Category Archives: M16

Regime Change and Capitalism

Regime change, both the term and the strategy it describes, has become all too familiar to those who follow the machinations of U.S. foreign policy. Enshrined in the lexicon of our 24 hour media I would not hesitate, however, to say that most people do not dwell on the historic implications associated with its applications. As the current administration proclaims nations such as Venezuela, Syria and Iran to be targets for regime change it would be worthwhile to examine how this weapon of American hegemony has been deployed by previous administrations in previous centuries. While 21st century politicians still offer an exalted claim to the promotion of freedom and democracy an honest examination of this policy readily points to a more base inspiration.

In 1953 the democratically elected secular government of Iran, under the leadership of Mohammed Mossadegh, sought to nationalize the oil reserves of their country. This brought them into conflict with the interest of the British and American fossil industry which in turn influenced their respective governments to actively instigate a coup. The Mossadegh government was overthrown and a repressive government under the Shah was installed preserving western access to Iranian oil.

The following year, 1954, the leftist Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz instituted an agrarian reform law which gave peasant and indigenous farmers access to land being horded by foreign interest such as the United Fruit Company. Refusing to lose access to their ill-gotten gains the United Fruit Company petitioned their contacts in the U.S. intelligence community and within months a CIA directed effort produced a coup that violently deposed Arbenz.

The pattern is easily discernable, regime change was the tool readily made available to the interest of western capital to insure access to foreign resources. In these cases any attempt to nationalize those resources for the needs and desires of the people who rightfully owned them was met by the considerable abilities of agencies such as the American CIA or British MI6 which easily overwhelmed those governments and installed more capitalist friendly replacements.

Looking at these two examples there are many who will admit to the moral short comings of these policies but will at the same time excuse them on the grounds that this was a time when the world was engulfed by the Cold War. The struggles between the western powers and the communist east produced, they would say, many regrettable but necessary sacrifices. But was regime change a Cold War tactic or does its roots lie deeper in the American historic reality than they care to admit? Is it an essential weapon for the promotion of freedom and democracy as America continues to argue or is it, as it appears in 1953 Iran or 1954 Guatemala, a key component in the engine of global capitalism? To find our answer let us look beyond the ideological conflicts of the 20th century to the earliest expansions of the American republic.

In the latter years of the eighteenth century the Creek leader Alexander McGillivray played the interest of the American, British, and Spanish colonial powers against each other to further the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Creek Nation. His successful maintenance of Creek autonomy was severely threatened soon after his death in 1793 by a series of treaties between the Creeks and the Americans that encroached on Creek territory.

Creek society also began to unravel as opposing factions divided over the growing political, cultural, and economic influence of the United States. The Lower Creek towns, enamored with the perceived advantages of white society, sought to restructure Creek society to the Euro-American model allowing an increase of American settlers and traders into their territory. The Upper Creek towns, led by the Red Stick movement, sought to preserve what they considered the virtue of traditional Creek existence.

From an American position the Red Stick movement was a hindrance to their expansionist ambitions. The Federal Road first established in 1805 as a route through Creek lands between Washington D.C. and New Orleans and its expansion in 1811 allowed for an increase of settlers and commerce. The adoption of white farming practices and land owning customs amongst the Lower Creeks gave the Americans a greater degree of access and control to the Creek economy.

When the conflict between the Upper and Lower Creeks expanded into a full-fledged civil war it was of no surprise where the sympathies of the Americans lay. The culturally conservative Upper Creek towns and the traditionalist Red Sticks were determined to hold the line against the increased incursions into their homeland and sought to suppress the growing influence of the United States expressed through the Lower towns. To this point the Americans sought to use merchants, agents and traders to leverage their power in favor of the Lower towns but the escalation of hostilities offered a more direct route to what we would come to call regime change.

In July of 1813 a band of Red Sticks travelled to Pensacola to obtain weapons, ammunition, and powder from the Spanish Governor. On their return trip the band was intercepted by an American militia unit initiating what would come to be called the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek (relating to the location of the skirmish, Burnt Corn Creek in modern-day Washington County Alabama). The short-lived minor battle resulted in few casualties on both sides but precipitated an expansion of the conflict that quickly became the Creek War (1813-1814).

When it ended on March 27th 1814 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend the Red Sticks were decimated and the United States was in a position to dictate the future of the Creek Nation and the Creek people. The compliant Lower Creeks and the defeated Upper Creeks were signatures to the Treaty of Fort Jackson which ceded over 21 million acres of Creek land to the United States.

Overshadowed by the greater conflict of the War of 1812 between the United States and England the Creek War was relegated to the status of minor engagement. Lost in the midst of the historical narrative are not just the details of the battles but more so the repercussions of its outcome. The millions of acres of prime southern agricultural land taken from the Creeks as well as millions more taken from the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminoles, and other southeastern peoples would be essential to the establishment of the American capitalism system.

Southern agriculture, King Cotton, was built in the decades following Horseshoe Bend, the Seminole Wars, and the Trail of Tears on stolen land by the forced labor of enslaved Africans. This was the endgame of the American support for the Lower Creeks and every other political manipulation that produced compliant “Medal Chiefs” that supported the assimilative policies of U.S. leaders from George Washington to Andrew Jackson.

Cotton would grow to become over sixty percent of American exports prior to the Civil War and was crucial to every aspect of the American economy from New England textile mills to New York City financial institutions. The power of the southern slave states grew expediently prior to 1860, to say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War would limit our understanding of the nuances of American politics in the mid-19th century. It would be more accurate to say that the threat of disruption to the Union, more specifically the economy of the Union, was the casus belli for northern politicians while in the south it was the threat of losing the economic advantage that came with the institution of slavery.

Lincoln himself would state in a letter to Horace Greeley in 1862 that, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it”. While he had issues with slavery, advocating at one point the expulsion of freed slaves back to Africa, his loyalty was to the United States and its economic empire. The system that dispossessed Indigenous Peoples from the land and brought Africans here to cultivate and exploit it was, in the end, the system both sides sought to perpetuate in one form or another.

Regime change is simply one of the many tools used, whether two centuries or two weeks ago, to perpetuate the supremacy of capitalism. Despite all claims that it is the only path to a democratic utopia history shows us that it has an insatiable appetite to consume and destroy. There are times when it would seem to bring a level of prosperity to the marginalized but those usually short periods are the exception and not the rule. The nature of the system is predatory. Like the faiths of the ancients it requires a blood sacrifice.

Slavery ended in 1865 but within a few years the southern planter aristocracy was allowed to regain political power and the former slaves and their descendants were made to endure a century of “Jim Crow” oppression to keep them available as cheap labor for the southern economic recovery. Any just reparations such as “40 acres and a mule” were lost with the death of Reconstruction in 1877.

For poor whites the post-World War II boom years gave rise to an economically stable middle class because of the labor needs of industrial capitalism. To fuel the expansion of growing businesses such as the automotive and fossil fuel industries the economic elite was forced to pay higher salaries and submit to higher taxes on themselves. This transitional period lasted over three decades till the pendulum swing was manipulated to catapult in the opposite direction.

Offshoring and outsourcing are the mantras of global capitalism as it stretches beyond any nationalistic restrictions. The sweatshop worker of the 21st century has replaced the 19th century slaves until they themselves are able to be replaced by the ultimate labor force, automation. While political factions fight over the crumbs that fall from the tables of the economic elite the gap between the top and the bottom grows at an accelerating rate. Regime change still rears its head from time to time to keep selected regions politically unstable and unable to protect their resources from the avarice of the financial predators.

It is no accident that countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo remain unstable while multi-national corporations continue to reap massive amounts of profits from the exploitation of its mineral wealth. The threat to the economic monopoly France enjoys over its former colonies in West Africa by the pan-African efforts of Muammar Gaddafi was the chief impetus for the 2011 regime change in Libya that cost him his life. In places such as Syria and Venezuela it is always prudent to remember the mantra “follow the money” and not be distracted by any patriotic rhetoric.

Since 2016 the American left has sought to recast itself as the resistance, fighting the fascist, imperialistic, pro-industry policies of the Trump administration. While there is no white-washing (excuse the pun) the repugnant nature of the 45th President of the United States we must not lose sight of the reality that Mr. Trump is not the cause, rather he is the end result of rot that lies at the heart of American politics. While a President Barak Obama was much more palatable to the senses it was the Obama administration that gave us the regime change in Libya in 2011 that made it a failed state and is still flooding Europe with refugees. It was the Obama administration that allowed regime change in Honduras bringing to power a government more compliant to global capital but oppressive to its own population. Now a haven for criminality its population, fleeing violence, adds to the asylum seekers at the southern border.

The economic system that allows multi-national giants such as Apple or Westinghouse to pay little or no taxes but has no money or political will to feed its hungry children or fix its failing infrastructure will not change with the next election or any that will follow. Both political parties in America are beholden to the dictates of global capital; the system is biased and corrupted. If there is a silver lining to the Trump administration it is that the insidious nature of capitalism is finally laid bare for all to see. The quid pro quo of Sheldon Adelson, the pro-Israeli billionaire, opening up his checkbook to Trump and the Republican Party just prior to the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem leaves little doubt of the true nature of the post-Citizens United political reality.

While the mechanics of regime change has become much more sophisticated and complicated since that hot July day on Burnt Corn Creek in 1813 the overall goal has remained the same, make the world safe and profitable for the needs of capital. As the reach of industry has become global then so has communication enabling poor and indigenous people around the world find allies amidst there struggles. The same fossil fuel corporations that pushed Houma People off their lands in coastal Louisiana in the 1930s are the same corporations that are polluting the homelands of Cofan and other tribes in Ecuador in the 21st century. The tactics used against pipeline protesters in South Dakota were perfected by the Israelis against Palestinian protestors in the West Bank and Gaza. Hope may lie in the common interest amongst the Wretched of the Earth in true resistance and in their ability to frame the conflict as the anti-imperialistic struggle that it truly is.

How Yulia and Sergei Skripal (and their cat) Saved the World!

Ah, the “Sorrows of Empire.” Its lies these days so easily exposed. Yet, too often ignored.

Saturday morning, April 14, 2018, the world released a collective sigh of relief after a week of anguished hand-wringing at the too-likely possibility of our own utter annihilation. US President, Donald J. Trump, a man of massive ego, reportedly small hands and apparently insignificant phallus, had failed, despite direct attempts by the Big Bad Wolf of American military madness, to blow down the retaining walls protecting human conscience… and reality.

Or fatally damage Syria.

Having witnessed this failed attempt to blow the world to pieces via the winds of war, we, the remaining civilized world, were instead treated to worldwide giddy, heel kicking and side-splitting laughter at the ultimate tepid US military inspired results. Yes, despite a week of US hegemonic huffing and puffing — and tweeting — many of us were amazed to actually wake up once again.

This past Saturday, we all discovered that the latest triumvirate of self-serving, sadistic and socially-challenged world leaders (US/UK/ FR)  had suffered a storied defeat…one caused by two little pigs — guinea pigs really — and one black cat.

Thanks to these three demur little mammals, who spoke not a word of English, but were likely – if the UK media folly is to believed-  secretly taking Russian language lessons, these three accurately summed up current Western foreign policy:

You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time, but… You can’t fool all of the people all the time.”

This sage advice, of course, was not within the full understanding of Messrs. Trump and Macron, nor Ms. May who instead preferred to believe in their own weakening hearts and minds the much older capitalist mantra:

Never give a sucker an even break!

