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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Apr 21, 2018] The UN Charter is very vague about a lot of things, but it's very clear about one thing, and that is, when is it legal to go to war

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tc2011 , 13 Apr 2018 16:21

What Freedland and others are advocating is illegal. They have no moral or legal authority.

For the avoidance of any doubt or confusion, attacking a foreign country without legal basis under international law represents the "supreme international crime". The launching of an "aggressive war" is the "supreme crime" because it is the overarching offense which contains within itself "the accumulated evil of the whole" (e.g. rape, torture, murder, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, etc).

People were tried, convicted and hung at Nuremberg for the crime of waging wars of aggression (as well as crimes against humanity).

Regardless of how unpalatable we may find it, even the verified use of chemical weapons -be they by state or non-state actors - is not a legal basis to attack a country, any country.

As Phyllis Bennis, Fellow and Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., clearly explained (following the last alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, and subsequent military strike on the Syrian air base ordered by President Trump):

"The UN Charter is very vague about a lot of things, but it's very clear about one thing, and that is, when is it legal to go to war? When is it legal to use a military strike? There's only two occasions according to the UN Charter The UN Charter says, "A country can use military force under two circumstances: Number one, if the Security Council authorizes it." Number two, Article 51 of the UN Charter, which is about self-defence. But it's a very narrowly constrained version of self-defence It says very explicitly, "If a country has been attacked." "until the Security Council can meet, immediate self-defence is allowed." Neither of those two categories applied here. So, it was clearly an illegal act."

link

[Apr 21, 2018] This guy skipped past the censors. He explains how there has been lots of Western intervention against Syria.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

GuardianFodder -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:36

This guy skipped past the censors.

He explains how there has been lots of Western intervention against Syria.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-vwKk4pADCw

[Apr 21, 2018] White Helmets in Douma play the same role as Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress played in Iraq WDM fiasco

It looks more and more that everything was staged and everything was controlled by Western intelligence agencies with the specific goal.
Notable quotes:
"... That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region. ..."
"... If the price of selling arms to Saudi Arabia is having to stage nerve agent attacks in the UK and in Syria, one has to ask: Is it really worth it? ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Paul Crow , 13 Apr 2018 15:43

Read Robert Fisk in the Independent. He, as always, has nailed it. The Brits and the US have no authority to take action with their past record of use of Chemical and Atomic weapons.
Celtiberico , 13 Apr 2018 15:42

The Syrian Negotiation Commission has called for action to deter Assad from killing civilians. What they envisage is that each time Assad launches a deadly attack on noncombatants, allied forces reply by taking out one of the strategic assets he uses to kill civilians. It could be an airfield, it could be a command centre. If the target were aircraft, that would simultaneously inflict a cost on the regime and deprive it of the means of dropping its barrel bombs and toxic, yellow cylinders. The objective would be to make Assad pay a price for killing his own people, a price he has not paid until now. Eventually, or so runs the hope, he would be deterred.

That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region.

Krautolivier , 13 Apr 2018 15:40
If the price of selling arms to Saudi Arabia is having to stage nerve agent attacks in the UK and in Syria, one has to ask: Is it really worth it?
oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
The UK andcFrance bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true poltical dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

[Apr 21, 2018] In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:37

In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein.
Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration. To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans. The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

[Apr 21, 2018] Douma, US imperialism, and While Helmets

Sacrificing women and children to achieve nefarious goals such as preparing the ground for invasion dictated by economic or geopolitical interests is a typical Western intelligence agencies plot.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
OlivesNightie , 13 Apr 2018 15:46

The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, racking up a death toll in Syria of 500,000

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

[Apr 21, 2018] The UN report on previous attacks confirmed that Assad's allegation that a video had been staged have solid ground. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

StephenDaedalus -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

Sure, here's the UN OPCW investigation report which directly blames the Assad forces for chemical attacks. Take as much time as you need.

https://undocs.org/S/2016/738

I couldn't find the paragraph which directly blames Assad's forces.

I note it does refer (at para 44) to Assad's allegation that a video had been staged. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms.

No red eyes, tearing, paleness, sweating, cyanosis or breathing difficulties can be observed from the footage. The patients interviewed in the video show little or no signs of having been exposed to a toxic chemical".

This is also consistent with other documented attempts of video-making to trigger the western bombs.

Surely you can see why people might at least reserve judgment about the latest video emanating from Jaish al-Islam controlled territory?

[Apr 21, 2018] White Helmets tend to be hard line Islamists and send out propaganda videos

Notable quotes:
"... "Charities"? Lol. I'll bet money nearly all of those 'charities' are actually PR fronts for thuggish Islamist rebels. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

LiviaDrusilla -> Bopstar, 13 Apr 2018 16:17

"Charities"? Lol. I'll bet money nearly all of those 'charities' are actually PR fronts for thuggish Islamist rebels.

A bit like how all the Syrians the Guardian manages to reach for 'skype interviews' are positively desperate for massive aeriel bombardment of their own country, chastising the west for not supplying the bearded types with anti-aircraft missiles and even suggesting targets for American bombs.

brambalus -> 1liesalot , 13 Apr 2018 16:16
I have recently taught two Syrian professionals. Of course Assad is evil, but they tell me that some of the rebel militias are much more brutal and intolerant than Assad and if they win Syria will go the way of Libya.

They also told me (which shocked me somewhat) that the White Helmets tend to be hard line Islamists and send out propaganda videos which Western media fail to question thoroughly.

[Apr 21, 2018] The couple Merkel/Sauer knows exactly how to evaluate that so-called evidence in Douma false flag

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hmpf | Apr 20, 2018 5:51:46 AM | 165

@163 WillyW

Angela Merkel is not stupid - things are way worth than that.
She's got a PhD in physical chemistry, and what's rather mind-boggling in that context is the fact that her husband Joachim Sauer is a professor of chemistry and one of the worlds foremost experts in surface chemistry.
In the 2000s this guy was in the top 30 list of the worlds most extinguished chemists - let that sink in for a second.
The couple Merkel/Sauer knows exactly how to evaluate that so-called evidence, yet... - as I said the situation is way worse as generally anticipated.

[Apr 21, 2018] When the FO is headed by Boris 'Serial liar' Johnson it becomes very hard to know who to believe. But when neoliberal MSM cut somebody on air, you know is it better to beleave this guy

Notable quotes:
"... Sky News cuts of British General. https://southfront.org/sky-news-cuts-off-former-british-general-while-he-questiones-douma-chemical-attack / ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Kokkos , 13 Apr 2018 15:41

Sky News cuts of British General. https://southfront.org/sky-news-cuts-off-former-british-general-while-he-questiones-douma-chemical-attack /
TheKingOfHate , 13 Apr 2018 15:41
"Russian claims that UK staged Syria gas attack 'a blatant lie'"

When the FO is headed by Boris 'Serial liar' Johnson it becomes very hard to know who to believe.

JBigglesworth , 13 Apr 2018 15:41
Further to my post on Russell-Moyle's Tweet:

Lloyd Russell-Moyle
(@lloyd_rm)
It is worth noting that the British Government approved exports of dual use precursors for chemical weapons including sarin to Syria between 2004 and 2012, after the civil war began and after Assad was accused of using gas. CAEC report (2015): pic.twitter.com/TsvthAcZRR

April 13, 2018

Further down his thread is a tweet where someone has a screen-grab of a Mail Online story from 2013. It talks about leaked information about clearance given by the US Government for a British security company to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria in order to provide a pretext for bombing.

I have no idea whether this is true or whether it was genuinely from Mail Online, perhaps someone with more know-how than me could find out.

At first, I laughed at the Russian suggestion that the attack on Douma had been staged. Now I'm not so sure.

[Apr 21, 2018] Operation Timber Sycamore and Douma false falg

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jay_Q123 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36

Your article appears to apportion blame solely to Assad and you don't even attempt to address the opposition in Syria. Nobody seriously questions that the Syrian governments war has killed many thousands and thousands of civilians. How can you not refer to the international jihad and the make up of these fighters, as well as the sieges they laid on villages, town and cities and the cruelty they inflicted upon the people?

The Syrian Arab Army is a composite of Sunni, Shia, Christians, and different ethnicity's, what convinces you that they have in any way wantonly killed civilians? The soldiers have family all over Syria, plus no mention of the 300,000+ civilians that have been liberated from Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta in the last several months.

I find this article very bizarre indeed. The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries. There are Moroccans and Chechnyans, Uighurs and Brits, Saudis as well as Syrians in this armed army. What other options did a state such as Syria have when fighting against ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Nusra and 'The Army of Islam', Jaysh Al-Islam? All have which have direct connections to our major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I can not find any reference at all to the enemy in this article. It's written as if the 8 year war has simply been an extermination war against civilians and completely out of context with reality.

Check out Operation Timber Sycamore for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:32
The west stoked and funded the Wahabists. Secular Asad is our buffer against the Saudi version of Islam.

Whatever happens we cannot let the Saud version of Islam win.

The Sauds have spread their Wahabi version of Islam using oil money. And we have armed the Sauds.

Justin Thyme , 13 Apr 2018 15:31
The USA and WMD@S

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons. As an envoy from President Reagan 19 years ago, he had a secret meeting with the Iraqi dictator and arranged enormous military assistance for his war with Iran. Mr Rumsfeld, at the time a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry, still made it possible for Saddam to buy supplies from American firms. They included viruses such as anthrax and bubonic plague, according to the Washington Post.
The USA provided $1.5 billion worth of Pathogenic, toxigenic and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq; 1985-89.

1) US based company, Alcolac International exported mustard gas to Iraq; 1987-88.
2) Almost 150 foreign companies supported Saddam Hussein's WMD program; 1975-
3) US directly attacked Iran by hitting Iran's oil platforms; 1987.
4) US directly attacked Iran's navy in unproportioned and unreasonable war; 1988.
5) US shot down Iranian civilian airliner in the Iranian territory; 1988.

This is the equivalent of a pathological paedophile giving a sermon against child abuse when the US preaches its corrupt moral practices regarding Syria!!!

