A false reality has contributed to a new political reality

A false reality has contributed to a new political reality

The descent into complex post-factual politics goes some way to showing why Brexit and Trump were so successful, and their opposition so ineffective.

lead lead Nigel Farage is seen in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, NY, USA December 15, 2016. Pool/ABACA ABACA/Press Association. All rights reserved.

 

Nothing is real. A lot of us feel that this is close to the truth right now, waking up each day hoping that it was all a dream. Brexit didn’t happen. Trump didn’t win. Two men of the people didn’t have their picture taken in front of a dictator-esque golden door. But each morning you wake up and realise it is all real, that the world has turned upside down.

The worse thing is that these two events haven’t even happened yet. Britain hasn’t lost access to the biggest market in the world, it hasn’t shut its borders to millions of people it used to consider friends, it hasn’t brought back imperial measurements. And Trump hasn’t torn up the Paris climate deal, he hasn’t built a massive wall/fence.

But they will happen and I, for one, look forward to measuring everything in hands and yards again, just like the good old days. But why did they happen? These were things that seemed absurd when first suggested, but eventually caught the imagination of millions of people and were victorious. One idea, brilliantly shown by Adam Curtis in his film HyperNormalisation, is that nothing is real.

We live in an incredibly complex, interconnected world. The world finance system is a large web running through banks, institutions, countries, companies, people, all built so that the richest few who can interact with it gain the most out of it. With the rise of neoliberalism, the ethos that if business thrives, a country will thrive, took hold and further embedded the importance of finance into our national politics.

Privatisation and tax cuts would be used to show that a country was business friendly, unions would be broken, business friendly policies would be taken up. When this resulted in fewer taxes and greater unemployment, governments would have to borrow to fill the deficit in social spending that this would create. The lenders would be banks, who would place even more business friendly – or growth friendly – conditions on the borrowing countries. This is what is happening in Greece at the moment. This would reduce choice in how a country was run, as the assets that politics haggles over were greatly reduced, set free into the private world. As things worsened for ordinary people, they were being told that their lives and their countries were great. Told they had more freedom than ever at a time when they worked longer for less, when freedom was being taken away by hidden networks of financial power.

Geopolitically, the world was becoming more complex too, with western interests in the Middle East creating a web of truths, half-truths and lies that are impossible to disentangle. Governments were becoming increasingly adept at counter-intelligence. This added to the feeling of helplessness and despair at the complexity of the world, leading people and politicians to retreat into a simplified version of the world of good and evil, right and wrong, left and right. This trajectory carried on until now and is reflected in the increasing popularity of conspiracy theories in the world.

No one believes anything from governments any more. The trajectory is also most eloquently expressed by Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s ‘Grey Cardinal’, who advised Putin to finance both left and right groups within Russia, making people unsure who the real and who the fake opposition was.

Such uncertainty helps to paralyse opposition. Thinking they are playing a game with the same rules, their voice becomes neutered, actions ineffective. These tactics have been used by Russia in what is called ‘non-linear warfare’, which always keeps the opposition guessing at what Russia is doing, allowing Russia to take the advantage. It did this in Ukraine and it is doing this in Syria.

This is only a brief overview of the descent into the complex post-factual politics that we have fallen, however it goes some way to showing why Brexit and Trump were so successful and why their opposition were so ineffective.

They understood two things. The first is that people did not believe what they heard any more, so what they said did not matter. The second is that what mattered was that people wanted change, and it was the direction of change that mattered. They wanted to be able to grasp reality again. People knew that their lives had not improved and that politics as it stood offered them no choice. They also knew that they did not fully understand or trust the world they were living in. So when they were given the option to vote for something that would both bring tangible change, and that would put them on the track to a less complex reality, they jumped at the opportunity.

Fighting under the impression that truth still mattered, and that all the system needed was a little tweak, unwilling to understand the complexity of the world, and the desire for a reality where actions mean something, the opposition failed.

We crave reality but a simplified version of it. That’s why we watch reality TV, follow stars on Instagram, spend hours on YouTube. We are searching for meaning, for reality, trying to forget the unreality of our existence, forget that whatever we do, nothing seems to change.

When we vote, we feel like we are voting for the same thing, we feel like nothing changes, that we are stuck, invisibly bound. Brexit and Trump gave us a way out, a route back to reality and some of us took it. Unfortunately, it’s a simplified version, one that will fall apart and leave us in a broken reality. To fix it, we must fight for a world where our actions can effect positive change.

