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The absence of world leadership requires better national options

After an intense 15 years of aggression and killing, the so-called "war on terror" has only turned into a source of terror and displacement for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria leading to the immigrant crisis in Europe. The USA has promoted a foreign policy more focused on arbitrary "regime change" and leading to the murder of over a million people and approaching 7,000 US personnel have been killed and over 40,000 injured in the name of fantasies dreamt up in the Washington Belt way by clearly irresponsible individuals with decision-making power in a disoriented administration. The people of the United States gain no benefit from this insanity but they are sold the narrative through a media that their "freedom" rests on the success of a foreign policy bent on marginalizing anyone deemed to be in opposition to USA policies and to use assassination if such opposition persists.

All of this talk about "democracy" palls at what is being done in its name. It is increasingly evident that USA's foreign policy motivation is not primarily to safeguard the interests of the people of America. It serves the specific interests of those who gain from supporting the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all of whom seek chaos in Syria. The USA foreign policy is a proxy operation acting on behalf of these countries. A vivid characterization of this foreign policy can be seen in the Saudi's wholesale murderous aggression in Yemen deploying US and UK supplied plane systems, armaments and UK provision of pilot training. They have provided this support in spite of the allegations of Saudi Arabia's support of the terrorists who carried out the 9-11 atrocity resulting in deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others in downtown New York. Over a longer period the Saudi financing of the establishment of mosques and promotion of Wahhabism worldwide has provided the foundation for a spread of an intolerant and fundamentalist approach to Islam amongst Moslems in Europe and the USA and elsewhere. This intolerance of other religions and social customs is what has merged into the strains that appear in the outlook of most Islamic terrorists, either "home-grown" or imported. Naturally the US led wars of aggression, that kill more Moslems than any other group, sustain a motivation for people to switch to join those fighting the USA to be branded as terrorists. This explanation for the growth in home-grown "terrorists" was confirmed in an FBI report that did not gain much media coverage.

The sheer extent of the decadence of US foreign policy is reflected in the preference of President Obama to not allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia and in their continued protection and support of head-lopping, raping sex-slavery operator extremists, also favoured and funded by Saudi Arabia, and whom they call "the moderate opposition" in Syria. Independent national options are frowned upon by the US State Department in complete contradiction of any normal acceptance by a democratic society of alternative positions and policies.

Theresa May

The question is, why does the United Kingdom government, under Theresa May willingly participate in this quagmire of immoral and unethical conduct? The United Kingdom has and continues to pay a heavy price in its meek following of US policies, largely for fear of being ostracized and being upstaged by some EU Member or losing some armaments contract. Its recent orchestrated show in United Nations, alongside France in supporting the scripted US State department hysteria, concerning Aleppo in Syria, only confirmed weak levels of independence.

It needs to be noted that the UK came up with most of the Human Rights legislative foundation in European Human Rights and England produced the first constitutional drafts that after around 140 years were taken up as the US Constitution and Bill of Rights by the "founding fathers". The UK's penchant for logic combined with legal principles largely couched in the Common Law is a sound logical, moral and ethical mix and this still has much to contribute to the world. Discounting the current irresponsible cow towing of the UK to an aggressive foreign policy, the UK can contribute far more by opting for placing humanity at the front of foreign policy and to draw upon moral principles and ethical procedures, to propose peaceful options that safeguard the harmonious development of human communities worldwide. The USA, on the other hand, has done too much damage and viewed with too much cynicism for it to attempt such as move.

Arthur Cockburn

The UK recent decision giving arise to BREXIT provides an opportunity for an ex-post analysis of the benefits of leaving as opposed to staying. In 1987, UK Commissioner Arthur Cockburn, Vice-President of the Delors' Commission and Commissioner for the Internal Market, Tax Law and Customs, arranged, through his cabinet, for a study to be conducted on the benefits of the European Common Market and referred to as "No Europe". The first report turned up nothing so the study was recommissioned making use of a management consultancy company to do a more "thorough" job. The outcome was essentially a repeat failure to come up with any significant benefits from Europe.

