Because of its contemporary and future importance, we have made the following topic the leading theme for the rest of this year 2018. Contributions to this theme are listed below the title.
With freedom threatened by the politics of aggression & fear, we need impartial media
There is a growing epidemic in media of all types in tendentious manipulation of information by the larger search engine and social media organizations and advertising systems as well as the so-called mainstream media. Our editorial team is preparing articles to cover this critical topic in some detail and these will be added to this thread as they are finalized.
Freedom & the politics of fear
The decadence and decline in the free exchange of ideas in a world where politicians fail to promote a peaceful world .....
Deflecting attention away from the full facts.....
The extra constitutional components of the framework that works against open exchange of information ....
The role of alternative media
Setting the current discussions concerning
mainstream and alternative media in context ....
Measuring truth Part 1
How mis-representation of the facts
has become a norm....
Measuring truth Part 2
Measures of the value of truth point to
a constitutional solution (in preparation)
How to resuscitate democracy
A proposition (in preparation)
Historic contributions - 1645 to 1945
Speaking truth to power & the 1649 proposition
Inspiring concepts leading towards the concepts of representative democracy ....
A Trial by Jury - 1670
The historic impact of the outcome of the
William Penn's trial by jury.....The proposition, 358 years on
In spite of the self-indulgent propaganda about our written and unwritten "constitutions" we have failed to advance representative democracy effectively .....A Trial by Jury - 327 years on
The historic impact of the outcome of the
John Peter Zenger's trial by jury .....
Far from being perceived a someone letting down America, Trump's ratings are rising following the summit
CybaCity released a note confirming that the main political elite and corporate media have seriously under-estimated national political ramifications of the outcome of the Helsinki summit. Trump's central base sees Trump as delivering on what he campaigned for and the "establishment" is increasingly perceived to be out of touch and unappreciative of his efforts and accomplishments. This has caused some offence.
This general feeling first became apparent during the presidential election as Hillary Clinton's mindset became more apparent as someone exuding confidence but weakening that with an image of projected superiority and entitlement. Her faux pas "deplorables" moment and then her demasking by the content of her and Podesta emails and the disgraceful treatment of Bernie Sanders essentially destroyed her chances. In the meantime the revelation of her involvement in the dodgy dossier used by the FBI to justify surveillance at the FISA court has brought her standing to almost zero. The Republicans and Democrats who appear to be in her bandwagon supporting the Russiagate fanaticism are now also facing a slide in popularity.
Trump has began to pick up support amongst those who thought he would be unable to deliver on his campaign promises and find his accomplishments, so far, given the intensity of the hostility emanating from the swamp, to have been surprising. One new and unexpected element is that many who do not want the US involved in wars see the Singapore and Helsinki summits as being significant steps in the right direction. If Trump can continue on this path and winds down US involvements in multiple useless costly wars, his ratings will receive an additional boost as a result of his being perceived to be the first President for many years with an interest in stability and peace. This is a surprising finding but actions do say more than words. CybaCity predict that Trump's popularity ratings will rise from the current 43% to around 50% in the next month or so. For Trump's expanding base and about 4 months to go before the mid-terms, his own campaign is well on the way. This more than can be said for the Democrats and, it must be said, some Republicans.
As a footnote, many have expressed their exasperation with the corporate media's fixation with Russia and attacks on Trump. These have become a complete turn-off and of no interest to increasing numbers. CybaCity report that Trump's use of Twitter has become a serious case study in the power of direct communication to increasing numbers of constituents that is free from censorship and selecive media bias. Trump is running is own alternative medium and it is very effective.
Sam Husseini had a relevant question, but was prevented from delivering it
source: FAIR website
Sam Husseini was forcibly removed by Finnish security personnel from the 2018 Trump Putin press briefing before the two Presidents has arrived. He was holding up a paper on which was written "Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty," which the Finnish authorities considered to be a "malicious item". He had intended to ask Trump and Putin on their opinion on Israel's clandestine nuclear arms arsenal. This is an issue of fundamental importance and very pertinent to the discussions and decisions relating to the Iran deal. It is also relevant in the context of both the US and Russia stating that they are taking Israel's concerns into consideration in Syria. It is regrettable that he was unable to deliver his question. It would have been quite revealing to see how Trump and Putin would have handled it; no doubt by deflecting the topic to something else.
Sam Husseini is the communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes progressive experts as alternative sources for mainstream media reporters.
He formerly worked at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and at the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He has written articles for a variety of publications, including CounterPunch, The Nation, The Washington Post, USA Today and Salon.
Husseini was born in 1966 to a Palestinian Christian father and a Jordanian mother. He is a US citizen and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a double bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and logic and computation. A lesson in diplomacy
The general role of leaders is not to lecture or stand up to another leader and make a public show of it in the name of some image that others may wish to project. Donald Trump never undertook to embarrass President Putin, he always made it clear that the idea of the Helsinki summit was to try to initiate a relationship preferably so that he could get along with him. Why? So that a basic level of communication and mutual trust could be gradually built up so as to address all of the issues considered to be of importance and hopefully, resolving them.
|Donald Trump clarifies a point...|
Donald Trump has stated that he "misspoke" and there was a need for clarification on a statement he made during the press briefing following the summit. He had stated that he saw no reason why Russia “would” interfere in the US election, when he had meant to say that he saw no reason why Russia “would not” have interfered in the US elections.
This statement was made to clarify his position, following the over-the-top onslaught from media and politicians criticizing his previous statement. In a rational world where the media and politicians have a better understanding of the context of the summit as an initiation of better communications, such a clarification would not have been necessary.
Trump has been skillful in apparently achieving this. He did not show subservience to a tyrant, as some from the swamp bayed. Donald Trump demonstrated a skillful level of constraint and grace which succeeded in helping President Putin express some interesting ideas, suggestions and some plausible explanations as to why his country as government or private citizens did not attempt to influence the presidential election or influence events to get Donald Trump elected. In the case of private citizens accused by the intel agencies of such acts, Putin has offered to investigate following established procedures. Putin in very clear terms responded to most questions raised in the press session following the summit. It is very seldom that we get to hear his points of view because of the broad self-imposed corporate media censorship in the USA and UK. Donald Trump in response to somewhat tedious questions from the US press contingent confirmed that he had raised the allegations of interference in the election with President Putin. He first of all confirmed his faith in US intel services and then stated that Putin has denied this is the strongest terms. He added, clearly referring to the context of the conversation with Putin, that he could not see any reasons why Russia would have done so. In other words, Trump confirmed that he raised the question, that Putin had replied and that within the context of that exchange could see no reason why Russia would have done this. There was nothing in this passage that made Trump appear weak or subservient, he was simply informing the journalist who asked if this question had been raised, with a rational and diplomatic reply.
That US and UK intel have made many assertions is known the world over but people are waiting for palpable evidence to be produced. The credibility of these agencies is at rock bottom and given the more recent track record of these intel agencies fabricating facts based on false flag events leading to attacks and warfare and the deaths of millions of innocent people; they are simply not trusted. It would be foolish for Trump to overdo any confirmation of the findings by these organizations simply because everyone knows he also doesn't know what the evidence is. He was standing on an international platform facing well-informed people in the room and beyond. So why do the swamp-dwellers expect him to say he believes in evidence he hasn't seen and which, in any case, has been conjoured up to contribute to his downfall. Trump isn't that stupid and the international community understand why his deft approach makes a lot more sense. Many have admired his handling of this specific issue in avoiding becoming an unwitting agent of the increasingly embarrassing fanatical and paranoid tyranny seeping out of the swamp broadcast monologues.
It would seem that the swamp-dwellers would have preferred that Trump, being a bigger fellow, had tried to initmidate or "stand up to" Putin in front of the assembled journalists, maybe even shouting at Putin in a theatrical and indignant fashion - swamp dwellers love this sort of thing - that what he has stated could not be true because the agents in the swamp, who want to impeach Trump, have said the opposite. The swamp-dwellers are an abusive bunch who support aggression combined with swagger and a hypocritical self-righteousness, convinced that the USA has right on its side and that Russia has no understanding of what it takes to be exceptional; the sort of pathetic mantra spouted by Michael Pompeo; these sort of people consider themselves to be very close to God.
The summit was designed from its initiation to be an act of diplomacy, Trump-style, and Trump delivered on his promise. If any aspect of this summit had followed even an iota of the grubby orientation of the swamp-dwellers, the world today would be a less secure place.
We can point to many actions carried out as a result of Trump decisions that we do not consider to be just or rational. However, most outside the swamp, those of the international community, were happy to see dialogue opening up between the USA and Russia as a result of a rational approach to statesmanship in the form of a well overdue and welcomed international leadership on the part of Presidents Trump and Putin.
Trump has tweeted that others never rose to and delivered on this type of approach and he is right.Trump did not side with Russia against US intel
Following the press briefing following the Helsinki summit, the baying from the seditious mob in Washington consisted mainly of rants that Trump sided with Russia against US intel and some went as far as to assert that this was even treasonous. Since Trump did not in fact do this throthing and writhing is very telling, a sign of desparate self-righteous people clutching at straws as their own guilt and incompetence is beginning to become more evident and to close in on them showing them up for what they are.
The initiation of this assertion of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian State to get Trump elected came from Hillary Clinton, her campaign staff and the Democrats and was intensified when they lost the election. The DNC/Hillary Clinton inspired and funded a somewhat lurid dossier recounting acts by Donald Trump during a trip to Moscow some years ago. The details were stated to have come from Russian intel sources when in fact it was complied by an out of work British ex-intel officer needing some cash. This unsubstantiated dossier was used by the FBI to initiate FISA Court order (The FISA-Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (Pub.L. 95–511, 92 Stat. 1783, 50 U.S.C.). The FISA Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This intentional use of the Hillary Clinton inspired and funded dodgy dossier was used dishonestly by the FBI to initiate the subsequent illegal surveillance on Carter Page. This then morphed into the Russia-Trump campaign collusion investigation headed by Mueller. The judge concerned was Rudolph Contreras who was forcibly recused from them Michael Flynn Case. The FBI, therefore, demonstrated bad faith in intentionally misleading the FISA Court judge who authorized surveillance by not informing him that the dossier submitted in justification had been funded by Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, there has been talk that Contreras might be the judge overseeing the final judgement. If so, this would point to his being aware of this corruption and being part of the scheme. However, this investigation failed to come up with any evidence and at that point, a month or so ago, should have been concluded. However, since certain political agents were not satisfied with this conclusion, they have sought to keep the Mueller investigation alive so as to continue with the malign intent to scrape up evidence, any evidence, on the finer points that might be interpreted as interference in the election by Russian-based elements. It would seem that the investigators hope that if they can establish that there was Russian interference they can then use that to back track to establish evidence that there was also collusion. They tried the social media route only to find that Facebook, Google and Twitter could not find anything of significance. They have therefore now gone the cyber-security and hacking route and recently issued the indictment on 12 GRU inividuals, again providing no evidence. This is why Trump is in an impossible position of having to give reasons why there maybe was no Russian interference in the election, to protect his own position. In the press briefing after the summit Trump stated that he had asked President Putin about the "interference" which Putin strongly denied. To which Donald Trump added, almost musing, that he could see no reason why Russia would interfere; that is all that he stated. For the plotters in Washigton and intel agencies to be affronted by this logical statement would seem to suggest that they are in a weakening and frantic state. Why do they take such offense? Their reaction does not bode well for them. All Trump did was express and opinion, after all, if Putin denied any state involvement what would be the motivation for Russia to interfere, in any case? Putin didn't know Trump so what was the basis for collusion? A pertinent point made by Trump.
Therefore the way in which the corporate media and mixture of politicians and agencies have handled this issue has caused a confusion in the significance of any possible interference. Is it simply interference, and if so to what end? Or is this a stepping stone back to establishing collusion? The continuing failure to produce any convincing evidence on either count and because the final judgement rests with legal procedures conducted in a court, Donald Trump is fully justified in assessing the likelihood of the veracity of the secret "evidence". After all the US intel agencies are using the same spurious basis of "highly likely" as the basis for stating that the Russians had interfered.
In the end the initiation of the investigation, founded on bad faith, and the lack of a transparent and disciplined handling of the investigation is the cause of embarrassment of the position of the Presidency of the United States and it reflects badly on the investigation standards of the US agencies involved. They themselves are bringing the image of their organizations into international disrepute. However, the person occupying the Presidency has the right, under the Constitution, to defend himself, including doubting the competence and integrity of those who accuse him as well as requesting assistance of others who can assist in establishing the facts. There is no act of treason here but there are ample grounds for establishing a conspiracy of sedition directed at the Presidency of the United States.
Outcome of Trump Putin Helsinki summit
APE Policy & Strategies Unit,
The important result of the summit is that Presidents Trump and Putin have begun to talk in what would appear to have been an open manner. On strategic balance and nuclear arms there was agreement on the importance of the topic but any US President is going to find it very difficult to deliver of stockpile reductions affecting the USA and Russia. This is because the track record of the USA, before Trump became President, is one of irresponsible unilateral abandonment of long standing agreements.
So the Real News review in the preceding article did point this out and this is probably why emphasis was given to a reconfirmation of the significance of the Singapore agreement with North Korea.
We don't know if the reality of the current tactical questions concerning nuclear weapons was discussed , it is unlikely. But it is also something the West does not want to discuss because it exposes a massive flaw in its current approach and capabilities.
The current intelligence and emerging consensus on Ukraine shows the USA is on the wrong side or, at least, not exerting enough pressure of that government to adhere to the Minsk agreement. Although follow up corporate media comments in the USA and UK, see Trump as having sold out to Russia over Crimea. It was Obama who did this. Trump is dealing with fait accomplis and the latest soundings of the Crimean electorate show that they are thankful for the chance to return to Russia and avoid the genocide that was in the offing if this had not been done. Yulia Tymoshenko is on record as wishing to kill all ethnic Russians in the Ukraine and this process had started in several areas before the Crimeans, in an act of self-preservation, voted to join the Russian Federation. What saved Crimea was the large naval base and military presence in Crimea. However, as Putin explained, the vote took place under international monitoring and it was a landslide. Since Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, the Nazi squads, that US military train and equip, have been engaged in brutal attacks against Roma and ethnic Russians while the authorities, so-called, look the other way. So the pre-condition that Russia needs to return Crimea to the Ukraine is an impossibility and is therefore an irresponsible notion promoted by those involved in the demonization of Russia and promotion of the fantasy that Russia colluded with Trump as well as interfered in the presidential election.
As a note, our Helsinki correspondent understands from the Russian side that Trump and Putin reviewed the Ukraine situation in far more depth that was stated in the press conference. Between them they came up with a range of possible ways to resolve the main issues. The Russians were also generally impressed by Trump's ability to listen and in many cases not commenting but noting what was stated. He was probably comparing mental notes with what he has gathered from others. He was more steadfast and gave nothing away and stood his ground in key areas. His actual behaviour contrasts with the doubts, impressions and characterization of Trump as some sort of naive simpleton filling the pages and web pages of corporate media in the USA and UK.
The Real News review of the then forthcoming Helsinki summit, suggested that Trump ask Putin about the allegations concerning interference in the election and the indictment concerning 12 GRU officials. It is not clear who raised this question but President Putin has proposed that use should be made of a standing agreement between the countries relating to criminal cases where as a result of a formal request the Russian agencies can assist in providing any evidence that is available on the Russian side. Whereas this is the only transparent way to get to the bottom of these accusations the USA intel agencies and those in the UK have built up a practice of not coming up with any evidence but coming to conclusions that Russia is responsible based on no more than assessments that it is "highly likely" that Russia is responsible. Even the flimsy highly likely statements are not associated with even a scrap of evidence. Therefore, it is unlikely that Mueller will make any such formal request since the indictment recently issued is seen by most as an attempt to discourage Trump's meeting with Putin, or, at least to stymie it. Putin's offer has been given in good faith and it is a test of the state of evidence as to whether Mueller will in fact request assistance. Putin rightly has explained that, in the end, this is a court decision but the discovery needs to be thorough. Some pundits have suggested this would ensure that the poacher becomes the game keeper. But Russia has not been proven guilty, this is the idea of a court case. Putin's idea needs to be followed up and the reaction of US intel and FBI will be revealing. To state this risks exposing how the US agencies obtained "evidence" is not relevant because they have already stated how they think this was done. The main issue, raised by Trump, is where are the DNC servers and other computers used by non-US citizens working for DNC. but who have since "disappeared". So far, the evidence shows the FBI and intel agencies never inspected the DNC server/s but were worked on by the private company CrowdStrike at the request of Hillary Clinton/DNC; this undermines their case significantly.
This is not a matter of Trump siding with Putin against US intel agencies. This is a state of affairs where the President of the USA is being attacked by filth columnists and corporate media including people working for US government agencies. He is not shown evidence and therefore has no option to look for avenues to prove his innocence, paradoxically, on something it appears he has not done in any case. So the fact he finds assistance from Russia as welcomed is a logical conclusion. This is not disloyalty or treason as some have stated it is someone looking for alternative explanation as to why the people attacking him are wrong. As the Real News piece stated, in the end, if no evidence is produced and all of this turns out to be lies we have a significant case of sedition where all of the guilty individuals have been identified by their own overt irresponsible actions in attempting to undermine the US Constitution and the Presidency of the USA.
As expected, nothing came of the Iranian Syrian question simply because Russia has no leverage here and Trump side-stepped a question on Syria by emphasizing the fact both the USA and Russia are taking into account Israel's interests in Syria.
Our conclusion is that this summit was a success in terms of world peace and lowering of tensions. The battle continues, however, led by tedious fanaticism and paranoid delusions emanating from the failed Democratic party and Hillary Clinton fans who are becoming somewhat obnoxious in their inability to show grace in defeat.
Possible commitments and follow ups arising from Trump Putin Helsinki summit
Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to denuclearize the world; most agree with this objective. A very safe outcome from the Trump Putin summit would be an agreement to re-initiate mutual reductions on strategic nuclear stockpiles. This is good for Trump, it would be good for Putin and for all of us. The criticism leveled at Trump on the "non-results" from the North Korean agreement are completely unfair. A lot was accomplished and following the original Russian and Chinese proposal which is being followed, this will all take time. So Trump's agreement automatically brought into line an agreement that had the support of both Russia and China. This is more than any previous president had accomplished, as Donald Trump keeps reminding us.
Part and parcel of any possible strategic denuclearization agreement arising from the Helsinki meeting, would be a subsequent confirmation by China that it would be in agreement and even participate. The obvious cascade effect should also be to also bring India and Pakistan into the bounds of this agreement, as well as France, UK and Israel.
The main impediment to all of this is the USA track record on the last major agreement which was abandoned unilaterally by the USA. Therefore Trump needs to think carefully, he has time, on what should be done to improve the USA's poor track record on adherence to international agreements. An assumption that one is dealing with this from a position of strength is completely undermined by the significant growth in the lack of reliability of the USA in adhering to many international agreements; at the moment the USA faces a serious challenge in passing itself off as a trustworthy "partner".
As Sergey Lavrov, the Russia Foreign Minister, made clear to Larry King recently, most communications channels have been closed with Russia by the USA during the last few years except for tactical and operational channels relating to Syrian operation. However, whereas Putin can delegate the tasks of managing these channels to competent individuals, Trump cannot. This is because with the new administration Trump's team was very slow in cleaning out the Obama adherents and dead wood from the top echelons in many agencies. Trump therefore needs to move with caution to avoid sabotage from the US side. This is an extraordinary reality of the USA today. This is why the other channels should be opened up slowly following audits on the competence of those assigned to each one. Whereas Pompeo will be able to handle the strategic denuclearization question the Ukraine channel should be opened using people under the control of Trump and Trump needs to mount an independent advisory group untainted by the Obama appointees. Pompeo needs to clean up several echelons within State to gain a more objective perspective on the Ukraine and Crimea. This is almost a requirement for any objective discussions on this crisis to proceed following the disastrous and shameful overt role of State in the Maidan debacle and coup (e.g. Victoria Newland and others). The tactical assistance being given to the Nazi squads in the Ukraine by the USA is a direct support for the main elements in the Ukrainian efforts to continuing to attack kill and injure civilians in the Russian-speaking areas of South East Ukraine in breach of the Minsk agreement. Trump should not attempt to open all channels at once since the Russians know that the US administrative structure and modus operandi will end up with Trump being undermined by fifth columnists within his administration.
An agreement on the gradual opening of channels would be a good result.
Trump boasts that he is going to this meeting from a position of strength, stated largely for his base, he justifies this on an apparent "commitment" of more European financial contributions to NATO. However, he would be advised to listen very carefully to Vladimir Putin on the basic requirements that need to be brought into play in parallel to any agreement on strategic nuclear arms reduction. The Russians have studied this issue for many years and have fairly rational and practical suggestions to make to support a better balance and raised security for both sides. Today the nuclear question has, in reality, been neutered by the latest group of Russia's defense capabilities. Any assets that launch a nuclear strike against Russia will be destroyed within minutes. This means all land, marine and air platforms are no longer viable components in defense capability configurations for the West. Once the military personnel involved realize this, the morale in the Western nuclear asset groups will become a serious problem since they will have been reduced to becoming no more than Kamikaze units. This is why mutual denuclearization of strategic assets has become an imperative.
Russia, China and the USA need to collaborate on solving the most serious threat to strategic accords on nuclear proliferation. This is Saudi Arabia whose penchant for supporting suicide bombers does not bode well in a nuclear world. The Saudi proxies in the Middle East have demonstrated their murderous intent which transitions into genocide of any group or religion not wishing to adhere to Wahabi-type sect dictats. This is why gaining support for limitations and reductions from Pakistan is important since they are the most likely to support Saudi Arabia in any process of building up Saudi nuclear capabilities. There is an urgent need to limit Saudi military capabilities to cerimonial sword dances. Saudi Arabia has demonstrated their inability of managing modern military equipment responsibly through their murderous abandon and delight is using US and UK arms and assets to conduct indiscriminate murder of innocent Yemini civilians. Israel continues to attack innocents in Palestine and to rob land in the full view of the world while the USA looks on. This might not be a topic for the Helsinki meeting but something needs to be done about the overt murderous and indiscriminate abuse of human rights by the leading allies of the USA.
Lastly, concerning Syria. Russia helped prevent Syria becoming the global ISIS caliphate and thereby has prevented a catastrophic plight for the Middle East and the world. Syrians are unusual in continuing to support secular governance with many Christian and other sects already returning to their villages and towns that have been cleared on ISIS and other terrorists by the Syrian army. The Syrian policy of amnesty for Syrians who lay down their arms helped avoid bloodshed and the lives of thousands of civilians. Many pundits have suggested that the USA should offer to a withdrawal of US troops if Russia guarantees that Iranian military do not venture down to the Golan Heights occupied by Israel. This is very unlikely to be possible given the recent imposition of sanctions on Iran by the USA and previous sanctions on Russia. Russia doesn't have the authority to do this since the Iranian military, in Syria, are answerable to the Syrian government. There is a minor factor that Trump needs to take into account. Having John Bolton as an adviser is very unhelpful given his extreme views on how to achieve regime change in Iran through the funding of, yet again, terrorist proxies. Trump would be foolish to even ask Russia to somehow "do something" about Iranian military in Syria.
Given the complex mess the USA has ended up with in its support of the Kurds there is a need for any question of withdrawl of US troops to be reviewed with Turkey and the Syrian government. Turkey is probably going to be the main problem in any such negotiations and a major military conflagration remains a possibility with another abandonment of allies by the USA. Russia has nothing to do with this mess.
On the question of keeping Iranian military away from the Golan Heights, this is largely a question of Israel agreeing to stop carrying out random, attacks against assets in Syria. Those in this theatre are becoming irritated by Israel's behaviour and it is likely that the success rate of these Israeli attacks will decline dramatically in the coming period with Israeli casualties increasing.
Lastly, on the question of the "democractic transition process" the US policy of attempting to "manage" the Syrian conflict by assisting and collaborating with various terrorist organizations and propaganda units has seriously back fired with the majority of the population in no mood to support these "opposition elements". President Assad is increasinglty regarded as the best option for Syria at the moment so US dreams of regime change should be abandoned and the much promoted democractic transition, put on the back burner with the understanding that the gas cylinder is almost empty.
Image is all, forget about the details
Peter Strzok, the former FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counter-Intelligence was questioned by members of Congress last Thursday largely concerning some of his personal emails which showed extreme bias against Donald Trump. These appeared in pubic while he was heading the investigation on Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. The question and answer session was quite shambolic and reflected badly on the organization and procedures adopted by Congress. However, at one point, in a prepared statement (or at least clearly rehearsed several times ) Strzok gave quite a show of righteous indignation to any questioning of the integrity of FBI procedures and staff since, according to him, personal bias cannot influence or taint the substance of investigations because of the multi-layered checks and balances above and below any operational investigator; sounds convincing. However, as anyone who has worked in any large government organization or agency or, for that matter, large Bretton Woods organizations, knows, the the "image of the institution is all". This issue is even used quite openly in administrative cases on the part of the defence of institutions against whistle blowers. The main counter-attack is that the whistle blower is damaging that image. The more relevant details of whistle blower accusations often tend to be ignored or face stonewalling with all attempts made to make the whistle blower the guilty party. However the more experienced know that this is essentially a mechanism of maintaining a holier than thou image which, in the case of the FBI, has been supported by generations of Hollywood output helping to mould and cement that image. Most legal advice to staff when facing questions is at all times to protect the image of the institution even at the expense of necesssary transparency for such things as Congressional Committee questions. So the replies to awkward questions are invariably "legal advice has counselled that I cannot answer that question". Certainly in the case of revealing the names of sources there is good reason not to. This issue was bandied about for some reason during this question and answer session, maybe as a displacement tactic which had no relevance to the session which should have concentrated more on the political points of view of Strzok and the impact of those on his professional competence and suitability to do the jobs/s assigned to him.
Mueller took him off the collusion work once Strzok's emails became public knowledge, for good reason.
Early English constitutional documents sought to remove any political involvement on the part of government agency and civil service staff. Over time this has eroded significantly leading to senior levels in agencies being political appointees. There is thereore, without any doubt, bias in what comes out of these organizations. This is manipulated through chiefs of division being asked to emphasise one line of enquiry over another or even to ignore existing evidence. The way in which documents are redacted is even design to convey a desired impression. Often it is used to exaggerate the amount of evidence being hidden justified on the basis of hiding names of sources or methods of acquiring evidence. Those lower down in the chain might wish to whistle blow but today after Obama's wholesale attacks on whistle blowers this route towards transparency and sanity has been killed off in a country that professes democratic values. As we see, image is all and forget about the details, especially if these will taint that largely misleading image of the institution. This is an unsatisfactory state of affairs when it is used to support a coordinated attempt to attack a key branch of government. In this case the Presidency of the United States.
An attempt to isolate Trump & Pompeo
Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced an indictment on Friday 13th, accusing twelve GRU Russian military intelligence officers by name of conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. This appears to be an attempt to isolate Donald Trump and Michael Pompeo as they are about to meet Vladimir Putin on Monday 16th. By giving publicity to a higher profile accusation against the Russia State they appear to be attempting to reduce the incentive of Donald Trump to come up with anything positive in relation to "collaboration" or "cooperation" with Russia. It is notable that Rosenstein emphasized that there is no allegation in the indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. This counters the more logical version of the "hack" carried out on the DNC computers as being a "leak" that was based on the transfer of content to local hard or flash drives by a US citizen or, at least, someone with direct access to the DNC computers. The technical evidence secured so far suggests the damming emails, that were later sent to and published on WikiLeaks, were removed from the DNC computer in two sets of rapid local transfers at a rate of around 38MBytes/second well beyond the transfer rates of an international networks at that time.
|Fifth column tactics?|
A fifth column can be any group of people who attempt to undermine a branch of government, from within, usually in favour of an opposing group or even nation. Fifth column members will often work against the interests of those of their own group while remaining members of that group. In the case of the current Washington situation the effort is directed against the office of the President of the United States deploying classic fifth column tactics as a combination of the overt and clandestine. Interests gather in secret mobilize openly to assist an overt attack such as through the media. This effort extends to organized actions by intelligence organizations and especially counter-intelligence who are in the habit and business of misleading and misrepresenting the facts as operational tactics to secure advantages for some standpoint, and not always that of government policy. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage through false flag events, disinformation, or espionage executed within government defense lines by secret sympathizers of this malign force.
The evidence that has emerged has been generally shown to be disinformation put out by the Clinton Campaign or Democrats, as well as some Republicans. Dossiers knowingly funded by the Clinton Campaign were used to justify the Mueller investigation which is still attempting to disrupt the Presidency based on assertion. The question becomes how much longer can the people of America endure a complete disruption of society which can only be in the interests of those who do not wish America well. Given the view that Russia sought to disrupt the election and raise questions to spread discord it is very much the case that this fifth column is doing exactly what it is accusing Russia of doing. For this there is much substantive evidence whereas on the part of supposed actions by the Russian State, so far, nothing has turned up.
The scandalous continuation of this disruption of the Presidency calls into question the distinctions between "free speech" and "destabilizing sedition". This is not a call for curtailing free speech but it is a call for people to take seriously the detrimental effects of the scandalous behaviour of many who have been able to marshal elements within the intelligence agencies, media and even legal process in a move against the Presidency. The degree to which their pursuit is justified on the basis of provable falsehoods and assertion debases free speech and approximates more directly to sedition by a fifth column. The trail of false accusations and misrepresentations attributed to un-named sources have filled corporate media now for over 2 years plus the emails of Hillary Clinton and Podesta collection is more than enough to prove, beyond doubt, a malign intent of a group, with easily identified members, who are attempting to destroy the presidency of the Unite States. With this in mind, one has to question why Jeff Sessions does not act? Whose side is he on?
The Belt way is sinking in a quagmire of lies causing the swamp to become deeper. At his inauguration President Trump declared there was a need to drain the swamp. Most who attack him belong to this dank ecosystem which makes a mockery of Americans and democracy with its gulag of gerrymandered fiefdoms. Trump cannot be faulted on his view that all of this needs to be drained.
of the serious nature of this affair the FBI and CIA never accessed the DNC computers but the Clinton campaign/DNC contracted the private company CrowdStrike to conduct an investigation. Apparently CrowdStrike have changed the computer configuration and therefore the "crime scene" has been compromised. As a result any "evidence" remaining on the DNC computers is probably without merit because of the compromised nature of the system. Indeed, given the nature of this affair and the oranizations involved, "evidence" supporting the Rosenstein indictment could well have been placed on the DNC severs between 5th July 2016 and now and date-stamps in activity logs backdated.
While attempting to maximize the profile of the Russian government agency "involvement", Rosenstein also stated that nothing in these actions affected the vote count or the presidential election results. This is an attempt to avoid any focus on the content of the Hillary Clinton emails which resulted in a significant backlash by many voters who were shocked by the corruption and treatment of Bernie Sanders metered out by the DNC. In other words the leak, that is Hillary Clinton's own words and behaviour, did affect the outcome of the election. Her own words and behaviour destoyed her chances; this is an example of the truth destroying deception and dishonesty and no matter what the election outcome was, this was a better state of affairs. This is because this provided a simple and transparent explanation for the current desperate, bordering on the fanatical and paranoid, demonization of Russia as a way guilty parties hope to escape facing indictments based on the willful conspiracy to mislead the people of America through words and deeds that border on sedition. This displacement activity attempts to divert the pubic focus from the real issues. This has been something characterizing the Democratic party, and Hillary Clinton in particular, of not facing up to the fact that their corruption has destroyed the fantasy image of the Democrats and of the Clinton's and their Foundation. Many consider Rosenstein is also attempting to safeguard against this investigation becoming the downfall of the Democratic party if all of this ends up, as many suspect, to be a locally engineered hack. This is because this brings attention to the question, "Why did someone feel that getting this information out into the public space to be so important?" This is self-evident from the content. A more important question is why is Rosenstein so directly involved in this manipulation? (see box on right).
Finally, it is evident that the CIA, FBI and NSA have not been informing the President or Mike Pompeo, when he was head of the CIA, as to what they in fact know. This reflects a serious politicization of these organizations and a tendency for them to hide or misrepresent the facts and yet FBI, for example, operates on the basis of anyone lying to the FBI being guilty of a crime. It would seem that all three agencies, CIA, NSA and FBI are all guilty of colluding in a conspiracy of misrepresentation so that the President and Pompeo are not in the loop and neither are the people of America. Trump did ask Pompeo to meet with William Binney, who was the Technical Director of NSA and who was part of the team who established that the removal of embarrassing emails from the DNC computer was likely to be a locally conducted leak and was not a hack by some foreign agent. Pompeo met with Binney on 24th October 2017, at CIA headquarters, so Pompeo and the President are aware of this alternative explanation. They can circumvent this attempt to isolate them by simply asking on Monday for any transactional data logs that might establish or disprove the basis for Rosenstein's indictment, from the Russian side. Although, in strictly legal terms, the USA should issue documentation to provide the Russian government with site of the evidence as part of the normal "discovery" process.
The NSA has many monitoring trace points on fibre networks and knows the detail so it is revealing that such details, or even reference to them, have never been made nor do they appear in the indictment.
In the end, any appeals to Trump not to meet with Putin should be ignored simply because there has been no trial and, to date, no evidence has been produced. Currently the Russian state remains innocent until substantive evidence has been produced and validated. It is only at this point that the balance of the facts can be assessed. Trying to condemn Russia with no proof is ridiculous. Using the over-worked "it is highly likely that Russia did it" continues to be an inane mantra and should be ignored. Since dialogue on a wide range of issues between the USA and Russia is essential to make progress in the interests of these people of these countries and others worldwide, President Trump needs to ignore this strategically timed distraction in Washington and find out what he can from President Putin and then go from there. To add granularity and credibility the indictment named 12 GRU officials. It is likely this listing comes from Dutch intelligence probes of GRU made back in 2014 but it is unlikely that there is any evidence that links any specific action to any specific official so the indictment is, in reality, more a showpiece. To request extradiction requires a lot more substantive evidence which so far has yet to be produced. The purpose of this indictment and its timing appears to be to try and disrupt the Helsinki Summit, even although Rosenstein, in an act of self-preservation, informed Trump about the indictment some days ago. Since Trump knows that all of this is hogwash it is unlikely to have the intended effect.
But Donald Trump's performance is not up to the mark
Donald Trump has initiated his European/NATO visit with an absurd salvo accusing Germany of undermining NATO security because it is supporting the alternative pipeline to deliver Russian gas. This is just nonsense. Lecturing Angela Merkel, who was born in East Germany, how to suck eggs is simply ridiculous. In reality 20% of German energy comes from gas and Germany imports 60% of its gas from Russia and the rest from Norway. Therefore Germany's dependency on Russia accounts for just 12% of its energy requirements; hardly a strategic risk. Trump made his daft statements while Mike Pompeo sat beside him and allowed Trump to make a fool of himself. Surely Pompeo who was head of the CIA knows better? But anyway, Trump's fuss will impress his US base and assorted Beltway strategists, so-called. But this exaggeration of Germany's exposure aside, the track record shows that there is virtually no risk associated with using Russia as a major international gas supplier. According to Ibn Nr, this topic was studied in some depth at the European Commission in the 1980s only to find that the track record showed that the then Soviet Union was a reliable energy supplier, so the work was not advanced at that stage. As it stands, if those in supply contracts don't adhere to agreed prices (the case in Ukraine) Russia was the right to reduce supplies. Indeed, in the case of Ukraine, Russia initially discounted prices to help the country out of its economic hole. Updates on the 1980s reviews on Russian Federation energy supplies have shown consistency with an almost 40 year unbroken record of reliable supplies. This is a result of consistency and reliability being a priority undertaking by the Russian government's regulation of this sector. On the economic side, Russian gas is far lower cost that any current alternative including USA sources liquefied "equivalents" based on cost of utilizable convertible energy. If Trump can point to the risk or provide a convincing economic argument, all well and good, but he can't. His strategic arguments are bluster and he has no business case for saying what he is saying.