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Let’s hope so, Tony Blair Could Be Hauled Before the Courts Over the Iraq War

Tony Blair Could Be Hauled Before the Courts Over the Iraq War

Tony Blair could be hauled before the courts over the Iraq War ‘after lawyers working for British troops claim Chilcot Report shows he misled Parliament to justify 2003 invasion’

  • Chilcot report into 2003 Iraq War criticised Tony Blair for taking Britain into war
  • It was based on ‘flawed’ intelligence and war was ‘not the last resort’ at the time
  • Bereaved families of 179 war dead have called him ‘the world’s worst terrorist’ 
  • They want to pursue him through the courts and raised £150,000 in two weeks
Message: Last year Tony Blair was emotional as he expressed his sorrow to  the families of the 179 British Iraq War dead - but bereaved relatives believe there is evidence that the ex-Prime Minister committed 'misfeasance in public office'

&amp;amp;lt;img id=”i-1a04ae5c48ebd8fc” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/02/13/13/0371E208000003E8-4219712-image-m-15_1486991941127.jpg&#8221; height=”424″ width=”306″ alt=”Message: Last year Tony Blair was emotional as he expressed his sorrow to the families of the 179 British Iraq War dead – but bereaved relatives&amp;nbsp;believe there is evidence that the ex-Prime Minister committed ‘misfeasance in public office'” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;amp;gt;

Message: Last year Tony Blair was emotional as he expressed his sorrow to the families of the 179 British Iraq War dead – but bereaved relatives believe there is evidence that the ex-Prime Minister committed ‘misfeasance in public office’

 

&amp;amp;lt;img id=”i-1a04ae5c48ebd8fc” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/02/13/13/0371E208000003E8-4219712-image-m-15_1486991941127.jpg&#8221; height=”424″ width=”306″ alt=”Message: Last year Tony Blair was emotional as he expressed his sorrow to the families of the 179 British Iraq War dead – but bereaved relatives&amp;nbsp;believe there is evidence that the ex-Prime Minister committed ‘misfeasance in public office'” class=”blkBorder img-share”/&amp;amp;gt;

Tony Blair could be hauled before the courts over the Iraq War, the Mail can reveal today.

Top barristers working for bereaved relatives of British troops killed in the conflict believe there is evidence that the ex-Prime Minister committed ‘misfeasance in public office’.

The legal team has gone through the 2.6million-word, 12-volume Chilcot Report into the controversial conflict with a fine-tooth comb for the past six months.

They now conclude that there is a strong case Mr Blair misled Parliament to justify the disastrous 2003 invasion, which cost the lives of 179 UK servicemen and women.

The families’ legal team is seeking to build a civil case against him and other Whitehall officials.

It was funded with the help of generous Daily Mail readers who raised £150,000 in just two weeks in a bid to bring them to justice. More than 5,000 members of the public dipped into their pockets to help the cause

 

The Western roots of “Middle-Eastern” terrorism

February 14, 2017

By Amir NOUR[1]

The Western roots of “Middle-Eastern” terrorism

Convinced that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, is unacceptable and unjustifiable, member States of the United Nations were finally able to adopt, on September 8, 2006, a common approach within the framework of the “United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy ». But, ten years later, the “international community” has yet to agree on a consensus definition of the common enemy, which continues to grow and expand, thus inflicting devastation and untold misery, mainly to the States and the peoples of the Arab and Muslim world.

However, in a bitter irony, and in total defiance of established historical truths, these very victims and their majority religion -Islam- are accused by some of the crime of sponsoring transnational terrorism, hence jeopardizing international peace and security.

But who is really to be held liable for the birth and expansion of the phenomenon of violence in modern times, against the consequences of which a number of visionary thinkers like Malek Bennabi and Eric E. Hobsbawm had yet forewarned the world a century ago already?

The opinions exposed in this paper on this burning topic aren’t expressed by Muslim officials or thinkers. They are those of Westerners, at different levels of authority and moral and political responsibility, representing the obverse and the reverse of the terrorism medal, and pointing out the historical responsibility of some Western governments They are representative of a “politically incorrect” voice whose echo is barely audible in the middle of the media tumult skillfully orchestrated by the new “self-righteous”.

Terrorism, Islam and treason of the clerks

Recently, magistrate Vincent Sizaire, author of the book titled “L’Imposture sécuritaire”, explained[2]that the characterization of terrorism is more about political calculation than legal hermeneutics, since it is necessarily the result of a process of balance of power and political assessment, at the end of which the powers to be tend to apply it in a more or less discretionary manner to a particular criminal rather than another. Sizaire highlights how it is problematic, today, to use the same term to refer to activities undertaken by fanatical and obscurantist groups, and to actions of political opponents of authoritarian regimes.

