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In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office, MI6 and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak US and British media are servants of security apparatus Do the foreign state influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier
NeoMcCartyism Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Hypocrisy of British elite Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo Media as a weapon of mass deception Putin-did-it fiasco Edward Lucas as agent provocateur American Exceptionalism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Lewis Powell Memo Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Nineteen Eighty-Four Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, 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 peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


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[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberal Economics has a lot of similarities with Theology

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Carlosthepossum -> innercity leftie , 3 Jun 2018 19:10

Economics has a lot of similarities with Theology.
People can believe whatever interpretation fits with their own indoctrination.
The difference being there is a truth to economics that seems to be invisible to most people, major economists included.
Your post highlights some of the stark realities that people just refuse to accept for some inexplicable reason.
Maybe the better economic managers will come to the rescue or maybe there will be a collective awakening when in a moment of clarity we start to realise how badly we have been conned.

[Jun 06, 2018] What is the "optimum" level of inequality in the society?

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Janeee -> Jas636 , 3 Jun 2018 21:52

There are many societies that tolerate a certain degree of economic inequality, but still provide decent living conditions, services and infrastructure for most citizens. The notion that we either have extreme inequality or extreme poverty is empirically and morally empty.

[Jun 06, 2018] Where are the rational limits of libertarian vision?

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Friarbird , 3 Jun 2018 21:42

Further down the thread, 'Weakaspiss' makes a pertinent observation; " government has forgotten they govern for all, and have a primary duty for those who are least able to prosper."

In fact, they've "forgotten" nothing.
Instead, they've fallen for the self-serving blandishments of Libertarian dogma.
Where have I learned of these ?
By reading the posts of GA's resident Libertarians.
The sub-texts of which are wonderfully instructive.

1. Nothing is more important than the individual.
2. And as an individual and a Libertarian, I am infinitely superior to you.
3. Plus I resent paying taxes, which are outright theft.
4. Since I believe, utterly without basis in reality, that taxes levied on hard-working, wonderful freedom-loving ME, sustain the likes of lazy, parasitical YOU.
5. Meanwhile, govt, if it cannot be destroyed, must always be demonised and underfunded. And so-called 'programs of public benefit' for the parasites--like Medicare, or the ABC-- must be sold outright to the private sector.
6. No I don't want to debate about it, if there's a chance I'll lose the argument.
My ego demands I win every time..
7. Certainly not with losers of lower social status, who were 'educated' in a union-run public school.
8. And don't even come near me, losers. Yuk ! You're probably not even white !
9. Because I socialise only within my own tribe, thank you very much.
10. Besides, you're probably living off my taxes.
11. Did I mention taxes somewhere ?
12. Taxes are theft.

Our conservatives have "forgotten" NOTHING.
Instead, they've fallen for a sociopathic ideology which tells them their least attractive impulses are positively praiseworthy.
Hence the nasty, ego-driven tone of current political life.
Injected directly into the bloodstream of our body politic by a Lying Rodent.
Its philosophy may be simply stated

Does your policy shit all over people you never cared for anyway ?
THEN DO IT.

[Jun 06, 2018] PossumBilly

Jun 06, 2018 | profile.theguardian.com

3 Jun 2018 23:25

This message is clear and concise. It is however never going to be heard beyond the 'Guardian'.

The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views.

The only thing that they understand is money and the concentration of wealth. This misonception as Dennis So far this has been handed to them on a plate, the taxation system has enabled them to manipulate an multiply their earnings. So much of money the has nothing to do with adding value to this countries economy but is speculative in nature based on financial and overseas instruments.

No is the time for our government to take the lead and start as the Victorian ALP have done and invest in people and jobs on the back of strategic investment. It is a fallacy that governments don't create jobs they, through their policies do just that.

Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous.

Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

jclucas , 3 Jun 2018 23:25
It is indeed important to make the distinction between the ideology of neoliberalism - the ideology of private enterprise is good, and public spending is bad - and the operational system of crony capitalism - the game of mates played by government and the special interests.

And it is certainly equally important to call out the monumental hypocrisy involved in the government's application of the ideology's set of rules to the powerless and public and the government's application of corrupt practice rules to the special interests.

The system is destroying the egalitarian character of Australia and fanning the flames of nativist authoritarianism here.

But what's even more dangerous is the fundamental dishonesty that the system necessitates, and the alienating influence it has - on top of the growing economic inequality.

The system has destroyed the economic and environmental viability and sustainability of the planet on which human civilization depends.

What is becoming increasingly clear to more and more of the public is that - simple put- the system cannot be allowed to go on as it has been proceeding because it threatens the future of civilization on earth.

Change is imperative now. However, how that will unfold is unclear, as well as, the toll the destruc5turing system will take.

What is clear is that a great restructuring must happen - and soon.

Aldeano , 3 Jun 2018 23:20
The neo liberals are intent on defacing Australia. Their pusstulant tentacles stretch into our classrooms forcing our kids to believe in their god. They tell us that white millionaire farmers deserve refugee status and all the benefits bestowed on poor persecuted minorities. They tell us that the disgustingly rich deserve tax relief. Their's is a world where their children are entitled to safe electoral sets. But they can be defeated and sent to misery. We did it in the Same Sex Marriage fiasco and we can do it to their more insidious behaviours. Write to your local member. Barrage them with emails. Write to their propaganda Letters to the Editor. Donate to GetUp. Keep on keeping on.
Alan Ritchie -> Paul Felix , 3 Jun 2018 23:02
Neoliberalism, the dogma was was sourced from Milton Freidman's Monetarism economic theory. When it morphed into the 'Greed is Good' credo is unclear.
Guess you have to call the disease something, so Neoliberalism it is.
familygardener , 3 Jun 2018 20:37
So anyway.

Is capitalism stuffed?
There is much debate at the moment about which Party has the best economic plan going forward. The Coalition maintains that the best way is by giving large tax breaks to business.
This is currently being called 'Pre GST theory or old style trickle down economics'.
Lenore Taylor writes:
"The investment bank once chaired by Malcolm Turnbull has backed the view that much of the benefit from the Coalition's company tax cuts could flow to offshore investors, as the prime minister insisted his plan was the best way to ensure continued economic growth".
"The domestic benefits would be far bigger if companies used the tax cut to grow their business, but according to Goldman Sachs "survey evidence suggests that companies are less likely to voluntarily lower the dividend payment ratio", in other words, the real-world impact was likely to be closer to the scenario where 60% of the benefit flowed offshore"

https://theaimn.com/day-to-day-politics-is-capitalism-stuffed/

[Jun 06, 2018] "Neoliberalism will literally be the death of democracy." In fact, that was the plan.

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Friarbird -> 64newc , 3 Jun 2018 17:56

"Neoliberalism will literally be the death of democracy."

In fact, that's the plan.
Openly alluded to by the IPA's Gary Johns;

".... a cardinal tenet of libertarianism is to keep democracy in its place, to regard it as an activity of limited application. Government's role is to depoliticise much of life, to make it less amenable to public dispute....."

From Margo Kingston's 'Not happy, John !' (2005).
Get on to the 'Catallaxy' site.
You'll soon find out what Libertarian sociopaths think of democracy.

Scryboy -> spharks , 3 Jun 2018 17:55
I actually think many people go along with neoliberalism because they perceive it will turn out well for them. It's the every man for himself Darwinian approach to life, but the LNP reflects that view most closely. It's the one where everyone is a welfare scrounger, but if for some reason you end up needing welfare, you deserve it because of all the tax you paid, even though you've been minimising your tax for decades.
64newc , 3 Jun 2018 17:44
Neoliberalism will literally be the death of democracy.

[Jun 06, 2018] The other great con is convincing the public that voting for anyone but the two major parties is "wasting your vote".

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Purge, 3 Jun 2018 17:46

The other great con is convincing the public that voting for anyone but the two major parties is "wasting your vote". This political duopoly means only those interests are ever represented and that has also led to Australia's systematic decline. Yes it's true that the majors hold majority in parliament but we've already seen that voting below the line can work- Labour had to take notes from the Greens last time they held power. Despite how hopeless it all seems we do still have the power to affect change as long as we- all of us- stop swallowing the lies.
BobsWorth2 , 3 Jun 2018 17:35
The current two party system is like a coin. On one side we have the head of Malcolm Turnbull and on the other Bill Shorten. When it comes to the toss up the corporations and wealthy get to call heads.
BelindaJonas -> Tom Dalyell , 3 Jun 2018 17:30
There is perhaps more honour amongst thieves? Hard to imagine there being less.
B.J.

[Jun 06, 2018] When a country - a majority vote - knowingly, maliciously - and repeatedly - vote for an ideology of hate, exclusion and greed then what do you expect

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Gekkko , 3 Jun 2018 19:22

When a country - a majority vote - knowingly, maliciously - and repeatedly - vote for an ideology of hate, exclusion and greed then what do you expect.

What did the majority vote not get in 2013 when they elected the Abbott Regime?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN-hbWVXsyE

What red flags did they miss in that clip?

What did the majority vote actually not understand about the budget of 2014? This budget devastated this country and particularly Australian youth.

When a government turned on its own citizens - A nation of *LIFTERS (1%) and LEANERS (99%) * ( Hockey May 13, 2014) When Abbott very nearly withdrew all government aid to any Australian under 30yo http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-29/tony-abbotts-razor-gang-considered-welfare-ban-for-under-30s/9352888?pfmredir=sm

The LNP IPA have a strategy of pillage and plunder - the transfer of public wealth to the <1% richest and big corporations. They have provided the regulatory context and the ethics and morality that has allowed Australian business, big and small across the board to normalise wage-theft, the non payment of super, unpaid internships and the sort of behaviour commonly seen through the Banking RC.

What does the majority vote not see?

The neoliberal did not con us all - but it is clear that the majority vote is. A vote that has yet to account to all Australians for wrecking this country. A vote that supported the most corrupt government Australia has ever had. Don't think for a moment that that can go without a reckoning.

If you were even peripherally aware of history, you'd know that people subjected to lifelong exploitation, forced into a precarious existence or buried under annually compounding debts will, eventually, wheel guillotines into the town square and start taking names.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/25/see-you-in-the-town-square-peter-dutton-and-pauline-hanson

[Jun 06, 2018] It's apparent that elections can be won by throwing enough resources into well aimed propaganda

Slightly edited Guardian comment...
How many voters even have any idea of what "neoliberalism" is? I would be thinking not many, especially as the Murdoch press don't even use the term in their publications. They might feel the effects , but without any conceptualisation of its underpinning ideas and ideology be less likely to be able to identify policy which reflects neoliberal values. And I'm sure the powers that be like it that way.
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Alan Ritchie , 3 Jun 2018 21:58

For that last 40 years some variant of neoliberalism has been the predominant dogma. Unfortunately once we moved on from hunter gatherer to an agriculture supported society we lost the connections to each other that existed at the tribal level. That sense of community does not flourish in our eight thousand year experiment with city based civilisation. It seems to only do so during times of disruption and war.

Personally my experience of living in a socially cohesive society was the 30 year period leading up to the reinfestation of the neoliberal curse that started in the 80's with Reagan and Thatcher.

So neoliberalism is the norm, socialism requires more work. We can't take it for granted that society will naturally gravitate towards egalitarianism.

Turnbull and his LNP cohort can openly mock the population with impunity safe in the knowledge that a small but powerful and rich minority, joined by group think and supported by exclusive membership institutions, schools, corporations, have a shared goal of controlling the monetary, economic system and government.

It's apparent that elections can be won by throwing enough resources into well aimed propaganda, (cue Murdoch). Cambridge Analytica was brutally effective at the last elections in the US and UK. Anyone who believes a similar scam won't be tried in Australia is being naive.
So people will still vote against their long term interests and we will likely still get another dose of self inflicted neoliberalism at the next election.

1MadUncle , 3 Jun 2018 21:51
The real problem will be that no where near enough voters will read this article or pieces like it. The Murdoch press for example would never publish it and the content won't be seriously discussed on morning TV. The ABC wouldn't dare mention a word of it.

I don't think it is all doom and gloom. I have 12 grandchildren, some now teenagers. They and their kind are smarter than we give them credit for and they won't put up with the crap we have bequeathed them. They don't get information from main stream media and although their social media contains an enormous amount of rubbish, embedded are real grievances about their lot in life. Soon they will vote. Goodbye and good riddance to the conservatives.

PDGFD1 -> sarkany , 3 Jun 2018 21:39

It is actually just a pan-national oligarchy, where legislatures and media are compromised into acceptance of destructive and unethical policies by Big Money.

Worthy of repetition since I'm not able to give you more than one 'uptick'.

In this instance, I very much suspect it will be the staggering load put on the natural environment that will spin the current "Eternal Empires" "down the sinkhole of history".
Sadly for everyone and everything else.

nogapsallowed , 3 Jun 2018 21:26
Neoliberalism wins by manipulating public distraction. The so-called reality shows of mainstream media are the furthest flight imaginable from lived experience, and even the serious news outlets succumb to the Peyton Place of Barnaby's baby and a disappeared Melania Trump. All of which makes a considered analysis such as the one republished here such a notable exception.
BlackAbbott -> familygardener , 3 Jun 2018 21:22
That man has the real meaning of neoliberalism. Neoliberal way is not incompatible with unions, wages, social services or governments that protect their citizens.


His way there should be no division and no angst of politics. Maybe that's where the problem is/ His way is not the way of modern politics and greed. Being rich does not mean being greedy. But that is what modern neoliberam with its free markets mantra have come to be seen as.

My Grandfather and Great Grandfather, would see this man as being correct with a very good attitude. He would see Wall St and many financial businesses as greedy and managed by bullies and tyrants.

[Jun 06, 2018] And everyone knows that the "trickle down" effect does not work but don't let this truth stand in the way of the neoliberals stampeding to the trough

Yep, this is a new form of crony capitalism.
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

shirleytemple -> incompatible , 3 Jun 2018 18:03

And everyone knows that the "trickle down" effect does not work but don't let this truth stand in the way of the neoliberals stampeding to the trough.
incompatible , 3 Jun 2018 17:56
Since the 1980s, free markets have been promoted as the best way to generate wealth (which may be true) and the best way to help everyone in society since there will be more wealth to go around. That has turned out not to work so well, since the wealth doesn't "trickle down", but instead concentrates in fewer and fewer hands.
NickThiwerspoon , 3 Jun 2018 17:54
An excellent analysis. Neo-liberalism is a mechanism which transfers money from the poor to the rich. Far from "trickle down" it is in fact "siphon up".
BelindaJonas -> Colin Connelly , 3 Jun 2018 17:29
Therein lies the crux - to some folk (most, I would hesitate) money is a means of survival.
To others, (those obsessed with it) it's the source of power. Ergo, of course you can have too much money, since it is physically impossible to spend it. But at the same time, you cannot, if so compelled, have too much power.
Put simply, it is unadulterated GREED. An addiction, if you like.
And for that, there is no cure.
B.J.
morgey -> The Hope , 3 Jun 2018 18:02
'Aspiring to become rich' is the most vapid of all aspirations.
francis nongham , 3 Jun 2018 18:00
Privatization is one method of stealing the people's assessts and giving it to the wealthy through ownership of shares. The Lieberals talk of mum & dad investors yet 98% of Australian shares are owned by the wealthiest 1%
Rob Robinson , 3 Jun 2018 17:59
There are so many who believe they will benifit from these ideologies , that they reinforce those who promote them . They simply don't realise they are not part of the equation , and any benifit gained by them is simply incidental. The target recipients have always been the Corporate bodies and those with their finger in the pie . Not once , to my recollection, has the Australian people , in general terms , benifited from the sale of public companies , banks or infrastructure .
ramAustralia , 3 Jun 2018 17:56
Brilliant article, hits the nail on the head! Australia really did go "off the tracks" with the regime of John "Mugabe" Howard with a system of patronage, corruption, and systemic bribery which gave us a third world government. Like other "mineral resource rich, failed states" the nation's wealth has been mostly stolen.