In terms of establishing who can be trusted to maintain international agreements and supplies it is worth reviewing who has intentionally undermined trust by imposing ad hoc, often unexpected, actions to impose constraints on supplies. The most notorious examples emanate from one country, the USA, that appears to think it has a God-given right to impose sanctions that cause suffering and deaths of innocents and an ability to back out of international agreements on a whim. The USA's claim that Russian supplies of gas represent a strategic threat is completely hypocritical and unfair in the light of the USA's own irresponsible maverick track record. To date the country generating the most disruptive strategic threats to world trade has been the USA, most blatantly demonstrated in the latest rounds of bullying related to lists of sanctions leveled at several countries and the latest in the form of aluminum and steel and the threats leveled against anyone wishing to import Iranian petroleum. The unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Iranian nuclear deal is another obvious example.
In a debate at Cambridge University involving Edward Lucas and Peter Hitchens on "Poland between Russia and Germany ", the topic of Russian "threats" came up and an attendee asked specifically what the evidence was that Russia was a threat to Europe. Lucas side-stepped the question by repeating the NATO mantra of the "unpreparedness of the Baltic countries" in case of an attack but he never could explain why there would be an attack. After the question was repeated several times and Lucas continued to repeat the mantra while not coming up with any evidence in a somewhat embarassing fashion, Peter Hitchens finally confirmed that there was no evidence that the Russian Federation was a threat to anyone in Europe.
Apart from politicians like Boris Johnson who has funded organizations that come up with false flag baseless "evidence", at strategic points in time, to attempt to point to Russia's "malign influence", the actual track record shows that there is no evidence of Russia being a threat or being untrustworthy. The biggest chasm of trust that is opening up is that between the better informed European and Russian electorates desiring peaceful co-existence and the belligerent and false accusations bandied about by US and UK intel agencies and ill-informed or irresponsible partisan politicians. The crisis of trust is one facing the US and the UK governments and not the government of the Russian Federation.
It is notable that Trump has come under a corporate media and Democractic party-based attacks leading to investigations based on unjustified accusations that his campaign was in "collusion with the Russian State". No evidence has been found and the report by Mueller came up with nothing but pages of redacted text and an admission that there was no evidence. Donald Trump therefore knows full well the utter nonsense surrounding this demonization of Russia. Trump, appealing to his base, however, is prepared to side-step this issue to appear "tough" on the question of European strategic interests in relation to Russia. His US base, being so bombarded by the media tales and assertions designed to demonize Russia and in particular Vladimir Putin the president, swallow this nonsense and this is why he expresses the issues in such banal terms, so that they can comprehend. It is fuzzy but Donald Trump has demonstrated his ability to make bizarre statements which come across to his base as the guy defending America's and, of course, their interests. However, in general, Europeans have more access to alternative media and have lived alongside Russia as long as Europe has existed and long before the USA came into existence. They have far more access to other sources of information. For the European and Russian electorates Trump's pitch is shallow and completely unconvincing, just plain daft.
Coming to the 2% GDP spent of defence, Trump once again is talking mumbo jumbo. The exceptionally high cost of the USA's subsidized "military research" initiatives produce unjustifiably expensive military equipment. The latest example is the massively over-budget and very late delivery of the sluggish overweight F-35s which many consider to be useless death traps. To make a sensible contribution to the European defense discussion, Trump should have first of all have qualified independent experts work out what is in fact needed in terms of configurations to defend the EU and, for that matter, the USA, by first of all analyzing and explaining what the defence is designed to address. Better still, it would be useful to see a rational evidence-based explanation of who this defence is protecting Europe against. Just stating "Russia, Russia, Russia" has become an irritating noise that explains nothing. But it is repeated by people who are either fanatics, completely paranoid or, as is more likely, who want to achieve pernicious ends by resorting to campaigns to engender fear in their populations. These soul destroying criminal campaigns are aided and abetted by corporate media looking to their ratings as opposed to national welfare and sanity.
For a "businessman", Trump doesn't act in a convincing fashion, what he should be doing is making a business case which would be almost impossible given the absurd prices demanded and lack of effectiveness of systems. As things stand the Russian Federation, in a relatively low fanfare, modest way, has produced a more effective defence system than "Western" systems spending something like 35% of the EU defence budget and 10% of the USA's bloated expenditure. Donald Trump needs to realize that any European expenditure needs to represent value for money. Europe isn't taking advantage of the USA it is rather the other way round. Trump wants to take advantage of Europe by off loading expensive mediocre equipment onto European governments and has the gall to call this "defence". The 2% of GDP is a figure that comes out of thin air just as Trump's press statement that it should be raised to 4%. If Russia can perform on a fraction of that amount and produce quality systems, our Western "exceptional" strategists should be able to do with 1% of GDP. The USA should be fair to Europe and stop charging exorbitant rip-off prices for run of the mill military hardware; the USA military suppliers clearly have a productivity problem or live in a parallel universe. The US government defense budgets are no more than massive Soviet style subsidies to these companies which, as a result, and as in the Soviet Union, they are no longer competitive. The performance of projects is abysmal with critical paths being constantly updated to add in modifications or augment subsidy. As a result these companies have lost their commercial edge and can only survive by over-pricing. Since on this score the US government appears to have lost track of the required due diligence and audit disciplines as a result of political horse-trading and revolving door arrangements. The system is incredibly corrupt. It is worth mentioning that the over-spends and wastage of resources will increase under the current strategic cyber initiative because much of this work is being moulded to be contracted to private corporations. This field is notorious for the inability of governments to monitor developments if, indeed, they even understand what is being done. Spending more on such useless equipment and wasteful initiatives is the last thing required to improve "security" or to create and "effective defence".
Europe's "trust" in US and UK intelligence agency advice and following this to become embroiled in disastrous non-ending conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, has caused much reflection. It has become evident to all that US and UK policies have not delivered peace, stability and the defence of freedom but have delivered instability and a major decline in security and a major immigration crisis that has split Europe down the middle. Trump made some somewhat crass statements on the immigration issue stating that people in Europe and the UK agree with him on the issue of immigration. He somewhat overlooked the cause of the European crisis which, of course, was USA aggression and military incompetence.
Of course, following Trump's' morning statements concerning German gas and NATO spending, Theresa May rushed to the fore to explain how Britain is sending additional military personnel to Afghanistan in support of NATO and spends 2% of its budget on defence. This sort of antic doesn't go down well with Europeans who consider the UK to have been hoodwinked into purchasing over-priced F-35s with no possible benefit to its defence. British Prime Ministers kowtowing to USA administration, especially on military questions and collaborating in covert underhand initiatives appears to have become a normal pattern of behaviour, very much to the embarrassment of the British electorate.
The NATO bandwagon will, of course, attempt to roll forwards, trying to find a justification for its existence, and Trump will continue to push NATO countries to waste excessive financial resources on ineffective schemes. He might up the stakes by threatening or in fact, withdrawing 35,000 troops from Germany. He should be allowed to do so since they offer no real security in any case. The nuclear umbrella is also a figment of fantasy. No US president will order a launch of nuclear strikes in the defense of Europe when he or she knows this will result in th USA becoming a radioactive wasteland. There is a need for rational level headed discussion and analysis. This requires that Trump pack in his silly rhetoric and that we all forget about America's parochial gerrymandered mid-term elections and consider European priorities instead. Europeans, with or without the UK and/or the USA, need to sit down with Russia to analyse and address evolving situations so as to come to an agreement on a permanent collaborative state that secures peace and prosperity for the people of Europe and Russia.
Was Donald Trump correct to say he expected to find Britain in turmoil during his visit?
The confusing picture emerging over the last two years since the 23rd June 2016 referendum to decide on the continued UK's membership of the European Union was inevitable for several reasons:
- The vote was unconvincing with roughly 52% of voters wishing to leave the EU and 48% of voters wishing to remain within the EU
- The government is run by single political party
- There has been an insufficient attention paid to the European Union's political ambitions and an over-emphasis on trade and economic questions leading to an undermining of progress on these questions
- The European Commission does not want to make this separation easy so as to discourage other Member States from considering similar courses of action
- There has been no investment in either ideas or policy proposals on appropriate economic policies for Britain to go it alone
Europe has been the cause of splits in both of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom in the past. British political parties operate on the basis of a first-past-the-post voting system which has the tendency of electing factions with less than 25% of the vote taking full control of government and Parliament. Under normal circumstances the 48% would be ignored and the 52% engaged. The biggest mistake was that the referendum did not set a minimum threshold for leaving the EU such as 60% or even 75%. As it is the natural tendency of British political parties is not to manage consensual balance; they have little experience in this type of decision-making. Since many in the Conservative party voted to leave and many to remain, the decision-making within the government and Cabinet has become antagonistic.
Given the over-riding political nature of the European Union and its institutions it would have been wise to have presented the European Commission with a statement of understanding of the political elements of the European Union and to identify those aspects which the United Kingdom wished to become disassociated. This, for example, would have included an up front statement concerning the removal of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdiction over future UK legislative and regulatory questions other than those relating to trade in goods and services sold into the EU where conditions for trade clearly come under ECJ rulings. On perhaps, a more important question, the United Kingdom should have made an early unilateral undertaking to uphold all provisions of European Law concerning European citizens' rights as a specially enacted part of UK legislation. The delay in doing this on the basis of it being a bargaining asset revealed a lack of trust in the spirit of the negotiation. The European Commission's reaction to this would have been positive with clearly equivalent provisions being introduced on behalf of UK citizens in the EU.
The United Kingdom allowed itself to become blind-sided by accepting the condition that the European Commission should be the sole negotiator for separation. As a direct result of this condition it has been difficult to take into account the emerging preferences of European Union Member States. The Member States, in general, have resisted bilateral discussions so as to attempt to arrive at "understandings". This has resulted in the future economic relations question to remain in the background and this still remains ill-defined.
In this context it is self-evident that each Member State in the EU has specific bilateral interests both cultural and economic with the UK. However, the European Commission has prevented any contacts related to the BREXIT negotiation with these countries which is an extraordinary state of affairs. European Member States have succumbed to a form of dictatorship where their interests can only be represented by the European Commission. As a result future mutually beneficial arrangements which would emerge from the fact that the UK is leaving the EU are not being discussed so the Member States are also not in a position to have a more constructive participation in the negotiation process. Meetings at the European Council level are reported to have become rubber stamping exercises where Angela Merkel has far too much say. In the end the separation of the UK will have economic consequences for EU Member States and the current state of affairs is reducing the interests of Member States to those of Germany, the country that controls the effect of the Euro and whose dominance of EU affairs will increase when the UK leaves. German overtures with France are purely cosmetic since France has never been able to secure equality in it's dealings with Germany.
As is predictable the attempt by Prime Minister Theresa May to suggest a compromise arrangement for the trading arrangements with the EU which leaves the country half in, have led to resignations of David Davis the Minister for Exiting the EU and Boris Johnson the Foreign Secretary. They will be replaced by Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt respectively. Davis and Raab both share an interest in British constitution and have broadly similar concerns. On the other hand they have both benefited from their role as party politicians Raab, who wants to make the most of his delayed promotion and status within the party (under May), is very unlikely to add any change in direction; he isn't going to rock the boat. In the case of Jeremy Hunt his tumultuous term as Health Secretary was marked by a top down approach heavily criticised by the medical profession. He did little to reduce the absurd number of highly paid management levels within the National Health Service (NHS) while being accused of mishandling junior doctor pay disputes and nurse salaries. He is often accused of continuing what Tony Blair initiated in the form if creeping privatization of the NHS. He is also very ambitious and will make all of the required pronouncements with regard to NATO, defence and, of course, criticism of Russia by mixing in the words "malign influence" somewhere in the statements on this topic. On the other hand he is unlikely to be as undiplomatic or convey such an air of incompetence as that pervading Johnson's term in office.
In the meantime private debt in the UK has sky-rocketed since the introduction of quantitative easing and the bail out of the banks. Productivity is stagnating and shares are held up by widespread share buy backs by companies to secure massive executive bonuses. No action is being taken by the British government on a wide range of issues which, at their root, require a major improvement in economic productivity. Most new employment is very low wage employment.
A major flaw in the Conservative government's position has been its failure to give due consideration to the economic policies to be pursued by the country to make BREXIT work. This is largely because of this party's fixation with "free trade" and "competition". However, as a relatively small country and without the weight of the massive EU market behind it, the UK will find it more difficult to arrange for more beneficial trading relationships, no matter what other countries are stating at the moment. The other handicap the Conservative party has is its lack of experience in constructive economic planning based on strategies to advance the productivity of key sectors while introducing a more effective means for income distribution. This party doesn't "think" this way. However, freed from the EU control, this is what the UK requires and yet nothing has been done along these lines during the 2 years since the European referendum result.
CybaCity reported last week that the relative support for the Conservatives and Labour amongst the electorate is changing with the tiny lead of around 3% held by the Conservatives being reduced to zero and by August it is predicted that Labour will be ahead by around 3%-5%. There are two principal reasons. One is the government's attitude to the World Cup where the English team is doing so well and heading for the semi final. Theresa May and her government have refused to attend matches and not even the ceremonial contingent, the Royal Family, are sending anyone either. On the other hand Labour have missed out here by sending no one also. However, there is a widespread dissatisfaction amongst the electorate who regard the politician's outspoken attitude of not attending because the World Cup is being hosted by Russia, as baseless. In general this attitude has back-fired and is regarded as an insult to the England team. The making of an important sports event a political issue is considered to be inexcusable and people are fed up with these sort of antics, including the treatment of Russian athletes in the Olympics, most of whom, subsequently, proved to be innocent of the charges. The other reason for loss of support has been the lack of discipline in the government concerning BREXIT with Cabinet members in open disagreement briefing against May and causing the government to appear to be in a shambles. Other reasons raised include May's toleration of a somewhat uncouth Foreign Secretary in the form of Boris Johnson who has been extremely ill mannered in his ability to make inappropriate public statements and his lying about Porton Down's confirmation that the Novachock in the Skripal's case came from Russia. Johnson's open support, including financial, of the White Helmets in Syria who have been involved in attempting to create "evidence" for false flag chemical attacks to blame the Syrian government is increasingly regarded as unacceptable as increasing numbers realize the Foreign Office's role in supporting this group that is closely affiliated with Al Quaeda and other terrorists working alongside the UK in an effort to get rid of President Assad. Related to the UK's role in infiltrating armed combatants into Syria long before the so called "peaceful demonstrations" in 2011 is that this type of underhand behaviour might increase following BREXIT. The reasoning is that a more isolated, and perhaps desperate, UK could be the increase in secret military and intelligence operations designed to strengthen economic advantages along the lines of past and current practice. In these actions the likelihood of continued collaboration with France remains in doubt and, of course, isn't part of the BREXIT negotiation. Theresa May did attempt to make reference to the importance of UK intelligence collaboration with the EU but since this now has a double interpretation, which she did not appear to be aware of, the EU response was not enthusiastic. This sort of skulduggery has already brought serious issues for the European Union in the form of millions of people fleeing the results of such irresponsible covert actions in the form of the outcomes in the shape of a sequences of disatrous illegal Middle Eastern wars. The UK has nothing to be proud about in their initiation and participation in these fiascoes or in its support of the Libyan affair which used cohorts from the same trained group in Libya as were used in Syria.
The European Commission in observing the Trumpian turmoil in the UK has been very quick to begin to confirm that 80% of the BREXIT negotiation content has now been agreed. The Commission has become concerned that its fortress like approach has become too evident so it is trying to reduce the damage or any blame that might be thrown in its direction. These delays in coming to agreement have begun to upset a large number of heavy hitter industrial and service corporations in Europe who now consider the European Commission to have overplayed its hand. Angela Merkel initiated the BREXIT negotiation period applying a hands off "let the Commission do its job" approach, while pulling strings from behind. However, German companies have let her know in no uncertain terms that they want a reasonable agreement with the UK.
"In the meantime, the Labour party has become the largest Socialist party in Europe with over 550,000 members. Although the Labour party, correctly, wished to make economic questions and planning policy related to productivity and income distribution a major issue during the last 18 months, their own issues with BREXIT and a hostile corporate media has resulted in a loss of initiative on this score. Labour wasted too much time criticising Conservative government indecision when the media had made this self-evident. However, the economy and how to improve performcne, an imperative following BREXIT, is an area where Labour can still win over significant segments of the electorate and business because just at the moment business is feeling very vulnerable under the poorly managed "progress".
Trump will indeed visit a Britain in considerable turmoil but this is not the impression the government will attempt to convey, no doubt with the help of Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab.
Amesbury incident suspected to be a virtual false flag event
The failure of the British Government's attempt to convince the public that "Russia did it!" in the case of the Skripals in Salisbury (even although the NATO members, of course, expelled Russian diplomats without any evidence) has been followed some 4 months later by what could be a desperate attempt to create a virtual false flag event involving a couple in Amesbury. Is it just coincidence that this modus operandi has been funded by the UK government through the White Helmets in Syria on two previous occasions leading to US missile attacks as "reprisals" on the Syrian government facilities? The first one resulting in deaths and the second one in an attack on empty buildings following a digo from Russia to the US. So the UK government knows that this sort of underhanded action can get "results". The political build up in this Amesbury case has all the hallmarks of an attempt at a virtual false flag.
The British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, made the typical presumptive statement demanding that Russia come clean on this issue. He has offered, as is usual, no evidence. He has repeated the same formula of blaming the Russian government and "not the people of Russia". In the case of the White Helmet engineered false flags in Syria President Assad was blamed personally. Javid also attacked the alternative medium RT and warned MPs against appearing on its shows (see box right).
In Marshall McLuhan's book
"The Medium is the Massage"
he explains the "Establishment's"
fear of alternative viewpoints.
Even although the corporate media
is riddled with misrepresentation
and bias supporting the "government
line", alternative media tell it as it is.
This identifies misrepresentation,
embarrasses sychophants and
exposes the dishonest.
So at any opportunity, this self-righteous
group will attack alternative media as
propaganda. Alternative media provide more
objective insights into what is really going on.
Ibn Nr has stated frequently that Syria has never used chemical weapons, the Syrian military were always very aware of the likely consequences if they did. Just as President Assad had no motive to use chemical weapons because his military had already won the battle, so it is the case of Russia in the Skripal and most recent case where nothing is to be gained. On the other hand the UK has a motivation to lever the failure to convince allies with any evidence in the case of the Skripals to try and convert the story into one of terrorism on the UK mainland masterminded by Russia. This is, of course, really far fetched, but again, what would be the motive? The UK intelligence agencies are aware of the reactions to the insults leveled by the UK government against Russia in that they greatly upset the more informed members of the Russian population.
This time round Saijid Javid has obviously been coached to follow the prepared script so in Parliament he made it clear that his unfounded criticism was not leveled against the people of Russia but against the Russian government. The same Russians who were affronted by the first attack by the UK government are not idiots, they know why Javid made this statement, they also know Vladimir Putin or elements in the government, have no motivation to initiate some terror campaign in the UK; so already this is back-firing. It is back-firing because MPs insist in assigning blame and a sentence in the shape of the oft-repeated mantra of "Russia as a malign element" (see box left). But it is the fear or ignorance of the truth on the part of MPs and their refusal to apply a more transparent basic logic to their discourse that is the underlying dangerous malignancy.
Most English children find
Lewis Carroll's "Alice in
Wonderland" fun because
it teaches some basic logic.
The King said, "Now for the
evidence and then the sentence",
"No!"" said the Queen, "First the
sentence and then the
cried Alice, so loudly
that everyone jumped,
"The idea of having
the sentence first!"
In any case it appears to be the case that the Skripals might have been attacked by elements working, not for the Russian government but rather for the Russian criminal fraternities because the Skripals had been engaged in investigating them on behalf of the UK intelligence services (according to Seymour Hirsch). The obvious conclusion is that these supposed "attacks" had nothing to do with the Russian government or President Putin.
This narrow-minded fanatical fixation with Russia and the UK's need to be the rabid attack Chihuahua to prove its worth in front of NATO and the US-UK military industrial complex is an evolving ill-enacted embarrassment of parochial significance not to be taken seriously by anyone. What is serious, however, is this aggressive secretive strand to British policy actions.
It could be that the military and secret services have engineered this even without the knowledge of some leading politicians; this has happened often in the past with the Members of Parliament knowing nothing and therefore voicing visceral assertions concerning a distorted image conjoured up by those who run the newspeak mills in the corporate media. The most notorious example is Tony Blair's dodgy dossier which simpleton MPs swallowed hook line and sinker pushing the country into the murder of up to a million Iraq men, women and children, adding to the million murdered as a result of the previous sanctions. This, of course, initiated the migration crisis faced by Europe today.
Behind closed doors at the OPCW with John Bolton - a nasty piece of work
According to video evidence and many media accounts, John Bolton threatened José Bustani, the then head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In early 2002, a year before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration was putting intense pressure on Bustani to quit as director-general of the OPCW — despite the fact that he had been unanimously re-elected to head the 145-nation body just two years earlier. His transgression? Negotiating with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to allow OPCW weapons inspectors to make unannounced visits to that country — thereby undermining Washington’s rationale for regime change. In 2001, the then-Secretary of State Colin Powell had thanked Bustani for his “very impressive” work. By March 2002, however, Bolton — then serving as under secretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs — arrived in person at the OPCW headquarters in the Hague to issue a warning to Bustani. Bolton is understood to have stated, “Cheney wants you out,” and that “We can’t accept your management style.” Bolton also added “We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.” He then stated, “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you.” After a pause, Bolton repeated, "We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York.”
No one has explained in both cases where the "Novachok" sample came from within the "crime scenes", they seem to appear out of thin air without any chain of custody. Indeed, all such cases including those in Syria there is absolutely no adherence to any due diligence procedures to make any evidence water tight. When this is not carried out it is a sign that no bone fide evidence exists. This sloppy but altogether unconvincing way of doing things was observed in the Syrian cases and the UK, being the common factor in all cases, one sees the same unprofessional and basically dishonest behaviour. The Russian Federation has requested several times to see the evidence as well as offered to collaborate in the investigation but the UK government continues to "demand" that the "Russian government" explain "what is going on". This is not even an acceptable basis for dialogue but it is typical of the arrogant attitude of righteousness that the UK hopes to project in this macabre theatre of the absurd. After all, US, French and UK secret agents, under the new Conservative (coalition) government, trained armed insurgents in Libya and infiltrated them into Syria during 2010. This was before the "Syrian Arab Spring" in 2011. The British Government was of course in its Lilliputian fashion very indignant and critical of the Syrian government's response to "peaceful demonstrations" when all along the UK elements had intended to support the violent overthrow of President Assad by supporting the armed insurgency including supporting groups who were declared to be terrorists. Since the Syrian government were aware of these infiltrations, what else did the UK expect from the Syrian government when protests started? President Assad has quite often referred to this role played by foreign insurgents but what he has stated was always discounted. No matter what people think of Assad on the question of foreign proxies out to attack his government and his denial of the use of chemical weapons usage, was consistent and, it would see, to have been the truth. In reality this was this same formula as applied in the Kiev Maidan, but it failed in Syria, after thousands of deaths of innocents, over the long run.
Just to complete this story it is worth noting the urgency with which Boris Johnson recently proposed that the OPCW be require to extend their brief to not only identify the agent used in cases of attack but to also assign guilt. This was seen by many as a very unsubtle set-up or preparation for some future false flag event. The OPCW has already come under enormous political pressure from the USA and Britain. This is why the OPCW was able to unconvincingly confirm attacks in Syria without ever visiting the sites. All of this follows constant corruption of the process that seems to have been initiated with John Bolton's disgraceful treatment of the last head of the OPCW (see box on right), it is clear, therefore, that the OPCW will be bullied into declaring whoever the US and UK want to be declared as the guilty party in any incident, real or imagined. So the next step is clearly for the British government to call in the OPCW to secure their "independent" assessment and assignment of guilt.
Questions concerning NATO
With self-imposed austerity in Britain and the European Union, the question is not spending a greater proportion of GNPs on defence and NATO but rather paying more attention to cost-effectiveness and relevance. Russia spends just over 30% of the entire EU expenditure on defence and about 10% of the amount spent by the USA. The quality of defensive capabilities is higher on the Russian side while the USA, UK and the EU is characterised by enormous waste and rip-off corporate prices and service fees. There are many estimates of the wastage and ill-afforded funds going into defence. One problem is that the strategic balance arguments have been undermined by a general rise in the perception of the track record of inability of allies to have full confidence in the commitment of the USA to European defense. Conventional forces have no role to play in future conflicts and the USA's past alliances and undertakings can be canceled with ease. The rising US nationalism and intensifying desire for economic and strategic self-preservtion means that no US president is going to press the nuclear button in the knowledge of his country's anihilation on behalf of the UK or EU.
So the walking around this massive elephant in the room needs to stop and some real politik needs to come centre stage.
Obama had intentions of toning down this militaristic vector but he ended up retreating under the pressure of the Pentagon, NATO members and armament companies on the basis of the myth they have spun since the end of the Second World war. However with more economic and social priorities facing Europe and the UK the Trump pressure for higher expenditure needs to be replaced by consideration of the relevant role of NATO as well as identifying cost-effective means of achieving that role.
If the USA insists of sanctioning countries dealing with Iran and against their expressed will, then economic compensation needs to come, not through more military expenditure but less and more cost-effective allocations. Trump and European leaders might start by trimming down the 7,000 highly-paid civilians staff working in the international and national agencies and "strategic and regional commands"". This bloated, over-manning costing annually around Euro 500 million, in salries alone, is an issue that needs to be addressed. If Trump wants to take 35,000 expensive troops out of Germany, costing around Euro 2 billion in salaries alone, he should be encouraged to do so since they make absolutely no contribution to the strategic balance.
The Crimea issue arose as a result of bad planning by NATO and the EU Commission. The Russian government's predictable response was in fact known to NATO and considered to be justified in strategic options studies and reports. However, these predictions related to strategic questions. What has never been acknowledged is the fact that the Russian government also acted on humanitarian grounds to prevent the increasingly blatant murder of Russians and Russian speaking Ukranians witnessed and the failure of the Ukraininan authorites to prevent the Nazi squads supported by USA and UK military and intelligence officials from ramping up this evolving genocide.
That any direct threat from Russia exists needs to be rationally explained and there should be discussions with Russia on the future of NATO so as to explore ways and means of reducing the likelihood of future conflict, anywhere. One starter would be for NATO to be replaced by an organization that protects ethnic minorities both in the Baltic and countries like Ukraine. The USA and NATO need to stop supporting Nazi elements who are gaining ground throughout Europe as a direct outcome of the migrant crisis caused by calamitous and failed military actions in the Middle East under US and NATO "leadership". This would go a long way to eliminating most sources of tension.
Lavrov continues to present a collected and coherent Russian position
Over time, the person who has demonstrated restraint, patience and a measured and balanced approach to international affairs in the face of an insulting and often abusive front emanating from the USA, UK and EU has been Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. Russia does not need any propaganda machine when the USA et al's incoherent and abusive public foreign policies are run by what appear to be an irresponsible rabble.
The credibility of the USA and its assorted "allies" is declining rapidly with everything from any strategic position, intelligence or investigations all being based on the "highly likely that it is Russia" mantra with no evidence in support. Lavrov was interviewed last week on UK BBC Channel 4 by Cathy Newman. He was, as usual, patient and fielded a series questions, most of which reflected baseless assumptions, with credible and transparent explanations. There is a notable absence of negative presumptions. It is worth watching the video since it provides a peek into some rational thought and positions, something sadly lacking in the positions of his US, UK and EU counterparts as reported in the corporate media in the West.
It is worth noting the Headline on the video which is a misrepresentation of the sense of what Lavrov was stating at this instant in the interview. Channel 4 editors clearly picked out this statement where Lavrov responded to a question concerning President Assad of Syria. He qualified this statement clearly in his follow-on statement; the headline, however, gives the wrong impression, as is normal, with intent.
Unfortunately the BBC's lack of impartiality allows it to lower its editorial standards to slant and bias for all to see. This is an affront to the public of the United Kingdom who are legally bound to support the BBC as a state-sponsored politically biased media organization through enforced payment of television licenses.
To see this Lavrov interview click on the image on the right.
The presidential election continues
Donald Trump gave a speech in North Dakota last Wednesday. Observers consider him to becoming an even more effective campaigner than he was during the last election. He is definitely demagogic and he is mixing foreign policy initiatives with his justifications in domestic terms. This is a powerful mix for his base. His combo of Tweets and public speaking completely by-passes the corporate media and increasing numbers are beginning to get used to his style of communication realizing that there is more content there than was previously realized. This isn't just his personal style. It is because he is also setting the policy agendas so he is controlling the backdrop and the substance which he was unable to do during his first presidential campaign. As a result he is laying a strong foundation to guarantee his own future. People had better get used to it, he is going to be around for some time.
Donald Trump addressing the New Elite in North Dakota
While the Democrats appear to have one issue,"Get Trump!
" chasing the windmills of false accusations and pointless investigations and even encouraging people to treat Trump staff in a disrespectful manner, their image is that of a negative, inward looking, frustrated group of people with no policies to present to the public. Trump has deemed the Clinton despicables to be the "New elite" and, of course, this pleases them.
There is evidence that Trump's ratings amongst the Latino communities is beginning to rise. Although paradoxical this reflects a phenomenon observed in the UK where some of the most adament anti-immigration groups are established communities who immigrated to the UK during the last 50 years. The "Making America Great Again"
is catching on because Trump is now in a position to dominate the airwaves to tell people that is what is happening, just as he promised. A NIMBY dimension is taking shape in the immigration domain.
For increasing numbers, Trump is believed to be delivering on more than many others appear to appreciate. The old fix that existed between the Republicans and the Democrats has virtually disappeared because Trump is way out in front. Trump is beginning to impose his stamp more effectively. The best recent example is John Bolton being sent to negotiate a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Bolton's instruction were obviously "Sort this out or you are fired!"
In a recent seminar in Portsmouth, Hampshire a strategy group reviewed the recent decision by the US Supreme Court not to act on gerrymandering. This remains a malign gulag extending out from the Washington swamp; this has remained a permanent affront to thinking Americans and widely recognised as an unacceptable cause of their lack of freedom of democratic choice. Increasingly people see that this is maintained by the Republican and Democractic party bosses; this corruption is very damaging to the party images. The name of the Democrats is becoming so demoralized that it is likely that gerrymandered Democratic districts represent a time bomb because Trump has time to build up his momentum to have many reject those Democrats who have enjoyed the benefits of this system and have done little for so long. All of this will create splits within the Democratic party of which the recent inversion in New York was an example caused by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Democrats could find direction but their compromised situation in regard to lobby funding is something they need to clean up together with their past-sell-by-date brothers and sisters in the Republican party.
Trump, in a funny sort of way, is draining parts of the swamp. But like he is now saying, "All of this will take time.
Evidence for all to see
Real News has received communications requesting that we publish sources of evidence for our recent statements concerning our pieces on US and UK extension of neon-colonialism backed by violence involving military, intelligence and mercenary groups acting in the interests of private corporate entities and under the banner of promoting free trade. Most of what we state is based on evidence concerning atrocities that corporate media choose not to publicize. This form of self-censorship arises from a fear of compromising their relationship with those corporate advertisers who benefit or have benefited from this state-sponsored violence and/or murder as well as possible threats from political parties, governments, state agencies and agents responsible for these unacceptable actions. On the other hand this request may reflect a failure to research facts so we provide 2 references that will help interested parties to get started on filling in the blanks in their state of knowledge.
Concerning the USA's skulduggery: the book Kinzer, S., "Overthrow" - America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LLC., New York, USA, 2006.
starts as far back as the imposed regime change in Hawaii, at the time an independent nation, in 1893. It then recounts many examples of imposed regime changes since then including: Cuba, Nicaragua, The Philippines, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Concerning the UK's skulduggery the book Coles, T. J., "Britain's Secret Wars" - How and why the United Kingdom sponsors conflict around the world. Clairview Books Ltd., West Hoathly, UK, 2016
covers many "initiatives" of unacceptable violence and the murder of nationals of the following countries: Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Papua, Somalia and Bangladesh with an informative detail on murder wrought by British drones.
The UK's attempt to frame the Russian state has failed abysmally
Following flurries of high profile actions in Salisbury, UK, after the alleged poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal the UK government has laboured to convince the British public of the seriousness of the affair. It has somewhat belatedly organized "activities" around the sites of the alleged incident designed to maintain awareness of the government's claims in the minds of the public by feeding media with material and photo opportunities, be they somewhat dull. Finally the last act, in this play of many acts, the Prince of Wales and his wife visited Salisbury as an "public assurance" initiative when, in reality most people in Salisbury had forgotten about the alleged incident in any case. The line taken by the UK government is that the Russian State was responsible for this "attack". Independent military strategists have always considered the UK government's claims and lack of palpable evidence to be unconvincing.
By Institute for Policy Studies [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Most have stated a genuine attack would have left the two individuals dead whereas they both recovered in hospital. Ibn Nr is of the opinion it was a botched attack carried out by people linked to the Russian criminal fraternity many of whom are linked to Russian Oligarchs living in the UK. The terrible mishmash of Russian Oligarch funds, some owned by individuals who are opposed to President Putin and support political parties in the UK. There is, therefore, a sense of panic with regard to just how compromised British political parties are while the UK government has supported the massive influx of what are in many cases illicit funds gained during the Yeltsin era.
Seymour Hirsch, the highly respected American journalist is one of the best connected US journalists and has a name for stating the facts. He made a revealing statement this week during an interview with Afshin Rattansi on the programme "Going Underground
" covering his new book, "A Memoir". He stated that the view of his contacts in the US was that the Skripals had been engaged by UK intelligence on an investigation into the to "Russian Mafia" operations in Europe, and that the handling of this initiative seems to have left much to be desired. If anyone attempted to murder the Skripals it was not the Russian State and the type of guilty party is more or less self-evident.
Many are now assuming that the UK government is attempting to use this attempt on the Skripals' lives to its advantage by trying to keep it alive running up to the NATO Conference in July. The British government self-congratulated itself on the shameful "success" of its propaganda exercise in adding accusations of Russian State of interference in elections and cyber warfare. The "success" was considered to be the high profile, but staged expulsions of Russian diplomats from European countries on the basis of the circulation of a 6-frame Power Point, prepared by the UK government, that showed no evidence but just assertions. The low quality of this "intelligence" has appalled some intelligence experts who place it several grades below the infamous dodgy dossier signed by Tony Blair to justify the Iraq intervention. There appears to be an attempt by the UK government to fall back into the graces of the US government. But this whole affair has been such an amateur dramatic affair that it has undermined the credibility of the UK intelligence services and the UK government.
In its military "exercises" and public relations campaigns, especially in Baltic states and Poland, NATO still believes that the old cold war methods are effective. These consist of parading old out-of-date equipment and uniformed troops through different rural and urban regions as part of the public relations exercise to "demonstrate" the readiness of NATO to defend nations. The country folk for whom this show is intended tend to see these as NATO slapstick demostrating how out of touch this organization is with current realities. They compare the old military equipment as floats in a street carnival procession or pantomime. The stern and grave statements made by senior, usually US military officials, standing beside one of these props, are a cause of laughter and discounted as over-the-top US paranoia; these set pieces could stand in for a satirical piece on military incompetence.
Most of the amused audience have either relatives or acquaintances over the border in the Russian Federation which is not the Soviet Union. These people communicate and have access to alternative media and appear to better informed of the realities than NATO's top brass and public relations officials seem to be.
Some senior NATO officials, according to Ibn Nr, are becoming nervous about the forthcoming conference in July. Just as Trump undertook to stop "war games" with South Korea" so, as a first step, as a result of an initial meeting with President Putin of Russia, Trump might agree on an equivalent undertaking to lower tensions by reducing or stopping NATO exercises around Russia. Contrary to the opinion of NATO and those who believe that pressure pays off, this would make a lot of sense and could help lower tensions so as to establish a platform for constructive dialogue.
How NATO has undermined the European Union
Today we see the European Union fracturing along the lines of difference between countries over how many asylum seekers and migrants they are prepared to accept and unstable economic conditions. But these same governments are not asking how it is that Europe faces such a serious predicament. The two main and combined issues are the US sanctions on Russia over Ukraine and Crimea and the malign influence of NATO.