Having seen their laundry list of previous cunning political connivinces go almost unchallenged by their own populace in routine acquiescence, their lies became ever bolder. And inexplicable. This lulled them into a false sense of overconfidence that believed they could provide all manner of utter nonsense as long as it was alleged to be attached to the never passe “Soviet Union” better known as “Russia.” So, it was natural for these three myopic world leaders to assume their latest plot would pass easily within the shadows of their own dark souls. Instead, theirs was a comedy show that suddenly snapped the world to the realization:

We no longer believe a fucking thing you say!

This ultimate and fundamental realization was spawned weeks before this past Saturday’s illegal attack. In the quaint UK town of Salisbury,  former double agent and recent MI-6 participant, Sergei Skripal, had relocated to go out to pasture, retire and die. Little did he know that his long-term goals would turn out to be somewhat premature. Well, almost.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May was, and is, a desperate woman. So desperate is she — after her own recent David Cameron moment of parliamentary disaster — to retain power within the posh digs at No. 10 that she quite willingly proved correct all criticisms of her Conservative Party: She joined forces with the Irish Nazi party, better known as the DUP… and gave them a 1 Billion British pound mortita for their trouble. That’s desperate!

Strangely, Ms. May could not understand why, after all this, she was still reviled by all the UK parliamentary parties and most of the British people. Having done her best to achieve Neville Chamberlain style unpopularity, she needed a distraction… no matter how amateurish the production. For she had long ago concluded, as have so many foreign leaders, that her public was just as easily controlled as watering a potted plant in the window of her number 10.

Over arrogant, Ms. May sent in her Keystone Cops — MI-6 — to do what had worked so often before in times of political need. So easy. Indeed! As the plot unfurled on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4, 2018, the press dutifully expanded daily on the one proffered set of lies. Nice and smoothly… Russia did it! Who, but a treasonous Brit would possibly argue with such a complete lack of prima face evidence? Yes, all was going so well for Ms. May and her conspirators until their hired media minions made their first fatal and undeniable mistake.

Enter the true hero of our story, our savior, Nash Van Drake. Cat. Black cat. Likely Russian agent and the only live witness; one who knew all too well the other fundamental slogan of political cover-up…”Dead men ( and cats) tell no tales”. The two Guinea pigs were already toast, which, of course, fit the UK narrative that the Russian sounding Novichok — quickly renamed that week from its original name, “Foliant” —  had ultimately (after the Government story changed multiple times) originated in… or on… or around the Skripal house, hence the two little Guinea pigs’ timely demise and convenient incineration. However…

You see, Van Drake was a black cat: Persian of Arabic descent. In the UK being black and/or Arab is increasingly great cause for caution. After years of living safely curled up on the living room settee watching the daily BBC propaganda reel or evenings on former spy Mr. Skripal’s lap forever watching James Bond reruns on ITV — over and over and over again — when the strange alien-looking men in yellow suits, plastic masks, and oxygen tanks picked the lock on the Skripal’s front door, astutely Van Drake took to these years of imposed TV training and knew just what to do. Run!

The poor caged Guinea pigs didn’t have a chance.

Once upon a time, the secret services of the dominant world had at least the courtesy to respect the world’s intelligence quotient even when discounting their country’s own. In that era, evil political intentions did attempt to carefully cover the footprints leading to their too many false flag operations. Professional surreptitious skullduggery, however, has now given way to plots of conquest that are really ham-fisted affronts to simple mental logic followed by a near total media cover-up in favor of same.

This has so far been all too effective, and with the similarly agendized publishers in the US and UK having control of over 90% of these “media choices,” a media black-out of inconvenient facts has been the de rigueur method of cover-up. This new methodology of political deceit relies on one single, all-important premise, one that evil minds similar to those of Trump, Macron, and May believe to their soulless core:

We control the story and …You… are too stupid and willfully ignorant to find the truth.

While quantitatively and historically accurate in their belief to date, unfortunately for MI-6 and their resulting worldwide television theatrical performance, Brits are also animal lovers. One might well, then, imagine the look on the faces of the conspirators when, after already disposing of the evidence of the two conveniently dead rodents and thus certifying their claim that the Skripals were poisoned at their home, they were suddenly shocked by the very first serious media question, one for which the co-conspirators collectively had only one confused, nervous, sideways looking answer… “What Cat?!”

Like Jack Ruby seeking out Oswald, the cops were off again to fix this glaring omission. Poor Van Drake, still hiding in the dark of his own Palestine under the couch, and now revealed, never had a chance. As the yellow suited masked men dragged him kicking and screaming off to certain chemical weapons death at Briton’s own self-proclaimed Auschwitz, the secret chemical weapons facility known instead as Porton Down, the poor kitty had no way of knowing that his cremation would make him the hero of this hilarious and almost fatal — for us — tragedy. For it was Van Drake, his being alive and next dead, that snapped the world to the proper realization that: one: the highly lethal military grade Novichok/Foliant in question was approximately as deadly as Van Drake’s own flea collar, and better: Ms. May, the Cons, and the vaunted UK press were completely lying out their ass!

Finally, it seemed the counter-intelligence services of first world hegemony had actually managed to underestimate the true intelligence of the average Briton and, apparently, the military intelligence services of most of the other nations on earth. It’s one thing to shoot Palestinians for target practice, inflict the world’s biggest cholera epidemic on Yemen while bombing its hospitals and doctors, or terrorize a few hundred thousand Rohingya into abandoning their homes for the pleasure of capitalist pursuits: all these so easily ignored by a deliberate media sedated, flag-wrapped public. But, this time they had gone too far. They had killed… a cat!

What a fuck-up!

Fast forward to the land — the epicenter — of nationwide mind fabrication. Just as strangely as barely-prime minister, Ms. May, the new White House presidential marionette in orange, despite having been repeatedly for a year bitch slapped into submission by his adversaries on all sides of the aisle, was still having problems with those pesky Democrats and their Justice Department, their attorneys, and this past week, their cops. Worse, to a President who craves personal approval like an American male does Opioids, his popularity ratings were down.

What to do? To a man with a golf ball sized IQ, there was only one thing he could do. A choice that would make him popular from the boardrooms of Halliburton to the gun-toting, Jack Daniels-swilling taverns, and barrooms of Tennessee. From the dark shadowy dampness of the Israeli Knesset to the gold lined palaces of the newly anointed Saudi prophet, MBS in Riyadh: A nice “new, shiny, smart” war.

Perfect!!

But how to start a new war. That chemical weapons false flag rubbish had failed, one, two three… six times in the past. Oh, and that Salisbury debacle — where the Skripal’s were doing just fine all of a sudden — now makes seven failures. But, to hell with a smart guy like Einstein, why not give it another shot. Besides Trump had a specially prepared US media tool awaiting: Those ever handy and timely White Helmets; the ones who always seem better with a video camera than at performing first aid. Fresh off being handed a shiny 2017 Oscar for their star acting role in their own Hollywood propaganda film of justification, surely they could finally get it right this time?

Thus we, the civilized world, were treated to another round of intelligence insulting western inspired theatrics. And it might have worked. Almost did. Because, hey, these are the guys who wore the White helmets. White ones. Who could argue with that?

Needing a coalition of the willing for his new war, the logical first choice for Trump was to invite his equally flawed counterpart in London to jump into bed with him.  Apparently the salacious allegations of the Steele dossier — which the UK press failed to show as connected to Skripal senior — may be true since Trump showed a continued passion for the kinky in next going French, and inviting another similarly descending political hack to his menage a trois of war.

Macron, whose popularity echoes his two concubines in being approximately that of Napoleon bringing the troops home from Russia, was down to his skivvies in seconds. Reduced to attacking farmers and peaceful protesters in his stated effort to bring all things capitalist to bare in traditionally socialist France, he had obviously failed to yet master the emasculation of his own media. Thus the irony of all this, applied to French Napoleonic law, was that in the eyes of his countrymen Macron was at the very least, “guilty until proven innocent.” And, good luck with that.

So, when Washington called, followed by a short follow-up ring from Tel Aviv, Macron also knew just what to do. And, off to war it was.

For two weeks these three frolicked in a pre-war orgy of selling the exact same pack of lies to their own nation’s public via their own controlled media; lies that continued to include the connection to the Soviet Union Russia via the Skripal chemical weapons attack in Salisbury. Of course, this Syrian attack in Ghouta was real this time. Right?

However, in this mad three-nation ramp-up to new war many persons of rational mind and a penchant for self-preservation, persons that included world leaders still in possession of their facilities, continued to wonder about the massive logical and factual problems with the Skripal incident and “the cat.” This was shown in the universal lack of willingness of other countries to enter the fray. When Angela Merkel doesn’t willingly join an American rush to war, you know there’s a big problem. However, many leaders did save face with Israel and half-heartedly attested to the full package of lies being true by abstaining in their UN votes to stop the pending attack.

So, our three continued to cavort in pre-war bliss despite the constant interruptions made by John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, scratching and whining at the bedroom door while trying to get in. But, their orgy did continue, the glee of upcoming death and destruction being spawned from their own loins an aphrodisiac far too strong to be controlled.

Sadly, despite the inquiries and outrage of the few sharp minds — and cat lovers — worldwide, these three Israeli concubines did finally manage to achieve coitus this past Saturday, April 14, 2018, with the Donald next indiscriminately ejaculating cruise missiles all over Syria.

These missiles, having an unusually high mortality rate of their own (71/103), did almost nothing to Syria or Syrians who that new morning danced in streets afterward. But this charade did allow an embattled US president to temporarily forget his troubles, put his golf balls back in his sack and feel much better after having finally relieved himself.

Not quite done, it was time for the final act: for the three to prove that, when it comes to congressional or parliamentary oversight for more war: 1) it is far easier to beg forgiveness, than to ask permission and 2) these same legislative checks on war powers are in reality as effective a deterrent as that of a Las Vegas boxing commissioner. A few more calls from Tel Aviv, soon to be Jerusalem, and the little fish in the US congress and the two parliaments were again nicely ketteled into the proper way of retroactive thinking and approving…more war.

Well, the moral of this ages-old recurring fable of overconfident governmental, covert operations should be obvious. It should not take one dead cat and a couple of Guineas to shock us all to the proper realization:

When it comes to the Governments of our world…it’s all a pack of lies.

So, we the intelligent world salute you Nash Van Drake and your tiny brethren. May you all rest in peace in the service of us all. May we together pray: pray that the world quickly awakens to the terminal realizations of poor Van Drake, reluctant hero, as the steel doors of the gas chamber called Porton Down creaked open before him and he swallowed forever his last breath…

Not a one of us has nine lives, and our governments are pretty sure that we are all… dumber than a god damn cat!

“The Global Elite is Insane” Revisited

In 2014 I wrote an article titled “The Global Elite is Insane.” I want to elaborate what I explained in the earlier article so that people have a clearer sense of what we are up against in our struggle to create a world of peace, justice and ecological sustainability.

Of course, as I explained previously, it is not just the global elite that is insane. All those individuals – politicians, business people, academics, corporate media editors and journalists, judges and lawyers, bureaucrats…. – who serve the elite, including by not exposing and resisting it, are also insane. And it is important to understand this if we are to develop and implement effective strategies to resist elite violence, exploitation and destruction but also avert the now-imminent human extinction driven by their insane desire for endless personal privilege, corporate profit and political control whatever the cost to Earth’s biosphere and lifeforms (human and non-human alike).