[Jun 06, 2018] Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse Page 3 of 10 Discussion The Guardian

Jun 06, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

BlackAbbott -> ID2778880 , 27 Apr 2018 04:31

It's not about money. Ultimately, it's not even about the financial system.


But it is about money and about the financial system.
Neo-liberals see things as a dollar value only nothing else is of value. The fact that Macro economics is a social science is discarded and Micro-economics covers all that is of value. The financial system is critical because it is based on lies publicly. This is one of the reasons that power may indeed be defining. But the reason behind it is the lies of finance. The key ones being tax does not fund government and banks create instant money when they give a loan. The repayments cancel the money creation they do not get collected and put out as new loans. Like wise when the federal government spends it also creates new money and drains ot away by tax which destroys it. The federal government cannot save for a rainy day. Another financial one that needs dumping is the lie that a surplus is good. It is not. So yes finance is critical Power is a symptom of the lies. Not the cause.
As soon as they reality is accepted the whole driving force of neo-liberalism falls to bits. It is exposed. Its reason to sell assets vanishes (federally) The passing of costs to the states shows as political crap.
ID2778880 -> BlackAbbott , 27 Apr 2018 04:16
It's not about money. Ultimately, it's not even about the financial system. The real showdown will start with the fight over energy and resources.

Tightening energy and resource supply, associated with environmental degradation to obtain those resources and a still increasing world population will be the death of neo-liberalism. But in my view, it is unlikely to be replaced by Communism.

Laurence Bury , 27 Apr 2018 04:20
We would have to look back to before the OPEC oil shocks of the early 1970s and the emergence of the Asian Tigers to see a different model of capitalism dependent on the West having a competitive industrial base with mass employment therein.
Hence, it is Varoufakis who is an old skool, radical chic of precisely this era and the sub-concept of neoliberalism is only of use to neo-Marxists like himself. Perhaps he can go and govern class relations (or foment their conflict) in apparently thriving Australian industry however?
MuzzaC -> curiouswes , 27 Apr 2018 04:11

I believe fraud and corruption caused the great depression.

But this is a part of the myth of the free market. If a market is truly free, those with enough money will always be able to influence the market for their own benefit. As soon as this happens the market fails in its chief function of efficiently allocating scarce resources. That's why there are regulators and anti-monopoly legislation, etc. etc. We pay billions each year to keep capitalism from eating itself.

Self-serving behaviour is only corruption if it is illegal, otherwise it's called business. It is regulation that makes it illegal, which is why we need strong, democratic control.

So saying that the GD was caused by corruption is the same as saying that free-market capitalism got out of control of democratic regulation. Same thing, different name.

AdelaideRose , 27 Apr 2018 04:10
The end of neoliberalism can't come soon enough for me. People and communities have been destroyed for the benefit of a few who don't care about anything other than their own wealth and power. Time to give the power to the people.
curiouswes -> Powerspike , 27 Apr 2018 03:24

THIS is "neo-liberalism"

not to me; I think you have a conglomerate of ideas and policies, some of which I'd categorize as neoliberal, but things like "extreme individualism" have nothing to do with neo liberalism per se.

I think if you give too much power to the state, you'll wind up with authoritarianism. maybe that doesn't concern you, maybe it does. I believe in the concept of labor unions. However I also believe in freedom. It may not be in our long term interest to give up freedom for the sake of a better economic prospect today.

HauntedTupperware , 27 Apr 2018 03:18
It's not going to happen Van. Unfortunately, this is a globally integrated system, which dwarfs the power of national politics and national economies, with maybe the exception of the US, and look what's going on in the US. Donald Trump is the president. I mean, what does that say about the United States, that they've elected a leader like Trump? How does the saying go, "Cometh the hour, cometh the man?" I guess they must have a death wish, unfortunately, they're going to take mos of the world's population with them. I'm not necessarily a pessimist, but I think a rational analysis leads to the conclusion, that we're doomed.
vanbadham -> discuz , 27 Apr 2018 03:13
The neoliberals in the West - unlike, disgustingly, those in South America - won hegemony because they did as Gramsci and Dutschke advised the left; they made "a long march through the institutions". Journalists, histoIran's, philosophers and academics were as necessary to the movement as economists and politicians. It was what enabled them to win elections. As the man said - "from the prophets, deserts come."
woddles -> curiouswes , 27 Apr 2018 03:13
So, no point?
Marxism was a suggested response to rampant capitalism where only the very few at the top benefited from the toil of all others.
I would have thought it was obvious. Or maybe you don't understand Marxism?
TWOBOBS -> AndyPe , 27 Apr 2018 03:10
I would suggest you're not on the bottom of the pile either, if you are reading the Guardian and commenting on a computer or an iPhone. The reality is, capitalism has seen the halving of world poverty levels over the last 30 years, and poverty continues to fall. Are there serious problems with inequality in the west, and the world generally? Yes. Capitalism needs to evolve. Better tax regimes and systems for wealth redistribution are needed. Communism is not the answer.
nogapsallowed , 27 Apr 2018 03:01
Every political party is a "collective" of sorts. But as far as I can scan the wasteland of Australian politics, I can't find any that is shining a path towards "freedom and enjoyment."

We need to reconceive politics just as we must the banks, churches and other terminally infected institutions of our time.

Ramsterbigboy -> Kinxil , 27 Apr 2018 02:58
"but let's stop being full anti elite, neo liberalism allowed several, unfortunately not all, of us, to feel a bit special."

That is not Van's or the Guardian's way.

Van how many "people hate it"? have you counted them by any chance?

Powerspike , 27 Apr 2018 02:52
Neo liberal practices i.e. their 1% stranglehold on the economy, their ideology of winner take all, etc are incompatible with a modern nation state, with civilised values, and with a harmonious society.
They are destroying the state and society.
BlackAbbott -> curiouswes , 27 Apr 2018 02:52

Unfortunately many don't care about truth.


And that is the reason we have neo-liberalism. The truth is not seen.
Awabakali , 27 Apr 2018 02:51
The simplest and most apposite critique of unbridled Capitalism is that is ideologically bound to the notion that consuming is good, increased production and use of finite resources is good, cheap labour is good, tax is bad, and sharing is bad...and that if Capitalism continues apace in its present form it will lead to the total pollution of the earth, the disappearance of all wild animals and plants, the end of bees and pollination, the rise of rampant diseases uncontrolled by drugs that are not affordable to the world's poor, and the eventual extinction of humans. Capitalism is not only dangerous, it is myopically spectacularly insane. Psychology demonstrates that humans have 3 classic responses to a crisis:

1.Denial
2.Fantasy
3.Acceptance of reality and action


1980's Denial phase: "It is exaggerated by mad greenies and ain't happening."

1990's Fantasy phase: "Recycling and prayer will fix it all."

2018 Reality and Action phase: "We are in deep shit....literally...and we need radical immediate action by governments, corporations, educational institutions and individuals to save the planet and us. Want your great grandkids to be alive in 2080? Then get out there shouting....TODAY!!!!!

Kinxil , 27 Apr 2018 02:49
"People hate it". That kind of sentence which make you consider closing the tab. Your point is sensible, neoliberalism has generated lot of bothering issues, but if it didn't exist, I wouldn't have an affordable car and computer, and I wouldn't have a giant amount of choice for goods to consider. It's time it ends, or rather rethink itself, but let's stop being full anti elite, neo liberalism allowed several, unfortunately not all, of us, to feel a bit special.
TWOBOBS -> jungney , 27 Apr 2018 02:38

No-one group or class is but collective action will create a far brighter and healthier future than the current regime of every woman for herself.

There is nothing stopping people now getting together into cooperatives/collectives/communes to start businesses, buy homes, job share.

[Jun 06, 2018] Is fascism a logical next stage of the collapse of neoliberalism, like hapened in Waimar before?

Jun 06, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

quintal -> Alpo88 , 3 Jun 2018 15:56

Hi Alpo

Fascism is the word that most interests me when looking a the present trajectory in Australia

We're not there yet

And there's no one on the government benches who's a new Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini

But the next generation ..............

They make me uncomfortable. Some of the younger and as yet unheralded apparatchiks on the conservative fringe worry me. They're smart. Know the advertising and selling the message strategies. Have money and are well connected to the barons/oligarchs who pull the strings and they're ambitious.

Paradoxically a collapse of the Liberal Party will help them. In spite of it all we need a fiscally conservative, slightly socially conservative political movement in Australia but the drift to extremism is quite pronounced and profoundly worrying, especially in a time where climate change poses existential questions about our future.

This next election will not be a cakewalk. It'll be as bitterly fought as any in a generation and the consequences of a loss will be, for progressive forces, catastrophic.

cheers

Alpo88 , 3 Jun 2018 14:58
"Although people with low expectations are easier to con, fomenting cynicism about democracy comes at a long-term cost. Indeed, as the current crop of politicians is beginning to discover, people with low expectations feel they have nothing to lose."..... Yes, but that's part of the Devilish Plan: Why do you think that the Neoliberals and Conservatives spend so much time nurturing their relationship with both Police and the Army?.... They want to be sure that if their Neoliberal-Conservative project goes truly belly up, they will be the ones holding the guns.

Yes, it's sinister.... it's dangerous.... it's a time bomb, and we can only defuse it with the help of a majority of Australians waking up, standing up and Democratically vote against Fascism.

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberal mantra: Blessed are the job creators

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Anomander64 -> Davesnothereman , 3 Jun 2018 16:44

Shhhh... whatever you do, don't ever let them hear you criticising the "job creators" or there will be trouble.

You know we can't touch the corporations - they are sacrosanct because they are the supposed "job creators" - this one title gives them carte blanche to act however they like, to make spurious claims about economies faltering, businesses going offshore and unemployment. They also donate heavily to the political parties.

Repeat after me:
"Blessed are the job creators"
"Blessed are the job creators"
"Blessed are the job creators"
"For THEY shall inherit the wealth"

[Jun 06, 2018] The divisive societal aspects of free market fundamentalism

Jun 06, 2018 | profile.theguardian.com

AsDusty, 3 Jun 2018 17:43

Half the population prefers a politics that is racist and unethical, that demonises the poor and idolises the rich, that eschews community and embraces amoral individuality. These people don't care about the economic inconsistencies of neo-liberalism, they are far more attracted to the divisive societal aspects of free market fundamentalism.

[Jun 06, 2018] Stigmatization of poor as the way to justify and increase inequality

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ellaquint , 3 Jun 2018 19:35

Like Joe Hockey, Rinehart saw the problem of inequality as having more to do with the character of the poor than with the rules of the game:

They don't "see" it this way. They just say they see it this way to perpetuate that inequality. They know that their wealth depends on the labour of the other 95-99%.

To keep us all working and voting for their lackeys, they make promises of wealth if you are a persistent hard worker, never mentioning that the entire game depends on only a tiny minority ever reaching the top. No, the real people holding them back are those who don't work hard. Who don't contribute to the game. They're the ones to blame for why you're not levelling up. The true scapegoats.

It's one giant con and they know it.

[Jun 06, 2018] Victim blaming is a classic neo-con tactic, they seek to deflect from the impact of their heartless policies by demonising the victims, from the unemployed and those stuck in the welfare cycle to refugees trapped in offshore detention, indefinitely .

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

reinhardpolley , 3 Jun 2018 17:18

Victim blaming is a classic neo-con tactic, they seek to deflect from the impact of their heartless policies by demonising the victims, from the unemployed and those stuck in the welfare cycle to refugees trapped in offshore detention, indefinitely . We've all seen how appalling their commentary can get, from Abbott and Hockey's "lifters and leaners" to Gina Mineheart's "two dollars a day" & "spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising" they show just how out touch they are. They honestly believe that people can lift themselves out of poverty if only they "spent more time working", ignoring the fact that many are working two jobs just to stay ahead.
Seems that on planet RWNJ there are more than 24 hours in a day..
OrwelHasNothingOnLNP -> w roberts , 3 Jun 2018 17:00
Half the population need welfare to survive.
1% have 90% of all the toys in the sandpit and won't share. They feel that they are entitled to all the toys.

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberalism idealises competition against each other to ensure the rights of the few, by suppressing our capacity to take responsibility together through cooperation and collaboration with each other.

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

maven501 , 3 Jun 2018 22:54

This piece is well worth the reading particularly in light of the trashing of society's values we see played out in Trump's America. However, the writer's definition of "ideology " as a "system of ideas and ideals" even though it accords with the OED's, fails to take into account the current pernicious influence of the ideologue who distorts "ideology" into the "rationalisation of a suppression" as Joseph Dunne noted in his book, " Back to the Rough Ground" .

This is the most apt description of the modus operandi of today's neoliberalists - the justifying of their project to maximise wealth accumulation in their own self-interest by promoting the propaganda that we are powerless cogs in the machine of the economy , slaves to the whim of the omnipotent market, rather than active agents who wish to contribute to a flourishing society .

Neoliberalism idealises competition against each other to ensure the rights of the few, by suppressing our capacity to take responsibility together through cooperation and collaboration with each other.

This classic divide and conquer tactic will prevail only as long as we permit it.

Time to take a stand and be counted.

[Jun 06, 2018] The neoliberal mantra that "markets are always right" is just rubbish.

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

DickTyger , 27 Apr 2018 00:27

I'm a conservative and I have an good economics degree. I have to say though that I don't understand neoliberalism at all.

As a example, when I was doing economics it was made very clear to me that natural monopolies (such as electricity and water) cannot be made into a competitive market (rather like trying to put lipstick on a pig). Similarly oligopolies introduce opportunities for price manipulation (e.g. the banks). The neoliberal mantra that "markets are always right" is just rubbish. Markets work well only when certain criteria are met.

Secondly, the right of workers to collectively bargain is fundamental to a well functioning market economy. Labour is one of the inputs to production and the workers have a right to a proper return on their labour. Individual workers have no real bargaining power and can only act collectively through unions.

Finally, the related casualisation of the workforce is a disaster for workers and the long-term interests of the economy. The stagnation of wages (and inflation) is one of the products of this strong trend to casualisation (my blood boils when I hear of examples of wage theft affecting vulnerable workers).

Income inequality is a product of a capitalist system. However, when the distribution of wealth becomes very badly skewed (such as in the USA) then the political system starts to break down. Trump was a beneficiary of this flawed income distribution. All Hillary Clinton was promising was "more of the same". In short, Bernie Sanders was right.

Walter Schadel, in his book, The Great Leveler (see below), points to the role of income inequality in driving revolutions and disruptions. There are lessons in this book for our current crop of politicians both on the left and the right.

https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10921.html

[Jun 06, 2018] N>eoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends

Neoliberals are a flavor of Trotskyites and they will reach any depths to hang on to power.
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
meticulousdoc , 3 Jun 2018 16:16

Just as conservative Christian theology provides an excuse for sexism and homophobia, neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests – systematically cutting spending on their enemies and giving money to their friends.

And when the conservative "Christians" form a neoliberal government, the results are toxic for all, except themselves and their coterie.

Nothing short of a grass roots campaign (such as that waged by GetUp!) will get rid for us of these modern let-them-eat-cake parasites who consider their divine duty to lord over us.

An excellent article, we need more of them.

[Jun 06, 2018] Privatization as a "big con"

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Beekeeper49 , 3 Jun 2018 19:32

Wow! Richard Denniss says it like it is, neatly summing up "the big con".

I believe Australia is being sold from under our feet. The big asset-strip is on. Why are we not benefiting from the mining boom? The answer lies in the way Rinehart companies and others like hers have been permitted to use Singapore or other low-taxing countries to minimise taxes. That these large companies should have the gall to demand large tax cuts as well is preposterous.

When headlines indulge in fear-mongering about China, why is angst directed at Dastyari for taking a relatively small donation, whilst at the same time the Australian government has approved a joint purchase of large swathes of the Australian outback by Rinehart and Chinese interests? Have we already forgotten the Darwin port deal? Why were Robb, Bishop and the Liberal Party allowed to benefit from deals or large donations from "Chinese interests"? Yet Bob Carr is being slammed for trying over many years to develop a more harmonious relationship with China?