The Ukraine and Crimea affair came to a head as a result of NATO being keen to accept the Ukraine and the EU refusing to negotiate with Russia over the implications of the Association deal the EU was offering the Ukraine. The deal would have had a significant impact on the economic relations between Russia and the Ukraine so it is self-evident that Russia needed to be involved. In any case the cost of transition would have been too high for the Ukraine. The request for a delay on a decision on these matters by the Ukrainian government was soon followed by the coup engineered by the US State Department with the assistance of military, intelligence agency and mercenaries from the USA and UK ending up with Crimea becoming Russian, but without a shot being fired but as a result of a vote. In spite of the "shock" registered by the media and politicians in the USA and the EU it needs to be realized that this response by Russia to NATO pressure was predicted in US and UK military strategic reports dating back 5 years before these events. Whether the West provoked Russia with this intent or not is not particularly relevant since the US and UK strategic reports considered this to be a logical and justifiable response on the part of the Russian Federation in defending its interests. The sanctions applied against Russia by the USA and EU over this affair have impacted Europe negatively because of Russia's counter banning of specific agricultural produce from the EU while there has been an impressive growth in Russian agricultural production through an import substitution policy. Today, as a result of a long term strategy, Russia has become the world's largest wheat exporter.
On the intractable issue of millions of asylum seekers and migrants still heading into Europe from war-torn Middle East and Northern Africa, again it was EU states' support of NATO interventions or as parts of US coalitions in disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya that created this massive influx of people escaping the violence. The EU is a collection of weak governments that cannot face up to their responsibility in causing this crisis. However, with the growing awareness of the European public on the direct connection between the US-EU alliance as a major cause of increasing political instability, Euroscepticism is on the rise. The European Council met this week to attempt to remove these issues from the media headlines by agreeing to "share the burden" between counties but on the basis of a voluntary efforts. This is a typical stop-gap cosmetic outcome which is unlikely to translate into practical results. One objective is to lower the profile of this topic and thereby attenuate more relevant strategic considerations of the real causes before the NATO conference in July. All governments are avoiding any serious discussion of the role of their own membership of NATO as being a main reason for this highly disruptive fiasco. So the EU continues its alliance in maintaining support for these types of destructive and destabilizing conflicts and to the USA's current illegal occupation of parts of Syria which will continue to undermine EU stability.
NATO has been in the business of demonizing Russia as a ploy to prevent its demise after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1992. NATO has been a "solution" in search of a problem since this time. The main motivation for its continued existence comes from its many overpaid employees and the military equipment companies. The 2% GNP military expenditure requirement is another ploy being pushed to up military expenditure on horrendously expensive military equipment that provides no defence. The US nuclear umbrella is basically a myth; no USA President is going to order buttons pushed that would annihilate the US for the sake of anyone in the EU.
In any case, the latest state-of-the-art weaponry can detect origins of launches of nuclear missiles, including tactical, so the specific military units, be they ground, air or sea or submarine-based will be destroyed if they launch anything whose trajectory appears to be aimed at destroying Russian assets. This effectively turns all such units into very expensive suicide goon squads without any future if they are ever asked to do what they have been trained for. This idea of blowing yourself up for some ideal doesn't yet fit into the Western military mindset but this is the current reality. It is a wonder that somehow the military can continue to find people, who are prepared to wear these virtual suicide vests, to man these units.
If NATO would stop pushing and accept that it has no useful purpose, the EU and the world would likely be a more agreeable place. The EU never needed NATO since it has not preserved peace and stability it has destroyed peace and created social and economic instability, hiding in the myth of the strategic balance is obsolete and somewhat ridiculous. It makes more sense to tone down the arrogant rhetoric and cut out the demonization and to begin to act in a responsible fashion. For the EU this would mean recognizing that NATO is well past its sell by date and due for a graceful retirement.
The US long and atrocious treatment of migrant children is psychopathic
It makes a lot of sense for the USA to abandon any association with the United Nation's Human Rights efforts. Their continued support for Israel's murder of Palestinians who did not breach any border and their support for Saudi Arabia's onslaught in the Yemen disqualifies the USA for even being considered to be a country with any notion of the meaning of human rights. Several administrations, including those under the Democrats, who now thunder at the Trump administration's treatment of migrant children, have been separating children from their parents for years. Under Obama many children's whereabouts and identifies were lost as a result of the complete lack of any humane consideration for these children. Today, the USA cynically refers to murderous military campaigns as humanitarian interventions. As a direct result of USA actions the term has become so misused and debased it has degenerated into a cynical and cruel mockery, a term without any meaning. Souls are carted around like commodities just as witnessed in the 1930s in Germany. The mind sets that promote this off hand treatment are psychopathic and dangerous and the multiple characters who form a chorus in support of such vile actions can only find spurious "justifications" while ignoring the reality that children are not to blame for their circumstances and for this reason should be assisted by allowing them to remain with their parents.Far from eliminating colonialism, the USA and UK continue to pursue colonialist agendas under the mantle of free trade
England's first colonies were Scotland, Ireland and what was to become America. The model deployed was based on the first colonizing company sold by King James VI of Scotland in 1599. The same model was applied by the same King in America, who had become King James I of England after 1606. It is important to understand how the colonizing companies operated under the charters provided by royalty. In exchange of a participation in the revenues raised as a result of commercial activities or "taxation" the colonists were provided with "protection" by English soldiers. The royal legitimacy in effectively selling land that was not his in exchange for income and provision protection was in reality an illegal occupation design to exploit the natural resources which in reality belonged to indigenous people. The colonizing companies used their holding of the Royal Charter as the "legal basis" for carrying brutal oppression, clearances of populations from land and multiple acts of genocide. All of this was done, of course, on behalf of their shareholders.
The colonizing companies tended to involve the same individuals in both continents. For example Sir Walter Raleigh held feudal tenure of land in Celtic Ireland and in Indian America. John Mason, responsible for the brutal massacre and burning of the Pequot village in Connecticut in 1637, learned his butchery fighting Sottish clansmen. Edward Wingfield, first present of the first council of the first colony in America, Virginia, had seen service in Ireland. So had many other colonists. Their general attitudes towards the indigenous indians were often expressed in comparative terms with their attitudes towards the Irish or Scots. Their attitudes were rank racism largely based on the fact that indigenous populations were not only illiterate but spoke another language and had distinct ill-understood cultures and histories. Only "civilized" people, that is, those of the classes of the colonist executive had rights, not only to do what they wanted in the colonies, but they also had an almost direct access to the ear of the power in governance, the King. The rights of the English population followed a checkered path largely moulded by constitutional rights introduced after the English Civil War, brought about to avoid any future possibility of such an event repeating itself. It should be noted however that the father of the English Parliament, Oliver Cromwell, carried out a brutal campaign in Ireland which had the final objective of genocide by sending the whole Celtic speaking population to Connaught as a reservation where they were expected to die of starvation. Just because a Parliament had been formed to "represent the people", the authors of constitutional reforms advocating a more devolved participatory democracy were cruelly treated. The most far-reaching constitution was written in the Tower of London and John Lilburne a constant critic of Cromwell, including his cruel campaigns in Ireland, spent most of his life in prison.
Today the historic evidence of the last 150 years sees the USA and the United Kingdom follow the same agenda in the name of free trade. The constant theme of government overthrows by the USA in support of commercial interests has been aided and abetted by clandestine collaboration between the USA and UK military, intelligence agencies and private mercenary groups carrying out or supporting coups, assassinations and genocide. Today, largely because of the evolution in constitutions with the USA being almost wholly rooted in the constitution written in the Tower of London 140 years before and of course the English Bill of Rights governments and their assemblies, in the form of the US Congress, the Senate and President and the UK Parliament, Government, the House of Lords and the Queen, they need to justify the continuation of the grotesque operations of colonization by justifying actions in the name of the international development of free trade and military actions, no matter how brutal, as being "humanitarian interventions". A lot of the operations of military and intelligence are clandestine, not because of the considerations of national security but rather because what is being done is so shameful and cannot be reported since governments would lose the support of the population, it is an issue of sustaining political party power by any means. This includes misleading the electorate.
An allegorical attack on a wave of disastrous financial speculation that had just swept England. To help eliminate the national debt, the government had sponsored the South Sea company, which put investors' funds into such dubious projects as a gold mine in Spanish-ruled Peru. Corporate corruption was rife, and when the bubble burst it cost many people their savings, estates and honour. financial scandal of the South Sea Bubble; a composite scene in the City of London identified by the Guildhall, St Paul's Cathedral and the Monument (its inscription changed to record the destruction of the city by the South Sea); a crowd is gathered around a the centre of Hogarth's print where a human wheel of fortune topped by a goat and the slogan "Who'l Ride (on which ride a prostitute, a clergyman, a shoe-black, an old crone and a Scottish nobleman); to left, the Devil hacks the limbs of Fortune and throw the chunks to the grasping crowd, while religious leaders (A Protestant, Catholic and Jew) gamble ; to right, emblematic figures of Honour and Honesty are beaten by Self-Interest and Villainy. In the lower right-hand corner Trade lies dead. c.1721 Etching and engraving by William Hogarth. Courtesy: Wikipedia.
The lobby industry continues as it did in King James' day selling advantages to politicians and political parties in exchange for freedom of corporations and mercenaries to wreak havoc in resource rich countries and any local community protests are dealt with in a brutal manner. Clearly, under such circumstances whistle blowers and those who really
wish to see laws upheld, are persecuted in the USA and marginalized in the UK. Telling the truth and exposing wrongdoing in contravention of constitutions and law is no longer tolerated or accepted by US and UK governments. This is in spite of the fact that all moral and religious teaching and the foundation of "democracy" is unraveling the truth on all things as a basis for seeking a better world. This proactive media control strategy to mislead the public is debasing and malign and violates the basic norms of decency so widely preached by the very same politicians that manipulate the facts. This cynical holier-than-thou hypocrisy is an embarrassment to most of the electorates in the USA and UK. The current state of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, both under threat of prosecution, are testaments to this vindictive and inexcusable behaviour of governments who have much to hide and wish to continue to mislead the public.
|William Hogarth's commentary on irresponsible speculation..(see explanation in box right)|
The devil hacking chunks from fortune
The risky wheel of fortune
Honour and honesty beaten by self-interest and villainy
Religious leaders trying to gain advantage
The demise of trade and wellbeing
One of the characteristics of the individuals who owned and were shareholders in the colonizing companies has been their complete lack of interest in the general populations of their own countries. The off-shore engineering trend started under the British colonies to manufacture products at lower prices in countries where the workers were paid next to nothing and had no rights. However, it took on a more noticeable form during the last fifty years with the USA and UK exporting much employment to South East Asian production centres resulting in a downward trend in the real incomes and employment prospects of working populations in the USA and UK.
Private and government debt is already higher than it was in 2007, will there be another financial implosion?
With the financial crisis arising from banking incompetence and greed, governments manned by politicians lobbied heavily by banks, bailed out, as usual, the banks, treating, as usual, the population as second class citizens expected to pay for this in the future through their taxation. On the other hand the policy solution in the form of quantitative easing has given banks cheap money which, like the colonizing companies, has not been invested in the economy to improve productivity and employment but the cheap money has been used to raise the incomes of their shareholders by purchasing assets including real estate and commodities. This has caused a lot of the current stock market boom, not as a result of real prospects, but as a result of financing large corporation executive buy backs of shares to drive up their value based on the buy back announcements. This is driving an ever increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of fewer people. In the meantime productivity stagnates through lack of investment and real incomes flat line while inflation is about to rise.
This speculative bubble, in relative terms, is many times greater that the South Sea bubble of 1720 (see box on right) and represents a natural outcome of a completely defective policy promoted by banks in their self-interest and to the detriment of nations. The shocking aspect is governments have now realized this, including a recent Securities and Exchange Commission report in the USA but it is unlikely they will do anything about this corruption. This is the natural result of financialization that started in the early 1970s and tactical lobbying by the banks to reduce restrictions on their activities such as getting rid of the Glass-Steagall Act (U.S.A Banking Act of 1933) which had separated commercial and investment banking, or deposit accounts from international speculative activities using retail customer funds. The first step was taken by Nixon removing the dollar from the Gold Standard in 1971 and then Bill Clinton signed off on the demise of Glass-Steagall in 1999 (The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999).
It should be mentioned that the advent of derivatives started early in the 1970s following the publication of the Black-Shoel's paper on pricing derivatives published in 1973 ("The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities
", in the Journal of Political Economy, 1973). However this system fails in its reliance for stability on a general upward trend in economic activity and its reliance on transparency. Unfortunately dishonest rating assignments by the rating agencies and poor quality content combined to destroy transparency and "honest trading practice" which led to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In this mix HSBC was accused of laundering drug cartel money. However, it would seem that this was related to the direct involvement of US and UK military and intelligence agencies in this drug trade at the time. Several Banks were caught out fixing Libor the key interest rate benchmark for contracts worldwide, and it would seem, the Bank of England was aware of this practice.
As in the case of colonizing corporations, see previous article, the issue is not that banks are too big to allow to fail it is that they have too much of grip on political parties and the media through their effective compromising of politicians with graft and other forms of corruption.
So much for government "regulation and oversight" which is toothless and "regulations" are effectively controlled by the banks who act like colonizing corporations who have written their own charters (see previous article).
Serious mis-reads on the US-North Korean agreement
The recent meeting between Donald Trump and Kin Jong-un doesn't really have anything to do with nuclear arms. The meeting occurred because Korea has achieved what it always stated it wanted to achieve. This was to build its nuclear arsenal to a point that it became a strategic asset in preventing invasion, not from the USA but from anyone including Japan, China and Russia. Recognizing the North Korea had achieved this ambition the US blinked. North Korea has always stated that it would "negotiate" once its strategic nuclear deterrent had become operational. So no surprises here.
Trump thinks all of this happened because of his "rhetoric" but the inevitable meeting, in spite of Donald Trump's naive positioning, wasn't really about Korean-USA relations or denuclearization. It was far more about Korean unification and the expulsion of US "occupation" of the South. Trump's desire to be the action man reinforced the recognition of people in the South that maybe North Korea had a point all along. Mike Pence's behaviour at the Olympics in not applauding the unified Korean teams while sitting in front of Kim Jun-un's sister was ignorant and insulting and his ridiculous repetition of the Libyan threat only debased his image and robbed him of any moral foundation.
Given Korea's history and countless insults and bad treatment by foreign invaders, it is not surprising that the declaration made contained the following generalizations:
1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
The only item of significance is the reference to POW/MIA remains.
The USA's "ventures" into Europe, the Middle East and Asia all demonstrate a significant foreign policy deficit caused by a naive and dangerous discounting of the significance of cultures with notions of their history and evolved values that go back thousands of years. The USA was founded just 250 years ago and in the last 120 years has become militarily and economically "powerful" but the State Department lacks a realistic perspective on populations and their leaders leading to inappropriate policies with declared good intent becoming malign interventions that result in failure. This pattern has been repeated over and over again but arrogance and pride denies the admission of mistakes only to repeat them in increasingly costly fashions.
Tariff impositions are not the way to go
Although Trump is more bark than bite, his use of sanctions and tariffs, all of them, are likely to backfire. All of this talk about balancing trade is an issue that is directly caused by US corporations who have farmed out operations to off-shore locations leading to a major fall in employment in industrial zones in the USA. Rather than change legislation in the USA to control this he harps on about countries and trade deals. US growth was based on unabashed America First protection for many years.
America's main problem for the last 40 years has been low levels of productivity growth and lack of investment exacerbated by the more recent massive monetary expansion under the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing following the 2007-2008 crisis. This "solution" has generated an asset bubble driven by the same banks who created the crisis ten years ago. Rather than help support the real economy and productivity, they are using cheap money to directly benefit their own shareholders through asset purchases, real estate being the most obvious, pricing average income groups out of the market. The other major bank activity is providing services to big corporate client executives to fund share buy-backs, driving up share prices and executive bonuses. This explains a good proportion of the stock market "boom" under Trump. The recent undertaking to apply less corporate taxation to US coporations who repatriate funds held abroad was a naive simplistic idea. A considerable amount of these funds have been levered with cheap bank loans to buy back shares and end up earning well in excess of the amounts paid in reduced tax. As a result the normal trickle-down concept of such moves augmenting investment and employment remain a nice theory which does not work inpractice.
The current "economic growth" is mostly virtual while the real economy and productivity continues to flat line. As long as America does not invest to improve the lot of the middle to lower income groups through the creation of higher productivity jobs and therefore higher pay, applying exorbitant tariffs will only exacerbate the situation by raising prices and inflation. This will put the Fed under more pressure to raise interest rates. Private debt is higher now than it was in 2007, the rise in interest rates which has already begun will place increasing numbers of people in positions where they can no longer meet their financial commitments. The large proportion of commitments are in fact income streams that feed a wide range of derivatives pakaged by the banks and assets houses so the feedback will begin to squeeze investment funds and those holding the derivative concerned. This is a repeat of 2007. Trickle down and quantitative easing have never worked over the medium to lomng term and they still don't.
Trump's message on USA benevolence being taken advantage of has no foundation
More Americans die from mass shootings and police violence than from "terrorism". America's main problems with security are internal, caused by people trying to survive in a gun-toting failing state of application of a Constitution. This has inadvertently maintained a regime that tolerates the "Wild West" behaviour and a depreciated valuation of the life of the individual. Time and again, American politicians fail to do what is required after each mass murder in American schools and colleges which, this year, have occurred on a weekly basis. The reason why young people more and more see the resolution of their affairs being more effectively carried out by killing those they do not like comes from the lack of role models in the American leadership.
Most American presidents have followed the example of Theodore Roosevelt and his "Big Stick in the Caribbean" (see cartoon below). This approach was to "negotiate peacefully while simultaneously threatening with the "big stick", or the military. There is nothing new in this it was the stuff of tyrants throughout history and parallels Realpolitik and resembles Machiavellian notions and it is similar to the British gunboat diplomacy, as used in international politics, and against which the US declared itself to be opposed. So the resolution of international affairs by American leaders is by threatening those with whom, "negotiations" are to occur while putting "all options on the table", signifying that the default option is military intervention. The difference with Donald Trump is that he doesn't bother about the diplomacy bit or the peaceful negotiation approach. We have seen the "solutions" imposed by the American foreign policy which have created chaos and death and yet daily news bulletins justify openly this aggression and associated murder of civilians.
Is this really an example that provides a structure and logic for the resolution of issues between countries or people for the children and youth of American or the world?
"Roosvelt's big stick policy" Date 1904. Author William Allen Rogers, Courtesy of Granger Collection
Yet the American view of "keeping Americans safe" is to have a "a strong military". An audit of this "military" of today shows very expensive hardware paid for with bloated rip-off prices or through "research" whose joint performance is poor. With over 2 million service personnel and over 200,000 now dotted all round the globe and maintaining an absurdly inefficient weapons programme, this is a massive burden for any government budget. The use of munitions and re-supply contracts under the failing campaigns of the last 15 years have exacerbated the hidden budget crisis even further. The size of this massive expenditure is as much the real incomes destroyer as is Trump's claim that it is "trade policy" and globalization that is the main cause.
NATO lost its main purpose with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992. Unfortunately, rather than look towards the "peace dividend" the foreign policy of the USA, especially on the question of Palestine and the human rights in the Middle East did not result in America working to help improve the operation the existing secular states to create more stability for a region with multiple ethnic and religious groupings. The lack of vision and statesmanship could be witnessed in the overt US support of states more controlled by single religious groups or sects over minorities who suffered. For example, in the case of Israel the USA has continually voted down motions in the Security Council criticizing the IDF's excessive use of murderous force while allowing, through inaction, continued and increasing illegal forced occupation of Palestine and the emergence of an Apartite state. The USA has increasingly supported the Saudi strategy to create a schism between Sunni and Shiite Moslem sects siding with the Wahhabi strict and intolerant sect that works closely with many terrorist groups. The price was paid by those who died in the New York 9/11 attack. The US knee jerk reaction to this event was the opposite to any logical strategy; military allocations rose quickly. The causal factors were conveniently forgotten and remain buried. The USA carried out a series of very expensive and highly destructive and murderous campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya all of which have destroyed essential infrastructure initially to attempt to force people to criticise the government for non-delivery of essential services as well as to make post-war recovery next to impossible without external support as a controlling factor. Civilians, those about whom these wars are declared to protect as a humanitarian mission are, in reality, ignored resulting in widespread massacres and causing massive movements into asylum camps and migration into Europe and elsewhere. These attacks are examples where leaders in reality responded to American pressure (except for Al Quaeda) under the big stick, but even then, American actions ended up with them being assassinated. These precedents, and many others, speak loudly that although US negotiators might "negotiate peacefully", they cannot avoid the habit of threatening people and in any case don't keep their word; they cannot be trusted. This is a major and evolving crisis which is affecting leaders worldwide because of the falling threshold of what constitutes anything perceived as a variance in their policies to those of the USA. As a result there is extreme discomfort, if not fear, that pervades anything to do with contact with the USA on sensitive geopolitical issues. Turning from leaders to people, there was no thought whatsoever about the civilians caught up in the middle between American aggression and those against which this was directed. The lame excuses by the military that warfare has collateral damage is simply an admission of extremely lazy or ineffective tactics. For example blaming the "terrorists" for using civilians as shields does not excuse the military logic of "taking out assets" without regard for what is within or around those assets. Rather than complete the "war on terrorism" the USA has been attempting to "manage" their objective of overthrowing the secular government of Syria by supporting the affiliates of those responsible for 9/11 by providing training, arms and funds.
We all know that the funding going into training of and supply of arms to various "freedom fighters" and "moderate groups" ended up as free training and supply of arms to terrorist groups, where most of the trainees ended up. Cash diplomacy has created various "coalitions" largely based on NATO members and some others so the support for any of these American ventures is marginal in terms of the world's constituency.
This expensive and inefficient war machine has not successfully completed any campaign since the second world war except for the overthrow of many governments worldwide and something like 20 million people sacrificed by American actions. All of the nonsense about precision AI-based weapons has been shown to be useless by the extraordinary number of civilians killed in "precision attacks" on terrorists. The system is so inefficient it has tried and failed to work through proxies to do the fighting for it and segments of action are based on expensive mercenary contracts.
The rhetoric of US presidents, vice-presidents, or CIA directors and Secretaries of State and National Security Advisors and others becomes more and more brazen but it follows the demented policy of Roosevelt and mindset that "I am powerful and can damage you therefore you will do what I want!"
The propaganda that flows around the USA causes all to imagine that Americans would disapprove or even possess some considerable animosity towards a bully. Then why doesn't the public and political process react to a shameful foreign policy. Trump's position as that of the archetypical bully, his statements and actions are tragi-comically referred to as the "art of the deal". It consists of swaggering around putting a gun to people's heads and demanding agreement. It was quite revealing how Mike Pompeo on taking up his position as Secretary of State made reference to the fact he wanted more "swagger" on the part of the USA. He was advised later to qualify that statement, which he did in very unconvincing manner. No, it is this cocky aggressive swagger that Trump epitomizes that makes the people at State happy. Bullying is the name of the game. Pompeo is a Sunday school teacher, or so it says on his profile. With his problems with the truth and transparency, what sort of Christian messages is he passing onto these children? The US is also imposing its national and sometimes state laws extra-territorially, on people and companies in other countries. The first step to any disagreement is sanctions (imposed tariffs are also sanctions).
NATO, using a coordinated campaign of demonization of Russia, is, through Trump, trying to get European governments to pay up more to 2% of GNP for defence since the USA is paying what he considers to be a disproportionate part of the contribution. Well, it would be a rational process to analyse two things. First of all, why are armaments so outrageously expensive and in many cases of low performance? Secondly, why is Russia a threat, which on the basis of the track record is not evident?
|How corporate media and the UK government help Putin's popularity|
It has become evident that the incessant demonization of Putin and Russia by many corporate media in USA and UK actually bolsters Putin's support in Russia. More specifically it is estimated that the UK's Sergei and Yulia Skripal case could have boosted Putin's electoral count by something like 10% in the last election. The parochial explanation of such irresponsible media coverage and acts by intelligence services are for "local coverage and politics". Today, young people in Russia, for example, see the same content online about their countries, and are appalled. The failure of the UK to produce any evidence or permit Russia to participate in the "investigation" only intensifies the suspicion that this was a fabricated event.
All that is presented is mysterious events and assertions concerning Russia's "malign behaviour" by the somewhat historically paranoid UK intelligence and government spokes people who are joined at the hip to the US machine. A recent cack-handed totally unconvincing amateur theatre of the "attempted poisoning or chemical attack" on the ex-Russian agent and his daughter (Sergei and Yulia Skripal) was the latest example (see box on left). This apparently took place in Salisbury in the UK. This was an additional attempt to undermine people's confidence in their safety by insinuating, without any evidence, that Russia was engaged in this "attack" as well as being responsible for widespread and "continuing dangerous activities". These range from interference in elections to cyber warfare. The staged expulsion of Russian diplomats from European countries on the basis of the circulation of a 6-frame Power Point that showed no evidence but just assertion, was a further example of the amateurish extremes governments will go to support the USA's interests. Blair's dodgy dossier justifying the Iraq invasion is another example of the ineptitude of intelligence services, so-called. In spite of the imagined danger posed by Russia, this 2% figure is far too high because US arms and systems are probably more than twice a justifiable price and having troops stationed in Europe doesn't do anything to raise European security. It is notable that since the Soviet collapse in 1992 the Russian Federation, as a democracy in transition, was able to apply intelligence and engineering expertise to end up with array of defensive systems that are far superior to anything the USA has delivered and at a fraction of the US military budget. Given the USA's track record they are not going to sacrifice any American assets for the sake of any European ally. To continue to believe this is absurd. So the American defensive shield is largely a mirage and money-making machine kept alive by NATO and the arms industrial lobbies.
During the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum meeting, in an open conversation on stage with president Putin, president Macron of France expressed his concern about the need for the continuing security protection from the USA. President Putin replied that this was not needed, Russia can provide this protection. Macron looked somewhat nonplussed. But this short statement, no bragging, no threats was enough to impact many of the attendees into thinking and recalling the corruption in NATO with regard to the failure to include Russia post-1992. And even not having Russia in NATO in reality make the organization irrelevant. Increasing numbers are perceiving that it is NATO that demonstrates malign behaviour through its continued belligerence and movement towards the Russian border under the tutorledge of America. NATO is becoming perceived as an antagonistic device that is disrupting the desired collaboration with Russia.Contrasting approaches
It is very revealing to contrast Russian and Syrian governmental approaches to crises. When the typical big stick US policy was initiated in Kiev in the Maidan it was openly supported by the State Department with people like Victoria Nuland and Senator McCain handling out cookies to the people in Maidan. This support cascaded into an malign intentional and coordinated increase provocation, violence and killings in the actions of Nazi brigades who set out disrupt Maidan. These groups also murdered Russian-speakers by burning buildings and clubbing the occupants to death when they tried to escape. The Ukrainian government, military and the police did nothing to prevent these terrible events. The USA and the EU remained silent. But Russians have an indelible memory of identical scenes in Russia at the hands of the German Nazis during the Second World War. Faced with this evolving reality and threat to the Russian-speaking community, Putin had absolutely no option other than to provide the Russian population in Crimea with the necessary protection. The Kremlin knew that such protection of the population would not come from the Kiev "government", from the EU or the USA which by this time were actively assisting the Nazi brigades. So far the track record, albeit short was these malign operators were openly tolerating the free operation of the Nazi squads who were murdering Russians. The Russians took the precaution of holding a referendum in Crimea and the transfer of the region and its population from the Ukraine to Russia was accomplished without a shot being fired. This in itself was an impressive achievement. What Russia did not do was to begin the US-type tactic of training and arming Crimean "freedom fighters" to topple the Kiev government.
Crimea is doing well now and conditions are improving but most importantly its population free from the danger from the actions of the Kiev government and the Nazi brigades. As is typical of those ending up working with the USA in the post-government overthrow period, the country lurches from crisis to crisis. The USA have agents training the Nazi brigades who continue to shell civilian areas in the territories desiring autonomy (Dombass). This demand for autonomy is completely logical given the demonstrated murderous intent of that government and the people around it, with regard to Ukrainians of Russian descent. It is worth recalling that the CIA helped the leaders of the Ukraine Nazi groups gain free passage to the USA, following the end of the Second World War. As a result, most escaped any judgement in the Nuremburg trials. Here we see an example of the malign influence of America in Europe going back many years where a big stick would have helped to straighten out the devious machinations of the present Ukrainian government, but no practical steps are being taken. To this day the Kiev government have failed to deliver on the Minsk accord and Nazi brigades still terrorize Russia speakers and Roma, including the destruction of Roma homesteads all in overt actions tolerated by the USA. The USA continues to assert with, as normal, no evidence, that it is the Russians who somehow are holding up the delivery of this accord while the shelling from the Ukraine continues to effect civilian areas where Russian-speakers live in the regions concerned while the Ukrainian government looks the other way. The USA remains conspicuous by its continued silence which gives the impression that it condones these actions.
The Syrian government in attempting to bring peace to its country deployed a process of amnesty for Syrians who were fighting against the Government. This process had two main objectives. One was to terminate the conflict in the areas concerned and more importantly so as to avoid the terrorist tactic of using civilians as shields. Rather than attack and kill civilians they opted for negotiation without any "big stick". The US media have insisted that Russia and the Syrians were taking out hospitals, schools and a host of other actions such as the use of chemical weapons, with flimsy video evidence produced by the White Helmets propaganda brigade funded by the UK and USA governments. There is disinformation on both sides. However, the reality is that the way the Syrians cleared areas of conflict with the help of the Russians contrasts significantly with the US military approach in Fallujah and Allepo where they are stating they cannot estimate the number of civilians killed by depleted uranium shells and phosphorus (extreme chemical agents and illegal) and saturation bombing. In reality accurate estimates of those killed will be made once all of this fighting settles down.
Is it not time that the USA policy makers looked in the mirror and realize that they have caused increasing instability largely through economic and military aggression setting an atrocious example to the younger generation who in increasing numbers are murdered by members of their peers with the same mindset. Is it not time that the levels of police brutality involving the intentional killing of unarmed individuals be brought under control and reduced. Some have romantic notions of the old Wild West where indigenous people were murdered indiscriminately and the man with the 6-shooter helped "defend" the population. Today, in America, no one is safe from other Americans or police with firearms. On the international scene, no one is safe from American duplicitous promises, with or without a stick. This is a tragedy.
The DNC is a threat to freedom
On April 20, 2018, the Democratic National Committee filed Case:1 18-cv-03501 with the District Court for the Southern District of New York, to sue WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and a long list of others including the Trump campaign and Russian operatives alleging their roles in the theft and dissemination of DNC computer files during the 2016 presidential election.1
The Democratic Party risks lowering the image of the party to even greater depths with this bordering-on-the-absurd actions.
By now the so-called mainstream media, who appear to have become an appendage to the Democratic Party, have demonstrated a lack of ability to uphold journalistic standards because the have become partisan and, as a result, are no longer interested in the truth but rather in seeking out any pretext to ruin the image of Donald Trump and demonise Russia and Russians in the process.
One of the seminal trials that sensitized the American colonists to the importance
|Truth & the First Amendment|
The First Amendment is the foundation of safeguarding people's freedom to seek as well as know the truth.
But the truth is not always what we want it to be, it can be embarrassing when it exposes wrongdoing on the part of individuals and institutions we have held in high esteem. It is therefore essential that in order for each and everyone to remain free from deception and lies that we reflect on each transgression as being a reason for not providing support for the perpetrators of ill deeds to take up any future position providing decision making authority over our affairs.
The freedom of each and everyone depends upon the freedom of others so we each have a common sense duty to not provide our support to those who would undermine freedom by hiding or distorting the truth. This process has become more complex with many media usurping their First Amendment duties by becoming intensely partisan and serving up partial and biased content.
Defend your freedom by seeking the truth by other means.
of the press in defending their freedoms was the Zenger trial of 1835. John Peter Zenger (1697-1746) was born in Germany and was the publisher of a newspaper in New York, the "New York Weekly Journal"
. The newspaper contained criticisms of Sir William Cosby (1690–1736) who was serving as the British royal governor of New York. Zenger was accused of seditious libel and put in jail in 1734. In order to ensure prejudice against him without his having been tried, his bail was set far too high for his friends to be able to afford to release him. This punishment continued 9 months to 1735 when the trial started. Zenger was defended by Andrew Hamilton (1676-1741) born in Scotland and a Philadelphia-based lawyer. Hamilton undertook this work on a voluntary basis. He did not address his defence to the hand picked judges but rather to the jury. It was clear that the law had been broken but Hamilton argued that the law itself was a reflection of the corruption of the government
and he summed up stating that, "...the press has, a liberty both in exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing the truth."
Zenger on his part simply told the truth, admitting he knew that the articles carried in his newspaper were critical and broke the law.
The judge instructed the jury to pass a verdict of guilty. But the jury ignored the judge's instruction because what was stated in the articles was considered to be factual and therefore not libelous. They also considered the sedition law to restrict free speech and therefore was a threat to all freedoms
Some 56 years later on 15th December, 1791, the First Amendment was formally ratified and added to the American Constitution to protect freedom of speech and the vital role of the press.
There are three critical issues.
First the media should only publish the truth.
Second, journalists secure their information from flows of information on many different topics from many different sources so they need to do some "fact checking" as to reliability of sources. Some of the information they receive can be deemed by governments to be secret or seditious but the deciding factor on whether to publish it lies with journalists who need to decide whether or not they think it is in the public interest. Anything the government or government agents are doing which contravenes the law and where the government denies such actions is a matter of public interest.
Third, journalists themselves should not have been involved in any illegal act used to acquire the information or have instigated an illegal act by offering rewards to agents to undertake an illegal act.
Today a considerable amount of information comes from spontaneous "leaks", or "whistle blowers" where individuals have acted, quite often having previously followed due process in attempting draw the attention of their managers to the breaking of law by others in the organization, only to witness further abuse by the organization concerned in trying to ignore or cover up that behaviour. The justification is often the "defence of the image of the institution."
The case of WikiLeaks is purely that of an online medium which has been sent material from a source. For example, the information from the DNC computer seems to have been a leak by a person upset with the treatment of Bernie Sanders and via unknown means transferred the information to WikiLeaks who published it. WikiLeaks has carried a lot ofinformation that is critical of Russia so the DNC and the Hillary Clinton claims that WikiLeaks are a Russian agent are simply not credible. Also Mike Pompeo's characterization of a medium as a "non-state hostile intelligence service" when it has only, so far, published what it has received from third parties who are concerned with getting the truth out into the public domain, is a matter of concern. So we have a government official, who is now Secretary of State, attacking a medium for doing its job in line with the American Constitution.
The worrying factor is that the DNC resort to an attempt to sue and the irresponsibility of people like Pompeo and many others, who attempt to demonise and intimidate media and their proprietors, are working proactively against the spirit of the American Constitution; they are undermining freedom and the First Amendment and are guilty of an abuse of fundamental democratic principles.
The media have the duty to tell the truth, which WikiLeaks, in this case, did by publishing ad verbatim the facts as contained in damaging revelations exposed in the writings and communications between members, helpers and others involved with the Democratic Party. Clearly any half competent lawyer will be able to draw attention to the motivation of the DNC for this peculiar act on their part as a diversionary tactic to frantically cover up what has already been exposed. Indeed, in open court, this device is bound to fail and the people of America will have their attention drawn to and be able to read about the contents of these DNC documents in forensic detail in the media reports on the proceedings. This fanatical Kamikaze mission is likely to do irreparable damage to their defunct cause and Party.
Parts of this artice are sourced from: Asher-Schapiro, A., US Correspondent, Committee for the Protection of Journalists, "By suing WikiLeaks, DNC could endanger principles of press freedom."
This dreadful book has the question and the answer on the cover page, what went wrong was Hillary Clinton, the Foundation, the DNC and others....
President Trump has a knack of conjouring up catchy names for things and people. His latest is "Spygate" which has had a revealing reaction on the part of those who have been trying to intensify the baseless allegation concerning collusion between Trump and the "Russians". Nothing will come of trying to scrape up crumbs or dust from within the vacuous Mueller investigation.
