Category Archives: Boris Johnson

Stomping in Britain: Donald Trump and May’s Brexit

What a rotten guest, but then again, that was to be expected.  Ahead of his visit to Britain, there was some indignation that US President Donald Trump should even be visiting in the first place.  Protesters were readying their assortment of paraphernalia in anticipation.  Walls of noise were promised.  Trump, on the other hand, was bullish after his NATO performance, which did a good deal to stir and unsettle partners and leaders.  On leaving Brussels, his singular account was that all partners had, in fact, agreed to a marked rise in defence spending.

Having settled into dinner with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, there was a whirring buzz that the president had been busy, having given an interview to that infamous rag of reaction The Sun newspaper.  It was spectacularly poor form, featuring a series of pot shots against his host on how she had handled Brexit negotiations so far.  Not that May’s handling has been brilliantly smooth. Characterised by Tory saboteurs, confusion and ill-expertise, the British tangle with the European Union has persisted with barnacle tenacity.

This did not inspire confidence from Trump, and the Chequers agreement that May had reached with cabinet members was deemed “very unfortunate”.  For the president, a Brexit softened and defanged to keep it bound up in some form in the EU could well spell an end to a separate, post-separation trade pact with the United States.  “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”

The sting was greater for the fact that May was using the dinner to pitch her case for a separate trade arrangement.  “As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more.”  Any free trade agreement between the countries, she asserted, would create “jobs and growth here is in the UK and right across the United States.” Bureaucracy would be defeated in the transatlantic venture.

Trump, as he tends to, was operating on a different frequency, claiming that he, brilliant chap that he is, had the formula for how May might best get a workable Brexit through. If only the prime minister had listened instead of chasing her own flight of fancy.

May was not the only British politician rostered for a tongue lashing. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who reached some prominence criticising Trump’s election promise to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration to the United States, also came in for special mention.  “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad.”  Reflecting on the problems facing European cities as a result, he told The Sun that London had “a mayor who has done a terrible job in London.  He has done a terrible job.”  The mayor had blotted his copybook by doing “a very terrible job on terrorism” and, just for good measure, crime in general.

Not content at leaving it at that, Trump revealed that childish vulnerability typical in unstoppable, and encouraged egomaniacs. This had undoubtedly been spurred on by Khan’s refusal to ban the flying of a 20ft blimp depicting Trump as an indignant, orange infant, nappy and all.  “I think [Khan] has not been hospitable to a government that is very important.  Now he might not like the current President, but I represent the United States.”

Having said earlier in the week that the issue of whether May should continue as British prime minister was “up to the people”, Trump was less judicious in his liberating interview. In what could be construed as an act of direct meddling (foreign interference for the US imperium is genetic, programmed and inevitable), Trump had his own views about who would make a suitable replacement.  The blundering, now ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a person with his own conditioning of Trumpism, would “make a great prime minister.”

For those incensed by Trump’s say in the matter, it is worth noting that his predecessor was no less terse in warning, not just the Cameron government, but the British people, that leaving the EU would banish Britain to the end of any trade agreement queue.  Britain was far better being part of a collective voice generated by the EU, rather than a single power going its own way.  At “some point down the line,” President Barack Obama explained at a press conference held at the Foreign Office on a visit in April 2016, “there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done.”

Perhaps the most striking delusion that runs so deeply through the Brexit pathology is the idea the Britannia’s flag will again fly high, and that power shall, mysteriously, be reclaimed by a nation made anew.  Other powers will heed that; respect shall be observed.  What Presidents Obama and Trump have shown from different sides of the coin is that such hopes might be terribly misplaced.

Making Heavy Weather: Boris Johnson the Despoiler

There is a certain haunting similarity between the President of the United States and the now former foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.  This does not merely extend to mad, oddly positioned hair, and misshaped mullets.  Both share a philosophy of upending the order and permanent disruption, impossible for those on their putative side of politics to measure, predict or contain.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Theresa May thought that her cabinet, moulded by cabinet responsibility, would be able to go forth with the bare bones of a plan for negotiations with the European Union for Britain’s departure.  Johnson, with characteristic muddling, had signed on to the Chequers statement, but had issued public utterances about his dissatisfaction.  He was on board, but only in wobbly fashion.

Having first seen which way the wind would turn, Johnson waited for the initial resignations of the Brexit team led by David Davis to take the plunge. His resignation was intended as an improvised explosive device, timed to blow up in the prime minister’s face just before she was to address members of parliament on Monday.

The letter has all the elements of BJ the opportunist, the cad, the slippery debater.  It has no definite shape in terms of what should be done, but is filled with defiance and, dare one say it, hope. Central to the argument is a defence of the “British people”, those subjects for whom he supposedly speaks for.  “They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.”

He warned, with irate frustration, that the “dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.”  Decisions had been postponed on vital issues “with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.”

Ever chancing his arm, and interpretation of events, Johnson brought a touch of drama into the note.  The new plan proposed by May, he argued, seemed to take Britain further back since the last Chequers meeting in February.  Then, he described frustrations “as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts.  We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.”

Ever forceful with the dire scenario, Johnson insisted that the May plan would put Britain into a “ludicrous position” of asserting that “huge amounts” of EU law would have to be accepted “without changing an iota”, while shutting Britain out from influencing them. “In that respect we are truly headed for the status of a colony”.

Such imagery qualifies as both entertainment and conceit.  Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer summed up the Johnson approach in a sentence: “Boris Johnson’s whole political career has been characterised by self-promotion and spreading misinformation.”

On the issue of introducing cab design changes to improve visibility for trucks, Johnson conveniently avoided the European Parliament’s vote in 2014 requiring such improvements to be made, a point subsequently decreed by a 2015 directive.  A more complex picture to emerge from here is one of institutional lethargy and foot dragging across a range of institutions, of which Johnson’s own stint as London mayor may count as one.

The resignation has been read in some circles of British commentary as decisively damning for Johnson’s future influence over the Tories.  His stint as foreign secretary, suggested Stephen Bush of The New Statesman, was so gaffe-strewn as to erode “his standing among MPs”. Where his effect becomes different is in the realms of disruption: encouraging Tory members to press for a confidence motion in the prime minister.  A mere 15 percent of Conservative MPs are needed to sign letters calling for such a vote.

Such readings of Johnson ignore the beguiling force he retains in politics.  His buffoonery and populism do have retail value.  Deemed unelectable at points of his career, let alone beyond promotion, he managed to win the mayorship of London.  He was indispensable to swinging the mood to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum.  To that end, dismissive interpretations of Johnson’s career suffer, to some extent, from a rational view that sees politics as predictable and reasonable.  It was exactly such an approach that missed, almost in its entirety, the furious rise of Donald Trump.

