#Brexit: The Men Who Want to Push Britain Off a Cliff

The Men Who Want to Push Britain Off a Cliff

Theresa May has a Brexit deal. Now a group of feckless Conservatives wants to torpedo everything.

The pro-Brexit, Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking to the media outside the Houses of Parliament on Thursday.CreditCreditMatt Dunham/Associated Press

LONDON — I am scared. The markets are scared. The politicians I have been talking to are scared, or livid.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her deal with the European Union. Within 48 hours, Britain’s government spun into crisis. Mrs. May’s survival is threatened as furious prominent Brexiteers go public with their intention to unseat her. Four ministers have resigned, more resignations may follow and nobody believes that she has the votes to get her deal through Parliament. What happens after that is a conundrum.

The cause of this paralysis is the hard-line Brexiteers, a frighteningly powerful cohort within Mrs. May’s Conservative Party, a group that is heedless about economic damage to Britain in pursuit of a political goal.

The first minister to resign was Mrs. May’s Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, a cold-eyed man in a hurry, a flintily ambitious Thatcherite. The bid to topple Mrs. May was initiated by Jacob Rees-Mogg, a vain, drawling member of Parliament, a financier who once campaigned alongside his nanny in a Mercedes and has built a career as a political rock star and possible leader on the back of such affectation. They join an earlier defector, the flailing, floppy-haired Boris Johnson, a man who is half-crazed by his repeated failure to become the Conservative Party’s leader and who is desperate to grasp at his last chance, even if it means undermining the country.

Everything is up in the air in Britain’s tumultuous politics right now, but there is one certainty: There is no limit to the practical, economic and psychological damage these Brexiteers are prepared to inflict on the rest of us in the pursuit of their delusions or their demented desire for power.

They savage Mrs. May’s deal and offer no practical suggestions for anything else. This is an utter failure of responsibility. Yes, the prime minister’s deal is pitiful, an awkward compromise that will hobble Britain’s economy and diminish our power. But the truth is — and everyone knows this — there is no better, purer Brexit available without a permanent economic hit.

If they were reasonable people, the pro-Brexit faction would now be shocked into facing reality. But they are not. These are the same politicians who tricked voters out of Europe by promising them that leaving would be all gain and no pain. Britain would become proud, sovereign, powerful, more prosperous. It could slash immigration, enrich its health service, cut magnificent and profitable trade deals with the rest of the world, opt out of European Union laws and still trade with and travel freely in Europe.

It was always rubbish, marketed by people deliberately indifferent to facts. The European Union was never going to let us leave the club while retaining all the advantages of belonging, any more than a tennis club allows ex-members to use the facilities for free. It said so, patiently, repeatedly. The agonizing negotiations of the past 18 months proved that over and over

Mrs. May finally managed some wriggling round the edges, reducing part of the huge and unavoidable economic penalties of Brexit by keeping Britain in the European Union Customs Union and parts of the single market. It is a valuable concession, and one the European Union has agreed to principally in order to not inflame sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, which would otherwise have to rebuild a border with the Irish Republic. The price that must be paid for remaining in the market is that Britain agrees to faithfully track and follow its rules, while no longer having any voice in how they are made.

These restrictions have sent the hard-line Brexiteers into a cold fury, but they were inevitable. You can’t even join a tennis match if you insist on drawing your own courts and deciding your own scores. The Brexit fanatics blindly ignore that. They have learned nothing, acknowledged nothing.

Rather than accepting their shameful role in deceiving voters over what was possible, they are doubling down on denunciation. They accuse Mrs. May of betrayal, of trapping and binding the country, of breaking her word. It is sheer selfish manipulation, political destructiveness on a huge scale, because they cannot get what they want; indeed, they cannot agree among themselves on what they want. They want the prime minister removed, but while they may secure the votes to challenge her, they’re unlikely to get enough to unseat her.

Even if they succeed in wounding her so deeply that she decides to step down and a hard-line Brexiteer takes her place, a new prime minister cannot negotiate a harder Brexit; the European Union has made it clear that the withdrawal deal is closed. If these craven politicians did find their way to power and tried to force a “no deal” Brexit — leaving the European Union without any kind of agreement in place — Parliament and the country would revolt. Nearly four out of five voters thought Brexit was going badly this July. In some areas that voted Leave, there have been big swings toward staying in the European Union.

