Stench of hypocrisy: British ‘war on terror’ & strategic ties with radical Islam – By John Wight (RT)

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
 
Stench of hypocrisy: British 'war on terror' & strategic ties with radical Islam
Britain’s strategic relationship with radical Islam goes back decades and continues to this day.

There is no more foul a stench than the stench of hypocrisy, and there is no more foul a hypocrisy than the British government painting Bashar al-Assad as a monster when in truth he and the Syrian people have been grappling with a twin-headed monster in the shape of Salafi-jihadi terror and Western imperialism. Both are committed to destroying Syria as an independent, non-sectarian state, and both are inextricably linked.

Author and journalist Mark Curtis charts in detail the contours of this history in his book ‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam’:

British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain’s imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world.

As far back as the First World War, when the Middle East began to assume strategic importance in the capitals of Western imperial and colonial powers, the British ruling class went out of its way to identify and recruit loyal local proxies in pursuit of its regional objectives. Britain’s relationship with the Arab tribal chief, Ibn Saud, who would go on to establish Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s, began in 1915 with the Darin Pact, demarcating the territory then controlled by Saud as a British protectorate.

The following year, the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans erupted. Begun and inspired by Saud’s fierce rival, Sharif Hussein, head of the Hashemite Arab tribe, the revolt was heavily bankrolled and supported by the British – a period immortalized in the exploits of British military agent T E Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia.

But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as “bloodthirsty” and “intolerant.” Regardless, when it came to its imperial interests there was no tiger upon whose back the British ruling class was not willing to ride during this period, and which, as events have proved, it has not been willing to ride since.

The most egregious example of this policy, one that continues to have ramifications today, was the support provided by the UK to the Afghan mujahideen in the late 1970s and 1980s. The insurgency’s objective was the overthrow of Kabul’s secular and left-leaning government, whose crime in the eyes of the Islamist insurgency’s US and UK sponsors was that it had embraced the social and economic model of Moscow rather than Washington during the first Cold War. 

British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled ‘holy warriors’ in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty.

Mark Curtis again:

Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets.

While Washington’s primary role in channeling military and financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, known as Operation Cyclone, may until have succeeded in overshadowing London’s role in this dirty war, declassified British government cabinet papers which were made public in 2010 and reported in the UK media make grim reading.

They reveal that three weeks after Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government in Kabul, struggling to deal with an insurgency that had broken out in the countryside, the Thatcher government was planning to supply military aid to the “Islamic resistance.” A confidential government memo provides a chilling insight into the insanity that passed for official policy: “We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed.

It will be recalled that out of the ensuing collapse of Afghanistan emerged the Taliban, under whose rule the country was turned into a vast militant jihadist school and training camp. Many of the most notorious Islamist terrorists began their careers there, fighting the Soviets and then later broadening out their activities to other parts of the region and wider world. In this regard, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda loom large.

Other notorious names from the world of Salafi-jihadism for whom Afghanistan proved indispensable include the Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the US-UK occupation, an organization that would over time morph into ISIS.

Abdelhakim Belhaj and other Libyan Islamists cut their jihadist teeth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Returning to Libya, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the eastern city of Benghazi. Though the group may have been disbanded in 2010, having failed to topple Gaddafi despite repeated attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader with, it’s been claimed, the support of Britain’s MI6, former members of the LIFG, including Belhaj, were important actors in the 2011 Libyan uprising.

By way of a reminder, the uprising in Libya started in Benghazi and would not have succeeded without the air support it received from NATO. Britain’s then prime minister, David Cameron, was key in pushing for that air support and the sanction of the UN under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1973. Though protecting civilians was central in wording of this UNSC resolution, it was shamefully distorted to justify regime change, culminating in Gaddafi’s murder by the ‘rebels.’