“Johnson,” went William Davies in the London Review Books on March 8 this year, “approaches public life as a game in which he commits sackable offences as a way of demonstrating his unsackability.”

Making him foreign secretary had served only one purpose: a restraint, and a means of minimising any potential damage to May. But his presence, his bravado and his disruptive penchant made Davies wonder whether Trumpism was, as matter of reality, a British problem. “Johnson,” he admitted, “is as close as British politics has to a Trump problem; and his seniority suggests that Trumpism has permeated our political culture more deeply than we like to admit.”  This streak of British-styled Trumpism is bound to provide Johnson more nourishment, though its duration, and depth, remain questionable.

Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt

It was meant to be an away day at Chequers in total hermetic isolation, an effort on the part of UK Prime Minister Theresa May to sketch some common ground in a cabinet that has struggled to agree on much regarding the imminent departure of Britain from the European Union.  The clock is ticking, for many ominously, with the departure date slated for March 29, 2019.

The initial signs seemed good: a consensus had, initially, been reached by all brands of Brexiter. Chief Brexit minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had, in principle, come on board, though there were mutterings of dissatisfaction at the PM’s new plan.  At least for a time, collective cabinet responsibility had been satisfied.

The plan focused on, in the words of the Chequers statement, a proposal establishing “a free trade area for goods. This would avoid friction at the border, protect jobs and livelihoods, and ensure both sides meet their commitment to Northern Ireland and Ireland through the overall future relationship.”  Such a vision free of friction would entail maintaining “a common rulebook for all goods including agri-food” with a stress on harmonising UK laws with those of the EU.  Parliament have the ultimate say on their passage. “Regulatory flexibility” would govern the issue of services; “strong reciprocal commitments related to open and free trade” would characterise UK-EU relations.

The issue of the role played by EU courts, always trouble for the fanatical leavers, would continue to play a part in so far as UK courts would heed “the common rulebook”.  A joint institutional framework would ensure consistent interpretation and application of such rules, but “the supremacy of UK courts” would be assured.

As for the issue most worrying to the market types amongst the Tories, the proposal suggested “a new Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU as if a combined customs territory.”  This would leave Britain to have its own seat at the World Trade Organisation and strike trade deals with other states, another cherry for the harsh Brexiters.

The populist element was also considered: free movement, a central EU principle, would end, but the UK would seek a principle of ensuring that UK and EU citizens would still be permitted to visit, work and live in respective jurisdictions with ease.  Large annual payments to the EU, those so heavily stigmatised during the 2016 referendum campaign, would also end, though this would not terminate specific contributions to areas of “joint action”.

It did not take long for the ruptures within government ranks to begin.  After the discomforting unity came the blood filled flood; first three resignations, all associated with the “hard” variety of Brexit lore.  The most prominent of them was Davis himself who had shown various, and variable colourings of competence during his time in that newly created position in the aftermath of the 2016 referendum.  He had been marginalised of late, the Prime Minister evidently feeling that the issue was simply too important to leave to him. More to the point, he had threatened some five times to resign since November 2017, making him seem like a purveyor of empty threats.

With Davis’ exit went deputy Steve Baker and junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman.  “The general direction of policy,” came a liberated Davis in his letter of resignation, “will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one.”  Parliamentary control, he opined, would be “illusory rather than real”.  The “common rule book” policy would effectively hand “control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense.”

On Monday, just minutes before May’s address to members of parliament, Downing Street announced that Johnson was also making a dash for it.  His resignation letter was certainly heavy with opportunistic John Bull flavour; Britain, he charged, risked heading “for the status of a colony”.  The PM, he accused, was “sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them” in preparations for a “semi-Brexit”.  “It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws.”

There is not much sincerity all around.  Individuals like Environment Minister Michael Gove are backing May for the moment, thinking that a streak of sound pragmatism runs through this flawed plan.  But anyone having Gove’s backing is bound to feel the sheath of a blade, if not the blade itself, at some point.

Those remaining on May’s rocked ship have become apocalyptic in a different way, suddenly seeing the EU as less problematic than their opponents opposite the Parliamentary chamber.  “If we don’t pull together,” went a Cabinet minister to The Guardian, “we risk the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.”  Never mind Europe, went this particular line of reasoning: Labour might just walk in.

Within British politics, May’s Friday product does not seem to be flying well, though it had taken off in a fashion.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, taking the Scottish angle on this, suggested that the plan had started to unravel early, though it had a kernel of good sense. “It simply underlines the fact that the UK is leaving the EU (which I wish it wasn’t) the only workable solution is to stay in single market and customs union.”

Then comes the most obvious point that would render this whole exercise drily spent and academic: Will the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his crew have a bar of it?  There is, superficially, too much of the Swiss solution to this, too much of the “give me your market” but spare me the regulatory trade-off.  Having expressed his dislike for such a solution in the past, it is clear that May is facing the toughest of sells.   The EU apparatchiks still wish to make an example of Britain, a form of deterrence against others who wish to take the exiting step in the name of reclaiming sovereignty.

But there is something striking about the latest chapter in the ever ballooning Brexit script.  The Chequers statement is a product of a person who has not only survived, but shredded the hard Brexit base within her cabinet.  With Davis and Johnson gone into the dangerous ether of political disruption, the issue is whether the positions will firm up or loosen.  Till then, and even after, few sane individuals will want May’s job.

Poison Gas: Weapon of Choice for “False News”

Poison gas is not only deadly, it often provokes a slow suffocating death. That, perpetrated on innocent children, is particularly cruel. But when such poison gas attacks are mere false flags, or by the new term, “false news”, and are used to provoke war, perhaps an all annihilating war, then humanity has turned to what it never should have become – a lowly-lowly herd of brainless zombies. Is that what we have become – brainless, greedy, selfish beings, no sense of solidarity, no respect for other beings; I am not even talking about humans, but any living being.

Poison gas, the weapon of choice for fear. Poisoning in Salisbury of the former Russian double-agent, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, visiting her dad from Moscow. Poisoning with a nerve gas, called Novichok that was allegedly made in Russia. In the meantime, we know that nerve gas made in the former Soviet Union, now non-existent in Russia, was military grade and deadly. The gas used for the alleged attack was not deadly. We also know by now that the UK – all of their highest officials, from PM May down the ladder, lied so miserably that they will have a hard time recovering. It will backfire. The foreign secretary, Johnson boy, pretended their secret bio-gas/bio-weapon laboratory Porton Down, just 13 km down the road from Salisbury, where the pair was allegedly found unconscious on a park bench, assured him the gas was made in Russia. Alas, it was a miserable lie. The laboratory’s chief chemists testified later to the media that they could not be sure that the substance was made in Russia. No, of course not.