Australians have told federal and state governments that they hate privatisation. Not content with selling off profitable businesses such as Medibank Private, the Liberal/National Party federal government is privatising its services. Detention centres and prisons acted as a stalking-horse for the creeping privatisation of jobs. Politicians assume most voters don't notice or care when government jobs in those sectors are privatised, but other government departments are following suit.

By permitting the Future Fund and superannuation funds to invest in tax havens, the federal government has opened the door to a growing trend. If my super fund uses the Cayman Island tax haven, it is easier to justify everyone else from the PM down to evade Australian taxes as well. More insidiously, tax havens make it easier to cheat creditors in bankruptcy cases, launder dirty money, break trade sanctions and much more. We aren't even aware of how these may be playing out behind closed doors in our name. The problem with allowing Rinehart to use Singapore or Turnbull to use the Cayman Island is that other companies and individuals will increasingly Do so, and in the end, everyone is doing it. And when will we take note of cryptocurrencies and how they can act like tax havens?

Our participation in wars not of our own making is also having dire results. Think of all the money spent and lives of servicemen destroyed by serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine if that money had instead been invested wisely in defence capabilities. And yet there we are, interfering in the South China Sea, trying to provoke China at Trump's behest, and it is not clear whether the Phillipines wants us there now anyway. And all the while, the cost of our participation in war games is crippling our ability to acquire defence assets, making us more reliant on the US.

The banking enquiry has only scratched the surface of how voters are being ripped off with impunity. There are growing demands that the superannuation industry, in particular retail funds, be subject to greater transparency and regulation. Yet Turnbull, Cash and colleagues prefer to direct their scorn at industry funds, simply because they are controlled by workers, via their unions.

We can sense "the big con" is all around us. We can almost smell it, so pungent is the air of exploitation, corruption and fraud. Hopefully Denniss will join others in focussing us more clearly on how we are being cheated of our birthright.

[Jun 06, 2018] Inverted totalitarism described by a Guardia commenter

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Bearmuchly, 3 Jun 2018 16:37

Despite the huge changes in communication in the last several decades and the ever increasing levels of education in our society, politics have failed to engage the vast majority and that cohort of the cynical, the alienated, the disinterested, the lazy, the simply care less continues to grow.

In the last decade the only cause that evoked passion and engaged a larger number, finally forcing our elected members to act was same sex marriage .....a crescendo that took years to generate.

With the complicity of our media and the decline of that part of education that teaches analysis, social psychology and political philosophy (let alone teaches about basic political structures and mechanisms) our level of disengagement from the political process appears to be at an all time high. The performance of our legislators has become increasingly unaccountable and purely self interested .... we have re-created the "political class" of pre-war times where alienation was based on a lack of education and awareness and a sense of inferiority and powerlessness DESPITE our vastly improved communication, access to information and educational standards (not to mention affluence).

Basically, we have "dumbed down" to the extent where passion and ideology in politics is now the preserve of fewer and fewer. In a democracy this trend is of massive concern and a threat to its sustainability.... it also completely suits those that are focused on concentrating power and wealth... the more that don't give a toss the less likely you are to be encumbered by limitations, social considerations, ethics and morality.

Until we re-engage far larger numbers into the political process, raise the levels of awareness of political thought and choices, stop dumbing down and re-inject some broader passion and participation into our political processes then vested interests will continue to dominate.....and democracy will become increasingly undemocratic !

[Jun 06, 2018] The magic of Neoliberalism is to transform acts that should be illegal into legal ones

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Alpo88 -> DesignConstruct , 3 Jun 2018 17:20

A "legal system of tax evasion", written like that, in quotes, is obviously a metaphor with an intended sarcasm. Clearly, logically, if a taxation system is legal, by using it you are not "evading" taxes, which is an illegal act.... Anyway, everybody seems to have understood my intention but you. Well, now you also know.

The magic of Neoliberalism is to transform acts that should be illegal into legal ones. In fact they do so explicitly as their argument for reducing taxation is exactly that of getting rid or decreasing the problem of illegal tax evasion.... so they say. Their problem is that we have no evidence that tax evasion decreases under Neoliberalism on top of the legal tax minimisation already provided. The only thing that happens under Neoliberalism is that the Tax Office tends to be under-resourced and everybody likes to conveniently look somewhere else.

DesignConstruct -> Alpo88 , 3 Jun 2018 16:52
A "legal system of tax evasion" is a non sequitur, what they have done is create a set of tax laws that enable more opportunities for tax avoidance by the well off, and Kerry very correctly took advantage of it. If you can, get a copy of the Senate hearing - it's gold.
Splatgadget -> NME765 , 3 Jun 2018 16:51
Agreed, but I'll raise you Kleptocracy.

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberals? Never thought they can dominate the government

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

BarkerT , 3 Jun 2018 17:51

I knew this government contained idiots, ne'er do wells, compulsive liars, misfits, childish imbeciles, ego maniacs, sociopaths, psychopaths, bigots, rorters, drunks, fascists, intransigents, ideologs, religious nutters, dullards, dunces, dickheads, shonks, spivs, lairs, carpetbaggers, rent seekers, lobbyists, conmen, urgers, scammers, ratbags and people unable to get work in any other field of endeavour....but Neoliberals?

Well, I never!

[Jun 06, 2018] Friarbird

Jun 06, 2018 | profile.theguardian.com

3 Jun 2018 20:42

Coded language:
or,
how we bade farewell to publicly-owned electricity.

Part 1

The perceptions of George Orwell seem as valid now as then
Since he dealt with sly deceptions of tyrannical men
So 'Orwellian language', though imprinted on a page
Now has impacts universal, which resound in every age
And in ours, language functions like a fingerprint-free glove
To absolve of guilt the guilty as, imposed from up above,
Has come theft of public assets, for the benefit of those
To whom money by the truckload only ever upward flows.

By subversion of our usage may such larceny be won
And I speak as a Victorian, so know how it is done.
It begins when greedy forces, with a nose for seeking rent
Need to seize and reshape language to conceal true intent
So collusion is essential, 'twixt such forces and the man
Who will slake their gross desires. He's a poll-i-tish-i-an
It is he who'll grasp the nettle, perform tasks of Hercules
Telling punters it is raining, while upon their backs he pees

Yet his task is mitigated. Because, what should hove in sight,
But the money-driven think-tanks of the predatory Right
Which have spent long hours fixated by their loathing of the State
So won't even wipe their bottoms, unless at an outsourced rate.
Now the think-tanks wunderkinden turn to '1984'
Where they find therein a tactic once employed in days of yore
It's to pick out words and phrases from contemporary use
Then submit their basic meanings to an arse-about abuse

Yet an overarching irony attends this tour de force
Since there's precedents in stating that a cart is now a horse.
For who bastardised a language, drawing from their bag of tricks ?
It was Stalin and Vyshinsky, back in 1936
O the horror ! O the shamefullness ! That, Sons Of Liberty
Must resort to basing tactics on the Kremlin's tyranny !
It's a classic situation when rent-seeking runs amuck
But there's easy money looming, so who gives a flying f**k ?

So consumers are persuaded, via mantra-laden talk
That they come before big shareholders in London or New York
Thus, a host of euphemisms sugar-coat the bitter pill
To the melodies seductive of a loudly-ringing till
Hark to incantantions joyous and of outcomes bound to please !
'Competition', 'lower prices', 'market-based efficiencies'!
(Though their very warmth and fuzziness will reinforce the fact
They've dragooned the highest language to describe the lowest act.)

Part 2 to follow........

[Jun 06, 2018] Neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interest

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

SwingingVoter , 3 Jun 2018 19:43

"neoliberal language allows powerful groups to package their personal preferences as national interests"

Its almost impossible to talk about a mining economiy and a "free market" in the same sentence, Richard. a mining economy is is synonymous with corruption, dutch disease and political grabs for cash etc. In the height of the 2009 GFC announced by kev07, unskilled labourers in the pilbara were still earning $100/hr. Real estate prices for 3 bed shacks in karratha were starting at $1million plus. The blue collar dominated pilbara area was overwhelmed with greed fed by left politicians hiding behind socialist ideals. The reality was that left wing economists recognized the "dutch disease" problem and their solution was to flood the area with greedy blue collar workers who were blowing their enormous salaries on prostitutes, alcohol and gambling in the hope that profits from the mining boom would be flushed into other parts of the economy.

The solution? partially transition Australia's economy to an innovation driven economy because innovation is linked to learning which is linked to stronger self esteem and self efficacy in the community. an innovation driven econmy is the better way of promting social development in the community and an innovation driven economy is the most effective way for politicians to transition to the benefits of a "free market" driven economy.... the reality is that transitioning to an innovation would require smacking the socialists over the back of the head in the hope that aspiring socialists will respect the ideas and intellectual property of others as opposed to continue to assimilate intellectual property in the name of employment generation and the common good

I dont fear the potential rise of neoliberalism, although i understand that spruiking a free market whilst talking about mining is ridiculous.
I fear the individuals who are have been talking about mining, and targeting/victimising the non politically active conservatives for more than 2 decades in the name of socialism

sierrasierra , 3 Jun 2018 19:21
"While much of neoliberalism's rhetorical power comes from the assertion that "there is no alternative," the simple fact is that the world is full of alternatives. Indeed, even the so-called free marketeers in Australia can see alternatives."

Excellent article Richard, you have captured the ideology and its dogma quite specularly.

It's dogma is nothing but empty lies held up as flawed truth's and full of scoundrels who profit from its concomitant pain.

Examples from today's headlines and a few from last week:
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/06/02/turnbull-follows-indigenous-lead /

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-02/australian-medical-association-endorses-uluru-statement/9827626?pfmredir=sm

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/netflix-urged-to-pull-pete-evans-documentary-20180531-p4zim2.html

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/one-in-five-rooftop-solar-units-deficient-official-figures-show-20180601-p4zixo.html

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/revealed-live-exports-review-recommended-an-immediate-ban-20180529-p4zi34.html

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-lobbied-the-pm-before-receiving-40-000-cheque-20180603-p4zj7a.html

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/06/03/whale-dies-eating-80-plastic-bags/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%2020180604

https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/06/03/break-up-the-banks-apra/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%2020180604

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/white-collars-dirty-secrets-20180531-p4zimj.html

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/police-breath-test-scam-goes-back-at-least-15-years-20180531-p4zir8.html

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/the-religious-minority-seizing-power-in-the-liberal-party-20180601-p4ziyq.html

[Jun 06, 2018] Marx was keenly aware of capitalism's ability to innovate and adapt. But he also knew that capitalist expansion was not eternally sustainable.

Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Helicalgroove -> RangerX , 3 Jun 2018 17:03

"Karl Marx exposed the peculiar dynamics of capitalism, or what he called "the bourgeois mode of production." He foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction. He knew that reigning ideologies -- think neoliberalism -- were created to serve the interests of the elites and in particular the economic elites, since "the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production" and "the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships the relationships which make one class the ruling one." He saw that there would come a day when capitalism would exhaust its potential and collapse. He did not know when that day would come. Marx, as Meghnad Desai wrote, was "an astronomer of history, not an astrologer." Marx was keenly aware of capitalism's ability to innovate and adapt. But he also knew that capitalist expansion was not eternally sustainable. And as we witness the denouement of capitalism and the disintegration of globalism, Karl Marx is vindicated as capitalism's most prescient and important critic."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/karl-marx-was-right-2 /

[Jun 06, 2018] Nationalism is a decision-making tool as it always poses a question; what is good for this country ?

This is not true: this question "what is good for the country" very soon mutates to "what is good for nationalists"
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

DesignConstruct -> quintal , 3 Jun 2018 17:39

We need a Nationalist government, which will automatically see itself as the mortal enemy of the primary Internationalist (there used to be a song about that) force in the world today, and which affects us greatly in terms of resource exploitation: Globalisation, or what we used to call 'multi national corporations' or 'international capital'.

Nationalism is a decision-making tool as it always poses a question; what is good for this country ?

DesignConstruct -> Alpo88 , 3 Jun 2018 17:24
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/we-need-real-leadership-and-real-democracy-from-our-politicians/news-story/f37a3a3951aa78df86892c71166fdbb5

When/if he mentions de-Globalisation, an Aus-Indonesian defence alliance, citizen initiated referenda, and a Constitutional ban on donations and parties , then people may listen, however he cannot be accused of being too imaginative or bright. He is however advocating authoritarianism not fascism.

quintal -> DesignConstruct , 3 Jun 2018 17:16
Hi DC

I halfway agree

We're not there yet

But .......

Fascism doesn't require a state sanctioned religion or suppression of religion

That said the Catholicism/fundamentalist Christian bent of the present cabinet and the demonisation of any green beliefs is uncomfortably close to what you describe

And the nexus between big business and govern, the destruction of public institutions, the reduction in the capacity of media to report truth and the vitriolic attacks on opponenents are straws in an ill wind

Cheets

Alpo88 -> DesignConstruct , 3 Jun 2018 17:11
You are right, it's not "fascismmmmmmmmmmmmmm".... it's Fascism. Which brings back to my memory what Tom Elliott (the son of Liberal Party former president John Elliott) wrote in the Herald Sun on 6 February 2015: "It's time we temporarily suspended the democratic process and installed a benign dictatorship to make tough but necessary decisions."

[Jun 05, 2018] Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse Van Badham Opinion The Guardian

Jun 05, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

For 40 years, the ideology popularly known as "neoliberalism" has dominated political decision-making in the English-speaking west.

People hate it . Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar yet the philosophy's entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources that one of its megaphones once declared its triumph "the end of history".

ss="rich-link"> Australia needs tough cop to fight wage theft, Sally McManus says Read more

It wasn't, as even he admitted later . And given some of the events of the contemporary political moment, it's possible to conclude from auguries like smoke rising from a garbage fire and patterns of political blood upon the floor that history may be hastening neoliberalism towards an end that its advocates did not forecast.

Three years ago, I remarked that comedian Russell Brand may have stumbled onto a stirring spirit of the times when his "capitalism sucks" contemplations drew stadium-sized crowds. Beyond Brand – politically and materially – the crowds have only been growing.

Is the political zeitgeist an old spectre up for some new haunting? Or are the times more like a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "the combination of inequality and low wage growth is fuelling discontent. Time to sing a new song."

In days gone past, they used to slice open an animal's belly and study the shape of its spilled entrails to find out. But we could just keep an eye on the news.

Here are my seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse:

1. Girl crushes on Sally McManus

The first sign appears with the noise of thunder – personalised in the form of ACTU secretary, Sally McManus, and the trade union movement revival. No Australian of my own generation or younger would likely possess any cultural memory of a trade union leader as hero – let alone one whose packed-to-the-rafters appearance at Melbourne's Town Hall last week brought with it chants and pennants, t-shirts and cheers a column of selfie-hunters. "We want to see an end to neoliberalism!" she roared to wild applause in the barnstorming style that's drawing similar crowds across the country. You had to feel sorry for conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen, who rode in to defend business-as-usual in a column entitled "I have to admit a slight girl-crush on ACTU boss Sally McManus". "She's really not my type," McManus retorted . Burnnnn.

Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus)

She's really not my type. pic.twitter.com/7aA1T6hab5

April 17, 2018
2. Yanis Varoufakis praises the Communist Manifesto

The second bears a great sword – and that's the dashing former finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis. As a scion of very modern political pedigree, he's an extraordinary (brilliant) choice to pen the new introduction to a re-released Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto . A revolutionary provocation considered so incendiary it was banned on its 1848 publication, the book only achieved distribution when its entry into court documents as evidence of sedition legally enabled it to be printed again. Varoufakis's praise of it in his introduction is no less provocative; he sees the book as a work of prediction. "We cannot end this idiocy individually," he writes of our present capitalist iteration, "because no market can ever emerge that will provide an antidote to this stupidity. Collective, democratic political action is our only chance for freedom and enjoyment."