In their grab for power, these monstrous, preening egos, desperate for validation and vindication, are already steering the Brexit process out of control, knocking Mrs. May’s deal sideways, increasing the speed at which investors and businesses flee. This chaos could last weeks or months. But the group’s ruthlessness in mowing down the middle ground of a compromise Brexit may give them whiplash. For members of Parliament, who must pass the final vote on any Brexit deal, the recent Brexiteer extremism has made their choices far starker and has raised the stakes.

If Mrs. May’s deal cannot get through Parliament, and the nightmare of a no-deal looms, then it becomes much more likely that a decisive number of members of Parliament will resolve that the final decision has to be returned to the electorate, in a second referendum that is being called the People’s Vote. Last month, an estimated 700,000 people marched in London in support of such a referendum.

The People’s Vote could offer the British electorate three choices: no deal, Mrs. May’s deal and remaining in the European Union. A recent poll found support for such a vote is now running at almost 60 percent, while the Remain vote has shifted from 48 percent in the referendum to 54 percent now.

A few weeks ago, I feared that a second vote would feel illegitimate, that a compromise Brexit, though bad for the country, should go ahead. The dangerous intransigence of the hardest Brexiteers has changed my calculation, and may change that of many others.

These hard-liners are ruthless. They aren’t prepared to accept a compromise that the prime minister has constructed for them. Instead, they are blowing it up. By eliminating the center option, they intend to push Britain to the hardest possible Brexit, toward the wrecked economy and shattered lives that would follow. They have destroyed any sense that I — and many others — had, that we owe it to them to honor and accept the original referendum. They are polarizing and galvanizing us. If no deal is the Brexiteers’ preferred option, I can with a clear conscience campaign for Remain in a People’s Vote. Anyone else could, too.

It’s just possible that the crash the Brexiteers are engineering could also be their own.

Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) is a columnist for The Times of London and a contributing opinion writer.

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The US Cyber Command has launched an offensive against Russia by Ruslan Ostashko

Via The Saker

Making a Massacre into a Lesson

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22 July is among the most interesting films in recent years. It is a dramatisation of the 2011 attacks in Norway that were committed by lone terrorist Anders Behring Breivik against the government and a Workers’ Youth League Student summer camp. The title comes from the day Breivik murdered 77 people and injured hundreds more.

Paul Greengrass wrote, directed and produced the film and he presents a unique perspective on objectivism. Instead of the usual banal presentation of a killer as a psychotic character removed from any recognisable human path, we meet Breivik, a cold, calculating person who is fully aware of his actions. Motivated by a political call, he takes the lives of dozens. The film examines the logos behind the deadliest attack in Europe since World War II by giving us an intimate look into the mind of an ideological cold blooded mass murderer and exploring his political mantra.

In this profound effort at cinematic objectivism, Greengrass breaks out of the clichéd liberal universe that is limited to a regime of correctness and obscene name-calling. The film invites us to look closely at Breivik’s universe: to examine his logic, to face his lethal boldness, to be horrified by his inhumanity but also to accept that he could easily be our next door neighbour. In his introductory  meeting with his lawyer Geir Lippestad, the latter asks Breivik to  explain his actions. In the coldest possible manner, Breivik answers,

“I have started a war to take control of Norway and the West.”

Of the innocent kids that were massacred by him Breivik says,

“they were traitors, children of the elite, leaders of tomorrow…”

Later, facing a detective investigation, Breivik says it as he sees it.

“We want Islam out of Europe.”

Breivik never shows remorse. To the question ‘why kids?’ Breivik answers

“I wanted to hit them (the liberals, the elite, etc.) where it hurts the most.”

Breivik doesn’t feel sorry for his victims, he sees himself as a freedom fighter.  For him it is a war of life or death. He insists upon defending his actions in court despite the fact that his lawyer suggested that he might be able to use an ‘insanity defense’  to be institutionalised instead of imprisoned.