But first, who constitutes the global elite? Essentially, it is those extremely wealthy individuals – notably including the Rothschild family, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, the Walton family and the Koch brothers – as well as the world’s other billionaires and millionaires.

Testament to their secretly and long-accumulated wealth and power, a 2012 investigation concluded that rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets – which excludes non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and race horses – in offshore tax havens.

If this sum was devoted to programs of social uplift then starvation, poverty, homelessness and other privations would vanish immediately and environmental restoration projects as well as research, development and implementation of visionary sustainability initiatives would flourish instantly. The idea of an ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’ national economy would vanish from the literature on Africa, Asia and Central/South America.

In addition to these individuals, however, the global elite includes the major multinational corporations, particularly including the following – although, it should be noted, this list simplifies the picture considerably by ignoring the conglomerate nature of many of these corporations and not including many of the (more difficult to identify) private corporations that should be listed in any comprehensive presentation:

* the major weapons manufacturers (such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics)

* the major banks (including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Bank of America) and their ‘industry groups’ like the International Monetary Conference

* the major investment companies (including BlackRock, Capital Group Companies, FMR, AXA, and JP Morgan Chase)

* the major financial services companies (including Berkshire Hathaway, AXA, Allianz and BNP Paribas)

* the major energy corporations including coal companies (such as Coal India, Adani Enterprises, China Shenhua Energy, China Coal Energy, Mechel, Exxaro Resources, Public Power, Glencore and Peabody Energy) as well as the oil and gas corporations (such as Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, Rosneft, PetroChina, ExxonMobil, Lukoil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Petrobras, Chevron, Novatek, Total S.A. and Eni)

* the major media corporations (including Alphabet [Google owner], Comcast, Disney, AT&T, News Corporation, Time Warner, Fox, Facebook, Bertelsmann and Baidu)

* the major marketing and public relations corporations (including Edelman, W2O Group, APCO Worldwide, Deksia, BrandTuitive, Fearless Media, and Citizen Group)

* the major agrochemical (pesticides, seeds, fertilizers) giants (including Bayer, Syngenta, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont)

* the major pharmaceutical corporations (including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline)

* the major biotechnology (genetic mutilation) corporations (again including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer and Novartis)

* the major mining corporations (including Glencore Xtrata, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Vale, Anglo American, China Shenhua Energy, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, and Barrick Gold)

* the major nuclear power corporations (including Areva, Rosatom, General Electric/Hitachi, Kepco, Mitsubishi, Babcock & Wilcox, BNFL, Duke Energy, McDermott International, Southern, NextEra Energy, American Electric Power, and Westinghouse)

* the major food multinationals (including Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Company [ADM], Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Associated British Foods and Mondelez)

* the major water corporations (including Veolia, Suez Environnement, ITT Corporation, United Utilities, Severn Trent, Thames Water, American Water Works).

Of course, the global elite also includes elite fora where various combinations of elite individuals from the corporate, political, media and academic worlds gather to plan their continuing violence against, and exploitation of, the Earth and its inhabitants. This is intended to consolidate and extend their control over populations, markets and resources to maximize their privilege, profit and power at the expense of the rest of us and life generally. Among intergovernmental organizations, it includes the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

A quick perusal of the agenda of such elite gatherings – including the World Economic Forum, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission – reveals a comprehensive lack of interest, despite rhetoric and the occasional token mention, of pressing issues ranging from the threat of nuclear war and the climate catastrophe to the many ongoing wars, deepening exploitation within the global economy, extensive range of environmental threats and the refugee crisis, each of which they generated and now continue to deliberately exacerbate. See, for example, the agenda of the recent WEF meeting in Davos.

Primary servants of the global elite include political leaders in major industrialized countries (who legislate to progressively expand elite power, profit and privilege, such as Donald Trump’s recent tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of social programs), the judges and lawyers (who defend elite power using the elite-designed and manipulated legal system: ever heard of a wealthy individual convicted in court and given any serious punishment or of any major corporation genuinely held to legal account for its exploitation of indigenous peoples or destruction of the natural environment?), as well as corporate media editors and journalists, entertainment industry personnel, academics, industry organizations (such as the European Round Table of Industrialists) that represent the interests of major corporations, so-called ‘think tanks’ (such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution) and ‘philanthropic trusts’ (such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford foundations) all of which justify, ignore or divert attention from elite violence and exploitation.

Importantly too, primary servants of the global elite include those who work within elite-directed agencies, notably including those in the so-called ‘intelligence community’ (such as the US CIA, British MI6, Russian SVR RF, Chinese Ministry for State Security and Israeli Mossad), who perform elite functions in relation to spying, surveillance and secret assassinations (particularly of grassroots activists), ostensibly under the direction of national governments. But it also includes many lower-level servants such as those who work as political lobbyists or in the bureaucracy as well as the education, police and prison systems.

So why do I claim that the elite and those who serve them are insane?

Any dictionary will offer a simple definition of ‘sanity’ along the lines of ‘soundness of judgment or reason’ and ‘the ability to think and speak in a reasonable way and to behave normally’.

But if we use this definition of sanity then, obviously, ‘sanity’ must be interpreted to mean that it is ‘sound judgment, reasonable and normal’ to further perpetrate the violence and exploitation that are overwhelmingly characteristic of our world. After all, most people powerlessly accept this incredibly violent state of affairs and, if they discuss it, do so in terms of its merits, politically, economically, morally or otherwise. Few people argue, simply, that violence is just insane.

So I would like to propose a more rigorous definition of sanity: Sanity is the capacity to consider a set of circumstances, to carefully analyze the evidence pertaining to those circumstances, to identify the cause of any conflict or problem, and to respond appropriately, both emotionally and intellectually, to that conflict or problem with the intention of resolving it, preferably at a higher level of need satisfaction for all parties (including those of the Earth and all of its living creatures).

Clearly, my proposed definition of sanity is designed to imply that any conceptions we have of ‘sound judgment’, ‘reasonable’ and ‘normal’ mean that they are qualities we associate with individuals who possess the desirable capacity to improve the overall state of human affairs, whether an interpersonal relationship or geopolitically. This means, as an absolute minimum, the capacity to reduce violence or exploitation in one context or another.

You might, of course, accuse me of writing a definition of ‘sanity’ that serves my agenda to dramatically improve world order in the direction of peace, justice and sustainability. And you are right! But whose interest does it serve to have sanity defined as behavior that involves ‘sound judgment’ and is considered ‘reasonable and normal’ in the context of perpetuating extraordinary violence?

Alternatively, you might argue that my definition of insanity is too broad. Surely, you might say, we can account for many of the behaviors outlined above in terms of different belief systems, ideologies and religions. Doesn’t a person who believes in killing people to win wars (or for other reasons) just have a worldview different from those who believe that people should resolve conflict nonviolently? Doesn’t a capitalist just have a worldview different from those who believe that people should share resources equally? Doesn’t a person who believes in the unlimited accumulation of wealth just have a worldview different from those who believe in ecological sustainability?

But there is a more fundamental issue here. As I explained in my original article, cited at the beginning of this one: Do you really believe that someone who is capable of perpetrating extraordinary violence, inequity and biosphere-threatening behavior – and thus clearly incapable of experiencing and expressing the love, compassion, empathy and sympathy that would drive a nonviolent approach to the world – is sane? Given that emotional qualities such as love, compassion, empathy and sympathy are an evolutionary gift to those not seriously damaged during childhood, what happened to those individuals who do not possess them?

Or, to explain it based on my longer definition of sanity highlighted above: Casual observation of the state of our world, including the primary threat of near-term human extinction through climate catastrophe or nuclear war clearly reveals that none of the elite is paying considered attention to the perilous state of our world, analyzing the evidence in relation to it, identifying the cause(s) driving it or responding powerfully to end it. Why is this?

In essence, it is because one manifestation of their insanity drives them to deny reality to make huge profits from weapons production used to kill people, the burning of climate-destroying fossil fuels, environmental destruction (through, for example, mining and rainforest logging), commercial farming based on the poisoning and genetic mutilation of foods, the mass production and sale of poisoned, processed and nutritionally-depleted foods, the consumption of health-destroying and dependency-creating drugs, and control over the sale of water, once considered a human right. Moreover, insanity makes the elite do everything in its power to maintain this highly profitable state of affairs.

Moreover, of course, there is no evidence of committed elite engagement in efforts to end the many local wars (from which they make huge profits), end corporate exploitation of human beings (which kills, through starvation alone, 100,000 people every day but from which they make huge profits) and nonhuman beings (which drives 200 species of life to extinction daily but from which they make huge profits) or end local environmental destruction in a myriad ways (from which they make huge profits).

So, in summary, given our ongoing rush to extinction, it is clear that those who exacerbate this threat through failure to consider and act with awareness (as well as encourage aware action by others) fail to satisfy the definition of sanity that I offered above. In short: Gambling on the future of humanity is not sane.

As an aside, it should be noted: Often enough too, the elite can rely on a largely insane population to mindlessly consume the latest consumer product, no matter how unnecessary, or they can rely on their marketing and advertising agents to persuade those of us who show the slightest reluctance to buy the latest inanity.

So with an insane global elite and its many insane servants as well as a largely insane consumer population, what can those of us who have the sanity to respond powerfully to the many threats to our survival do?

Well, if you want a child who is emotionally and intellectually engaged with the world and therefore capable of responding powerfully to their circumstances (which includes being able to resist the lure of serving the elite and being suckered by its marketing), then terrorizing the child into obedience is not the way to go about it. So, you might like to consider making ‘My Promise to Children.’

If you are sane enough to investigate the evidence and to act intelligently and powerfully in response to it, I encourage you to do so. One option you have if you find the evidence in relation to one or more of the threats mentioned above compelling, is to join those participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth.’

If you are self-aware enough to know that you are inclined to avoid ‘difficult issues’ and to take the action that these require, then perhaps you could tackle this problem at its source by ‘Putting Feelings First.’ Unfortunately, as mentioned above, few of us had a childhood that nurtured our sanity.

If you want to mobilize people to campaign effectively on the climate, war, rainforest destruction or any other elite-driven violence that threatens our future, consider developing a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to do so.

And if you want to participate in the worldwide effort to end the insanity we call violence in all of its manifestations, you are welcome to consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.’

Elite insanity, if not stopped, will drive us out of existence. If you believe that the elite and their servants will ‘see the light’ before it is too late, I invite you to seek out the evidence to justify your belief. I have found none.

I also see no evidence that individual members of the elite will do the emotional healing necessary to be able to act sanely in response to the extinction-threatening crisis it has generated.

So it is up to those of us who can think and act sanely to stop the rush to extinction before it is too late.

Are you one of those people?

No Spirit Of Liberty: The Salisbury Case, Corbyn And The Need For Dissent

Fifteen years ago this month, the US-led ‘Shock and Awe’ offensive began against Iraq, supposedly to disarm the country of its ‘weapons of mass destruction’. The illegal invasion and subsequent brutal occupation led to the loss of around one million lives, created millions of refugees, destroyed the infrastructure of a country already ravaged by over a decade of cruel UN sanctions, and contributed significantly to the rise of Islamic State. All of this might never have happened were it not for an intense campaign of propaganda and deception in which the so-called ‘mainstream’ media, including ‘impartial’ BBC News, were enthusiastic participants.