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3. Paul Keating's rejection

It was a year ago that a third sign first appeared, when the dark horse of Australian prime ministers, Paul Keating, made public an on-balance rejection of neoliberal economics. Although Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser instigated Australia's first neoliberal policies, it was Keating's architecture of privatisation and deregulation as a Labor treasurer and prime minister that's most well remembered. Now, "we have a comatose world economy held together by debt and central bank money," Keating has said, "Liberal economics has run into a dead end and has had no answer to the contemporary malaise." What does the disavowal mean? In terms of his Labor heir Bill Shorten's growing appetite for redistributive taxation and close relationship to the union movement, it means "if Bill Shorten becomes PM, the rule of engagement between labour and capital will be rewritten," according to The Australian this week. Can't wait!

4. Hipsters picket trendy cafe

The fourth sign comes as the death of a certain kind of pale passivity and acceptance of the status quo among the young. But much as Kendall Jenner got the mood so wrong when she tried to retail Pepsi through the form of a mock riot last year, this week the kids in Melbourne got the times very, very right. On Tuesday, a flash mob of young people descended on no less than hipper-than-hip Northcote coffee palace, Barry, demanding the instant redress of alleged unfair dismissal and wage theft from staff pay packets. Not so long ago, it was the Melbourne fashion for young people to sit at cafes and joke about how exploited at work they were. The evolution to shouty pickets and cafe shut downs indicate in a period of record low wage growth, the laughs have worn quite thin.

5. The reds are back under the beds

There's always a bit of judgment and vengeance inherent to the factional shenanigans of Australia's Liberal party, but its refreshed vocabulary warrants inclusion as the fifth sign. Michael Sukkar, the member for Deakin, has been recorded in a dazzling rant declaring war on a "socialist" incursion into a party whose leader is a former merchant banker who pledged to rule for "freedom, the individual and the market" the very day he was anointed. Sukkar's insistence is wonderful complement to the performance art monologues of former Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop on Sky, where she weekly decries socialism is to blame for everything from alcoholism to energy prices. The reds may not be under the beds quite yet, but if Sukkar's convinced some commie pinkos are already gatecrashing cocktail events with the blue-tie set, they're certainly on his mind.

6. Tony Abbott becomes a fan of nationalising assets

Or maybe's Sukkar's right about the socialists termiting his beloved Liberal party. How else to explain the earthquake-like paradigm shift represented by the sixth sign? Since when do neoliberal conservatives argue for the renationalisation of infrastructure, as is the push of Tony Abbott's gang to nationalise the coal-fired Liddell power station? It may be a cynical stunt to take an unscientific stand against climate action, but seizing the means of production remains seizing the means of production, um, comrade. "You know, nationalising assets is what the Liberal party was founded to stop governments doing," said Turnbull, even as he hid in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains to weather – strange coincidence – yet another Newspoll loss.

ss="rich-link"> Yanis Varoufakis: Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out Read more 7. Blue-collar billionaires

In the established canon, the final sign, the seventh, installs new saints on to golden altars before praying supplicants. And I'd suggest some circumspection before the incense is lit and venerations begin. A clear electoral yearning for a sincere leadership of politics beyond the neoliberal frame has encouraged lying populists on the right, like the "blue-collar billionaire" opportunistic falsity of Trump. For a left regaining momentum, there's also danger; seizing at instant, available heroes propels into leadership politicians who are polarising and imperfect for the task.

The pressing need is not to pray for intercession; Varoufakis's call is right – "collective, democratic political action" is the genuine alternative, and it's broader democratic investment in the institutions of parties, movements, academies and media that always builds the world to come. That is, after all, what the neoliberals did. And look – just look – how far they got.

• Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist


sierrasierra , 27 Apr 2018 05:50

Neoliberalism so far and it's a rather interesting read if you follow global politics, yes countries like people have ' charts' and Australia's is realtively tame:

http://astrologyforaquarius.com/sky-watch-and-a-global-events-forecast/mars-cycle-january-29-2017-january-2-2019 /

ID2778880 -> DickTyger , 27 Apr 2018 05:48
This is absolutely true. Unintended consequences will always arise if the dim-witted tamper with complex systems they do not understand.

Brexit is a classic case. It has blown up in the faces of its proponents and the rather more level-headed among them are desperately trying to contain the spreading damage.

GraemeHarrison -> Weakaspiss , 27 Apr 2018 05:46
Ably assisted by Rupert's >75% control of print media... with his 'Get Bill' campaigns (first Hayden, later Shorten) with 'Get Juliar' in between! The masses are swayed by big media, enough to deliver the 1-3% needed to gain a parliamentary majority!
uhurhi , 27 Apr 2018 05:43
"new introduction to a re-released Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto.
Collective, democratic political action is our only chance for freedom and enjoyment."

Might be true. But frightening that people should naively still think that democracy is to be found in the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariate' [ ie those who know what's good for you even if you don't like it ] of the Communist Manefesto after the revelations of what that leads to in the Gulag Arichipeligo , Mao's China , Pol Pot , Kim John - un . How quickly the world forgets. - you might just as well advocate Mein Kampf it's the same thing in the end !

curiouswes -> Jamie Richardson , 27 Apr 2018 05:42
I don't think socialism can work without giving up too much freedom. Once you are in the Leviathan's clutches, it is difficult to break free. In the USA, we have a great system. I call it socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. It works great, but it only works great for 1% of the people.
Starwars102 -> Awabakali , 27 Apr 2018 05:40
https://mises.org/wire/real-relationship-between-capitalism-and-environment
This idea of Capitalism fundamentally and completely undermining the environment is a myth. You realise that the worst possible environmental degradation today occurs in extremely poor countries which have neither the economic base, nor the surplus money to care for the environment. Compound this with terrible legal systems in many of those countries and you get the economic degradation you have today.
GraemeHarrison -> Powerspike , 27 Apr 2018 05:36
The fact that multinationals are happy to take Australian minerals from the land, make money selling products to Australians, yet pay nil tax in Australia tells you everything you need to know about how much they care for our 'state and society'.
daily_phil , 27 Apr 2018 05:35
Does present day neo-liberalism actually qualify as a political movement?

Vested interests and the dollar seem to have all the power. Lies and deception are so common the truth is seen as the enemy. The voting public are merely fools for manipulation. Nah, neo-liberalism is not government, it is something far nastier, and clearly not what the public vote for, presuming a vote actually counts for anything anymore.

RedmondM -> charleyb23 , 27 Apr 2018 05:33
And while we are discussing totalitarian thugs how many died at the hands of Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, Peron, Marcos and others of the right?

The death toll of just Mao far exceeds the combined death toll of the the others you mentioned.

GraemeHarrison -> vanbadham , 27 Apr 2018 05:33
Plus, unlimited funding for elections has cemented capitalism's ability to 'buy' all the elections, and hold-captive all the regulators it needs. Without the Citizens United decision from right wing SCOTUS judges, US elections would be far more representative. Only in capitalism can one believe that "money equals free speech". No such provision is in the US constitution, so it is only these Bush-appointed judges who have determined that money can rule the people. Even more stupid are the countries that have followed the USA down this slippery slope. If you can fund politicians to undermine the ATO and ASIC, why not also allow corporations to just pay bribes to judges to get decisions they would like?
MuzzaC -> curiouswes , 27 Apr 2018 05:33
Thanks curiouswes. Nice to engage in a polite discussion for a change.

I think you are right, in that all revolutions are susceptible to falling to their own methods. Any mechanism for revolution legitimises the same mechanism for counter-revolution. This is why violent revolution leads to militarism and authoritarianism. I don't think anyone welcoming Lenin at the Finland Station did so because they wanted to live in a police state. By the same token, I don't think that Socialism is inherently linked to giving the state authoritarian power. In fact Socialism and democracy are perfectly compatible, because democracy (one citizen one vote) is the counterweight to capitalism (one dollar one vote).

As for globalism, it's the natural mode of capitalism and has been for centuries. Colonial expansion and capitalism became synonymous with things like the Dutch East India Company. Neoliberalism wants global reach for capital, but not for the regulators. They want keep their tax-haven cake and eat it too. Typically, what they want is less about a free market and more about freedom to game the market.

GraemeHarrison -> Confucion , 27 Apr 2018 05:27

Democracy paralyses

No, the current malaise is not 'due' to democracy, but despite it. America has unlimited political funding by capitalism to sway elections to their desires. Australia is in almost the same position, due to weak political funding reporting, and nil limits on what 'non-party' entities can spend on elections, or in the case of Rudd's removal, how just $45m in advertising by the MCA managed to remove a sitting PM, because the handful of MCA members did not want a resource tax. Our democracy has slipped into being a plutocracy (rule by the wealthy).
Robert Davie , 27 Apr 2018 04:54
Neoliberalism has inflicted a great deal of damage on western economies through the off-shoring of industries and jobs by the wealthy elites who were aided by the donor addicted political class. As a result, western democracies have weakened themselves in the eyes of the world community who now see us as examples of dysfunctional economies and governing methods. Who can blame them when the leading champion of the rules based order is so smitten with debt it must withdraw into itself under the threat of debt default.

The way forward for us is not to look back at what is lost but too look at developing new manufacturing industries and in particular, high technology manufacturing involving vehicles, batteries, solar panels, biotechnology and other related areas.

KCJ1951 , 27 Apr 2018 04:41
What is always revealing about Vanessa and her obsession with neoliberalism, is her intellectual dishonesty wrapped in a smattering of populist half-truths while ignoring any fact that might get in the way of the emotional narrative.
How successful were the largely populist socialist governments in latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and, of course, the socialist paradise of Venezuela?
We don't have to go back 40 years Vanessa. A quick peek east across the Pacific to the last decade of failed populist socialist ideology in South America tells enough.
PS: Delighted to see that you are back to full health after the 2 months of "absolute hell" that you went through during the SSM postal survey - Q&A.
Peter Krall , 27 Apr 2018 04:40
Neoliberalism, capitalism even, may well be dying. But the spectre of socialism is dead. What you hear when kicking the cupboard is just the squeaking of the door, not the spectre supposedly rumoring inside.

Worse, socialism did not just disappear but considerable fractions degenerated into all kinds of zombies: you have the aggressive dreamers, who confound anecdotes about repair-cafes or school meals with economic modeling and won't accept any response but flattery (yes, the 'senior' economic commentator is an example). You have the fascists supporting Assad because he administrates the legacy of his Hitler-admiring father and people like the Eichmann-assistant Alois Brunner, and a lot of them identify as 'anti-imperialist left-wingers'. You have the naive nation-state nostalgics who believe the value of work can be increased by blocking immigration, ignoring that the assembly of a car for the German market can be done in the Netherlands or Slovakia just as well as in the UK.

To be sure: I know that persons like Varoufakis (or Badham) are neither fascists nor morons. I wished it were these people who shaped the society after the downfall of laissez-faire capitalism. But I fail to believe it. I believe that the end of laissez-faire capitalism will coincide with the rise of fascism. Thus, I propose to extend capitalism's life expectancy be shifting tax burdens from income and profit to wealth and to create a favorable environment for tech-addicted turbo-capitalism.

[Jun 05, 2018] Tim Winton on class and neoliberalism 'We're not citizens but economic players' Books The Guardian

Notable quotes:
"... • The Boy Behind the Curtain is published by Penguin Books and is available now ..."
Jun 05, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

he first page of Tim Winton's new essay collection, The Boy Behind the Curtain , sets a disturbing scene. A 13-year-old boy stands at the window of a suburban street, behind a terylene curtain, training a rifle on passersby.

"He was a fraught little thing," says Winton of that boy – the boy he used to be. "I feel related to him but I'm no longer completely him, thank god."

The passage opens a surprisingly intimate essay about the role of guns in Australian life, setting the tone for a collection being billed as Winton's most personal yet.

In spite of his inclination for solitude, Winton has spent much of his life in the spotlight. His first novel, An Open Swimmer, catapulted him into the public eye when it won the Vogel literary award in 1981, but it was his 1991 novel, Cloudstreet, that cemented his place in Australian letters. Winton has won the Miles Franklin award four times and been shortlisted twice for the Booker. His books have been adapted for film, TV and even opera .

ss="rich-link"> Island Home by Tim Winton review – a love song to Australia and a cry to save it Read more

The contradictions of having such a high-profile career while working in a quintessentially solitary artform are not lost on him. "I spend all day in a room with people who don't exist, and I'm not thinking about any public – but once the thing's done it goes out there and it has a public life over which I have no, or very little, control," he says.

On one reading, the boy with the rifle lurking out of sight, watching the world go by, could be a metaphor for the life of a reclusive writer. But Winton is quick to distinguish himself from such a reading. "I wouldn't like to see myself as somebody who was just cruelly observing the world behind the terylene curtain of art."

For Winton, the perceived lives of other writers always seemed completely unrelated to his own experience. "I grew up with a kind of modernist romantic idea of the writer as some kind of high priest, someone who saw themselves as separate and better, which I now find a bit repellent," he says. "I think that was something that was sold to us at school and certainly at university that writers were somehow aloof from the ordinary business of life; they didn't have to abide by the same rules as other people. The worse their behaviour off the page, the more we were supposed to cheer them on. Once I woke up to that idea as a teenager, I think I consciously resisted it."

Winton's own background was characterised by a working class sensibility and evangelical religion. His parents converted to the Church of Christ when he was a small boy, the circumstances and his experiences of which form the basis of a number of the previously unpublished essays in The Boy Behind the Curtain. As a result, when he finally did start writing, it was with a particularly industrious work ethic.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tim Winton: 'There wasn't a lot of romance in my view of what writing was about.' Photograph: Hank Kordas

"I approached it like I was a tradesperson," he says. "It didn't necessarily involve FM radio played very loudly on a worksite; it didn't always require plumbers' crack or a hard hat and there was certainly no catcalling, but for the rest of it I went a different route. There wasn't a lot of romance in my view of what writing was about."

ss="rich-link"> A fish called Tim Winton: scientists name new species after novelist Read more

Yet it was finding words, what Winton calls "the enormous luxury of language", that took him from being a 13-year-old boy who watched strangers through the eye of a rifle – a boy who was "obviously insecure and feeling threatened and probably not quite one with the world" – to a well-adjusted adult.

The "emotional infancy of men" has a lot to answer for, he says, suggesting that it's something society would do well to pay more attention to in its early stages. "The lumpiness and surly silence of boys is not something we're sufficiently interested in. They're not sufficiently attractive to us until they become victims or dangerous brutes and bullies."

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think it's a mistake to think someone who doesn't say much doesn't have strong feelings

Tim Winton

Conflicted masculinity is recurring theme throughout Winton's fiction, and his characters often suffer as a result of their inability to articulate their feelings. "I think it's a mistake to think someone who doesn't say much doesn't have strong feelings," he says. "I think we stifle people's expression or we ignore people's signals of wanting to express things at our peril."

The distinct tenor of Winton's prose, a lyricism which manages to turn even the Australian vernacular into a kind of rough poetry, lends itself to the intimacy of the personal essay. The Boy Behind the Curtain contains a number of vignettes that reflect the imagery and landscape that characterises his fiction: hot bitumen roads through the desert; the churning ocean.

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/287428716&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false

But there is also a clear political streak to Winton's nonfiction, and the inclusion of a number of more direct essays in this collection mean it's difficult to collapse the work under the category of memoir. Stones for Bread, for example, calls for a return to empathy and humanity in Australia's approach to asylum seekers. The Battle for Ningaloo Reef is a clear-eyed account of the activism that prevented a major commercial development from destroying a stretch of the Western Australian coastline. And Using the C-Word concerns that other dirty word that Winton believes we are avoiding: class.

"I think there are people talking about class but they're having to do that against the flow," Winton says. "We're living in a dispensation that is endlessly reinforcing the idea that we are not citizens but economic players. And under that dispensation it's in nobody's interest, especially those in power, to encourage or foster the idea that there's any class difference."

The market doesn't care about people, Winton argues, and neither is there any genius in it. "There's no invisible hand," he says. "And if there is one, it's scratching its arse."