We live in a world in which mass shooting are daily news. They are not just an American symptom associated with the availability of ‘automatic weapons;’ political terror is at least as common.  Such killings mark a new development that must be related to a significant global cultural shift. This is not merely an anecdotal battle over the 2nd Amendment, it demands a profound study of the transition in our human conditions that has made mass killings everyday events. I believe the shift has something to do with people growing up in a universe with no prospect of a future. It has something to do with the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the war against family values. It has a lot to do with the war against the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests.  And of course, it has a lot to do with the internet and game culture. If people do not go to work, they must be kept busy, and this is done by the internet, computer games and free drugs.

22 July is a crucial document because Breivik is not alone. In fact, Breiviks have won many battles since  2011. They won the Brexit referendum, they won the election in the USA and Breivik’s mantra (as opposed to his actions) has transformed into a popular political stand that is winning ground in the West and for a reason.

To cure our society and to save the West is to roll back time to identify where we lost our ability to listen, to be compassionate, to care for each other and to understand the crucial role of the church and the family. Unfortunately, so-called liberals and the new left aren’t helpful in this goal. Instead, they separate us into self centred identitarian factions dominated by a strict Jerusalemite regime of correctness and righteousness. What we must do is to reinstate the Athenian ethos of true pluralism, governed by the search for truth, beauty, ethics and the universal.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews

Via The Saker

October 18, 2018

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews, Moscow, October 16, 2018

Question: The issue of Russia’s financial contribution to the Council of Europe has long been on the agenda after Russia’s voting right was suspended. How important is the Council of Europe to Russia? What, in your view, is the likely solution to this impasse?

Sergey Lavrov: The Council of Europe is going through a serious crisis and not because Russia suspended its contribution more than a year ago but due to the reasons you mentioned: because Russia was denied the right to vote. This happened in 2014 as punishment for the free expression of will by Crimea residents, who voted in favour of reintegration with Russia at a referendum. This punishment was imposed on the members of parliament that were elected by the population of Russia and sent as a delegation to the Council of Europe.

The sanctions imposed in 2014 became tougher in 2015. As a result, the Russian members of parliament were stripped of all rights whatsoever and were only allowed to be present at the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and listen to anti-Russia statements without having an opportunity to answer, which is, strictly speaking, regular practice in any normal parliament where, even if tensions are running high, it is always possible to answer and compare different positions. Our members of parliament were denied this right for three years even though from 2014 until 2017 we made the required contributions. In so doing, we warned that this could not go on forever because without due representation at the assembly and without the opportunity to state its position it would be unwise for Russia to pay for Russophobic activities; the same goes for any other country that might end up in a similar situation for that matter. So we warned everyone that we would be forced to suspend our contributions at some point. We did this in the summer of 2017, making it clear that as soon as the rights of our members of parliament at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were unconditionally and fully reinstated, we would immediately pay our debts.

I want to stress that our decision on this point has worked. Many sensible MPs and functionaries in the Council of Europe have become aware of the seriousness of the situation. Michele Nicoletti, the then President of the Parliamentary Assembly, and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland were struggling to find a way out of this absolutely abnormal situation.

As a result of that work, the attention of all members of the Parliamentary Assembly was drawn to the fact that there is a basic document that all bodies of the Council of Europe, including the Parliamentary Assembly, must be guided by in their work. This is the Statute of the Council of Europe – a fundamental document, an imperative, so to say. It says that all Council of Europe member states enjoy equal rights in any Council of Europe format, whether the Parliamentary Assembly, or the Committee of Ministers, or any other organ.

We pointed this out and asked our colleagues in the Parliamentary Assembly to comply with the document they signed when they endorsed the decision to establish the Council of Europe and to honour the terms on which Russia joined the organisation. Once again, I will point out that the term written in the Statute is the complete equality of the delegations of all Council of Europe member states, including in the Parliamentary Assembly.

Instead, a small, but very loud and aggressive group of delegations from countries that are well known to everyone (I won’t bother mentioning the names; they have been pushing an anti-Russia stance in the European Union, as well as NATO, the United Nations and the OSCE) set forth the premise that besides the Statute of the Council of Europe there are also the Rules of Procedure for the Parliamentary Assembly. These Rules of Procedure stipulate that decisions be adopted through a vote and by a very narrow majority. The most they were willing to do was to consider whether these rules should be changed to make it harder to restrict the rights of one delegation or another.