Staying with the LIFG, in the wake of the Manchester suicide-bomb attack in May 2017, which left 23 people dead and 500 injured, the fact that the bomber, a young Libyan by the name of Salman Abedi, was the son of a former member of the LIFG, did not receive anything like the media attention it should have at the time.

Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter.

This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless.

Emblematic of the former was ex-prime minister David Cameron’s claim, which he made during a 2015 Commons debate over whether the Royal Air Force should engage in air strikes against ISIS in Syria, that fighting as part of the Syrian were 70,000 moderates.

As for the recklessness of Britain’s actions in Syria, look no further than the country’s recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam.

The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district’s liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support.

Given the deep and longstanding ties between London and Riyadh; given the fact, reported towards the end of 2017, that British military personnel were embedded in a training role with Saudi forces in Yemen; given the news that a British special forces sergeant was killed in northern Syria at the end of March this year while embedded with the Kurds, revealing for the first time that British troops were operating in the country on the ground – given all that, the question of who else British special forces and military personnel may be embedded with in Syria is legitimate.

In the context of the British state’s long and sordid history when it comes to riding the back of radical Islam in pursuit of its strategic objectives, readers will doubtless draw their own conclusions.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

How Fake News Becomes Fake History: British Propaganda and World War 1 – By Corey Schink (Sott.net)

A British flag flies near the United Kingdom's embassy in Moscow.

© David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters
A British flag flies near the United Kingdom’s embassy in Moscow.

While it took a while to pick up steam, the Skripal Salisbury poisoning incident has lately dominated Western media headlines. Daily we are treated to the smug and self-righteous faces who, in one breath, compare Putin to Hitler, Stalin, and Czar Nicholas II, before proceeding to compare Russia to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire simultaneously. This would surely be the height of all evil, assuming it were true!

And of course we are supposed to assume it is true because this latest fake news is built on an edifice of an entire history of fake news. Simon Tisdall recently wrote in one of the largest purveyors of fake news, The Guardian:

It has taken a long time for western politicians to recognise the extent and depth of the threat represented by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Some in the Labour party still don’t. It is also plain, as Theresa May embarks on an open-ended confrontation with Moscow, that the dispute provoked by the Salisbury outrage could take years to resolve.

Cold or hot, overt or covert, this is going to be a long war – and Britain will need all its friends and allies if it is to prevail against a ruthless opponent. Whether sincere, sufficient and timely support will be forthcoming is in serious doubt.

The ‘war’ has been declared – and to dissent is to be a traitor, not so much to one’s country but to amorphous ‘Western values’. Tisdall continues:

Justified perceptions of Western weakness, ambivalence and division have since encouraged Putin in a pattern of escalating, aggressive behaviour. Its main features include wars in Georgia and Ukraine, cyber-attacks against Nato countries, election meddling and destabilisation operations, and the bloody Syrian intervention.

Putin was further emboldened by his domestic dominance, achieved through manipulation of elections, the rustication of the Duma into a rubber-stamp parliament, and the elimination, by various means, of leading opponents, critics and free media. Boris Nemtsov, a liberal reformer killed in 2015, and Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist murdered in 2006, are but two names on a long list that could ultimately include Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Unsubstantiated claims apparently add up to substantial threats which warrant immediate action. To paraphrase Franz Kafka, “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary – thus lying turns into a universal principle.” I would only add that believing in lies turns people’s brains to mush, rendering them easily exploited by the liars.

So we watch again as many Western governments expel large numbers of Russian diplomats with absolute disregard for international law and norms. Donald Trump, the man who promised to mend relations with Russia has succumbed to the ‘swamp’ that he set out to drain. We can hope that he has now, at least, discovered how naive he was to believe he could actually do it.