However, now that this has become a centre of attention we would suggest putting some order into this process. We suggest that people forget "Russia" and turn their attention to what led to this is the first place. This was the original pact between Obama and the Clintons and the evolving corruption involving intelligence services, the Foundation and Clinton's behaviour when Secretary of State. There were two strands. One was the corruption involving the provision of political benefits to donors to the Foundation and, just as insidious, the pact concerning using "all resources" to guarantee the election of Mrs. Clinton as President in 2016. Obama had an important role as President in maintaining the allocation of resources to this end and it is becoming increasingly evident that this included the intelligence and other government services, including the FBI. Everyone now knows about the Bernie Sanders debacle where he was corruptly and illegally undermined by the DNC who were in the pocket of Clinton (another matter requiring investigation) and the matter of the dodgy dossier "intelligence" report attacking Trump that initiated the FBI investigation, a dossier funded by the Clinton Campaign. How Clinton could transfer classified documents onto a private server and why the FBI never examined the DNC computer from which the "Russian" hack was supposed to have taken place, remain to be answered. During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump thanked WikiLeaks for publishing the Clinton emails that were lifted by someone with direct access to the computer; it wan't a hack it was an old fashioned leak. Indeed, thanks to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, the people of America and the world were able to make a more informed assessment of Clinton's suitability as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. The unredacted content exposed a shocking level of subterfuge, dishonesty, unethical conduct and her willingness to take accept donations from those who fund terrorists who have killed American military.
All of these statements are based on information already circulating in the media so there is obviously more to come. This is why those most compromised, the heads of NSA, CIA and FBI during the Obama administration are now protesting against the Spygate notion. If they had nothing to worry about they could brush this off as a baseless allegation. However, they are all reacting in a paranoid, approaching hysterical, fashion; they are plainly worried. For this to be the case they are likely to be fully aware that there is enough evidence to expose them that can be found, or it only takes someone to begin talking about what really went on for the whole house of cards to tumble. The fact that most who are coming under the spotlight have lied under oath doesn't engender confidence in these folk. Paradoxically by using their dubious techniques against these people, that is, using plea bargaining to let someone who is seriously compromised to have the promise of a light sentence in exchange for providing information to sink some, or all of the rest, is likely to be the evolving outcome. At the moment the rearguard actions are valiant attempts to deny anything like Spygate took place; but this isn't convincing increasing numbers of people.
In terms of media content "Spygate" holds out the promise of being something far more productive than the rather silly "Russian collusion" investigation that consumed too much time and money. Spygate holds out the promise of proving to be of interest and to the benefit of all; watch this space.
Tyranny: A cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control
Tyranny as a model for democracy
For the last century the world has witnessed the rise in power of the USA both in economic and military terms. However, as an example of how a close to an ideal democracy might operate, the trajectory of the country's status has rapidly declined since the second world war. Most American's don't "recognize" this analysis simply because the infiltration of corporations linked to intelligence services and political parties in the media, television and film studios has created a monster dedicated to a mind control of the masses in the USA. The use of the world masses conjours up notions of ignorant and base people who are easily manipulated. The problem in the USA is that the penetration of mind control has encompassed masses made up of all cultural, economic and educational levels. As a result mind control involves a full spectrum of components that help contribute to a political control.
The means whereby this level of unprecedented control is achieved was identified by Leon Trotsky in 1940 when assessing the potential for Fascism in the United States. He noted that the American worker organizations there were a very active and objective, better organized and less of a walk over than those in Italy or Germany had been; their temperament was such as to make things extremely difficult for Fascists. He therefore predicted that, in the case of the USA, an increasing support for Fascism would only find its impulse from " .. a feeling of desperation of large masses of people .. ". He recognized that farmers, small business men, the unemployed and even soldiers would be capable of willingly supporting a Fascist movement. Trotsky proved to be right when in 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbour the reaction of the USA was indeed to consolidate a corporate statist industrial military complex. There can be little doubt that the impact of 9/11 re-created the conditions foreseen by Trotsky transforming policy into a "good and profitable war".
The lesson is that under the right conditions of impetus, tied to an external threat, the USA government has supported the consolidation and free operation of the industrial military complex which maintains the feeling of desperation by feeding a misinformation campaign based on an exaggeration of external threats.
The concepts of free and participatory democracy are held up an image all tied up in the flag and "The American Way" which is drilled into American children each day building up a loyalty to a system which does not survive on the basis of the values they are taught to honour but rather operates on the basis of a malign system where truth has been the first victim and, with this, the freedom of the people of America.
In spite of the fact that the American colonists revolted against the colonial Britain, since 1893, the USA has adopted the old colonial corporatist model of overthrowing foreign governments with the help of the military to protect corporate investments and occupation of the territory of indigenous peoples that was first applied by the British Crown in Scotland and Ireland in the seventeenth century. The USA has continued to stage open interference in free elections and have actively promoted the overthrow of foreign governments, worldwide, in the interests of US corporate interests but almost always claiming, of late, that their actions were "humanitarian". The box on the right lists the main overthrows of governments by the USA.
President Trump's approach to foreign policy is less subtle because he acts as a brash bully and showman, he knows no better, but he has no qualms exposing his own thoughts and that of the administration. He is simply demonstrating that he has no time for the "diplomacy" that surrounded the other aggressive policy moves and actions of the past and is simply exposing the true nature of the American foreign policy mind set. It therefore is self-evident that this is no different from former US foreign policies since the overthrow of the legitimate government of Hawaii in 1893 by US troops ordered in to help corporate interests
A List of the documented malign influence of the USA in foreign countries through interference in elections and the overthrow of legitimate governments.....
PUERTO RICO 1898
THE PHILIPPINES 1898
HONDURAS 1912 & 1963
TURKEY 1960 & 1980
SOUTH VIETNAM 1963
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1963
BOLIVIA 1964 & 1971
PANAMA 1968 & 1989
The main message is that any government who wishes to pursue a legitimate policy position that does not align with the opinion of unelected policy officials in Washington, risk inviting a military invasion on their country, an overthrow of their government and maybe even seeing their leaders assassinated or following a kangaroo court, being executed. The USA, in the domain of foreign relations runs its affairs like Al Capone and those that support it share a malign intent which demonstrates no faith or respect for alternative points of view and an extreme form of xenophobism.
By setting such a bad example it is no wonder that America is perceived to be the most malign influence in the world. For those who believe in the fairy tale newspeak emanating from the USA propaganda machine concerning democracy, freedom and the rule of law, it is no wonder that increasing numbers feel that the American voter is to blame for allowing all of this evil to take place in the name of "their freedom". The sad conclusion, for many, is that Americans cannot be trusted because for all of their claims to being possessors of good human values, of love, tolerance and respect, of being religious and even God-fearing, in practice, they do nothing to make sure these values are upheld by their politicians and leaders. This undermines, completely, any notion of America being a democracy and dispels any fantasy that, beyond a bloated inefficient military power, the USA has any leadership qualities.
The Libyan model for North Korea?
Following Donald Trump's announcement of the withdrawal of the USA from the "Iran deal" it is worth remembering that when asked about the likely tack to be taken by Donald Trump in the forthcoming negotiations concerning nuclear arms with North Korea, John Bolton the national security adviser appears to have suggested the "Libyan approach". Ibn Nr has stated that, in reality, in the case of the Iran, Bolton appears to be keen on using the MEK terrorists as proxies, to carry out "regime change" in the same way as ISIL and Al Quaeda affiliates have been supported and armed in Syria as proxies with a similar objective. MEK was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 and they appear to have been carrying out tasks for Israel since it has been alleged that they assassinated some Iranian nuclear scientists but there is, so far, no evidence. Apparently liaison with Saudi military is rumoured to have been in motion for some time. MEK were also suspected of carrying out assassinations of Americans and the bombings of American companies in Iran in the 1970s. They were placed on the State Department terrorist list in 1997 and then removed from the list in 2012 when an early phase of liaison with Washington, Saudi Arabia and Israel is thought to have been initiated; MEK's declared aim to the overthrow the Iranian government.
Combining the disastrous outcome of the "Libyan deal" and the declared intent of actors around the "Iranian deal" which reflects a lack of commitment to an international agreement, it is clear that the North Koreans will be wondering what sort of "commitment" the USA will be offering.
The chaotic badly improvised foreign policy calls into question the sanity of Bolton's "advice" and the shocking weakness of Trump being led by the nose by the Saudi and Israeli governments into yet another quagmire that makes the people of American less safe and will put the lives of yet more innocents at risk. By obeying the wishes of those who have absolutely no interest in the wellbeing or safety of the people of America, Trump is helping accelerate the declining international status of the country through a decadent inexplicable support for one side in a religious war between Islamic sects and on the side of the sects who fund those who slaughter Christians and adherents to other religions. Far from being a land that respects religious freedom, on the international stage, for all to see, American demonstrates an exceptionlism in the degree of its practical intolerance of the rights of different faiths to remain safe and free and a willingness to support faith-based genocide.
Murdering Innocents Abroad is our state of the art foreign policyA woman, in an open TV question and answer session, asked Tony Blair how as a professed Christian he could support war in Iraq because many innocent men women and children would die. His brazen reply was that all wars have collateral damage. This of course side-stepped the question which was pointing to the Judeo-Christian and Islamic law "Thou shall no kill". The only exceptions appear to be within the law that some countries justify killing people through execution for some capital offenses or as enemy combatants. Beyond those categories the religious doctrines, including humanism and atheism err on the side of forbidding the killing of people. The other professed values within those same religions or philosophies is that all people are equal under one god or some natural law. Therefore, the fact that people have a different coloured skin or speak a different language or are "foreigners" does not justify any logic that makes them dispensable and subject to being murdered by anyone.
The trends in foreign policy during the last 70 years have been to place murdering innocent civilians as a bargaining chip on the table. The euphemism for this frequently stated by US leaders and negotiators is that "all options are on the table". And yet, no one ever questions this approach to foreign affairs which has at its root the threat of murder of innocents. The seemingly less aggressive act of economic sanctions, a favourite tactic deployed by the USA, quite often spills over into causing the death of many innocents. The sanctions leveled at Iraq before the invasion is estimated to have resulted in the deaths of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 children because of a lack of medicines and other difficulties created by the sanctions.
An Iraqi child dying as a result of US-imposed sanctions
Sanctions leveled against Cuba and Venezuela have caused economic difficulties as well as the suffering of people and this suffering, caused largely by the sanctions themselves, is used as evidence of a corrupt of ineffective governance. Sanctions attempt to use innocent people as battering rams against regimes the US does not approve of. This is a brutal bullying tactic and is unfair to innocent people. It has nothing to do with freedom or promoting democracy.
It would be good if the USA could manage its foreign policy by setting an example of applying diplomacy that demonstrates an in depth understanding of the other's position and the application of creative and intelligent negotiations to come to temporary agreements that ease the tension that gave rise to the negotiation in the first place. Step by step and demonstrating a peaceful approach to foreign affairs, with time, tensions and significant differences can be reduced.
There is a vector in US politics that follows a line that unmanned drones and high tech smart bombs can reduce mortality on the side of the US military but in terms of wasted money and avoiding the murder of innocents these make no difference. This "smart" approach to warfare is a continuation of the same willingness to murder innocents, very often because the quality of intelligence had declined significantly leading to many "mistakes". The military, in any case, are never brought to account for their atrocities and are blind to people. All they see is assets which they want to "take out". Since 1945 is has been variously estimated that the number of people murdered by US military actions and sanctions totals some 20 million people. It is time that such a murderous foreign policy be brought to account. This policy is clearly not very intelligent it is just brute force. Politicians, of course, will somehow claim it is all about defending and promoting democracy, freedom and the rule of law. However it takes on the form of actions managed by outlaws and people who have a destructive and malign influence on the international scene which in practice has upset most of the world's population and have ruined the lives of countless families throughout the world who have lost loved ones to this blind and altogether stupid aggression.
The model followed by these amoral promoters of aggression is that developed by Mussolini. This Fascist model was to keep inventing external enemies, based largely on propaganda, so as to cause the voting public to become alarmed at the dire prospects contained in the same propaganda. As a result, few question US aggression, thinking it is "keeping them free and safe". The same system "justifies" increased military spending and slush-fund filled budgets, much of which flows back to the political party coffers. These people do not understand the significance of true freedom and the importance of a well-informed constituency. Such people in fact fear the truth and the impact of that on freedom of thought and action. Therefore they invest more in propaganda, but in doing this they suppress the freedom of choice of the people of America to become aware of this evil so as to move to put a stop to the murder of innocents which is carried out in their name.
Can a peace dividend revolutionize the economy?
Forthcoming seriesIt is not difficult to comment upon and criticize the depressing state of American and Western economic and foreign policy where, during the last 20 years, there have been a sequence of failures, rising violence and millions of displaced people. The commitment of investment, government budgets and policy towards "strengthening the military" continues while the number of armed civil servants (the military) consume a massive slice of public money and yet America has not effectively won a war for some 73 years. The people of America are no more safe for all the bluster and propaganda. The high cost of all of this and the distribution of armed civil servants throughout the world and the maintenance of fleets of ships, aircraft and land-based equipment does very little; all paid for by the US tax payer. On the other hand there is lacking any serious analysis of the means whereby there could be a change over of transferring the funds spent on an ineffective bloated military to investments in infrastructure, encouraging high technology investment, new green industries, low energy consuming economies, industry and manufacturing extension services and de-rusting the rust belt.
The number of people employed in armaments related activities in the USA and UK, for example, are 800,000 and 150,000 respectively out of total labour forces of 162 million and 33 million so the percentage of the population employed in these industries is 5% and 4.5% of the labour force respectively. This is a tiny percentage and it is self-evident that these investment in these companies could be put to better use. We are preparing articles on how this could be done to the benefit of US and UK economies.
A free pressUnder the facade of a "free press" we witness the media exercising censorship through attempts to intimidate those who wish to expose the truth. The media continue to insist on publishing content that misrepresents the truth through lying or omission of critical facts. Not wishing to be exposed for making statements that are misrepresentations, or lack any convincing evidence to back them up, increasingly the media are involved in campaigns to punish anyone who dares to present a different narrative through intimidation.
During the last few days the weight of evidence against the misrepresentation of the media has become more convincing showing up their hollow and largely worthless output. Months ago we carried content explaining why the Mueller investigation was going nowhere based on inside track information from Ibn Nr. Everything we stated has proved to be correct with Mueller's report published internally on 22nd March 2018 (see right) but only made public on Friday, 27th April, 2018 to muffle immediate working day attention.
The main conclusion of this report is that there is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russians, be they government, intelligence agencies, agents or individuals.
So Hillary Clinton's absurd displacement arguments as to why she lost the election have turned out to be a pack of lies. But the inertia of this vector was built on by Democrats and the media morphing it into a frantic attempt to divert attention from the disgraceful behaviour of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in undermining the democratic processes of the United States Presidential Election. As has now been exposed and confirmed, the DNC agreed to Clinton gaining control over its finances in exchange for her becoming the sole Democratic candidate. The shock rise in popularity of Bernie Sanders and the DNC's reaction to purposefully undermine democratic processes so as to destroy in a merciless fashion, Sander's candidacy. Ibn Nr stated some time ago that this specific unscrupulous act by the Clinton adherents and DNC is what motivated the internal leaker who had gained access to the relevant computers to copy the emails and send them to Wikileaks to expose this whole corrupt affair. This, as we have always previously stated, had nothing to do with the "Russians" but was an internal affair involving a disgruntled individual within the Democratic Party cabal. Within these emails there is plenty of evidence of close-to and criminal behaviour, underhand dealing that included the Clinton Campaign's' funding of the dodgy dossier full of ludicrous, false unverifiable statements about Donald Trump's behaviour. The FBI, who are lauded by most Americans as an upstanding organization, used this obviously fake and dubious dossier through dishonest means to convince a judge, by not informing him of the origin of the report, to justify the Mueller enquiry. However, beyond the obvious conclusion, that Donald Trump is innocent of any collusion with the Russians, the rest of the Mueller report is a shambles. It asserts a collection of theories concerning "Russian" interference in the Presidential election but all of the "supportive evidence" has been redacted. According to Ibn Nr the redactions have been applied to the more ridiculous social media and innuendo but left in as censored blacked-out content to give the impression that there is ample evidence but which the intelligence authorities don't wish to publicise because of the usual excuse of this being an issue of national security. This low level and rather obvious ploy has been engineered by desperate people who are failing in their primary role to inform the people of America of the facts. If anyone undermined the US elections it was Hillary Clinton and her devotees whose behaviour continues to be more deplorable than those she openly accused on being "deplorables".
The Mueller report therefore, no matter that it provided its conclusions on the main issue, Trump's innocence, has tried to maintain the alimentation of the intelligence, military and media frenzied agenda on continuing to accuse Russia of a range of "actions" against the US democratic process. This is why the title of the report was altered to read "Report on Russian Active Measures". What is known for certainty is that there was very little action taken by Russians. In the so-called Bot tweets and social media content, these did not express any opinions that differed from views of many Americans and in any case the amount spent on advertising by Russian companies and individuals was miniscule and incapable of influencing anyone to the extent of being classified as "interference". The evidence provided by Google, Facebook and Twitter executives to the US Congressional Intelligence Committee proved beyond a doubt that this was a wild goose chase. If one compares the few dollars which were identified as Russian-linked election advertising (less than $1,000) to the millions spent by the Clinton and Trump campaigns and the PACs, as vehicles for corporations who have no right to vote, to exercise enormous interference in the US democratic process, to think Russians had any impact is ludicrous. In spite of this one hears the retort, "Oh but they did interfere!!". Compared with the track record of the US intelligence agency interference in foreign elections and listening in on foreign politician's mobile telephone conversations, and even so-called allies, there is a strong acrid smell of hypocrisy and dishonesty emanating from the buck-filled halls of Congress and the Senate. It isn't as if the rest of the world cant see through this macabre theatre. Those who promote this nonsense should hang their heads in shame and to stop trying to hide behind their claims of American exceptionlism; nothing in this saga has been exceptional it has and continues to be base, crude, aggressive and unethical. The American establishment and the deep state have become the Emperor with no clothes, but the governance and the media insist on praising the beauty of the garments. The alternative media, with ample evidence at its disposable is declaring that, "He hasn't any clothes!"
As is often the case, the United Kingdom has taken up the baton handed over to them by the USA to take the lead in promoting a continuation of this hysteria in the latest G7 meeting. Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary has made use of the Mueller report's verbiage in the form of "Russia's malign influence" to initiate a monitoring exercise under the G7. This is just to keep the demonization of Russia alive. This is associated with the current orchestrations by the UK authorities of a ridiculous theatre in the City of Salisbury in the County of Wiltshire. There, they have organised a pantomime follow up to the alleged "chemical attack" on the ex-intelligence double agent and his daughter. Teams in plastic suits are going through a very overt activity of "decontaminating" different areas of the city to try and give the impression that the so-called "chemical attack" was as serious as they originally asserted. But as yet the UK government has been unable to provide the chemical used, and which turned out to have no lethal effect, came from Russia. It turns out that most countries have produced this chemical as a basis for the development of their own antidote research, so the claims by Theresa May of the Russian origin is without foundation.
Just over a week ago the USA, France and the UK launched in excess of 100 missiles at Syrian establishments which had been evacuated as a result of forewarning as to their being targets in a "show of strength" of these countries in "not tolerating the use of chemical weapons" by the "Assad Regime".
The only evidence used to justify this attack was produced by the so-called "White Helmets" in the form of one of their typical suggestive but never conclusive propaganda videos. Unfortunately for the White Helmets they had been asked to produce something of this sort but, within hours of their so-called attack the Syrian forces occupied the area concerned. This was achieved without fighting but as a result of one of the Assad's' amnesty deals where Syrian opposition fighters can lay down their arms and not be harmed while most of the hard liners and foreign fighters were bussed off to another location under protection. In spite of there now being ample evidence, including dispositions from people identified in the video, that no attack took place, western media still hold to the chemical attack story preferring to believe the White Helmets who are Al Quaeda affiliates and who have received generous financial support from the UK Foreign Office, USA and an assortment of Gulf states. This whole affair is ludicrous.
Tony Blair's decisions to sign an "intelligence report" (dodgy dossier) full of misrepresentations of the facts to justify the invasion of Iraq and mislead the British public and Parliament, set a heinous precedent based on personal greed and a haplesss cowardice in the face of crude primitive Saudi cash diplomacy. After over a million deaths resulting from this crime, Tony Blair was made "Peace Envoy" to the Middle East; an enduring insult to the innocent men, women and children who perished as a result of this criminal irresponsibility.
Lastly, on the Russian athletics "doping scandal", yet again the key witness used by the WADA McClaren investigation, the Russian individual Grigory Rodchenkov failed to convince the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last February of his allegations when under cross examination he clearly backed off from claiming first hand knowledge of the affair when he had been the head of the Moscow anti-doping testing lab. But as usual the media continue to ignore the facts.
Hollywood, a malign influence ...
As is well known, just as Hollywood support the White Helmets, they produced a film based on Rodchenkov's flawed testimony as if wholly factual. Currently the countries most involved in athletes doping cases are Italy, France, USA, Australia and Belgium and then Russia.
The moral of the story
The use of witnesses who have been subjected to "cash diplomacy", that is, they have been paid to do or say what malign agenda setters desire is something that has slithered down through American history from the days when Al Capone paid off officials. But this malign tendency has taken grip of America's political and media culture surpassing anything Al Capone dreamed of. Now, those in control such as "government", lobby groups, "honourable representatives" and a groveling totally biased media have reduced American democracy and foreign policy to a state of international disrepute. Today the scale is bigger, more brash, with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States exercising increasing levels of cash diplomacy in America, the United Kingdom and France. This is largely based on their threat not to purchase arms or to provide intelligence on possible actions by the terrorists that they, in fact, support and influence. So when Members of the UK Parliament asked Theresa May why she followed what "The Americans" wanted in the latest missile attack in Syria, they asked the wrong question. Of course she denied this but the more tragic truth is that the US Congress, Senate, UK Parliament and French Parliament are all under the corrupt influence of Saudi Arabian cash diplomacy and lobbies from armaments companies who, of course, pay into political party coffers. It will be recalled that Tony Blair prevented the UK Serious Fraud Office from continuing an investigation into corrupt dealings with Saudi Arabia concerning arms sales under the Al Yamamah contract on fighter aircraft. A slush fund created by the Ministry of Defence by permitting the contractor to charge 30% in excess of the normal prices. The Saudi go-between in this case is alleged to have received in excess of £1 billion. The Saudi government pressured against the Serious Fraud office investigation by threatening to cut their provision of intelligence on terrorists who they in fact controlled and funded.
Today Saudi Arabia continues it visceral crusade to destroy non-Sunni secular states and to support terrorists who rejoice in murdering non-Sunnis, Christians and those of other religions.
The USA, UK and France are hapless pathetic and cowardly allies of this rogue state that in the Yemen continue to carry out war crimes and atrocities almost on a daily basis using the arms sold to them by these "democracies". They have murdered countless non-military men, women and children who were attending weddings. Such people being burnt alive are of no consequence to the mainstream media, US, UK and French governments. These governments will put on a show of responding to a staged chemical attack in Douma in Syria by aiming over 100 missiles at empty buildings. However, in the case of Saudi Arabia's viscious visceral and violent onslaught of the Yemen, these "leaders", so-called, remain meekly silent in blinding light of these atrocities by Saudi Arabia and its allies for which there is ample undeniable evidence.
In the Yemen, Saudi Arabia continues to murder largely poor innocent, men women and children. They support terrorists who murder Christians and non-Sunnis and want to destroy secular states, and yet the moral cowards, Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron look the other way while they welcome Saudi blood money.....their behavioural irresponsibility has become the most malign influence in today's world.
The "West" has no leadership worthy of the name...
It is well past the time that this evil charade needs to be brought to an end and for the USA, UK and even France to attempt to show genuine leadership by guiding national priorities back to the pursuit of peace and the establishment of a genuine peace dividend in order to regenerate their economies by putting their constituents first.
Nikki, Saudi Arabia and Israel's useful idiotIt is clear that Nikki Haley is an agent of the USA as the permanent representative for that country in the United Nations. If her "managers" wish to make more of a fool of her and the United States, they should continue to have her deliver the sorts of presentations all have heard. She has a tendency to make either Power Point type presentations drawing on largely doubtful evidence of the type generated by the propaganda outfit, the White Helmets, or she presents US positions that claim that the "world community" supports what she says. The "world community" is normally largely NATO members who benefit from US cash diplomacy so all fall in line. Feeding off this "world community" angle there is an arrogance in the willingness of the USA act unilaterally in a violent manner and "justified" on the basis of hearsay or even false evidence. The US track record on this is well known with Tonkin for Viet Nam and weapons of mass destruction for Iraq. It would be a blessing if USA was doing well in international relations by augmenting international stability and peace for all. But the USA, since its politicians are completely drowned in lobby, Saudi Arabian and Israeli funds and who are therefore very adept at having the USA act the way they want. The main role of the USA set out by Saudi Arabia and Israel is for the US to supply arms while helping them satisfy their desires for territorial occupation and oppression of the people of Palestine or working to eliminate secular regimes and the Shia populations in the Middle East and in particular Iran. Why cant the State Department and even the President realize that the USA has become a blubbering proxy and shambolic bully; it is plainly lost and disoriented.
There is no demonstration of leadership, only a cowering fidgeting clown who confuses the size of military budgets with moral certitude or even manhood. Leadership is difficult in today's world but the record shows that erring on the side of military intervention has always made things worse. Strength in leadership is not to be confused with ability to do economic or physical harm, it can only be found in being courageous enough to confront the complexity of achieving mutual satisfactory outcomes. This can only be achieved by listening carefully to what presumed adversaries say and to take these seriously. This, on the world stage, would be a genuine demonstration of exceptionalism. Why cant the USA show statesmanship and a more comprehensive and pragmatic leadership? In this context, the continuing hysterics concerning the Russian Federation has become today the world's leading international absurdity but for some reason US officials seem willing to maintain this dishonest and dangerous game.
If one listens to the words of Nikki Haley and seek to verify the veracity of her evidence and seek to find a measured and controlled procedure of establishing evidence before actions, the result will be disappointment. The primary self-evident fact is that the USA does not have an independent foreign policy worthy of the name; it only seeks to satisfy the paymasters of campaigns of the Congress and senate members shoring up the gerrymandered wastes of the US electoral landscape. As a result, Nikki Haley is not only a useful idiot for Saudi Arabia and Israel, she haplessly works, no doubt in a dedicated manner, for those whose interests lie in arms sales, continued violence and international instability.
Shambolic propaganda, a sign of desperationIn the last few weeks the incompetence of those creating propaganda to build up fear in the population of the USA, United Kingdom and other countries has become evident. With the British government's attempt to claim that Russian actions were likely to be responsible for the poisoning of two Russian citizens and a British policeman with one of the most deadly poisons out there, we now see all three are covering or have recovered. Any state-sponsored act of this sort would never have had this slightly absurd, but thankful, outcome. The attempt by Theresa May to proceed with diplomatic expulsions followed up in coordination with the USA is an example of grand standing at its worst simply because there it still no evidence other than a 6-slide Power Point circulated by the British government to other countries when they requested support. In order to support the USA some NATO members complied with the odd diplomatic expulsion. One of the only rational voices in the British Parliament was that of Jeremy Corbyn who still understands the Law of the United Kingdom that people are presumed to be innocent and can only be judged to be guilty based on evidence. For saying this he was attacked by Boris Johnson for being biased towards Russia.
The most ridiculous associated events were the mistimed videos released by the so-called "White Helmets", a propaganda unit that only operates where there are terrorist groups in Syria. This group has actually been involved in destroying and stealing the existing resources and facilities of the Syrian Civil Defense services and it is alleged that in some cases they also killed some of the Syrian Civil Defense members. Local populations in the recovered areas have stated that they had never even heard about the White Helmets while others said they were aware of them but that in reality they did not help. The White Helmets produce videos typified a much unspecified agitation and movement, with fairly burly "medical" staff doing various things around children and others, most of whom appear to be more confused by the actors than by their personal circumstances. In one case they had to admit to having staged saving a lifeless individual when still photos showed all the actors standing, including the lifeless man, and smiling into the camera after the shoot. The lifeless man has been conveniently dusted with white powder to look like someone exposed to an explosion. However, this time the videos claimed to have been taken in a zone that, unknown to the "White Helmets", was to be occupied by the Syrian army on the basis of a standard successful peaceful settlements based on an amnesty agreement a few hours later. As a result Syrian and Russian personnel were able to check the area but found no one injured or killed by the "attack" and local people have confirmed that no such an attack took place. This time the "White Helmets" and their hapless backers, one of which is the prone-to-bluster British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, have been caught out. The British government authorized a payment to this propaganda outfit in excess of £19 millions see government admission but there are several other sources of funds that, it is suspected, have used to transfer to the White Helmets through UK-based NGOs.
It is very notable that in the last Security Council gathering dealing with this "chemical attack" the Russian delivery was by far the most rational and level headed while the USA contribution was the typical propaganda attempting to call upon the White Helmet evidence as support for her attempts to conjure up an emotional response to the state of affairs, leveled against Assad and Russia. Seeing the writing on the wall and having received a serious offer by the Russians to escort and protect inspectors to the apparent site identified by the White Helmets the only response came from the UK representative to agreed that this opportunity to inspect the site should be followed up.
The remaining unknown is the response to be taken by the USA. The USA, in the past has acted in a precipitous fashion in following up on White Helmet staged events on videos by launching missile attacks. Previously, there have been many occasions when the USA has started a war based on completely false "evidence" in Viet Nam and Iraq. However, in the current circumstances it would be an exposure of total irresponsibility on the part of the USA if they followed up with this sort of response on this occasion when it is now possible to find out the truth within days.
Dispensing with the peace dividendWith the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world had the opportunity to work on long lasting peace as part of the "peace dividend" resulting from the end of the cold war. There was much talk of refashioning swords back into ploughs. The peace dividend was referred to by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatched in the early 1990s. The main rationale was in terms of economic benefits arising from decreased defense spending such as increased social programmes and/or a decrease in taxation rates. Starting in the mid 1990s there should have been a major growth in general welfare, productivity and real incomes growth, a run of over 25 years to the present date. The initial steps in reducing defense spending occurred in Western Europe and in the Russian Federation. The United States military spending fell between 1985 and 1993 and remained stable 1993 and 1999. However, macroeconomic policies including monetary policy remained the same. Monetary policy alone, targeting 2% inflation has, since 1995, caused devaluations in the US$ and British pound currencies equivalent to in excess of 45%. This significantly undermined any gains in productivity arising from investments resulting in lower margins and any ability to raise real incomes. As a result the value of government revenues were also devalued resulting in declining sums and allocative effectiveness.
There was a significant increase in military spending after September 11, 2001 to fund conflicts like the War on Terror, the War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq. One of the main factors in the attacks on the USA in 2001 arose from the continued support the USA has given Israel concerning the treatment of Palestinians and its occupation of Palestinian territory. The Afghanistan venture seemed to make sense in terms of Al Quaeda being blamed for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York which exposed serious flaws in the USA's intelligence effectiveness. The USA attacked Iraq,the very country where Al Quaeda had no chance of surviving. This, together with a very poor performance of the intelligence agencies, led to a disastrous campaign which not only helped Al Quaeda enter Iraq but to also increase their build up there and in many other countries. This also led to the formation of ISIS or Daesh. The USA today continues to lose military territorial control in Afghanistan to the Taliban after 15 years of ineffective actions and a phenomenal rise in the drug trade (heroin) emanating from Afghani production. These failure demonstrate a gross ignorance and inability of the American decision-makers and their advisors to even understand that environment.
In the Iraqi campaign, and then Syria following the objective of replacing President Assad of Syria, the USA sided with Saudi Arabia's allies in the form of a range of terrorists who the USA has branded as "free armies" or "opposition forces" who continue to murder people who are non-Moslems or the "wrong" Moslem sect and to market captured women, many with children, for sexual exploitation, executing their husbands and imposing cruel and strict regimes where there is no tolerance of any other religion other than a form of Islam, strictly along Wahabbi lines, promoted by Saudi Arabia. An additional vector promoting murder has been the violent opposition of the Sunni Islamic sect (Saudi) to the adherents of the Shia Islamic sect.
This primitive and aggressive behaviour would appear to be excused simply because Saudi Arabia has been in the habit of using cash diplomacy in funding US congress members and senators, funding lobbies, think tanks and university chairs in the Washington area as well as highly paid mainstream media content. The media anchors, knowing where their job security comes from, have become completely biased towards the narratives put out by Saudi Arabia and Israel. Speaking the truth to power, the very foundation of the reason the media is the only economic sector mentioned in the US Constitution, is being effectively throttled by those who wish to prevent the people of America from benefiting from any peace dividend. A typical example is the absurd content praising the new leadership in Saudi Arabia for "reforms" while they ignore the wholesale slaughter of people in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's continued support of viscious and savage groups with no interest in freedom or democracy.
Before the US invaded Iraq, Saudi Arabia had funded Iraqi military efforts against Iran (a largely Shia country). With the disastrous outcome of Iraq and Syrian campaigns for the Saudis and the USA, the Saudis are applying their cash diplomacy to encourage an increasing branding of Iran as being a source of terrorism in the USA; they are succeeding. But on balance is clear that the source of extreme savagery are terrorism is Saudi Arabia. The USA State Department bends under this pressure falling into a trap of squandering still further anything that has any resemblance to a peace dividend. Ibn Nr, the roving intelligence expert on Middle Eastern affairs, recently alleged that considerable amounts of Saudi funds are flowing to private elements indirectlty linked to the Pakistani nuclear interests, not for nuclear power but for nuclear arms. Saudi Arabia want to gain parity and to overtake Iran in order to secure military superiority by purchasing them ready-made. This is one reason Nr thinks Trump is totally out of his depth and misguided in trying to upset the Iran nuclear deal. The single most dangerous issue facing the world today is not Iran's intent with respect to nuclear arms but the secret intent of Saudi Arabia all of which is overlooked by the absurd ineptitude of the US policy makers who continue to lose all of their diplomatic battles because they act like scoundrels prone to bullying attempting to impose their wishes on all on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, in spite of their money and luxury are exceptionally primitive and visceral as expressed in their savage handling of the brutal Yemini "campaign" and in their attempted bullying of Qatar. North Korea is hardly an issue in comparison with Saudi Arabia's visceral ambitions. in ridding the world of adherents to the Shia sect; their proxies, as we know, have no fear of being killed in their actions on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
In the meantime the standing of the USA, worldwide, declines as a result of their resort to bluster and threats, willingness to bully and impose sanctions without regard to the number of deaths caused by such cruel and irresponsible behaviour.
Insecurity and instability in the world declines when a country who should be setting an example in peaceful democratic behaviour continues to wallow in the depths of depravity while their leadership has the arrogance to declare their belief in "American exceptionalism". If there is a parallel universe this is it. Things have got out of hand. It is time the people of the USA realize that their expenditure on the military, for whom they appear to have high regard, is financing a broad wave of future terrorism many times bigger and worse than what has been witnessed to date. Working for peace should be the mission of American families and tax payers; it is in their interests. ht is the point of continuing to sacrifice young American lives and sanity for the sake of Saudi Arabian princes and in support of Israel's apartite and violent and cruel regime? The current state of affairs only helps the corrupt policy makers in America to become richer, more influential and self-satisfied while they vote for increased military expenditure. Since 1945 it is worth reflecting, in a sober manner, and asking which battles and wars did the USA ever win after 1945? During the last 70 years the death and destruction has surpassed 20 million souls and yet nothing gained, just bluster and an increasing misdirected pride in the military and intelligence communities who have been incapable of bringing about peace. We see a trail of suffering and murder and the awarding of medals, transporting body bags back to the US and increased, pointless military expenditure. For a country that considers itself to have been founded on the basis of upstanding moral and religious principles, why do Americans continue to tolerate this brutal pointless insanity that continues to consume the integrity of that Constitution. We witness the destruction of any notion that the country has any claim to leadership other than as a bully acting on behalf of countries who do not share any common interests or values with the people of America.