Our response was simple and tough. No regulations, rules or procedures can compare in significance with the fundamental document – the Statute of the Council of Europe, which, let me point out once again, proclaims the mandatory equality of all delegations in all structures of the Council of Europe.

Therefore, we will propose that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe pass a resolution confirming the indisputability of this statutory provision – this is its function. If that decision is blocked, it will be a deliberate step by those, who, in their anti-Russia fervour, simply want to “bury” Europe.

Please note that since our MPs were stripped of the right to vote, the Parliamentary Assembly has already elected, if I am not mistaken, 24 judges to the European Court of Human Rights. And the total number is 47. So, the majority of judges in the European Court are judges elected in the absence of the Russian votes.

Similarly, a new High Commissioner for Human Rights was elected without the Russian MPs. Next June, a new secretary general of the Council of Europe will be elected. So, due to the suspension of our right, which is granted to us by the Statute of the Council of Europe, to participate in these votes, the above functionaries of the Council of Europe (the judges, the commissioner for human rights and soon, if this issue persists, the secretary general) will, in fact, not be legitimate for us. Therefore, I do hope that all our partners, including and in the first place those who made this mess, who decided to punish the deputies chosen freely by the will of the people who are residents of Crimea – that they have become aware of the seriousness of the situation and the responsibility that they are taking upon themselves.

Question: Thorbjorn Jagland said they would make the budget without Russia’s funds. Our Russian MPs say that one of the options is leaving the Council of Europe. Is Russia considering this possibility?

Sergey Lavrov: Thorbjorn Jagland has no other option than to create the budget using the current funding under circumstances where we are not paying our share. We, again, recently stated that as soon as our rights are restored we will pay our dues to the Council of Europe in full. The European Court of Human Rights has been largely formed without our participation, so its legitimacy for Russia is rather dubious, just like the legitimacy of the Commissioner for Human Rights. I have heard the Russian parliamentarians’ statements to the effect that if this outrage continues, the Council of Europe will be signing its own death warrant. I do not think that Russia’s participation in Council of Europe is more important for Russia than for the European countries. This is my firm conviction. We joined the Council of Europe on the principle that it provides for a pan-European, universal legal and humanitarian space. I am sure that those who have dealt a blow to this space through illegitimate actions that violate the Statute and seek to deprive the Russian delegation of their equal rights, they know what they are signing up for. If they want to push Russia out of the Council of Europe, we won’t give them the pleasure; we will leave the organisation ourselves. Let those in the majority, who are aware of the provocative nature of this plan initiated by a small but loud group of countries, work within this group. It is unacceptable to ruin a pan-European organisation to satisfy the ambitions of certain politicians in some European capitals. Everyone is aware of this. I hope that most sensible people will be brave enough to prevent this from happening.

Question: Is Russia doing anything to prove to the West that we are reliable and can be trusted after what has happened to the Skripals and all those hacking attack charges?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Western colleagues are priding themselves on having built a rule-of-law state in their countries; rule of law and the rules-based order are allegedly what the historical West has created as well as what all others should accept and reproduce, including the judicial system. There is English law and there is Roman law, but in both cases for someone to start proving his innocence he should hear the concrete charges. We have not been presented with such charges. We are baselessly being convinced that we have “highly likely” done something unlawful in Salisbury, then in Amesbury, and later we did something unlawful in Catalonia. Allegedly, we have meddled in all these matters. They are also accusing us of having played our sad role in Brexit and of many other sins. But not one single concrete charge has been presented.

Unlike our partners, we did build a rule-of-law state, because we hold sacred our international legal commitments and hope that all others will do the same. We have advised the British Government dozens of times, in keeping with conventions existing in our bilateral relations (the Council of Europe conventions, incidentally), of the need to utilise the mechanism for mutual assistance in criminal cases. After numerous reminders on our part, they replied officially that the British Government could not do that out of national security considerations. As is clear to everyone, this reply lacks substance and is disrespectful of the British legal system, among others. Therefore, as soon as we are presented with concrete facts, we will be ready to sit down and talk. The same goes for allegations that we have meddled in the US elections. Moreover, in both cases, we have long been suggesting – even before Donald Trump was elected president and before the Salisbury incident – that we should start concrete work on cybersecurity, where professionals, first of all, will exchange their concerns and respond to these mutual concerns, and, secondly, devise certain universal rules that will make it possible to rule out or dramatically reduce the abuse of cyberspace, which is used by terrorists, criminals, drug addicts, pedophiles, and many other people, who must be restrained in every possible way. In response, we hear only that Russia should mend its ways, if it wants to be talked to. This is neither serious nor the way adults behave.