It's clear to Winton that neoliberalism is failing, but not without casualties, two of which are very close to his heart: the arts and the environment.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Cover image for The Boy Behind The Curtain by Tim Winton. Photograph: Penguin

"People in the arts are basically paying the price for this new regime where we pay no tax and where we get less public service and more privatised service," he says. "The arts are last on, first off in people's minds and I think that's not just sad, it's corrosive. They're just seen as fluff, as fripperies, as indulgence, as add-ons and luxury. And I don't think the arts are luxury; I think they're fundamental to civilisation. It's just that under our current dispensation, civilisation is not the point; civilisation is something that commerce has to negotiate and traduce if necessary."

Winton is one of a number of high-profile critics of the Productivity Commission's proposals to allow the parallel importation of books , and a signatory to petitions opposing funding cuts to the Australia Council . But he has also been a grassroots activist in the area of marine conservation for over 15 years.

"I don't know if I'm an activist writer or just a writer who has an activist life on the side," he says.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I don't know if I'm an activist writer or just a writer who has an activist life on the side

Tim Winton

Years of lobbying by conservation groups and the general public contributed to the Labor government announcement in 2012 of 42 marine reserves in Australian waters , including over the entire Coral Sea. The Abbott government, however, implemented a review which, in September this year, recommended significantly scaling back those reservations . It was, says Winton, an act of cowardice.

"The Abbott review was basically all about applying inertia to imminent progress," Winton says. "We've gone from world leaders [in conservation] to being too frightened to lead."

When asked what role writing fiction plays in his activist work, Winton says it comes back to the idea of "keeping people's imaginations awake".

"Imagination is the fundamental virtue of civilisation. If people can't imagine then they can't live an ethical life."

• The Boy Behind the Curtain is published by Penguin Books and is available now

[May 21, 2018] There's no real Left in the UK anymore, either. The Blairites are still a force with the Labour party. Even the old Left newspapers - The Guardian, The Observer - are just neocon and neoliberal mouthpeces

May 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bevin Kacon | May 20, 2018 1:50:01 PM | 12

There's no real Left in the UK anymore, either. The Blairites are still a force with the Labour party and that party is known as The Red Tories - especially in Scotland - for the obvious reason!

Even the old Left newspapers - The Guardian, The Observer - are no longer such, as has been evidenced of late. I no longer read the UK press - Private Eye is my 'paper' reading - and would not trust one word broadcast by the BBC and, I am sorry to say, Channel 4.

bevin , May 20, 2018 3:04:03 PM | 16
The Guardian and The Observer have never been socialist papers. They were liberal, just like the democrats in the United States were liberal. And liberals, who are the advance guard of capitalism, can hardly be called 'of the left'.
The only opponents of capitalism and imperialism are socialists or nationalists, of a kind rarely seen outside the third world periphery of the system since 1917.
Anyone who sees the fascists and crooks surrounding Trump as being opponents of anything except the human race is almost as daft as someone who sees the Democrats as part of the left.
But the real prize for idiocy goes to those sad souls who see the FBI, CIA, MI6 and their clones as anything but- deepest apologies here to the Mafia and their ilk- criminal gangs, of the worst kind.

[May 18, 2018] The UK s obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn t stack up by Mary Dejevsky

Notable quotes:
"... Now, it is hard to know what to make of all this, other than to point out that he was speaking to fellow security chiefs. Maybe, among themselves, they find it more morale-boosting to demonise an old enemy than to take on adversaries that have emerged more recently, are more complicated and against which they have so far perhaps had less success. ..."
"... the conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a "safe", useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be. Some of us may hope for something better, but it seems a long way away. ..."
May 14, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The UK's obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn't stack up Mary Dejevsky The head of MI5 has joined the security establishment's anti-Putin onslaught. But his organization agrees that Moscow is not the greatest threat

Today's speech by the head of MI5 , Andrew Parker, has been presented as a first – the first time the head of the UK's domestic intelligence service has delivered a speech abroad, specifically at a conference of security heads in Berlin. But this is the only respect in which it is a first. It might as accurately be described as the latest in a series of public utterances by UK intelligence chiefs and top brass, which began last autumn and continued with the head of GCHQ addressing a cybersecurity conference in Manchester last month.

"MI5 chief: Kremlin is 'chief protagonist' in campaign to undermine west" Read more

In part, this reflects a deliberate decision by the intelligence services and the government that they should be more open about what they do, with a view to gaining greater public understanding – and expanding recruitment at a time when they face competition for tech-savvy graduates from richer and less restrictive employers. But this season of intelligence and military speeches has also facilitated the communication of an apparently co-ordinated message. As a country, the UK now sees Russia as its prime adversary.

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal , the former Russian spy, and his daughter in Salisbury took the UK's official anti-Russia stance to new heights. And its diplomatic success in persuading so many other countries to expel Russian diplomats in protest – the biggest ever "collective expulsion of security agents", we were told – seems to have emboldened London to view itself as the potential leader of an international anti-Russia front, as the Guardian recently reported .

The invective produced by Parker today – and heavily sold to the media – was, in its way, extraordinary. In tone, it was quite different from the cold war register, which was formal and, well, cold. This attack was populist, direct, and far outside the diplomatic register. Here is just a sample.

The Kremlin was engaging in "deliberate, targeted, malign activity intended to undermine our free, open and democratic societies". The west had to "shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda machine". Russia, he said caustically, had as one of its "central and entirely admirable aims to build Russian greatness on the world stage". But it had repeatedly chosen "to pursue that aim through aggressive and pernicious actions by its military and intelligence services". In so doing, it risked becoming "a more isolated pariah".

So long as the UK refuses consular access to Yulia Skripal, Russia can – with some justification – ask just who has a monopoly on a fog of lies.'

Now, it is hard to know what to make of all this, other than to point out that he was speaking to fellow security chiefs. Maybe, among themselves, they find it more morale-boosting to demonise an old enemy than to take on adversaries that have emerged more recently, are more complicated and against which they have so far perhaps had less success. There is a sense too, for the UK at least, that relations with Russia have been so bad for so long that magnifying the supposed Russia threat is a cost-free enterprise in diplomatic terms.

It might also be worth considering whether there are budgetary and Brexit angles. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US and the UK, in particular, scaled back their government-backed research on Russia and lost a great deal of expertise, which they are now trying to rebuild. That means they have to make a case for more taxpayers' money, and scare tactics are one way to do that. For the UK, there may also be the fear that it will find the European Union less inclined to keep London in the intelligence loop, and – at a time when the US is looking a far less reliable ally – it might make sense to play up the Russian bogeyman, not least as Vladimir Putin begins his fourth term in office. Nothing like starting as you intend to go on.

Yet it is still difficult to see the sense in this. Russia has become inured to UK scolding of this kind, and treats it with contempt – as its social media response to Parker's speech shows. What is more, so long as the UK maintains its silence on the Skripals' fate and refuses consular access to Yulia Skripal, Russia can – with some justification, I would argue – ask just who has a monopoly on a "fog of lies".

Nor will the tone necessarily chime well with official views of Russia in Germany and France, which are not necessarily less tough in practice, but certainly more nuanced, and better informed. The UK seems intent – despite recent legislation about dubious money in London – in keeping its diplomatic and business relations with Russia in separate boxes. Germany, for one, does not have that luxury.

The conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a 'safe', useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be

The UK's rhetorical onslaught on Russia is even more puzzling when you examine the security services' own priorities. "Is terrorism the biggest threat facing the UK?" visitors to the MI5 website are asked in a pop-up called "fact or fiction". Click no, and this is the response: "The biggest threat we currently face comes from international terrorist groups and individuals inspired by them. Terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland also continue to pose a serious threat."

Now it is true that the threat from terrorism and Islamic State was also broached by Parker in his speech, but this was not the section spun in advance to the media; it was not the aspect MI5 wanted above all to be noticed. So the conclusion has to be that Russia is considered a "safe", useful, and almost eternal enemy by the UK's powers-that-be. Some of us may hope for something better, but it seems a long way away.

• Mary Dejevsky is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow

[May 18, 2018] Guardian fake news. UK media tries to keep Skripal poisoning hoax alive (Video)

May 18, 2018 | theduran.com

Alex Christoforou with Alexander Mercouris discuss a recent Guardian post that claims 100 police have received psychological help after Salisbury attack.

Fake news, trying to create false connections between police psychological issues and a rather dubious UK poisoning false flag. Via The Guardian

Almost 100 Wiltshire police officers and staff have sought psychological support after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the Guardian can reveal.

Among those who have asked for help were officers who initially responded to the collapse of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and those who were at or close to the various investigation sites in subsequent days and weeks.

Some reported feeling disorientated and anxious while others were concerned about the possible long-term health effects on the public.

While the Skripal poisoning story has faded from much of the mainstream media news cycle, as it was increasingly exposed as a complete hoax and embarrassment for the May government, the Guardian appears to be trying to resurrect "the Russians did" Novichok narrative.


Rick Oliver • 3 hours ago ,

It is about time your stupid leader and her clown were put on the stage to explain to all the world why they chose to defame the integrity of Russia in such an unbelievable set of circumstances that only children under the age of ten would not understand !! How can any Nation since this demonic happening , ever trust this self - centred Bozo from ever making a sensible judgement for the future of mankind !

louis robert • 13 hours ago ,

What a shameful staging! At the very least, try and respect children!... Keep them away from all that nonsense, Ms May!

Andrι De Koning • an hour ago ,

UK has lost it completely and the Guardian has fallen prey to the CIA Mockingbird Operation (infiltration and manipulation of media). Used to be a good paper under Alan Rushbridger and protection of Snowden, Assange etc. Now it has lost it altogether with useless editorial board. The woman in charge must have something in common with Nikki Haley: incapable of nuance and irrationally convinced of her being right (without research lots of claims about Assad, Putin etc.).

Wesa F. Andrι De Koning • 35 minutes ago ,

When ever I read such nonsense it always brings a smile as I think of what Clint Eastwood said in his summing up of Politicians and not in General.

[May 04, 2018] Media Use Disinformation To Accuse Russia Of Spreading Such by b

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A McClatchy journalist investigated further and came to the same conclusion as I did. The 'leak' to the New York Times was disinformation. ..."
"... Russia has not pinned the Novichok to Sweden or the Czech Republic. It said, correctly, that several countries produced Novichok. Russia did not blame the UK for the 'nerve gas attack' in Syria. Russia says that there was no gas attack in Douma. ..."
"... The claims of Russian disinformation these authors make to not hold up to scrutiny. Meanwhile there pieces themselves are full of lies, distortions and, yes, disinformation. ..."
"... Wait for an outbreak of hostilities on the Ukraine-Donbass front shortly before the beginning of the World Cup competition which is as internationally important as the Olympic Games -- as they did in 2014 with Maidan and 2016 with the Sochi Winter Olympics drug uproar, the CIA will create chaos that will take the emphasis off any Russian success, since as to them, anything negative regarding Russia is a positive for them. ..."
"... No traces of chemical weapons have been found in Douma. This means that not only the US/UK/French airstrikes were illegal under international law but even their political justification was inherently flawed. Similarly, in the Salisbury affair, no evidence of Russian involvement has been presented, while the two myths on which the British case was built (the Russian origin of the chemical substance used and the existence of proof of Russian responsibility) have been shattered. ..."
"... Given the lack of facts, the Tory leadership seems to be adopting a truly Orwellian logic: that the main proof of Russian responsibility are the Russian denials! It is hard to see how they will be able to sell this to their international partners. Self-respecting countries of G20 would not be willing to risk their reputation. ..."
"... The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote." ..."
"... Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows: "Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?" ..."
"... Whataboutism seems to deny that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth. ..."
"... 1984, anyone? ..."
"... The absurd story that the OPCW says there was a 100gm/100mg who knows which on the door and other sites is just so stupid its painful. ..."
"... Presumably the Skripals touch the cutlery, plates and wine glasses in the restaurant, so why weren't the staff there infected as they must have had to pick up the plates etc after the meal. Even the door to the entrance of the restaurant should be affected as they would have to push it open, thus leaving the chemical for other people to touch. Nope, nothing in this stupid story adds up and the OPCW can't even get the amounts of the chemical right. ..."
"... Biggest problem with the world today is lazy insouciant citizens. ..."
"... One very important point Lavrov made was the anti-Russian group consists of a very small number of nations representing a small fraction of humanity; ..."
"... while they have some economic and military clout, it's possible for the rest of the world's nations to sideline them and get on with the important business of forming a genuine Multipolar World Order, which is what the UN and its Charter envisioned. ..."
"... Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation. ..."
"... Yes, exactly. The Western hegemony, i.e. the true "Axis of Evil" led by the US, and including the EU and non-Western allies, have invented the Perpetual Big Lie™. ..."
"... Witnesses? They're either confederates, dupes, or terrified by coercion. Evidence and/or technical analysis? All faked! A nominally reliable party, e.g. the president of the Czech Republic, makes statements that undermine the Big Lie Nexus? Again-- he's either been bought off or frightened into making such inconvenient claims. Or he's just a mischievous liar. ..."
"... And, as I seemingly never get tired of pointing out, the Perpetual Big Lie™ strategy arose, and succeeds, because the "natural enemies" of authoritarian government overreach have been coerced or co-opted to a fare-thee-well. So mass-media venues, and even supposedly independent technical and scientific organizations, are part of the Perpetual Big Lie™ apparatus. ..."
"... Putting Kudrin -- an opponent of de-dollarization and an upholder of the Washington Consensus -- in charge of Russia's international outreach would be equal to putting Bill Clinton in charge of a girls' school. ..."
"... In the Guardian I only read the comments, never the article. Here, I read both. That is the difference between propaganda and good reporting. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Grauniad is slipping deeper into the disinformation business: Revealed: UK's push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance is the headline of a page one piece which reveals exactly nothing. There is no secret lifted and no one was discomforted by a questioning journalist.

Like other such pieces it uses disinformation to accuse Russia of spreading such.

The main 'revelation' is stenographed from a British government official. Some quotes from the usual anti-Russian propagandists were added. Dubious or false 'western' government claims are held up as truth. That Russia does not endorse them is proof for Russian mischievousness and its 'disinformation'.

The opener:

The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin's aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria.
...
"The foreign secretary regards Russia's response to Douma and Salisbury as a turning point and thinks there is international support to do more," a Whitehall official said. "The areas the UK are most likely to pursue are countering Russian disinformation and finding a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons."

There is a mechanism to enforce accountability for the use of chemical weapons. It is the Chemical Weapon Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It was the British government which at first rejected the use of these instruments during the Skripal incident:

Early involvement of the OPCW, as demanded by Russia, was resisted by the British government. Only on March 14, ten days after the incident happened and two days after Prime Minister Theresa may had made accusations against Russia, did the British government invite the OPCW. Only on March 19, 15 days after the incident happen did the OPCW technical team arrive and took blood samples.

Now back to the Guardian disinformation:

In making its case to foreign ministries, the UK is arguing that Russian denials over Salisbury and Douma reveal a state uninterested in cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth , but instead using both episodes to try systematically to divide western electorates and sow doubt.

A 'common understanding of the truth' is an interesting term. What is the truth? Whatever the British government claims? It accused Russia of the Skripal incident a mere eight days after it happened. Now, two month later, it admits that it does not know who poisoned the Skripals:

Police and intelligence agencies have failed so far to identify the individual or individuals who carried out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the UK's national security adviser has disclosed.

Do the Brits know where the alleged Novichok poison came from? Unless they produced it themselves they likely have no idea. The Czech Republic just admitted that it made small doses of a Novichok nerve agent for testing purposes. Others did too.

Back to the Guardian :

British politicians are not alone in claiming Russia's record of mendacity is not a personal trait of Putin's, but a government-wide strategy that makes traditional diplomacy ineffective.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, famously came off one lengthy phone call with Putin – she had more than 40 in a year – to say he lived in a different world.

No, Merkel never said that. An Obama administration flunky planted that in the New York Times :

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. "In another world," she said.

When that claim was made in March 2014 we were immediately suspicious of it:

This does not sound like typically Merkel but rather strange for her. I doubt that she said that the way the "people briefed on the call" told it to the Times stenographer. It is rather an attempt to discredit Merkel and to make it more difficult for her to find a solution with Russia outside of U.S. control.