Talvanaz releases a new image against warTalvanaz has released a new composition against war (see right) which sees the bullying arrogance and claims of exceptionalism sinking deeper into a trail of fetish, drying human blood that has been released from the bodies of largely innocent by violated men, women and children caught up in the failed military campaigns and a stupendous waste of financial resources and an excessive destruction of infrastructure, houses and lives that the world has witnessed during the last 15 years. In the meantime massive and still-growing military budgets have dwarfed spending on US infrastructure, employment creation, investment for productivity or in curbing financial intermediation practices and fraud that gave rise to the current global financial crisis.
BBC dirty tricks becoming more overt, following the demented example of US mainstream media
The BBC is a government-sponsored broadcast organization that survives on the basis of the people of Britain paying for a compulsory TV license fee imposed by the state. But the recent examples of the BBC's extreme bias and dirty tricks, of a political kind, is raising justifiable questions as to why the British public should be paying for blatant propaganda designed to mislead them while they pay the bloated salaries of BBC journalists, so-called. The BBC is taking on the operational appearance of the old Soviet style state organizations where its apparatchiks take advantage of state funds to pay themselves well, while abusing their position. In line with this general decadence it has become clear to most that the BBC is clearly seeking to interfere in political outlooks through misrepresetntion and distorted facts.
Exhibit 1: Jeremy Corbyn's hat
The latest "impartial reporting could be seen on Newsnight, a declining evening review of political events with often little to say, which had a backdrop of a picture with Kremlin style buildings a red hue and an image of Jeremy Corbyn whose French fisherman's hat looked more like a Russian Cossack's hat; see below. Clearly meant to misrepresent and an insult to Jeremy Corbyn.
Exhibit 2: The BBC's distortion and misrepresentative image
A certain John Sweeney a journalist associated with the BBC did a very bad job in defending the BBC's low stoop into dirty tricks by avoiding the subject of image modification in an exchange with Alex Salmond. Sweeney kept attempting to insult Salmond on the basis of his programme being aired on Russia Today, but so are many other informative shows. Sweeney invested his time in a series of displacement statements and avoided the question asked by Salmond if the image has been altered but went on and on about Russian politics and their treatment of opposition figures. This has nothing to do with depicting Jeremy Corbyn as a Kremlin stooge which is what many consider the image in Newsnight did.
The BBC did alter Corbyn's image, this is obvious. According to the Great Effects Lab (GEL) in Portsmouth, they did this to secure the desired modification in the profile of his hat by distorting the image through a reduction in the horizontal axis of the image by around 7%; this was sufficient to have this effect. They also increased the contrast to obscure the hat band that runs round the front of the hat, above its peak, which provides a visual indication of the correct format of the hat.
It is to be hoped that the BBC is not leading the charge to initiate yet another paranoid campaign against a political leader, in this case Jeremy Corbyn, whereas in the States it is the media against Donald Trump. In the USA, after 18 months of hysteria, there is still a need for people to present evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government. The same type of ridiculous innuendo, misrepresentation and assertion has began in the UK, led, not by the opposition but by the government of Theresa May starting with the same tactic of demonizing Russia but receiving campaign funds from oligarchs who are in opposition to the Russian government because most are fugitives from justice; this is no problem for the British government and other political parties. All of this is an alarming indication of a significant decline in appropriate behaviour, an abrogation of media responsibility and a depressing decadence in ethical standards on the part of the current British government and the apparatchiks in the BBC.
|Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons|
Russia and the United Kingdom are both members ....
The mission of the OPCW is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to rid the world of chemical weapons.
We are in the grip of a campaign of lurid fantasyTheresa May, the British Prime Minister, has stooped to a shabby mode of behaviour in failing to demand compliance with the required procedures under international law in the recent case involving Sergei Skripal, an ex-double agent, and his daughter Yulia who appear to have been affected by a nerve agent in Salisbury on 4th March. They have both been in intensive care since. It is alleged that the nerve agent used was, Novichok, a former Soviet product which in fact exists in different republics including the Ukraine.
Under the circumstances this case should follow the agreed procedures under the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of which Russia and the United Kingdom are members. The normal procedure would be to send case evidence, including a sample of the chemical, through the OPCW, to Russia allowing 10 days for them to evaluate case evidence in order to provide an evidence-based rational and informed response. However, Theresa May abandoned due process and demanded an explanation from the Russian government within 24 hours without providing any evidence. It may be remembered that the same happened with another former Soviet agent in London and in which case th UK government acted in the same way, making accusations and denying Russia authorities any case evidence, acting as judge and jury based on evidence that no one has seen.
This scandalous and insulting behaviour could not have really expected any response within 24 hours and as a result May has declared sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats because of Russia's "failure to respond" to allegations over the Skripal alleged poisoning. This 24 hour limitation appears to boil down to be a piece of amateurish dramatics to publicly record the British government resolve and toughness, probably for the sake of appearances to the current anti-Russian hysterical mob in the USA. It seems to be an attempt to maintain the NATO, military justification for wasteful allocation of government budgets to military use to keep armaments companies paying up on their political party contributions.
This British government appears to be attempting to push the national mood to a irrational state of paranoia concerning Russia, insulting the people of Russia on the basis of enormous leaps of faith in coming to destructive conclusions in the absence of serious evidence. This is destabilizing and an affront to the people of Britain who should be provided with the facts and who should not be insulted with the gross assumptions on the part of the intelligence agencies and government that the people don't need to have the full facts. It is easy to see through all of this theatre but being intoxicated and imbued with their desire to hold onto power, this shaky government has become blinded into showing their hand because they assume that the media and assertive declarations, made with a grave tone and serious face, can continue to manage the electorate, assumed to be made up of blind ignoramuses. Parliamentary democracy, so-called, in Britain is in a serious state of decay and it cannot be relied upon to right this unacceptable state of affairs.
Trolls and Bots and other things to point at
Much has been made of the pernicious influence of trolls and bots on the American presidential election. So far hard evidence has not been produced and the Congressional hearing with the social media showed that there were just about no such activity recorded in relation to Russia that pointed to any impact. Indeed, the only Bot group so far recently identified as a result of the so-called "Russia Investigation" is a commercial group. Most content identified consisted of redirects US origin messages and containing no tendency since some contained negative comments as well as praise for both final candidates. Rosenstein limply admitted that there would be no accusations, just a pointing figure; no smoking gun, as usual.
|"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. |
It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda
One absurdity is that now the repetition of the statement that "Russia" interfered has resulted in people stating with conviction that "Russia did interfere" simply on the basis of some in the so-called intelligence bodies said it did. Thus we have a text book example of the power of propaganda and of Joseph Goebbels' simple statement that is you repeat a lie enough times (no need for facts) people begin to think that it is an established truth.
On the other hand, one of the main roles of US intelligence agencies has been to interfere directly in the elections worldwide and especially in Europe and South American since the 1960s. This has included payments to NGOs and goon squads to help bring about enforced, and in some cases violent, government take-overs in the Ukraine and Arab Springs. Some of most serious actions to mislead the American public have been the creation of excuses, that were known to be lies, to declare war such as the Tonkin gunboat affair leading the Vietnam war and the insistence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Both of these events not only destroyed many American families waiting for body bags to return from afar, but they also lead to the deaths of many innocent, men, women and children in far off lands. These observations are not the repetition of lies but are based on recorded facts including the graves of young Americans and people from other countries, distributed across the planet. This makes the American obsession with a hard to detect Russian interference ridiculous and hypocritical.
So far there has been no convincing evidence other than suppositions that Russian Bots sought to stoke up divisions between the people of the United States. Divisions, of course, are now widespread in US society. These arise from self-inflicted and justifiable complaints such as police murdering unarmed African Americans with impunity and the NRA taking up the role of grand preacher in the name of the rights to own guns when thousands of innocent people and school children die every year as a result of excessive gun violence. Divisions have arisen as a result of the hollowing out of US industry and employment by American oligarchs who preferred to shift their production to low wage locations. Bankers today help corporations buy back shares to benefit executives while productivity stagnates and the disparity in income levels grows. The flow of money and sheer corruption on the part of many Congress and Senate members has become "acceptable practice" who are paid by oligarchs to sustain this divisive aggression causing so much suffering on the part of innocents in the USA. These same people have abrogated their responsibilities for a balanced foreign policy and who instead maintain a dynamic of division and uncertainty and conjuring up a domestic fear of other countries so as to justify ludicrous levels wasteful government expenditure on armament companies. In foreign countries the cost of this irresponsible behaviour has cost something like 20 million lives since the Second World War at the hands of US and US Coalition forces. The outcome has been chaos, forced displacement and spill-overs of asylum seekers into Europe. It is others who pay the real price of the USA's bad behaviour and frankly, in spite of the recent Security Council agreement for a cease fire to stop the escalating violence in East Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, it is notable that past more extreme levels of violence and civilian deaths in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, at the hands of US Coalition forces did not raise the same holier-than-thou pronouncements from the US UN Representative.
In conclusion, it is evident that the American Constitution has failed to keep at bay those elements, many to do with human nature, for better or worse, from harming the individual and free citizen. The politicians who occupy the State legislators, Senate and Congress have had a more-than-comfortable ride in not responding to their constituencies but rather to their bank balances. The Founding Fathers could never have imagined the degree to which the worst aspects of human nature could have become dominant motivations for Presidential and government decisions. In the end, this is the result of the power of "political parties". The Founding Fathers were therefore naive or intentionally failed to recognise the warning that is registered in the document that was known to them. In May of 1649, a proposal called "An Agreement of the Free People of England" was penned out by John Lilburne, William Walwyn, Thomas Prince and Richard Overton, all of whom were English Levellers. They had been imprisoned in the Tower of London by Oliver Cromwell. This document was a proposal for a written constitution for England. 40 years later parts were used in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and the American Bill of Rights in the American Constitution of March 1789, some 140 years later. Their preamble stated that the nation should be free and happy and that all differences should be reconciled so that all can stand with a clear conscience whilst preventing the prevalence of interests and private advantages. They wrote that actions should not be driven by malice against anyone nor as a result of disagreement over opinions but should be geared towards peace and prosperity for all. They proposed that the free people of England establish a government without arbitrary power and whose action would be bound and limited by law, as would all subordinate authority, with the purpose of removing all grievances.
The Levellers were particularly sensitive to the dangers of arbitrary power over governance arising from private interests being organised with this intent. So a key element in this document was to ban political parties and other forms of conflicts of interest. People with specific professions would not be permitted to exercise them while acting as a representative for their community. Members of Parliament were to be elected only once, having to stand down at the next election but they could be elected in a subsequent election. This was a precaution against the build up of embedded interests and to discourage the formation of a class of "professional" politicians. Parliaments were to last one year with annual elections; not to act on this provision was to be considered to be an act of High Treason. Public officials should be chosen by Members of Parliament and elected each year. This was a move to avoid the formation of so-called factions within government service who could become embedded as permanent and likely to develop arbitrary power and be increasingly prone to corruption.
If one traces the number of times this document has been cherry picked by legislators over the last 360 years, it is notable that the specific practical references to the avoidance of arbitrary powers and the formation of political parties were always ignored; let us say "redacted".
There being no organic leadership arising from a representation of the people, the American Constitution cannot save us from the visceral extremes and censorship that pervade the media and political discourse that shuffles the country towards a state of fear and animosity to others. This is manipulated by arbitrary misrepresentations of those in power to justify decisions to the direct benefit of private commercial interests and politicians and, of course, the political parties. Of course all of this is sold as being of benefit to the people such as "keeping you safe" or "defending your freedom". Now is well beyond the time for rational individuals and communities to acknowledge that the American Constitution has turned out to be impotent in the face of this reckless onslaught of private interest groups; it is seriously flawed. Until Americans accept and act so that, ".... actions should not be driven by malice against anyone nor as a result of disagreement over opinions but should be geared towards peace and prosperity for all", we will all continue to suffer and pay too heavy a price, be we Americans or people from other lands who suffer from the increasingly disruptive and arbitraty interference of America in their afffairs.
Where the oligarchs thriveThere has been much talk about the pernicious influence of "oligarchs" in Russia. The term is used to describe business magnates who in the case of the post-Soviet satellite countries and in Russia gained an enormous wealth during the privatization schemes in the 1990s. The processes of such privatizations were overseen by Western management consultancy companies subcontracted to the European Commission and USAID. The "logic" of this approach followed closely the recommendations of business schools, such as Harvard. The principal advocate for what turned out to be a case study in disastrous impacts on the process of democratization was Jeremy Sachs whose ideas and methods of transition from central planning were adopted throughout the transition economies.
However, the influence of home-grown oligarchs is more extreme and well-established in the USA and Western Europe than in the post-soviet domain. In particular the media in, for example, the USA and the United Kingdom is concentrated in the hands a few oligarchs who have a commanding influence over what the public read, see and listen to. Far from a free press the media is a zone permitting oligarch a free hand on controlling what is communicated. The result is editors, who have no independence, who remain employed as subservient sycophants and who in turn oversee the "work" of even less independent journalists who obsequiously tip toe, each day, through the constant range of serious issues facing the public to only produce output that avoids offense to the oligarchs; this results in a widespread censorship of some subjects and events. In the UK these oligarchs tend to be "tax exiles" who hide away beyond the reach of UK tax authorities but who have a direct influence over UK politics through their media empires and financial contributions to political parties. In the USA the influence of oligarchs is less hidden but rears its corrupt head through the massive corporate contributions paid to congress and senate members to vote the way the oligarch's desire. The ludicrous existence of PACs (political action committees) allows oligarchs to pool funds and concentrate their power through contributions to campaigns for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.
One has to ask whether or not the "mature" democracy of the USA is really an example of the operation of a free press and democracy when it has been admitted by many that most state voting districts in the USA are designed to favour one party or the other based on gerrymandering (the manipulation of the boundaries of electoral constituencies to favour one party or class). In other words the oligarchs choose the voters instead of the voters being free to select the representative they want. The more recent corruption of the Democratic National Committee related to Clinton financializing and privatizing the funding of that organization in exchange for becoming the only Democratic candidate and the manipulations to marginalize Bernie Sanders only add an additional layer of unacceptable behaviour on the part of those who proclaim the USA to be an example of a democratic state.
Many Americans consider themselves to be "free" as a result of the existence of the American Constitution and the "American way" and this is the culmination of a long drawn out indoctrination starting in schools and absorbed and even defended by the hard working folk, many of whom have some admiration for the US oligarchs.
BREXIT and the Friday AgreementThere has been much talk about the BREXIT move will create a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland leading to friction and possible implications for peace in Ireland because of impacts on the Friday peace agreement. Last weekend a seminar was organised for APE journalists at the Systems Engineering Economics Lab (SEEL) in Portsmouth. This covered how project designers should handle the Sustainability Development Goals. A major topic was how a next generation cloud project cycle and portfolio management system design could handle these issues through a very low cost support system for low income countries.
SEEL information technology developers were covering this topic when a journalist from Ireland asked if technology could help in removing the "hard border". Although not the subject of the seminar, SEEL decided to provide an addition impromptu bag lunch presentation to cover this topic.
It turns out that a combination of traceability systems both for goods crossing the border as well as people and automatic vehicle identification systems can make borders almost completely frictionless turning what would have been a hard border into an invisible border. These systems rely on some specific risk assessment algorithms, some developed at SEEL, and which occasionally will have certain people and vehicles be subject to spot checks. However, in general, these are unlikely to be numerous. On the same basis, with such options, the stories of lorries piling up in Dover and such like, appear to be without foundation.
It is perplexing that politicians and the media, and indeed the European Commission and European Parliamentarians all keep fretting about the dangers of a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland. These people really need to be better informed and the UK government needs to explain the options for this "border" even if the UK isn't in any EU-related market or customs union.
The non-"investigation" plummets into absurdity....The recent "indictment" against 13 individuals in Russia and an internet company in St. Petersburg, referred to as a troll farm is being used to demonstrate "results" in typical FBI fashion. But this "result" has nothing to do with Russian State collusion with President Trump or interference with the US election. To round this off the Administration has stated that there will be no specific attempt to initiate any legal process against the individuals named in the indictment. This is probably a precaution since it is likely that with records of transactions the so-called accused would be able to provide that there is no basis for the statements made by the investigation what-so-ever. It has been suggested that the timing of this process was to smother criticisms of FBI for not having responded to repeated warnings about the individual who murdered 17 people in a school massacre in Florida last week.
The FBI and he other 16 investigative organization have a status and image problem and they will do anything not to face up to embarrassing facts concerning their incompetence. And so the "investigation" continues down its rabbit warren and consuming too much federal funding. Many non-American observers find this bizarre low quality superficial circus tragi-comic and even more absurd is the growing habit of media personnel to accuse anyone who makes a valid comment criticizing this absurdity, as being "Un American!".
The attack on net neutrality is an attack on constitutions and basic freedomsThe lack of urgency in the discussions surrounding net neutrality ans precipitous deciion to implement Ajit Pai's wishes is alarming. This miguided chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and former Verizon lawyer, is scapping Obama-era net neutrality protections. This is a parochial US businesss short term interest and ignoring the strategic dangers which could have a negative impact on the USA. The smaller ISPs will be gobbbled up and this threatens the population of the United State more than other countries That US "legislators" voted in favour of this act will only create a relative marginalisation of US consumers in comparison with populations on the rest of the www in other parts of the globe.
The evolutionary and revolutionary role of the community conscienceConstitutions address the conditions of the past and in spite of an aim to embody permanent human values and social objectives they are never quite in tune with the present. What causes this drift in relevance is usually the meddling of political agents and parties whose manipulations of the constitution to their own advantage has been accompanied by a politicization of the legal profession, including judges. As a result the constitution is "defended" to shore up a specific interests of powerful minorities as opposed to the constituency as a whole. On the other hand, the general public, convinced of the enduring value of constitutions to protect their rights, continue to defend the constitution with pride and some are ready to die for the perceived "values" contained therein.
In the past the most significant advances in legal frameworks, that improved liberty and the wellbeing of the population at large, gained their impetus, not from politicians or wise judges, but rather from specific decisions taken by juries that nullified existing laws and defied some judges. Indeed, this particular characteristic of English Law, applied in the States before independence, contributed significantly to the defence of colonists who opposed arbitrary rule from England. One of the most celebrated cases concerned John Peter Zenger, a journalist, establishing the principle of the role of the media. This contributed to the media becoming the only economic sector to be referred to in the US Constitution as being necessary to defend the Constitution. However, what has been overlooked, probably with intent, was the seminal role of the jury in this case. Indeed, as things have turned out, the Constitution should have balanced the role of the media by defending and extending the role of juries.
We elaborate on this important mechanism applied in the past which has been slowly undermined by political parties and the interest groups that support them, leaving few options for improving law to the benefit of all. Even the media have stooped too low, in abusing their freedom ther is a tendency to only deal with half truth by substituting the full facts with partial biased content, that pleases those providing financial support to the media concerned. As a result the full facts to arrive at satisfactory conclusions and decisions. Juries had the role of assessing whether or not sufficient facts were made available to take important decisions on the basis of there being no reasonable doubts. On the other hand, where the law did not appear to apply, no matter what the law was, the jury was free to nullify the law by declaring a defendent not guilty. The role of the expression of the community conscience through juries still has a potential revolutionary role, not in any disruptive or violent sense but rather in the sense of achieving significant evolutionary advances in the general wellbeing and condition of people. This process, although a cause for discomfort for those benefiting from the current status quo, has advanced the human condition peacefully while distributing the benefits of the constitution to all groups, be they made up of the majority or minority interests. We elaborate on these important topics in articles associated with the Leader section in the article, "Speaking truth to power.
The investigation of anything but....Give or take a month or so there has been over a year taken in an ongoing investigation into "Russian meddling in the US presidential election". This has been accompanied by an hysterical onslaught of mis-information by well-known members of Congress, the mainstream media and the losers of the election, the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton. Rather than gracefully accept the outcome of the election, this indignant and furious group of people, for economic, political and motives of personal aggrandizement and image protection, have been coordinating a campaign to try and establish that Donald Trump won the election by devious means. Donald Trump is not a typical president and he seems to hold views that many disagree with, but he has a core support within the USA. Unlike the Democrats or Mrs Clinton, and Mr. Trump's tendency to making crass statements aside, he followed procedures in an exemplary fashion. The same cannot be said for some of his Republican rivals for the presidency. The process of his election followed the legitimate procedures required under the law. Therefore the unseemly behaviour of Congress and the media in pursuing an attempt at a coup against Mr. Trump, by trying to discover some basis upon which to impeach him, is a disgraceful spectacle that does the image of the USA no good at all. The amount of mud slinging and innuendo and countless "nameless" and "unidentified" sources of absurd claims is becoming a source a irritation and embarrassment for more thoughtful Americans. Sober analysts and decision-makers should only deal with the truth but here we see the exposure of base visceral motivations and utterances that deal in un-truths and misrepresentation by people who would like to shore up a self-image of the being the embodiment and guardians of higher ideals and values.
On the side of the so-called investigation the somewhat out-of-date approach by a former FBI director, Mr. Mueller, is over-emphasizing his desire to get some convictions. The easiest way to do this is to apply the "Al Capone" approach of checking up on such things like financial dealing and payment of due tax by US citizens who have operated at the interface of lobbying, Central Europe and Congress and who might have some tenuous connection to Mr. Trump's campaign. As can be seen from the recent outcomes, this technique catches low level, largely irrelevant, people with tenuous connections to the Trump campaign and the hope is that under the threat of long convictions and plea bargains will get them to say what they want as a basis for the individuals escaping long sentences. This is a typical approach applied in the USA but it combines accusing the wrong people to gather false evidence upon which to base accusations against, in this case, Trump. This low level, visceral approach to investigation is unfair to the people targeted, it is weak in intellectual rigour and logic. It tends to secure unreliable admissions, somewhat like water-boarding or any situation where people are at personal risk they will tend to say whatever is expected, be it the truth or not, simply to escape a bad personal outcome. This is not a transparent nor objective basis for "investigation". It is used by organizations who want to justify their existence by getting convictions, any convictions, to show some sort of result. This is a deplorable state of affairs. In England this "Star Chamber" approach was done away with in 1640, long before the American "revolution", it was abolished with an Act of Parliament "the Habeas Corpus Act 1640". It is regrettable that the United States has not, in spite of a much-lauded Constitution, changed investigative practice to incorporate an ethical practice focusing on investigative evidence. The approach being applied is visceral, brutal and lazy. It is demeaning to those who apply it and to whom it is applied to and it is more than five centuries out of date.
This is not a critical path to an rational investigation on Russian meddling in the US presidential election. Investigations of this sort need to review the whole range of dealings of US citizens with Russia and in particular large Russian corporations who are not connected to their government. In this connection there are two significant areas of Russian meddling. One is the DNC and Clinton Campaign's payment of an alleged $6 million prepared for them through Fusion GPS but which contains false statements and which was finally submitted to the FBI as evidence. The fact that Mrs. Clinton fixed a deal to make her the only effective candidate by bribing the DNC in terms for generating cash for the organization places most of the responsibility for the dodgy dossier at Mrs. Clinton's feet - everyone else was following orders. The other also relates to possible payments to the Clinton Foundation in relation to a Uranium deal that took place when Mrs Clinton was Secretary of State. The Clinton Foundation, of course, remained active during the presidential election so promises and undertaking made in exchange for financial contributions in 2010 remain relevant to the election period. Mueller has access to all of this information, including anything to do with hacking from NSA and GCHQ records, and he also knows there is no evidence concerning Russian hacking or even meddling and certainly nothing that compromises Donald Trump directly. "Evidence" that has been published is simply laughable and should never have been published because of its low quality and high content of assertion and complete lack of palpable evidence. Therefore the pursuance of this lengthy investigation that does not appear to be investigating connections between the Democratic side in the presidential election suggests the Mueller is not impartial but is purposely ignoring the acts and deeds on the side of the Democrats in relation to Russia. He is running an investigation of anything but ....
Brainwashington found at last...!After many centuries, Clearsite, the intrepid explorer and descendant of Gulliver, the traveller whose adventures were recorded by Jonathan Swift, has discovered a land whose main city is called Brainwashington. It is located on the Eastern side of the Continent of the Americas. We note that history books recount that the people are lovers of freedom and to be descendants of those who escaped persecution in other lands. We are told that they, at some point, wrote a Constitution to defend the freedom of the people. Clearsite has made the following initial observations:
"I followed a crowd of people to a great hall that they call "Congress" and seated in a large room were many leaders and people's representatives known as Congress men and women. I was struck at how these people reminded me of Gulliver's words concerning the leaders and representatives in Lilliput; it seems politics does not change. In Lilliput there was a consuming disagreement over the practice of breaking eggs at the small or big ends. This ridiculous difference of opinion was never resolved because there was no evidence one way or the other. As in the case of Lilliput, the representatives in Brainwashington, have spent almost a year "investigating" whether or not "Russians" interfered in the last election in which the new supreme leader, Donald Trump, was elected. He lives in a large abode that they call the "White House". As in the case of the big and small end egg controversy there is absolutely no evidence that Russia did this. This has been confirmed by the leaders in Russia."
The Brainwashington Congress at work, seriously busy searching for nothing .....
"In spite of this the representatives in Congress demand that the Brainwashingtonians find the evidence that is not there. From my observations, this seemed, at first, to be illogical but then I mused that perhaps there was some subtle reason for this. After some reflection on the matter, I came to the conclusion that the only explanation for this is that it is part of an economic policy. This policy keeps Brainwashingtonians employed in either pretending to look for evidence or inventing stories and fabricating "dossiers" of false evidence. This would seem to be an adaptation of the proposals made by John Maynard Keynes, an economist from England, who suggested that "any activity" funded by government, including the building pyramids, can help contribute to the growth in employment. However,the amounts of money paid for these aimless activities appears to be excessive. The representatives and their parties seem to be happy to pay any price. For example one tiny report containing complete fabrications, and not a sliver of evidence, cost around $6 million."
"My poor ancestor Gulliver was tied down by the people of Lilliput while he slept. What seems to be happening here, however, is that the people of Brainwashington and those who live far beyond the Brainwashington frontier, the "Beltway", so-called, are being tied down by the Brainwashington represetnatives in the Congress who are smothering people's freedom of thought and speech by attacking those who wish to inform them that there is no evidence. I think this is why, in my short visit to Brainwashington, I have noticed that most people are ill at ease, troubled and unhappy. One reason is, perhaps, that the broadsheets and newspapers don't inform the people of the facts.
As far as I can see the settling of this matter has to be based on a gathering of facts as the basis for establishing the truth which the newspapers should publish. This remains an essential foundation for a free society free from abuse by their government. A free society enables all to engage in the pursuit of their desires, but without harming others, as a practical basis for nurturing a productive culture populated by a contented and happy people. Some individuals in anguish and tears assured me that the Brainwashington Constitution says something about this and even makes clear this responsibility of newspapers. If so, the Brainwashington Congress and the newspapers do not appear to be abiding my this Constitution. I really need to find a copy of this document and study it."
3rd day of the month of November in the year of 2017
A not very intelligent Senate Intelligence Committee
Our comments on the bizarre spectacle unfolding in Washington, which is observed by an international audience, are not aimed at creating a criticism that constitutes a political viewpoint. Rather we are calling attention to the unacceptable behaviour of a group of people whose actions constitute that of an ill-informed hysterical mob but who struggle to maintain a veneer of self-importance. These people, we are told, are the representatives of the people of America and further, we are supposed to believe that they are sober decision-makers.
Yesterday (1st November) the US Senate Intelligence Committee, most of whom seem to want to be taken seriously, participated in a theatre of the absurd where their convictions concerning "Russian interference in the US presidential election"
continued to unravel as Google, Face Book and Twitter could not come up with any evidence.
On returning today several Senators began, in open, to bully the representatives of these media organizations implying the failure to produce evidence of Russian influence was associated with unwillingness or incompetence. It is more than apparent that almost all the hype on this topic which some Senators repeat constantly, in an effort to spread dis-information to the public, is simply a pack of lies. What is shocking is the clown-like assertions and expressions of disbelief on the part of some Senators when the media operators cannot find any evidence of "Russian" interference. Some senators keep rolling out the mis-representation that Russia "interfered" with the elections in UK, BREXIT, France, Germany and Catalonia but they provide no evidence and in any case, on each occasion, time wasted on checking for evidence came up with nothing.
The main target of the US attack has been RT as "Kremlin" or "State" funded propaganda whose total advertising across the three media companies concerned accounted of about 0.65% of total spends on advertising during the US election and some of this had nothing to do with the election. It is paradoxical that other state-supported media such as the BBC in the UK, Voice of America in the USA and Deutsche Welle of Germany do not appear to be of concern to the Senators. It should be remembered that many US media who receive indirect political party and PAC support and indirect state support all have clear views on foreign elections and interfere in them. However, this also escapes the attention of the Senators. It is as if "our interference is OK because we are doing it....but Russia needs to be accused of doing what we have, and are, doing with increasing intensity. This is to divert the attention of the public from our own deeds and our rank hypocrisy". One Senator even admitted the US interference in the colour revolutions was to be praised. Senator Ron Wyden a Democrat from Oregon openly exposed his ignorance of history and the current facts by stating, “With the current fascist leadership of Russia enthusiastically undermining our democracy, America must defend the values that made us great and aggressively confront this espionage...”
Anyone who knows anything about Russian history and the intense rift between Nazis costing Russian in excess of 28 million people. The analysis of Leon Trotsky on Fascists was very clear (see Freedom & the politics of fear
). This continuing attack on Russia in the absence of any evidence what-so-ever is troubling and it is very evident in the behaviour and automaton repetition of fantasies by many Senators, that they appear to be suffering from some form of psychosis close to fanaticism which does not bode well for the people of America. Such people take decisions that affect their lives.
As far as can be seen, Russia is not the problem, the problem is a coordinated onslaught founded on paranoia arising from three things:
- the Clinton Campaign trying to maintain that the leak of her emails from the DNC was a Russian hack - again, there is no evidence, whereas physical transactional traces suggest this content was accessed locally and then passed on to Wikileaks;
- Donald Trump's continuing cultural attack, largely through Twitter, on the "values" that many politicians adhere to which are an extreme form of corporate statism or Fascism where corporate interests hold absolute sway over most US politicians on the basis of financial payments
- the loathing many Senators, who are very comfortable in their corrupt regime of lobby-funded lifestyles, have of Donald Trump because he suggested the need to "drain the Washington swamp"
In spite of Donald Trump's unconventional approach to the presidency and the fact that many don't find him to be "presidential", on balance, he is being treated very unfairly by many in government. This mistreatment is not based on moral or ethical values or even law, but is founded on the ability of too many in government being prepared to ignore the real facts and invent others to drive a campaign of disinformation in full view of the population of the USA. This is an affront to all thinking Americans and it sets a bad example to the world. This reflects a deplorable state of affairs of the governance of the United States and constitutes a decadence in democratic values caused by a very public display of an expensive and shambolic pursuit of nothing. For many outside the country, the States are demonstrating an inability to provide any leadership qualities that might contribute to a happier world. A crude foreign policy of, "You are with us or you are against!"
reflects a parochial uncultured and crude approach to interactions with others demonstrating a lack of fundamental respect for those who, for good reason, hold alternative well-grounded viewpoints. A pervasive confusion exists between a self-generated esteem considering oneself to be exceptional and close to the ideal, and the sheer arrogance that this creates in one's interaction with others. The result is a superiority complex founded on ignorance which is the foundation of the tragi-comic farce being played out in Washington.A "Russian dossier" commissioned by the real "deplorables"
We stated in this article that the original dossier was initiated by a Republican rival of Trump. It appears that this was not the case. We have corrected the article content accordingly.
To cut through the fog and mirrors rotating and wafting around the Belt way, there is a simple message arising from Republican Congressman Devin Nunes'1
recent exposures that were published by the Washington Post. The usual suspects will try and smother all of this, but they are perhaps too late.
It is that the so-called "Russian Dossier", that was alleged to have "exposed" a range of bizarre sexual and other deeds by Donald Trump in a trip to Russia, turns out to have been fabricated and was largely initiated by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and partially by the DNC, in total to the tune of over $6 million. In an attempt to undermine Trump personally as well as his declared intent to improve relations with Russia, the Democrat's "masterstroke" was to say this was produced by "the Russians".
Donald Trump is on record as stating that this "dossier" was a fake and it seems that he was right all the way along.
This work appears to have been a continuation of work commissioned by The Washington Free Beacon, who paid Fusion GPS from the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2016 for research on then presidential candidate Donald Trump. However, at that time the enquiry had no Russian perspective at all. The alleged collusion between Trump and the Russians only became the focus of research when the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) later last spring, when under commission of the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC, Fusion GPS used the services of a British consultant (ex-intelligence official) Christopher Steele to elaborate the document.
According to the Editor in Chief, Matthew Continetti and Chairman Michale Goldfarb, The Washington Free Beacon had no knowledge of the Steele dossier and did not pay for this work. Indeed, it could be that Fusion GPS saw an opportunity to earn more by marketing this extended work the Clinton and the DNS. It has therefore become increasingly clear that the DNC and Hillary Clinton need to be investigated. The levels to which these people appear to have stooped reflects a deplorable mindset and willingness to resort to trickery and lying to the public in relation to this Russian angle, causing the destruction of any surviving public image they have; they appear to be untrustworthy. The truth behind these events can only be secured through a detailed investigation.
One of the results of these revelations is that Trump is beginning to receive some support and sympathy from a general public that has become completely "turned off" by these happenings and even more disillusioned by the Democrat's antics and politics in particular. In fact, Trump is beginning to look like the only straight shooter in Washington. All his "drain the swamp" talk is appearing to become increasingly rational and justified as a worthy objective. The corrupt politicians will resist this but they risk not being re-elected because there is an increasing push to get rid of those who appear to be mired in this Washington slime which has an increasingly bad odour. One of the paradoxes is that the main coordinated efforts are only going into replacing "bad" Republicans but their replacements will be selected to also outshine the Democrat candidates. Based on the current track records of the Democratic members since the election, replacing them should not be difficult.
Devin Nunes is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who have the power to initiate investigations (which they have).
The rise of people's courts in our midst
A recent publication by an outfit called "European values" (based in Czech Republic) criticises all of some 2,300 people who have appeared in interviews and other pieces on RT (Russia Today) and has accused all of them as being “useful idiots” in giving credence to RT "state propaganda". This is a somewhat astounding claim by a pip squeak group when one takes into account the range of people they are criticising, most of whom are leading thinkers, leaders an analysts none of whom one could consider to be Russian sympathisers.
|"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” |
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda
Indeed, the list reflects just how balanced RT is in ensuring a sampling of diverse opinions of important topics. A review of interview content also demonstrates a high level of preparation and presentation on the part of RT staff or the many independent journalists who use RT as their platform.
This "European values" report is just another contribution to a tedious coordinated attempt to intimidate responsible individuals to cow them to change their behaviour through embarrassing them. However, those who participated in RT programmes have nothing to be embarrassed about; most have communicated their point of view effectively.
This "European values" group is demonstrating anything but European Values by joining a parade of a group of fanatics who are strenuously attempting to brain wash the public in a manner which would have delighted Goebbels, Hilter's Minister for Propaganda (see box on right).
We are all witnesses to the activities of people with the mentality of the those who, in the past, supported the creation of, and participated in the running of, people's courts in the Nazi period in Germany. These were characterised by people who had different political views or were critical of the "regime" being dragged before panels whose members harangued them, intimidated them and committed many to death, on the basis of unattributed sources, unidentified elements, heresay and often lies and, almost always, with no evidence in sight. Stalin was so impressed that he adopted a similar system in the Soviet Union.
It seems that the tried and failed standards of CNN have managed to traverse the Atlantic to begin to infect the UK and Europe with its diatribe that is creating a world of increasing numbers of people in fear of imaginary dangers and scurrilous objectives on the part of foreign bogeymen, in this case, Russia. People who deploy such methods to manipulate public opinion using intimidation tactics as a method to censor people and restrict the information available to the public have no role. It is troubling, even although the public are beginning to see this as the "normal" behaviour" of media groups whose values are limited to getting paid to do whatever their paymasters demand, even if it is disinformation. What is evident is a lack of monitoring and evaluation of the performance of such groups by the institutions and organizations whose names to appear as supporters or sponsors on such reports. This low quality, simplistic content does not surpass poor quality but extremely expensive propaganda.