Berlaymont the law mill
In Berlaymont, the Commission HQ on Rue de la Loi, it was nowhere to be found and very soon it was no longer recognized by its name.

The situation has not really changed since then. It has got worse with the overall makeup of the Member State political systems having veered away from the former English and UK approach to democracy to rule-based legal provisions with little adaptability. Indeed the unfortunate lessons of countries that have joined is that laws written, top down, by government advisers in the same mode as the Commission, is the name of the game. Participatory democracy has become a buzz word. The extension of this approach to EU accession support in the Balkans is not contributing to democratic values but rather the reverse where getting hold of EU funds is obtained by putting in place requested but token administrative structures. Getting out of the EU is well overdue with other member states in the EU Council having increasing veto power while their policies are increasingly top down elitist concoctions. BREXIT had to happen sooner or later. So the option open to the UK is to predict the future after BREXIT, that is to define where is wants to go, the best solution is to create this future, following Peter Druker's advice. This is where the "No Europe" report fell down, it did not explore the alternative options open to the UK beyond "business as usual". The most important option is to demonstrate an independent foreign policy that flexes its muscles, not in selling armaments to murderers, droning and killing the guests at tribal wedding ceremonies or slavishly following the USA into failed ventures. Rather it is to establish alternatives based on moral principles and ethics, removing threats from diplomatic language and embracing simple recognizable peaceful human motivations as the driving force of policy logic.

On the European side the threats of retaliation from EU members is to be expected given the evolving anti-democratic mind sets in the leadership, and the increasing dependency of some on EU hand-outs. If they persist this will damage the weak EU economy and not the UK economy, which has far more options.

Internal struggle in EU over conflicting interests of USA and Member States

It is clear that Donald Tusk failed to deliver on pressure from the US to get a unified EU position to impose further sanctions on Russia at the last Council meeting. He read out a typical US State Department buzz wordy narrative to claim, unconvincingly, that Russia is trying to destabilize the EU. Tusk is becoming somewhat like the other proxy US policy spokesperson, Jens Stoltenberg of NATO who pursues an EU destabilizing policy of aggressive Middle Eastern foreign policy led by the USA that has created the migrant crisis as the major destabilizing issue in the EU. As usual the USA pressures for policies where the EU pays the main price and proxy representatives such as Tusk and Stoltenburg promote European instability.

CIA "covert" operation becomes a very public joke ;-)

In an intentional constituent-aimed media interview on NBC's "Meet the Press", the Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden, hinted that the CIA is preparing a "covert" Cyber attack on Russia. How silly can you get by broadcasting a covert operation in advance? According to Ibn Nr this sort of nonsense is to try and communicate that things are so bad that the US is "going to have to react". This is to add credibility to the assertions of Russian hacking. This fuzzy hint by the Veep is to try and convince the US electorate that Russia really is attacking the Democratic party's range of databases many of which are not operational and the records are offline on paper in dusty filing cabinets. Concerning the Podesta emails and the damming confidential statements made by Clinton to her support groups, the most logical explanation is that these were leaked by Democratic party operatives or IT personnel reacting to the unconstitutional treatment of Bernie Sanders by the party in support of Hillary Clinton. The Russian dimension is a convenient diversionary tactic by the Democrats which has no evidential base, designed to fill the media with the imaginary Russian bogey man "fear factor" rather than the content of these damming documents. The well known endemic political bias in the majority of US mainstream media can be left to do the rest by hiding what is in fact going on from the US public thereby undermining transparency, in contradiction to the fundamental aims of a free press.