While uniquely shrill and apparently novel, the anti-Russia hysteria in recent years – culminating recently with the Skripal incident and ‘Russiagate’ – has a long historical precedent and, over the course of at least the last couple of centuries, has been used primarily for one thing: war. War distracts the people from apparently insoluble social and political issues, and it presents major opportunities for enrichment to those positioned for it. But it takes two to tango, and ‘the East’ has learned that there will be no war if they don’t show up. While ‘the West’ continues to play a game of deception, the East has moved on, and we Westerners are – for now at least – left only to war with ourselves.

The central role played by the UK in recent ‘Russian incidents’ echos the central role that country played in historical incidents which led us to this moment today. For over a century now, the role of the British elite in starting World War 1 has been almost completely overlooked. A proper appraisal of that world-changing event, which shaped the rest of the 20th century and our world today, has only recently been undertaken by historians and researchers. Far from being exclusively Germany’s fault, the ‘war to end all wars’ was deliberately brought about by a network of corporate, financial and imperial interests that met in and operated through the seat of the British Empire.

List of Suspects

Alfred Milner

Lord Alfred Milner, British Colonial Secretary, and architect of the Union of South Africa

Britain in the early 1900s underwent a gradual though sustained period of anti-German hystericization which culminated in the outbreak of WW1. Despite relentless media propaganda demonizing Germans and increasing signs that war could break out in Europe, the British public in 1906 voted overwhelmingly for a new Prime Minister, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, a staunch critic of the recent Boer wars and an advocate for a policy of ‘Peace and Retrenchment’ in the increasingly fragile British Empire.

Referred to as “Britain’s first, and only, radical Prime Minister,” in foreign affairs Campbell-Bannerman was neutered by a warmongering elite before he even began his term, and he died in office just two years later. Instead of peace, the British public received a war that produced in a single day the combined military and civilian casualties in all of Europe’s conflicts from the previous 100 years.1 So much for democracy and highfalutin ‘Western values’.

While the British voted resoundingly for a policy of Peace and Retrenchment, powerful forces would stop at nothing to get the war they desired, and the control over the world it afforded them.

Lord Alfred Milner: Despite being born in Germany to mixed British-German parents, Milner’s ethos was formed entirely by an ardent belief in the “superiority of the British race.” An Oxford-educated imperialist, Milner began as a journalist at the Pall Mall Gazette before joining, together with fellow journalist William Stead, a secret society set up by the influential oligarch and colonialist Cecil Rhodes. By the time WW1 broke out, this sinister organization was entirely Milner’s, and went by the name ‘Round Table Group’, or ‘Milner’s Kindergarten’, influencing British, and thus global, foreign policy from the shadows. It was, in essence, the precursor to today’s ‘Deep State’.

Milner served as Rhodes’ ‘clean-up man’ following the disastrous attempt to provoke an uprising among British expatriates in the Transvaal colony of southern Africa. Soon after Milner was rewarded with the office of High Commissioner for Southern Africa in 1897. From that post Milner would wage a campaign of deception to initiate the second Boer war, overseeing the highly controversial use of concentration camps to humiliate and punish the citizenry. These camps and other brutal methods used in the Boer wars would shock both the British public and the armed forces. Under Milner’s rule, 28,000 of the 115,000 people put into camps died, nearly 22,000 of them children. On this Milner wrote,

“The theory that, all the weakly children being dead, the rate would fall off is not so far borne out by the facts. The strong ones must be dying now and they will all be dead by the spring of 1903.”

Perhaps no one exemplified the British Elite’s attitude better than Milner. But for all his barbarism, he was very successful. Having secured British territories in the ‘Scramble for Africa’, Milner carefully manipulated the cabinet of the newly elected Henry Campbell-Bannerman, ensuring that his pro-imperialist forces were well-represented within. Succeeding in the dark arts of imperialism, Milner turned down lucrative offers to work for JP Morgan and instead returned to London in 1905 to pursue a much larger project: conquering the globe.2

Sir Edward Grey was appointed Foreign Minister in Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s cabinet on the insistence of King Edward. One of Milner’s inside men, he ensured that British foreign policy was pointed towards war preparations, and was party to a secret military alliance with France in 1904. This secret agreement between five ministers – Asquith, Haldane, Grey, Churchill and Lloyd George – promised military ‘reciprocities’ to the French in the event of war.