[Apr 21, 2018] Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tayacase , 13 Apr 2018 15:50

Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence.
This is the latest air defence technology (the system is in service since 2012) - a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system against aircrafts, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs.

https://southfront.org/russia-delivered-40-pantsir-s1-air-defense-systems-to-syria-state-media /
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1

[Apr 21, 2018] There's no good option in Syria by Jonathan Freedland

You face the same the liars with the sexed up dossier who went on to murder hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Libya. This is all too reminiscent of previous interventions
Consider WW1, Suez, Iran 1953, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and every other western militarily intervention in the ME - whether directly or by proxy - and identify one that hasn't just caused more instability, death, violence and displacement than there was already?
Apr 21, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

e are caught between a rock, in the form of the recklessness of Donald Trump, and a hard place, shaped by the cruelty of Bashar al-Assad. This is the choice that now confronts citizens and their representatives in Britain, France and the US. The reasons to resist signing up for any project led by Trump should be obvious, with the newly published testimony of James Comey, the FBI director he fired, providing a fresh reminder.

Trump is a congenital liar who is devoid of empathy, a narcissist with a nihilist's view of the world. These are not mere character defects; they have a bearing on the decisions the de facto leader of any action in Syria would take. Among the reasons I opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq was my fundamental distrust of George W Bush and his circle, especially on the matter of motive. Trump, with his tweeted mood swings – first, vowing to withdraw from Syria altogether, then threatening an imminent missile bombardment, then signalling a delay – makes Bush look like a statesman.

But even if a moral paragon were sitting in the Oval Office, there would be grounds for restraint. The record of past western military interventions in the Middle East is bloody and shaming, as the peoples of both Iraq and Libya can testify. Barack Obama, no gung-ho cowboy, was the commander-in-chief in the latter case. And yet what was originally billed as a discrete military action to prevent an impending civilian slaughter in Benghazi escalated into a bombardment that led to regime change and mayhem. It stands as a textbook illustration of western bombs' ability to make a bad situation worse.


LiviaDrusilla -> BullNakano , 13 Apr 2018 16:26

It's clear now that although Assad has 'won' the war a status quo of him ruling a predominately Sunni country can't be returned to. He seeks to terrorise and punish the Syrian people under the protection of Russia and Iran.

Even though the army which has made such huge sacrifices for the Syrian state is about 70% Sunni?

The US and her allies have to intervene, otherwise the rule of international law is worthless.

Why? Even if your premise above were true, which it isn't, why is it our job to intervene in every country with an imperfect system? Or are you proposing we bomb every Middle Eastern country where people are privileged and granted citizenship merely on account of their religion?

dannymega -> mjlnkc , 13 Apr 2018 16:26
Yes, because Assad wants to be bombed by the West just as he is winning, I know - makes perfect sense.
solidstae -> John Favre , 13 Apr 2018 16:25
I love these guys who won't do their own research. Why not? Axe to grind? This is just one example from 2013. There's more but I'm too busy to look up public shit for you.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi /

GLT24 -> Squiddlywidget , 13 Apr 2018 16:18
Spot on look what happened to Sadaam after he switched to the Euro for Iraq oil sales.
Ghaddafi had similar plans.
Without reserve currency status and petrodollar with US economy will collapse under the $21T dollar debt.
Russia and China have recently agreed a bilateral trade agreement which cuts out the dollar.
The US cannot permit this ...as always follow the money.
Some people murder others for political and ideological reasons the military industrial complex starts wars and conflicts ,murdering millions for profit....evil personified
Squiddlywidget , 13 Apr 2018 16:10
Could this whole drama be because China and Russia are ditching the petrodollar?
I watched the video of the attack and it looks fake to me.. those children are not crying because of chlorine.. they have their eyes wide open..first thing you do when you have chlorine in your eyes is touch your face and close your eyes..whole thing looks dodge..just my opinion. Those children are wide eyed and looking at the camera..something you wouldn't do if you'd just been gassed.

[Apr 21, 2018] The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil.

Notable quotes:
"... The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know. ..."
"... Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favor of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence. ..."
"... The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza. ..."
"... Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson , 13 Apr 2018 15:50

I'm going to post a comment by another user posted yesterday as he said it far more eloquently than I could

R Reddington InterestedReader2 1d ago


Your just another armchair warrior.

So you think going to war is a good idea well you first then and don't forget your flack jacket and rifle.

The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a "weapon of mass destruction" (quoting Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which "could only be" by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.

The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favor of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.

The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.

[Apr 21, 2018] Orwell certainly chose his words well when he called the UK 'Airstrip One' in his book 1984. The UK government, the US neocons yapping little poodle.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RLB2808

, 13 Apr 2018 16:13
Orwell certainly chose his words well when he called the UK 'Airstrip One' in his book 1984. The UK government, the US neocons yapping little poodle. All cheered on by our always on message main stream media.

[Apr 21, 2018] CIA, MI6 and rebels: Rebels can be genuine protesters but they will brutally used by CIA and MI6 for nefarious purposes

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

junglecitizen -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:44

We, along with the US, France and Gulf states have supported, armed and trained "rebels" in Syria the whole time. We've had, as have others, special forces operating inside Syria


So, there would never be rebellions against totalitarian dictators if it weren't for the CIA and MI6.

I don't buy this. It's very convenient if you're an anti-war person who doesn't want to face an ethical dilemma. But it's not real.

[Apr 21, 2018] The US, UK and France act like they own the world

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

CaptainBrown , 13 Apr 2018 16:07

Syria is surrounded by wealthy gulf countries, many of whom frequently buy weapons from the US and UK. They have the money, the firepower, and the space to not only house fleeing refugees, but also bomb Assad back to the stone age. They haven't, because they lack testicular fortitude and are always looking west for solutions.


The US, UK and France act like they own the world. Iran vs Iraq, the creation of Israel, and Saudi Arabia, Sykes-Picot - western countries played a major part in all of this. In the absence of evidence, it's about time we kept out of it.

[Apr 21, 2018] Eight fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack.

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Apr 19, 2018 1:07:42 PM | 74

Here we have a translated transcript of Shulgin's testimony at OPCW's Hague HQ where he points out the 8 fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack. He prefaces his remarks thusly:

"I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, "A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes".

"This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth.

"The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the "Skripal case" fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, and the finalized unprecedented expulsion of diplomats under a far-fetched pretext. Please, do not try to pass this group for the international community – it is far from that."


Bakerpete , Apr 19, 2018 9:55:05 PM | 138

A good statement.

http://thesaker.is/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec/

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 145
@ the pessimist | Apr 19, 2018 1:05:37 AM | 1

Not sure when Shulgin gave his statement, but today's briefing by Zacharova is even more impressive and revealing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8cjrgPc4Ew&feature=youtu.be&t=2026

It seems that BZ was detected not only by Spiez, but also by a lab in the Netherlands. The explanation given is that BZ was added to the specimens in order to validate the competence of the contracted labs. Furthermore, they attempted to explain away the existence of pristine Novichok in the specimens in a dosage that would have been fatal, thus confirming that the Spiez lab did indeed find such pristine Novichok. You can't make this sh*t up.

Oh, what a tangled web! The wonder is not so much that MI5/MI6 would perpetrate such a false flag, but that they would be so utterly incompetent about it.

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:47:20 PM | 147
@anti_republocrat | Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 144

Clarification: The reference to "pristine" Novichok is that Spiez found the toxic agent in a non-degraded form that could not have survived either within the human body or in a collected specimen. They thought it was a contamination. My opinion is that it was added by the British before delivering the specimens, just to be sure the contracted labs would detect it. Also, the fact they claimed to have deliberately contaminated the specimens with BZ is a clear indication it could just as easily be that the BZ was there from the beginning and the actual contamination was with the agent from the Novichok family. Zakharova called it "weird." I'll say!

WJ , Apr 20, 2018 12:08:28 AM | 148
PavewayIV @143,
Funny you should mention a "preemptive protective attack." The Bush preemption doctrine must not have been found suitably effective for domestic propagandist purposes; as since then, if I am not mistaken, the preferred move has been to engineer an actual "event" that the US is forced to "respond" to. The WMD bombast fit the preemption doctrine. The relatively more modest "chemical attack" has the advantage of being easily produced whenever necessary. I think this development signals an advance in the rhetoric of propaganda between Bush II and Obama. Perhaps the PR folks judged Americans to be finally more stupid than malicious as a group. Optimistically put.

anti_republocrat @146

I believe there were four samples (2 bio, 2 enviro); I think it is likely that the 2 bio samples are the ones with BZ in the control. Why? Pure coincidence, procedure, unrelated to anything, etc. Or because the Skripals, and not their doorknob, were poisoned with BZ.

[Apr 21, 2018] Not everybody is affected by 24 by 7 neoMcCarthism in MSM. Some still want to compare views and watch RT

Now listening to RT reminds me BBC and Voice of America listeing in the USSR ;-) You definitly bacomes a dissident for doing that.
Notable quotes:
"... I watched RT for the first time last night and it was interesting. ..."
"... But right now its like we are being ruled by lunatics. It is absolutely sickening. Quite literally some moron in the White House is tweeting, 'My bombs are bigger than yours' and 'The missiles are coming.' ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
georgina45 -> Squadra , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
I watched RT for the first time last night and it was interesting.

But right now its like we are being ruled by lunatics. It is absolutely sickening. Quite literally some moron in the White House is tweeting, 'My bombs are bigger than yours' and 'The missiles are coming.'

And they still let him in rule one of the most powerful countries on the Earth with a vast mass of WMD and Theresa May is trying reason with a fucking moron. Hey Guardian if Trump is talking like this my swearing is the least of our problems, so please don't moderate. We need someone to Moderate the madmen.

[Apr 21, 2018] I consider the term 'putinbot' - infantile and indicative of a lack of logical argumentation as it is - as a compliment, since it appears to be code for those who retain the ability to think for themselves and not fall glumly for the latest official line.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

LiviaDrusilla -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

As I've said , I consider the term 'putinbot' - infantile and indicative of a lack of logical argumentation as it is - as a compliment, since it appears to be code for those who retain the ability to think for themselves and not fall glumly for the latest official line.


since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.