Therefore, there can obviously be no question for the need to put forward a new definition of this concept, one less equivocal. Indeed, it should be pointed out that, to date, no one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. Alex Schmid and Albert Jongman identify 109 different definitions[3]. The United Nations still can’t find an agreed upon definition among its member States since December 17, 1996, date of adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 51/210, by which it was decided to create a special Committee to develop a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It’s so controversial a debate that, according to Oliver Libaw, even in the United States -where the “Global War on Terror” was launched in 2001- “it turns out that no one is all that sure just what ‘terrorism’ is”[4].

Thus, the future still looks bright for the famous and often-cited claim that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”[5]. Never mind! For one school of thought in the West, terrorism, barbarity and intolerance are consubstantial to Islam as a religion. Consequently, in the face of the “crazy Muslim zealots” who “see progress as an evil, tolerance as a weakness and pacifism as a sin”, and “call for murder and destruction”, resistance and relentless struggle are to be opposed within a “long Fourth World War”[6], akin to those waged by the “Free World” against fascism and nazism during the First and Second World Wars, and against communism during the third world war, presumably completed with the end of the cold war in 1989.

Nothing seems to shake the certainties of the proponents of this “dominant thought” often described as neoconservative, mainly conveyed by Western and Israeli think tanks, and relayed by their powerful mainstream media. And it would be pointless to remind them, for instance, that in the absence of a comprehensive international convention on terrorism-a result of the lack of a consensus definition that should be distinguished from the legitimate struggle of peoples for self-determination and which should include “State terrorism”- Arab and Muslim States have developed their own legal instruments within their regional groups; that in the 1990s, a country like Algeria fought alone against terrorism -before a suspicious international silence- that cost her more than 200,000 deaths and economic losses estimated at more than $ 30 billion; that 95% of lives lost to “terrorist barbarity” are to be found among Muslims[7]; that the highest official authorities of Islam have condemned without appeal both the ideology and actions of terrorist groups; and that the overwhelming majority of Muslim populations reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as confirmed by statistics provided by Western survey institutes and agencies themselves.

In his time, Julien Benda denounced the “betrayal of the clerks”. More recently, Pascal Boniface pin the “intellectual counterfeiters” who bear a heavy responsibility in “the place occupied by lies in the public debate”. He targets in particular those who tend to equate Islam and terrorism by referring to “fascislamism” and contribute to nurture a neoconservative approach that thrives in the West since the 9/11 attacks.

We have already addressed this issue of Islam as a mobilizing and unifying scarecrow in the West[8]. We have reported “a dangerous semantic shift that we constantly observe since the fall of the Berlin Wall: from ‘counter-terrorism’ actions, we jumped to war against ‘Islamic terrorism’, and then to the fight against ‘Islamic extremism’ “. And we have, inevitably, raised the following question: “Are we soon going to abandon superfluous adjectives and hypocritical euphemisms to openly claim the war against Islam itself ?”. Since then, time and events seem to have proved us right…

Responsibility of the West regarding transnational terrorism

Some people believe that radical Islamism and jihadism are not an exclusive “creation” of the West. To think otherwise, they argue, would be to overestimate the Western influence in areas where many other local and international factors have contributed to their development over a long period of time. That is certainly right, and so is the fact that certain misguided policies pursued by Western powers, particularly by Anglo-Saxon countries, have greatly contributed to the emergence and expansion of these phenomena, especially since the iconic events of 9/11 and their disastrous ‘by-products’: the Afghan and Iraqi military expeditions.

Britain’s role

This view is shared by Mark Curtis, who documented in a book[9] the collusion of the United Kingdom with Islamism since the last century. Based on reliable documentation and government archives, he dissects an aspect of British foreign policy, which has remained curiously ignored or deliberately obscured by the mainstream media. This collusion, he says, has “a long history which has contributed not only to the rise of radical Islam itself, but also to that of international terrorism, which the new strategy of national security of the UK Government has designated as the biggest threat to the country”, and that the highest ranking officer of the British army has identified as “the fight of our generation, maybe our Thirty Years’ War”.