A day later the German government denied (ger) that Merkel ever said such (my translation):

The chancellery is unhappy about the report in the New York Times. Merkel by no means meant to express that Putin behaved irrational. In fact she told Obama that Putin has a different perspective about the Crimea [than Obama has].

A McClatchy journalist investigated further and came to the same conclusion as I did. The 'leak' to the New York Times was disinformation.

That disinformation, spread by the Obama administration but immediately exposed as false, is now held up as proof by Patrick Wintour, the Diplomatic editor of the Guardian , that Russia uses disinformation and that Putin is a naughty man.

The British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson wants journalists to enter the UK reserve forces to help with the creation of propaganda:

He said army recruitment should be about "looking to different people who maybe think, as a journalist: 'What are my skills in terms of how are they relevant to the armed forces?'

Patrick Wintour seems to be a qualified candidate.

Or maybe he should join the NATO for Information Warfare the Atlantic Council wants to create to further disinform about those damned Russkies:

What we need now is a cross-border defense alliance against disinformation -- call it Communications NATO. Such an alliance is, in fact, nearly as important as its military counterpart.

Like the Guardian piece above writer of the NATO propaganda lobby Atlantic Council makes claims of Russian disinformation that do not hold up to the slightest test:

By pinning the Novichok nerve agent on Sweden or the Czech Republic, or blaming the UK for the nerve gas attack in Syria, the Kremlin sows confusion among our populations and makes us lose trust in our institutions.

Russia has not pinned the Novichok to Sweden or the Czech Republic. It said, correctly, that several countries produced Novichok. Russia did not blame the UK for the 'nerve gas attack' in Syria. Russia says that there was no gas attack in Douma.

The claims of Russian disinformation these authors make to not hold up to scrutiny. Meanwhile there pieces themselves are full of lies, distortions and, yes, disinformation.

The bigger aim behind all these activities, demanding a myriad of new organizations to propagandize against Russia, is to introduce a strict control over information within 'western' societies.

Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.

That scheme will be used against anyone who deviates from the ordered norm. You dislike that pipeline in your backyard? You must be falling for Russian trolls or maybe you yourself are an agent of a foreign power. Social Security? The Russians like that. It is a disinformation thing. You better forget about it.


c1ue , May 4, 2018 2:27:27 PM | 1

Excellent article, in an ongoing run of great journalism.
I am curious - have you read this? https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/
It purports to be a book by an American military man intimately familiar with the covert ops portion of the US government. The internal Kafka-esque dynamics described certainly feel true.
Mike Maloney , May 4, 2018 2:44:12 PM | 3
One of the reasons newspapers are getting worse is the economics. They aren't really viable anymore. Their future is as some form of government sanctioned oligopoly. Two national papers -- a "left" and a "right" -- and then a handful of regional papers. All spouting the same neoliberal, neoconservative chicanery.
CD Waller , May 4, 2018 2:57:20 PM | 4
Genuine journalist Matt Taibbi warned of this sort of branding of disparate views as enemy a month ago. He was also correct. Evil and insidious. The enemy of a free society.
chet380 , May 4, 2018 2:58:22 PM | 5
Wait for an outbreak of hostilities on the Ukraine-Donbass front shortly before the beginning of the World Cup competition which is as internationally important as the Olympic Games -- as they did in 2014 with Maidan and 2016 with the Sochi Winter Olympics drug uproar, the CIA will create chaos that will take the emphasis off any Russian success, since as to them, anything negative regarding Russia is a positive for them.
WJ , May 4, 2018 3:02:57 PM | 6
The later history of the 20th century will one day be read as the triumph and normalization of the Nazi state through liberal democratic capitalism.
Laguerre , May 4, 2018 3:07:19 PM | 7
I agree that it's difficult to see how the drive to renew the Cold War is going to be stopped. I presume that, with the exception of certain NeoCon circles, there isn't a desire for Hot War. Certainly not in the British sources you quote. Britain wouldn't want Hot War with Russia. It's all a question of going to the limit for internal consumption. Do a 1984, in order to keep the population in-line.
james , May 4, 2018 3:11:05 PM | 8
thanks b... i can't understand how any intelligent thinking person would read the guardian, let alone something like the huff post, and etc. etc... why? the propaganda money that pays for the white helmets, certainly goes to these outlets as well..

the uk have gone completely nuts! i guess it comes with reading the guardian, although, in fairness, all british media seems very skewed - sky news, bbc, and etc. etc.

it does appear as though Patrick Wintour is on Gavin Williamson's propaganda bandwagon/payroll already... in reading the comments and articles at craig murrays site, i have become more familiar with just how crazy things are in the uk.. his latest article freedom no more sums it up well... throw the uk msm in the trash can... it is for all intensive purposes, done..

mk , May 4, 2018 3:31:41 PM | 9
Meanwhile, OPCW chief Uzumcu seems to have been pranked again, this time by his own staff (this is how I interpret it):

He claimed that the amount of Novichok found was about 100 g and therefore more than research laboratories would produce, i.e. this was weaponized Novichok.

http://www.startribune.com/large-dose-of-nerve-agent-was-used-in-spy-s-poisoning-watchdog-says/481687061/

However, the story is being retracted right now because OPCW staff says it was only 100 mg .

Uzumcu looks like a fool.

b , May 4, 2018 3:49:03 PM | 10
The Russian embassy in the UK must be reading MoA. It just now tweeted this press release: Embassy press officer comments on the Guardian article concerning a new British anti-Russian strategy
Q: What is our reaction to the Guardian article on a "comprehensive strategy" to "deepen the alliance against Russia" to be pursued by the UK Government at international forums?

A: Judging by the publication, the main current challenge for Whitehall is to preserve the anti-Russian coalition that the Conservatives tried to build after the Salisbury incident. This task is challenging indeed. The "fusion doctrine" promoted by the national security apparatus has led to the Western bloc taking hasty decisions that, as life has shown, were not based on any facts.

No traces of chemical weapons have been found in Douma. This means that not only the US/UK/French airstrikes were illegal under international law but even their political justification was inherently flawed. Similarly, in the Salisbury affair, no evidence of Russian involvement has been presented, while the two myths on which the British case was built (the Russian origin of the chemical substance used and the existence of proof of Russian responsibility) have been shattered.

Given the lack of facts, the Tory leadership seems to be adopting a truly Orwellian logic: that the main proof of Russian responsibility are the Russian denials! It is hard to see how they will be able to sell this to their international partners. Self-respecting countries of G20 would not be willing to risk their reputation.

karlof1 , May 4, 2018 3:52:31 PM | 11
Hmmm... My reply to c1ue went sideways it seems. Yes, The late Mr. Prouty's book's the real deal and the website hosting his very rare book is a rare gem itself. Click the JFK at page top left to be transported to that sites archive of writings about his murder. The very important essay by Prouty's there too.
WJ , May 4, 2018 3:53:30 PM | 12
The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote."

This one detail tells us so much about how propaganda works, and about how it can be defeated. Successful propaganda both depends upon and seeks to accelerate the erasure of historical memory. This is because its truths are always changing to suit the immediate needs of the state. None of its truths can be understood historically. b makes the connection between the documented but forgotten past "truth" of Merkel's quote and its present reincarnation in the Guardian, and this is really all he *needs* to do. What b points out is something quite simple; yet the ability to do this very simple thing is becoming increasingly rare and its exercise increasingly difficult to achieve. It is for me the virtue that makes b's analysis uniquely indispensable.

Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows: "Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?"

Whataboutism seems to deny that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth.

Jose Garcia , May 4, 2018 3:56:03 PM | 13
1984, anyone?
john wilson , May 4, 2018 4:03:04 PM | 14
The absurd story that the OPCW says there was a 100gm/100mg who knows which on the door and other sites is just so stupid its painful. This implies that the Skripals both closed the door together and then went off on their day spreading the stuff everywhere, yet no one else was contaminated (apart from the fantasy policeman).

Presumably the Skripals touch the cutlery, plates and wine glasses in the restaurant, so why weren't the staff there infected as they must have had to pick up the plates etc after the meal. Even the door to the entrance of the restaurant should be affected as they would have to push it open, thus leaving the chemical for other people to touch. Nope, nothing in this stupid story adds up and the OPCW can't even get the amounts of the chemical right.

ken , May 4, 2018 4:03:13 PM | 15
The problem is,,, most know it's all BS but find it 'easier' to believe or at most ignore, as then there is no responsibility to 'do something'. Biggest problem with the world today is lazy insouciant citizens. (Yes,,, I'm a PCR reader) :))
karlof1 , May 4, 2018 4:05:15 PM | 16
b @10--

Did you catch the Lavrov interview I linked to on previous Yemen thread? As you might imagine, the verbiage used is quite similar. One very important point Lavrov made was the anti-Russian group consists of a very small number of nations representing a small fraction of humanity; and that while they have some economic and military clout, it's possible for the rest of the world's nations to sideline them and get on with the important business of forming a genuine Multipolar World Order, which is what the UN and its Charter envisioned.

I won't omit linking to Craig Murray's conclusion :

"I cannot sufficiently express my outrage that Leeds City Council feels it is right to ban a meeting with very distinguished speakers, because it is questioning the government and establishment line on Syria. Freedom of speech really is dead."

Ort , May 4, 2018 4:22:35 PM | 17
Anything that may not confirm to the 'truth' as prescribed from above must be overwhelmed with an onslaught of more lies or, if that does not work, be discredited as 'enemy' disinformation.
_______________________________________

Yes, exactly. The Western hegemony, i.e. the true "Axis of Evil" led by the US, and including the EU and non-Western allies, have invented the Perpetual Big Lie™.

This isn't a new insight, but it's worth repeating. It struck me anew while I was listening to a couple of UK "journalists" hectoring OPCW Representative Shulgin, and directing scurrilous and provocative innuendo disguised as "questions" to Mr. Shulgin and the Syrian witnesses testifying during his presentation.

It flashed upon me that there is no longer a reasonable expectation that the Perpetual Big Liars must eventually abandon, much less confess, their heinous mendacity. Just as B points out, there are no countervailing facts, evidence, rebuttals, theories, or explanations that can't be countered with further iterations of Big Lies, however offensively incredible and absurd.

Witnesses? They're either confederates, dupes, or terrified by coercion. Evidence and/or technical analysis? All faked! A nominally reliable party, e.g. the president of the Czech Republic, makes statements that undermine the Big Lie Nexus? Again-- he's either been bought off or frightened into making such inconvenient claims. Or he's just a mischievous liar.

And, as I seemingly never get tired of pointing out, the Perpetual Big Lie™ strategy arose, and succeeds, because the "natural enemies" of authoritarian government overreach have been coerced or co-opted to a fare-thee-well. So mass-media venues, and even supposedly independent technical and scientific organizations, are part of the Perpetual Big Lie™ apparatus.

Even as the Big Liars reach a point of diminishing returns, they respond with more of the same. I wish I were more confident that this reprehensible practice will eventually fail due to the excess of malignant hubris; I'm not holding my breath.

Passer by , May 4, 2018 4:24:44 PM | 18

Is Putin capitulating? Pro US Alexei Kudrin could join new government to negotiate "end of sanctions" with the West.

Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin will be brought back to "mend fences with the West" in order to revive Russia's economy. Kudrin has repeatedly said that unless Russia makes her political system more democratic and ends its confrontation with Europe and the United States, she will not be able to achieve economic growth. Russia's fifth-columnists were exalted: "If Kudrin joined the administration or government, it would indicate that they have agreed on a certain agenda of change, including in foreign policy, because without change in foreign policy, reforms are simply impossible in Russia," said Yevgeny Gontmakher . . . who works with a civil society organization set up by Mr. Kudrin. "It would be a powerful message, because Kudrin is the only one in the top echelons with whom they will talk in the west and towards whom there is a certain trust."

Putting Kudrin -- an opponent of de-dollarization and an upholder of the Washington Consensus -- in charge of Russia's international outreach would be equal to putting Bill Clinton in charge of a girls' school.

It would mark Putin's de facto collapse as a leader. We shall know very soon. Either way, if anyone wondered what the approach to Russia would be from Bolton and Pompeo, we now know: they will play very hard ball with Putin, regardless of what he does (or doesn't do), and with carefree readiness to risk an eventual snap.

https://archive.is/1Ynms#selection-1641.0-1641.66

Formerly T-Bear , May 4, 2018 4:57:25 PM | 21
@ 20 Laguerre

Certainly looks like @ 18 is a fine example of what b is presenting.

A good way to extract one's self from the propaganda is to refuse using whatever meme the disinformation uses, e.g. that Sergei Skripal was a double agent -- that is not a known, only a convenient suggestion.

Military intelligence is far better described as military information needed for some project or mission. Not surreptitious cloak and dagger spying. This is not to say Sergei Scripal was a British spy for which he was convicted, stripped of rank and career and exiled through a spy swap. To continue using Sergei Scripal was a double agent only repeats and verifies the disinformation meme and all the framing that goes with it. Find some alternative to what MSM produces that does not embed truthiness to their efforts.

Peter Schmidt , May 4, 2018 5:08:52 PM | 23
In the Guardian I only read the comments, never the article. Here, I read both. That is the difference between propaganda and good reporting.
Emily Dickinson , May 4, 2018 5:09:00 PM | 24
@Michael Weddington 19

I realize it's from one of the biggest propaganda organs in the world... take this New York Times report of the OPCW's retraction with a 100 grams -- 100mg? -- of salt:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/world/europe/opcw-skripal-attack.html

karlof1 , May 4, 2018 5:12:57 PM | 25
Passer by @18--

This same narrative was put forth in 2016 and is just as false now as then. As I posted on Yemen thread earlier, Putin on 5 May is likely to announce the formation of a Stavka.

Kudrin is a neoliberal and as such is an enemy of humanity and will never again be allowed to hold a position of power within Russia's government. Let him emigrate to the West like his fellow parasites and teach junk economics at some likeminded university.

jalp , May 4, 2018 5:30:35 PM | 26
Anyone seen this reported elsewhere? https://www.rt.com/news/425810-white-helmets-us-funding-freeze/

[May 03, 2018] The Skripal Case and Bombing Syria Six Things We Learned About Modern Britain

Brits reinvented McCarthyism...
May 03, 2018 | sputniknews.com

... ... ...

1. The presumption of innocence doesn't apply to NeoCon targets.

The Skripal and Douma Incidents Are Parts of One Plan to Bring Russia Down – Chemist Innocent until proven guilty? Not if you're in the line of fire of the Endless War Lobby, comrade. Russia was accused of trying to poison the Skripals before a proper criminal investigation had even begun. The Syrian government was blamed for a chemical weapons attack, before we had independently verification that a chemical weapons attack had even taken place. The 'Official Narrative' on both cases has unravelled spectacularly. No 'smoking gun' evidence of either Russian involvement in the Skripal case or of the Douma CW attack has been produced. On the contrary, witnesses testified last week at The Hague that the Douma attack didn't happen.

But we're expected not to notice -- as the news cycle -- conveniently for the accusers- moves on to other stories.

2. Rupert Murdoch's Times newspaper plays an utterly pernicious role in British public life.

It was the Times which demanded action from Theresa May against Russia. It was the Times which has demanded (repeatedly, and again after the Skripal incident) that Ofcom acted against Russian media in the UK, such as RT. It was the Times, which accuses Russian media of peddling 'fake news', which reported Sergei Skripal as dead on its 12th March front page .

It was The Times which, on 14th March, falsely reported that 'almost 40' people had needed treatment in Salisbury, prompting Dr Stephen Davies, Comsultant in Emergency Medicine to write to the paper stating 'May I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning.'

​It was The Times, which on the day the US/UK and France launched illegal attacks on Syria in response to the unverified chemical weapons attack at Douma, carried a front page attack on British academics who dare to challenge the War Party line on Syria. It was The Times which smeared other critics of western foreign policy as 'Russian trolls', including a peace campaigner from Finland who had been battling cancer.