Actually, they proved no such thing, but in any case it's irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

[Apr 21, 2018] I'd never really watched much RT news, but

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Squadra -> georgina45 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36

I'd never really watched much RT news, but intersting to see their extensive coverage of their diplomats who, despite not speaking English as native, can conduct hours of press conference in a civil and diplomatic fashion.
DemocraticFacade , 13 Apr 2018 15:36
May weeping for the innocents of Syria as she signs off on a conveyor belt of bombs to be dropped on innocents in Yemen. She's being raised up by the British media alongside Blair and Cameron as one of the greatest humanitarian of modern times.

[Apr 21, 2018] The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state

NGO now are favorite cover of intelligence agencies.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MartinSilenus -> imperium3 , 13 Apr 2018 14:13

"Remarkable how Saddam Hussein gassing Iranian troops by the thousand, while world powers helped him do it and covered for him at the UN is treated as a minor exception to non-use of chemical"

He also used poison gas to kill thousands of his own Kurdish civilians, the Reagan administration was in many ways a moral cesspit. They knew exactly what he was doing. A spokesman said the Iranians - who never used Chemical Weapons on principle - used the poison gas, on Iraqi Kurds. I think Reagan never really understood this, that is my assessment of his character, he saw what reality he wanted to see, but nothing else.

LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
There has been no independently gathered or assessed medical evidence. None.

What is this 'NGO' you speak of? The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state.

wryape , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
" Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly"

And how many died after the war was "won" in Iraq. And how many would have died trying to remove assad. Toppling assad would almost certainly not have brought peace. Your analysis is simplistic and blinkered and definately doesn't contain any proof of anything. Sometimes there's just not a solution. The current proposed bombing campaign smacks of somethingmustbedoneism. Those responsible for the gas attacks must face justice. But it might have to be further down the line.

NHSmonami -> Laurence Bury , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
Western countries have been guilty of mudering hundreds of thousands in starting Middle East wars.

[Apr 21, 2018] Timber Sycamore

A classified U.S. State Department cable signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported that Saudi donors were a major support for Sunni militant forces globally, and some American officials worried that rebels being supported had ties to Al Qaeda.[14]
Notable quotes:
"... Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Timber Sycamore 20/04/2018 Timber Sycamore was a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably that of Saudi Arabia . Launched in 2012 or 2013, it supplied money, weaponry and training to rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War . According to U.S. officials, the program has trained thousands of rebels. President Barack Obama secretly authorized the CIA to begin arming Syria's embattled rebels in 2013. [3] However, the CIA had been facilitating the flow of arms from Libya to Syria "for more than a year" beforehand in collaboration with "the UK ( United Kingdom ), Saudi Arabia and Qatar ."

The program's existence was suspected after the U.S. Federal Business Opportunities website publicly solicited contract bids to ship tons of weaponry from Eastern Europe to Taşucu , Turkey and Aqaba , Jordan. One unintended consequence of the program has been to flood the Middle East's black market with weapons including assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. The U.S. delivered weapons via Ramstein – supposedly in breach of German laws.

In July 2017, U.S. officials stated that Timber Sycamore would be phased out, with funds possibly redirected to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or to offering rebel forces defensive capabilities.

... ... ...

According to American officials, the program has been highly effective, training and equipping thousands of U.S.-backed fighters to make substantial battlefield gains.[2][19] American officials state that the program began to lose effectiveness after Russia intervened militarily in the Syrian Civil War.[19] David Ignatius, writing in The Washington Post, remarked that while the CIA program ultimately failed in its objective of removing Assad from power, it was hardly "bootless": "The program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups. One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies over the past four years."[8]

... ... ...

U.S.-backed rebels often fought alongside al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front, and some of the U.S. supplied weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Nusra Front, which had been a major concern of the Obama administration when the program was first proposed.[10]

... ... ...

The program remains classified,[14][10] and many details about the program remain unknown, including the total amount of support, the range of weapons transferred, the depth of training provided, the types of U.S. trainers involved, and the exact rebel groups being supported.[18] However, The Canberra Times reported that two thousand tons of Soviet era weapons were delivered to Aqaba as recently as April 2016.

Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Apr 21, 2018] Neoliberal media and goverment talking points

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

creelo -> sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:57

We're now in a strange position where the media is actually behind the government. May is doubtful about bombing because she's a politician and so has to constantly monitor her popularity, but the only people left still writing in 'newspapers' are still programmed to want war and bombing because it always used to sell.

"Since you're here..."

HarrytheHawk -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
'There is overwhelming evidence...'

Where?

Let's see it.

You might want to show it to James Mattis while you're at it as he doesn't seem to be willing to settle for accusations.

Jazzfunk23 , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas.

You omitted to mention that the same report also concludes that ISIL deployed Sulphur Mustard, isn't this the same gas that France claims to have evidence regarding the recent incident?

Besides, how much evidence do we need? Even before Douma, Assad's use of chemical weapons had been documented seven times this year alone.

The link you provided to back-up this claim contains no substantiative evidence to attribute those incidents to Assad.

Clearly both sides in this conflict appear to have used chemical weapons, making assumptions or false accusations of blame at this stage is incredibly dangerous. I'm in total agreement with Jeremy Corbyn, we need a solid investigation on which the international community can act. Any potential escalation of this awful conflict must be avoided at all costs, particularly when it involves a nuclear armed superstate, considering the on-going humaitarian crisis in Syria and how it has already affected the world. Furthermore we must not allow a cabinet of a minority government to make any final decisions on the UK involvement in further militrary action, our elected representatives MUST be allowed to debate and decide a course of action, otherwise our democracy is in a far worse state than I could have possibly imagined.

thatotherbloke , 13 Apr 2018 14:54
Theresa May leads a minority government propped up by an unlawful bung to a right wing extremist group. May, her Cabinet of half wits and her self serving party have a mandate for sweet FA, and that includes killing people in our name.
sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
MSM has gone full neocon on Syria.

Bomb like it's 2003.

psoptim11 , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
There is massive, overwhelming opposition in the UK to May's attempt to join Trump & Macron in bombing Syria and to by-passing our democratic parliament, but who would have thought it?

The media are generally presenting Theresa May with a free ride to cause death and destruction on a massive scale. Claiming she's joining an international coalition (even though it consists of only 2 other countries) and having the backing of the Cabinet and therefore possessing the authority to go to war.

The reality is that she's virtually politically isolated and working in defiance of the British people. Labour - and most other opposition parties, including the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid, and the Greens are totally against military intervention and calling for a full, democratic debate in Parliament.

Then the Conservative Party itself is bitterly divided over the issue.

And only 22% of British people would support the war effort, according to a poll in the Times.

The timing is being forced by Donald Trump and the US, so where's the substance in the Conservative claim that they're 'taking back control'?

And then any intervention is likely to cost billions, so what about The Deficit? And what about that magic money tree?

Moreover, the Government maintain we cannot allow such inhumanity in Syria to go unchallenged. So where is the outcry at defenceless citizens being killed in Gaza? And in Yemen? And in Saudi Arabia? What accounts for the blatant double standards? What are they not telling us?

And why does the British Goverment justicfy selling all these lethal and inhumance weapons to these countries in the first place?

Where is the media reminding the Government of what happened in Iraq, in Libya and in Afghanistan?, whenever we intervened?

Where is the media remembering the findings of the Chilcott Report?

If this was Labour nationalising the railways or expropriating land in an emergency bill to launch a massive house-building programme, the BBC and mass media would quote every adversary and critic they could muster and express total outrage at any attempt to by-pass Parliament.

The Syrian conflict is a hugely complex quagmire and we enter it at our peril. We need a much more objective Press to scrutinise Government policy, before this lunacy unravels and triggers a seriously calamitous hot war between the Superpowers, from which we'd all be losers.

Jeremy Corbyn is often mocked and scorned by the media for his measured reactions, but his call for the UK to use its influence to defuse tensions makes him one of the only responsible and mature political leaders around right now!!

dumbwaiter , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
The government and the BBC have been using the words "suspected chemical attack" in Syria and that Russia is "highly likely" to be responsible for the Salisbury affair.

Now if that isn't official doubt I don't know what is.

Still May happy to drop bombs on this basis without parliamentary approval (if Donald says so that is)!

[Apr 21, 2018] OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

bubmachine , 13 Apr 2018 14:39

OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Convinced? No.

DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 14:39
This is pathetic. The mouthpieces of the British government (Guardian and BBC) have spent the last week on a steady pendulum of demanding war, shitting themselves, then when the rhetoric calms down a bit, demanding war again. The U.K., its security agencies and its house-trained media are destabilising the world.

[Apr 21, 2018] How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war

Notable quotes:
"... How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective ..."
"... Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years? ..."
"... For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end ..."
"... Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

HoublaHoubla , 13 Apr 2018 14:44

Here's an idea Jonathan for another solution. How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective
notndmushroom , 13 Apr 2018 14:42

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why not? We're watching Israelis shoot and kill unarmed Palestinians, we're watching our favourite Saudis bomb and kill Yemeni civilians, we're watching our Nobel-winning inspirational Myanmar leader oversee the persecution, massacre and forced displacement of an entire people, we're watching the North Korean leader oppress and starve his people while stepping closer to a nuclear war against a currently volatile superpower, we're watching the Philipino head of state launching a literal war against low-level drug dealers and junkies, we're watching several central Asian dictators imprison and torture dissidents and oppress their people while robbing them of their national wealth, we're watching the Chinese and Russian leaders do pretty much the same, we're watching the Turkish leader kidnap dissidents from EU countries, imprison thousands of alleged dissidents and invade a neighbouring country to fight against part of said countries' inhabitants, we're watching corrupt politicians, media and judges completing the final touches of a coup in the fifth largest country in the world, and then there's Africa, which is a whole other chapter.

What specifically is it about Syria that made you decide that yeah, all these things are pretty bad, but that's the one thing we really have to do something about?

Perhaps that was why, five years ago, the House of Commons voted to leave the Assad regime untouched. Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly.

Inaction? Really? Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years?

fishandart , 13 Apr 2018 14:42
For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end. Israel has to comply with UN resolutions and the US has to stop using its veto to block those resolutions that seek to make Israel comply to international standards of acceptable behaviour.

If we can't do that we can forget getting Assad or Putin or anyone else to respect anything we have to say. As it stands the so called West has no moral authority in the Middle East.