Curtis says that the share of responsibility of London in the emergence of the terrorist threat goes well beyond the impact its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have had on a few individuals. The most important fact in this story is, according to him, that the successive labour and conservative governments have, for decades, connived with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have, sometimes, trained and financed them in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives, with a view to desperately preserving what was left of British power and influence internationally, mainly in areas considered as sensitive but where it was no longer possible to impose their will and interests unilaterally or by relying on other local allies.

The role of the United States of America

In his book[10] published in 2005, Robert Dreyfuss meticulously documents the American role in this “Devil’s Game”. Drawing on archival research and interviews with policymakers and officials of the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department, he analyzes the consequences of “sixty years of misguided efforts” on the part of the United States in order to dominate the economically and strategically vital Middle East region. Dreyfuss argues that America’s historic alliance with the Islamic right is greatly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism. He concludes by stating that “far from promoting democracy and security”, this policy, which continues to this day, “ensures a future of blunders and blowback”.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of the late U.S. President J.F. Kennedy, also considered the long history of the violent interventions of his country in the region. He explains in a long article[11] in “Politico” magazine why we should look beyond convenient explanations of religion and ideology and examine instead the more complex rationales of history and oil “and how they often point the finger of blame back at our own shores”. He also describes how “over the past seven decades, the Dulles brothers, the Cheney gang, the neocons and their ilk have hijacked that fundamental principle of American idealism and deployed our military and intelligence apparatus to serve the mercantile interests of large corporations and particularly, the petroleum companies and military contractors that have literally made a killing from these conflicts”.

Moreover, a Foreign Policy Journal article[12] tells us that the White House had made the decision to support the armed radical Jihadists in Syria (that would later emerge as ISIL and Jabhat Al-Nusra) despite the warnings of the intelligence agencies, which provided for the advent of the Islamic State. This amazing information was confirmed by former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lieutenant General Michael Flynn –after he resigned from his post in April 2014, much to everyone’s surprise- who was previously the Director of information for the Center of command of special operations and, in that capacity, had the main mission to hunt down Usama Bin Laden and dismantle Al-Qaeda.

It is worth noting that this piece of information and other related revelations have been reported in a documentary film[13] broadcast by ARTE-TV channel, which explains “how, from Bush to Obama, America has left prosper the blind terror that Daesh took over”. In this film, former members of the intelligence community, representatives of U.S. forces in Iraq, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and terrorism experts trace, with supporting evidence and archives, the thirteen years of “the lost war on terror”.

Last but not least, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, said[14]that he meant exactly what he had declared previously in Florida, when he called President Barack Obama the “founder of ISIS”. And when the conservative radio show host, Hugh Hewitt, tried to clarify Trump’s position by saying he understood him to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace”, D. Trump objected, declaring “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton”.

France’s role

In his latest book[15], French philosopher Michel Onfray states that “terrorist Islam” was partially created by the bellicose West. Denouncing what he calls “contemporary colonial wars” conducted by some Western countries including France, he argues that Islamic regimes only started to threaten the West once, and only once the latter had indeed threatened them by brutal force.

For his part, Pierre Conesa, former senior official in the Ministry of defense, said[16] that his country “is paying a high price for a war that is not its own”. In this regard, he cites the example of the intervention in Libya where France has “done on its own account what Bush did in Iraq, which is destroying a regime and leaving behind chaos it has no ability to manage”.

In Syria, especially during the period when Laurent Fabius was the head of the Quai d’Orsay, this dubious interventionist policy resulted in total support to the rebels fighting against Al-Assad regime. Believing that the departure of the latter “is only a matter of weeks”, Fabius said in August 2012 “Bashar Al-Assad would not deserve to be on Earth”. And in December of the same year, reacting to Washington’s decision to place Jabhat Al-Nusra on its list of terrorist organizations, he declared: “All Arabs were fiercely against” the American position “because, on the ground, they (the elements of Al-Nusra) do a good job”[17].

In conclusion, we would like to invite the public to ponder the wisdom of a thinker who once said that in the past weapons were manufactured to wage wars, but today wars are manufactured to sell weapons.

Yet unfortunately, it has to be recognized that the rhetoric on the “clash of civilizations”, constantly and tirelessly repeated by some since the end of the cold war and the subsequent disappearance of the “indispensable enemy”, seems to have achieved the objective assigned to it, chiefly by those who benefit from and pull the strings of the perpetuation of conflicts all over the world. This rhetoric has thus produced a dangerous “clash of fundamentalisms’, which is updating the notions of “revenge of God”, “Crusades” and “Jihad”, and adding new ones such as “islamofascism”. The consequence of this dramatic turn of events is illustrated, on the sought and obtained ground of confrontation, by a “clash of barbarities”.