APE - Apeurope authorizes detailed study on the costs & benefits of Brexit

During the Apeurope Annual General Meeting held on 10th October, Group correspondents registered their extreme frustration at the absence of evidence-based positions, on all sides, during the recent European referendum. With the decision to leave the European Union, this lack of clarity continues. The vacillation and delays by all British political parties in defining any coherent position is alarming and the posturing of the European Commission officials and some heads of state of Member States is unacceptable. Therefore, in the continued absence of any positive government or Commission action the Apeurope Board has authorized a study on the "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union". This study will analyse the sector and foreign trade partner potential opportunities, gaps and impacts arising from the new options that now exist with BREXIT. This has the objective of providing a basis for identifying mutual benefits to the remaining European Union's members and to the UK.

The Whale in the coming BREXIT talks

In some of the preparatory exchanges concerning the Apeurope Study "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" one delegate pointed out that one of the most shocking give-aways by the Heath Conservative government, when the UK entered the European Union in 1972, was the UK's fishing grounds, amongst the most productive on the planet. This had a significant negative social and economic impact on the British fishing industry. BREXIT provides the damaged UK fishing industry and the UK fishermen the opportunity to regain their former prominent contribution to Britain's Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry sector by supplying the UK with home-caught fish.

The current catch value, official and unofficial, is around £500 million. Much fish coming to the UK market goes through large EU-based factory ships who simply sell fish caught within these waters to UK fishermen or land the fish for port-side markets. With BREXIT the national fishing communities' income could double to around £1 billion.

The re-establishment of British sovereignty over the former UK fishing grounds would be a major tangible benefit of BREXIT. In preparation to this major benefit it would make sense, in terms of managing the total manageable catch (TAC) to come to agreement with Iceland on management and to only permit EU vessels to fish under license paid to the UK treasury. License income would be used to monitor fish stocks and prevent abuse arising from unacceptable catching practices such as avoiding catching and killing very young fish needed to grow stocks for the sustainability of the industry.

This could become the Whale in the BREXIT negotiation fish tank when discussions get going. Several countries, France and Spain and indirectly The Netherlands, have much to lose with this aspect of BREXIT. The solution, of course, is not to try and punish Britain for BREXIT but to come to a satisfactory settlement of things like this; there are many more to come and Real News will be setting these out here.

US foreign policy is a ridiculous "Show Time" for gullible media; little credibility remains

The sheer hypocrisy of the histrionics of the USA UN ambassador and the lack of logical argument of the US State Secretary and the absurd off stage statements by leading US military figures is ridiculous. We witness a bunch of mavericks playing a high stakes poker game while the Commander in Chief, so-called, seems to be ignored. No one believes that the US attack on the Syrian army was a "mistake" as John Kerry claimed. This attack could be "called off" because it was already "mission accomplished". The terrorist attack on the humanitarian mission was immediately blamed on Syrian and Russian air attacks while the US ignored the drone evidence provided by Russia on the local terrorist vehicle pulling a howitzer. The biggest problem that runs through the US narratives and bluster is a complete lack of evidence to back up accusations relating to Russian actions in Syria, cyber attacks on some disparate Democratic Party servers and events in the Ukraine. However, the evidence that does exist supports the emerging truth that the US foreign policy is barbaric, currently protecting rapists and beheading terrorists who run a sex trade based on innocent women, selling them through online sites by having their so-called "moderates" inter-mingle with these terrorists in civilian areas to protect them from attack.
The latest show by these hypocrites has been in the Security Council of the UN to demand "investigations" into war crimes. The burning alive of innocents by US repeated attacks on the hospital in Kunduz in Afghanistan and the recent attack by Saudi Arabia killing 150 individuals in the Yemen are war crimes.

Brexit, better late than never

BREXIT was unexpected but at least it got some people thinking about if something can be done with BREXIT that might benefit the UK population.

First of all, all of the dire chaos that those who wished to remain in Europe warned about, has not occurred. The economy isn't doing well but nothing much has changed. Secondly people are beginning to review the real options without Europe and some of these are appearing to be increasingly attractive. As many are now asking why the UK should limit our market scope to Europe when there is a whole world out there.