In the Guardian, Martin Woollacott had declared of Saddam’s supposed ‘WMD’:

Among those knowledgeable about Iraq there are few, if any, who believe he is not hiding such weapons. It is a given.

This conformity throughout the corporate media was remarkable. Ardent armchair war supporter David Aaronovitch, also writing in the Guardian, confidently asserted:

If nothing is eventually found, I – as a supporter of the war – will never believe another thing that I am told by our government, or that of the US ever again.

As the Downing Street Memo showed, intelligence and facts were ‘fixed around’ the pre-existing policy of invasion. The Chilcot Report, finally released in 2016, was damning of the way Tony Blair’s government took the UK into war. Analysis of the report published last year by Sheffield University’s Piers Robinson, emphasised the fundamental deception at the heart of the ‘war on terror’:

9/11 was exploited in order to pursue a regime-change policy against countries unconnected with Al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

Iraq was not a one-off. As we have documented, an onslaught of media propaganda facilitated the 2011 devastation of Libya, the deaths of up to 25,000 Libyans, including the brutal murder of Gaddafi, and a refugee crisis that has seen thousands drown trying to make the perilous sea crossing to Europe. The rationale for ‘intervention’ was the alleged threat of a massacre by Gaddafi’s forces in Benghazi.

The Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland had declared:

If those nations with the power to stop these pre-announced killings had stood aside, they would have been morally culpable. Benghazi was set to become another Srebrenica – and those that did nothing would share the same shame.

After ‘something’ had been done, the BBC’s Nick Robinson observed that Downing Street:

will see this, I’m sure, as a triumphant end.

Libya was David Cameron’s first war. Col. Gaddafi his first foe. Today, his first real taste of military victory.1

In September 2016, a report into the Libyan war was published by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. In contrast to the near-total uniformity in media coverage at the time, the parliamentary report concluded that:

the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.

As with Iraq, virtually an entire country’s infrastructure had been destroyed by the West’s ‘intervention’:

The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL [Islamic State] in North Africa.

Cynical geopolitics and media disinformation campaigns have also characterised the ongoing war in Syria, with confident and immediate declarations of Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons (for example: see here, here and here). Rational challenges to this establishment consensus, and reasonable questions raised, have elicited howls of outrage from establishment politicians and commentators. Dissent simply will not be tolerated.

The parallels with the confident and immediate declarations of Russian responsibility for the nerve agent Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4 are disturbing.

Instant Certainty?

Prime Minister Theresa May’s response was to declare it ‘highly likely’ that Russia was responsible for the Salisbury attack. Russia’s ambassador to the UK was summoned to the Foreign Office on March 13 ‘to provide an explanation’. May said that if there was no ‘credible response’ by the end of that day, the UK would conclude that there had been an ‘unlawful use of force’ by Russia.

The following day, the very first line read out by presenter Sophie Raworth on BBC News at Ten was a propaganda bullet point:

Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow fails to explain the chemical attack in Salisbury.

The loaded phrase, ‘after Moscow fails to explain’, was the UK government-approved framing: the alleged perpetrator of the crime was required to ‘explain’ its actions. The conformity to this state script was widespread across the ‘free press’.

A Telegraph editorial demanded total consensus for the government’s agenda:

Theresa May needs the whole country’s support to see Britain through this crisis with Russia.

A Sunday Times editorial stated:

Mrs May must show Russia that she is an Iron Lady too.

A Guardian editorial declared that the Prime Minister had made:

a compelling case for Kremlin culpability in the Salisbury incident and is right that such a reckless, hostile act by another state requires a robust response.

In the Commons, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had very reasonably challenged the government by asking for evidence for its claims, and by insisting that international law and conventions be upheld. The Guardian, however, found Corbyn’s response ‘dispiriting’:

He sounded too keen to find another explanation for the use of the nerve agent novichok in the attack.

And:

his reluctance to share Mrs May’s basic analysis of the Salisbury incident made him look eager to exonerate a hostile power.

This was the editorial response by supposedly one of the world’s leading liberal newspapers.

A Telegraph leading article hinted at an underlying truth: that the incident was being exploited for the benefit of ‘defence’ and intelligence services:

To protect itself, this country has to give its intelligence services the tools they need and invest properly in its defence forces. This week’s spring statement must guarantee better funding.

‘Mainstream’ media coverage has been instrumental in presenting a misleading image of May as the ‘strong, stable’ leader she has long tried to claim for herself. John Pienaar, deputy political editor for BBC News, noted:

Among senior ministers and officials, there’s quiet satisfaction that the Russia crisis seems to be going according to plan. Maybe even better.

All the better if you have a compliant corporate media onboard.

The headline to a ‘politics sketch’ by the Guardian‘s John Crace, whom we are supposed to find amusing, was comical for the wrong reasons:

Theresa May transforms into cold war colossus by not being Jeremy Corbyn

Under the cover of ‘comedy’, Crace slipped in this smear:

Jeremy had never met a Russian he didn’t like or trust – especially one that had been head of the KGB.

The portrayal of Corbyn as some kind of Putin stooge was continued on BBC Newsnight on March 15. Reporter David Grossman posed the leading question, ‘Does Labour have a Russia problem?’. The Labour leader was then depicted in a huge studio backdrop using an image that seemed to be deliberately manipulated to make him look embedded in the Kremlin. Even Corbyn’s cap appeared to have been altered to look like a Russian fur hat.

A post on our Facebook page noting this BBC propaganda went viral, with around 650,000 hits at the time of writing (most of our posts achieve hits in the low thousands). This was a strong indicator of public awareness and outrage at the BBC’s biased portrayal of Corbyn; and a sign of the power of social media in challenging ‘MSM’ distortions.

The following evening on Newsnight, Guardian commentator Owen Jones rightly criticised the programme’s Corbyn imagery. But when Newsnight later tweeted a clip of Jones’s appearance, they omitted the section where he took them to task. (The deleted section can be seen here).

Responding to the tsunami of public challenges, acting Newsnight editor Jess Brammar defended the use of biased imagery, commenting via Twitter:

‘By all means criticise Newsnight. That’s healthy, and we will always welcome people like @OwenJones84 coming on the show to criticise us from our own studio. But no one photoshopped a hat.’

She added:

the Russia background was a rehash of one Newsnight used a few weeks ago, for a story about Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary.

This ‘explanation’ got short shrift across social media. The manipulation of Corbyn’s image, including its placement close to the iconic St Basil’s Church in the Moscow skyline, the red tinting and the altered appearance of his ‘Lenin-style’ cap, obviously served a clear propaganda purpose.

As the remarkable WW2 veteran and social justice campaigner Harry Leslie Smith said on Twitter:

I think you will find most see that the particular photo used of Corbyn dead in the middle of the backdrop with a super enhanced cap to make it look more soviet and the shot of Gavin Williamson in a suit, not in frame, imply two different things.

Clearly, one figure (Williamson) was depicted as a sober, responsible and senior government politician; and the other (Corbyn) as an untrustworthy figure with dubious ideological links to an Official Enemy.

No doubt deluged with public complaints, the BBC subjected itself to scrutiny and swiftly adjudged that it had done nothing wrong. Long-time readers of Media Lens will recall that former BBC Chairman Lord Grade once described his experience of complaining to the BBC as ‘grisly’ due to a system he said was ‘absolutely hopeless’. If that is what he thought, then what hope for the rest of us?

But, embarrassingly for the BBC, evidence has emerged that the corporation does knowingly manipulate images to portray Corbyn in a negative light. Barrister Jo Maugham QC revealed:

Just remembered I have a written message from a senior BBC bod explaining (unambiguously) that the BBC does code negative messages about Corbyn into its imagery. [Our emphasis]

He followed up with:

The message was communicated to me in confidence so I will give *no* further details. But I would swear a witness statement that this tweet is true.

BBC News coverage basically echoed and amplified UK state propaganda over the Salisbury attack on the Skripals, dangerously ramping up tension with Russia. On BBC News at Ten on March 12, BBC ‘security’ correspondent Gordon Corera said of the Novichok nerve agents:

The crucial thing is that these agents were only developed by Russia.

The careful wording, in line with the government script, indicated there was no unequivocal proof of Russian involvement. The flood of propaganda continued for days, with contributions by several senior BBC News journalists, including diplomatic correspondent James Landale, Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford and home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford.

In the meantime, strong scepticism about the established ‘MSM’ consensus appeared across social media. An important briefing document, titled ‘Doubts About Novichoks’, published by an academic group working on media and propaganda, noted that there was no solid evidence that the compounds used to poison the Skripals were:

military grade nerve agents or that a Russian “Novichok” programme ever existed.

The document also observed that ‘the purported “Novichoks” is within the capability of a modern chemistry laboratory’, such as nearby Porton Down, less than ten miles from Salisbury. In 2015, the Independent reported that Porton Down had run secretive chemical and biological weapons experiments on hundreds of thousands of unwitting civilians during the Cold War, including on the London Tube.

Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador, said that he had:

received confirmation from a well placed FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] source that Porton Down scientists are not able to identify the nerve agent as being of Russian manufacture, and have been resentful of the pressure being placed on them to do so. Porton Down would only sign up to the formulation “of a type developed by Russia” after a rather difficult meeting where this was agreed as a compromise formulation.

This echoes the manipulation and distortion of intelligence about Iraq’s alleged WMD for the political objective of launching an invasion.

Investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed observed that Russia has been:

certified by the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] as having destroyed its chemical weapons programme, including its nerve agent capabilities. The OPCW found no evidence to indicate that Russia retains an active [Novichok] capability. The same is not the case for the US, Britain and Israel.’

Ahmed concluded sensibly:

It may turn out that Russia did indeed carry out the Novichok attack. But at this time, the British state has no real basis to presume this. Which implies that the state has already decided that it wants to manufacture a path to heightened hostilities with Russia, regardless of the evidence.

If BBC News and the rest of the ‘MSM’ were actual news organisations based on proper journalistic principles, they would extensively report and investigate serious concerns about the official narrative on the Salisbury nerve agent attack. When we challenged BBC News journalists Gordon Corera, Sarah Rainsford, James Landale and Laura Kuenssberg to do so we were met with the usual wall of silence.

‘I am Scared, and I Never Have Been Before’

Hyping Russia as an Official Enemy is a natural consequence of the corporate nature of the media. Big profits are there to be made. It is an age-old strategy to boost fear in bogeymen abroad, all in the interests of a huge military-industrial complex with strong ties to state-corporate media.

A piece by Kenny Coyle in the Morning Star correctly observed that:

The media has not considered how Russophobia is benefitting big business.

Coyle addressed the extensive business and military links of former British army officer, Colonel (rtd) Hamish de Bretton-Gordon:

Quoted daily by multiple media outlets on the Skripal case, de Bretton-Gordon has become a very public expert, relied upon for unbiased comment and analysis by the British and foreign media on chemical weapon threats from Salisbury to Syria.

For some time, he has been:

urging greater government expenditure on chemical protection counter-measures and equipment. He has used his columns in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, as well as TV appearances to repeat this message.

Coyle added:

While his Guardian online biography selectively mentions his military record and work on Syria, it overlooks his day job — de Bretton-Gordon is managing director CBRN [Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear] of Avon Protection Systems, based in Melksham, Wiltshire.