In today’s increasing international turmoil, nobody should be blind to the fact that the biggest danger associated with this change is that since the end of the second world war, the world has entered the age of the “supreme weapon” –the atomic bomb- and other weapons of mass destruction, and that extremists on all sides are promising and fervently promoting a “Cosmic War” for “the triumph of Good over Evil”. For some of them, it is a religious war, the ultimate war prior to the Apocalypse or the end of the world, whose theatre of operations one party sets in “Armageddon” and the other in “Dabiq”, both places situated in the Levant, comprising Syria which is being today put to fire and sword…

Isn’t it insane to believe that our civilized world is unable to find a path other than the one leading toward Mutually Agreed Destruction?

* * *

  1. Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the book “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (East and West in time of a new Sykes-Picot”, Alem El Afkar, 2014.
  2. In Le MONDE Diplomatique, “Une notion piégée: quand parler de terrorisme ?” (A Tricky notion: When to talk about terrorism?), August 2016.
  3. A. Schmid & A. Jongman, “Political Terrorism“, 1988.
  4. O. Libaw, “How Do You Define Terrorism ?“, ABC News Network, October 11, 2015.
  5. C. Friedersdorf, “Is One Man’s Terrorist Another Man’s Freedom Fighter ?”, The Atlantic, May 16, 2012.
  6. Norman Podhoretz, “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism”, Doubleday, 2007.
  7. 2015 Global Terrorism Index report shows that terrorist attacks are concentrated in just five countries with a Muslim majority: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria, totalling 78% of all deaths and 57% of all attacks; the West is remarkably safe from terrorism as 2.6% ‘only’ of terrorist deaths occurred there since the beginning of the 21st century (excluding the 3,000 deaths from September 11, 2001, this proportion falls to 0.5%).
  8. In our book “L’Orient et l’Occident…”, op. cit.
  9. M. Curtis, “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion With Radical Islam“, Serpent’s Tail, 2010.
  10. R. Dreyfuss, “Devil’s Game: How The United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam“, Metropolitan Books, 2005.
  11. http://www.politico.eu/article/why-the-arabs-dont-want-us-in-syria-mideast-conflict-oil-intervention/
  12. B. Hoff, “Rise of Islamic State Was a Willful Decision“, 7 August 2015.
  13. Titled “Du 11 septembre au Califat: l’histoire secrète de Daesh” (From 9/11 to the Caliphate: The Secret History of ISIS), August 30, 2016.
  14. Tal Kopan, “Donald Trump: I meant that Obama founded ISIS, literally”, CNN, August 12, 2016.
  15. M. Onfray, “Penser l’Islam” (Thinking Islam), éditions Bernard Grasset, Paris, 2016.
  16. See: “Les attentats sont la suite logique des bombardements” (Attacks are the logical result of the bombings”, Le Temps, July 16, 2016.
  17. See B. Collombat and J. Monin’s investigation: “Daesh: Autopsie d’un monstre” (ISIS: Autopsy of a Monster), November 20, 2015.

John Bercow made a moral judgement about Trump but has no problem paying homage to apartheid israel

John Bercow travels to Israel amid storm of criticism over Trump

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Jewish Speaker of UK parliament, John Bercow, says he will not investigate scandal over israel’s influence

The Jewish politician was welcomed by Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, yesterday.

John Bercow has become the first House of Commons speaker to officially visit Israel.

The Jewish politician was welcomed by Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, yesterday.

Mr Regev tweeted: “Delighted to welcome @HouseOfCommons Speaker John Bercow to Israel: the first Commons Speaker to pay an official visit to the Jewish state.”

During his visit, Mr Bercow is expected to meet his Israeli counterpart Yuli Edelstein and talk to young political leaders about the UK Parliament and the responsibility of the Speaker.

As part of the trip he will visit Yad Vashem and lay a wreath in memory of Holocaust victims.

Mr Bercow’s visit comes amid a storm of criticism and a potential vote of no confidence in him over his outspoken comments on Donald Trump.

He said he would not welcome the American President to Parliament because of his comments about women and minorities

Britain’s sickening infatuation with israel continues

Britain’s sickening infatuation with Israel continues

 

Iran still the victim of unshakable Israeli influence over the UK’s political establishment

By Stuart Littlewood

Here in the UK the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has initiated a judicial review in a bid to halt UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia on suspicion that they are being used against civilians in Yemen. The indiscriminate nature of Saudi air-strikes makes it highly likely that British weaponry is being deployed in breach of international humanitarian law.