Ziontrain , 13 Apr 2018 14:41

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why is this supposed slaughter such an imperative when we seem to approve of and even profit from selling weapons to slaughters elsewhere in the region

Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons.

[Apr 21, 2018] Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Notable quotes:
"... Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war. ..."
"... Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MightyBuccaneer , 13 Apr 2018 14:14

Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war.

It would be just another dictator, the likes of which can be found all over the world without columnists noticing it.

Strangely though, all that is deplored is that the US didn't do even more. That they didn't also do a full blown invasion.

NewWorldOutOfOrder , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

– Hermann Goering (as told to Gustav Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials)

Briar , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then.

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Assad has always acted in this like any other authoritarian government anywhere in the Middle East would, fighting a civil war. Israel is just as ruthless when facing a threat to its authority.

This mess was financed, planned, egged on and armed by the U.S., it's junior partners and its clients in Turkey and the Gulf. And it goes back years before the rebellion against Assad. The Wahabbi rebels have been given billions in cash, arms and training, funneled through Turkey and the Gulf states.

Now we have Washington, London and Paris shrieking outrage and promising revenge against a strongman they unleashed as the result of yet another regime change adventure. And then there's the incredible hypocrisy and cynicism of using Al-Qaeda affiliated actors to do it.

Assad's wartime iteration, like ISIS, is the result of American greed, ambition, pride and the old imperialist bent for aggression as a way of imposing its geopolitical will.

[Apr 21, 2018] These children are not the casualties of a gas attack

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

gragor , 13 Apr 2018 13:48

Watch the Unbearable video gain. The children are no foaming at the mouth, their colouration is not cyanotic, they do not appear to be in respiratory distress. The premise of the argument is not based on fact. These children are not the casualties of a gas attack. GROW UP and recognize the propaganda.
minutehands , 13 Apr 2018 13:38
The article takes a self-righteous moral high ground while calling for some vague affair of violence. I can't help but notice that these articles by people who pretend to be moderates and centrists have a habit of turning reality and morality on their head. It's dangerous and very Orwellian stuff.
entropyrules , 13 Apr 2018 13:44
The question that I struggle to answer is, "Are journalists like this actually duped by propaganda themselves, or are they knowingly part of the process of dissemination?"
What I do not struggle to see is that they are undoubtedly part of the prevailing neolib/neocon philosophy which we rapidly need to dismantle.
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:36
Cui bono?

Who would gain by getting the US back on the ground in Syria?
Who would gain from Russia and the US coming into conflict?

Rogue elements in the US?
Israel certainly
ISIS terrorists?
Saudi Arabia?

[Apr 21, 2018] It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

Notable quotes:
"... It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

wheelbarrow1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:37

Why is the prime minister of the United Kinkdom on the phone discussing whether or not to bomb a Sovereign country with the highly unstable, Donald Trump?

Can she not make up her own mind? Either she thinks it's the right thing to do or it isn't. Hopefully, the person on the other end of the phone was not Trump but someone with at least half a brain.

Proof, let's have some proof. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. Russia is saying it's all a put up job, show us your facts. We are saying, don't be silly, we're British and besides, you may have done this sort of thing before.

It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next.

Part of the Great British act's of bravery and heroism in the second world war is the part played by women agents who were parachuted into France and helped organize local resistance groups. Odette Hallowes, Noor Inayat Khan and Violette Szabo are just a few of the many names but they are the best known. What is not generally know is that many agents when undergoing their training in the UK, were given information about the 'D' day landings, the approx time and place. They were then dropped into France into the hands of the waiting German army who captured and tortured and often executed them.

The double agent, who Winston Churchill met and fully approved of the plan was Henri Dericourt, an officer in the German army and our man on the ground in France. Dericourt organized the time and place for the drop off of the incoming agents, then told the Germans. The information about the 'D' day invasion time and place was false. The British fed the agents (only a small number) into German hands knowing they would be captured and the false information tortured out of them.

Source :- 'A Quiet Courage' Liane Jones.

It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

I_Wear_Socks , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
From The Guardian articles today that I have read on Syria, it makes absolutely clear that if you in any way question the narrative forwarded here, that you are a stupid conspiracy theorist in line with Richard Spencer and other far-right, American nutcases.

A more traditional form of argument to incline people to their way of thinking would be facts. But social pressure to conform and not be a conspiratorial idiot in line with the far-right obviously work better for most of their readers. My only surprise it that position hasn't been linked with Brexit.

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
Did anyone see the massive canister that was shown on TV repeatedly that was supposed to have been air-dropped and smashed through the window of a house, landed on a bed and failed to go off.

The bed was in remarkable condition with just a few ruffled bedclothes considering it had been hit with a metal object weighing god knows what and dropped from a great height.

MartinSilenus -> ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
"More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate"

The Defoliant Agent Orange was used to kill jungles, resulting in light getting through to the dark jungle floors & a massive amount of low bush regrowing, making the finding of Vietcong fighters even harder!

It was sprayed even on American troops, it is a horrible stuff. Still compared to Chlorine poison gas, let alone nerve gases, it is much less terrible. Though the long term effects are pretty horrible.

"Some 45 million liters of the poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin"
http://theconversation.com/agent-orange-exposed-how-u-s-chemical-warfare-in-vietnam-unleashed-a-slow-moving-disaster-84572

120Daze , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
Who needs facts when you've got opinions? Non more hypocritical than the British. Its what you get when you lie and distort though a willing press, you get found out and then nobody believes anything you say.anymore. The white helmets are a western funded and founded organisation, they are NOT independent they are NOT volunteers, The UK the US and the Dutch fund them to the tune of over $40 million. They are a propaganda dispensing outlet. The press shouldn't report anything they release because it is utterly unable to substantiate ANY of it, there hasn't been a western journalist in these areas for over 4 years so why do the press expect us to believe anything they print? Combine this with the worst and most incompetent Govt this country has seen for decades and all you have is a massive distraction from massive domestic troubles which the same govt has no answers too.
LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
LOL are you having a larf?

The same organisation that receives millions of quid in funding from USAID?

Whose 'executive director' used to work for USAID?

Who have campaigned for 'no fly zones' (ie US bombing)?

Who are affiliated to the Iranian terrorist group MEK?

Who only happen to run hospitals in 'rebel' held areas?

You have a strange idea of 'politically neutral'. Your 'NGO' are fighting for an Islamist state. Enjoy them.

Dominique2 , 13 Apr 2018 14:32
https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons

""I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," [Winston Churchill] declared in one secret memorandum."

The current condemnation by the international community and international law is good and needs enforcement. But no virtue signalling where there is none.

CaptTroyTempest -> StoneRoses , 13 Apr 2018 14:27
But we're still awaiting evidence that a chemical attack has been carried out in Douma, aren't we? And if an attack was carried out, by whom. But before these essential points are verified, you feel that a targeted military response is justified. Are you equally keen for some targeted military response for the use of chemical weapons, namely white phosphorus, in Palestine by the Israaeli military? Unlike Douma, the use of these chemical weapons in the occupied territories by the IDF's personnel is well documented. But we haven't attacked them yet. Funny that.
CMYKilla , 13 Apr 2018 14:26
Instead of "chemicals" why not just firebomb them - you know like we did to entire cities full of women and children in WW2?

Hamburg 27 July 1943 - 46,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Kassel 22 October 1943 - 9,000 civilians killed 24,000 houses destroyed in a firestorm
Darmstadt 11 September 1944 - 8,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Dresden 13/14th February - 25,000 civilians killed in a firestorm

Obviously we were fighting Nazism and hadn't actually been invaded - and he is fighting Wahhabism and has had major cities overrun...

Maybe if Assad burnt people to death rather than gassing them we would make a statue of him outside Westminster like the one of Bomber Harris?

Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 14:24
Remember the tearful Kuwaiti nurse with her heartrending story of Iraqi troops tipping premature babies out of their incubators after the invasion in 1990? The story was published in pretty much every major Western newspaper, massively increased public support for military intervention............................and turned out to be total bullshit.

Is it too much too ask that we try a bit of collective critical thinking and wait for hard evidence before blundering into a military conflict with Assad; and potentially Putin?

BlutoTheBruto , 13 Apr 2018 14:21
Didn't General Mattis quietly admit at there was no evidence for the alleged Sarin attacks last year by Assad?

http://www.newsweek.com/now-mattis-admits-there-was-no-evidence-assad-using-poison-gas-his-people-801542

Hmmmm.... call me skeptical for not believing it this time around.

AwkwardSquad , 13 Apr 2018 14:19
Well, this is the sort of stuff that the Israelis would be gagging for. They want Assad neutralised and they are assisting ISIS terrorists on the Golan Heights. They tend to their wounded and send them back across the border to fight Assad. What better than to drag the Americans, Brits and French into the ring to finish him off. Job done eh?

Are you sure you are not promoting an Israeli agenda here Jonathan?

Incidentantally what did we in the west do when the Iraqis were gassing the Iranians with nerve agents in the marshes of southern Iraq during the Iran Iraq War? Did we intervene then? No, we didn't we allowed it to happen.

I say stay out it.

dannymega -> fripouille , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Come on frip, you have to admit there was absolutely no motive for Assad's forces to carry out this attack. Why do you think the Guardian and other main stream media outlets are not even considering the possibility the Jihadi rebels staged it to trigger western intervention? I know, I know.. it's all evil Assad killing his own people for no other reason than he likes butchering people... blah blah. The regime change agenda against Syria has been derailed, no amount of false flag attacks can change the facts on the ground.
Preshous , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Tucker Carlson of Fox News has it nailed down....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M28aYkLRlm0
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:16
More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate vast swathes of Vietnam and in the full knowledge it would be have a catastrophic effect on the health of the inhabitants of those area, Vietnam has by far the highest incidence of liver cancer on the planet.

Then more recently we have the deadly depleted uranium from US shells that innocent Iraqis are inhaling as shrill voices denounce Assad.

CodeNameTwiglet , 13 Apr 2018 14:15
The Syrian people are heroically resisting and defeating western imperialism. This "civil war" has been nothing but a war for Syrian resources waged by western proxies. So now, In desperation borne out of their impending defeat, the imperialists have staged a chemical attack in a last throw of the dice to gain popular support for an escalation in military intervention. Like military interventions of the past, it is being justified in the name of humanitarian intervention. But if we have a brief browse of history we can see that US & UK governments have brought only death, misery and destruction on the populations it was supposedly helping. Hands off Syria.