Last month, reported Coyle, Avon Rubber, Avon Protection’s parent company, announced a five-year £16m contract to supply the Ministry of Defence with equipment.

Journalist John Pilger summed it all up succinctly when he said that the:

Skripal case is a carefully-constructed drama as part of the propaganda campaign that has been building now for several years in order to justify the actions of Nato, Britain, the United States towards Russia.

He continued:

Russia is ringed by missiles, has Nato right up on its western border. This is unprecedented since the Second World War. Most people in Britain, most people in the United States, don’t understand these dangers; the dangers of this propaganda.

As Pilger pointed out:

Why on earth would Russia, on the eve [of] an election, and on the eve of staging the world football cup, want to destroy its international name with such a crime?

He added:

But there’s plenty of motive on the other side. […] This is part of a carefully constructed drama in which the media plays a role, the government plays a role, both sides of the House of Commons play a role, unfortunately.

Craig Murray described how he has been hounded and subjected to abuse for raising rational questions about government claims:

In 13 years of running my blog I have never been exposed to such a tirade of abuse as I have for refusing to accept without evidence that Russia is the only possible culprit for the Salisbury attack. The abuse has mostly been on twitter, and much of the most venomous stuff has come from corporate and state media “journalists”. I suppose I am a standing rebuke to them for merely being stenographers to power and never doing any actual research, but that hardly explains the visceral levels of hatred exhibited.

Owen Jones made a crucial point about the treatment meted out to those who challenge official propaganda:

It’s the same [thing], every time. Iraq, Helmand Province, Libya. Anything other than total subordination to the government line invites accusations of being a stooge for Saddam/Taliban/Gaddafi, of treachery, of cowardice. All dissent has to be bullied out of existence.

As he noted in a short, powerful clip on Sky News:

Why are the politicians and pundits who brought us Iraq and Libya still treated as statesmen and sensible hard-headed pundits?

By contrast:

Those who were (tragically) vindicated are traitors and cowards.

Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor of The Canary, rightly emphasised the point:

The same people who spent the last three years bemoaning the “post-truth era” are now denouncing as heretics anyone who wants facts re: the Skripal poisoning. And they see nothing contradictory in that *at all*. Welcome to modern McCarthyism. The witch hunt is on.

Veteran journalist Peter Hitchens warned:

In the past few days I have begun to sense a dangerous and dark new intolerance in the air, which I have never experienced before. […] The treatment of Jeremy Corbyn, both by politicians and many in the media, for doing what he is paid for and leading the Opposition, seems to me to be downright shocking.

He continued:

There’s no real spirit of liberty left in this country.

Yes, I am scared, and I never have been before. And so should you be.

George Galloway observed of the distasteful media treatment of Corbyn:

The grisly collection of #Russian exiles, opposition exiles, absconded thieves and oligarchs donated £3 million to the Tories and zero to #Corbyn. That “the story” is instead Corbyn expressing the same view as France & Germany shows the absolute corruption of the British media.

In an excellent Morning Star piece titled, ‘Desperate Establishment resorts to fear-mongering’, Callum Alexander Scott recalled that a 2016 study by media scholars at the London School of Economics found that:

the British press has repeatedly associated Corbyn with terrorism and positioned him as a friend of the enemies of the UK.

Scott points out that, on the eve of last year’s general election, the Daily Mail ran a front-page headline calling Corbyn and his colleagues ‘Apologists for Terror’, while the Sun ran a headline that read ‘Jezza’s Jihadi Comrades.’ More recently, the Daily Mail screamed, ‘Corbyn The Collaborator‘ and ‘Corbyn, The Kremlin Stooge‘. Meanwhile, the Sun shrieked, ‘Corbyn and the Commie Spy‘.

Dan Hodges, also in the Mail, confidently declared that ‘Corbyn is most certainly an agent of Russia’. Readers may recall that a comment piece in 2016 by Hodges bore the notorious headline, ‘Labour MUST kill Vampire Jezza’.

In its own subtly insidious way, the BBC is also playing a powerful role in ramping up the ‘patriotic’ fervour. For example, Sarah Smith, presenter of the BBC Sunday Politics show, ‘impartially’

At times like this you might expect the leader of the opposition to back up the Prime Minister.

Is that so? Who is this ‘you’? And might we not instead, as Peter Hitchens noted, expect Corbyn to continue ‘doing what he is paid for’ by ‘leading the Opposition’?

The BBC’s primary role as a bulwark of the establishment is shockingly obvious at times like these. Perhaps never before has dissent been so marginalised, so demonised. However, the more that BBC News and the ‘free press’ act so obviously like state mouthpieces, the more people will recognise and reject their propaganda. Elite power, especially the state, fears any threat to the status quo. And a well-informed, well-motivated public is the greatest threat of all.

  1. BBC, News at Six, October 20, 2011.

Four Days to Declare a Cold War

The week that has just ended was exceptionally rich in events. But no media were able to report it, because they had all deliberately masked certain of their number in order to protect the story that was being woven by their government.

The British government and certain of its allies, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have attempted to launch a Cold War against Russia. Their plan was to fabricate an attack against an ex-double agent in Salisbury and at the same time a chemical attack against the “moderate rebels” in the Ghouta. The conspirators’ intention was to profit from the efforts of Syria to liberate the suburbs of its capital city and the disorganisation of Russia on the occasion of its Presidential election. Had these manipulations worked, the United Kingdom would have pushed the USA to bomb Damascus, including the Presidential palace, and demand that the United Nations General Assembly exclude Russia from the Security Council.

However, the Syrian and Russian intelligence got wind of what was being plotted. They realised that the US agents in the Ghouta who were preparing an attack against the Ghouta were not working for the Pentagon, but for another US agency.

In Damascus, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fayçal Miqdad, set up an emergency Press conference for 10 March, in order to alert his fellow citizens. From its own side, Moscow had first of all tried to contact Washington via the diplomatic channels. But aware that the US ambassador, Jon Huntsman Jr, is the director of Caterpillar, the company which had supplied tunneling materials to the jihadists so that they could build their fortifications, Moscow decided to bypass the usual diplomatic channels.

Here’s how things played out:

12 March 2018

The Syrian army seized two chemical weapons laboratories, the first on 12 March in Aftris, and the second on the following day in Chifonya. Meanwhile, Russian diplomats pushed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to get involved in the criminal investigation in Salisbury.

In the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Theresa May violently accused Russia of having ordered the attack in Salisbury. According to her, the ex-double agent Sergueï Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a military nerve gas of a type “developed by Russia” under the name of Novitchok. Since the Kremlin considers Russian citizens who have defected as legitimate targets, it is therefore highly likely that they ordered the crime.

Novitchok is known by what has been revealed by two Soviet personalities, Lev Fyodorov and Vil Mirzayanov. The scientist Fyodorov published an article in the Russian weekly Top Secret in July 1992, warning about the extremely dangerous nature of this product, and warning against the use of old Soviet weaponry by the Western powers to destroy the environment in Russia and make it unlivable. In October 1992, he published a second article (link in Russian) in the News of Moscow with Mirzayanov, denouncing the corruption of certain generals and the traffic of Novitchok in which they were involved. However, they did not know to whom they may have sold the product. Mirzayanov was first of all arrested for high treason, then released. Fyodorov died in Russia last August, but Mirzayanov is living in exile in the United States, where he collaborates with the Department of Defense.

Soviet chemist Vil Mirzayanov defected to the United States in 1995. Now 83 years old, he comments on the Skripal affair from Boston.

Novitchok was fabricated in a Soviet laboratory in Nukus, in what is now Uzbekistan. In 1999 USA and Uzbekistan agreed to destroy that plant. United States, by necessity, have therefore possessed and studied samples of this substance. They are both capable of producing it.

British Minister for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson summoned the Russian ambassador in London, Alexandre Iakovenko. He gave him an ultimatum of 36 hours to check if any Novitchok was missing from their stocks. The ambassador replied that none was missing, because Russia had destroyed all of the chemical weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union, as witnessed by the OPCW, which had drawn up a certified report.

After a telephone discussion with Boris Johnson, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in turn condemned Russia for the attack in Salisbury.

Meanwhile, a debate was under way at the UN Security Council concerning the situation in the Ghouta. The permanent representative for the US, Nikki Haley, declared:

Almost a year ago, in the aftermath of the Syrian regime’s sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun, the United States offered a warning to this Council. We said that when the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action. The Security Council failed to act. And the United States successfully struck the airbase from which Assad had launched his chemical attack. We repeat this warning today…

The Russian side handed out documents from the US staff. They showed that the Pentagon was ready to bomb the Presidential palace and the Syrian Ministries, on the model of what it had done during the taking of Baghdad (3 to 12 April 2003).

Commenting on the declaration by Nikki Haley, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had always called the attack in Khan Sheikhoun a “Western manipulation”, revealed that the false information which had led the White House into error and triggered the bombing of the Al-Chaayrate air base, had, in fact, come from a British laboratory which had never revealed how it came to possess its samples.

13 March 2018

The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs published a press release condemning a possible US military intervention, and announcing that if Russian citizens were harmed in Damascus, Moscow would riposte proportionally, since the Russian President is constitutionally responsible for the security of his fellow citizens.

Bypassing the official diplomatic channels, Russian Chief of Staff General Valeri Gerasimov contacted his US counterpart General Joseph Dunford to inform him of his fear of a false flag chemical attack in Ghouta. Dunford took this information very seriously, and alerted US Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis, who referred the matter to President Donald Trump. In view of the Russian insistence that this piece of foul play was being prepared without the knowledge of the Pentagon, the White House asked the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, to identify those responsible for the conspiracy.

We do not know the result of this internal enquiry, but President Trump acquired the conviction that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was implicated. The Secretary of State was immediately asked to interrupt his official journey in Africa and return to Washington.

Theresa May wrote to the General Secretary of the United Nations accusing Russia of having ordered the attack in Salisbury, and convened an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Without waiting, she expelled 23 Russian diplomats.

At the request of President of the House of Commons Interior Committee Yvette Cooper, British Secretary for the Interior Amber Rudd announced that MI5 (Military Interior Secret Services ) is going to re-open 14 enquiries into deaths which, according to US sources, “were ordered by the Kremlin”.

By doing do, the British government adopted the theories of Professor Amy Knight. On 22 January 2018, this US Sovietologist published a very strange book – Orders to Kill – the Putin régime and political murder. The author, who is “the specialist on the ex-KGB”, attempts to demonstrate that Vladimir Putin is a serial killer responsible for dozens of political assassinations, from the terrorist attacks in Moscow in 1999 to the attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013, by way of the execution of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 or that of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in 2015. However, she admits herself that there is absolutely no proof of her accusations.

The European Liberals then joined the fray. Ex-Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt, who presides their group in the European Parliament, called on the European Union to adopt sanctions against Russia. His counterpart at the head of their British party, Sir Vince Cable, proposed a European boycott of the World Football Cup. And already, Buckingham Palace announced that the royal family has canceled their trip to Russia.

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, announced that it might ban the channel RT as a retaliatory measure, even though RT has on no occasion violated British law.

The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs summoned the British ambassador in Moscow to inform him that reciprocal measures would soon be indicated in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from London.

Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired his Secretary of State, with whom he had not yet been in contact. He was replaced by Mike Pompeo, ex-Director of the CIA, who, the night before, had confirmed the authenticity of the Russian information transmitted by General Dunford. On his arrival in Washington, Tillerson obtained confirmation of his dismissal from White House General Secretary General John Kelly.

Ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a product of the Texan middle class. He and his family worked for the US Scouts, of whom he became the National President (2010-12). Culturally close to England, he did not hesitate, when he became President of the mega-multinational Exxon-Mobil (2006-16), not only to wage a politically correct campaign favouring the acceptance of young gays into the Scouts, but also to recruit mercenaries in British Guiana. He is said to be a member of the Pilgrims Society, the most prestigious of Anglo-US clubs, presided by Queen Elizabeth II, a number of whose members were part of the Obama administration.

During his functions as Secretary of State, the quality of his education provided a bond for Donald Trump, considered by US high society to be a buffoon. He was in disagreement with his President on three major subjects which allow us to define the ideology of the conspirators:

(a) Like London and the US deep state, he thought it would be useful to diabolise Russia in order to consolidate the power of the Anglo-Saxons in the Western camp;

(b) Like London, he thought that in order to maintain Western colonialism in the Middle East, it was necessary to favour Iranian President Cheikh Rohani against the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei. He therefore supported the 5+1 agreement.

(c) Like the US deep state, he considered that the swing of North Korea towards the United States should remain secret, and be used to justify a military deployment which would be directed in reality against the People’s Repubic of China. He was therefore in favour of official talks with Pyongyang, but opposed to a meeting between the two heads of state.

14 March 2018

While Washington was still in shock, Theresa May spoke once again before the House of Commons to develop her accusation, while all around the world, British diplomats spoke to numerous inter-governmental organisations in order to broadcast the message. Responding to the Prime Minister, Blairist deputy Chris Leslie qualified Russia as a rogue state and demanded its suspension from the UN Security Council. Theresa May agreed to examine the question, but stressed that the outcome could only be decided by the General Assembly in order to avoid the Russian veto.

Theresa May speaking at the House of Commons on March 14, 2018

The North Atlantic Council (NATO) met in Brussels at the request of the United Kingdom. The 29 member states drew a link between the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the attack in Salisbury. They then decided that Russia was “probably” responsible for these two events.

In New York, the permanent representative of Russia, Vasily Nebenzya, proposed to the members of the Security Council that they adopt a declaration attesting to their common will to shed light on the attack in Salisbury and handing over the enquiry to the OPCW in the respect of international procedures. But the United Kingdom refused any text which did not contain the expression that Russia was “probably responsible” for the attack.

During the public debate which followed, UK chargé d’affaire Jonathan Allen represented his country. He is an agent of MI6 who created the British War Propaganda Service and gives active support to the jihadists in Syria. He declared:

Russia has already interfered in the affairs of other countries, Russia has already violated international law in Ukraine, Russia has comtempt for civilian life, as witnessed by the attack on a commercial aircraft over Ukraine by Russian mercenaries, Russia protects the use of chemical weapons by Assad (…) The Russian state is responsible for this attempted murder.

The permanent representative for France, François Delattre, who, by virtue of a derogation by President Sarkozy, was trained at the US State Department, noted that his country had launched an initiative to end the impunity of those who use chemical weapons. He implied that the initiative, originally directed at Syria, could also be turned against Russia.

Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya pointed out that the session had been convened at London’s request, but that it is public at Moscow’s request. He observed that the United Kingdom is violating international law by treating this subject at the Security Council while keeping the OPCW out of its enquiry. He noted that if London had been able to identify the ” Novotchik”, it’s because it has the formula and can therefore make its own. He noted Russia’s desire to collaborate with the OPCW in the respect for international procedures.

15 March 2018

The United Kingdom published a common declaration which had been cosigned the night before by France and Germany, as well as Rex Tillerson, who at that moment was still US Secretary of State. The text reiterated British suspicions. It denounced the use of “a neurotoxic agent of military quality, and of a type developed by Russia”, and affirmed that it was “highly probable that Russia is responsible for the attack”.

The Washington Post published an op-ed piece by Boris Johnson, while the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, established new sanctions against Russia. These are not connected to the current affair, but to allegations of interference in US public life. The decree nonetheless mentions the attack in Salisbury as proof of the underhand methods of Russia.

British Secretary for Defence, the young Gavin Williamson, declared that after the expulsion of its diplomats, Russia should “shut up and go away” (sic). This is the first time since the end of the Second World War that a representative of a permanent member state of the Security Council has employed such a vocabulary in the face of another member of the Council. Sergueï Lavrov commented: “He’s a charming young man. He must want to ensure his place in History, by making shock declarations […] Perhaps he lacks education”.

Conclusion

In the space of four days, the United Kingdom and its allies have laid the premises of a new division of the world, a Cold War.

However, Syria is not Iraq and the UN is not the G8 (from which Russia has been excluded because of its adhesion to Crimea and its support of Syria). The United States are not going to destroy Damascus, and Russia will not be excluded from the Security Council. After having resigned from the European Union, then having refused to sign the Chinese declaration about the Silk Road, the United Kingdom thought to improve its stature by eliminating a competitor. By this piece of dirty work, it imagined that it would acquire a new dimension and become the “Global Britain” announced by Madame May. But it is destroying its own credibility.

• First published in Voltaire Network

The Skripal Case: Stakes Up?

Yesterday’s sharply-worded joint statement on the Skripal case issued by Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Theresa May, which included the latest reiteration of the strange accusations leveled against Russia, threatens to push the row between Russia and the West to a new, much more serious level. Why is this happening and and what is motivating these Western leaders?

The tone and content of the statement leave no doubt that the West holds Russia responsible for the attempt on Skripal’s life and that it has no intention of listening to any objections or rebuttals. The demand that Moscow provide answers about its Novichok program is a mere formality. A variety of measures have already been taken against Russia — from the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK to the announcement of new sanctions by France.

What is going on? Do these four leaders really believe that Vladimir Putin issued an order to kill Skripal? In other words, do they believe that the Russian president, a man they have acknowledged to be the most powerful and experienced geopolitical player today, is now a caricatured villain from a James Bond movie? That seems impossible to believe, even taking into account that none of them are too bright.

That means that even they don’t believe in the truth of what they’re accusing Russia of — they’re doing it for purely political reasons. And which ones would those be?

A recent editorial in the Washington Post, “Britain is punishing Putin. America should join in“, offers a pretty complete rundown of which Russian policies the West is so upset about:

So it’s all quite simple: Syria, Ukraine, and the West’s internal affairs. In other words, to put it bluntly, Moscow is supposed to not only rein in its offensive geopolitical game, but also become more accommodating when it comes to Ukraine, Syria, and Europe. But since there’s no way the West is going to see any of these dreams come true — what’s the point of putting pressure on Moscow?

Clearly Trump, Macron, and Merkel all had different motives when they signed their latest statement. Trump needs to shield himself as much as possible against accusations that he’s mollycoddling Russia. Macron needs to demonstrate his solidarity with the common cause (although that won’t stop him from coming to Russia for the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in two months). Nor is Merkel, who only yesterday saw an end to the epic saga over the formation of her new coalition, about to begin her fourth term being “soft on Putin” (which is exactly how the devotees of Atlanticism would view any refusal to sign that joint statement).

But what about Russia? She does not break off relations, is never taken by surprise, and does not respond with insults. What we’re seeing is not something that’s happened just once or twice, but rather hundreds of times in the three hundred years since Russia joined the ranks of the great powers that decide the fate of the world. Russia is accustomed to external pressure and do not pay much attention on it. She keeps the course of creating a new configuration of global powers better corresponding to modern geopolitical realities.

Four great powers, three of which are members of the UN Security Council, are, of course, a mighty force. However, their reaction to the “Skripal affair” has shown that they are being guided from a single command center. Al least half of the joint statement’s sides enjoy only limited sovereignty, unlike Russia and its key Asian partners.

The Skripal Case: Stakes Up?

Yesterday’s sharply-worded joint statement on the Skripal case issued by Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Theresa May, which included the latest reiteration of the strange accusations leveled against Russia, threatens to push the row between Russia and the West to a new, much more serious level. Why is this happening and and what is motivating these Western leaders?

The tone and content of the statement leave no doubt that the West holds Russia responsible for the attempt on Skripal’s life and that it has no intention of listening to any objections or rebuttals. The demand that Moscow provide answers about its Novichok program is a mere formality. A variety of measures have already been taken against Russia — from the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK to the announcement of new sanctions by France.

What is going on? Do these four leaders really believe that Vladimir Putin issued an order to kill Skripal? In other words, do they believe that the Russian president, a man they have acknowledged to be the most powerful and experienced geopolitical player today, is now a caricatured villain from a James Bond movie? That seems impossible to believe, even taking into account that none of them are too bright.

That means that even they don’t believe in the truth of what they’re accusing Russia of — they’re doing it for purely political reasons. And which ones would those be?

A recent editorial in the Washington Post, “Britain is punishing Putin. America should join in“, offers a pretty complete rundown of which Russian policies the West is so upset about:

So it’s all quite simple: Syria, Ukraine, and the West’s internal affairs. In other words, to put it bluntly, Moscow is supposed to not only rein in its offensive geopolitical game, but also become more accommodating when it comes to Ukraine, Syria, and Europe. But since there’s no way the West is going to see any of these dreams come true — what’s the point of putting pressure on Moscow?

Clearly Trump, Macron, and Merkel all had different motives when they signed their latest statement. Trump needs to shield himself as much as possible against accusations that he’s mollycoddling Russia. Macron needs to demonstrate his solidarity with the common cause (although that won’t stop him from coming to Russia for the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in two months). Nor is Merkel, who only yesterday saw an end to the epic saga over the formation of her new coalition, about to begin her fourth term being “soft on Putin” (which is exactly how the devotees of Atlanticism would view any refusal to sign that joint statement).

But what about Russia? She does not break off relations, is never taken by surprise, and does not respond with insults. What we’re seeing is not something that’s happened just once or twice, but rather hundreds of times in the three hundred years since Russia joined the ranks of the great powers that decide the fate of the world. Russia is accustomed to external pressure and do not pay much attention on it. She keeps the course of creating a new configuration of global powers better corresponding to modern geopolitical realities.

Four great powers, three of which are members of the UN Security Council, are, of course, a mighty force. However, their reaction to the “Skripal affair” has shown that they are being guided from a single command center. Al least half of the joint statement’s sides enjoy only limited sovereignty, unlike Russia and its key Asian partners.

Tillerson Fired by Twitter but What’s Next?

Hilarious! Fired by Twitter. Apparently, that’s how Rex Tillerson learned about his dismissal, while he was talking to Chinese diplomats about a possible rapprochement between Pyongyang and Washington. Frankly, Tillerson is no loss to humanity. The only point in his favor is that he disagreed with Trump on the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump wants to abolish it (following like a poodle Netanyahu’s orders), but Tillerson doesn’t. As former Exxon CEO and oil mogul, he may have personal and corporate interests in Iran, and especially in not destroying Iran. But these have nothing to do with a human approach; this is sheer interest proper, egocentricity as it is a staunch western characteristic. The “Me” and Lie society syndrome through and through.

Plus, somebody who smiles and expresses satisfaction when told how North Koreans are suffering and possibly dying in the thousands from famine, thanks to US imposed sanctions does not even deserve to be called human.