Communities throughout Europe need to reject this approach to exchanges by politicians and journalists. These are the signs of a political system and a press that is not free. Freedom thrives in an ambience where there a fruitful exchange of different points of view is positively encouraged to raise the level of informed discourse. This has always produced better outcomes for all. This one-sided binary binge is despicable and has no role in today's world; it only creates misery and discontent and an ill-informed public discourse. For such people who make up this fanatical group, this seem to be their lamentable objective. The values being upheld by these people might be considered by them to be "European values" or even modern day "American" values but they cannot be considered to be "values" but rather communication based on rants and thought processes that are becoming increasingly deranged by the fanatical feedback loop that collects odd ball adherents and discontents.Orchestration of propaganda staring us in the face
Of late there has been US-UK sort of European orchestration of "questions being raised" and odd "think tank" output all pointing to the notion that Russia has and is hacking elections in its own interests by stimulating dis-information and provoking disadvantaged groups into opposition to governments or attacking specific candidates for election. That this is orchestrated is obvious and the paymasters are doing exactly what they accuse Russia of doing, disseminating dis-information and propaganda.
The evidence that these are a campaign of co-ordinated activities is plainly evident. But, so-far, there is no equivalently overt evidence in relation to Russian "activities".
Since the beginning of this demented and increasingly paranoid activity, no evidence was produced. As people began to ask, "What do you mean by Russia hacking, how did this affect the US election?
". There was initially, as expected, no response. However, realizing their untenable position, these people are now hunting for evidence to back up their previously groundless assertions. These people are so fanatical they are oblivious to how comical they have become in retroactively looking for evidence to justify their previous statements; an absurd situation. But this is how driven and paranoid these people are. This ignoble pursuit only continues because these people are being paid to do this.
The US legislators are going to be addressed by the main "Internet" companies to produce evidence of Russian "advertising" on such media in order to try and detect some correlations between content and interpretations pointing to electorate persuasion and therefore electoral interference. One of the questions is what was the total spend by "Russians" on online advertisements containing dis-information designed to disrupt the US election. Well, the super PACs, across all presidential candidates spent something like $325 million in promotional content (including TV) of which just 7%of the total($24 million) supported Donald Trump. We have estimated that the total that RT and some private Russians contributed to online advertising during the presidential campaign would not surpass $200,000 over the same period. It is plainly obvious that this tiny amount of funding, equivalent to 1/1500th of that spent against Trump by his opponents could not have had any effect at all. And yet these people just keep digging in a fanatical fashion publishing "reports" that provide no support for their main contentions. They are completely discredited making no logical or economic sense.
In any case, Donald Trump won the election, not because of any Russian help but rather because he was a better manager of his presidential campaign whose PACs provided him with just $24 million against the $300 million spent by those opposing him (including Republican candidates).
The reason they lost has nothing to do with Russia. It is time the Democrats, the old defunct cold war warriors and funders of think tank propaganda reports and placed dis-information columns in the media, turned their attention to cleaning up the corruption and improving the state of democracy in the USA, UK and Europe.
Just as an observation, our more experienced analysts have come to the conclusion that this orchestrated campaign and the pattern of indirect "funding" of tactical actions so as to obscure who is running the overall campaign strategy is typical of the sort of ham fisted approach that would be used by NATO or intelligence agencies in the cold war. They have a strong motivation to justify their existence by attacking Russia as the bogeyman. But, hey! this is 2017, the electorate is more informed and can see through this. Lighten up and smell the coffee. Get real, try doing something positive, no, no, not impose yet more sanctions to cause suffering or threatening to invade some country and kill countless civilians, but why not try mending politics in the USA, UK and Europe? Draining the Washington swamp, pricking the Westminster bubble and the democratising the European Union could be very noble and yet useful first steps.
Mind boggling ignorance
The independent American veteran journalist Larry King runs two excellent shows hosted by RT
Lately the British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson and Andrew Adonis have made somewhat ridiculous declarations concerning the Russian television channel, "Russia Today" (RT). It would appear that both of these individuals are simply responding to internalised Pavlovian reactions to anything Russian. Today, this is a sign of such individuals responding to specific interest groups and attempting to curry support from unidentified sources. It is unclear what they expect to gain in return.
Oksana Boyko manages World's Apart providing a platform for world leaders and decision-makers to express their point of view. Hosted by RT.
However, this form of misrepresentation of the operations and content of RT arises from a level of extreme ignorance. Such small-mindedness in public view should be a matter of serious concern for the people of Britain. It is, in fact, a form of propaganda and misrepresentation which is aping or related to the frenzy of paranoid speculation in the USA that RT had something to do with a process of interference in the recent USA election in support of Donald Trump. This paranoid speculation is on the wane in the USA because the promoters in the form of such set ups as CNN have been found to have invented the whole story and naturally no evidence has been produced. The people of the United Kingdom should not have their intelligence insulted by having to endure the likes of Johnson and Adonis attempting to introduce the same paranoid fake utterances on this side of the Atlantic. Their irrational views in trying to denigrate RT seems to reflect sheltered and deprived upbringing that commonly fear anything that does equate with their views on what supports their life style.
Boris Johnson made an open statement in parliament criticising Labour MPs who have appeared on RT and Andrew Adonis was complaining about RT having advertising space in the London Underground.
Ross Ashcroft runs the outstanding Renegrade Inc. Programme on RT with in-depth reviews of current issues and often coming up with solutions. Here he can be seen reviewing the UK's private debt crisis with Adair Turner
What is not understood by either of these individuals is that RT is a stage where Western politicians are provided with sufficient time to make their points of view clear to an international and Russian audience. RT is the world leader in video accesses to their feeds. RT is recognised worldwide as providing a platform for alternative point of view thereby broadening the range of information available to the public. The questioning on RT is largely controlled by independent journalists and interviews are generally balanced (in marked contrast to CNN, for example). Indeed, RT UK sometimes bends over backwards to put forward the point of view of UK organizations and government to those being interviewed.
Boris Johnson's bumbling amateurish and embarrassing unresearched approach to his job was exposed by the fact that he did not appear to be aware that many of the more substantive Conservative MPs have had no problem providing excellent appearances on RT along with world leaders and leading international figures. These appearances by any UK MPs on RT are in fact very productive in promoting a saner image of UK politics and a force for good. This is in stark contrast to the tragi-comic pseudo-gravitas of the Johnson Adonis combo. Johnson did not appear to have known that his own father, Staley Johnson, who was promoting a recent book that he has written was provided with a spot on RT and he did rather well.
APE (Agence Presse Européenne) produced an analysis on RT in 2016 which has been updated see the internal APE Brief RT_20171018
which shows that 87.5% of the separate programmes on RT are by independent journalists including 14 from the USA, 4 from UK and 3 from Russia who
are able to operate without any editorial restrictions. For example Larry King, the world famous independent veteran journalist runs "Politicking" and "Larry King Now" and he would no doubt resist any attempt to influence his content.
For those interested in understanding the rise of cross-border news of which RT is a world leader, it is worth reading the independent report produced by PwC UK (Pricewaterhouse Coopers UK plc) entitled The rise of cross-border news
. Margarita Simonyan, Editor in Chief of RT explains the reason for this independent report as, "We wanted to understand the motivation of viewers and readers of cross-border news - and we believed this understanding would help all providers of global news deliver a service that meet users' needs
Realnews-online.com is a member of the APE Group and members have no commercial or any other form of connection with RT.
Tyranny versus the tyranny of the masses
The evolving "difficulties" of BREXIT arise from tactics and manipulation by the European Commission and member states. No member state wants the UK to leave because the budget gap resulting will result in a significant cut back on programmes that benefit Central and Southern European countries, in somewhat wasteful initiatives, who are the main beneficiaries along with France (agriculture). Germany and France do not want to see the demand for more budgetary contributions that will result because the other member states will end up opposing their resistance to increasing their contributions. This will result in a significant split within the EU. This budgetary dilemma is a major issue with Central and Southern European state and pre-accession state politicians seeing their current EU relationships and domestic status in terms of their ability to maximise financial benefits.
These circumstances have been exacerbated by the irresponsible no-questions-asked tendency of the EU, and indeed, the UK, to follow the instructions from the USA to impose sanctions on Russia, resulting in a significant loss in exports to EU agricultural sectors. The immigrant calamity that has impacted the whole of the EU in economic terms was also caused by the EU following US instructions to participate in a range of failed but highly destructive Middle Eastern military campaigns which caused the massive migration of desperate people to Europe's shores. These circumstances have also led to a deteoriation in security within the EU in relation to "terrortst" attacks.
No one has calculated the overall negative economic, social and political impact on the EU of these combined foreign affairs fiascos but they are unprecedented and significant.
This is the reason the EU is demanding a higher divorce fee, over and above the UK's current legal undertakings. Everything here ends up as critical budgetary and political questions within each member state and the shaping of tactics designed to weaken the UK's position to the degree of encouraging a UK government and BREXIT failure at any cost.
The main thrust by the EU is to attempt to dismount the UK government by sticking to delaying tactics. This tactic has been largely engineered by Angela Merkel. She considers herself to be the mother of the new Europe following her effective lead in preventing referenda on the European Constitution (see below under "EU tactics on BREXIT becoming obvious"
) ending up with the Lisbon Treaty. Side comments from EU observers close to Merkel and journalists are deftly attempting to discredit the UK government such as, perhaps justified, attacks on Boris Johnson. Macron of France is also doing the rounds, sometimes openly, trying to encourage firms to abandon the UK. It is generally assumed that a wide range of benefits (illegal under EU law) are being proactively offered, indirectly, by France and Germany to firms who will declare their intention to leave the UK because of BREXIT. There is, in reality, an abusive attack and interference in UK governmental affairs and on the interests of the people of the UK. The innocent-looking Mrs Merkel is an effective, cynical, calculating politician; this is how she has survived.
Unfortunately, nothing here is helped by UK mainstream media and the totally parochial nature of UK journalists who fail to understand the bigger picture on how manipulative the EU is. The EU would have done a more efficient and quick job on the UK if the UK had been a member of the Euro.
What we see here is the tyranny of the masses, that is a marginal vote in favour of an undefined BREXIT resulting in a large minority of voters ending up in a situation they never voted for. It would have been possible to generate sound options that could have brought many remainders round to supporting an improved trading relationship however, this, the EU does not want to happen. On the other side we see the tyranny of an arbitrary negotiation sequence proposed by the member states and the European Commission which is prescriptive and legalistic and not the basis for a rational negotiation. The parochial nature of the British government was exposed when they simply accepted that proposal in good faith; a completely naive and irresponsible decision that stacked the deck in favour of the EU Commission and Angela Merkel and against UK interests.
What the UK government should have done on the occasion was to present a more realistic proposal to structure what the future arrangements should be. Based on that, to then identify the priority issues to be resolved including EU Citizens rights, the Northern Irish border and a mutually beneficial separation settlement. These matters are more sensibly decided in the light of the future trading relationship. Because this more rational approach was not openly discussed and carried in the media, the EU has been let off the hook to pursue its tactical agenda of dismounting BREXIT.
The dawning reality
17th October, 2017
In today's Parliamentary report on BREXIT "progress", after interventions by some MPs, David Davis appeared to agree that the EU's main interest was money.
This process is anti-democratic and exposes, for all to see, the bullying intransigent mindset of the EU machine that, for many, was the reason for voting in support of BREXIT.
Strategic planners at SEEL have observed that on the policy front, the UK government appears to have isolated itself from good external counsel. For example, the latest suggestion by the Bank of England that an interest hike is likely to introduce a destabilizing factor that is likely to help the EU position as a result of the stress imposed on those with private debt; this would be blamed on BREXIT and, indeed, might be part of the plan. The banks, as usual will simply re-possess houses where mortgage payment become untenable. Certainly this is what the banks want and Mark Carney, the "independent" governor of the BoE is their champion. On the other hand, the government needs to counter this by introducing short term productivity initiatives that companies can respond to in the short term. Lowering corporate taxation cannot do this in the short term. Fortunately short term solutions exist but they have never been mentioned by the government. This is a result of the cocooned and isolated nature of those dealing with macroeconomic theory and practice within government circles and the Treasury. In addition SEEL IT personnel have stated that the Irish border question is a non-issue with workable solutions already in existence deploying, so-called, LST technology, that can maintain a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and Eire.
In conclusion, the EU is succeeding in scrambling the domestic politics within the UK with the Conservatives having naively fallen into the EU false negotiation trap. If Parliament is to defend the interests of the people of Britain, both the Conservative and Labour MPs as well as party activist should be aiming their criticisms, not at each other, but at the EU Commission and the way in which the member states have approached this affair. This tyranny of the EU machine is obvious and no rational British political party should be trying to encourage the UK to climb back into that arrangement which constantly diminishes the role of people, Parliament and UK legal norms and subjects all to clinical legal prescriptions void of juries and the social conscience. The self-serving EU elite needs to be countered.Why Americans have no basic right to bear arms
The recent mass murder of people attending an open air music show in Las Vegas has, yet again, called into question America's addiction to firearms. And most politicians, yet again, are talking about the need to uphold the Constitution and the "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. Several English constitutional proposals, forerunners of the American Constitution, therefore made the right to bear arms as something strictly related to militia members since they were the effective military. This was the basis for organizing the military at the time of the English Civil War after which a flood of constitutional proposal were made to avoid any such future calamities based on religious and other discrimination1
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
". This intentional misrepresentation of the meaning of this partof the American Constitution is actively promoted by such organizations as the National Rifle Association (NRA). The circulate misleading information 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.
America has now what they call, the "armed services" as a government supported and professional service making militia concept redundant. However, as a result of this tendentious interpretation of the constitution, since 1945, more American citizens have been killed by homicides, suicides and incidental shootings by Americans within America than have been killed, by any military conflict (including deaths of military personnel) in any wars or acts of terrorism (as currently defined).
A usual, Congress fails 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 and corrupt politicians recieivng kickbacks from the gun lobby. These politicians are the enemies of freedom and the wellbeing of the people of America and their irresponsible collusion in omitting the militia condition is a willing and deceitful misprepresentation of the "second Amendment".
The concept of conscientious objection arose in England at the same time to prevent Catholics being conscripted into Protestant militia and vice versa.
The No Europe report and no deal under BREXITThe EU Commission is calling the UK's bluff on a No Deal option. However, if the EU make issues so difficult intentionally, because of their political obsessions (see following article), it is worth reflecting on the result of a "No Europe" report produced in the late 1980s.
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". According to an ex-Commission official who was asked to look into this study with a view to coordinating it, meetings organized by an Italian consultant, supposedly organised to secure a participatory input, were clearly following a tight pre-established agenda with useful contributions being ignored by the consultant concerned. The official concerned therefore decided not to have anything to do with this report. However, in conversations with members of Cockburn's cabinet it emerged that in spite of the consultant's attempt to show up benefits, these were unconvincing. As a result 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. For those working at the Commission who were aware of the outcome this was puzzling, it seemed to question the very existence of the Common Market. For those outside the Commission the outcome was somewhat disconcerting given the strong political arguments on either side of the pro-Europeans and skeptics.
This report would have been circulated to some within the Conservative party and no doubt in the government of Margaret Thatcher. In Berlaymont, the Commission HQ on Rue de la Loi, it was nowhere to be found and very soon it was no longer recognised by its name.
This has implications with regard to a situation of a no deal. If the EU continues its stalling tactics, see below, the so-called transition period could help make a no deal work.
EU tactics on BREXIT becoming obviousA SEEL workshop was held for APE journalists on the weekend of 8-9 October, 2017. This was organised to bring journalists up to speed on their strategic decision analysis department's concern that mainstream media are not picking up on the EU tactitcs to frustrate the UK's ambitions with respect to BREXIT.
Anyone who deals with transition and innovation processes know that the final design can only have beneficial results if a model of the objective is set out as a target and then the options for achieving that objective can be identified and optimised. When it comes to two political groups seeking a mutually beneficial outcome, the decision analysis model needs to be based on the objective of a mutually advantageous future state, in short, the likely trading relationship.
The European Union's aproach to BREXIT has been to frustrate, intentionally, this normal logical process. This is because they want to create difficulties for the UK because they don't want an example to other disgrutled member states; they dont want the UK to leave. If the UK had been a member of the Eurozone things would have been very different with the ECB, some Eurozone representative and probably the IMF working to underlime the whole process as they did in Ireland and Greece.
The second string to the EU's bow, is even more important. By instisting on sorting out the political question first the EU is preventing the UK from negotiating new trade deals with third parties to help smooth out the transition. The EU inisists on the illogical approach of first of all negotiating the divorce, money to be paid and Northern Irish border question before going on to basic structure of a mutually beneficial trading arrangement. Trading arrangements provide a far clearer picture of the likely future trade cashflows for all EU countries and the UK as well as between institutions participating in programmes and projects of mutual interest. On this basis the identification of transition priorities in respect to law and regulations become well-defined as does the quantification of any budget contributions become completely self-evident. The likely future trading arrangements then provide practical guidance on the Northern Irish border question in terms of regulations and management techniques.
The legal basis and approach by the European Commission with the ECJ hovering in the background is completely illogical because it will cause harm to both the UK and EU citizens through the impacts on business.
This legal bluster is designed to create intene frustration and political embarassment for the UK government in the hope they will fail or desist; it is a direct interference in the internal politics of the country motivated by a dislike of the outcome of the BEXIT referendum. The EU obsession with the "political" question has become more intense with the UK's insistence that it will be released from ECJ jurisidiction in relation to EU citizens living in the UK; a position that upset the ECJ judicial mindset which considerd their jurisdiction over the "European constitution" and European citizens as sacrosanct. Today we see the same rigid position in the case of Spain today, that sees separation as something to be resisted and at least made difficult.
Prodi had a plan,
Angela Merkel prevented any public referenda
As has often been observed, this rigid inflexible approach is undermining democracy in Europe where paradoxically the whole concept of the "Europe of regions" has been promoted by the EU Commission in the past 30 years. In contrast to this "open" approach the reality has been an embedding of a pervasive prescriptive legal system throughout the EU under the ECJ which is marked by inflexibility and marginalizatiomn of the EU ciizens. This contrasts with English Common Law, almost obliterated by waves of adoption of EU legislation, that is more flexible and adaptibe to changing circumstances.
D'Estaigne debased the Convention
The image of Angela Merkel as today's "leading EU champion and politician" is paradoxical when in reality she is the person who engineered the cynical marginalizaion of referenda in relation to the a new "European Constitution" and which was to have been subject to public referenda. The move towards creatiing such a constitution was initiated by Romani Prodi, President of the European Commission in 2000, who identified the widening European "democratic deficit" as a serious issue. Therefore, some 17 years ago the fact that Europeans are increasingly distrustful of the institutions which take decisions on their behalf but can do little about it within the European Union, had become a serious political issue. Prodi proposed a grandiose solution, a US-style founding fathers-type constitutional convention.
This eventually went forward but the true colours of European planner's mindset became crudely evident by the subsequent procedures and political decisions. The first very negative anti-democratic signal was the antics and behaviour of Valerie D'Estaigne as President of the so-called Convention on the European Constitution. This "convention" became a case study in how to marginalize the population by demonstrating an inability to manage a participatory process. It was an exercise in sickening crude bullying elitism. The outcome, predictably was a Constitutional document that passed too much power to Brussels and it was obvious that the public could not accept it.
Angela Merkel, realising that the European population would not accept such a Constitutional document demonstrated her complete lack of democratic credentials by writing an open and cynical letter to Member State leaders. She explained that public referenda were not needed to get the Constitution accepted. All of the provisions could be imposed on the public by calling the Convention an "amending treaty" which would not need any public referenda. The result was the Lisbon Treaty, imposed on the people of Europe as a monument to the massive and shameful European democratic deficit greatly assisted by Angela Merkel, today the EU's "leading politician" and EU "champion".
Time for the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray to act
The August 3, 2017 edition of "American Conservative", carries an important article entitled: "The Strange Case of Imran Awan - Only fraud or something more?" by Philip Giraldi. Philip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and a columnist and the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. This group advocates for more even-handed policies by the U.S. government in the Middle East.
Philip Giraldi by Gage Skidmore
This is an important article since it raises logical questions that add weight to the growing awareness that the release of the Clinton emails is likely to have occurred in any case because of the amazingly lax security surrounding these, as well as Congressional information, including intelligence. As evidence mounts, there were so many individuals, without security clearance, with access to these emails that they did not have to be "hacked".The Russia-gate angle is rapidly evaporating. This exposure of classified government information is related to the management of this information by the Democratic National Committee chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and others who contracted the use of various private cloud storage services which lay beyond the requisite levels of government security oversight. This included the location of the emails and other documents of some 30 Congress members and members of the House Security Committee to easy access by many who are working against the interests of the USA.
According to Ibn Nr, it is highly likely that all of this information including all of Hillary Clinton's emails passed over the desks of key operatives in the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad long before any such dossiers found their way to Wikileaks giving rise to the notion of Russian hacking. It is also the case that internal operatives support the Taliban in Afghanistan in their fight against the US. As we all know the US has been losing ground to the Taliban. This Afghan adventure has cost over 2,400 lives of US servicemen and women without counting the dead civilians and "coalition" force deaths. A failed and failing initiative.
Hillary Clinton's recorded acknowledgement concerning the payment by Saudi Arabia to terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere would have been passed on to the Saudis. With Clinton not having gained the Presidency following millions of dollars invested by the Saudis in the Clinton Foundation and in her election campaign, the Saudi's are trying to clean up their image with respect to their funding of terrorists through displacement activities such as attempting to accuse and isolate Qatar.
It is notable that the Russian hacking angle is being pushed by those who are responsible for this collapse in US government security surrounding intelligence information and classified emails all of which have provided an open door for leakers, as witnessed recently in the Beltway.
It turns out that, with intent and in other cases convenience, much information and intelligence information found it way out onto private cloud server storage facilities, including Hillary Clinton's emails and were therefore accessible to unknown people from technical support personnel to server administrators.
One of the issues, that suggest attempted sedition against the US government, is the selective release of leaks by only relating these to White House communications. This appears to have been designed to set up an image of chaos within the White House, under President Trump. Just as no one has any control over this illegal release of confidential communications content, concerning government affairs, this lack of control has nothing to do with President Trump. As can be seen the "mainstream" media have been highly selective in what they publish to maximise the damage to President Trump while hiding other matters, such as the subject matter and implications of this article. This, it would seem, is related to the explicit association between the Democrats and Clinton "supporters" in these activities and the media having morphed into an opposition mouthpiece containing little more than propaganda. The explosion in "unattributed" and "unidentified" sources cited by CNN, The New York Times and others seem to be based on a hangover from this leaky Congressional network. What is the point of NSA, CIA, FBI and others when their secrets can be picked up online, filtered and selectively sent on to some compliant journalist as a fact attributed to an unidentified source? Lastly, the recent publication of confidential conversations between President Trump and foreign heads of state is a major mistake by the journalist and editors involved. Most have concentrated on what Trump stated when the more fundamental point is that this has completely undermined the ability of Present Trump to conduct normal exchanges with heads of state because such heads of state will avoid making any statements that might be exposed by an irresponsible Beltway mob. This targeted undermining of the head of state again raises the question of sedition. This has created an image of the USA as not being a responsible player in international affairs since it cuts off frank and critical feedback from foreign heads of state. It supports a foreign policy that is based on the American perspective on the world with little reference to reality. This is all part of the unacceptable mantra that you are with us or you are against us, very much the pervasive message on the Department of State website. At last the current Administration, through Jeff Sessions, will begin to investigate sources of leaks and, in particular, the limits to which the press can go in releasing leaks concerning classified material is to be reviewed. However, Jeff Sessions needs to ask Christopher Wray of the FBI to initiate an investigation into this case of insecure storage of government information and the easy aces's to it by people with no security clearance since this is yet another font for leaks.
Central to this case appears to be the information in Philip Giraldi's article which explains that a Pakistani IT specialist, Imran Awan, was arrested in July 2017 on charges of bank fraud. This charge was clearly made so as to not attract attention to the real reason for his arrest. Imran Awan, his wife and his two brothers Abid and Jamal worked as IT administrators for some 30 Congressmen. At one point they brought into the House Rao Abbas who was owed money by the Awans and he ended up working in the office of Representative Patrick Murphy who at that time was a member of the House Intelligence Committee as well as Representative Theo Deutch. The problem is that the Awans are likely to have gained access to the complete computer network of the House of Representatives. The Capitol Hill Police began to investigate and little by little advised Congressmen of the danger and the services of the Awans were discontinued. Paradoxically Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to employ Imran until the day of his arrest.
This raises many serious questions as to why the Chairman of the Democratic national Committee continued to employ someone who possessed such sensitive information. Was it for services offered in gaining information for the Democrats or a realization that Awan might have been passing information on while being aware of other things the DNS were getting up to in addition to the Bernie Sanders treatment scandal; this suggests the possibility of blackmail. Of course all such allegations should be investigated. It is particularly odd that a very high profile attorney is representing Imran in the bank fraud case in the shape of Chris Gowen a close associated and confidant of the Clintons.
It is reported that Amran had access to the DNS computer system through Debbie Wasserman Schultz's iPad and it can therefore be assumed he had access to the Hillary Clinton emails. According to Giraldi, Amran also used a Laptop in Wasserman Schultz's office which was hidden in an "unusual Crevice" according to investigators, in the Rayburn House Office Building. Wasserman Schultz tried in vain to get this Laptop back before it could be inspected threatening the Chief of Capitol House Police, Mathew Vererosa, that "you should expect that there will be consequences".
In a house Amran owned, tenants, who were military personnel, brought a large number, of what appeared to be, government computers stored on the premises, to the attention of the authorities. These all turned out to have had their hard drives destroyed. In February 2016 the Awans were suspected to running an operation to steal and sell government-owned computer equipment. According to Ibn Nr, if this is true, this could have been a more wholesale means of obtaining sensitive intelligence by stripping out information held on computers/servers, that IT operatives judged to be "in need of replacement".
These issues involve possible acts of espionage against the USA - although not conducted by Russia - the theft of classified information and government computers, amazingly lax human resources hiring and management procediures in the Congress and DNS, ethical issues and fundamental legal issues, all of which appear to have been abused to the detrinent of of the image of the USA as a democracy with a competent government and political class. What it also shows up is a shocking level of operational incompetence in fundamental security oversight of Congressional and political party affairs. The danger also exists that this could have seriously undermined the security of US military personnel, placing their live at risk.
Of particular concern is the operation of a "free press" in the USA, is not one of checking up on the government but rather skewing what is published to undermine rather than hold to account government for its decisions and actions. One has to observe the actions and work of the media and ask whether current practices have shifted into a darker world of sedition, and attempt to disrupt and embarrass rather than present balanced and constructive discourses so as to support debates designed to right wrongs and improve the welfare of the people of America. As it is, many media participate in a process that is destroying the image of the USA as having any credentials as a bastion for democracy as well as acting directly to undermine its effectiveness.
President Trump has often referred to widely known media outlets in the US as "fake-news". This image of "mainstream" US media has become accepted fact for increasing number of people who are fed up with the zealous and somewhat paranoid repetitive Trump bashing. CNN for example dedicate whole programs just to this tedious overblown process, puctuated by "unattributed sources". The USA media have a long way to go to recover their credibility. Today, increasing numbers by-pass the "mainstream" to use so-called "alternative media" who, at least, with far fewer resources or paid content from corporate lobbyists, political parties and Saudi Arabia, make the effort to provide more balanced analysis, or, at least, the other side of the story.
What is it that Andrew Neil doesn't understand?
Last Sunday on Sunday Politics (16/07/2017), Andrew Neil made a vain attempt to dismount the Labour Party's position on the EU Customs Union and the EU Internal Market. He tied this out on Rebecca Long Bailey and he failed completely because Long Bailey's replies were crystal clear and Neil's questions a product of muddled thinking. Rebecca Long Bailey's position and that of the Labour Party is one based on systems decision analysis. For this to operate to clarify matters one seeks what is known as equivalence. In other words, no matter what labels are attached to a specific arrangement it is the arrangement options that remain important. Because of the interests of economic sectors in Europe not wishing to lose UK market share there will be a vector that promotes an equivalence of circumstances for these companies when the UK leaves. The EU Commission places itself at risk to go against this in spite of existing European Law. Therefore the seeking of such equivalent arrangement in or outside the tag frameworks of Internal Market or Customs Union become an obvious endeavour for both sides. Rather than things getting worse and Europe becoming "tough" it is more likely that there will be a transition in realisations that move in the direction of the Labour Party position. At one point, while Long Bailey was trying to complete an answer she was interrupted by Neil, so she implored him to allow her to finish what she was saying because it was important. His response was to say that his question was important implying that it was more important than her reply. Interviewers do, sometimes, lose decorum when they insist on demanding answers that demonstrate a confusion that only exists in the mind of the interviewer, as in the case in this interview, so-called.
Social murderA recent statement by John McDonnell applied the term "social murder" to the plight of the inhabitants of Grenfell Tower who perished. Of course the Daily Mail went on about this being a Marxist term. The question, however, is whether this term has any sense.
Under English law the act of murder is the unlawful killing of a human being in the Queen's peace. Associated with this is the state of mind of the killer being malice aforethought or an intent to kill. On the other hand, unlawful killing can also be committed as a result of an act or omission. The use of the word "social" relating to an act refers to levels of social responsibility in upholding a duty of care that each has for the other.
In a participatory democracy it is clear that primacy of human life and the need to protect this takes precedence over all other matters. However, a corrupted constitution that fails to maintain a proactive exercise of this essential function will fall foul of the behaviour of decision-makers who are not primarily concerned with the essential function of safeguarding life. They are often busying themselves with matters that are of more importance to their own comfort, status and income. Therefore ignoring direct pleas to install sprinklers or putting off acting to update fire regulations to avoid deaths previously linked to defective building cladding are acts of dereliction of duty. However, this term fails to convey the significance of this failure to be one of being unwilling to protect the lives of others who might be living in buildings exposed to the same risk. Here we see a transition in state of mind from one that is concerned with personal convenience or simply reflecting a lazy persons acts or failures to act end up aligning them with those who have no intention of protecting people who are a risk of being burnt alive. Such people became complicity in the wrongdoing of intentionally sustaining a state of high risk to the lives of such people. If this was not the intent what was it? Government was advised that a failure to act placed people's lives at risk, that is, there was a high probability that people would die if nothing was done. Nothing was done. So now after the horrific events as Grenfell far too many people have died.
As it stands our social collective democratic system fails to protect the lives of large groups of our citizens, many of whom have pleaded for government to act so that they might be free of the risk of an untimely death. Those with power have not acted with the urgency they would have done if it had been their own lives, and that of their families, at risk. When things unfolded into the worst scenario officials became concerned to dampen emotions and not politicize the event. As a major calamitous constitutional and government failure it is a wholly political failure. It highlights a constitutional corruption at the hands of irresponsible decision makers. This unlawful killing or murder did have a social dimension that demonstrated such an intense ill will that one has to conclude that John McDonnell's much criticised characterization has, embarrassingly for many, a considerable amount of sense.
Unacceptable level of media concentration in the UKOfcom has concluded that the Murdochs' bid to take over Sky may hand too much power to the Murdochs. To get around this, the Government has invited the Murdochs to make undertakings - promises that they will limit their control in specific ways - but they've made many such undertakings before and broken them.
Ofcom also said that there was insufficient evidence about corporate governance failures to raise formal concerns - but that's hardly surprising when the Government has intervened to stop Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry, designed specifically to gather and expose precisely this evidence. People have until Friday 14 July to persuade the Minister that any such undertakings will likely be completely worthless and that she shouldn't enter into a 'grubby deal' without first finding out the truth. We encourage all to ask their MPs to demand Leveson Part Two.
The reality is that this deal, which would hand the Murdochs more media power in the UK, should never have been considered in the first place. The Second Part of the Leveson Inquiry, which was promised in 2011 (and repeatedly promised since then), was established to investigate evidence of profound corruption and cover-ups at News of the World and News International while James Murdoch was Executive Chairman. That Part of the Inquiry could not proceed in 2011 because criminal trials were ongoing. Now that those trials have finished, the Government have no excuse for further delays. But not only have the Government failed to complete the Second Part of the Leveson Inquiry, they pledged in their manifesto to scrap it altogether. The Murdochs should not be allowed to take any more media power while the Leveson Inquiry has not been completed.
Question Time spoilersOf late, the number of members of the public in the BBC Question Time audience who appear to be working in coordination to denigrate members of the panel appear to be increasing, indicating some political party tactic. The last edition on Thursday 29th June, 2017, appeared to have a rather large number of grinning individuals who articulated Conservative mantras or jeered when people identified as being, or expressing opinions supportive of, Labour, spoke. This base behaviour only reflects badly on the Conservative party even if they don't recognise the people involved. The current image of the Conservative party is bad enough without this sort of "goon squad" behaviour which will only discourage people from taking the Conservative cause seriously. CNN is out of controlAfter revelations that several CNN senior staff have unwittingly admitted that the Russia-gate "news" is in fact "Fake News", the credibility of CNN is on the line.
However, rather than stop insulting and boring the US public with sensational made up stories based on "unnamed sources" in an effort to sustain their ratings, they appear to have decided to double their efforts in this direction to repackage the junk they have served up in the last several months to represent it as "evidence" and a "smoking gun". CNN executives are aware that they never explained just what Russia has been accused of in terms of interfering with the election. So they are now cooking up new recipes by casting a different slant on their previous unconvincing narrative to stating that upsets within the Democratic party related to
the uncovering of unethical handling of Bernie Sanders by WikiLeaks led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic Party chairwoman. What CNN do not state is that it was Bernie Sanders who called for Wasserman Schultz's resignation. The source of the WikiLeaks emails is almost well-established to have been an inside job. The e-mails, first and foremost, exposed the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) bias against Bernie Sanders. And yet, this totally parochial Democratic Party issue of dishonesty and exposure of unethical conduct is stated by CNN to have been in the interests of Russia. This exposure of lies and hypocrisy on the part of the Democrats and the reality of Clinton machine's brutally cynical modus operandi of knowing of Saudi funding of terrorists who kill American military personnel and yet accepting generous donations from the Saudis for their "Clinton Foundation". Clearly the exposure of this unacceptable level of irresponsible immorality is of far more interest to, and in the interests of, the people of the United States. How can it be claimed that all of this skullduggery generated by the shady characters who populate sections of the US political environment has any benefit to Russia, or according to CNN, to Vladimir Putin, is beyond comprehension.
A glossary to understand terms relevant to CNN's Russia-gate:
Skulduggery:- underhand, unscrupulous, or dishonest behaviour or activities:"a firm that investigates commercial skulduggery"
synonyms: trickery · swindling · fraudulence · double-dealing · sharp practice · unscrupulousness · underhandedness · chicanery · machinations · shenanigans · funny business · hanky-panky
Charlatan:-a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill. "a self-confessed con artist and charlatan"
synonyms include: quack · mountebank · sham · fraud · fake · humbug · imposter · pretender · masquerader · hoodwinker · hoaxer · cheat · deceiver · dissembler · double-dealer · double-crosser · trickster · confidence trickster · cheater · swindler · fraudster · racketeer · rogue · villain · scoundrel · phone · sharper · sharp · shark · conman · con artist · hustler · flimflammer · flimflam man · twister · grifter · bunco artist · gold brick · chiseller · shicer · magsman · illywhacker · schlenter · confidence man/woman · defalcator · tregetour etc
The assumption is that the American public has absolutely no mental capacity to see through this nonsense. It is depressing to watch highly paid "polished" presenters doing their set pieces in a weird coordinated theatre where each attempts to give the impression they are contributing information from "their unnamed sources" in a strongly choreographed and coordinated, but thoroughly depressing and embarrassing, act conducted by charlatan clowns.
It's the economy, stupid - or how the Labour party has got the message
It is remarkable just how ineffective the mainstream media in the United Kingdom have been in monitoring what the Labour party has been up to for some time in the area of economic policy. At a BSR (British Strategic Review) retreat this week (28th through 30th June, 2017) at SEEL (Systems Engineering Economic Lab) in Portsmouth, a limited number of invited APE journalists attended a workshop on the "New Economics". This title is the name given to an initiative of the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell designed to raise the level of economic debate. He announced this as an associated activity with an Economic Advisory Committee announced on 27 September 2015. He invited what are referred to as "leading economists" to give lectures at many different locations throughput the United Kingdom to focus largely on identifying what needs to change in policy terms to extract the country from the current ongoing state of economic crisis.