In fact, Porton Down, working in close collaboration with the CIA, is a highly sophisticated chemical warfare facility that can easily make the gas themselves, at the grades they please, deadly or not so deadly, if it should serve a “false news” purpose, which this did. In the meantime, as reported today by RT, the entire case has been deconstructed. The components of Novichok are easy to come by, and almost every decent lab can make the poison gas, tailored to its needs.

Were father and daughter indeed poisoned?  This is a legitimate question. Who has seen them since the alleged poisoning occurred on 28 March?  They disappeared from the public eye. Apparently, they are both recovering, Yulia having been released from hospital a few days ago, but has not been seen by anyone in public, nor been able to talk to the media, lest she could say “something” the public is not allowed to know. She is being kept in a secret place. Her father is also recovering and may be released soon – released from where? Is this all a farce?

An aunt talked to Yulia from Moscow, where she noticed that Yulia was not free to talk. The aunt wanted to visit her niece in the UK but was obviously denied a visa.

Where are father and daughter? Washington has “offered” them a new home and new identity in the US, to avoid further poisoning attempts… how ridiculous! A blind man or woman must see that this is another farce, or more correctly, an outright abduction. The two won’t have a chance to resist. They are just taken away – not to talk anymore to anyone ever. That’s the way the story goes. The lies are protected, and the “Russia did it” syndrome will prevail – prevail in the dumb folded public, in the herd of pigs that we all have become, as Goebbels would say.

And the saga continues. The saga to drum up war. That’s the purpose of it all. Nothing else – Russia, the evil nation, led by an evil leader, must be subdued and conquered. But the empire needs the public for their support. And the empire is almost there. It disposes of a vicious media corporate army that lies flagrantly about anything that money can buy. It’s like spitting in the face of the world, and nobody seems to care, or worse, even to notice.

On the other side of the Mediterranean is Syria. A vast and noble country, Syria, with a leader who truly loves his people and country, a leader who has despite a foreign induced war — not civil war, a proxy war — instigated and funded by Washington and its vassal allies in Europe and the Middle East; Syria, a highly educated socialist country that has shared the benefit of her resources, free education, free medical services, free basic infrastructure, with her people. This Syria must fall. Such strength cannot be tolerated by the all-dominating west. Like Iraq and Libya, also socialist countries once-upon-a-time, and like Syria, secular Muslim nations, sharing their countries’ wealth with the people, such countries must fall.

According to Pentagon planners and those Zion-neofascist think tanks that designed the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), as the chief instrument of US foreign policy, we know since Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied commander and Chief of NATO in Europe (1997-2000) talked to Democracy Now in 2007, saying that within 5 years seven countries must fall. One of them is Syria. Since 2011, the Syrian people have been bombarded by US and NATO and Saudi funded terrorists, causing tens of thousands of deaths, and millions of refugees. Now, even more blatantly, US bases are vying to occupying the northern third of Syria, totally illegally, but nobody says beep. Not even the UN.

The recent fake gas attack on Douma outside of Damascus has allegedly killed 80 to 120 people, mostly women and children. Of course, that sells best in the propaganda theatre – women and children. But there is not proof, none whatsoever. To the contrary. People living in Douma say they haven’t heard of any nerve gas attack. Strangely, like last time, the infamous White Helmets discovered the gas victims, including a gas canister-like bomb laying on a bed, having been shot through the roof of a house… a totally unprofessionally staged event. As Russian military quickly discovered and reported. They called on an independent investigation, one that could not be bought and corrupted by Washington. President Assad invited a team of investigators to inspect the scene.

Instead of heeding this invitation, Trump, the bully, calls Mr. Assad an “animal” and a “monster”, twittering his brainless aggressions throughout the world. Tell you what, Mr. Trump.  Bashar al-Assad is a far better human being than you are a monster. You and your dark handlers don’t even deserve being called human. Mr. Assad has regard and respect for his people, attempts to protect them and has so far succeeded with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, recovering the last bits of Syrian territory from the terrorists, except, of course, the northern part, where the chief terrorist and the world’s only rogue state has installed itself, the US of A. Why in the world would Mr. Assad choose to gas his own people? Especially, when he is winning the war?  People, ask yourself, cui bono (who benefits?) and the answer is simple: The western aggressors, who seek a reason to mass bomb Syria into even more rubble, causing even more death and destitution. And making a shitload of money – as war usually does. That’s who.

While you, Donald, and those monsters that direct you from behind the scenes, have no, but absolutely no respect for your own people, for any people on this globe, for that matter, not even for your kind, for your greed-no-end kind of elite, as you bring the world to the brink of an all-destructive, all killing annihilating war.

Since the other fake event, 9/11, we are, of course, already in a “soft version” of WWIII, but that’s not enough. The United States needs a hard war, so badly it doesn’t shy away from destroying itself. That’s how blinded your own propaganda has made you Americans, you generals, you corporate “leaders” (sic-sic) – and all you Congress puppets. That is the sheer truth. You better read this and wake up. Otherwise your death sentence is hastened by your own greed and ignorance.

Both Russia and the US drafted each a Security Council Resolution – which, of course, are both not approved, with Nikki Haley lambasting Russia, accusing them of being responsible for the countless deaths in Syria, pointing again to the children and women, making up the majority. Again, it sells best in the world of psychological propaganda, while evil Nikki Haley knows very well who has caused all these deaths by the millions, destitution and refugees by the millions, tens of millions throughout the Middle East and the world – her own country, directly or through NATO, the European puppets allies and proxy wars, paid and funded by Washington and by elbow-twisting her vassals.

On 9 April – UNSC – while Nikki Haley, repeats and over-repeats her lies and fake accusations, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, listens. And then in a twenty-minute statement of sheer intelligence, he dismantles all the lies, and lays bare the truth, about all the fakeness being played out internationally. The depth with which he addresses the assembly is concise and so brilliant, none of his UK, French and German counterparts could have ever come close to a statement of this magnitude and excellence. Even Ms. Haley can’t help glancing over ever-so often to Vassily Nebenzia, as he speaks. Her eyes reveal some kind of hidden admiration for what he says. After all, she can’t be as dumb as she is paid for to look and sound.

By now anybody who dares not just reading and listening to the mainstream presstitute “fake news”, but has the courage to dig into the truth news, RT, TeleSur, CGTN, PressTV and a few others, or websites like Global Research, The Saker Blog, ICH, NEO, Greanville Post, CounterCurrent, Dissident Voice and many other trustworthy sources, knows about the lies and the only, but the very only, purpose these false flags cum false news serve: Provoking a war with Russia, subjugating and dividing Syria, and the Middle East and the US becoming the hegemonic masters of the universe.

For the simple reason, and hardly anybody talks or writes about it – the US economy is based on war, is based on weapon manufacturing and international banking which finances weapon manufacturing and the exploitation of mineral resources coveted by weapon manufacturing.