Grey stated categorically that there had been no ‘secret agreement’ to come to France’s aid in case of attack:

“First of all let me try to put an end to some of the suspicions with regard to secrecy — suspicions with which it seems to me some people are torturing themselves, and certainly worrying others. We have laid before the House the Secret Articles of the Agreement with France of 1904. There are no other secret engagements. The late Government made that agreement in 1904. They kept those articles secret and I think to everybody the reason will be obvious why they did so. It would have been invidious to make those articles public. In my opinion they were entirely justified in keeping those articles secret because they were not articles which commit this House to serious obligations.3

But, as Sir Bertrand Russell noted at the time, “I had noticed during previous years how carefully Sir Edward Grey lied in order to prevent the public from knowing the methods by which he was committing us to the support of France in the event of war.4

King Edward VII: Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, became King Edward VII upon taking the throne in 1901. In the following years he busied himself with diplomatic meetings to arrange secret agreements that effectively encircled Germany and made the German military paranoid. He

raymond poincare

drove a wedge between Germany and the Italian monarch, and conducted diplomacy with nearly all of Germany’s neighbors. When Germany mobilized her forces, she was unwittingly springing the trap set for her by Edward and the secret elite.

Raymond Poincaré: A French statesman, three-time Prime Minister and President in 1913, Poincare exemplified the hysterical anti-German hatred of the French elite. France, which lost the territory of Alsace-Lorraine to Prussia after Napoleon III foolishly went to war with an insufficient army to win it, was prepared to do whatever it took to win it back and check Germany’s rise. As Poincare would announce in an address to university students,

“In my years at school, my thought, bowed before the spectre of defeat, dwelt ceaselessly upon the frontier which the Treaty of Frankfurt had imposed upon us, and when I descended from my metaphysical clouds, I could discover no other reason why my generation should go on living except for the hope of recovering our lost provinces.”

Richard Burdon Haldane: Haldane was one of Milner’s closest confidants, and would become the Secretary of State for War in 1905, instituting a massive military revolution in the organisation of the British Army. He set up the Territorial Army, the Office Training Corps, and the Special Reserve, and spearhead a pro-French military policy in opposition to many who had served under a pro-Belgian policy for decades.

Théophile Delcassé: A French foreign minister with a rabid hatred of Germany, Théophile was bent on establishing a military alliance between Britain, France and Russia that would support France’s desire to regain her lost territories. He was forced to resign after he nearly brought his country to the brink of war with Germany in the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905-1906. However, he wormed his way back into power to replace the more cool-headed foreign minister, Gabriel Hanotaux, and then became President of France in 1913.

Horatio Herbert Kitchener

Horatio Herbert Kitchener

Horatio Herbert Kitchener: A general during the Boer wars, Kitchener oversaw the implementation of concentration camp policy in South Africa. He then ran British foreign affairs out of Cairo and designed plans for the division of the Middle East, fanning the flames of rebellion and separatism in the Ottoman Empire. The end result (though not according to his plan) was the rise of the House of Saud and its peculiar brand of Islam that served Anglo-American dominance of the region via the ‘War on Terror’ a century later. David Fromkin noted in A Peace to End All Peace that:

Restoring the caliphate to Arabia, where it and Mohammed were born thirteen centuries before, was Kitchener’s strategy for preparing for the rivalry with Russia which was bound to follow the conclusion of the war against Germany.5

If that was indeed Kitchener’s strategy a century ago, then it is remarkably consistent with current Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s recent statement that Wahhabism was encouraged throughout the 20th century by the anglo-Americans as a means of keeping Russia out of the Middle East.