Unlike our accusers, we ask some very concrete questions: there is a convention on legal assistance, let us use it; there is the Chemical Weapons Convention, which says that if a state party has questions to ask another state party, the country that has conceived a question must put this question directly in a bilateral format to the country, to which this question is addressed. Nothing of the kind has been done.

Yet another utterly concrete question, which we have been asking for too long now and which is shameful to ignore for much longer, is: where are Yulia and Sergey Skripal? If the evidence we have been presented with includes just the corpses of a cat, a hamster, and a poor, unstably housed woman, as well as a scent-bottle, it all looks grotesque. I don’t want to belittle the seriousness of cases involving the use of chemical substances, but if someone wants to gamble on this and put up a show to amuse the public and rally the European community against the Russian Federation, then this is shameful. If someone is seriously concerned about these problems, there is no need to tell the untruth. You should prove your accusations with facts, including by presenting to the public Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia. While Sergey has British nationality apart from Russian citizenship, Yulia is just a citizen of Russia. She appeared on television just once, uttered a clearly filmed monologue, and added that she wanted to return back to Russia. No one has seen her since then. Her relative, Viktoria, has failed to obtain a visa. She was harassed at the British Embassy in Moscow, where they repeatedly urged her to change the documents, rewrite the questionnaires or bring new photographs. In the end she was left without a visa. There are many other factors preventing relatives of these people from contacting them. So, we are in favour of legal solutions to any problems. The rabid accusation in the spirit of “highly likely” or “we don’t see any other plausible explanation” are just not serious.

Question: What about Bellingcat? All these investigations…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s part of the same story, really. White Helmets, or Bellingcat – it’s all the same. It’s not a secret for anyone, and Western journalists openly write about this, that Bellingcat is closely connected with the special services that use it to channel information intended to influence public opinion. No matter how many times we were told that the White Helmets are truth lovers, human rights champions and humanitarian workers who save people in the most difficult situations. More and more facts are popping up confirming their close connection with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra. This is more like they are not at all benefactors working “answering the call of the heart,” but rather for getting payment. As for the staged videos, the locals are not allowed to leave the site until these people arrive with their cameras. There are a lot of facts like this that have become public.

Moreover, quite recently, three months ago maybe, our Western colleagues decided, as they said, to “save” the units of the White Helmets in southern Syria after non-Syrian forces left the de-escalation zones established there by Russia, the United States and Jordan. Their positions were taken over by the Syrian army, which has now restored the order on the Golan Heights established by the UN Security Council resolution of 1974, which Israel also supported. Representatives of the White Helmets, 400 people with their families, urged to take them to Jordan for a period of three or four weeks, and then, as was announced, Britain, Canada, Germany and Holland would take them. Three months have passed. They are still there. According to our data, Western countries, which promised Jordan to take these people and move them to Europe and Canada, have browsed through some of their dossiers and became horrified. Their past suggests that European countries would be scared of accepting such people with prominent criminal tendencies.

Question: Do you believe that diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and Western countries can improve?

Sergey Lavrov: All relations do not boil down to just diplomatic relations. There are other relations, including cultural relations that have not disappeared anywhere and which continue to evoke tremendous interest among Russian, British and American citizens and those of the EU countries. There are also economic relations that, incidentally, concern Russian citizens and the relevant business circles to a considerable extent, and these relations are the subject matter of ongoing contacts.

Diplomatic relations depend on the extent to which various partners are ready to respect diplomatic proprieties. Our British colleagues who, to be honest, started wrecking our relations, are not seriously committed to diplomatic proprieties today. I have already said that we have failed to receive any reply after sending dozens of diplomatic notes. Many requests to the Foreign Office also went unanswered. One gets a strong feeling that the United Kingdom’s current authorities have decided to vent their domestic frustrations, including Brexit, on Russia and to explain their domestic problems by Russian scheming. It appears that the Democratic Party of the United States has set this example by justifying its election campaign defeat by the fact that Donald Trump waged an unfair struggle, with Russia allegedly assisting him during this process. It is sad when domestic political squabbles start affecting relations between leading states. They continue to face a problem linked with Brexit. A struggle is now underway for the post of the leader of the Conservative Party, for holding new elections and so on.