The entire war industry with all its associated civil services and industries, of banking, electronics, aviation, mining…. makes up more than half of the US GDP but, of course, it’s never broken down that way. The chosen people will control the world. Well, they do already – financially at least the western part of our globe. But it’s not enough. They will not stop before they bury themselves in their own-dug graves, or rather in one massive mass-grave. But, please, do take all your fakeness, from money, to lies, to hypocrisy and more lies and coercion and sanctions and blackmail with you never to surface again. And give peace a chance for those who survive your (almost) terminal assault on humanity.

The Ease of Accusation: The Skripal Affair

The policy of responding to assassinations on British soil is a near non-existent one.  Her Majesty’s Government is certainly in the habit of huffing, and steam can issue from deliberations in the House of Commons. But substance is often absent.

When Buzzfeed conducted an investigation into the mortuary of incidents in 2017, it found a degree of indifference on the part of British authorities.  Trumpeting findings that fourteen individuals had “been assassinated on British soil by Russia’s security services or mafia groups, two forces that sometimes work in tandem”, the reporters honed in on British sluggishness.  While the Russian bear was busy, Britannia was asleep.

The attempted poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia by a nerve agent is coloured by such a backdrop.  With each day, Downing Street has had to seem to be doing something in linking the attempted killings with identifiable culprits.  Britain is at a low ebb, barely finding its place at the Brexit negotiation table with the European Union.  Weakness and questionable competence is all around.

While this has happened, President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected.  Russia is revitalised.  The Kremlin comes with conveniently heavy baggage of blame.  A perfect situation, then, to point a distracting finger of accusation, making Britain the first state to accuse another of attacking it with a chemical weapon since the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force in 1997.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has obviously been landed the job of running the accusations which have been beaded together with faux consistency. The case for the prosecution, he argues, is that the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack was of the Novichok group “according to our scientists at Porton Down.”

The second point is track record and experience. “You also have to consider,” he explained to Deutsche Welle, “that Sergei Skripal is somebody who is being identified as a target for liquidation and that Vladimir Putin has himself said that traitors, i.e. defectors such as Mr. Skripal, should be poisoned.”

Let us take the Novichok suggestion.  The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which oversees the implementation of the CWC, claimed on March 16 that there was “no record of the Novichok group of nerve agents having been declared by a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

Where intelligence matters are politicised, links will be forged and tenuous ties made.  The Russian factor, goes the British line, is unmistakable and unimpeachable.  This, despite certification by the OPCW that Russia destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons pursuant to the CWC.  Or that its source of production – the Nukus plant in Uzbekistan – was dismantled and decontaminated with the assistance of the United States in accordance with the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program in 1999.  Brows might well crease with suspicion at that very fact.

Then comes the ease with which Novichok agents can be made.  According to military chemist Vil Mirzayanov, the man who first revealed the existence of the chemical family, making such compounds using commercial ingredients is hardly a herculean task.  This very fact flies in the face of the British claim of Russian exclusivity.

Despite such spanners being cast into the works, individuals such as John Lamb of Birmingham City University insist that, “The Novichok family was specifically created by Russia to be unknown in the West and as such it’ll be one of their most tightly guarded secrets.”

Except, of course, when US scientists made contact with the Uzbek plant in question.  Couple this with the throwaway line in a 2007 Stratfor study on makers of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the singular premise starts to wither: “Cuba is believed to have developed these chemical weapons: tabun, sarin, soman, yellow rain, novichok, phosgene oxime, arsine trihydride, and hydrogen cyanide.”

The second point – the poisoning of traitors, defectors or the like – only makes sense if Skripal had turned a newly rotten leaf.  Political opponents, dissidents and journalists constitute ongoing threats; a double agent living out his days away from the service in Salisbury – if it can be assumed he ever left it – hardly cuts the mustard.  It would, for one thing, make the largest post-Cold War spy exchange moot.

“If they really wanted the man dead,” suggests Justin Glyn, “a convenient accident could surely have been arranged while he was still in prison.”  Yet here was a statement of blatant, open incrimination, delivered with distinctly odd timing.

Even major papers are pondering the sense of targeting Skripal. “So far,” goes the Financial Times, “the picture that has emerged of Mr Skripal suggests he was living a quiet life and had left his days as a colonel in Russia’s military intelligence arm, the GRU, and as a high-value M16 informant, well behind him.”  Links to private intelligence firms such as Christopher Steele’s Orbis, the entity behind the Trump-Russia dossier, are also discounted.

That said, the paper goes on to suggest that Skripal had not been fully decommissioned.  A “senior security source” – anonymously cited, naturally – is quoted as claiming that, “There was interest from friendly foreign services after he was released in the spy swap. He was useful for a limited period.” Hardly a ringing endorsement for murder.

Putin, however, remains irresistible as the accused. He furnishes Johnson with historical elevation and purpose. “We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War.”

On this occasion, domestic politics, as it often does, is driving the international response.  Diplomats have been expelled from both states.  Harsh words are being traded.  Strikingly, Britain, in defiance of the spirit behind the CWC, has refused to surrender any of the Novichok samples to Russian investigators.  The dense incongruity of it all might, in time, only be illuminated by Skripal himself.  Double agents, let alone ones dedicated to one side, never quite abandon their briefs.

The Ease of Accusation: The Skripal Affair

The policy of responding to assassinations on British soil is a near non-existent one.  Her Majesty’s Government is certainly in the habit of huffing, and steam can issue from deliberations in the House of Commons. But substance is often absent.

When Buzzfeed conducted an investigation into the mortuary of incidents in 2017, it found a degree of indifference on the part of British authorities.  Trumpeting findings that fourteen individuals had “been assassinated on British soil by Russia’s security services or mafia groups, two forces that sometimes work in tandem”, the reporters honed in on British sluggishness.  While the Russian bear was busy, Britannia was asleep.

The attempted poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia by a nerve agent is coloured by such a backdrop.  With each day, Downing Street has had to seem to be doing something in linking the attempted killings with identifiable culprits.  Britain is at a low ebb, barely finding its place at the Brexit negotiation table with the European Union.  Weakness and questionable competence is all around.

While this has happened, President Vladimir Putin has been re-elected.  Russia is revitalised.  The Kremlin comes with conveniently heavy baggage of blame.  A perfect situation, then, to point a distracting finger of accusation, making Britain the first state to accuse another of attacking it with a chemical weapon since the Chemical Weapons Convention came into force in 1997.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has obviously been landed the job of running the accusations which have been beaded together with faux consistency. The case for the prosecution, he argues, is that the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack was of the Novichok group “according to our scientists at Porton Down.”

The second point is track record and experience. “You also have to consider,” he explained to Deutsche Welle, “that Sergei Skripal is somebody who is being identified as a target for liquidation and that Vladimir Putin has himself said that traitors, i.e. defectors such as Mr. Skripal, should be poisoned.”