The slaughter has been going on for nearly two years, leading to a humanitarian crisis of appalling magnitude and great cruelty. Since the Yemen campaign began the British government has granted export licences for more than £3.3 billions worth of war equipment when there was a “clear risk” that some of it would be used in violation of all norms of human conduct.

It is claimed that the government has ignored warnings by senior civil servants and its own arms control experts, and some records of expressed concern have gone missing. This is no great surprise when we discover that export licensing is overseen by none other than the secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox. For Fox has “form” as a crazed stooge of Israel and a sworn enemy of Iran.

Fox, while secretary of state for defence, was quoted on the Conservative Friends of Israel website as saying:

… We must remember that in the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression – Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.

And in June 2015 Fox declared:

It is logical to assume that Iran’s intentions are to develop a nuclear weapons capability and any claims that its intentions are exclusively peaceful should not be regarded as credible… Iran’s nuclear intentions cannot be seen outside the context of its support for terror proxies, arguably the defining feature of its foreign policy. The risks are clear.

Fox was forced to resign as defence secretary in 2011 following scandalous goings-on between him, his “close friend” Adam Werritty, the UK ambassador to Israel and Israeli intelligence figures allegedly involved in plotting sanctions against Iran.

Liam Fox and his friend Adam Werritty

Liam Fox (left) and his friend Adam Werritty

Just lately, Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Iran of working with Hezbollah, interfering in Iraq, sending fighters to Syria to help Assad, and supporting the Houthis in the conflict in Yemen. The British government, of course, can meddle where it pleases and recently concluded another huge arms deal with the Saudis which, says Mrs May, is for the sake of long-term security in the Gulf. She argues that the same extremists who plot terror in the Gulf states are also targeting the streets of Europe: “Gulf security is our security.”

However, public pressure to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia is now so great that the government has adopted a new export licensing scheme that hides the value and scale of weaponry being supplied.

The reason for the British government’s current hostility towards Iran was plain from what David Cameron told the Knesset in 2014:

A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to the whole world not just Israel. And with Israel and all our allies, Britain will ensure that it is never allowed to happen.

That position carries forward into the present day and beyond, and serves as an excuse for the rednecks who rule our political swamp to carry on being unpleasant to the Muslim world.

After sucking up to Trump Britain rolls out red carpet to another of the world’s undesirables

Theresa May lost no time in welcoming the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to London. The two leaders this week agreed to establish a new UK-Israel Trade Working Group to strengthen their existing trade and investment relationship and “to prepare the ground for a post-Brexit trade agreement”. What good that will do in the face of rising popularity among the public of boycotting everything Israeli remains to be seen.

Regional issues, including Syria and Iran, are to be on the agenda for discussion. And regarding Palestine May repeated the mantra that – “We remain committed to a two-state solution as the best way of building stability and peace for the future” – though she doesn’t say what that will look like.

Netanyahu also met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and they sat alongside the desk on which the Balfour Declaration was composed in 1917. As for the forthcoming Balfour Declaration centenary celebrations, a statement said that May invited Netanyahu to attend events taking place in the UK “as a guest of government” and that Netanyahu “also invited her to visit him in Israel”.

Netanyahu didn’t miss the opportunity to warn that Iran “seeks to annihilate Israel” and called on nations to back renewed sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Israel’s ‘nest of spies’ in London

I looked up one of my old reports about how Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, argued five years ago that British policy was being driven in an underhand fashion by the Israel lobby. He linked Matthew Gould, the then British ambassador to Israel, with the Fox-Werritty scandal and raised questions about meetings between Gould, Liam Fox and Fox’s strange friend Adam Werritty. Werritty was referred to as Fox’s adviser but according to reports he was backed financially by Israel lobbyists and had no security clearance and therefore no authorised role.

Matthew Gould

Matthew Gould’s relationship with Liam Fox, his friend Adam Werritty and the Israeli intelligence service Mossad leaves many questions to be answered

Murray, with many useful contacts from his days as an ambassador, claimed to have serious evidence connecting Gould with a secret plan to attack Iran, but the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Secretary blocked questions. (To read Craig Murray’s story, “Matthew Gould and the plot to attack Iran”, click here.)

In it he pointed out that

Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a Jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in Jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as “not just an ambassador who is Jewish, but a Jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.

He went on to say that Gould stood suspected of participating with Fox and Werritty “in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel”. The stonewalling by the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office led Murray to conclude that “something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government”.