Kitchener, like all the upper-class aristocrats and oligarchs who engineered WW1, had stunning disdain for ordinary people, his own troops included. At one point early in World War 1, it looked like the Russians were going to pull out and make peace with Germany. This would have been disastrous for the anglo-French forces because Germany could then concentrate its forces on the Western Front.

The secret elite promised Russia that, in exchange for joining Britain’s ‘Triple Entente’, Constantinople – a kind of Orthodox Mecca – would become Russian property in a post-war world. Kitchener conspired with Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, to arrange a suicidal assault on the Dardanelles, which links the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They did this in order to trick Russia into believing that Britain was upholding its end of the bargain, and thus continuing its military engagement with Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire in eastern Europe. This worked, but at the cost of tens of thousands of British, French and Australian lives in a landing invasion the elite knew would not work against formidable Ottoman defences. Furthermore, they never had any intention of ceding Constantinople to Russia.

Lord Horatio Kitchener

The iconic, much-imitated 1914 Lord Kitchener Wants You poster

Kitchener’s death-dealing career hit its highest point when he was appointed Secretary of State for War, but was abruptly ended when his ship was hit by a German u-boat, although there are various other theories about the cause of his death.

This list covers just a few of the conspirators, but enough to paint a rough picture of the individuals who worked tirelessly to engineer a war that would end peace for much of the century – a war that would result in the rise of Hitler, the Soviet Union, an apartheid Israeli state, and the spread of Radical Islamic Terrorism. The following is the general strategy they followed.

Seeking the War Trigger

Scottish researchers Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor conducted an exhaustive study of the ways in which British officials paved the road to war in their book Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War. I think it’s a must-read for any student of Western history, but my one criticism of their work is that they tend to portray Germany as a victim and thereby cast a shadow over the generalized hysteria – which affected everyone, Russia included – and poor thinking that the German military and Kaiser succumbed to – and indeed the war crimes committed by the Germans. Nevertheless, their argument that the British were the primary instigators of the war rests in part on the following cases:

Cracks in the British Empire: At the onset of the war it seemed that every nation except Germany had reason to engage in a global Holocaust. The English had dominated European and world affairs to that point, but the sheer cost of occupying and managing many far-flung colonies was hitting its national coffers hard. Germany’s unification under Bismarck and rapid industrialization, meanwhile, was leading it to overtake the British empire in some key sectors. As F. William Engdahl notes “fear of the emerging German economic challenge towards the end of the 1890s was so extreme among the leading circles of the British establishment, that Britain made a drastic change in its decades-long Continental alliance strategy, in a bold effort to tilt European events back to England’s advantage.”6

This change in strategy saw Britain make geopolitical concessions to both Russia and France while manipulating them into adopting antagonistic positions towards Germany. Having been engaged in ‘the Great Game’ with Russia throughout the 19th century to check Russian expansion and influence in India and Afghanistan, Britain’s sudden alliance with Russia only came about after Japan, armed with British battleships and financed by British and American banks, defeated Russia in its Far East region in 1904-1905. Contained in the east by the rising Japanese, Russia’s gaze inevitably swung westwards to the Balkans and to the Mediterranean Sea access she coveted, and which the British pretended to agree she could have.

French Hysteria: Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon, was as ambitious as his uncle. In a brash attempt to destroy the growing Prussian state, Napoleon III ordered the mobilization of a far inferior French force that was immediately crushed by the Prussian military machine. As a result, France lost Alsace-Lorraine and was humiliated due to the ridiculous actions of a reckless leader.

As a British newspaper, the Sheffield and Rotterdam Independent, noted on October 11, 1870, “France has ever coveted the boundary of 1810. She has wanted power to cross the Rhine at her pleasure, to set up a Rhenish Confederation under her control, and to occupy at her convenience, as the first Napoleon did, the German capitals.”