[Apr 21, 2018] In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:27

In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Not as hilarious as breathlessly closing a children's playground near the Skripal's days after the event for "contamination checks" even though it had been raining in the days in between (the narrative was presumably the dastardly Russian agents planned to kill a few innocent kids for good measure).

[Apr 21, 2018] We are absolutely being lied to, left right and centre.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

andersen100 -> zardos , 13 Apr 2018 14:05

We are absolutely being lied to, left right and centre.

People who actually know what is happening are being gagged, which is ironic in this digital age.

Time was that we kind of trusted our politicians- to some extent, anyway.

No longer, and especially when information is conveyed by tweets by possibly the most important person in the world.

We also have a Prime Minister who would like to bypass parliament at any given time.

honestjohn -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 14:00
'No one is suggesting they want to become new parties in the war.'

They have been involved from the start:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/29/syria-crisis-where-do-the-major-countries-stand
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23849587
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/world/middleeast/brutality-of-syrian-rebels-pose-dilemma-in-west.html ?
https://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/16/middleeast/syria-al-assad-interview/index.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_involvement_in_the_Syrian_Civil_War

fakeamoonlanding , 13 Apr 2018 14:02
As usual, our wise men are busy preparing the evidence dossier for this gas attack. Hacking someone's phone is now evidence of you delivering chemical weapon. I wonder how many doses of novichok NOTW managed to deliver to its phone hacking victims.
Анатолий Ямсков , 13 Apr 2018 14:01
Hope everyone understands that telling lies is not good, and it is especially disgusting when lies form the basic argument for launching a war or some prolonged military assaults.
Please, compare the articles, this one and those mentioned below, and judge for yourself whether J. Freedland can be trusted.
1. J. Freedland, about the West: "The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, And yet that's what we've done".
O. Jones: "The US has been bombing the country and supplying arms to rebels for some time. Our client states ... have funnelled weapons and billions of dollars into the conflict, backing extremist groups responsible for multiple atrocities". https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/13/attack-syria-disastrous-warmongers-middle-east-unjust
2. J. Freedland: "The taboo on the use of such (chemical) weapons held, with exceptions, for nearly a century. It meant there was a limit".
For the actual details of such "limit" see: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-syria-war-uk-chemical-weapons-attack-iran-iraq-thatcher-russia-a8300881.html
3. It looks like J. Freedland is sure only Assad "kills and kills and kills" in this civil war. Does anyone believe this, i.e. that the opposing jihadists have never killed during the war?
NoLivesMatter , 13 Apr 2018 13:59
Why the automatic evidence-free assumption that Assad must be responsible?

According to the New York Times, Islamic State have been behind 52 chemical attacks in Syria and Libya:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeast/isis-chemical-weapons-syria-iraq-mosul.html

LiviaDrusilla -> ID9265089 , 13 Apr 2018 13:58

they're quite happy to gloss over the absolutely vile nature of Assad's regime.

Strawman. It's a nasty regime in all sorts of ways but no more so - probably less so - than many regimes enthusiastically supported and armed by the British government.


If we're talking about culpability, it's worth noting that the rebel groups have become radicalised over time -

That old fib! This was an Islamist uprising from day one. How does a liberal pro-democracy type suddenly morph into a bearded Islamist overnight?


And yes, we gave aid to the rebels. Did it prolong the war? Possibly.

Possibly? It didn't prolong the war, it pretty much caused the war.


Should we have done nothing? Possibly yes, but hindsight is always a wonderful thing.

Hindsight eh? So you thought "Yup, let's join in with the Saudis and other Gulf dictatorships in arming extremist Islamist rebels in a crucial Middle Eastern country. Nothing could possibly go wrong! That sort of thing has been a roaring success everywhere it's been tried."

Seriously. Talk some sense.

HerbGuardian , 13 Apr 2018 13:55
Make Assad pay ?.......pay for what Johnny .... for defending his people from murderous insurgents who are being constantly ferried into and supplied by hostile countries with the intent of horrifically slaughtering anyone they can get their claws on in order to initiate a reign of terror that they hope will weaken the moral of the people and the government? ......Jesus, I don't think I've read such a nastier piece of pure propaganda than this in the Guardian ever before.
imperium3 , 13 Apr 2018 13:55
Remarkable how Saddam Hussein gassing Iranian troops by the thousand, while world powers helped him do it and covered for him at the UN is treated as a minor exception to non-use of chemical weapons, whereas Assad's is some unprecedented crime.

And let's not pretend that Saddam paid for his use of chemical weapons - the West punished him for the transgression of threatening Saudi Arabia, nothing more.

OldDevil , 13 Apr 2018 13:54
In August 2012, as reported by the Times , William Hague writes that discussions are taking place with the Free Syrian Army:

"This week, on my instructions, my ambassador-level representative to the Syrian opposition has contacted and is meeting political elements of the Free Syria Army."
"We want to deter those committing war crimes by making it possible for them to be held to account. We will provide urgent training and equipment to Syrian human rights activists, including cameras, video recorders and forensic equipment.
The aim is to help them to document human rights violations, identify the military commanders responsible and gather medical forensic evidence to be used in trials. Britain has already trained more than 60 Syrian human rights activists to collect information to support criminal investigations. This new assistance will enable others to do the same."

The Guardian headline on this subject reads: "Syria: UK to give £5m to rebels":

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/aug/10/syria-aleppo-live

Cameras, video recorders and forensic equipment.

SMKirov , 13 Apr 2018 13:52
Why are the Guardian and its writers continuing to peddle the lie that the Syrian Government has been proved to have used chemical munitions? For seven long years now the Syrian people and their government have had to fight off a jihadi onslaught armed and financed by NATO and the Gulf autocracies. With help from Russia and Iran, they are winning: they have no need to use chemical weapons and they know that doing so is to invite intervention on the side of the Islamist terrorists. The terrorists, by contrast, know that their only chance lies in such intervention and that convincing the World that the Syrian Government has used chemical weapons is the best way to bring it about.

It is also obscene for Mr Friedland to ascribe all of the casualties of the Civil War to the Government while ignoring the terrorist tactic of occupying and defending populated areas. The Syrian Arab Army is no more responsible for the resulting casualties than were the pro Western forces for the destruction of Mosul during its liberation from ISIS. I am sick to the teeth of formerly respectable media like the Guardian and the BBC functioning as propagandists for jihadi murderers and terrorists, particularly now that doing so is pushing us towards a very dangerous international conflict.

kenna , 13 Apr 2018 13:41
I watched that idiot Jo Johnson last night going on about how the international community had banned chemical weapons in 1925 and no one pulled him up on it. Britain developed and stockpiled chemical weapons all through the 20th Century- the 'greatest' Britain of all time Churchill regularly argued for their use on 'lesser' races. The US (our allies in this) is the same US that dumped unbelievable amounts of agent orange on Vietnam at the same time it bombed a poor undeveloped country 'into the stone age'.

A woman in the audience pointed out the sheer hypocrisy of abhorring Asssad's actions (quite rightly) but at the same time arming the Saudis to kill more civilians and supporting the Israeli government (which whilst clearly not in the same league as Assad or the Saudis is still a major human rights violater). Unsurprisingly she was cut off and the 'left-wing' BBC moved on and ignored her points

diddoit , 13 Apr 2018 13:36
We went into Iraq because Blair warned, in the sternest terms, British cities could be under imminent attack from Iraqi WMD. How ridiculous do those grave statements, made to a hushed HoC, look today?
q321gg8cla -> tomprice129 , 13 Apr 2018 13:33
£35 billion arms contracts overseen by May,Johnson and Cameron to Saudia Arabia who are in Syria!Think about it !
Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 13:31
Graun, genuinely bugger off with this drumbeat for war. Seriously, hasn't the current murderous anarchy in Libya given you pause for thought?

There's no definitive evidence yet available that proves Assad's forces carried out a chemical attack. Furthermore, whilst it's not inconceivable that he did, it does seem to defy logic. Why invite Western intervention when you're winning the war? The Syrian opposition had far more to gain from the deployment of chemical weapons than Assad did.

Assad is a loathsome individual, but he's probably the only thing standing in the way of a Jihadist Theocracy being established in Syria. To put in bluntly, it's in our interests that he wins this war. The alternative is worse.

Denis61 , 13 Apr 2018 13:31
I wish I could say I was shocked by the latest pro war tub thumping by this increasingly unrecognisable paper. Sadly it's has become all too synonymous with its support for Theresa May and its attempts to persuade an unwilling public to join the hysteria. Freedland says that Assad's guilt is beyond doubt; no it isn't. He talks of the effectiveness of bombing in the Balkan conflict, conveniently ignoring Iraq and Syria. He ignores the obvious incentive for ISIS or perhaps he would prefer "rebels", to launch an attack in a a desperate attempt to recover a war they are losing. He ignores the war in Yemen and the murderous regimes around the world that we seem totally uninterested in putting right. No, Mr Freedland, I and I think many others are not giving Mrs May her Falklands moment at your behest.

[Apr 21, 2018] Macron as greedy neocon. His support of Douma false flag attack is related to selling weapons to Saudi monarchy

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RudolphS 13 Apr 2018 16:17

Most baffling is is French president Emmanuele Macron's fierce reaction. There's no other nation which has suffered so much from terrorist attacks as France. And yet now its president is determined to use his fighter planes as the de facto airforce for the the jihadi extremists. Macron went even as far as making his statements with the Saudi prince at his side, the leader of a country which is known for funding the jihadis!

Weird times.

Jay_Q123 -> RudolphS 13 Apr 2018 16:25

Macron just got back from a few days hanging on out with the Saudi Arabian elite, who have

AndiMcDodle -> ManUpTheTree , 13 Apr 2018 14:51

Agreed Macron is so proud about the weapons Saudi Arabia bought of him. And strangely enough Saudi Arabia supports the ISIS head choppers in Syria, I think of a coincidence. And I didn't mention the gaz pipeline crossing Syria, that if Russia/Assad win, will be beyond the control of Europeans, a real bummer, given that Russia controls the supply east of Germany. I guess civilian death, is the only thing in the forefront of the France/UK/US preoccupations. Surely, they wouldn't condone civilians dying for geo-political reasons?
NapoleonXIV -> Richmar , 13 Apr 2018 14:48
Yes, I remember Rice, Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld telling the world that they had evidence that Saddam was hoarding WMD. I'm still waiting to hear what it was. Now M. Macron spouts the same ambiguous nonsense expecting us to take his word for it.

