter ‘anti-Semitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law.’

Having identified a new source of financial reward, the CAA went about scrolling for any tweet any paragraph any t-shirt that could be construed as anti-Semitic that could therefore offer monetary returns.

The principle is simple. This organisation that operates as a British charity and thus benefits of charitable status, appeals for donations in order to take those it considers guilty to court.

Irrespective of the sheer absurdity of the claim, the CAA will force the accused to launch a costly defence with the added potential of earning dividends on the sideline.

The CAA, whose motto aptly calls for a ‘pursuit’ of justice, manages a dual tour de force of ruining financially or professionally someone and then making money out of his or her misfortune.

Ultimately it’s a win-win for outfits such as the CAA whose methods are slowly but surely shutting down debate.

Last month it was Israeli-born musician and author Gilad Atzmon who fell foul of the organisation headed by Gideon Falter.

Atzmon, who also studied mathematics, undertook the task the British media has failed to address and decided to look into the figures put forward by the CAA.

The figures, he wrote in a blog, didn’t add up and went on to say that these exaggerated claims are causing unnecessary fear mongering among Jews who interpret these as a return to more worrying times, when in fact life in Britain is perfectly safe for them and that very few will have experienced acts of hostility towards their faith or group.

While the essence of the blog was not scrutinised, a judge ruled that Atzmon had somewhat claimed Falter acted fraudulently and ruled in favour of the CAA.

Falter made £7.5k in the process while other relevant fees would swell lawyer’s accounts.

Falter is of course well-known to British courts. In 2009 he claimed to have over-heard a British Foreign Office official say ‘Fuck Jews’ in a gym. Rowan Laxton was said to be watching a report of an elderly Palestinian shot dead by Israeli soldiers when he uttered those fateful words.

While the official denied he said those exact words he was arrested, forced out of his job and sentenced to pay a fine and apologise for his alleged remark.

He appealed and consequently won when it emerged Falter could not have heard that or indeed any other outburst.

Rowan Laxton was reinstated and now serves as British high commissioner to Cameroon.

There is no report as to what happened to Falter after this. Did Falter hear the damning comments in which case how could Laxton win on appeal? If he was too far to hear anything Laxton said did Falter invent the incident or perhaps modify the wording of the outburst to suit his case? We shall never know, either way Mr Falter has a way of unearthing anti-Semitism few other British Jews could recognise.

Antisemitism? What anti-Semitism?

LSE professor Jonathan Rosenhead left the Labour party during the Blair years in disgust at the Iraq war, he returned after the much maligned Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. Asked if he had ever experienced anti-Semitism, Rosenhead now in his autumn years insisted that he had never experienced any such animosity towards his faith but was far less reluctant to share his anti-Israel views with certain fellow Jews who’d proved to be far less tolerant of his political inclinations.

It would be difficult if not impossible to meet a black or Asian man of the same generation who had never experienced racism yet for all the glaring examples of bigotry towards visible minorities, it is allegations of anti-Semitism that get the most headlines.

This two-tier approach to bigotry is worrying and seems to imply that Jews are worthy of special attention thus re-enforcing the far right narrative that Jews are different.

In pursuing this hugely divisive and dangerous route for the health of democracy and freedom of speech in this country, organisations such as the CAA are willing to jeopardise the safety of those they claim to support in order to justify their ‘raison d’être.’

After all if there is no anti-Semitism, what would Falter, who studied law but does not practise –for reasons that remain unknown- do with his days?

Help the fight against poverty perhaps? Is there potential for ruining activists in that process and for boosting Israel’s narrative? No there isn’t.

Antisemitism it will have to be then!

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 6 Comments