Dreyfuss Affair

The Dreyfuss Affair: Gabriel Hanotaux, French minister of foreign affairs from 1894 to 1896, was a notable exception in the general trend of increasing hysteria. His efforts, however, could not arrest the slide to war. When Hanotaux sought to develop peaceful relations with Germany, General Albert Dreyfuss was charged with treason for allegedly communicating secrets to German spies. He was later exhonerated and the case remained a symbol of trial-by-propaganda. As Engdahl writes:

Hanotaux intervened into the initial process in 1894, correctly warning that the Dreyfus affair would lead to “a diplomatic rupture with Germany, even war.” Dreyfus was exonerated years later, and it was revealed that Count Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, in the pay of the Rothschild banking family, had manufactured the evidence against Dreyfus. By 1898, Hanotaux was out of office, and succeeded by the malleable anglophile, Theophile Delcassé.7

Fashoda Incident: In 1898 a military incident between Kitchener’s British forces and French forces in Egypt, dubbed the Fashoda Incident, forced the French out of that country and caused an international crisis. The British then exploited the situation to secure a future alliance with France lest she be cornered by Germany and Russia and lose control of her other territories. By 1904 the British had secretly arranged to take complete control of Egypt while giving France control of Morocco, which was in violation of Franco-German treaties.

Fake News

Wilhelm II

Emperor Wilhelm II and an Italian poster from 1915 showing the Kaiser biting into the world

Fake news becomes fake history. Today British war-mongers expect us to believe, without any reasonable proof, that Putin will kill ‘thousands and thousands and thousands’ of Britons without provocation. Similarly, the propaganda mill before and during World War 1 was hard at work convincing the world that Germany was the devil incarnate – and that the coming bloodbath was justified.

Germany was consistently portrayed in the press as an ‘aggressor nation’. This despite the fact that the UK, France, and Russia “spent £657,884,476 on warships in that same decade, while Germany and Austria-Hungary spent £235,897,978. The peacetime strength of the German army was 761,000, while France stood at 794,000 and Russia 1,845,000, yet the claim that militarism had ‘run amok’ in Germany was presented as the given truth.9

While accusing Germany of war-mongering, British preparations for war were so intense that it led senior military officers to claim that war with Germany was inevitable.10 Milner would go on a ‘world tour’ organizing imperial conferences designed to rally support for Britain in the event of war and to “foster imperial cooperation in both defence and communications.”11

In 1896 Lord Nortchliffe created the Daily Mail newspaper which, within years, had reached millions of mostly lower and middle-class readers.12 In 1897 he commissioned the publication of a series titled Under the Iron Heel, which predicted the German Army would soon invade Britain. Northcliffe also commissioned the writing of a fictional account of a German invasion called The Invasion of 1910. The Daily Mail even printed special maps showing where these ‘Huns’ (slang for Germans) would invade. Northcliffe was also a financier of The Poison Bullet, a spy scare novel designed to indulge base anti-German sentiment among the British public.13 He also penned pamphlets predicting inevitable war with Germany.

As J. Lee Thompson writes, “by 1914 Northcliffe controlled roughly 40 percent of the morning, 45 percent of the evening, and 15 percent of the Sunday total newspaper circulations.”14 Thus, by the time of war, British society had been effectively whipped into war-readiness by decades of anti-German propaganda, with pamphlets and literature convincing the public that German spies were around every corner. Today the evening news and the internet have replaced “pamphlets and literature” and Russia has replaced Germany.

In 1909 a bill was rammed through parliament establishing the British secret service – today’s MI5 and MI6 – while another imposed unprecedented police state powers on the country.15

Pulling the Trigger

trench warfare

With Germany diplomatically isolated and secret military preparations and agreements signed by France, Britain, and Russia, the only thing missing was a “catastrophic and catalyzing event” to justify a declaration of war. Just such an event occurred in the Balkans, a region that had been in utter turmoil for some years.