​John Wight has called the Times, the in-house organ of the neocon Henry Jackson Society. Its days as Britain's respected newspaper of record have certainly long gone.

3. Britain is only what is called a 'Democracy'.

Labour Leader Under Fire From Party MPs for Stance on Skripal Poisoning

Just think back to that Parliamentary debate on 14th March. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was attacked from his own side, for his cautious approach towards the government's unproven claims about the Skripal case. To add insult to injury a number of Labour MPs then signed Early Day Motion 1071 - which stated 'This House unequivocally accepts the Russian state's culpability for the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal'. Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith showed her support for Theresa May by saying 'We very much accept what the Prime Minister said.'

Corbyn, coming under enormous Establishment pressure did buckle, saying the Russian authorities 'needed to be held to account', even though later he still quite rightly insisted that 'absolute evidence' was needed.

READ MORE: UK Shouldn't 'Rush Ahead of Evidence' in Skripal Investigation -- Jeremy Corbyn

In bombing Syria on 14th April, Theresa May not only refused to recall Parliament, she also ignored public opinion which showed only 20% in favour of air strikes. In a genuine democracy that would have ruled out action. But May treated public opinion with utter contempt. That wonderful passage from 'The Comments of Moung Ka' by the Edwardian comic writer Saki springs readily to mind.

'The people of Britain are what is called a Democracy' said Moung Ka. 'A Democracy?' questioned Moung Thwa. What is that?'

'A Democracy' broke in Moung Shooglay eagerly, 'is a community that governs itself according to its own wishes and interests by electing accredited representatives who enact its laws and supervise and control their administration. It's aim and object is government of the community in the interests of the community'.

'Then', said Moung Thwa, turning to his neighbour, 'If the people of Britain are a Democracy-'

'I never said they were a Democracy', interrupted Moung Ka placidly.

'Surely we both heard you!', exclaimed Moung Thwa.

'Not correctly, said Moung Ka; 'I said they are what is called a Democracy'.

4. The 'free press' doesn't act as you'd expect a 'free press' to act.

The striking thing about the Skripal case and Syria bombings from a journalist's point of view has been the uniformity of the media coverage.

Right-wing papers like the Telegraph and liberal ones like The Guardian have taken exactly the same stance ie anti-Russian and anti-Syrian government. Whether its because of DSMA-Notices (see 6, below), or not, there's been no proper questioning of the UK government's claims about Salisbury -- and not much on Syria either. Investigative journalism? What's that?

The mainstream media is actually less diverse in its opinions now (on the things that really matter) than at the time of the Iraq war where publications like the New Statesman (now a 'centrist' Blairite organ), spoke out strongly against intervention. If you want a different perspective on Skripals and Syria you have had to tune in to Russian media, such as Sputnik and RT, and that of course is threatened by the NeoCon Thought Police, who want everyone to be singing from the same pro-war hymn sheet.

5. The role of the security services in the promotion of 'official narratives' is very important.

Every time a wheel has come off the Skripal narrative, we've been fed information to bolster it from 'official sources'. After the head of Porton Down said that the laboratory there was unable to confirm that the nerve agent allegedly used to poison the Skripals came from Russia, the line was pushed that 'intelligence-led assessments' pointed to Russian guilt. Could we see these 'assessments'? Of course not! We just have to believe that they're there. Then as the 'nerve handle placed on the door' theory began to gain a head of steam we were told that 'British Intelligence' had 'evidence' that Russia had been testing the nerve agent on door handles prior to 3rd March. Could we see this 'evidence'? No, of course not.

Alex Thomson of C4 News reported on 12th March that a 'D-Notice' had issued by the UK authorities to stop the media from fully identifying Sergei Skripal's MI6 handler who lived nearby.

​Were other DSMA-Notices issued too regarding the reporting of Salisbury? If it was so clear that Russia did it, why would they bother?

6. The British public aren't mugs (or sheep).

​Despite all the propaganda, all the hysterical headlines, all the blatantly biased coverage, the British haven't bought it. Literally or metaphorically. Inside the Tent gatekeepers have relentlessly attacked those brave individuals who have questioned the official narratives, but its these

individuals- smeared as 'crackpots' and 'conspiracy theorists' who the public are turning to for their analysis. Compare the number of retweets the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray gets when he publishes on the Skripal case, with those who try and denigrate him. My own Twitter following has increased by several thousands since early March. Citizen Halo got a big boost in followers after she was smeared by The Times. After the lies told about Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya people no longer tamely accept what the NeoCon Establishment tells us. We're at an 'Emperor's New Clothes' moment in British politics where more and more people have found the courage to say out loud 'The Emperor has no clothes!'. The elite have been lying to us and they know that we know they've been lying. The question is: what are we going to do about it?

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter

Support his AntiStalker Legal Fund (vs. a Times journalist)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

[Apr 29, 2018] The Guardian has become tabloid.

Apr 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Quentin | Apr 22, 2018 12:29:41 PM | 7

The Carla Ortiz and Jimmy Dore exchange is fascinating. Each in her/his own way is superb. The Guardian has become boulevard press = tabloid. Nearly every day before and even after the US election Mrs. Clinton gloated on the front page. Bernie Sanders was no where to be seen nearly until the election. Now the Guardian is priming its readers for the stomach-churning royal wedding coming up. No, no more Guardian for me. And they have the gall to ask for money to turn out articles praising the White Helemts. No! Curtis , Apr 22, 2018 12:32:23 PM | 8

Anonymous 4
BBC took on Vannessa Beeley recently, too. Will NYT and WaPo be next? The anti-Russia agenda continues along with the anti-truth-in-Syria agenda.

AriusAmerican 5
During the Bush II fiasco, there were anti-war protests. The protests disappeared after Obama took office. And he was given a Nobel Peace Prize for talking about peace. But everyone went along with Obama's wars. No protests. And that's how they like it. They want support and tend to get it from the MSM and party lackeys. And if they don't get support, the one thing they don't want are massive protests, calls to congress, etc. As long as there's little to no resistance their war agenda continues.

Curtis , Apr 22, 2018 12:49:24 PM | 9
PS
The HuffPoUK article tears into Beeley but at the bottom has a Russian submission to the Security Council of a report she did of the White Helmets. That report negates the article/story! HuffPoUK claims this is part two of a series and that part three will "look at evidence presented against the White Helmets." That should be interesting.

Anonymous2 | Apr 22, 2018 1:50:23 PM | 12

Curtis

"The anti-Russia agenda continues along with the anti-truth-in-Syria agenda."

I dont get it why these journalists are against finding out what happend (since we dont know that yet)? Most of these morons have no idea about the conflict at all, and all of a sudden start writing like they are veteran journalists and have profound knowledge about Syria.

Why is there such a hatred? Is it brainwashing?


[Apr 29, 2018] Immigration and identity politics

Apr 29, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:41

If you are saying that their expertise lies elsewhere, that is surely self-evident?
Crazymoomin , 24 Apr 2018 05:37

Working-class white people may claim to be against identity politics, but they actually crave identity politics.

I think they probably see it more of a "if you can't beat them, join them" scenario. They see the way the wind is blowing and decide if they want representation, they have to play the game, even if they don't really like the rules.

Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:30
No sloth will make you live in poverty, unless you are actually the animal the sloth.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 05:28
The detail. They don't know the detail. They don't have the expertise. Which is what this article is about.

They don't know what they're talking about, even if they do know what they want.

cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:22
.... but see my previous post.

They know enough about the EU to know that it isn't one of their patrons and sponsors. They also know that Westminster have been systematically misrepresenting the EU for their own purposes for decades, and they can use the same approach.

What more is required?

CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:15
are we supposed to be impressed by your middle income? Poverty is not caused by sloth.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 05:12
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Ron Jackson -> CharlesBradlaugh , 24 Apr 2018 05:08
Not a fool and I don't hate anyone at 55 I have 1.2M in investments, I make 165k a year and pay 40k+ a year in taxes. I to come across people who live off of we everyday and expect to free load. I am not a blowhard just an engineer who pays for sloth.
KeyboardChimp , 24 Apr 2018 05:07
Non expert berating non experts. The Michael Massing paradox.
CharlesBradlaugh -> Ron Jackson , 24 Apr 2018 04:57
I've met many fools like you in my over 50 years on the planet, blowhards parading their ignorance as a badge of pride, thinking that their hatred of anyone not exactly like them is normal, mistaking what some cretin says on the far right radio for fact.

You people would be comical if not for the toxicity that your stupidity engenders.

Monkeybiz -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 04:51
It's a play on the motto "One country under God". Rather clever, I thought.
Monkeybiz -> Andrew Nichols , 24 Apr 2018 04:50
Yes, there is a deep lack of context and hence dilution of meaning as a result
Monkeybiz -> Navarth , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Al Jazeera tries to do a better job, at least providing a spectrum of opinion and a lot of depth in quite a few issues, something most other networks fail to do these days.
StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:48
Don't think I am confusing anything.

My point was about expertise. Brexiteers have goals about which I agree with you.

My point is that they don't know about the subject, the EU, which they are using to achieve their goals.

Monkeybiz -> breitling1884 , 24 Apr 2018 04:47
Really? Were they repeated?
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:37
Don't fall into the associated trap either, of the false equation between STATED and ACTUAL goals.

Fox and Hunt are fully aware that to actually admit their actual goal, would be (probably) just about the only thing which would provoke an electoral backlash which would sweep the Conservatives from office. The NHS is proverbially "the nearest thing the English have, to a religion" and is a profoundly dangerous subject for debate.

Fox and Hunt may be weaving an incomprehensible web of sophistry and misdirection, but no part of it is accidental.

StevoT -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 04:31
Don't disagree with this. Doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:12
Please, please don't make the unfounded assumption that people like Fox, Johnson, Cameron et al are as stupid as they sometimes appear.

Fox and Hunt, in particular, know exactly what they are engaged in - a hard-right coup designed to destroy government control over the NHS and route its enormous cash flows into the pockets of their private, mostly American sponsors. It isn't necessary to look far, to discover their connections and patronage from this source.

Johnson is consumed by ambition, as was Cameron before him; like Cameron, he makes much of his self-presumed fitness for the role, whilst producing no supporting evidence of any description.

Brexit, as defined by its advocates, CANNOT be discussed precisely because no rational debate exists. It hinges upon the Conservative Party's only fear, that of disunity leading to Opposition. They see that Labour are 50-odd seats short of a majority, and that's ALL they see.

cynical_bystander -> aurelian , 24 Apr 2018 04:06
What in God's green world are you talking about? Did you read that before pressing "Post"? It's obvious that you have no knowledge whatsoever of the subject.

The "race riots" of the 1940s and 1950s were essentially about employment protection (the first, regarding the importation of Yemeni seamen into the North-East of England). The mostly Pakistani influx into the North-West of England was an attempt to cut labour costs and prop up a dying, obsolete industry, mortally wounded by the loss of its business model in the aftermath of Empire; an industry whose very bricks and mortar are long since gone, but the imported labour and their descendants remain... the influx of Caribbean labour into London and the South-East was focussed around the railways and Underground, to bolster the local labour force which had little interest in dead-end shift-work jobs in the last days of steam traction and the increasingly run-down Underground.

Labour, in those days, was strongly anti-immigration precisely because it saw no value in it, to their unionised, heavy-industry voter base.

Regarding the ideological, anti-British, anti-democratic nature of Labour's conversion to mass immigration, you need only read the writings and speeches of prominent figures of the day such as Roy Hattersley and Harriet Harman, who say exactly this, quite clearly and in considerable detail. Their ideological heirs, figures like Diane Abbot (who is stridently anti-white and anti-British), Andrew Neather and Hazel Blears, can speak for themselves.

sgwnmr -> SteveofCaley , 24 Apr 2018 03:50
I guess you're of the "when I'm doubt talk gibberish" school of argument capitulation.
StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 03:17
I was recently struck by this part of the Guardian obituary of Lady Farrington of Ribbleton:

' she possessed the important defining characteristic that, above others, wins admiration across all the red leather benches in the House of Lords: she knew what she was talking about'

Too often these days we are governed by people who don't know what they are talking about. Never has this been truer than the likes of Fox, Davis, Johnson, and other Brexiteers.

But this doesn't seem to matter much anymore. At times it seems that anyone can make generised assertions about something, without having to back them up with evidence, and then wave away questions about their veracity.

Opinion now trumps evidence regularly, even on the BBC where Brexit ideology is often now given a free pass. The problem for those of us who value expertise is that with the likes of Trump, and some EU Leavers, we are up against a bigotry which is evangelical in nature. A gospel that cannot be questioned, a creed that allows no other thinking.

SteveofCaley -> sgwnmr , 24 Apr 2018 02:37
The best you can do is complain about "this?" This WHAT? Try a noun. You're being an embarrassment to troglodytes everywhere. Don't just point and leap up and down. Your forefathers died in bringing you a language. Be an expressive hominid and name the thing that hurts.
gilstra , 24 Apr 2018 02:29
It seems at the moment the Guardian also suffers from a glut of experts without expertise. Not a day goes by that my jaw doesn't drop at some inane claim made by what seems to be a retinue of contributors who have neither good writing skills nor a particularly wide look on things. An example today: "Unlike Hillary Clinton, I never wanted to be someone's wife". How extraordinary. Who says she ever 'wanted to be someone's wife'? Maybe she fell in love with someone all those years ago and they decided to get married? Who knows. But sweeping statements like that do not endear you to quite a few of your once very loyal readers. It's annoying.
aurelian -> cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 02:03
I think this posits an overriding explanation for people's actions that doesn't exist. Even the idea that immigration is a new liberal plot. Take the wind rush generation of immigrants while there was a Tory government at the time I think the idea this was an attempt to undermine white working class gains is provably nonsensical
cynical_bystander , 24 Apr 2018 01:21
The problem with this article, and the numerous other similar pieces which appear in the various editions of the Guardian on a "regular-and-often" basis, is that it completely avoids a very basic point, because it has no answer to it.

It is this.

The white British (and by extension, Western) populations never wanted mass immigration because they knew from the outset, that its purpose was to undermine the social and political gains they had wrested from the political and financial elite after 1945. They cared not at all for the fratricidal conflicts between alien religions and cultures, of which they knew little and regarded what they did know as unacceptable.

The US achieved a huge economic boom without it. Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the USA were popular destinations for the British population whose goal and mantra was "no return to the thirties" and who emigrated in large numbers.

White semi-skilled and unskilled (and increasingly, lower middle class) populations everywhere reject, and have always rejected third world mass immigration (and more recently, in some areas, mass emigration from the former Soviet Union) for the simple, and sufficient reason that they have no possible reason or incentive to support or embrace it. It offers them nothing, and its impact on their lives is wholly negative in practical terms - which is how a social group which lives with limited or no margins between income and outgoings, necessarily
perceives life.

Identity politics has no roots amongst them, because they correctly perceive that whatever answer it might produce, there is no possible outcome in which the preferred answer will be a semi-skilled, white family man. They inevitably pick up a certain level of the constant blare of "racist bigot, homophobe, Islsmophobia" from its sheer inescapability, but they aren't COMPLETELY stupid.

RalphDemming , 24 Apr 2018 01:00
Dumb and dumber writers...

[Apr 29, 2018] America is plagued by neocon experts without expertise

blowhards parading their ignorance as a badge of pride, thinking that their hatred of anyone not exactly like them is normal
Apr 29, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 05:41
If you are saying that their expertise lies elsewhere, that is surely self-evident?
cynical_bystander -> StevoT , 24 Apr 2018 04:37
Don't fall into the associated trap either, of the false equation between STATED and ACTUAL goals.

Fox and Hunt are fully aware that to actually admit their actual goal, would be (probably) just about the only thing which would provoke an electoral backlash which would sweep the Conservatives from office. The NHS is proverbially "the nearest thing the English have, to a religion" and is a profoundly dangerous subject for debate.

Fox and Hunt may be weaving an incomprehensible web of sophistry and misdirection, but no part of it is accidental.