Let us take the Novichok suggestion.  The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which oversees the implementation of the CWC, claimed on March 16 that there was “no record of the Novichok group of nerve agents having been declared by a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

Where intelligence matters are politicised, links will be forged and tenuous ties made.  The Russian factor, goes the British line, is unmistakable and unimpeachable.  This, despite certification by the OPCW that Russia destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical weapons pursuant to the CWC.  Or that its source of production – the Nukus plant in Uzbekistan – was dismantled and decontaminated with the assistance of the United States in accordance with the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program in 1999.  Brows might well crease with suspicion at that very fact.

Then comes the ease with which Novichok agents can be made.  According to military chemist Vil Mirzayanov, the man who first revealed the existence of the chemical family, making such compounds using commercial ingredients is hardly a herculean task.  This very fact flies in the face of the British claim of Russian exclusivity.

Despite such spanners being cast into the works, individuals such as John Lamb of Birmingham City University insist that, “The Novichok family was specifically created by Russia to be unknown in the West and as such it’ll be one of their most tightly guarded secrets.”

Except, of course, when US scientists made contact with the Uzbek plant in question.  Couple this with the throwaway line in a 2007 Stratfor study on makers of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the singular premise starts to wither: “Cuba is believed to have developed these chemical weapons: tabun, sarin, soman, yellow rain, novichok, phosgene oxime, arsine trihydride, and hydrogen cyanide.”

The second point – the poisoning of traitors, defectors or the like – only makes sense if Skripal had turned a newly rotten leaf.  Political opponents, dissidents and journalists constitute ongoing threats; a double agent living out his days away from the service in Salisbury – if it can be assumed he ever left it – hardly cuts the mustard.  It would, for one thing, make the largest post-Cold War spy exchange moot.

“If they really wanted the man dead,” suggests Justin Glyn, “a convenient accident could surely have been arranged while he was still in prison.”  Yet here was a statement of blatant, open incrimination, delivered with distinctly odd timing.

Even major papers are pondering the sense of targeting Skripal. “So far,” goes the Financial Times, “the picture that has emerged of Mr Skripal suggests he was living a quiet life and had left his days as a colonel in Russia’s military intelligence arm, the GRU, and as a high-value M16 informant, well behind him.”  Links to private intelligence firms such as Christopher Steele’s Orbis, the entity behind the Trump-Russia dossier, are also discounted.

That said, the paper goes on to suggest that Skripal had not been fully decommissioned.  A “senior security source” – anonymously cited, naturally – is quoted as claiming that, “There was interest from friendly foreign services after he was released in the spy swap. He was useful for a limited period.” Hardly a ringing endorsement for murder.

Putin, however, remains irresistible as the accused. He furnishes Johnson with historical elevation and purpose. “We think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the UK, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since the Second World War.”

On this occasion, domestic politics, as it often does, is driving the international response.  Diplomats have been expelled from both states.  Harsh words are being traded.  Strikingly, Britain, in defiance of the spirit behind the CWC, has refused to surrender any of the Novichok samples to Russian investigators.  The dense incongruity of it all might, in time, only be illuminated by Skripal himself.  Double agents, let alone ones dedicated to one side, never quite abandon their briefs.

Dodgy Dossier Two

Never forget the Dodgy Dossier. That was the supposed evidence claiming in 2003 that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that could be used against Britain within forty minutes. The Dodgy Dossier was presented in Britain’s House of Parliament as the truth – and was unchallenged by the mainstream media. It was included in the case for war presented to the UN by the United States, and became the given reason for Britain then joining forces with the US in the illegal war that followed, a war which, in addition to costing almost two hundred British lives, killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and ruined the lives of millions more. The Dodgy Dossier turned out to be pure bunkum.

Fifteen years later a brand new dodgy dossier appears to be in the making, which once again is being unchallenged by the mainstream media. We are now supposed to believe that the Russian government is behind an alleged chemical attack on an ex-spy. Once again, the hard evidence for the allegation is nowhere to be seen. All that passes for evidence are stories about a chemical that was supposedly invented in Russia forty years ago (but almost certainly could easily be reproduced a few miles away from Salisbury at Porton Down – or by the CIA), and Oscar-winning performances of righteous rage in parliament by British politicians – not unlike the pantomime we saw in the same theatre a mere fifteen years ago.

Another possibility for the sourcing of Russian chemical weapons might be Syria. When Isis (who were actively assisted by western special forces) were enjoying their early successes in that tortured country, they overran some Syrian military bases which could have been storing chemical weapons. Russia has supplied Syria with military equipment in the past, and could have perhaps supplied chemical weapons too. All this happened before Assad destroyed his remaining stockpiles, and may have accounted for why he did so. So Isis could have obtained these chemicals at that time, and they could then have found their way into the hands of the west to be used in exactly the kind of scenario we’re seeing played out now in Salisbury.

Shortly after the Salisbury incident, Britain announced it was going to impose trade sanctions on Russia. I bet that had the Kremlin shaking in their boots. Imagine, a country that has almost no natural resources and is incapable of manufacturing anything that Russia can’t make for itself is going to stop trading with the country who supplies it with much of its natural gas. That’s sensible, isn’t it? About the only service that Britain provides in exchange for essential energy supplies is offshore banking – and even that is a service that’s probably used more by Russian gangsters than by the state. Russia is a country that grew up with trade sanctions and for most of the last hundred years has had to go it alone. If there’s anywhere on earth that’s pretty impervious to trade sanctions, it’s Russia.

It’s difficult to say for sure why the west has decided in recent years to renew the cold war with Russia. After all, given that Russia is no longer a communist country, that excuse no longer exists, so what other existential threat does Russia present? A likely explanation is that Russia has started to kick back against western assaults in Russian spheres of interest. The first major incident was over Ukraine, once part of the USSR, and a country where the US openly admitted spending $5 billion in a coup to overthrow the lawful Russian-friendly government. Russia openly supports Eastern Ukraine, who wanted no part of the coup, and especially Crimea where a referendum overwhelmingly backed a desire to formally merge with Russia – all of which resulted in something of a defeat for the western warmongers.

But possibly the most unacceptable intervention was Russia’s support for the Syrian government which, as a consequence of yet another terrible western-sponsored war, was on the brink of defeat. But when Russia was asked by the lawful Syrian government to help out, the made-in-the-west attempted coup was soon crushed, once again defeating the western warmongers.

Unlike the western warmongers, however, Russia has done nothing wrong, and has only supported the people who wanted and asked for its support and invited their military interventions. But that fact will not carry any weight in London or Washington – quite the reverse. It will be seen as a humiliating defeat, and recognition that Russia’s credibility as a force to be reckoned with once again will not pass unnoticed around the world. It’s just like what happens when someone stands up to a common gangster: if the gangster doesn’t strike back hard when he thinks his authority is being undermined he knows he’s going to be seen as weak.