Of course, he is not alone. The current Trump Administration is full of either halfwits or criminals. Take Mike Pompeo, the up-to-now CIA Director; he is an ultra-conservative southern Tea Party member, many of whom are still segregationists (wanting to separate the US south from the north) – racists, sexists – and yes, they hate everything that comes from the east, especially from Russia or is Russian. The latter applies to Pompeo for sure.

So, we can expect more Russophobia, more (totally worthless, sheer propaganda) sanctions, and more belligerent saber-rattling towards the east, mostly Russia, then China. Pompeo is also a loyal buddy of Trump’s, a yes-man, something apparently Tillerson never was, but Trump seems to need. So why did Trump hire Tillerson in the first place? It was an odd appointment from the get-go. Tillerson felt lost in his role as a ‘diplomate’.  Instead he was an aggressive wolf in sheep skin.

Let’s not be fooled. Much of the chaos being played out for more than a year now in the White House – and an end is not in sight – is, of course, a planned strategy, a strategy to confuse. It makes straight thinking difficult. That’s the plan anyway. Trump looks like a loose cannon, maybe he is, but he plays his role well. Take the new tariffs on steel and aluminum for starters.

Everyone screams and hollers – China, the EU, Japan, Canada, South Korea, even Africa. Yet in the end Trump will prevail in one way or another. There are already a number of fallback positions in case these neoliberal ‘partners’ go to complain to WTO, the mother of neoliberal globalization. Alternatives include import quotas, or even higher tariffs for some countries and exemptions for others.

The point is “Make America Great Again” – meaning bring back jobs and a real hard-core industrial growth element into the US faltering economy. Trump, in fact, is applying what everyone around the globe should apply – a sort of ‘resistance economy’, de-globalization, working for the national economy, not for transnational, mostly US globalized corporations which is the case today (see also.

The trade fiasco may be just another one of the typical deviation maneuvers, so people will not look what’s going on in the back, namely in the more compelling course of foreign US policy. The Deep State pulling the strings on Trump wants blood, Russian blood, and then Chinese blood, and they also want to dominate the Middle East, Full Spectrum Dominance; i.e., bombing Damascus into rubble and abrogating Iran’s Nuclear Deal – and provoking a pretext to start a war with Iran – the one Netanyahu is lusting for. But all of this has to be softened with some trade chaos. And it seems to work.

Let’s see what next month’s Trump-Kim – or shall I say, Kim-Trump? – Summit will bring, if it will indeed take place. Someone, for some reason must have convinced Trump that for now an “arrangement” with Pyongyang is better than a potential all destructive nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. That ‘someone’ – shall we call it again ‘Deep State’ – has a more vital interest in the full dominance of the Middle East. So, Iran, Syria and Russia beware. The new Axis of Evil. It keeps shifting according to Washington’s priorities.

President Kim Jong-un’s Administration, or those who worked already under Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, may remember the 1994 ‘Framework Agreement’, initiated by President Clinton, under which Pyongyang agreed to freeze its embryonic nuclear program at Yongbyon and in return would receive economic aid and diplomatic concessions from Washington. The thawing of relations between Pyongyang and Washington prospered until 2000, shortly before President Bush took over.

With his hawkish, neocon entourage, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bolton, exerting pressure, Bush declined to reaffirm the backbone of the Agreed Framework, “no-hostile-intent”, and he pulled out of the Clinton made deal. Not unlike Trump, who wants to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Shortly after reneging on the Agreed Framework, Bush invaded Iraq under false pretenses and declared Iraq-Iran-North Korea the axis of evil; launching the endless war on terror. Kim Jong knows that Washington cannot be trusted.

Why would Washington be trustworthy now?  Of course, it is not. Pompeo, the new hawkish chief diplomate, is certainly not a friend of Kim Jong’s, or of communist DPRK. For now, he has to go along with the propaganda summit next month. But once that’s over, however it may play out – anything is possible.  He may default on the deal, just like Bush did in 2000, on a peace-favorable agreement and return to square one. By then DPRK may have denuclearized again.

And who will succeed Pompeo at the CIA? Gina Haspel, the first women ever to head the CIA, a perfect candidate for this criminal agency. Haspel herself earned the not-so-cute nickname “Godmother of Torture”, as she directed and oversaw a secret US torture prison in Thailand. Her appointment bodes well for what’s to come – more aggression, more torture around the globe. The typical last-ditch tools of a faltering empire. Haspel belongs before a Nuremberg-type tribunal not to be seen again forever.

But that won’t happen, as all the beautiful people of the exceptional nation get away with murder. Literally. Most of them with mass murder, some even with genocide. And zilch happens. Again, the world just gawks and says nothing, accepting crime in biblical dimensions has become the western new normal.

What a world we are living in: White collar criminals with blood stains all over their elite-white shirts. And the western masses just stare and say nothing – but they become warriors, as the presstitute tells them lies after bloody lies; they become complicit in the war machine that is killing millions of people on behalf of their silence.

Fortunately, there is Russia coming to the rescue. Despite the rambling bulldozer of western lie-propaganda, Russian voices, especially Mr. Putin’s voice and that of his Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov, are increasingly heard and listened to. But the western propaganda machine, knowing of its crumbling Master-empire, knows no limits of sowing Russophobia.

Take the latest case of senseless Russia bashing – the case of Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter’s nerve gas poisoning on a London park bench. Theresa May, receiving orders from Washington, is accusing Russia of the crime – why would Russia be so stupid and commit such a crime on a spy who has been released from a Russian prison years ago – and that in a prisoner swap with the US?  And why just before Russian elections? Not one single proof is presented. Yet, the accusations are loud and ludicrous.

Does anybody still have just a few neurons in their shrinking brains left? Threatening Russia with more sanctions for a crime most likely committed by the British MI6, MI5 or even Mossad, at Washington’s behest, and so that the entire western world could slam down on Putin and Russia again is sheer insanity. This lunacy is topped off by a Joint Statement, by Trump, May, Macron and Merkel blaming Russia for the poisoning. Such strong lie publicity is certainly taking hold in the western brainwashed armchair population.

Is anybody asking cui bono? Who benefits? And to make the Zion-UK-Washington argument even stronger, UK PM May expells 23 Russian diplomats. Is Russia going to be responding in a tit-for-tat manner? Or will Russia just lay back, enjoying the fake news and insane, hysterical behavior of the West?

Tillerson Fired by Twitter but What’s Next?

Hilarious! Fired by Twitter. Apparently, that’s how Rex Tillerson learned about his dismissal, while he was talking to Chinese diplomats about a possible rapprochement between Pyongyang and Washington. Frankly, Tillerson is no loss to humanity. The only point in his favor is that he disagreed with Trump on the Iran Nuclear Deal. Trump wants to abolish it (following like a poodle Netanyahu’s orders), but Tillerson doesn’t. As former Exxon CEO and oil mogul, he may have personal and corporate interests in Iran, and especially in not destroying Iran. But these have nothing to do with a human approach; this is sheer interest proper, egocentricity as it is a staunch western characteristic. The “Me” and Lie society syndrome through and through.

Plus, somebody who smiles and expresses satisfaction when told how North Koreans are suffering and possibly dying in the thousands from famine, thanks to US imposed sanctions does not even deserve to be called human.

Of course, he is not alone. The current Trump Administration is full of either halfwits or criminals. Take Mike Pompeo, the up-to-now CIA Director; he is an ultra-conservative southern Tea Party member, many of whom are still segregationists (wanting to separate the US south from the north) – racists, sexists – and yes, they hate everything that comes from the east, especially from Russia or is Russian. The latter applies to Pompeo for sure.

So, we can expect more Russophobia, more (totally worthless, sheer propaganda) sanctions, and more belligerent saber-rattling towards the east, mostly Russia, then China. Pompeo is also a loyal buddy of Trump’s, a yes-man, something apparently Tillerson never was, but Trump seems to need. So why did Trump hire Tillerson in the first place? It was an odd appointment from the get-go. Tillerson felt lost in his role as a ‘diplomate’.  Instead he was an aggressive wolf in sheep skin.

Let’s not be fooled. Much of the chaos being played out for more than a year now in the White House – and an end is not in sight – is, of course, a planned strategy, a strategy to confuse. It makes straight thinking difficult. That’s the plan anyway. Trump looks like a loose cannon, maybe he is, but he plays his role well. Take the new tariffs on steel and aluminum for starters.

Everyone screams and hollers – China, the EU, Japan, Canada, South Korea, even Africa. Yet in the end Trump will prevail in one way or another. There are already a number of fallback positions in case these neoliberal ‘partners’ go to complain to WTO, the mother of neoliberal globalization. Alternatives include import quotas, or even higher tariffs for some countries and exemptions for others.

The point is “Make America Great Again” – meaning bring back jobs and a real hard-core industrial growth element into the US faltering economy. Trump, in fact, is applying what everyone around the globe should apply – a sort of ‘resistance economy’, de-globalization, working for the national economy, not for transnational, mostly US globalized corporations which is the case today (see also.

The trade fiasco may be just another one of the typical deviation maneuvers, so people will not look what’s going on in the back, namely in the more compelling course of foreign US policy. The Deep State pulling the strings on Trump wants blood, Russian blood, and then Chinese blood, and they also want to dominate the Middle East, Full Spectrum Dominance; i.e., bombing Damascus into rubble and abrogating Iran’s Nuclear Deal – and provoking a pretext to start a war with Iran – the one Netanyahu is lusting for. But all of this has to be softened with some trade chaos. And it seems to work.

Let’s see what next month’s Trump-Kim – or shall I say, Kim-Trump? – Summit will bring, if it will indeed take place. Someone, for some reason must have convinced Trump that for now an “arrangement” with Pyongyang is better than a potential all destructive nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. That ‘someone’ – shall we call it again ‘Deep State’ – has a more vital interest in the full dominance of the Middle East. So, Iran, Syria and Russia beware. The new Axis of Evil. It keeps shifting according to Washington’s priorities.

President Kim Jong-un’s Administration, or those who worked already under Kim’s father, Kim Jong-Il, may remember the 1994 ‘Framework Agreement’, initiated by President Clinton, under which Pyongyang agreed to freeze its embryonic nuclear program at Yongbyon and in return would receive economic aid and diplomatic concessions from Washington. The thawing of relations between Pyongyang and Washington prospered until 2000, shortly before President Bush took over.

With his hawkish, neocon entourage, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bolton, exerting pressure, Bush declined to reaffirm the backbone of the Agreed Framework, “no-hostile-intent”, and he pulled out of the Clinton made deal. Not unlike Trump, who wants to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Shortly after reneging on the Agreed Framework, Bush invaded Iraq under false pretenses and declared Iraq-Iran-North Korea the axis of evil; launching the endless war on terror. Kim Jong knows that Washington cannot be trusted.

Why would Washington be trustworthy now?  Of course, it is not. Pompeo, the new hawkish chief diplomate, is certainly not a friend of Kim Jong’s, or of communist DPRK. For now, he has to go along with the propaganda summit next month. But once that’s over, however it may play out – anything is possible.  He may default on the deal, just like Bush did in 2000, on a peace-favorable agreement and return to square one. By then DPRK may have denuclearized again.

And who will succeed Pompeo at the CIA? Gina Haspel, the first women ever to head the CIA, a perfect candidate for this criminal agency. Haspel herself earned the not-so-cute nickname “Godmother of Torture”, as she directed and oversaw a secret US torture prison in Thailand. Her appointment bodes well for what’s to come – more aggression, more torture around the globe. The typical last-ditch tools of a faltering empire. Haspel belongs before a Nuremberg-type tribunal not to be seen again forever.