Labour MP Paul Flynn remarked that no previous ambassadors to Israel had been Jewish so that a conflict of interest and accusations of going native would be avoided. He was immediately rebuked. Flynn also asked about meetings between Werritty and Gould, as some reports suggested that Gould, Werritty and Fox discussed a potential military strike on Iran with Mossad. “I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories,” said Flynn, “but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran.”

Fox had earlier made the idiotic claim: “Israel’s enemies are our enemies”, and the Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Furthermore, Fox continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, is no threat to Britain but regarded by Israel as a bitter enemy. Iraq too was Israel’s enemy, not ours. Yet Fox, according to the website TheyWorkForYou, voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Afghanistan.

Given that Fox so eagerly waved the flag of a foreign military power and was a man with dangerous beliefs and demonstrably weak judgement, how could those who appointed him not see that he was unfit to serve as a Minister of the British Crown – unless they were similarly tainted?

When the Werritty relationship came to light Fox jumped before being flung from the battlements. But instead of melting into obscurity he has now been rehabilitated into the senior ranks of government and is once again a Minister of the Crown. And after watching the trail blazed by our former Jewish ambassador to the Jewish State, we now gawp with fascination at the inevitably messy conflicts of interest arising from Donald Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Israel – David Friedman, a Jewish lawyer with scant respect for international law or Middle East sensitivities.

Despite the strong whiff of misconduct, David Cameron rewarded Gould by making him head of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA), which includes e-crime, working with private sector partners on exchanging information, and engaging with international partners in improving the security of cyberspace and information security. Did it seem right for such a person to be in charge of crucial security matters at the heart of our government? What was in fellow Zionist David Cameron’s mind when he appointed him?

Could it have had anything to do with the UK-Israel academic collaboration ventures with cyber research funding, which involve partnerships between British and Israeli universities and cover research areas such identity management, regulating cyber security, privacy assurance, mobile and cloud security, human aspects of security, and cryptography?

Both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital cooperation in March 2014. And Gould’s new appointment came at a time when the Cameron government was lecturing us on threats to national security and announcing plans to trawl through our personal emails and web browsers in order to “keep us safe”. Question was, who would trawl Gould’s private emails?

The vipers in our bosom

CAAT expects a decision on the judicial review on arms to Saudi Arabia in four to six weeks. In the meantime, an undercover Aljazeera investigation has revealed that a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, was plotting with stooges among British MPs and other vipers in the political snake-pit to “take down” senior government figures, including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan, a noted sympathiser of the Palestinian’s struggle. This should have resulted in the expulsion of the ambassador himself, the Israeli propaganda maestro and Netanyahu’s pet, Mark Regev, who took up the post last year. Regev is the sort of person no sensible government would let into their country. But he was let off the hook and the affair hurriedly smoothed over with an announcement from the Foreign Office that the matter was closed.

Israel's UK embassy spy Shai Masot

Shai Masot plotted with stooges among British MPs and other vipers in the political snake-pit to “take down” senior government figures

Craig Murray, however, has been digging again. The Foreign Office deflected his many questions and dismissed the idea that Masot was anything more than a member of the technical and administrative staff at the embassy. “This is plainly a nonsense,” says Murray. “Masot, as an ex-major in the Israeli navy and senior officer in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is plainly senior to many who are on the Diplomatic List.” He concludes that the Foreign Office is complicit in

a large nest of Israeli spies seeking to influence policy and opinion in the UK in a pro-Israeli direction. That is why the government reaction to one of those spies being caught on camera plotting a scandal against an FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] minister, and giving £1 million to anti-Corbyn MPs, was so astonishingly muted.

All this and the recent UN resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s continuing squats on Palestinian land as illegal and an obstacle to peace, has done nothing to disturb the cosy relationship between Her Majesty’s Government and the obnoxious Israelis.

On the contrary, after May’s meeting with Netanyahu a Downing Street spokesperson said they focused on, yes, cyber security:

In their discussions, the prime ministers committed to working together to build on our longstanding relationship and the strong ties that already exist between our two countries in a wide range of areas, from trade and investment, to innovation and technology, and defence and security. They talked about the important work we do together on intelligence-sharing and cyber security, and committed to talk further about how we can deepen this cooperation, to help keep our people safe.

Sitting comfortably?