Watching Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in action over the last couple of weeks has been physically painful. This is someone who was almost unknown until he started appearing a few years ago on a popular news quiz on TV, in his capacity as a journalist. He was popular on the show because he appeared to be a likeable buffoon, someone else who had been educated in one of Britain’s most elite schools and yet who appeared to be as thick as two short planks. No one could take him seriously, yet somehow he has now obtained for himself one of the most important and powerful political positions in the country. Whether he’s insulting Europe, China or Russia with his “laddish humour” or his even more worrying attempts at being serious, watching Johnson at work these days is a bit like watching a bumbling clown playing around with matches at a petrol station – whilst you’re trying to top up your car with fuel.

As well as Johnson’s evidence-less ranting and personal attacks on Vladimir Putin, he then affects incredulous anger that Russia is stockpiling deadly nerve agents. Given that Britain’s own Porton Down laboratories, just walking distance away from the Salisbury incident, has been a world leader in this field for many decades, Johnson’s remark is simply breathtaking in its sheer brazen hypocrisy.

One of the cornerstones of Britain’s ludicrous “unwritten constitution” is the concept of a “free press” – the notion that our news providers should not be censored. The real purpose of this is supposed to be that those news providers will then fearlessly challenge our great trusted leaders and hold them to account whenever necessary. This almost never happens, as the outrageous and illegal Iraq War of 2003 proved. Then, the great trusted leaders never once had their feet held to the fire by the media; and afterwards, when some of the war crimes were revealed, there were no demands by the media for accountability – for heads to roll – possibly because the media were as complicit as the politicians. In short, our main news providers cannot be trusted, and the theoretically invaluable concept of a free press is nothing but a cynical joke.

It could be that Russia is indeed behind the events in Salisbury, even though everything about that possibility defies logic. Why would Russia kill-off an old and washed-up ex-spy in Britain by using an illegal weapon saying “made in Russia” all over it, an ex-spy who they had plenty of time and opportunity to dispatch if they wanted to whilst he was in Russia? Knowing full well the furore such an attack on British soil would provoke, how does that benefit Russia?

The anti-Russia hysteria that’s currently being whipped-up by politicians and the mainstream media is ridiculous, a dangerous bid to renew a cold war that benefited no one except the west’s military-industrial-intelligence complex. Before this situation gets out of hand we need hard evidence that Russia is responsible for the Salisbury attack, and we need reasonably independent UN weapons inspectors to examine it – not the same people who produced the dodgy dossier in 2003, nor the same people who provided dodgy evidence to wrongfully convict the “Birmingham Six” and the “Guildford Four” of terrorism, as well as who knows how many other dodgy political convictions in the past. Hysterical politicians grandstanding in parliament and on TV is not evidence. Never forget the Dodgy Dossier.

Rumblings in the Tory Palace: Theresa May and the Brexit Troika

As the Sunday news vine began getting heavy, that sole topic of all-consuming, toxic interest – Brexit – threatened to claim the casualty of the British Prime Minister herself, Theresa May.  Interest centred on a possible troika that had busied itself on harrying May.

In any context, this troika would have seemed a compilation for pure comic effect: buffoonish Boris Johnson as replacement for PM, Michael Gove as his deputy, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, that “ornament on the backbenchers” as Chancellor.  They would be the “dream team”, though the description of a hallucinatory nightmare is probably more appropriate.

In the course of Sunday night, a “source” in Downing Street issued a statement to delay the delivery of blows against May.  Brexit meant an actual departure from the customs union, rather than some halfway house involving the continued payment of dues and obligations to observe Brussels’ wishes.

Were May not to have come clean on this, the Conservatives would have threatened a walk-out, resulting in a public split.  According to an unnamed (they tend to be these days) Tory MP, “If they go for a customs union, the party will split.”

What did this Downing Street source go on to say?  Instead of a Customs Union arrangement, the PM will seek one of two options: a “highly streamlined customs arrangement” or a customs partnership.  The weasel words are coming thick and fast ahead of Brexit meetings this week.

The picture is, in other words, an incoherent mess.  Ministers such as Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond have little stomach for the stoic diet being advocated by the likes of Gove and Johnson.  To totally exit the customs arrangement, according to them, would cause undue harm and imperil the UK economy. Then looms the problems of border checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland, a prospect that has been flagged as destabilising to the peace process.

Rudd, in an effort to calm the waters, told the Andrew Marr Show that “the committee that meets in order to help make these decisions is more united than they think.”  Optimistically, perhaps merely hopefully, she asserted that “we will arrive at something which suits us all.”  Supposedly, somewhere in these discussions, the elusive rabbit of “frictionless trade” will be pulled out of the hat.  All ills will be healed and grievances forgiven.

Rudd’s hopefulness belies the backroom antics that are taking place.  Hilary Benn, the Labour chair of the Brexit committee, pulsates with scepticism on this point.  “I think the government is in a state of open disagreement.  The prime minister has been immobilised.  We’re 19 months since the referendum… and we still don’t know what it is we want.”

The Times has reported that members of May’s Cabinet are sketching plans that would involve Brexiteers conceding to a limited extension to aspects of the existing customs union.  This opportunity would lay the tentative ground for negotiating with non-EU nations for specific trade deals and avoid economic harm – at least in the short term.

Short term stop gaps to limit harm; long term insistence on something apart from the European Union; steps to prevent the manifestation of Brino (Brexit in Name Only).  These are the propositions that hover with tenacity, refusing to leave discussions and intruding at every given moment.

What the Brexiteer cabal insists upon is the fantasy that the UK retains its mould as a dominant power, and that, left alone to its devices, will somehow manage to entertain the likes of India, China and Brazil on a better footing.  Britain outside its European fraternity will be bolder, braver and more effective.  Being within the EU customs union, on the other hand, entails negotiating as a bloc of states, a collective understanding.

Figures like the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, demand an end to the “obsessive criticism” of Brexit.  “Brexit,” he told Conservative Home last month, “is not a time bomb to be defused but a great opportunity to be embraced.”  His overseas trips have been greeted with confidence; on returning, he meets an enervating “self-defeating pessimism that is too often on show from certain politicians, commentators and media outlets over here.”

Britain’s links, however emotional they might be, remain tangibly linked to Europe. These will, in time, become more onerous and costly, and Brussels promises to be stringent on this.  EU negotiators are doing their best to make sure that no benefits accrue to Britain in its departure.  What matters now is how the Brexiteers manage to sell this to the voters.