For some reason, the “Russian card” has become quite popular among politicians. Possibly, they don’t have enough creativity for doing something else. They simply blame Russia for everything, without trying to take into consideration their  electorate and believing that their voters will accept any concoction.

It is amusing to see British representatives rushing all over Europe after the Salisbury incident and demanding that the EU countries take part in sanctions. They have persuaded many countries, but not all of them, to expel Russian diplomats after the Salisbury incident. Today, they are also inventing some new systematic sanctions that the whole of the EU would have to impose on any violators of the chemical weapons ban and lots more. It appears that a country, now leaving the EU, is frantically trying to influence the EU’s Russian policies. I believe that the UK wants to rein in the EU with regard to Russia and other matters concerning international affairs. It is not up to me to decide to what extent this meets the EU’s interests as well as their dignity.

Question: Is Russia worried about the political and even economic fallout in connection with the Jamal Khashoggi case.

Sergey Lavrov: You are so metaphorical! I support the current calls for a speedy investigation as soon as possible. We praise the agreements between Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the various steps being taken to make it possible to conduct this investigation. I do hope that the international community will get to know the results.

Question: The media has reported today that President of Syria Bashar al-Assad is set to visit Crimea. Does Russia plan to involve Syria in Crimean matters? There are plans for economic activities there.

Sergey Lavrov: President of Syria Bashar al-Assad is our partner. We regularly exchange visits with our Syrian colleagues at the level of presidents, ministers of foreign affairs, trade and economic development. Our military personnel and secret services also maintain contacts. This is very important for combating terrorism. The Russian regions are interested in various opportunities being provided by Syria for expanding economic, cultural, humanitarian and educational ties. Quite recently, Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov visited Damascus at the invitation of President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. As is customary in normal diplomatic practices, he handed over an invitation from Russian leaders for Bashar al-Assad to visit the Russian Federation, including Crimea. Well, that’s about it.

Please come to Crimea. They are telling us that human rights are being violated in Crimea. But all those who are concerned with this matter have repeatedly been able to see what life is really like there. Those trying to make a politically motivated story out of this insist that they will only go to Crimea via Ukrainian territory. This is out of the question because Crimea is part of the Russian Federation under the results of the March 2014 referendum that involved the people of Crimea. But for some reason, not all Western journalists want to go there and see everything with their very own eyes. They have every opportunity to see how the people of Crimea live. If they are interested in a political game, they strike an attitude and say that they will only visit Crimea via Ukrainian territory. This is unprofessional.

Speaking of professionalism, I would like to mention another aspect, namely, Donbass. In effect, Ukraine is divided by the frontline. Provocations continue despite the Minsk Agreements and all attempts by members of the Normandy format and the Contact Group to fulfil all the agreements. Thank God, there are no large-scale hostilities like back in 2014 and early 2015, but regular firefights occur, despite regular “school,” “harvest” and “Christmas” ceasefire agreements. We have been asking officials from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine not to issue sterile reports listing attacks on communities, the number of killed and wounded civilians. Instead, we are expecting them to provide specific updates on the developments in various sections of the demarcation line and to focus on attacks against civilian facilities and casualties and fatalities among the civilians. In September 2017, the OSCE issued the first such report listing the location of attacks and the damage incurred. This was a difficult job because the Ukrainian authorities tried hard to forbid the OSCE from publishing this report. According to this report, five times more civilian facilities were damaged in the areas controlled by the self-defence fighters. The responsibility for this rests with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Civilians living in such places also sustained six-seven times more casualties and fatalities. Any military expert would use this data to note that such a correlation between damage and civilian casualties and fatalities means that, by all appearances, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attack civilian facilities in communities, including kindergartens, hospitals and schools. For their part, self-defence fighters retaliate by hitting positions from which they are being attacked. I have mentioned journalism and professionalism. Representatives of the Russian media work non-stop, seven days a week and 24 hours a day in areas controlled by self-defence fighters. They show the extent of damage and the real results of the operations involving the Armed Forces of Ukraine. If our Western partners are saying that Russia and the separatists are to blame for everything, and that the Minsk Agreements would be immediately fulfilled as soon as Russia wants this to happen, and that Ukraine has allegedly fulfilled them almost completely (this is what some of our European colleagues and US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker are saying), then it would probably be no problem to send BBC, CNN and Euronews correspondents to areas controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to show everyone how people live there and  the extent of damaged civilian facilities, if any. I have repeatedly spoken with journalists I know about this but failed to get any reply. They are simply looking at me, nodding but doing nothing. If Donetsk and Lugansk are accused of everything, including aggressive behaviour, then it would be appropriate to send journalists there, so that they would work honestly in areas allegedly severely attacked by self-defence fighters. Over all these years, BBC and someone else sent their groups there only once or twice, and that was all about it.