13,000 People Hanged? Amnesty Report on Syria Offers Little Evidence

Posted on February 9, 2017

 photo syrelec_zpsd33a1d58.jpg

In the presidential election of 2014, Syrians voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Bashar Assad

[ Ed. note – Amnesty International has released a report alleging that as many as 13,000 people were murdered by Syrian government authorities at a prison near Damascus since 2011. Among the charges are that large numbers of people were “hanged” in the middle of the night and that people also were “repeatedly tortured and systematically deprived of food, water, medicine and medical care.” Additionally we are told that bodies were “taken away by the truckload and buried in mass graves.”

An analysis of the report by Tony Cartalucci, however, points to a scarcity of any solid evidence to back up the rather lurid claims, and the writer describes the report as “fabricated entirely in the United Kingdom.”  Russia has also denounced the report, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova calling it “a fake” and dismissing it as “yet another targeted act of provocation aimed at pouring oil on the fire of the dying-down conflict within Syria.”

Worth considering also is that this is not by any means the first time Amnesty International has issued a report fulminating against the Syrian government. You can go here to read an analysis of two earlier Amnesty reports (one issued in 2011 and the other in 2012) in which questions are raised about accuracy and veracity–and there is also an article here discussing Amnesty’s highlighting of the Syrian conflict in a fundraising appeal last year.

Validating the mainstream media narrative on Syria seems, then, to be an Amnesty métier. ]

***

Amnesty International Admits Syrian ‘Saydnaya’ Report Fabricated Entirely in the UK

By Tony Cartalucci

February 9, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Amnesty International’s 48 page report titled, “Syria: Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison, Syria,” boasts bold claims, concluding:

…the Syrian authorities’ violations at Saydnaya amount to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International urgently calls for an independent and impartial investigation into crimes committed at Saydnaya.

However, even at a cursory glance, before even reading the full body of the report, under a section  titled, “Methodology,” Amnesty International admits it has no physical evidence whatsoever to substantiate what are admittedly only the testimony of alleged inmates and former workers at the prison, as well as figures within Syria’s opposition.

Continued here

Boris Johnson pushed for UK to continue selling weapons to Saudi after funeral bombing

Source

https://www.rt.com/uk/376974-boris-johnson-saudi-weapons/video/

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pushed for continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of a deadly airstrike on a funeral in Yemen which killed 140 people, it has been revealed

In a letter to UK secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, published by the Guardian and dated November 8, Johnson wrote: “I am aware you have deferred a decision on four export licence applications to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force with equipment which could be used in the conflict in Yemen.”

He advised Fox to proceed with the arms sales. “The issue is extremely finely balanced, but I judge at present the Saudis appear committed both to improving processes and to taking action to address failures/individual incidents.”

He went on to say “the clear risk threshold for refusal … has not yet been reached.”

Fox then recommended the licences be approved in light of the assessment provided by Johnson.

In his reply to Johnson, he warned of inherent risks because of the “grave situation” in Yemen and other reasons which were redacted.

“I agree that this is an extremely complex situation and that the issue of clear risk is extremely finely balanced. In the light of your assessment and [REDACTED] recent advice I accept that we should continue, for the present, to assess export licences for Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis,” Fox wrote

However, he added that, “In doing so I want to be very clear with you about the risks inherent in making this decision, not just because of the grave situation in Yemen.”

On October 8, the funeral of the father of a prominent Houthi leader was attacked in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, killing 140 people and injuring 534. Witnesses say nothing was left at the site but “a lake of blood.”

Rebel leaders accused the Saudi-led coalition of deliberately targeting the funeral.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition, which has been attacking Houthi rebels since early 2015, initially denied its involvement but later agreed to investigate the attack.

The inquiry team found: “Because of non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement and procedures, and the issuing of incorrect information, a coalition aircraft wrongly targeted the location, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.”

The letters between Johnson and Fox were among documents disclosed in court proceedings this week, as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) faced the government in a judicial review of the decision to continue licensing arms exports to Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s widely criticized offensive in Yemen

In the landmark case at the High Court, CAAT and other campaign groups are arguing British arms exports are not compatible with UK and EU legislation because they have been used to illegally kill Yemeni civilians.

The four-day judicial review ends in the closed court on Friday.

In November, the government rejected calls by two parliamentary committees and human rights groups to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the weapons were not being used in “a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”

Britain has come under frequent criticism for continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia in the face of repeated atrocities in Yemen. The UK has made more than £3 billion ($3.6 billion) from arms sales since the military campaign began in March 2015, which has seen 11,000 Yemeni civilians killed.

Britain has supplied fighter jets, bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia, and provided training to Saudi pilots participating in the war. It has also admitted to exporting 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.

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