May’s Britain is flailing before weak leadership and chronic uncertainty, but a Britain with the likes of Johnson-Gove-Rees-Mogg would be an absurdly antiquarian sight, an anachronism that will see the country become a contender for the sick man of Europe.  In destroying the country they claim to love in a fit of patriotic enthusiasm, they just might also destroy the reality of Brexit itself.

Panic of Boris Johnson in Moscow: Agony of a Rotting Empire

It has been all very ugly, aggressive and often distinctly vulgar: the way the British Foreign Secretary has behaved before and during his official visit to Moscow.

Mr. Johnson described Russia as “closed, nasty, militaristic and anti-democratic” concluding that it could not be “business as usual”.

He did not define what the UK has become, and the Russian hosts were too polite to explain.

The “business as usual” it was not.

During the last few weeks, the behavior patterns of both the UK and US have began increasingly to resemble those of the badly brought up leadership of the provincial Italian mafia: “You do as we tell you, or we’ll poke out your eyes… or break your leg… or perhaps we’ll kidnap your daughter”.

It appears that there is absolutely no shame left in Washington, in London, and in several other ‘provincial capitals’ of the Empire. Insults are piling on insults and then shot to all corners of the globe. Lies are being spread barefacedly, and bizarre deceptions and fabrications have been manufactured with impressive speed.

It is clear that the Empire is now missing its composure, its nerve; that it is scared of losing its control over the world and its monopoly on deciding what should be universally accepted as the truth.

The more the world realizes that it has been controlled and brutalized by shameless neo-colonialist gangsters, the more the Empire says, indirectly but sometimes even straight into the faces of the international community: “Our interests are what really matter! You will behave and obey, or we will smash you to pieces, starve you to death, invade you and bathe your land in blood”.

It is nothing new, of course: the West has been doing all this for many decades and centuries. Hundreds of millions of Asians, Africans, South Americans, Middle Easterners and Russians lost their lives in the process. All non-white continents were occupied, plundered and enslaved; all, without a single exception. But it was always done “for the good of the victims”, or “in order to protect them” (most likely from themselves).

The Brits were at the forefront of the art of manipulating the brains of their ‘subjects’. Their propaganda used to be refined, effective, some would even say ‘brilliant’. For decades after the end of the Second World War, they used to teach its offspring in North America and Australia, how to lie elegantly and how to convince even those nations that were being barbarically raped, that they were actually being rescued, pampered and made love to, gently and respectfully.

Now the masks have fallen off, and the ugly, gangrenous face of imperialism has been clearly exposed. Britain is simply not in the mood for refinements. It is brutal. It was always brutal. Now it is also, finally, honest.

It is all absolutely frightening, but it is also good, truly significant, that the West is suddenly behaving with such clarity.

*****

 

What is it that Mr. Johnson is accusing Russia of? Of liberating Syria from those Western, Saudi, and Qatari backed terrorist groups? What else could be expected from the Foreign Secretary of the country that had been, for long centuries, the mightiest, ruthless and the most deceptive colonialist empire in the history of the mankind? Mr. Johnson is definitely not going to thank the liberator of the oppressed people, is it?

In his open letter to Boris Johnson, the British writer and journalist Neil Clark wrote:

In April you canceled your planned visit to Moscow and traveled to the G7 talks instead, where you urged other countries to consider fresh sanctions against Russia (and Syria), saying that Vladimir Putin was “toxifying his image” by backing Assad.

But if Russia hadn’t supported the Syrian government, ISIS/Al-Qaeda affiliates would probably have taken control of the whole country. Is that what you wanted?

Of course it was! More chaos, the better!

The UK has been playing appalling, truly Machiavellian games all over the Middle East, and it has been doing it for centuries – in Palestine, in what is now Iraq and Kuwait, and in many other areas. To borrow from the colorful lexicon of the Prime Minister Lloyd George, it was reserving rights “to bomb those niggers”, to bomb them and to fry them alive, to rob them of everything, even of the land itself. The UK, together with their close friends and allies such as Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, managed to manufacture the most conservative branch of Islam, just in order to keep the local population in fear and submission to its commercial and colonialist interests.

The country responsible for hundreds of millions of dead, for tens of millions of human beings who have been hunted down like animals and shipped to America as slaves, has been reserving the right to judge the world, to decide what is ‘free’ and what is not, what is ‘democratic’ and what is dictatorial, what is true and what is false or even ‘fake’.

‘Fake news’ – the latest invention of the crumbling, paranoid Western regime!

Now the Empire is hunting down almost all ‘alternative media’ outlets, including the highly successful and informative RT (Russia Today) international television channel. It is important to remember and to understand: only the official Western channels and press agencies are allowed to spread indoctrination all over the world. To broadcast or to print ‘counter-propaganda’ (or call it an intellectual detox) is considered an arch crime, and punished as such. The RT is now portrayed as a hive of ‘agents’, at least in both Washington and London.

*****

As the Syrian city of Aleppo was celebrating its first anniversary of liberation, grateful citizens were carrying, in reverent silence, portraits of Russian soldiers who spilled their blood for the liberation of their nation.

The Syrian people know, they clearly understand, who ignited the war, and who came to their rescue.

Boris Johnson can insult Russia as much as he desires, but one thing he cannot deny: there are no men, women and children carrying portraits of British soldiers, be it in Iraq or Afghanistan, in Syria, Libya or Yemen.

In Yemen, the UK talks peace but manufactures bombs that are enriching the already deadly Saudi arsenal of weapons, used to terrorize, and to murder thousands of defenseless Yemeni civilians.

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov said nothing about the crimes against humanity that are being committed by British troops in several parts of the world. I believe that he should have said something, that he should have said a lot, but Mr. Lavrov is a seasoned diplomat, and he knows perfectly well what is appropriate, what is effective and what is counter-productive.

*****

Yes, the Empire is evidently in panic.

It is scared of everything: of public opinion all over the world, of the great Chinese new Silk Road initiative which is gaining great popularity all over the Asian continent, of the Sino-Russian alliance, of the silent rebellion in the ranks of its former allies, particularly in Asia, of the undeniably increasing economic might of its adversaries, of the new ‘alternative media’, and even of its own tail lost somewhere in the darkness.

For many years, one effective way for the Empire to control the world was to spread dark cynicism and nihilism, in order to ‘pacify’, to immobilize its colonies and even its own people living in Europe and North America. Now this strategy is backfiring: British and North American citizens are not only passive and unwilling to fight for the internationalist and left wing ideals, they are also unimpressed, even disgusted with their own rulers and regime. Yes, most of them are cynical about such countries like Russia, China or Venezuela, but they are also cynical about the corporatism, capitalism, as well as Western domestic and foreign policy. They are not willing to commit to anything. They trust nothing. They believe in very few things.