The rot began with the European constituents were marginalized by the exclusive way in which the European Convention on the Constitution chaired by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 2001. Then in 2003 democracy took a bad turn with the large enlargement under Commissioner Verheugen which brought in many central European countries, none of which had stable democratic credentials and countries like Hungary were pulled in with many EU requirements not having been satisfied and lot of legislation not even having been transcribed. Democracy was dealt a further blow when Angela Merkel in mid-2007, in a leaked letter to Member State leaders, suggested they revive almost all the controversial elements of the flopped European Constitution whereby leaders were trying to smuggle in a massive new extension of Brussels power by the back door. This was all being done in secret behind the back of the British people and the Parliament by Tony Blair. The constitution was controversial because it proposed scrapping national vetoes in dozens of areas, including policing and justice; the creation of a permanent elected president and foreign minister, and a legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights that would increase trade union influence. The aim was to revive the constitution in all but name, but this time without voters getting a choice. The key trick suggested by Merkel and reaffirmed by Tony Blair at the time led to the infamous Lisbon Treaty in December 2007 as an amending treaty.<

Why Americans have no basic right to bear arms

The right to bear arms, buried in the American Constitution is related to the old English basis for organizing state military forces through local militia. Thus in the American Constitution it states, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". The misrepresentation of the content of the American Constitution is promoted proactively by such organizations as the National Rifle Association (NRA) who basically circulate disinformation that this is a general right when even in the US Constitution the eligibility of being able to bear arms is related to membership of a militia.

As a result of this tendentious interpretation of the constitution, each year, has led to the insane result of more than 30,000 Americans killed by gun violence – homicides, suicides and incidental shootings. That number is ten times more than the number of Americans killed by terrorists on 9/11. Yet Congress has failed to act. Felons, terrorists, domestic abusers and the seriously violent mentally ill, and now home-made terrorists who support ISIS have easy access to firearms and ammunition because of weak and irresponsible American gun laws.

Salt & Vinegar option under BREXIT

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, assertion that no BREXIT is better than hard BREXIT and that leaving will only leave salt and vinegar. This exposes a behind-the-scenes effort on the part of a wide range of interest groups to try and reverse the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

What is not being accepted is that no one has quantified the benefits of remaining. In the 1980s UK European Commissioner Cockburn commissioned a study called "No Europe". This was supposed to calculate the benefits of being in Europe. The initial study came up with no benefits so the study was repeated, again coming up with no significant benefits. This report was a source of embarrassment and was therefore binned by the Commission. However, the fundamental message of the report was not lost on those who had read the report, especially some members of the UK Conservative party. It should be remembered that Cockburn was a UK Commissioner proposed by the Thatcher government. The bottom line here is that many in Britain know that the European Commission has no bargaining position if a country wishes to leave the EU because it is not possible to quantify the benefits of remaining. Any "hard exit" will prejudice European exporters to the UK. This means trying to punish, or threatening to punish the UK, bordering on economic sanctions, will only hurt Europe. This is why there is a panic in the European Commission.

On the question of foreign investment in the UK drying up with BREXIT, some recent confidential corporate executive conclaves are concluding that the UK's prospects are better outside the EU because the economy will grow faster than the EU as a result of the incremental growth in UK trade with non-EU countries. The organization of negotiating teams, with many members coming from British Commonwealth countries, is impressive and there is a large build-up of trading profiles being prepared, not with the EU, but with a long list of global partners. Whereas the UK started BREXIT with weak negotiation resources the current capabilities have already surpassed the somewhat sclerotic approach associated with the EU Commission typified by secrecy and a very poor public image such as their poorly handled TTIP negotiations.

There is a poorly appreciated fact surrounding the UK regulatory environment for financial services and a long established flexibility in the way the UK-based financial sector handle just about any challenge, sets London apart from any other world financial centre. This has its drawbacks but remains a well known, but seldom admitted, reality. The European Commission dreams that BREXIT will result the global financial centre migrating to Frankfurt, or anywhere else in mainland Europe, but according to traders this is unlikely to come true for the foreseeable future. At the moment European centres do not have the right combination of capabilities, experience and regulatory environments or, frankly, any track record to contemplate substituting London as the global financial centre.