Trump publicly states that US troops are being withdrawn from Syria. The next thing you know, Assad is allegedly gassing civilians. That makes a whole lot of sense doesn't it? If there's a sure-fire way of making sure you're on the wrong end of a bit of American 'shock and awe,' it's gassing innocents. Assad must have a death wish; or so they'd have us believe. The more I read about this fiasco, the more I think David Icke is the most rational man on the planet.

Ziontrain -> rustledust74 , 13 Apr 2018 14:47
From Pinochet to Mobuto, Kagama and many more, I'd think you'd better to review what the policy of the west actually IS.

[Apr 21, 2018] But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers

Western neoliberal governments lost the remnants of patina of legitimacy on international scene and now look like bloodthirsty predators, they always were.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Labourist , 13 Apr 2018 14:46

But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers? Why would the regime afford the US, France and UK the pretext to do one thing that'd undermine Assad's otherwise certain victory? The timing seems odd indeed while Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel act with impunity against minority populations. Each of the latter has form and interest the destruction of Syria in this proxy war.
comrade1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:50
Let me see if I have this right....

The UK thinks it's "highly likely" Assad is to blame for the chemical attack. France says it has evidence Assad is responsible but won't say what it is. US Secretary of Defence Mattis believes a chemical attack took place but says there's no evidence. And depending on the day of the week, Russia believes there was either no chemical attack or if there was then it was staged by the UK.

And for good measure we appear to be going headlong into war on the basis of all this.

SMKirov -> ID9265089 , 13 Apr 2018 14:46
The UN investigations concluded that the chemicals had come from Syrian Army stocks which there wasn't much doubt about to start with. Where they were less conclusive was the matter of who had deployed them given the capture of large stocks of munitions by the terrorists early in the war. On the basis of cui bono? it seems more likely that it was the terrorist side who sought to provoke Western intervention by staging chemical incidents rather than the Syrian Government who had little to gain and much to lose from the use of any kind of WMD.
ReLuke631 , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
We never learn.

First Blair holding onto an idiot's shirt tails to attack a Middle Eastern country based on hearsay and no coherent withdrawal policy. Now we have May and Macron holding the hands of an even bigger idiot whose populist thoughts change by the minute so no hope of any withdrawal plan.

Does May and her hawks (Gove, Johnson) really want to be compared with Trump, Kim, Putin, Assad, W Bush, Blair et al in the history books?

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
The rebels in Syria have a history of using sarin, chlorine and mustard gas against troops and civilians. But Washington, London and Paris are completely dummy on this. Not a whisper. Rather straight to accusations and threats against the regime they have been trying to overthrow for years.

I don't know who did it. But I know who lies every time they take a breath if they consider it in their interests. Truth is the first casualty. I don't believe any of them.

irishinrussia , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
Noticeable that the Guardian live coverage provides Western refutations of Russia's claims of evidence regarding a staged false attack, but doesn't actually cover the evidence the Russians have provided - testimony from medical staff who claim to be witnesses. Now I'm not so stupid as to take these claims as gospel, the Russians are just as capable as anyone of finding a couple of fake or pressured witnesses. However the failure of the Western press to even elaborate on the evidence, even just to ridicule and debunk it, is suspicious.

[Apr 21, 2018] Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Amaranthus_ , 13 Apr 2018 15:04

It is getting very tiresome tying to read between the lines of what Britain, America, Russia, etc, etc, etc spin to us in a constant barrage of disposable half truths. The worrying part is that it is now harder then ever to gauge if these 'bastions of truth' really believe their own bullshit or not and end up dropping us all into a war of no return.

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

tomspen -> dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
The White Helmets were set up by a Briton (I can't remember exactly but I think he was ex intelligence services). They've consistently been shown to have links with extremists. It wouldn't surprise me at all if what the Russians are claiming is accurate.
AndiMcDodle -> bobthebuilder234 , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
Well the problem is that the vast majority of Syrians support Assad. This chemical attack, if it is confirmed by the OPWC investigation, could have been staged by the ISIS head choppers, or it was Assad. Nobody has a clue, so we need an investigation and see, whether, this is just propaganda bullshit from the head choppers. One thing is sure, if you care about civilian life, the best option is to accept that Assad and Russia won. Else, well you a hypocrite, and you don't care about civilian lives at all, but care more about the UK/US and France gaining the geo-political upper hand, without a care in the world about civilian life. Hence, you just as big a sociopath than Assad.
diddoit , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
Tony Blair is still laughing at everyone too.

Ultimately, that is the problem. There is no mechanism in the UK to hold such people to any sort of account. No checks and balances.

carlevans -> tomspen , 13 Apr 2018 15:01
Yes Millions of Gallons of Chemicals were rained down on Vietnam including Agent Orange and Napalm during the war.
Plus White Phosphorous was used by the US in Iraq as an "anti-personnel" weapon.
120Daze -> GuardianOfTime , 13 Apr 2018 15:00
Look, the Russians have a microscopic force in Syria, about 30 jets, very low army presence, usually one soldier per SAA Unit. The West and especially that inadequate May can look good by bombing some camels and then letting the Daily Mail and the BBC do the rest. Yes the Russians have S400 missiles in Syria but only to protect important targets and they simply don't have enough missiles to shoot down 100+ allied cruise missiles. The Russkies will just have to take the hit (again) but it will change nothing in the long run, except relations will deteriorate even further.
Anyman , 13 Apr 2018 15:00
One has the impression poodles Macron and May, in their ridiculous eagerness to assist Trump with his nice new smart shiny social media bombing of Syria, appear pathetic, even stupid, for their precipitate grandstanding now that the USA has, for the time being, reigned back from an immediate punishing strike on Syria.
Cousin_Jack -> Etagere , 13 Apr 2018 14:59
The "slaughter his own people" phrase is western spin; even the anti-government SOHR quotes a more or less even split between government forces, rebels and civilians, which means as civil wars go, this one is comparatively humane.

Compare the death toll of hundreds on the final assault on Aleppo with that on Raqqa (thousands) or Mosul (tens of thousands) or the civilian toll in Indo-China and Korea (>10 million) and you'll realise the identity of the greatest war criminal of them all

[Apr 21, 2018] World War is Still in the Cards by Dan Glazebrook

Notable quotes:
"... Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. ..."
"... Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Just over a quarter-century before the outbreak of the First World War, global capitalism was in the throes of a deep economic crisis. This original 'Great Depression', which lasted from 1873 to 1896, saw tens of millions perish from famine as the 'great powers' shifted the burden as far as possible onto their colonies; whilst, at home, anti-systemic movements such as the 'New Unionism' burst onto the scene in the capitalist heartlands, presenting a serious challenge to bourgeois rule. Africa was torn apart by imperial powers desperate to secure monopoly access to its riches, and rivalries between these powers constantly threatened to erupt into outright war. In the midst of all this, one particularly astute political commentator gave a disturbingly prophetic insight as to how the crisis would ultimately be resolved, predicting a: "world war of an extent and violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other's throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts. The depredations of the Thirty Years War compressed into three or four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism, both of the armies and people, in the wake of acute misery; irretrievable dislocation of our artificial system of trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; collapse of the old states and their conventional political wisdom to the point where crowns will roll into the gutter by the dozen, and no one will be around to pick them up; the absolute impossibility of seeing where it will all end and who will emerge as victor from the battle; only one consequence is absolutely certain: general exhaustion and the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class."

The commentator was Marx's lifelong collaborator Friedrich Engels. The accuracy of his prediction – right down to the numbers killed and the length of the war, not to mention the revolutions and collapse of empires that would result – is truly remarkable. Yet Engels had no crystal ball. What he foresaw was nothing more than the logical outcome of the workings of the global capitalist-imperialist system, which constantly and inexorably pushes towards world war.

The logic is basically this. Capitalism, with its combination of rapid technological progress plus derisory wage payments – both tendencies a 'natural' result of competition – leads to a situation where markets cannot be found for its goods. This is because capital's capacity to produce constantly outstrips the capacity of consumers to consume, as these very consumers are, in the main, the very workers whose wages are driven down, or who are made redundant altogether, by improved technology. Ultimately, this results in a crisis of overproduction, with markets glutted, and workers thrown out of work in their millions. Already in 1848, four decades before his prediction of world war, Engels (and Marx) had written that such crises tended to be "resolved" through "the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces" – in other words, the wholesale closure of industry. Through closures of the most inefficient industries, surplus production would eventually be reduced, and profitability restored. But in so doing, capitalists were effectively increasing the concentration of capital in the hands of the most 'efficient' industries, whose productive capacity in the future would render the underlying contradiction yet more insoluble still, and were thereby "paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and diminishing the means whereby crises are avoided". For Engels, the crisis underway by the 1880s was so extensive that the destruction of capital required to overcome it would take more than mere closures – it would take all-out war.

The destruction of capital, however, is not the only means by which to overcome overproduction crises. The other option, said Marx and Engels, is "the conquest of new markets or the more thorough exploitation of old ones". The period of the late-nineteenth century saw a renewed 'Scramble for Africa' as each imperial power sought to grab territories which might one day serve as both sources of raw materials and markets for surplus capital. In North America, the USA was completing its own colonisation of the West and South in imperial wars against the Native Americans and Mexico. By the close of the century, however, all the 'available' territories had been conquered. From then on in, argued Lenin, the capture of new colonies could only be at the expense of another colonial power – ushering in a new, imperial, phase of capitalism with an inbuilt drive towards world war.

We have now witnessed two episodes of this cycle of capitalist crisis mutating into world war, the second much more successful in terms of the destruction of capital than the first. Indeed it was so successful that it paved the way for a 'Golden Era' of capitalist prosperity lasting almost three decades. But then, once again, the inevitable crisis tendencies began to set in.