But that won’t happen, as all the beautiful people of the exceptional nation get away with murder. Literally. Most of them with mass murder, some even with genocide. And zilch happens. Again, the world just gawks and says nothing, accepting crime in biblical dimensions has become the western new normal.

What a world we are living in: White collar criminals with blood stains all over their elite-white shirts. And the western masses just stare and say nothing – but they become warriors, as the presstitute tells them lies after bloody lies; they become complicit in the war machine that is killing millions of people on behalf of their silence.

Fortunately, there is Russia coming to the rescue. Despite the rambling bulldozer of western lie-propaganda, Russian voices, especially Mr. Putin’s voice and that of his Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov, are increasingly heard and listened to. But the western propaganda machine, knowing of its crumbling Master-empire, knows no limits of sowing Russophobia.

Take the latest case of senseless Russia bashing – the case of Russian double agent Skripal and his daughter’s nerve gas poisoning on a London park bench. Theresa May, receiving orders from Washington, is accusing Russia of the crime – why would Russia be so stupid and commit such a crime on a spy who has been released from a Russian prison years ago – and that in a prisoner swap with the US?  And why just before Russian elections? Not one single proof is presented. Yet, the accusations are loud and ludicrous.

Does anybody still have just a few neurons in their shrinking brains left? Threatening Russia with more sanctions for a crime most likely committed by the British MI6, MI5 or even Mossad, at Washington’s behest, and so that the entire western world could slam down on Putin and Russia again is sheer insanity. This lunacy is topped off by a Joint Statement, by Trump, May, Macron and Merkel blaming Russia for the poisoning. Such strong lie publicity is certainly taking hold in the western brainwashed armchair population.

Is anybody asking cui bono? Who benefits? And to make the Zion-UK-Washington argument even stronger, UK PM May expells 23 Russian diplomats. Is Russia going to be responding in a tit-for-tat manner? Or will Russia just lay back, enjoying the fake news and insane, hysterical behavior of the West?

Fatal Quad: Who Is Assassinating Former MI6 Assets On British Soil?

Last week it was widely reported that a former Soviet and Russian military intelligence officer Sergey Skripal, working for MI6 since 1995, convicted in Russia of high treason in 2006 and released to UK under the 2010 US-Russia spy swap, was found unconscience with his daughter on a public bench near a shopping center in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The British media and its eccentric foreign minister were swift blaming Russian secret services in attempting to assassinate Skripal, who up to now is still in a coma in Salisbury District Hospital. During the past week the British press histeria escalated and even made PM Theresa May come out with a ridiculous statement on the issue on Thursday.

This tragic case amended the sequence of suspicious and still unresolved cases of deaths in Britain of the valuable MI6 assets of Russian origin: Alexander Litvinenko (2006), Alexander Perepеlichny (2012) and Boris Berezovsky (2013).

Alexander Litvinenko

Former officer of the Russian FSB secret service who was in charge of surveillance and later protection of the oligarch and government official Boris Berezovsky in the 1990s, defected to Britain in November 2000, soon after Russian prosecutors revived the Aeroflot fraud investigation and Berezovsky was again questioned in court.  That was the season when the oligarch’s empire was ruining under the consistent legal actions of the Russian authorities. Berezovsky clearly realised that sooner or later he will be jailed in Russia and was seeking for asylum, that would allow him to follow up his political battle against the recently elected young Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is unclear whether Litvinenko defected on Berezovsky’s direct order or was just afraid of prosecution for possible crimes committed while collaborating with the oligarch who, according to late Paul Klebnikov, was one of the criminal kings of Russia.

As Litvinenko was granted asylum in the UK only in May 2001, we suspect that the negotiations on the terms of Litvinenko’s surrender to British secret services were not that easy. He did not possess any valuable intelligence as he was working in counter-criminal and protection units of the FSB, therefore he could be utilised only as a propaganda tool. So he eventually did, after months of failed attempts to avoid it, becoming a journalist for Chechenpress leaflet, supporting the most radical and irreconcilable wing of the separatist movement in the Russian Caucasus, writing defamatory books and actively participating in any single anti-Russian propaganda campaign in international media.

From left to right: Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Serezovsky, Chechen leader Ahmed Zakaev and pocket writer Yury Felshtinsky celebrating Berezovsky’s 60th anniversary in London, Jan 2006.

A few days after receiving in October 2006 the long-expected British passport, he hit the headlines of all mainstream media worldwide as a “polonium victim of bloody Putin’s regime”, thus multiplying  the global emotional revenue from modest MI6 investments into this miserable figure. The timeline study of his presence on “hospitable” British soil suggests that the citizenship was a landmark he had been desperately waiting for to get rid of the disgraceful dependency on Her Majesty’s intelligence service. Once he obtained it, he got off the hook and became an ideal sacred victim for the lasting anti-Russian campaign and dance on his bones.

The inquiry into his death, ordered by then Interior Minister Theresa May in July 2014 (!), was completed by January 2016 and publicly released. William Dunkerley made an exhaustive diagnosis to that report in his opinion piece, published in The Guardian soon thereafter. We urgently recommend our readers to refresh it in memory. In the most brief terms, he exposes the document as considerably influenced by the anti-Russian PR campaign, inconsistent, unreliable, biased, dubious and lacking evidence.

Boris Berezovsky

The “Godfather” of the Kremlin, as Paul Klebnikov branded him in a book which eventually claimed his life, Boris Berezovsky was the personification of oligarchy in its most ugly form. He played the role of grey cardinal near President Yeltsyn in the 1990s, securing super profits for his business empire and trying to manipulate political process in Russia. He even reportedly “approved” the candidacy of Vladimir Putin as Yeltsyn’s successor back in 1999, being sure that he and his people would be able to curb and control the neophyte politician.

The cold shower came soon. Three weeks after the Putin’s first inauguration, the Berezovsky-controlled media launched a powerful campaign to oppose the President’s plans to reform the federal system of Russia, depriving Berezovsky and other tycoons of the tools to manipulate regional authorities. Those were the first maneuvers in a political war which lasted for more than 12 years. Berezovsky was firmly and consistently pressed out of all institutional positions in Russia, a number of legal cases for power abuse, financial fraud and other crimes were opened against him. At the end of 2000 he left Russia for good, settled in London and started his vigorous, costly, but generally futile efforts to oust Putin and recover influence on the Kremlin.

Boris Berezovsky in London

By September 2012, when Vladimir Putin was elected for his third term and Berezovsky lost the case against his business rival Roman Abramovich in London’s high court, he surrendered. He wrote two repentful private letters to president Putin asking for forgiveness and permission to return to Russia without being put under custody. He certainly did not receive any formal reply from the Russian president, but perhaps by March 2013 he received some kind of other positive signals from Moscow. According to witnesses, he was full of life and optimism and plans for the future the very day March 23, 2013 when he was found dead in a bathroom of his Ascot’s house. The official investigation concluded that it was “an act of suicide” failing to provide any supportive evidence. Most likely he was about to leave Britain for good with his fiancé Katerina Sabirova (she had paid e-tickets way to Israel for March 25, 2013), so the MI6 spymasters supervising “project Berezovsky”, closely monitoring him and being aware of his intentions, could not afford let him go out of their reach.

Alexander Perepelichny

Alexander Perepelichny (R) with some of his “clients”, photo taken in 1990s.

Alexander Perepelichny was the Russian entrepreneur engaged in what is delicately called “private banking services”. He was laundering money, huge money, of his clients, derived from illegal activities and operations. Among them there were a number of criminal bosses and corrupted government officials seeking to legalise their funds into different types of assets outside Russia, mostly in the UK. Before the financial collapse in 2009 the volume of funds under his trusted management exceeded hundreds of millions US dollars. Sorry for him, as a result of Blue Monday, he lost around US$200 million belonging to his clients. Under increasing pressure of ‘serious men’ at home, in January 2010 he had to escape to Britain, where he quickly found a buyer of sensitive information he possessed on some of the Russian corrupted officials – a British investor and reported MI6 agent William Browder, who earned a fortune in Russia in 1990s and early 2000s to be later persecuted there on tax fraud charges. Coincidence or not, but Perepelichny left Russia weeks after the infamous Sergey Magnitsky mysteriously died in prison, an incident which appeared to be the cornerstone of a behemoth-sized politically motivated case, resulted in Magnitsky Act, “Magnitsky list” and other voluntaristic anti-Russian legal instruments.

The vague Magnitsky case is beyond our detailed consideration today, although it deserves a very close attention of any unbiased researcher as a sample of fabulous soap-bubble and bluff in international political solitaire. What is really important for this paragraph is the following episode from William Browder’s breathtaking biography:

It took place in New York on February 3, 2015, when the marshals of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan tried to serve him a subpoena to give evidence on the only prosecution case so far on the US soil proceeding from the Magnitsky Act. (The details of that case can be found here.) The reason for such nervous behavior of Mr. Browder is obvious: his argumentation on Magnitsky case serves only for political aims, when the verdict is pre-planned and scheduled. Where and when the real business interests are touched, all his claims would be destroyed by any experienced lawyer, as did Mark Cymrot from BakerHostetler during Browder’s deposition in court on April 15, 2015.

Coming back to Perepelichny, we have to acknowledge that he was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with the highest political stakes on the Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with “I do not recall” and “I do not know” on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to the Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on November 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London. The police investigation did not bring any tangible result but the theory of “Russian mafia” involved was timely injected into the international media. One month later Magnitsky Act was signed by president Obama…

Sergey Skripal

Sergey Skripal was by far less a public personality than any other of the previous trio. The acting Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer, he was recruited in Spain in 1995 by MI6 agent Pablo Miller, hooked on illegal trade operations. For the next years he was busy selling amounts of classified information on Russian military secrets to the Vauxhall Cross, although not everything is clear in his relationship to SIS; e.g., it is unclear why he resigned from GRU in 1999 aged 48 to take by far less informative position in Foreign Ministry and later – a regional government. He apparently wanted to get off the hook and perhaps he succeeded – again, the circumstances of leakage about him to Russian security services in 2004 are vague and dim. It looks very much like the same SIS organized this leak to punish a rampant, poorly controllable and lacking access to any significant information asset.

Anyway, after spending less than 6 out 13 years in prison, in 2010 he was included into the exchange list at the Russia-US negotiations on a spy swap. Still we do not know whether it was concurred by the US side with their British partners, perhaps Skripal came to Britain as a surprise guest. Since then he kept a low profile living in Salisbury, but reportedly lectured British intelligence staff on the specifics of Russian clandestine operations. There would be very little benefit from him for the Crown unless he is served as another sacred victim justifying the bugaboo of the “Russian threat” in the UK and worldwide.

Sergey Skripal with his daughter Yulia in their favorite Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury.

***

The notable feature of all so different persons of the exposed quad is that they irrationally believed in the reliability of British justice and banking systems, institutions and secret services. None of them seemed to be fully aware of the simple fact that they are allowed to feel themselves as the real gentlemen only as long as they served British interests. Once they represented even a potential threat for ongoing political operations or their current value could not exceed anymore a certain threshold, they were easily sacrificed to fulfill their last, but not least task – to be firewood to sustain the flames of Russophobia at their new and very temporary homeland.