Donald Tusk does not appear to understand that the British have a preference for eating fish and chips with salt and vinegar and this tradition will continue after BREXIT.

Meet the leader of the biggest political party in Europe

it is so important
In spite of the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the out of touch MPs who tried to unseat him by imposing yet another leadership election, he has succeeded, in the meantime, to turn Labour into the largest political party in Europe. There is a certain disorientation on the part of those who look for charisma and image in their leaders as opposed to consistency and substance. Winning elections is not always about the fear factor or false promises it can be about careful fashioning of policy on a more participatory, modest but more effective basis.

The media poured over Corbyn's final address to his party at the end of it's conference. Most criticisms were not particularly relevant, not even fair. But when one listens to the address and compares it with 12 months ago when Corbyn first became leader, there is a more coherent package, not exactly inspiring but more logical and clear. This is what the electorate wants to hear. Step by step Corbyn is beginning to make more sense. In terms of communicating with the electorate the style is clear and comprehensible, it is just plain English.

There is a very British eccentricity to all of this. Unlike European trends this silent revolution is taking place within a traditional political party which has decided to return to its formative roots because the conventional politics has forced the constituents to re-evaluate their evolving status. In many countries the trend has been the rejection of existing political parties with their close association with interest groups who pressure to maintain the macroeconomic policies that have eliminated investment and reduced real incomes on a persistent basis while bubbles appear in real estate and the grey derivatives markets. This is why increasing numbers are joining the Labour party. The Labour party membership already exceeds the total membership of all other British political parties put together.

White Helmets in Syria alleged to be phony NGO
Involved in staged propaganda
Funded by UK government,
with HQ in Turkey

Journalists who have recently visited Syria report that the White Helmets who feature in many media in the West saving children following "attacks by the Syrian government or Russians" are closely embedded in the terrorist groups and only work in the areas occupied by the same. It is alleged that they have a budget of something like $100 million and employ about 3,000 individuals who are involved in staged, heavily edited, videos designed to accuse either the Syrian government or Russians of atrocities. It is further alleged that the White Helmets and heavily armed off camera, have been involved in killing Syrian Civil Defence personnel and raiding and stealing their equipment and mopping up after beheadings and executions by the terrorist organizations. These allegations are so serious that the British Government needs to be asked to explain why they waste public funds on such an organization closely involved with ISIS and Al Quaeda and others and organized to mislead the British public with distorted propaganda.

Sergey Lavrov

The declining image of the USA

The showdown at the United Nations saw the USA, the UK and France engaged in duplicity and proving a clear factual financial and military support of the very terrorists who threaten these same countries. We witnessed a decadent John Kerry and histrionic side show by Samatha Power who, to boot, affronted Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, the Russian Permanent representative to the United Nations. But in the long term the person who has demonstrated restraint, patience and a measured and balanced approach throughout this saga has been Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. Russia does not need any propaganda machine when the USA's very public foreign policy is run by a rabble.

The image of the USA is declining rapidly with no apparent leadership on the Syrian question leading to the same disasters that the USA has initiated in Afghanistan and Iraq. When talking to the USA on foreign policy we face the issue raised by Henry Kissinger when referring to Europe, "who do you to talk to?". The Pentagon and the CIA supporting rival terrorist groups and the State Department's you are with us or against us, it is clear that the co-called Commander in Chief has absolutely no control over these mutinous agencies.

This presents a very obvious failure in the operation of the constitution of the USA, an inability to bring to heel the tendency for aggression and extra-constitutional behaviour that has caused the deaths of excessive numbers of innocent men, women and children. The frank operational support of terrorists who threaten the USA itself is a shocking state of affairs and an example of a failing state.