The colonial, imperialist nature of postwar capitalism has, to some extent, been disguised by the formal political independence of most of the formerly colonised world. With an unambiguous and unrivalled lead in technological capacity, the Western nations have not required direct colonisation in order to guarantee essentially 'captive' markets for their goods and capital. The former colonies have largely been dependent on products, finance and technology from the imperial world without the need for formal political control – and this dependence has been backed up with economic blackmail through international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank where possible, and direct military force against resistant nations where necessary.

Such dependence, however, has been decisively eroded since the beginning of the new millenium. The rise of China, in particular, has completely destroyed the West's monopoly on finance and market access for the global South: African, Asian and Latin American countries no longer have to rely on US markets for their goods or on World Bank loans for their infrastructure development. China is now an alternative provider of all these, and generally on far superior terms of trade than those offered by the West. In times of continued economic stagnation, however, this loss of their (neo)colonies is entirely unacceptable to the Western capitalist nations, and threatens the entire carefully crafted system of global extortion on which their own prosperity is based.

Increasingly unable to rely on economic coercion alone to keep countries within its 'sphere of influence', then, the West have been turning more and more to military force. Indeed, the US, UK and France have been permanently at war since the eve of the new millennium – starting with Yugoslavia, through Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria and Yemen (to say nothing of proxy wars such as that in the Congo, or the 'drone wars' waged in Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere). In each case, the aim has been the same – to thwart the possibility of independent development. It is entirely indicative of this new era of decreasing economic power that several of these wars were waged against states whose leaders were once in the pocket of the US (Iraq and Afghanistan) or who they had hoped to buy off (Libya and Syria).

Thus, where it was once, at least in part, the product of productive superiority, the continued supremacy of the West in international affairs is increasingly reliant on military force alone. And even this military superiority is diminishing daily.

Predictions of the length of time left before the Chinese economy overtakes the US economy continue to shrink. In 2016, China's share of the world economy had grown to 15%, compared to the USA's 25%. But with a growth rate currently three times that of the USA, the difference is expected to decline rapidly; at this rate, the Chinese economy is on course to overtake that of the US by 2026 . In fact, once adjustments are made for purchasing power parity and differential prices, the Chinese economy is already larger . Furthermore, Chinese manufacturing output has been higher than that of the US for over a decade, and exports are one third higher, whilst China produces double the number of graduates annually than the US.

Such developments, however, are not of economic significance only: for it is only a matter of time before economic superiority is converted into military superiority. And this gives the US and its hangers-on an ever-diminishing window of opportunity in which to actually USE their military superiority in order to preserve their deteriorating global power.

Clearly the strategy hitherto has been to avoid direct war with China and its key ally Russia, and instead to focus on 'taking out' its real or potential allies amongst states less able to defend themselves. But Russia's role as a spoiler in the regime change operation in Syria has demonstrated to the US that this may no longer be possible. This has led to a split within the US ruling class on the issue of how to deal with Russia, with one side seeking to purchase Russian acquiescence to wars against Iran and China (advocated by the faction supporting Trump) and the other aiming to simply 'regime change' Russia itself (advocated by the Hillary faction). At the heart of both is the attempt to break the alliance between Russia and China, in the case of Hillary by pulling China away from Russia, and for Trump, pulling Russia away from China.

The point is, however, that neither strategy is likely to work, as clearly the breaking of the China-Russia axis is aimed at weakening both of them. Furthermore, even if Putin were prepared to ditch Iran, or even China, for the right price (such as lifting sanctions, or recognising Russian sovereignty over Crimea ), there is no way Congress would allow Trump to pay such a price. Trump would dearly love to offer to lift sanctions – but this is not within his gift; instead he can merely offer sops such as withdrawal from Syria, or pre-warning of missile attacks on Russia's allies – hardly enough to lure Russia into the suicidal severing of alliances with its most important allies.

This conundrum puts the unthinkable squarely on the agenda: direct war with Russia. The last month has shown clearly how, and how rapidly, this is developing. Britain's carefully calibrated efforts to create a worldwide diplomatic break with Russia can now clearly be seen as a prelude to what was almost certainly planned to be – and may yet become – an all-out war with Iran on the Syrian battlefield. This scenario appears to have been averted for now by Russia's refusal to countenance it, and the West's fear of launching such an operation in the face of direct Russian threats, but such incidents are only likely to increase. It is only a matter of time before Russia will be put to the test.

It is easy to see how the Syrian war could lead to a major escalation: indeed, it is difficult to see how it could not. In Washington, there is much talk of the need to 'confront' Iran in Syria, and recent Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria indicate that they are itching to get this confrontation under way, with or without prior US approval. Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. Russia could hardly be expected to stand back whilst Israel reversed all its hard fought gains of the past two and a half years – whilst demonstrating the feebleness of Russian 'protection' – and would likely retaliate, or at the very least (and more likely) provide its allies with the means to do so . Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved.

This is just one possible scenario for the kind of escalation that would lead to war with Russia. Economic war with China is already underway, and US warships are already readying themselves to cut off China's supply lines in the South China Sea. Each specific provocation and escalation may or may not lead to a direct showdown with one or both of these powers. What is clear, however, is that this is the direction in which Western imperialism is clearly headed. It has built up its unparalleled armoury for one reason only – to protect its dominant world position. The time is soon coming when it will have to use it – and use it against a power that can actually fight back – whilst it still has a chance of winning.

An edited version of this article was originally published by Middle East Eye.

[Apr 21, 2018] Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully

Apr 21, 2018 | theguardian.com
MetellusScipio, 13 Apr 2018 13:23
Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully, he's a bullshitter, a blowhard. All talk. Trump was the same with Kim, and is the same with Putin and Assad.

Like all bullies underneath he is a coward, he threatens Putin with ridiculous teenager Tweet threats, but as soon as Putin but back Trump backpeddles.

Don't look to Trump for solutions.

[Apr 20, 2018] How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies.

Notable quotes:
"... How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies. Don't believe me read the Doha agreement where the west recognised the Syrian rebels, this pipeline was a pre requisite for that recognition. ..."
"... And why would Assad who is winning the war do the one thing that would give America and other western countries the chance to get involved because of outrageous moral indignation. Assad and Outing really aren't that stupid. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson , 13 Apr 2018 15:31

How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies. Don't believe me read the Doha agreement where the west recognised the Syrian rebels, this pipeline was a pre requisite for that recognition.

Israel? which is not happy with Iran and Lebanon having a presence in Syria, worried that America was withdrawing.

AlQaeda or the Syrian Rebels, many are both who are losing the war and this is a last desperate attempt to drag in America and the west?

You've also got Turkey and the Kurds (the Kurds were abandoned by the West after they had fulfilled their useful purpose), both also players in the region but I can't see a motive here.

And why would Assad who is winning the war do the one thing that would give America and other western countries the chance to get involved because of outrageous moral indignation. Assad and Outing really aren't that stupid.

Any or all of the above could be the true motivation. I am no fan of Assad, Putin, or Trump or May (or the Blair clone Macron) but the question you have to ask yourself is who gains from this? And is. this in the interests of a resolution to a conflict, to your safety or is it something else?

[Apr 20, 2018] The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:37

In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein.
Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration. To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans. The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

Jay_Q123 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36
Your article appears to apportion blame solely to Assad and you don't even attempt to address the opposition in Syria. Nobody seriously questions that the Syrian governments war has killed many thousands and thousands of civilians. How can you not refer to the international jihad and the make up of these fighters, as well as the sieges they laid on villages, town and cities and the cruelty they inflicted upon the people?

The Syrian Arab Army is a composite of Sunni, Shia, Christians, and different ethnicity's, what convinces you that they have in any way wantonly killed civilians? The soldiers have family all over Syria, plus no mention of the 300,000+ civilians that have been liberated from Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta in the last several months.

I find this article very bizarre indeed. The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries. There are Moroccans and Chechnyans, Uighurs and Brits, Saudis as well as Syrians in this armed army. What other options did a state such as Syria have when fighting against ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Nusra and 'The Army of Islam', Jaysh Al-Islam? All have which have direct connections to our major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I can not find any reference at all to the enemy in this article. It's written as if the 8 year war has simply been an extermination war against civilians and completely out of context with reality.

Check out Operation Timber Sycamore for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Apr 20, 2018] Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Vermithrax , 13 Apr 2018 15:39

Freedland recently put this argument on Newsnight.

It is flawed to the point of dishonesty.

He talks of removing assets as if the process was being conducted under laboratory conditions. There are ten nations enmeshed in a warzone with numerous factions under no one's control. It is magical thinking that cannot be achieved and will only result in rapid, uncontrolled escalation. The idea that there will be no collateral damage is laughable and I regret to suggest that it is deliberately misleading.

Moreover, in engaging Assad when he is on the brink of victory, the Syrian Civil War will be extended. The Syrian people will then pay the price.

Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords. The spiral of migration will be renewed bringing loons wrapped in the dispossessed to our own streets. Worse, the militants next stop will be Lebanon and then Israel will be directly involved. Freedland advocates acting against Assad without even attempting to predict the consequences. At the very least I would expect the usual misdirection 'of course this time we must have a plan for rebuilding Syria', secure in the knowledge that by that time there will be another crisis and Syria can be left in entropy.

No good can come from military intervention. The satisfaction of commentators that the right thing has been done is an irrelevance. The right thing is always just public relations. Every bit of ruthless geopolitics has to have a casus belli to make the killing all righteous and unavoidable. It has always been thus. For resources to be expended on this kind of scale there has to be a rock solid bit of bankable realpolitik. In this case its the struggle for regional hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria can either be part of a supply chain selling Sunni gas/oil to Europe or Shi'a gas/oil to Europe. This is about killing Syrians for the glory of Saudi Arabia. You can see why there has to be a casus belli because thats not something that can be sold. We know the proceeds will go unmentioned into offshore havens and the London property market. Britain would derive no geopolitical benefit as a whole. The benefits would accrue only to a kleptocracy who think they have a right to use our country as a loan shark's leg-breaker.