Some of the contributors to the New Economic series included Joseph Stiglitz, Mariana Mazzucato, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Yanis Varoufakis, John McDonnell with Tony Travers of LSE
The BSR retreat was not designed to promote Labour efforts but rather to analyse what the output of the initiative has been. Sessions were led by SEEL decision analysis and consisted of watching videos of several presentations and reviewing papers and then conducting analytical sessions to identify any significant content.
The broad sweep of presentations made by, largely academics, did address the emerging and current issues facing the economy in terms of a failing central bank policy, stagnating productivity, falling real incomes and a somewhat suicidal approach initiated under George Osborne and a complete lack of initiative under Phillip Hammond.
However, one of the most surprising facts was a more serious presentation made by John McDonnell which demonstrated a command of the subject, an ability to enter into practical details as well as cover a lot of new thinking and evaluations conducted so far by policy groups within the Labour party. One aspect of significance was McDonnell's ability level criticism at past Labour government mistakes as well as those of the Conservatives. Given the shocking media coverage the British media on John McDonnell characterizing him as some sort of ignorant Trotskyite supporter of the IRA and Hamas, he comes across as a mature, responsible and competent individual.
The lecture series was marked by very attentive audiences...
Towards the end of the retreat two significant issues were identified. One is that on balance the movement of Labour's New Economics is moving towards a policy configuration that has very little connection with the old characterizations of the various shades of the "left". Labour is working on the expression or narrative of the emerging policies which are becoming easier to explain simply because much of the jargon has had to be abandoned to improve transparency in communication. The likely result is that Labour's logic will outdo that of others raising their profile in terms of public perceptions of their competence in understanding and managing the economy.
The second is the fact that all of the academic presentations used standard economic terminologies. A short presentation by a senior SEEL decision analyst showed quite convincingly that much economic terminology is linked directly to specific economic models and as a result there is a general semantic problem, that is, a barrier to the identification of relevant alternatives. This is because each imagines the economy works in a specific way. In part, this is also due to economics being atomized into "schools of thought" and the habit of economists of classifying themselves as adherents to one or another. By way of example it was shown that so-called "supply side economics" has almost nothing to do with supply side operations. Another example was the emergence of the so-called real incomes approach to economics that can only be understood in terms of terminologies that were developed as part of the research giving rise to this approach. The most revealing additional dimension to this is that the real incomes approach to economics is in fact a fully-fledged supply side approach. The paradox here is that the real incomes approach emerged before so-called supply side economics did but the supply side narrative was easier to understand, even although it is not supply side but simply a fiscal device. It's downfall was its transformation into "trickle down economics" which became a mantra of people of a certain political persuasion. The real incomes approach makes a direct theoretical and policy instrument linkage between productivity, pricing, consumer real incomes and inflation control. It is a lot to swallow and comprehend but it describes the main issues that have been constantly overlooked and therefore contributed to the major disasters of the 1930s, 1970s and early 2000s. It integrates several issues and therefore transitions several economic domains that traditionally are kept separate in policy and indeed pertain to different schools.
Economics is, in reality, complex but initiatives such as New Economics are important in helping everyone descend a learning curve resulting, hopefully, in a better informed constituency and better political choices.
Strong leadership, something the Conservatives have tendency of not understandingMargaret Thatcher was one for the first-past-the-post British election system, because it resulted in a decisive result and majority, enabling governments to take decisions with little consideration for the "opposition". So none of this wimpy proportional representation nonsense or irksome coalitions. Although some thought she had a common touch, in the end she was more interested in wielding power as an "effective" leader. The problem with this approach is that when one has a commanding parliamentary majority it is essential to exercise an openly participatory style of decision-making, that is, to run a "proportional" representation or "coalition" on one's own terms. This way, like the process of designing a complex project or new system, one becomes aware of the real constraints and limitations facing policy by building a model of what determines success in delivery. This analytical process, if conducted well could change original concepts of what a policy should be. This requires some discipline as well as a process that demands high standards of information and objective analyses.
Under the UK political system, such an ideal is usually undermined by partisan infighting related to differing political philosophies that promote different models of how the economy works. Models can help design foreign policy strategies to avoid every growing catastrophes in the Middle East and the terrorist and migrant blowback in the UK. Because such analysis is not undertaken, the obvious is therefore not to be discussed. An obvious example is Saudi Arabia's central role in promoting Wahabi philosophy broadly in Western Europe and the UK as well as selectively in the Balkans, paying poor muslims to change their dress and appearance and to observe stricter behavior, purposely marginalizing these individuals in Bosnia and all countries down to Macedonia. Most know this is happening but no one acts. For some reason it is more convenient to accuse Russia and Iran and other bug bears who are not doing this sort of long term damage but they remain the "enemy". So-called strong leaders in the West repeatedly mistake arms sales and business as justifications of turning a blind eye to their funding of terrorists whose actions are increasingly harming members of the British and European public. The Saudi brandishing UK and USA manufactured weapons in their slaughter of Yeminis and their recent attempt to blame Qatar for "funding" terrorists only illustrates the primitive base nature of these people. The dominant power of the USA doesn't set a good example with a State Department that has pursued a disastrous foreign policy for many years of "strong leadership" based on "..if you are not with us you are against us" and no one can have a point of view that does no support the US position. The pathetic result has been the growth of Al Qaeda and ISIL, in short a multi-trillion dollar fiasco and bloodbath that has no end in sight. This is not strong leadership; it is insanity.
Moving back from our "allies", to the United Kingdom, it was strong leadership under Margaret Thatcher that loosened the regulations on financial organizations based on extra-constitutional arrangements where the banks were effectively regulating themselves which led to the first fiasco with Northern Rock, London becoming a centre for the sale of very dubious derivatives, major issue associated with the overflow of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the USA into London and the corruption related to Libor rate fixing and the growth in asset stripping such as the case involving the Royal Bank of Scotland and thousands of failed SMEs. The blind promotion of "private enterprise" accompanied a massive bail out of the banks as opposed to the public, resulting in a two-fold exposure of public debt and an ever continuing growth in private debt. This heralded "quantitative easing" and the drop in interest rates resulting in banks helping themselves to cheap money to speculate in commodities and offering executive groups segments cheap money to buy back shares in their companies for short term gain and bolstering stock markets. In the meantime investment in business was considered to be too risky when compared with the bank's own "business" resulting in falling investment, stagnating growth and falling real incomes.
Clearly "strong leadership" has become directly correlated with a shallow intellect and incapacity to apply rational decision analysis leading to irresponsible decisions and disastrous outcomes.
The scenario not considered by bluster
The Conservatives now have very little chance of winning an election because the odds have inverted as increasingly large margins favour the Labour party.
At an APE retreat last weekend the conclusions of most was that, in the bluster surrounding the last leadership election "won" by May, insufficient analysis had been conducted into the Labour party. The somewhat arrogant "write off" of Labour or more specifically, Jeremy Corbyn, blinded a tiny internal group supporting May to push ahead with support for her. It is very apparent that if the Conservative party intelligence on Labour, and the strategy being followed by Jeremy Corbyn, had been better, May would never have been selected. The only person who would have had a chance to counter Jeremy Corbyn, it has been concluded, is Andrea Leadsom who held particularly rational positions on the economy. Her track record shows she is unlikely to have come up with the types of ineffective policies of either Osborne or the weak ineffectual positions of Hammond. The reshuffle has pushed her sideways into a position where she has no possibility of exercising her talents in economics but at least she will be a more visible female component of the government. This government continues to demonstrate a failure to combine the remaining talents in an effective manner.
Freedom of the press and the exercise in gratuitous abuse
The very newspapers who resist the Leveson recommendations with regard to legislation and regulation of the media
are the very same groups who base a lot of their "reasoning" and "arguments" on biased gratuitous abuse of individuals, earning them the appellations of gutter press or rags.
In the wake of the findings of the disgraceful case of media hacking into private mobiles and acts of intimidation against individuals some of the mainstream media hope to delay implementation of Leveson 1 and abandon Leveson 2. Fortunately the election result could help provide some rational analysis and hopefully a move towards a situation that can help improve the protection of the public from media abuse.
According to the Hacked Off Campaign:
"Reforming press regulation and getting to the truth of the criminality and corruption in the press and police is back on the agenda after last week's General Election resulted in a hung parliament.
Three weeks ago, the Conservative Party election manifesto pledged to abandon part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry and repeal the Leveson access to justice incentive ("Section 40"). This was a breach of the party leadership's past promises and a betrayal of victims of press abuse. And it was suspected to be the price agreed by Theresa May in meetings with Dacre and Murdoch in exchange for their support. Mrs May appeared to be willing to leave ordinary people defenseless against the power of unaccountable press barons, and to see evidence of collusion between police and press swept under the carpet, in exchange for favourable election coverage in powerful newspapers. But the public voted to deny the Prime Minister a Parliamentary majority, meaning she has no mandate for her outrageous manifesto pledges on Leveson.
There is now once again a Parliamentary Commons majority in favour of Leveson – not to mention the dozens of Conservative MPs and Peers who stand by the victims of press abuse and support reform, bravely, in spite of the party leadership's position. The dodgy deals cooked up between the PM and the press have been rejected by the voters, and have instead delivered a Parliament in favour of press regulation reform. But progress still won't be easy. Regardless of their failure to have a decisive effect on the General Election result, the Mail, Telegraph and the Murdoch papers all loyally lined up behind the Prime Minister. The owners and executives at those newspapers have debts to call in from Mrs May, and we know that they want nothing more than to kill off the Leveson reforms. Hacked Off Campaign has thanked its supporters for their generosity and support over the last Parliament, and in the run up to the election last week. And they hope they can rely on the continued commitment of supporters of their campaign throughout this Parliament, as they seek to hold all parties to their commitments and see the Leveson reforms finally brought into effect.
The election timing issue and a silver lining
For a considerable period APE have been reporting on the strategy adopted by Jeremy Corbyn to people who consider such an individual to be incapable of mounting a strategy. This includes the mainstream British media who have been more than willing to "report" caustic comments, insults and derision directed at him, largely by representatives of the Conservative party; accompanied by jeering and finger pointing. While the Conservative rather smugly considered Theresa May to be "seeing off" Corbyn at each Prime Minister's Question Time, the public saw a Prime Minister who could not answer pertinent questions raised by members of the public in a straight fashion. She seldom "won the argument", simply repetitively ignored the questions. Therefore, even before the election, May had branded herself as "evasive" and this is perilously close to "dishonest". On the other hand Corbyn has tended to answer questions in a straightforward and honest manner. The other political parties went about "business as usual", as did the media, by ignoring the youth of the country and relying heavily on "traditional support" and remaining cynical that the under 30 year olds could vote intelligently, if indeed, they voted at all; we now see the outcome. The significance of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn increased the size of the Labour party membership for it to become by far the largest party in the UK and the largest socialist party in Europe, based mainly on growing numbers of youthful members, has been completely ignored. Most believed the Blairite chorus that this was the hard left manipulation designed to get a larger vote for Corbyn in his leadership elections. But in the end, people don't just join a party to elect its leader.The silver lining
Charles Dickens was a Parliamentary reporter for about five years and found politicians to be pompous and to make promises which they did not keep. He considered Parliament to be a sort of circus or bear garden. In his novel "David Copperfield" he made David a parliamentary reporter who stated, "Night after night, I record predictions that never come to pass, professions that are never fulfilled, explanations that are only meant to mystify. I am sufficiently behind the scenes to know the worth of political life. I am quite an Infidel about it - and shall never be converted."
The success of the Labour party in this election has resulted in those young who voted Labour feeling empowered, as they should be. This has resulted in a heightened level of enthusiasm and support both for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party leading to what is close to a revolution in the way these voters want to become more practically engaged in politics and social issues. This is the silver lining that bodes well for the future of Britain; it also lays the foundation for the other parties to wake up and begin to respond by attempting to address important issues.
On the other hand Theresa May is unlikely to last long as leader of the Conservative party and the current options for leadership are not particularly appealing. They will be up against Corbyn who, if any politician comes across as someone who respects all constituents of any age, dismissing no one, Jeremy Corbyn is that politician. Anyone in the current ranks of senior Conservative politicians attempting to ape Corbyn's genuine gregariousness and wholly open participatory approach, would be considered to be phoney. Corbyn's authenticity is a powerful demonstration that there are politicians who have strong convictions and who are not prepared to waver in these to obtain votes.Timing
Recent analysis by APE suggests something few appear to have detected, it is that if the election had been called just 3 months later, the preparatory work at Labour, which has been going on since Corbyn became leader, would have resulted in a large Labour majority. Mrs. May's decision to call an election was too precipitated and a little bit too late to gain any complete advantage. This was more than evident from the manifestos, Labour was more than ready and the Conservative rendition was pitiful and their organization in disarray.
Lastly, Jeremy Corbyn, in his concentration on open meetings was an example of his understanding and long experience in campaigning for many causes over the years. Genuine campaigning sometimes uses cliches and buzz words but it gets nowhere unless there is a content made up of fundamentally important messages that people can relate to. Also the messenger needs to come across as someone who honestly believes, with some enthusiasm in the messages. There is here a networking effect based on word of mouth, mobiles, texting and an intangible buzz an infective enthusiasm that causes people to re-evaluate previous positions. This has been Jeremy Corbyn's "secret weapon". This whole concept remains beyond the comprehension of those cynical politicians who are always ready to say what they think people want to hear. This is a characteristic of modern politics populated by many intellectually dishonest individuals who far from being "strong" are weak pliant cowards with no principles. This was of course the general characterization of politicians by the English author Charles Dickens who was a sometime parliamentary reporter. He expressed his complete lack of faith in politicians but considerable faith in people; Charles would no doubt have approved of Jeremy.
Credits: The majority of this article content is from a recently circulated email to supporters from the Hacked Off Team
It isn't just about BREXIT but it is also about fighting internal corruption
We have been kindly reminded by the Hacked Off Campaign Team that the British Government has not committed to Leveson Part 2. The General Election provides an opportunity for voters to consider the various candidates' commitments to implementing Leveson's recommendations and to Part 2 of the Inquiry, when casting your vote.
The Labour party and the Lib Dems have both committed to delivering Leveson Part 1, proceeding with Part 2 of the Inquiry, and to protecting media plurality. The Green Party and Plaid have always supported reform of press regulation, and the SNP have a track record of supporting it in Parliament.
The Conservatives, however, have pledged to abandon the second stage of the Leveson Inquiry, despite showing support on a cross-party basis in 2011. The then PM David Cameron endorsed Leveson Part 2 on a number of occasions in 2011, 2012 and 2013, saying that the Conservative party "remain committed" to the Inquiry in its entirety. Yet, in their recent election manifesto, they argue that the first inquiry was "comprehensive" enough – we know this is not true. Part 1 only looked into press regulation, not the specifics of any wrongdoing, the conspiracies or the cover-up. Part 2 could not begin until the criminal and civil trials had been completed, which they now have. This policy U-turn by the Conservatives is an appalling betrayal of victims of press abuse who were promised thorough investigations into alleged cover-ups of police-press corruption. The Hillsborough disaster occurred in 1989 but it took until 2016 to secure a truthful inquest verdict; they now need Leveson Part 2 to find out who knew what about the cover-up and when. The same applies to the family of Daniel Morgan, who was murdered in 1987.
Read the Hacked Off campaign's' Leveson Part 2 mythbuster
to find out more on why this stage of the Inquiry is so important. We must ensure that the careful regulatory framework proposed by Leveson and agreed by Parliament is not systematically dismantled by a government subservient to newspaper editors.
Britain's nightmare foreign policy, the generator of destructive demons
We need Leveson Part 2 if we are to get to bottom of the alleged collusion between police, press, and politicians. Evidence of police corruption and newspapers' cover-up of widespread illegality cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet.
Polls open on Thursday, 8th June, at 7am and close at 10pm, use your vote wisely.
As voting day nears journalism becomes a series of irresponsible rants
With one day to go before polling day in the UK on 8th June 2017, the standards of journalism have plummeted, somewhat reminiscent of the recent US presidential election, where media, who should have known better, wallowed increasingly in partisan misrepresentation, innuendo and what has now become known as "fake news". For example, today an article in the Daily Mail, by someone called Guy Adams, is a senseless rant. Clearly written by a young person with no historic perspective or intimate experience of the events he writes about. He targets Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, leading members of the Labour party. He labels them as apologists for terrorists. In turns out that the writer of this disjointed piece was born in 1976 and yet he rants about events over a reference period when his average age would have been around 10. It is amazing that someone can make a living writing this sort of material. It is even more amazing that editorial standards at the Daily Mail are so lax. Along with the Murdoch press and the Sun's efforts at journalism there is a deflection of the truth and massive lie created by no comment.
Theresa May and the Conservative, and Blairite governments before, are largely responsible for the spikes in immigration and entry of Middle Eastern terrorist spill over accessing our shores and entering the country. The continued foreign policy of aggression rather than negotiation has proven to be a massive failure. The leaders against this type of failed foreign venturism were Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott. This is that the recent terror attacks and the increasing exposure of the public to the likelihood of attacks can be traced directly to an aggressive foreign policy of carrying out the wishes of the USA who in turn carry out the wishes of a toxic mediation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, largely because they are compromised by Saudi influence over money and oil. Having armed Saudi Arabia to the teeth by "selling" arms to them we now witness Saudi Arabia's primitive and savage side in their Yemini campaign and recent attacks on Qatar. Foreign policy is creating failed states. The US State Department should be re-named "Failed States Department", a well deserved name when one looks at the case studies in chaos provided by the "coalition" interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the studious avoidance of preventing the Yemin genocide. The current government's leaders such as Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, so-called, are examples of the "say anything to get a vote" at the expense of people in Britain being murdered by terrorists. The issue is related to policing and intelligence services this is more a last ditch defence issue arising once the terror threat has festered and appeared within the country. The causal factors, however, are the fiasco in Western foreign policy which the current UK government fully supports.
The medium to long term solution is for people to vote for those who seek peace and not confrontation. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott fall well into this category of leaders who would benefit the population of the UK.Postscript:
During the campaign it was more than evident that Dianne Abbott had some health issues but the British Press and interviewers seemed to be oblivious of this and ruthlessly attacked her; today we learn she had indeed been unwell and will take a rest. Editor
Out-of-date deterrent argument and misrepresentations threaten UK security
|Who is right?|
The position of the
British Conservative party
in criticizing Jeremy Corbyn
for not being willing
to say if he would
press the nuclear button
is one which paints the
Conservatives as people
who are willing to carry
out an act of genocide,
by murdering thousands
if not millions
of innocent people.
by the Conservatives
of their standard
being a willingness
to press the nuclear button
to carry out genocide
is illegal under international
law or under any moral
or ethical consideration
that might be applied.
Jeremy Corbyn's position
ethical and moral.
During the course of the current UK election campaign and in the latest BBC "Question Time"
where members of the audience have clearly absorbed a lot of nonsense about Jeremy Corbyn's views, it is possible to observe a microcosm of how propaganda directed against Corbyn by the Conservative party is helping blind people to the real security dangers facing the UK.
The notion of a nuclear deterrent, in spite of the bluster and straight faced arguments put out by many, is well beyond it's sell by date.
First of all, today, fairly simple anti-ballistic missile systems can knock out missiles, such as those making up the Trident complement, with ease. This means two things. It is possible to defend ourselves against such attacks as well as having our own "attacks" neutered by enemies who have such defence systems. Secondly, the typical asymmetrical warfare against terrorist factions means that they could not care a less about being obliterated by any missile that gets through. The danger facing the UK is, like local attacks by terrorists in European cities and lately in Manchester, a better funded system of the development of chemical and cheap dirty nuclear bombs can be set off like so-called "improvised explosive devices
" anywhere the terrorists choose. These wont appear on radar screens or even be acknowledged by those who set them off so the idea of a retaliatory Trident strike is somewhat fanciful.
With the frustration felt by Saudi Arabia with respect to the failure of their funding of terrorists in Syria and the fact that they have considerable financial resources only means their campaign to spread extreme forms of Islam throughout the world which has become closely associated with terrorist groups, can easily swing towards a far more dangerous form of aggression than the current terrorist threat by funding the development chemical and thermo-nuclear devices. Given their track record, along with Turkey of supporting terrorists and the parallel behaviour of elements within the intelligence community in Pakistan, closely linked to the nuclear arms factions, none of this is particularly fanciful and it represents one of the most serious potential threats to the West.
The only way to remain ahead of this form of evolution in danger is better intelligence combined with a more direct engagement with real or imagined enemies. Unless these people are engaged at all levels, rather than marginalized, the likelihood of peace and removal of motivation for such developments and eventual attacks remains remote. The outcome is increasing potential security risks.
Jeremy Corbyn's positions on the IRA and Hamas where always designed to engage with the "enemy" to find out what could be done to terminate the killing. As Corbyn has stated, killing on both sides was wrong and as more information comes out on the dealings of the UK government and security forces in regard to the IRA it is clear that the UK government were in fact talking to the IRA at the same time as Corbyn, and for the same reasons. So the criticism of Corbyn completely unfair and scurrilous given that his approach, in the end, was the one that brought peace in Ireland. Concerning Hamas, Corbyn was here attempting to get parties to talk and on the occasion of joining the representatives of Hamas in the meeting, in a courteous manner he referred to the assembled participants as "friends" in an inclusive manner and pointing towards the spirit of the meeting. The absurd interpretation has been that he supports Hamas because he referred to them as friends. Jeremy Corbyn abhors violence and considers the killing of anyone as unacceptable. For anyone holding this view to be accused of "supporting" the IRA or Hamas is absurd and dishonest.
The bottom line is that all of these questions as to whether Corbyn would press the nuclear button, and why does he support terrorists, are a form of propaganda based on misguided concepts. The greater danger, which has become evident in members of the public raising these issues, is that they see proactive actions to secure peace as a sign of weakness or the mark of a traitor. Even more disturbing is their thoughtless assumption that a Prime Minister who is not willing to commit widespread genocide, by deploying nuclear weapons, is weak or unreliable. In pushing this propaganda the Conservatives are peddling out of date by very dangerous myths that mislead the public and to justify in excess of £120 billions on a system that does not protect the UK. The notion that like a poker player those with such "weapons" need to convince the "enemy" that they would press the button is out dated. It relates to a different state of affairs when in the pre-1960s large nuclear powers faced each other in the form of USA, USSR, UK and France. The sell by date for this "willingness to deploy" argument has long gone and, as Corbyn mentioned a "Question Time
", there would be a Strategic Review if the Labour party wins the election. The last two Strategic Reviews, were thoroughly misguided and more based on budgetary allocations to services with a nod and wink to the armaments industry.
The uninspiring and insulting Conservative party election campaign
A lot has happened since Theresa May announced a snap election in the United Kingdom. Making the mistake of taking opinion polls seriously and drastically underestimating Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May expected to secure a landslide victory to give her 5 years unimpeded control of government (under the existing fixed term government legislation). Theresa May and the Conservatives have confused assertive arrogance with "strong leadership" and further they have made an exaggerated play on strong leadership being what is needed to "negotiate" a beneficial BREXIT for the UK with Europe. The problem is that Mrs. May has never stated what she is trying to secure and in spite of her insisting this election is about BREXIT and her strong leadership, she has published a highly personalised election manifesto that has no economic rationale, justifications or costings. The limp excuse for this act is that they can be trusted on the management of the economy; this is an affront to the British electorate. With real incomes falling, poductivity declining and private debt skyrocketing as a result of people trying to maintain their real incomes, the Conservative position does not stack up against their track ecord.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party remains a relaxed figure who is enjoying the election, he wasn't supposed to do that. This is in marked contrast to Theresa May's somewhat nervous twitchy and unconvincing approach. The more Corbyn is exposed the more people have warmed to him since there is always a fairly reasonable logic to his statements. Labour party managers had the good sense to publish a manifesto accompanied by a detailed costing. The reason they did this was to demonstrate they have "management of the economy" credentials motivated by the Conservative's taunt, and repeated by the media, that they don't have any. On the basis of their manifestos, Labour has already won this aspect of the argument. Mrs. May spent her arguments in the first two weeks of the campaign and since then has been robotically repeating them concerning strong leadership and a good BREXIT for Britain. She studiously avoids any of the in-the-face-of-the-electorate and more than obvious issues such as rising food bank numbers, increasing homelessness, inability of people to afford to purchase homes, declining police numbers, inability of nurses and others to feed themselves, a catastrophic foreign policy, confusing social policies and has shown an inability to engage any of these topics in a convincing fashion. It is notable that the Chancellor is nowhere to be seen in this campaign leading further to doubts on the economic dimensions of the Conservative position.
Labour had the sense to move the focus of the election away from May's selected territory of strong leadership for a good BREXIT outcome. Labour has succeeded in focusing the electorate's attention back onto what matters to them. As a result the average conservative lead ratio in the polls has fallen from around 100% to 5% across most polls; this is catastrophic for the Conservatives. It is, however, entirely understandable and can be laid at the feet of a poorly thought out and shambolic Conservative election campaign. It could lead to a hung parliament or a Labour victory. The Conservative panic is evident in their now resorting to "fear factor" tactics and plain nastiness that they applied in the Scottish independence referendum and the European referdum. This is being made up in their increasing number of personal attacks on the Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership abilities and an insistence on misrepresenting his statements in relation to the IRA, Hamas and nuclear weapons. This grasping at straws shows a shallow visceral side of the Conservatives and this is being commented on increasingly by voters. The Conservatives, mainly Angela Rudd and Theresa May, are now beginning to refer to the risk of a chaotic coalition government if they do not secure a majority.
The most fundamental mistakes made by May is her refusal to debate with other party leaders. This could have some justification if the Conservative manifesto was crystal clear and had detailed convinving costings. But there is another good reason for her avoiding debates outside the confines of Parliament. This is that she isn't very good on her feet while Corbyn is; he has many more years practice mixing it with people of any social level. He has been an MP for 34 years and the leader of Labour since September, 2015. Labour is by far the largest British political party and also the largest socialist party in Europe. He was elected and athen re-elected again as leader with spectacular landslides. With days to the election the people of Britain are beginning to go with Corbyn who they are getting to know; he is without doubt more convincing. In terms of leadership abilities he has a strong and well-established participatory style conducive to inclusive politics typical of the Labour approach to democracy. May remains a mystery and is appearing to be increasingly aloof, weak and out of touch continuing to insist she the "strong leader" Britain needs, but this robotic repetition and lack of clarity on policies is becoming less and less convincing and, as a result less and less people are paying attention, she seems to be whistling in the wind and completely out of touch.
Chaotic British foreign policy to continue under May
Far from the assertion that the British economy is safe with a government run by the Conservative party, the latest atrocity in Manchester and the recent exposure of the network and relationships behind this linked to Libya, provides adequate evidence that Conservative foreign policy has brought about, not only the mayhem in North Africa and the surge in immigrants to Europe, but has deepened the dispair or hatred for Britain on the part of those who have lost acquaintances, family members and others to the "war against terrorism" that has been supported by a chain of UK governments. Clearly this moral decadence started with the Blair government and the unjustified invasion of Iraq "justified" on the basis of a disgraceful "intelligence" dossier that was drafted for political purposes evident from it carrying the signature of Tony Blair. The result of this aimless following of the wishes of US State Department "policies" has very obviously led to less security and not more.
The underlying reason for this continual risk of terrorist attacks in Britain is the lack of leadership and maturity of the Prime Minister and her governemnt to proactively counsel and act to seek peace, rather than make absurd statements that it would be dificult to refuse to assist the USA if they requests help in Syria. The most blatent failure has been the inability to condemn the shocking violence carried out in the Yemen against largely innocent men, women and children by a murderous onslaught from the rich but primitive Saudis. Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State was aware of the support Saudi Arabia has been giving to ISIS or Daesh, and Al Quaeda, and its involvement in the attack on the World Trade center killing in excess of 3,000 people and yet she was quite willing to accept Saudi funds for the Clinton Foundation. The blind, very demeaning sychophantic behaviour of British MPs and government Ministers who always jump to the defence of Saudi Arabia citing commercial interests, employment benefits and security benefits as well as to support the Saudi's as leading human rights violaters to become members on Human Rights and Gender Equality committees at the United Nations is a open and insulting act of brazen hypocracy. The wealth of the Saudis does not hide their primitive and base visceral hatred of the West, best measured in the extent to which their proactive funding of Wahaabi fundamentalist teaching which is closely linked to the more extreme aspects of the terrorists in their intolerance of non-Moslems as well as the Shiite sect of Islam. This crude bigotry has helped nuture the type of mindsets that undermine "Western" approached to warfare. The willingness of Jihadists to accept suicide as a way to wage war makes a mockery of the US approach based originally on "shock and awe" or the use of "overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force" is something out of cowboy movies and was a failed strategy from the start because the US military had not understood the enemy. As a result there was horrific destruction at the hands of the "coalition" which undermined the ability of countries to recover in a way that provides a foundation for the evolution of a functioning peace. The withdrawal of US forces and the increased use of drones is a failed system because it relies heavily on ground intelligence which currently is only imperfect. As a result more innocents are killed than terrorists as we a result of the drone campaign of sanctioned murder.
Justification for removal of James B. Comey from office very clearRod J. Rosenstein the Deputy Attorney General of the US has been in his position only since April 26th 2017 and the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions since February 9th, 2017. These delays were a direct result of the Democrats delaying their acceptance. So within just two weeks at the Rod Rosenstein has been very effective in assessing the role of James B. Comey in the Clinton email scandal. This was necessary because there is enormous concern about the politicization of the intelligence operations and possible the FBI causing issues, mostly based on assertion, for the current administration.
According to our Department of Justice contact,s Rosenstein's concern had nothing to do with the ongoing "investigations" into alleged connections between President Trump's team and Russian officials.
|Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order.|
Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontention (or resistance) to lawful authority.
Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws.
Rosenstein sent a detailed and comprehensive memo to Sessions setting out the facts pointing to Comey over-stepping his authority. The essence of this assessment and conclusion was Comey's public statements that the "investigation" into a new tranche of Clinton emails was not found to be a basis for further investigation or prosecution. An FBI Director has no authority to do this. The FBI Director should hand over investigation results to the prosecutor's office at Department of Justice who would decide, based on the evidence, if a prosecution was desirable. Therefore although Comey appears to have been "brave", given that there was an election and that his raising the fact that the tranche existed caused issues for Clinton, his actions did not measure up to the high standards demanded of an FBI Director. As a result it was decided that he should be replaced. This step in reality is a good one as a basis for protecting the integrity and trust of the people of the United States in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This is the first step in the new administration attempting to clean up the operations of intelligence and investigative branches to remove the political appointees to still hound the government in a campaign bordering on sedition (see box on left). As is to be expected, the Democrats continue to pursue their tactics of avoiding bringing attention to the content of the Clinton emails which are ample evidence of procedural corruption and therefore that Clinton could not be trusted as a President. The Democratic tactic is to now see this removal of Comey as a way to stop the Russia/Trump team investigation which our FBI and intelligence contacts confirm, is going nowhere because of lack of evidence.
Labour proposes a more balanced BREXIT negotiation approach On 25th April, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Party's Secretary for Exiting the EU, delivered an excellent explanation of the different approach of the Labour Party to BREXIT negotiations. It is odd that the UK mainstream media did not provide much coverage of this announcement because it represents a better alternative to the somewhat cavalier approach adopted by Theresa May.
Far from accepting a series of assumptions, the Labour Party has adopted a more strategic approach that is supported by a range of options and thereby not cutting and drying any position. An important and honourable aspect is a unilateral declaration of EU Citizen's rights protection which Labour would introduce on their first day in office, if elected. This is a far more responsible position than the "intent" of the Conservatives. Labour aims to dispel the doubts of EU Citizens in the UK as a priority so as to eliminate any further stress and uncertainty; something others do not appear to be concerned about. The questions that such a move would weaken the UK's bargaining position with respect to UK citizens in Europe is a somewhat base concern and somewhat shameful.
Labour makes no assumptions concerning a likely "hard BREXIT" which most serious analysts consider to be irresponsible in economic and social terms. Starmer agreed that this means movement of people needs to continue but Labour would seek an agreed basis for controlled movement. In fact this is a discussion taking place in the EU at the moment.
It is encouraging to see the Labour Party come up with a more mature presentation on an approach to BREXIT negotiations. In doing so Labour has demonstrated a capacity not to just combat Conservative policies on BREXIT but to rather present a better alternative. So on the BREXIT debate the Conservatives have lost ground and we have yet to discuss the many other policy issues concerning the performance of this government; something the Conservatives had wished to avoid.
Theresa May wants to make this a battle on "who can lead the country" but at the moment the question is becoming what are the actual interests of the people of Britain over the next few years. Demands for change in the current government's policies appear to be high on the agenda but they wish to avoid this type of discussion.
The electorate have seen the "fear factor" tactics deployed by the Conservatives in the Scottish Referendum and the EU Referendum. It worked, just, in the case of the Scottish Referendum but failed in the case of the EU Referendum leading to the resignation of David Cameron. They will attempt to use this again in the last 2 weeks of th electoral campaign when people will need to keep their focus on which approach to BREXIT is likely to result in better outcomes and which policies they would like to see enacted in the country in relation to Health, social care, the economy, investment and innovation and economic growth. With the main security risks today come from terrorists who have a penchant for committing suicide so it is clear that the Trident nuclear "deterrent" isn't a deterrent with such people. The old Soviet Union has gone and the old justifications for possessing a nuclear arsenal considerably weakened. Part of the Conservative fear factor spoiler tactics will be of course to ask whether or not Jeremy Corbyn would press the nuclear button. Of course there are those who think this macho intent has some sense; it doesn't. It is only somewhat irresponsible and slightly deranged individuals like Michael Fallon who have spoken of the possibility of the UK carrying out nuclear first strikes. This is clearly complete and utter nonsense. To add to this sordid mix, Boris Johnson has not helped things by offering to provide the USA with a la carte internationally illegal attacks on Syria to order.
Not living in a tin pot republic and with a need to get rid of irresponsible Lilliputian politicians, the people of Britain should not put their faith in decision makers who dice with death, murder and mayhem, with such ease. These sorts of insane proclamations and the underlying aggression and associated violence of which the world has become increasingly fatigued need to be dispelled and removed from the discourse of constitutional democracy. Britain needs a change towards responsible international leadership seeking peace and goodwill for all, not based on military might or the pea brained goofy logic of "if you are not with us you are against us" and of course "all options are on the table", that is, "negotiation" based on threats of violence.
POST SCRIPT: Keir Starmer has written in the 1st May edition of the Guardian Newspaper concerning his doubts about Theresa May's Apporach to BREXIT, it is worth reading:
State-sponsored violence and the undermining constitutional democracy Recent history shows that the most significant state-sponsored violence that has destroyed the lives of innocent non-combatants has been sustained by the United States from Vietnam (Agent Orange) to the CIA's support of Iraqi use of poisonous gas against Iranians with the financial support of Saudi Arabia. It is therefore ridiculous that the USA has gone through the theatre of feigned offense at a false flag "chemical attack" to blame it on the Assad Regime before any evidence has been collected and analyzed. The evidence is a badly-produced amateur video placed on social media and produced by people supported directly by the governments of the UK and USA (see below).