Question: Speaking of President of Syria Bashar al-Assad once again, does Syria plan to conduct economic operations in Crimea or not?

Sergey Lavrov: This depends on the extent to which this region and a certain region in Syria, be it Damascus, Latakia or any other, are interested in specific projects. This was the first meeting between the Head of Crimea and representatives of the Syrian leadership. Quite possibly, they will be able to discuss mutually beneficial projects after assessing the local situation.

The Spectacular Zionist Boomerang

September 27, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

All that is left for us to do is to thank British Zionist institutions, the BOD, the CAA, the Jewish Chronicle and the Zionist stooges within British media for making the British Labour party not only the biggest and most united political party in Europe but also a party united behind its leader Jeremy Corbyn and unequivocally opposed to Israeli criminality.

Christians United for Israel, an ultra Zionist outlet, complained that  “hundreds of Palestinian flags were flown on the main floor of Labour’s Party conference yesterday despite the British flag not being allowed. The flags, which were flown with approval of the Labour leadership, were handed out to delegates by activists before the Conference passed a motion demanding a freeze on arms sales to Israel and an investigation into the deaths of Palestinians on the Gaza border.”

It is worth mentioning that Israel doesn’t actually need  obsolete British weapons.  Likely the British army would also benefit by avoiding the use of locally manufactured lethal toys. But what is crucial is that despite the relentless Zionist campaign against Corbyn and the British media’s shameless compliance with the Zionist call, the Labour party has prevailed magnificently. It is more focused and united than it has been in the past five shameful decades.

Noticeable of late is that Israel firsters are changing their strategy. Tossing antisemitsm accusations against Corbyn and the Labour party was counterproductive, the accusations only ended up contributing to the popularity of Corbyn and the party. So now the Zionist clan is trying to mobilize new opposition by accusing the Labour party and its many supporters of being ‘unpatriotic.’ “Shockingly, earlier in the week Labour constituencies chose to debate ‘Palestine’ with more than 188,000 votes – making it the only international issue to receive a dedicated debate in Liverpool and thousands more votes than for concerns such as the NHS, the welfare system, or Brexit.”

Labour party members waved the Palestinian flag en masse grasping that by now -We Are All Palestinians-like the Palestinians we aren’t even allowed to utter the name of our oppressor. I suspect that blaming Labour for holding a meeting that Israel’s supporters claim failed to pay sufficient attention to the NHS or welfare is not going to work, but obviously, I welcome the new Zionist strategy. As we have seen, each and every one of their acts boomerangs spectacularly.

Ain’t that the truth? #Brexit -Macron Accuses Top Brexiteers Of Being ‘Liars’

Emmanuel Macron Accuses Top Brexiteers Of Being ‘Liars’

French President blasts eurosceptics who thought vote would ‘bring a lot of money home’.

Emmanuel Macron has launched a withering attack on Brexiteers as Theresa May’s plan to extract the UK from the European Union appeared to be in tatters.

The French President said those who pushed the country towards Brexit on the basis it would “bring a lot of money home” are “liars”.

His outburst came after a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg, Austria, where the UK Prime Minister failed to get support for her so-called Chequers plan.

Appearing to take aim at politicians such as Boris Johnson and David Davis, Macron told a news conference: “Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be alright, and that it’s going to bring a lot of money home are liars. They left the next day so they didn’t have to manage it.”