It is therefore my contention that Freedland is promoting an immoral act that will have serious consequences without offering any serious improvement in the situation. This is arguably the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile crisis and an analysis that advocates pouring oil on the flames is either ridiculously stupid or calculatedly duplicitous.

thousandautumns -> balancedman , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
"Up to" 13,000 "opponents" killed over five years during a period of war. I'm assuming that number of "opponents" includes a large number of out and out terrorists who have thrown the country into chaos.
Brianto , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
What is Porton Down manufacturing?
oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
The UK andcFrance bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true poltical dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

[Apr 20, 2018] The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

Notable quotes:
"... The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence. ..."
"... It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Artusov , 13 Apr 2018 15:56

'.....Given Russia's presence, it would not be easy...... '

Understatement of the century. If you start bombing strategic military targets you are quite, likely to hit Russian planes and troops.

As I said yesterday - What is the point ? Assad ( helped by his ally Russia ) has all but won the war ( which makes his use of chemical weapons surprising / a big mistake ) - The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are bombing Yemeni children with UK manufactured bombs.

The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

We don't say much about China's interference in Tibet these days, do we ?

Or the effect of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War ?

MartinSilenus -> Norman_Finklesteen , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
"here are many, many notable historians who state the death toll as high as 135,000 "

The biggest single death toll in WWII was the low level firebombing of Tokyo, large areas of Japans capital city were wiped out. With houses as flammable as you can ever imagine, an unimaginably horror filled event. The Japanese death toll was around 100,000 dead. You are saying more died in Dresden?

"On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history."
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/firebombing-of-tokyo

mudlark123 -> BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are.
rockyrex -> LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
OK so let's attack Saudi for what they are doing in Yemen. And Myanmar for their behaviour. Then there's Mexico, where the cartels keep murdering people. Really, let's apply the same standards everywhere.

How will this proposed action change anything? The Syrians have hidden everything that matters, the Russians will get 90 minutes warning of the targets .... It's a PR exercise on the usual lines of "Something must be done .... this is something ..... "

[Apr 20, 2018] Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tayacase

, 13 Apr 2018 15:50
Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence.
This is the latest air defence technology (the system is in service since 2012) - a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system against aircrafts, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs.

https://southfront.org/russia-delivered-40-pantsir-s1-air-defense-systems-to-syria-state-media /
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1

[Apr 20, 2018] It is hard to be pro interventionist after the epical f up in Iraq and Libya and previous chemica weapons false flag staged by jihadists

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Israeli's deep incursions in Syria and the bombing of military bases also used by Russian military have provided a lot of information about the capabilities and limitations of the Russian military technology deployed in Syria.


StephenDaedalus -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

Sure, here's the UN OPCW investigation report which directly blames the Assad forces for chemical attacks. Take as much time as you need.

https://undocs.org/S/2016/738

I couldn't find the paragraph which directly blames Assad's forces.

I note it does refer (at para 44) to Assad's allegation that a video had been staged. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms. No red eyes, tearing, paleness, sweating, cyanosis or breathing difficulties can be observed from the footage. The patients interviewed in the video show little or no signs of having been exposed to a toxic chemical".

This is also consistent with other documented attempts of video-making to trigger the western bombs.

Surely you can see why people might at least reserve judgment about the latest video emanating from Jaish al-Islam controlled territory?

LiviaDrusilla -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
As I've said , I consider the term 'putinbot' - infantile and indicative of a lack of logical argumentation as it is - as a compliment, since it appears to be code for those who retain the ability to think for themselves and not fall glumly for the latest official line.

since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.

Actually, they proved no such thing, but in any case it's irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

BoomersStealingMoney -> thousandautumns , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
I would like to cargo the arm chair generals into the battlefield of Syria.

Let Asad deal with them.

Terry Haller , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Personally I am uncertain what has happened regarding the chemical attack in Syria however it is pretty clear to me what has happened and continues to happen in Yemen and Palestine.
Fomalhaut88 , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Send Dearest Jeremy to Damascus with one of his megaphones and a bunch of his most loyal.
I am not sure what he will yell down the megaphone, but whatever it is I am sure it will make him feel better about protesting, something.
Rumbero -> dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
so you have an answer for the Russian narrative but not for the British viewpoint.
Laughable and ridiculous. What source do you have for the Russian military's claim ?
Let me guess ? Some obscure blog site or RT?
OlivesNightie , 13 Apr 2018 15:46

The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, racking up a death toll in Syria of 500,000

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

Kokkos -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
And who presents the Summons to the United States for Vietnam....and the other countries,where they used chemicals.
BabylonianSheDevil03 -> grumpybrewer , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
From tomorrow the weather in some parts of the UK stops being an utter bastard and starts to look like spring. The sun will get its hat on, hip, hip, hip, hooray!
Go out and listen to the birds, look at the blossom. Lots of good in the world.
Xerxes2 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
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Haverer -> circuit , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Yes of course. Russia could just cross over into Alaska and from there ithey can easily drive their tanks down through Canada to reach the US.
DZ76 -> DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Just in case anyone asks for an example of US diverging from Israeli objectives (I realise that I did not elucidate on that in my post), US air strikes have focused entirely on ISIS and have, up to now, left the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah alone. There's no doubt that the Americans are very closely tied to Israeli objectives, but they certainly aren't being controlled by a 'Zionist elite', America still fights for America. As I outlined above, it's really only the British government that doesn't appear to have anything even beginning to resemble an independent foreign policy.
pash meia -> harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
so kets excuse putin and assad shall we based on a labour govt fuck up
gooner4thewin -> urbanegorrila , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Corbyn has not been a proponent of boosting our military budget.
BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Not a single terrorist attack on British soil has been inspired by Shiah Islam.

And yet we arm the Wahabis to dislodge the secular Asad.

Our government is crooked.

georgina45 -> Squadra , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
I watched RT for the first time last night and it was interesting.
But right now its like we are being ruled by lunatics. It is absolutely sickening. Quite literally some moron in the White House is tweeting, 'My bombs are bigger than yours' and 'The missiles are coming.' And they still let him in rule one of the most powerful countries on the Earth with a vast mass of WMD and Theresa May is trying reason with a fucking moron. Hey Guardian if Trump is talking like this my swearing is the least of our problems, so please don't moderate. We need someone to Moderate the madmen.
TheKingOfHate -> mikew67 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
How do you compare a serial killer with twenty kills to one with one kills?

Why, they're both serial killers.

/That's/ how we compare the blood on our hands to those drenched to our shoulders.

Sceptical Walker -> NHSmonami , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
UK
ID3555673 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Whatever the strategic complications are that would prevent this, Assad deserves a Tomahawk enema.
gooner4thewin , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
hallelujah - the Russians have decided to allow the UN chemical weapons inspectors to now visit the site. Of course they vetoed it initially because out of a sense of tidiness, they wanted to clean up the place before guests came.
billhicks00 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
The red line is the use of chemical weapons it seems. Bullets, conventional weaponry and starvation are OK.
Swilkerin -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Overthrowing the B'aathist regime would also cause chaos. You have several proxy wars going on in Syria. Having jihadists groups with links to Saudi/ Iran etc fill the void is hardly a great prospect. We've just seen the back of ISIS after all.
dannymega -> Rumbero , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Perhaps the place they visited to check if an attack happened was the wrong place, who knows? Does seem rather perverse though to predict an impending gas attack and then go and carry it out yourself.
junglecitizen -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:44

We, along with the US, France and Gulf states have supported, armed and trained "rebels" in Syria the whole time. We've had, as have others, special forces operating inside Syria


So, there would never be rebellions against totalitarian dictators if it weren't for the CIA and MI6.

I don't buy this. It's very convenient if you're an anti-war person who doesn't want to face an ethical dilemma. But it's not real.

LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
This is a sensible article. Funny how those shouting abuse offer NO alternative and would rather turn a blind eye to children being gassed, than be part of a country that has the moral fibre to stand up to this butchery.
pash meia , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
st petersburgh on double bubble it seems.
Guimard -> Succe55 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
They been doing for years , there is nothing new about it .
They just got 'better ' at it .
SummerPatch -> LiviaDrusilla , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Sergei, you are the one with imagination. I wonder why the putinbots have gone quiet about salibusry since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.
NHSmonami -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Evidence that would not stand up in court.
oreilly62 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Stop the conflict,here comes Freedland to save the world.
pash meia -> Krautolivier , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
better the devil than allah looking at the state of the islsmic world maybe?
but meanwhike lets excuse putin and asdad...
you are jeremy corbyn and i donate my 5 pounds to charity
mudlark123 -> RLB2808 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Thanks Colonel Blimp. I do, however, entirely agree with you.
Blackdawn , 13 Apr 2018 15:43
If it came to it, i wouldn't fight. Story is.. ordinary people head to the front the elite, politicians and royals head to their bunkers.
Celtiberico , 13 Apr 2018 15:42

The Syrian Negotiation Commission has called for action to deter Assad from killing civilians. What they envisage is that each time Assad launches a deadly attack on noncombatants, allied forces reply by taking out one of the strategic assets he uses to kill civilians. It could be an airfield, it could be a command centre. If the target were aircraft, that would simultaneously inflict a cost on the regime and deprive it of the means of dropping its barrel bombs and toxic, yellow cylinders. The objective would be to make Assad pay a price for killing his own people, a price he has not paid until now. Eventually, or so runs the hope, he would be deterred.

That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region.

[Apr 20, 2018] Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson, 13 Apr 2018 15:50

I'm going to post a comment by another user posted yesterday as he said it far more eloquently than I could

R Reddington InterestedReader2 1d ago

Your just another armchair warrior.

So you think going to war is a good idea well you first then and dont forget your flack jacket and rifle.

The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a "weapon of mass destruction" (quoting Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which "could only be" by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.

The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favour of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.

The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.

[Apr 20, 2018] The United States, fully aware it was Iraq who gased Kurds, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Andersie , 13 Apr 2018 14:45

I've just stumbled on this absolute gem, from the New York Times, 17/1/2003:

"Analysis of thousands of captured Iraqi secret police documents and declassified U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with scores of Kurdish survivors, senior Iraqi defectors and retired U.S. intelligence officers, show

(1) that Iraq carried out the attack on Halabja [a 1988 chemical attack on Kurdish villages that killed 5000 civilians], and

(2) that the United States, fully aware it was Iraq, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

[Apr 20, 2018] The USA and WMD

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Justin Thyme ,