[Apr 21, 2018] Growing disillusionment of mass audience in neoliberal MSM

Notable quotes:
"... I think the most amazing thing to come from this is that nobody believes politicians or the papers say, listen to any phone in radio show or read the comments below articles, nobody believes the government or msm. I wouldn't go to war for these fuckers. ..."
"... The media proclaimed the overthrow of the Mosadegh government in Iran as 'popular', the overthrow of Allende in Chile as legitimate, the Gulf of Tonkin affair as real, the WMDs of Iraq as existing, the evil of Qaddafi as intolerable, etc. ..."
"... Money, Oil, Carving Land Territory. ..."
"... Bombing a sovereign country without UN mandate is a war crime. It applies to UK and USA as well. But Brexit obsessed Brits think UK is above the International law. ..."
"... Has anyone asked.. why would Russia allow a chemical weapons attack in Syria only a few weeks after apparently launching a chemical weapons attack in Britain?.. something is not right here. ..."
"... The Putin regime may be nasty..but are they really that thick?? Remember remember 45 minutes to launch...(?) Tony Bliar is haunting me..and I suspect..the entire nation ..."
"... In the 1980s we sided with the jihadists and bin laden in Afghanistan. Which then was repaid with 9/11. Now we are siding with the jihadists in Syria. The blowback will be bigger than 9/11. ..."
"... 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 ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

David williams , 13 Apr 2018 15:23

Not a supporter of any of the criminal operations that masquerade as governments worldwide, but it's way past the time when I can believe a word the Western powers utter in their quest to spread their vile economic doctrine.
For me the biggest question now is how best to avoid financing the evil they perpetrate
dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:22
So the Russian military claimed a month ago that Syrian rebels were planning a chlorine chemical weapon attack somewhere in Syria, three weeks later a chemical weapon chlorine attack happens in Douma... but the UK government along with all the UK mainstream media do not question perhaps it's the Jihadi/rebels who staged this attack, they ALL automatically blame Assad? Stinks to high heaven.

TrickleDownClowns , 13 Apr 2018 16:18

I think the most amazing thing to come from this is that nobody believes politicians or the papers say, listen to any phone in radio show or read the comments below articles, nobody believes the government or msm. I wouldn't go to war for these fuckers.
Canajin , 13 Apr 2018 16:09

The media proclaimed the overthrow of the Mosadegh government in Iran as 'popular', the overthrow of Allende in Chile as legitimate, the Gulf of Tonkin affair as real, the WMDs of Iraq as existing, the evil of Qaddafi as intolerable, etc.

So, why is the media surprised when people lack trust in them about Syria?

GLT24 , 13 Apr 2018 16:09
Everywhere on the web the vast majority are vehemently opposed to military involvement .

Yet we have a PM and at least 300 MPs champing at the bit to get involved in military conflict that could obliterate these islands in a few minutes.

We are not under threat there might not have been a chemical attack and if there was we have no idea who the perpetrators were but it almost certainly was not Assad he had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Trump announced he wanted the US out of Syria a couple of weeks ago not good news for the military industrial complex.

There is significant evidence that through the internet and social media the population are no longer fooled by the false flag operations of the deep state.

We in the U.K. have a significant problem who is a threat to all of us and that is the PM she was exposed during the election and over Brexit this must be the end it is totally unacceptable that we could get involved in an attack on another sovereign state who are no threat to us on the say so of a small number of MPs in a minority Government.

The duty of the Government is to protect its citizens not put their lives at risk to engratatiate themselves to a Foreign Power with a deranged egomaniac as it's President

MayThisBeLove -> zinopus , 13 Apr 2018 16:09
Because they are mostly Blairite warmongers who just repeat government press releases
ID5996032 , 13 Apr 2018 16:04
Assad's not your puppy. Mohammed Bin Salman is. BAE re-arms his jets between crop-burning sorties in Yemen. When you've stopped the Saudi starvation and brutalization of Yemen -which you can because your gavernment facilitates it - come back and we'll talk about Syria. Until then we'll assume that your lachrimose offerings on gassed babies is propaganda. And that's because it is.
algae64 -> rustledust74 , 13 Apr 2018 16:04

the Iranians are just as bad as the Saudis

Tehran has churches and synagogues all over the city. Riyadh does not. Religious tolerance is better than religious intolerance, IMO.
I don't have a problem with anyone talking to anyone about anything, as long as Britain hasn't declared war on the country they are talking to.
MayThisBeLove , 13 Apr 2018 16:04
If its down to believing Assad and common sense over Trust me Theresa and her unwillingness to refer the matter to Parliament and democracy ... then its Assad and common sense every time ... he may be a dictator but he's no idiot
PeterMarkham , 13 Apr 2018 16:03
What makes chemical weapons so much worse than any others? If we go into military action over this we will kill people but we won't use chemical weapons. Will that be alright then?
georgina45 -> anothernorthernmonke , 13 Apr 2018 16:03
Some think this is about oil and a pipeline going through the Middle East states and if it goes through the heart of Syria then Russia and Syria of control of the oil flow going into Europe.
Terry Haller -> 1of9monkeys , 13 Apr 2018 16:01
Any involvement Iran has in the region good or bad is at least understandable , it's their neighborhood and they were invited . It is more difficult to understand the presence or involvement of Britain or America or France or that other country we are not allowed to talk about.
Kokkos -> Brexshit , 13 Apr 2018 16:01
Money, Oil, Carving Land Territory.
Muphrid33 , 13 Apr 2018 16:01
What many people do not fully realize is that no leader, no matter how harsh or strong would have been able to survive the destruction that has overtaken Syria if he was considered responsible for it. His own people and armed forces would have thrown him out if he did not have their support.
MayThisBeLove , 13 Apr 2018 16:01
" 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. '

No , Johnathan , it was planned .. see the PNAC etc ...

LiviaDrusilla -> Fomalhaut88 , 13 Apr 2018 15:52
Why the obsession with Corbyn? He's the leader of the opposition. He's not the one clamorouring to send Britain to war on an extremely dodgy pretext.

But if you're going with that line of argument, why not send all the hacks cheerleading for war to do some 'behind the front lines' reportage with the Army of Islam? Always good to see things from different perspectives, though they might not survive to tell the tale.

yemrajesh -> LouisConn , 13 Apr 2018 15:52
Bombing a sovereign country without UN mandate is a war crime. It applies to UK and USA as well. But Brexit obsessed Brits think UK is above the International law.
leftylass62 -> diddoit , 13 Apr 2018 15:52
She knows many of her own party won't back her and the DUP voted against bombing Syria last time. Where's the millions it's going to cost coming from when we can't afford to give school kids a free dinner or pay for the NHS?
Patrick Moore , 13 Apr 2018 15:51
I really struggle to see to understand the argument for military action in Syria.

Firstly every time we intervene militarily we stuff it up and make matters ten times worse.

  1. Gulf War 1 - left Sadam in power, tens of thousands of Iraqis killed, pushed Sadam into being a major sponsor of anti Weatern terrorism and then the Kurds were abandoned to Sadam at the end of the war and massacred.
  2. Afghanistan - what the hell was that about? Trillions spent and it descended into Islamist anarchy within 5 minutes of us keaving.
  3. Gulf War 2 - set the Middle East on fire, total disintegration of Iraq, the death of millions of Iraqis and the rise of ISIS.
  4. Libya - failed state, massive refugee crisis.

But even if you assume that for once we can act militarily in a way that doesn't make the situation worse - what is it that we are trying to achieve?

Assad has won. The opposition has been killed or expelled from the country and the resistance is down to a few villages which are being mopped up.

The time for a military response was 7 years ago - it is an absolutely pointless waste of time now - unless the point is just to make us feel better about ourselves by "doing something".

Squiddlywidget , 13 Apr 2018 15:51

Has anyone asked.. why would Russia allow a chemical weapons attack in Syria only a few weeks after apparently launching a chemical weapons attack in Britain?.. something is not right here.

The Putin regime may be nasty..but are they really that thick?? Remember remember 45 minutes to launch...(?) Tony Bliar is haunting me..and I suspect..the entire nation

Kokkos -> LouisConn , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
There seem to be lot of deformed babies born in Iraq and Afganistan.
BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
In the 1980s we sided with the jihadists and bin laden in Afghanistan. Which then was repaid with 9/11. Now we are siding with the jihadists in Syria. The blowback will be bigger than 9/11.
zinopus , 13 Apr 2018 15:49
You either don't get it Jonathan, or you bury your head in the sand. WHO do you want to get rid of first: the head chopping thugs or someone else you can deal with later? This is not about who is the most desirable but who is for the time being the least worst? For a start you are ASSUMING that the now completely unproven "evidence" about chemical attacks is a given. IT IS NOT.

Almost every single point you make is based upon speculation, mainstream media assumptions or downright lies. Wake up please. For goodness sake why doesn't your newspaper have a single journalist who actually knows what is really going on in Syria?

ben_k11 , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
It is hard to be pro interventionist after the epical f up in Iraq and Libya, but it seems to me that Assad should and must get a hard punishment. Assad should not have WMDs since those weapons were handed over to be destroyed in Russia in 2014. Russia is a guarantor of this deal. Yet, Assad has and continues to use WMDs in the presence and I believe advice from the Russian military.

As for the military intervention itself I think 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 ....

[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] 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] 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] 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] 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 , 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 20, 2018] That is why Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Alistair Campbell fought so hard to oppose invasion of Iraq. I feel terrible for them

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ID3052003 , 13 Apr 2018 14:11

"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. "

That is why Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Alistair Campbell fought so hard to oppose invasion of Iraq. In the end they had to resort an academic paper to do it. I feel terrible for them.

[Apr 20, 2018] A briefing room somewhere in Damascus

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung, 13 Apr 2018 13:18

A briefing room somewhere in Damascus

Assad: So tell me, what is the military situation?

Generals: We are winning and winning decisively Mr President and the terrorists are pulling out of East Ghoutta

Assad: Excellent news. I suggest we kill a few dozen innocent civilians in a gas attack to celebrate.

Generals: Mr President, this would be utter folly. It would serve no possible military purpose and would risk catastrophic air strikes against our military assets.

Assad: Do it anyway! ** strokes fluffy white cat with a Mwwahh, mwah, mwah. **

[Apr 20, 2018] Striking Syria now will not halt the suffering of the Syrian people

Notable quotes:
"... it's pretty obvious what the likes of Isis would have done to the non-extremists in Syria - the Christians and anyone not of their puritanical strain. ..."
"... Assad is no more a butcher than the countries that armed, trained and financed the rebels, the USA prominent among them ..."
"... The problem with Syria is from the start the West saw Assad as an easy domino that will fold like Saddam and Gadaffi ..."
"... Something I also notice not mentioned is the amount of billions that weapons manufacturers and their lackeys in the foreign office make out of these destabilized countries. ..."
"... When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon... But somehow 70 years later cruise missiles are liberators when deployed by us. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

beingsentient , 13 Apr 2018 13:12

The situation in Syria is more nuanced than just calling out Assad as a butcher of his own people. For one, he is a butcher of some of his own people, for many others he must seem like a saviour as without his regime's resistance it's pretty obvious what the likes of Isis would have done to the non-extremists in Syria - the Christians and anyone not of their puritanical strain.

The real issue is that the established powers are struggling to cope with a multi-polar world. It was only a few decades ago that the world's capitalists were looking forward to a 'new world order' without any serious opponents. But then things went wrong, and countries refused to lay down for their new masters. Not only that, but Russia re-awoke and rejected the funnelling of its wealth into the coffers of the West via a few carefully selected oligarchs. Putin is undoubtedly not to liberal tastes, but he is the kind of leader Russians are historically used to and who has put Russia back on the map as a world power.

Striking Syria now will not halt the suffering of the Syrian people, and it will place the whole world in jeopardy. The potential price is too high. The best thing that could happen now is that Trump is removed from office and replaced by a sane politician intelligent enough to look after America's interests peacefully. Would the Syrian rebels have even started their uprising if they hadn't thought that they would be backed-up by the liberal West? We should withdraw from Syria and allow history and the Syrian people to make their own peace from the rubble.

Andersie , 13 Apr 2018 13:12
The two main points of this argument are so hypocritical that I want to start yelling at the screen.

First, that Assad is a butcher because the war made half a million victims. No, Assad is no more a butcher than the countries that armed, trained and financed the rebels, the USA prominent among them. If they hadn't done that to advance their own strategic objectives and to topple dictator they didn't like (because there's a lot of dictators that they like), the war wouldn't have even started. The 500000 victims are on the US's conscience, not Assad's.

Second, the idea that "It is indeed strange, but the extra revulsion at the use of chemical weapons is not groundless. The taboo on the use of such weapons held, with exceptions, for nearly a century."

Respectfully, it's bullshit. It emerged in 2013 that Saddam was helped by the USA gassing 50000 Iranians, both soldiers and civilians, in the 1980s- with chemical weapons developed with the help of American, British and French companies, among others. Exactly those that find unacceptable now the idea that 40 civilians *might* have been killed in a chemical attack by the "butcher" Assad. So tell us, when are these countries going to bomb themselves, as a just retribution for their heinous crimes?

HellHoundOnMyTrail -> radical , 13 Apr 2018 13:10
But there is *no* evidence that Assad has even done this. On the contrary, Russia has even accused the U.K government of being complicit in Douma.

Just apply logic to this: why would Assad do this? He has, buttressed by Russia, all but 'won' this wretched, heartbreaking civil war. So, on the cusp, he decides do use chemical weapons which all but guarantees the U.S will stay in Syria funding the 'rebels' that he's fighting. Sorry, it's just ludicrous to think he would do this.

supercool , 13 Apr 2018 13:10
The problem with Syria is from the start the West saw Assad as an easy domino that will fold like Saddam and Gadaffi, but with one subtle difference Syria is a government that has the backing of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah from the start. That they will not let Assad fall easily to have a puppet regime installed in Damascus that will do the West's bidding. No way that was going to happen. Iran saw it as a chance to consolidate itself as a hegemon in he Middle East and Russia as chance for payback time for their humiliation in Iraq and Libya, they were treated as an irrelevant country.

Assad is lucky and knows it, the West does not seem to learn that their interventions are resented around the world and smacks of neo-colonialism. Syria is third time unlucky, Russia, Iran and Syria are goading the West. It is your move and one false move they will be laughing for a long time. Lesson in this is let countries resolve their problems by themselves, Syria will not be the first or last country to see the use of Chemical weapons. It is vile & disgusting way to attack civilians but remember we supplied Saddam the same weapons to attack Iran in the 1980's and the world did nothing then. The West is not part of the solution in Syria neither from the start or now. Read the history books on who put the Alwaites and Assad's in power. It was France, the same France claiming they have evidence against Assad now. Please!

CanWeNotKnockIt -> Etagere , 13 Apr 2018 13:09
What is your plan?
What is your aim?
Has recent history taught you nothing?
ManUpTheTree -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 13:09
Something I also notice not mentioned is the amount of billions that weapons manufacturers and their lackeys in the foreign office make out of these destabilized countries.
jane carter , 13 Apr 2018 13:03
The West is capable of lying and fabricating reasons to go to war. The lies told to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are evidence enough of that.
HelenWilsonMK , 13 Apr 2018 12:46
When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon... But somehow 70 years later cruise missiles are liberators when deployed by us. The war crime committed by Bommer Harris on the people of Dresden shows you cannot bomb people into peace... So why are we still trying?

[Apr 20, 2018] Growing disillusionment of mass audience in neoliberal MSM

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

David williams , 13 Apr 2018 15:23

Not a supporter of any of the criminal operations that masquerade as governments worldwide, but it's way past the time when I can believe a word the Western powers utter in their quest to spread their vile economic doctrine.
For me the biggest question now is how best to avoid financing the evil they perpetrate
dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:22
So the Russian military claimed a month ago that Syrian rebels were planning a chlorine chemical weapon attack somewhere in Syria, three weeks later a chemical weapon chlorine attack happens in Douma... but the UK government along with all the UK mainstream media do not question perhaps it's the Jihadi/rebels who staged this attack, they ALL automatically blame Assad? Stinks to high heaven.