Macron echoed the consensus among EU leaders as he poured cold water on May’s plan, which had already faced cross-party criticism in the UK.

He said: “It was a good and brave step by the Prime Minister. But we all agreed on this today, the proposals in their current state are not acceptable. The Chequers plan cannot be ‘take it or leave it’.”

Lisi Niesner / Reuters President Emmanuel Macron holds a news conference after the informal meeting of European Union leaders in Salzburg, Austria

European Council President Donald Tusk also said May’s proposed Brexit agreement “will not work”.

The prime minister attempted to persuade EU leaders in Salzburg last night that her Chequers plan was the “only credible” deal on the table.

But Tusk told a press conference that the UK’s proposal would not be accepted.

“Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market,” he said.

Despite Tusk potentially dealing a fatal blow to her plan, May insisted she was “continuing to work for a good deal”.

At home, May faces opposition to her plan from hardline Brexiteer Tories as from many pro-Remain Tory MPs – complicating the chances of her being able to win a vote in parliament on the deal.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the backbench eurosceptic Tory ERG group, said it was time for the prime minister to accept her proposal was dead.

“I think Chequers now has no supporters at all. I doubt even the Downing Street cat is any longer backing the Chequers plan,” he said.

Lisi Niesner / Reuters Theresa May arrives for a family photo during the European Union leaders informal summit in Salzburg, Austria

May has proposed maintaining a “common rulebook” for goods with the EU after Brexit, keeping the same standards and regulations, in order to facilitate frictionless trade.

But under the plan, the UK would have different arrangements for services – a major part of the British economy.

The British government argues Brussels’ alternative plan, which would see Northern Ireland remain in the customs union until a new arrangement could be agreed, would effectively create a border between the North and the rest of the UK – something the PM has said she could not accept.

Time is running out for the UK and EU to agree a deal by the next full EU summit on October 18, raising the prospect of a no deal Brexit.

An special emergency meeting in November has been pencilled in to try and finalise a deal.

The Hysteria in the Conservative Press Indicates That There Will Now be a Labour Government in Britain

Global Research, September 08, 2018

 

The question is when?

1. There is now apparently a majority in the country who are increasingly anxious for both the railway system and public utilities to be brought under state control and operation, with sensible pricing of services and reliable, dependable timetables for commuters.

2. The days of banking bonuses for those city hedge-fund managers who play with our money in order to enrich themselves, are numbered. And, as a result, there will be a surplus of multi-million pound, bijou residences on the market as the bond dealers sell-up and downsize from Hampstead and Canary Wharf.

3. But the real benefit will be to those millions of ordinary households up and down the country who have been paying through the nose to the foreign owners of our national water, electricity and gas supplies who have ripped off the British consumer ever since the Conservative privatisation of these essential services.

4. When a Labour government takes power, there will be genuine state aid for the disabled and a NHS that actually works – from the large London teaching hospitals down to the provincial medical centres and clinics around the country.

5. The tax system will be overhauled to ensure that everyone and every company pays a proportionate amount of tax commensurate with income. Tax avoidance schemes will be made illegal.

6. Compulsory building of affordable housing by all local authorities will be a mandatory duty as will be the care and maintenance of such property. There will never be another Grenfell Tower atrocity whereby a fire-safe building was deliberately clad in a fire- accelerant material that was known to be lethally toxic in case of fire, merely to maximise profit for the property owners.

7. Foreign aid will be cancelled to India and elsewhere where corruption is rife and the monies diverted to our own communities/ regions who require assistance.

8. Immigration will be properly supervised by the state and numbers restricted to those who have suitable skills and/or job offers. Our borders will be policed in order that criminal elements are denied entry whilst genuine refugees who are at risk in their own countries will be eligible for political asylum.

9. There will be a fairer society in which reward for failure will be just a memory from the Tory past. On the other hand, reward for success will be encouraged.

10. First of all we need a General Election to clear out Theresa May, Boris Johnson and the rest of the failures. Britain has work to do and a vibrant, energetic, reforming Labour government is now ready, willing and able to meet the challenge.

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Hans Stehling (pen name) is an analyst based in the UK. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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