The complaint about a reported 80 or so people killed should be contrasted by the millions who have been killed by US-sponsored warfare, economic sanctions and covert actions carried out or promoted by US administrations. To claim to be the greatest democracy in the world with a constitution that contains safeguards and checks and balances to avoid inappropriate decisions is absurd. Absurd because the administration and most of the Congress and Senate are in the hands of those who have "financed" their election campaigns or various other things, such as getting their offspring through expensive universities. The US government is essentially run by financiers and manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction as Dwight D Eisenhower warned against in his famous "Military Industrial" speech. Just as Eisenhower warned, the current state of failure of the US democratic systems, and loss of voice of the people of America in determining their own future, is the result of the power of amoral forces undermining constitutional democracy. This is also the result of there being no effective checks and balances on the military arms of the administration that hold sway over the State Department and the White House. Unfortunately, in this context, the US Constitution has nothing to offer on bringing these real aspects of US government action under a control and direction that reflects the will of the people. The US Constitution, for this reason, is inappropriate and entirely unexceptional for a country with so much military power and with a track record of such incompetence in its use as evidenced in millions of dead innocents who litter the soil over which US-related campaigns have passed leaving countries in chaos during the last 50 years. This has been of significant intensity in the Middle East more recently giving rise to the European immigration crisis and spreading instability throughout the world. The track record is abysmal and, with all it's military might, the track record is one of failure to achieve objectives. The resulting oppression and obliteration of people's freedoms from fear and mayhem caused by these irresponsible ventures is not inspiring example of "leadership" for a country which has the affront to consider itself to be the leader of the so-called "free world".
Hollywood and the failing States
The recent events leading to Donald Trump agreeing to have the US fire around 50 Tomahawk missiles to impact the area of a Syrian airfield was the cause of widespread embarrassment. This was because the images reporting on the so-called chemical attack were inconclusive. Ibn Nr has noted that the videos that appeared in Western media tended to showed photogenic children and in one scene with two patients there were some 20-odd burly "medics" all wearing medical face masks and doing precious little. The other scenes showed people running and shouting with a dynamic video sequence of back shots showing the circular symbol of the Oscar winning Hollywood idols, the White Helmets, a propaganda arm of Al Nusra. Although promoted as a civil defence force their role is to video specific mounted scenarios to be fed to the Western media. Their propaganda has been swallowed hook line and sinker by US and more particularly UK authorities who have provide them in total of over £70 million in funding. This is an absurdity when people in London and Stockholm are suffering from the consequence of murderous actions of sympathizers of this very same terrorist group.
Boris Johnson is one of the many Western politicians who are thoroughly misguided in using the group's output as well as in supporting them with UK tax payer's money.
The explanation that an air raid resulted in the rupture of stored chemical warfare containers hidden by Al Nusra is a more convincing explanation of the cause of the release of gas. On the other hand Ibn Nr is of the opinion that Al Nusra is quite capable of releasing gas on a limited scale to secure footage to produce coverage to blame the Assad Regime. At this stage of the war against Isil, Isis or Daesh the Syrian Government has absolutely no reason to risk losing momentum by attracting the inevitable outcome of actually using chemical weapons. They have been successful with the Russians in negotiating freedom of civilians as well as having the terrorists move out, as in Aleppo. However, this could only happen when the terrorists realized they were going to lose. The US action has interfered with this aspect of the peace process.
President Trump's actions were illegal and just a show. He did not wait for any investigation of the so-called chemical attack before taking action; he was taken in by a poorly produced propaganda video. The claims that the Russian guarantees of the Syrian regime ridding itself of any chemical weapons are unsafe has no grounding in facts when US teams assisted in the destruction of chemical stockpiles. This process was very thorough. This line of reasoning that Russia was not up to the job was used by Rex Tillerson the new State Secretary, in the absence of any proof of who carried out the attack. Tillerson's slow and pedantic prepared script approach is a matter of increasing concern. It is clear that the USA continues to protect Al Nusra front in Syria in spite of their being considered to be a terrorist organization responsible for murderous activities. The only way the terrorists could have gained any control over any Syrian material was by previous captures of inventory. According to Ibn Nr, most of the existing chemical weapon materials in Syria is in the hands of the terrorists who have obtained supplies via Turkey.
|"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” |
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda
Lastly, it is estimated that in Mosul in Iraq some 320 civilians have been killed by "allied" attacks in the last 3 weeks where as in Syria the figure is around 120 and yet all of the media attention is on the so-called chemical attack where is alleged up to 80 people died.
If you repeat it enough people will believe you
A depressing amount of the "news" and public statements of actions of various regimes emanating from CNN, BBC as well as the CIA, Pentagon and the State Department consist of little more than a scandalous and shameless range of baseless assertions, unattributed sources and complete absence of evidence, is an outstanding example of the crudest form of propaganda based on lies. This same approach was exercised and explained by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda (see the box on the left).
The obsequious sycophant
Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, is clearly out of his depth. His repeated appearances as Trump's lap dog and obsequious sycophantic sideshows demonstrate a parochial eagerness to please "America" by repeating, without question, doubtful mantras from the Beltway. His behaviour has become an increasing embarrassment and subject of jokes and derision amongst international leadership and diplomatic circles. It is amazing that the people of the United Kingdom have to endure a representation by a clown on the international stage. This is unacceptable.
Theresa May called general election in the UK to be held on 8th June 2017. She justified this on the basis of there being too much disagreement in Westminster and unity in the country meant she needed a new mandate to provide a strong support in carrying out BREXIT negotiations. There is no evidence to support this assertion and it is more likely that the aim is to gain another 5 years of fixed term parliament when currently the polls indicate the Conservatives will win comfortably and increase their majority.
The other political parties, however, see this as an opportunity to call attention to the government's record on a range of issues of more immediate importance to the electorate. The Conservatives will not be able to avoid this discussion and it is of interest to see what comes out in the very rushed production of party election manifestos.
The tone of the election on the Conservative side is already descending to low levels with the firing off of personal insults largely aimed at the Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn suffers not so much from bad policies but from a biased UK media somewhat akin to the CNN syndrome in its treatment of Donald Trump. So far the polls give the Conservatives a commanding lead of 20 points over the Labour party but it is notable that Labour have a majority support from the under-40s. Part of the challenge is for Labour which has the highest political party membership in the UK and is the largest socialist party in Europe, to get the younger generation to actually go out and vote on the day. The Conservative can rely on the over 60s who all tend to vote.
Trident as a suicide vest
In June 2016 a short APE article by David Weingold on Trident, explained it's shortcomings as an expensive bluff. Recently spoof adverts for the Royal Navy have appeared in London making the point that a first target of retaliation would, of course, be the Trident submarines and the crews launching any attack, making it a very, very expensive suicide vest. The APE article made the additional point that the detergent effect of Trident is dead anyway. We reproduce the original APE article...
Read more...A misunderstanding of emerging security issues
Donald Trump imposed his promised introduction of extreme vetting of people coming from countries from which there is a higher incidence of "terrorist" group activities. The executive order signed by Trump imposes a 90-day block on entry to the US from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. This short list was drawn up originally under the Obama administration. An obvious omission is Saudi Arabia. According to Ibn Nr the lack of "warning" was intentional to avoid forewarning terrorist groups so as to prevent any ability to take advantage of the current freer entry regime.
One result of this security-based decision is that many NGOs, which are alleged to be largely funded by George Soros and encouraged by supporters of the Democratic party, have re-branded this as an anti-Islamic act and discriminatory and they have organized widespread demonstrations. This massive protest has all the hallmarks of those organized to undermine several legitimate governments as an extra-constitutional disruptive force. With Trump introducing what he promised to do during his campaign, people are learning to take what he says more seriously. However, this does not justify an orchestrated attempt at regime change.
Briefs from Ibn Nr provided to APE journalists indicate that Trump's move will help disrupt intentions of ISIL to change their tactics in the USA and Europe. Commanders have realized that the "asylum route" is less effective because the authorities pick up a lot of information on individuals and also "returning" citizens who have received training with ISIL are also marked. This is why the follow up to atrocities in Europe very soon identified the perpetrators, meaning they could no longer be active to carry out future attacks. The change in tactics involves individuals traveling to the USA and Europe to set up sleeper cells and then carry out attacks when required. These attacks are likely to be suicide attacks but involving more destructive events like the World Trade Center attacks. In terms of lessons learned for ISIL, these were, after all, the most "successful" attacks in the USA, albeit carried out by another group. Ibn Nr expressed concern, given the existing track record of origins of terrorism worldwide, that Saudi Arabia was not on the list. Ibn Nr based his information on information gleaned from SASI who also provided other options open to ISIL but Ibn Nr would not pass this on to journalists. The vetting procedures need to be well designed and should not just concentrate on "asylum seekers" but on all who have visited the listed countries as well as newcomers who can masquerade as businessmen or students.
The most sure footed way to secure the USA is to scale back and end the wars by concentrating on the elimination of ISIL but to also take action to also reduce the Saudi Arabian missions to spread the religious fervour that gives rise to extremism. According to EO-APE, this mission is very actively pursued in Europe and the Balkans, often based on bribery to encourage poor Moslems to transfer to stricter less tolerant practice (Wahabi) and to reject the ways of the non-Islamic societies within which they live, stoking up trouble in the future.
Many have expressed the opinion that the current block contravenes the Geneva Convention on Refugees but the current circumstances are unique given the asymetrical nature of the conflict and very different motivation and means, including suicide actions.
How Britain can negotiate bilateral trade deals to it's advantage before leaving the EU
APE journalist's briefing sessions were provided during the weekend of 22nd-23rd January, 2016 in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Some of the initial results of the APE-sponsored study series entitled "Costs & Benefits of the UK leaving the European Union" were presented.
The main message was that the EU negotiators feel that because of existing EU Law, Britain cannot negotiate bi-lateral trade deals with third countries. EU negotiators feel that this provides them with a negotiation advantage so as to reduce the degrees of freedom during the 2 years following the actioning of Article 50 for Britain to explore and identify clear options. However, it is clearly evident that no such negotiating advantage exists for the EU. Paradoxically this is because by adopting a typical EU-type collaborative basis whereby, private companies organise themselves into consortia, then they can initiate bilateral trade deals with the equivalent economic sector consortia in the non-EU countries.
The only additional requirement for this to work is a legislative and political committee, made up of constitutionalists, economists, trade unions and representatives from the main political parties who can provide feedback on what they consider to be acceptable arrangements as a basis for coming close to "legislation-ready" policies covering trade, so the delays can be minimised. Many consortia agreements, subject to the same vetting process, and involving deals between private groups could go ahead well before the completion of the 2 year negotiation period, when deemed to be mutually beneficial.
A considerable amount of the confusion on the EU side relates to the imposition of a regulation-centric approach which prevents any such freedom. It is the imposition of this regulation-centric approach that gave rise to BREXIT and is giving rise to widespread discontent in Romania and lack of enlargement oversight in the agricultural sector policy projects funded by the EU. The emerging picture is one of declining sector real incomes and stagnating productivity associated with political party corruption related to agricultural sector funding in the Balkans and specifically in countries such as FYR Macedonia.
Theresa May does the right thing....
As we appealed for Theresa May to do last week, she has now done. As we explained in our article "May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values", we can say she has now done this. With this she has provided a "recognizable and trusted foundation" for BREXIT. The liberating aspect is that she appealed in a very English coded constitutional format to a very British perspective on governance. This has confused many continental observers and, of course, attracted criticism from "opposition".
However, most in the UK sensed something very comforting and recognizable as shared values in her words which were an example of "speaking truth to power". This, of course, is completely against the evolving trends in the outlook and survival instincts of most European technocrats; they hate this approach to the logic of constitution. This is because it raises the considerations of people's fundamental rights to the terrain inhabited by decision-makers, a concept that has virtually disappeared as a result of the relentless advance of the European Union's democratic deficit.
Most attendees at the PM's presentation could be broken down into three groups. EU Member State representatives were somewhat nonplussed after all the UK PM was addressing the mighty EU, "What was she up to?". Non-EU attendees were intrigued to various extents and the most positive response came form the representatives from the Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth comprises 52 countries, across all continents and has a combined population of 2.3 billion people, almost a third of the world population covering about 21% of the world's surface area. So it is important that they seemed to welcome May's approach.
Typical of some journalists, some only reported on the "fact" that she "threatened" the EU by suggesting she might reduce corporate tax rates to attract foreign investment. Her mention of this issue arose in the light of many quite vindictive statements made by some EU Member State leaders who wish to punish the UK for leaving. This is an increasingly Continental approach to "negotiations". May simply stated that whereas the UK will negotiate in a positive manner, seeking to secure mutually beneficial outcomes, and this approach is expected from the EU side also. The UK can, and will, take measures to protect itself if is attacked by economic measures emanating from Europe. People need to take into account that economic sanctions are considered by most rational people to be an act of war. Therefore this is a completely reasonable position to take up.
All of this, however, will place a strain on the EU side because they cannot use the viscous pressure exerted on smaller Member States such as Cyprus, Greece and Ireland, who are members of the Euro to force them to do what the Union and Germany want. The UK is free to operate more to it's advantage and this alone will demonstrate more intensely to middle income Member States the significant disadvantages they all face by being members of the Euro zone.
CNN posse hasn't found the rustlers yet
CNN just does not give up.
all saddled up and nowhere to go
No rustlers of the disastrous Hillary Clinton emails have been found outside the Beltway. Your correspondent, having listened to an insider, as opposed to a goon squad operative, over a Dean & DeLuca coffee in Georgetown, is certain that the rustler operated physically within the Beltway and had direct access to the Democratic party "organization" data. Donald Trump's doubts concerning Russian involvement has resulted in Hillary supporters extending the story into a new morph asserting that the "Russians" have collected information that "compromises Donald Trump.
A CNN Posse of white hats was lashed together by Wolf Blitzer, a CNN journalist, consisting of three individuals kicking around a dead sheep story, apparently sourced from an unnamed ex-employee of British MI5 with "contacts". The story alleges that Trump and others were confidentially briefed by US intelligence chiefs that Russia had collected compromising information on Trump and various of his associates in relation to their contacts and relations with people in Russia. This seems to be a possible attempt to undermine Trump's confidence in the possibilities of improving USA-Russian relations.
CNN has a poor understanding of cross-border news and this is why its following is declining. The CNN is quite willing to openly pursue a crude approach that assumes that if something is repeated often enough and a lot of sheep entrails and excreta are thrown, then maybe, in the end, something will stick. At least some of the public will have fallen for it. However, this dead sheep, and all of the others so far identified, are gradually rotting and the stench is really bad. It would be good if CNN help the image of the USA an help inspire people by lassoing some stories that are more of a positive reflection on the American democratic system. They need to demonstrate a standard of journalism that justifies its inclusion as the only economic activity mentioned in the American Constitution. There is a need to address useful issues that are, at least, evidence-based.
An embarrassing, unintelligent report
The Director of National Intelligence has released a highly embarrassing report entitled,"Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."
This report is embarrassing because it is such an amateur cut and paste job with little input from professional intelligence analysts and containing basic errors in facts, out-of-date information and other details pointing to a product of a seriously uninformed team. It is even worse that the "dodgy dossier" signed by Tony Blair in the run up to the Iraq war which he attempted to pass off as an intelligence assessment. These reports are highly politicized and products of the post-truth and "fake-fact" environment that permeated the Westminster filter bubble under Blair then and that pervades today's Beltway.
For an "intelligence briefing" dealing with such serious accusations, the range of levels of certainty of conclusions in the document are unacceptable for any responsible decision-maker. The assessment contained in the unclassified report is stated to be supported with "high confidence" by the CIA and FBI and by NSA with moderate confidence. At the back of the document three levels of confidence are defined with the high confidence, this being the highest level, signifying that "High confidence in a judgement does not imply that the assessment is a fact or certainty; such judgements might be wrong". This definition which, in reality, is a disclaimer, and is simply not serious for the field of cyber crime.
It also provides no justification for the deportation of 35 Russian diplomatic staff from the USA.
Rather than provide anything convincing concerning Russia's attempt to influence the US election, the document provides a considerable amount of irrelevant information on the Russia Today (RT) channel.
For those interested in understanding the rise of cross-border news of which RT is a world leader, it is worth reading the independent report produced by PwC UK (Pricewaterhouse Coopers UK plc) entitled The rise of cross-border news. Margarita Simonyan, Editor in Chief of RT explains the reason for this independent report as, "We wanted to understand the motivation of viewers and readers of cross-border news - and we believed this understanding would help all providers of global news deliver a service that meet users' needs".
Also, in order to clear up the misinformation concerning RT propaganda see the internal APE Brief RT_20160520. Our APE General Editorial Advice is that little or no additional resources should be allocated to this non-story.
The Voice returns with Tom Jones & will.i.am
The Voice Programme has transferred from BBC to ITV and its talent contest will make its debut on Saturday night (7th January, 2017). Tom Jones will return as a judge together with will.i.am and there will be two new judges, the Oscar and Bafta-winning singer Jennifer Hudson and singer Gavin Rossdale, as well as will.i.am who moved with the show from the BBC.
Tom Jones was unceremoniously sacked from the BBC Voice with no explanation or notice and the ratings of the programme immediately fell. The British public did not approve of this cavalier and disgraceful action by the BBC.
It is expected that with his return the new Voice will do well. will.i.am commented that a change in record label from Universal to Polydor should contribute to the contest producing some stars but the choice of song is really important in achieving this.
British media exaggerating significance of EU Rep resignation
Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK government's representative to the European Union, has resigned earlier than expected to make room for someone to manage the Article 50 negotiations for BREXIT. UK Media have taken the opportunity to label this as a rift and a problem for the UK government; it really isn't. If Sir Ivan intended his email sent to staff as a criticism of government, then he should not remain in any case, since some dedication to UK interests is required.
On the other hand, the volumes of reports and documents spewed out by Berlaymont on EU progress tend to be very misleading and uninformative, patching over the many inefficiencies and cock-ups that exist in the implementation of European Commission funded activities.
Like any large political organizations the EU peps up its operational image on the basis of internal propaganda that staff seems to believe. Therefore the notion that the EU and the Commission has more professional negotiators, leaving the UK at a disadvantage, is not a wholly correct representation of the required dynamics under Article 50. The Commission and Council have a well known highly structured crystalline structure that they wish to maintain and its weaknesses are also well known. The UK has a specific global mission and not one to be constrained by the EU in economic terms and definitely not by political considerations. The EU staff have little experience in operating where flexibility is required simply because political constraints do not allow them to be flexible, their degrees of freedom are limited. Concerning the significance of the UK market for many European Union Member State economic sectors, the UK has far more bargaining power and an ability to introduce needed adjustments than is generally admitted.
Washington Post trips up again for peddling fake news
In the third wire in the Botequim column on the right, we explained why a statement of the Washington Post was not true in the post entitled: "Vermont Electricity facility Russian hack - nothing of the kind."
This sort of third rate sensationalist journalism is tiresome and dishonest or just plain sloppy. No wonder less and less people trust such mainstream media. The Washington Post has now withdrawn their assertions concerning Russian involvement.May needs to base Britain's future on constitutional values
The technocratic and exceptionally boring vacuous discussions surrounding the state of negotiations to leave the disunion, that is Europe, need to be substituted by a British-built beacon of hope which can never be found in the European Union.
Europe has lost any notion of leadership in the best sense of the word as being the ability to inspire a population to demand of their government a responsive attitude to the needs of all and thereby creating a constructive non-ending dialogue with the people. A dialogue that is founded on values that include, above all, consideration for others and mutual respect.
The European democratic deficit was identified by Romano Prodi in 2000 and little has changed. The main change has been more Member States round the table and no leadership and a general loss of national sovereignties. We are now in approaching the end of 2016 and things are worse. This endemic failure continues as a range of elitist politicians and confused technocrats have been unable to address this important issue. All of this talk about "European Values" means very little in practice when the Union does not pretend to uphold basic democratic principles nor does it practice them. It is unable to demonstrate an independent and more rational foreign policy other than to follow the aggressive policies of the US State department in continuing wars of aggression that created the European immigration crisis. There is no union of approach to the immigration crisis. The Euro zone stagnates at differential rates that increase as one moves towards southern Europe. People's freedoms are being eroded by an increasingly dysfunctional "political union".
All of this has led to social and economic decline and an emergence of a sustained disruption of the political process with new parties challenging the mainstream. In pre-accession countries political parties can be seen to corrupting the very processes that are supposed to enhance democracy, human rights and economic development. The European Commission, compromised by its mantra of, "an ever closer union" now faces a trade off between corrupt regimes and EAU enlargement. Enlargement no longer has any coherent sense other than being something that will only increase the democratic deficit. Those who pay the price of this chaos are the people of Europe and pre-accession countries. Since after the Lisbon Treaty, the UK has almost no say in the direction that the Union will take and the balance of power within the EU shows no serious desire or capability to resolve these destabilizing factors, then Theresa May has no option other than to push towards a constructive dialogue on BREXIT that emphasizes the need to return to British constitutional values. Whether those in Europe understand this message is not particularly relevant when most of the British population will understand this; this is what counts.
Macedonia, a reason why more countries need to consider leaving the EUThe state of the European Union is unsatisfactory. The European Union and the Commission, face a crisis of constituent confidence in the apparent inability to manage European affairs. As if things were not already bad enough, with so many unresolved issues on the table, another critical iceberg has loomed out of the fog of the recent Macedonian election. The immediate result of the Macedonian election appears to be resolvable but it is associated with something that threatens the EU Titanic. Many were puzzled by the fact that a political party, that an EU Commission mediator stated, runs a regime of fear and intimidation, could win a majority under the noses of international election monitors. The hidden weapon used by the ruling party has been a careful development of a corrupt agricultural policy that influences the rural vote to its advantage.
In spite of regular EU Commission Progress reporting on Macedonia, the government has managed to drag its feet on the introduction of crucial agricultural sector operational requirements under it's EU pre-accession agreement. It has achieved this, apparently, by slowly implementing required information management systems but failing to make them operational in the intended way to support policy. This development, over the last five years, has served to expose significant failures in the quality of the technical oversight functions exercised by the European Commission in their management of important pre-accessions obligations. A complication is that the main vehicle for agricultural development funding is IPARD (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance in Rural Development) and this has a devolved basis for management which only facilitates political interference because the checks and balances remain in the hands of government institutions within which VMRO-DPMNE elements are free to intimidate to secure what they want.
Why is this being wasted on political corruption in Macedonia?
Articles in the media such as Emancipation and European Options allege that apparatchiks from the VMRO-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE) intimidate ministry staff to maintain an agricultural policy that fails to improve productivity and favours produce processors. As a result farmer incomes are squeezed making them vulnerable to bribes or intimidation when it comes to voting. Those employed by processing companies are said to be under a similar pressure. The system is also alleged to gives money to party "supporters" who feed back funds to the party. An investigative journalist who recently published an article in European Options on this topic is collecting further information, largely from local agricultural experts and farmers. Many feel that VMRO-DPMNE's self-serving tactics have debased agricultural policy and are ruining the future economic and social prospects of the sector and country.
There has also been a de facto tactic of marginalizing EU consultants who point out policy problems or who attempt to introduce fully what they have been contracted to do. This unacceptable practice is hidden because some of the companies contracted to undertake work funded by the EU do not consider it to be their ethical and professional obligation to uphold the quality of the work they are contracted to deliver. They take the expedient route of defending their "bottom line" by following the instructions of VMRO-DPMNE operatives and making such consultants including project managers, expendable. As this evidence begins to pile up, Nikola Gruevski, the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, has stated that his party was withdrawing from the format of party meetings between the four strongest parties being mediated by foreign representatives or ambassadors, under the "Przino agreement", which was used in the last two years of the political crisis. Gruevski is now stating that some ambassadors have interfered too much in Macedonia's internal affairs. He said that this has to end and he is demanding that ambassadors stay within the frameworks of their diplomatic mandates. The editorial of Real News agree with this and it is evident that there is a need for the Ambassador for the European Union, Mr. Samuel Žbogar, to request an investigation into the use of EU funds in the agricultural sector, to ascertain whether these should continue to be available to Macedonia; this is within his mandate.
UK leads European growth in people power bases
Real News reported earlier this year that the British labour party had become the largest socialist party in Europe since Jeremy Corbyn had been elected as leader. In a Blairite attempt to remove him, another leadership election was imposed on the party and Jeremy Corbyn was returned as leader with the largest majority ever obtained in the history of the party.
Corbyn is a strong proponent of people power and listening to what the costituents want and need. However, the UK "mainstream" media continue to wallow in their parochial filter bubbles casting doubt on the ability of Jeremy Corbyn to win a general election. Last time we reported on the Labour party membership it stood at around 500,000; it has since increased by 140,000 to 640,000 (almost 30% within 6 months). It just keeps on growing, especially amongst the young and increasingly, well-informed so-called "middle class" voters.
Unlike the post-truth and fake news shambles that characterises the mainstream media and the chattering classes centred in London, Corbyn has been giving some comprehensive speeches which are convincing. A common criticism is "where is the detail?", but many of the more attractive innovations introduced by the failed Chancellor George Orborne and even lately by Chancellor Philip Hammond, were filched from the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn is more careful. The conventional national media try to ignore these messages and the foreign media even more so. This is a major oversight of foreign media in ignoring the development and platform of the largest political party in Europe. Fortunately some alternative media such as APE have picked up on the key content and this is convicing more people that Labour has something to offer. This advance has been helped by the current confusion in the Conservative government concerning BREXIT.
Our correspondent in London informs us that although the media ignore Corbyn and the Government ministers talk in terms of their being "no opposition", the growth in people power under the Labour parrty and which effectively keeps Corbyn in an unassailable position, is giving rise for concern; some have become convinced that if there were a snap election, Labour would win. Clinton's Useful Idiots
It is a bad day when a "respected" media is shown to be involved in post-truth sensationalism and fake news. This appears to be the case of the Washinton Post.
The Washington Post has issued an editor’s note that admitted its reliance on the information on the PropOrNot website. This site claims to be supported by nonpartisan experts on “Russian propaganda” but is becoming increasingly evident that the information provided is largely made up. The Post had claimed that Russia was running an increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign that was influencing the US presidential election and made reference to their sources as being PropOrNot describing this website as being supported by independent researchers who determined that Russian state media, RT and Sputnik News produce biased articles designed to punish Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump as well as contributing to the undermining of faith in American democracy.
As is common of poor and irresponsible journalism the Post and PropOrNot provided no evidence in support of their assertions.
PropOrNot has listed numerous organizations as allies yet social media carry numerous statements from these allies stating that they have nothing to do with the group and had never even heard of it before the Post published its story. Journalist Glenn Greenwald noted that [PropOrNot]," ....this group of ostensible experts far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters.”
In conclusion the source of misleading libelous propaganda that has been slandering President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Party through association with non-existent manipulations by Russia and various private media, who cover Russian affairs, has been, and remains, this mediocre website PropOrNot and the Post has willingly acted as a distributor of the resulting fake news based on a post-truth strategy.
Putin's Useful Idiots
An American NGO called the Henry Jackson Society, has just published a document by an Andrew Foxall of the so-called Russia Studies Centre. This document is entitled, "Putin's Useful Idiots: Britain's Left, Right and Russia"
, demonstrates a lamentable misunderstanding of Russia's policy with repect to so-called left and right movements worldwide. There is no depth to this document with most references being all very recent, most dated 2016 and one or two 1990s vintage. In fact the analysis is plain wrong and reflects perhaps the writer's age and lack of experience with the fundamentals of Russian motivations going back beyond the initiation of World War II. The writer has simply bought into the recent Clintonesque and John Kerry State Department-driven paranoia about Putin. The personalisation of this document, centred on Putin, is typical of the brand of knee jerk journalism that is the US mainstream media today. This cannot be considered to be a serious researched document reflecting the current motivations of Putin.
Any amateur student of history knows that Russia has a well-established habit, like the USA, of funding sympathetic political movements. In fact the USA dedicates somthing like 500 times more funding to foreign political movements and NGOs than does Russia. Indeed, Russia learned some of these techniques from the USA. It is notable that although there is ample evidence of USA funding of foreign political activity as well as regime change supported by bloody wars, the Clinton campaign and security agencies in the USA could not come up with any evidence for Russian interference in the recent US election. Of course even the FBI was accused of acting on behalf of Russia. There is by contrast excessive amounts of evidence concerning USA interference in foreign elections as well as support of the so-called right in Ukraine as well as terrorist groups in the Middle East and of strong political support for Saudi Arabia in spite of evidence of their involvement
in the murderous events of 9-11 in downtown New York. One cannot equate this behaviour with anything to do with freedom, democracy and the rule of law but the author of this document does not want to be bothered with such details but simply wants to deliver on attacking Putin.
One bizarre recommendation by this individual is a that politicians should be required to register the fact that they will participate in coverage by such media organizations as RT. This is a MacCarthyism excess. RT receives funding from the Russian government in the same way as Voice of America in the USA or BBC in the UK. Most US mainstream media are essentially stenographers for
US government output, especially in the case of foreign affairs and State Department output so that on these stations it is difficult to get alternative point of view across. A self-imposed or funded censorship creates enormous bias in news coverage, indeed, the experience of Bernie Sanders during the primaries, provides ample evidence of this. RT has a range of programmes that are managed by people who would not accept any editorial orientation from RT. For example Larry King and his program "Politicking", Ameera David's "Boom Bust" and Afshin Rattansi's "Going Underground"". These are all programs that provide a rational and alternative view of opinions and all off them grill interviewees from any side.
Finally, to highlight where this document goes wrong, like the USA, Russia provides "support" to people whose ideas are potentially against the interests of the country. Such people, mainly on the right, are seduced into misunderstading of provision of platforms, and even funding, signifies support for their basic philosophies; it doesn't, and never has done. It is largely designed to raise their profile and expose them so as to line up domestic opinion against them. This succeeded in the case of the National Front and most other ultra right wing UK parties to the benefit of the UK population.
In disagreement with Stalin, Leon Trotsky pointed out the danger of the right (Fascists) and Stalin made him pay the ultimate price. However, the lesson arising from the Nazi fiasco caused Russia to finally understand Trotsky's analysis at a great human cost. The recent Ukraine events saw the US State Department support of neofascist paramilitary units. There were calls for NATO expansion into Ukraine. NATO, however, had demonstrated its willingness to alter its etablished defensive role willy nilly to pursue a proactive regime change in Libya, under the guise of an innocent "no flight zone". This created a significant change in the perception of the stablity of NATO as a reliable adversary alliance both within the UK as well as in Russia. The evidence is there for all to see that NATO's intervention resulted in chaos and the spread of ISIS and a major European immigration crisis which Muammar Gaddafi had predicted and had prevented. This led, naturally, to the Crimean outcome in light of the important Russian naval base and ethnic make-up of Crimeans, mainly Russian speakers. Ukrainan events at the time was showing TV coverage of Ukrainan neo-fascists clubbing members of Russian ethnic groups to death. This is not to argue that what has occurred is right it is simply to point out that there were good reasons for this move in strategic terms as well as in terms of the security of the population in Crimea. When the West acts in a way that does not demonstrate a consistent strategy there is a problem of predictability resulting in instability. The only way to stop this growing global chaos is to take decisive actions.
In such a world there is a need for balanced rational analyses to identify options for possible soltions. The shallow nature of this journalistic publication devoid of objective analysis with rights reserved by a UK registered charity calls into question why this organization has a charitable status when it is wasting money on such polemic that contributes nothing to the debate.
The deplorables win and the trailer park celebration
Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election of the USA was inevitable but the "powers that were" who have existed in an orgy of mutual status promotion and cronyism within the Beltway and sold as democracy in action by most US media, were the last people to see this coming. This very reality is why Donald Trump won.
He won because people had become increasingly tired of putting up with an in-your-face arrogant corruption of the so-called establishment politicians, their supporters in the corporate world and media and the continued scandals involving the financial world. It is assumed by that "the people" don't "understand" the world's complexities and, in any case, don't have enough power to stop the endless wars promoted by the State Department, the countless number of innocents murdered by the US Coalition's quest to fight terrorism and promote regime change in the Middle East. While politicians looked the other way, people continue to believe that black lives matter, that financial crimes have justified Occupy. Bernie Sanders gave these feelings a focus but people watched as the Democratic machine marginalized Sanders. Wikileaks helped add a perspective on this corruption. A considerable amount of the anger related to the treatment of Sanders, fed into Donald Trump's support.
On the economic side, the disastrous macroeconomic policies followed by the USA, globalization and financialization which resulted in the many in manufacturing and industry seeing their jobs exported to South East Asia and the desperate situation of those referred to by Clinton as "deplorables" or the so-called white trash, crackers, hillbillies, Okies or rednecks has become far worse. An historic fact is that the status of poor whites were held in contempt by even black slaves. During the plantation phase poor whites had to struggle for subsistence.
This long standing prejudice against these people has its origins in the fact that many came from Ireland and Scotland during the period England had been fighting and colonizing these countries. For several reasons poverty and the need to emigrate was imposed on these communities. From that time these people were held in contempt by all of society. Some of the background to this tragic characteristic of the divided society that is the USA can be found in the book by Thomas Sowell entitled, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" (2005). In this book, Sowell, an African American intellectual puts forward a pretty biased analysis of how those from the Celtic fringe of Britain set a bad example for African Americans who emulated them. Sowell uses this biased analysis to explain the bad behaviour of African Americans. This is an example where a basic sociological circumstance can pit on person who is marginalized against someone else who is also marginalized. Politicians can use this type of circumstance to use the blame game to divide society as well as pick up votes from those who are championed by the politician. The mainstream media approach and, indeed, the thinking of many Americans is to brand people by their ethnicity or group such as Latino, African American, Indigenous, Caucasian and others. This is a somewhat demented view of society and allegiances since it leads to strong subjective associations. So some policemen end up with a tendency to murder African Americans in cold blood in minor confrontations, even when the subject is unarmed.
Some people consider Moslems as a problem. Irrespective of this unfortunate decisiveness of depreciating the image of other members of American society, the main point is that Donald Trump's message found resonance with the unemployed and these "white trailer park inhabitants" who, in some cases, have had to endure a multi-generational abuse from government and society. Trump tapped into a rich seam. The thought that the Latino vote or the African American vote would surge and counter Trump's advance was never going to work. Many Latino families and African American families have lost family members in the continuing pointless wars, a legacy of Clinton & Obama. As a result this surge did not happen.
Although it is easy to blame people's economic status on the movement of immigrants to the economic space there is a danger that this becomes a racist issue when in fact it is an issue of poor management of the economy. The Brexit vote in the UK is mired in this sort of nonsense spouted by the media. The issue is that macroeconomic policies have served the rich at the expense of the poor, investment is falling and productivity declining and real unemployment rising. People at the sharp end have simply said, "enough!".
So in a step towards a more open society, the deplorables have won and there will be many trailer park celebrations. This is in fact something to be admired, it is a potential triumph for American democracy that a billionaire businessman has been able to generate such sparks of hope. Let us hope Donald Trump remains uncontaminated by the Beltway madness and is able to deliver on his promises.
The world is tired and fed up with a bullying and interfering US State Department that has created failed states under Clinton and John Kerry
America and the world should be grateful that the paranoid warmongers and scaremongers lost the election
The conjouring up and the full exposure of a ridiculous paranoid scare mongering based on no evidence at all, other than assertion, exposed a pathological tendency of Clinton to base her campaign on misrepresentation. Her absurd claims that Russia was somehow implicated in trying to influence the outcome of the election was,of course, totally bizarre. However her ambition was so intense that she became insensitive and blinded to the fact that this line simply became increasingly absurd and people began to see through it. She did of course have pliant surrogates in some "security" institutions to state that hacks (if there were any) were of the sort that Russia might apply. On the other hand CNN and other mainstream media sold this story hook, line and sinker again on the basis of no evidence. The hacks according to Ibn Nr were in likely to be home grown leaks or hacks and this is why the security agencies were trying to deflect their inability to protect US cyberspace from its own hackers by blaming Russia.
However, all of these smoke screens by the Clinton campaign were unable to deflect attention from her track record of a willingness to advocate aggression. Her shameful and tasteless reference to the murder of Kaddafi as, “We Came, We Saw, He Died, Ha! Ha! Ha!” (CBSNews) exposed her shamelessly sadistic side. But even worse, her admission in an email that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding ISIS while later accepting money for the Clinton Foundation from these same countries while ISIS continues to target US military personnel and European citizens, to murder Christians, to rape their wives or sell them into sex slavery and to lop off the heads of people who don't "behave" while continuing to spread to more countries. She is completely unsuitable to be president of the country where New York suffered from 9-11 which, it turns out, was conjured up and supported by elements of the Saudi government. It isn't necessary to say much more here but it is very clear that we should all be very grateful that she did not win for the sake of the lives of those innocent people with a right to life who would have perished in far off lands in the name of America if she had become president.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
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.
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.