For the Empire, people like Boris Johnson are extremely useful buffoons: they offer cheap entertainment to the masses, and they deliver it with impeccable upper-class English accents (the BBC-style). They play it dirty, trying to smear, to humiliate their opponents. They try to bring back pride to their imperialist and white supremacist regime, by humiliating the victims, who are now finally standing on their feet and ready to fight for the right to be different.

People like Mr. Johnson turn reality upside down, and it is all done ‘spontaneously’, with a boyish, almost innocent grin. Except that there is actually absolutely nothing innocent in this entire charade. It is all perfectly choreographed, all extremely professional.

*****

The Empire is rotting and it is in agony. It panics. It fights for its life.

Peace is dangerous. If the world is at peace, it is indisputable that the Western Empire would lose, in no time. It would be defeated on social, moral, creative and even economic fronts.

That is why the Empire is spreading chaos, fear, war, perpetual conflicts and antagonism everywhere, all over the world: in Syria and Afghanistan, Libya, in all corners of Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, in Iran, Central and South America, even in the tiniest countries of Oceania.

It is challenging, provoking North Korea, it is insulting countries that have already suffered more than enough from Western terror and barbarism; countries like Russia, China and Iran.

It threatens those nations (and even some international organizations like UNESCO) that are supporting Palestine.

It essentially bullies all those who want to live their own lives, their own cultures, and their own economic and social systems. It punishes those countries that are refusing to plunder their own people and resources in order to support the high-life of the Western nations. It overthrows governments, and murders individuals.

*****

In Moscow, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson made a fool of himself. He did! With his unmistakable spineless jellyfish style, he tried but failed to humiliate the nation, which, for several centuries fought determinedly against Western imperialism and colonialism, and, on numerous occasions has already managed to save the world.

Mr. Johnson applied an old and rather disgusting approach: he came to Russia with spite and superiority complex, ready to preach, to insult, to scold those white-looking but essentially Asian people – to ‘show them their place’.

But this is 2017 now, not 1990. London is not the center of the universe, anymore, just the capital of a confused and rather aggressive and increasingly badly behaved nation.

The British bulldog came to Moscow. Frankly, it did not even look like a bulldog, anymore – it looked totally… weird: stoned and mentally unbalanced. It barked and barked, while the Russian bear was calm, maintaining its composure. It was clear who of the two has the upper hand, and who is provoking and who is refusing to fight. It was also obvious who of the two is really scared.

And, it was so apparent to whom belongs the past and to whom belongs the future!

• First published in New Eastern Outlook (NEO)

Vengeful in Defeat: Hillary Clinton Fantasises about WikiLeaks

The Hillary Clinton mope tour, which should have reached a high water mark, has gone global. It entails drumming up her credentials (immaculate, we are told, but unnoticed), and pouring upon the man who beat her to the White house (a danger to the world).  The latter is the fundamental point: Donald Trump would not have won, not because of Clinton’s flaws but because of what others did.

One of those big others remains WikiLeaks.  The other, supposedly, is its Russian ally – no, employer, sponsor, even, there one say it peering into that dark mind of hers, director-in-chief.  Forget Assange, claims Clinton – the Kremlin is running the operation.

On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners programme, Clinton reiterated a range of views that have become dangerously presumed, mirrors, in fact, of the very man she detests, the world view she supposedly eschews.  In a post-truth world, anything goes, including Clintonian mendacity and delusion.  Blended with US patriotism and sour grapes, she becomes the ultimate embittered narcissist who cannot admit to deficiency.

According to Clinton, Assange had “become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator”.  Even more to the point, and here, the facts start to become puffs and fluffs, “WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”

No evidence is offered. For Clinton, nothing needs to be tested, her defeat obviously the result, not of an appalling election team (remember that slave to the algorithm, Robby Mook?) and her own woes as a candidate, but to the role played by information marshalled against her.

“There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to, as I say, weaponize information, to make up stories, outlandish, often terrible stories that had no basis in fact, no basis even in the emails themselves, but which were used to denigrate me, my campaign people who supported me, and to help (Donald) Trump.”

Furthermore, Clinton, with a sense of supreme self-worth, insisted that she had been a direct target of the Kremlin.  “I think their intention, coming from the very top with Putin, was to hurt me and to help Trump.”

These observations beggar belief.  Bricks cannot be made without straw, and there was ample straw in the Podesta emails, not to mention the general trove of DNC material that revealed the tactics, methods and philosophies of the entitled.

Clinton’s method is one of permanent deflection and, when necessary, denial. What the emails revealed on her approach to security, or her sympathy for Wall Street, was not to be taken seriously.  It all had to do with that nasty business of “weaponized” information.  To assist her, she had the intelligence community, the vast complex of the establishment to boost her points.

Lapsing into electoral mode, and reflecting on her record, she claimed that, “Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and [Mr] Putin have said he held a grudge against me because, as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions.”  Noble warrior, indeed.

If there is one golden thread that runs through conspiracy, linking up with false causality, the grand design must be one of them.  The grand design assumes a puppet master and watch maker. It also presumes standard impact and worth.

“I lost the electoral college by about 77,000, and what we’re finding out is that there had to be some very sophisticated help provided to WikiLeaks… to know how to target both their messages of suppression and their negative messages to affect voters.”  When a political figure is found out, blame the idiot voter.

This tactic ignores the ways and follies of the idiot politician, who can, in effect, lose against a figure such as Trump.  This is the most bruising of all, the most damning. The Clinton campaign’s own efforts at information warfare were paltry, presuming that the self-evident grotesquery of Trump would sway voters.

When the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood record of Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” remark, the effect of that revelation, argues Clinton, was shrouded by the release of over 2,000 emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

For the Clintons, the Podestas and the Mooks, the White House was in the bag of ambition and worth, and neither Bernie Sanders nor Trump was going to get their paws on it.  This was meant to be an establishment show – till the establishment was shown up.

As for Assange, the return volleys soon came.  Clinton was, in his view, a heartless defective.  “It is not just her constant lying.  It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.  Something much darker rides along with it.  A cold creepiness rarely seen.”

It was the sort of creepiness that had been spotted before.  Britain’s current foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, took unusually faultless aim at it in 2007 in the Daily Telegraph.  “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”  By all means, he insisted, vote for Clinton, if only to return her husband to the White House.  “If Bill can deal with Hillary, he can surely deal with any global crisis.”

While it is entirely true that Trump readily traffics in hypocrisy and seems to be a comic monstrosity on various levels, a Clinton White House would have also made the world safe for hypocrisy.  There would have been usual American brashness, military interventions, toughness poorly dressed in silk and padded by soft power.  There would have also been graft, self-aggrandizement and the lying industrial complex.

To scold and condemn WikiLeaks in this affair is no better than dismissing the person who spots the fire as the arsonist gets away.  Citing the efforts of the Kremlin, information bots, and fake news, can only go so far.  The building still burns.