In the build-up to World War 1, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia were at war with each other, divided internally, and in conflict with both the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Bitter ethnic and nationalist sentiment was whipped into a frenzy by successive crises. Anglophile Russian diplomat Alexander Isvolsky agreed (without the Czar’s or the Russian government’s approval) that Russia would support Austria-Hungary’s ‘right’ to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina at a time of its choosing in exhange for Austro-Hungarian support for Russian control over the Dardanelles. As a result, and in violation of international law, on October 6, 1908, the Austria-Hungary announced its annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina immediately provoking outrage from Serbia that saw Bosnia as theirs. This entanglement was the fuse that ignited the first World War when the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb. As Alan Cassels wrote in his Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World, this event “fanned pan-Slavism in the Balkans to a frenzy.”17

When World War I broke out, Isvolsky is reputed to have remarked, “C’est ma guerre!” (“This is my war!”)

On June 28th, 1914 Archduke Ferdinand was shot and killed in Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbs. Determined to hold Serbia accountable, European diplomats indicated to Austria-Hungary that she had every right to do so. Austria-Hungary therefore sent Belgrade a note in which it demanded the following items:

  1. The end to anti-Austrian propaganda in Serbian media and education
  2. The right for Austrian police to investigate the assassination on Serbian soil
  3. Public apologies from the King and the government
  4. The immediate surrender of those responsible

They told Serbia it had 48 hours to comply. Once the note was delivered, and well aware that Serbia could not possibly comply, the previously supportive Russian, British, and French governments now expressed outrage at Austria-Hungary.

Serbia, emboldened by Entente’s display of indignation, refused to comply.18 In return, Austria-Hungary turned to Germany for support in military action, and Germany agreed. Until the 11th hour however, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm tried in vain to convince his cousin Nicholas II of Russia not to mobilize Russia’s forces. Germany thus gave Austria-Hungary the historical ‘blank check’ that has been cited ever since as proof of German war guilt.

French President Poincare visited St. Petersburg and guaranteed Russia that “France would not only give Russia strong diplomatic support, but would, if necessary, fulfill all the obligations imposed on her by the alliance.”20 A summary of his visit was sent to Edward Grey at the Foreign Office and, from July 25th onward, Grey made overtures about solving the crisis while Russia and France began mobilizing their armies. Four days later, Britain began mobilizing her own fleet.

On July 29th Czar Nicholas II officially ordered Russian mobilization. But then he received a telegram from the Kaiser:

My ambassador is instructed to draw the attention of your government to the dangers and serious consequences of a mobilisation. If, as appears from your communication and that of your Government, Russia is mobilising against Austria-Hungary …The whole burden of decision now rests upon your shoulders, the responsibility for peace or war.

Nicholas backed down.

But then, on July 30th, Russian foreign minister (and anglophile) Sergei Sazanov spent hours convincing Nicholas II of German treachery, urging him to reorder the mobilization of the armed forces. The Czar was deeply troubled with the weight of the decision, but in the end he capitulated to pressure and the Russian war machine lurched forward:

Nicholas II was still understandably hesitant; according to the French ambassador, “The Czar was deadly pale and replied in a choking voice: ‘Just think of the responsibility you are advising me to assume! Remember, it is a question of sending thousands and thousands of men to their death.'”

Germany was the last country to announce militarization. The key to Britain’s war plan was that Germany would follow its Schlieffen Plan, where German forces would quickly march through Belgium in order to avoid the mountainous Ardennes region, put the french army in its place, then turn around to face east and join Austria-Hungary in squaring off with Russia’s giant army. Unbeknownst to Germany, however, Belgium was not as neutral as it had led everyone to believe, and had started mobilizing its military – which had been secretly prepared and trained by the British – at the same time as France and Russia. But Germany’s invasion of hapless, ‘neutral’ Belgium gave Britain its ‘just cause’ for declaring war on Germany.

As the war began Britain cut Germany’s underseas communication lines, thus ensuring that all information to and from the outside world would be under its control. A year or two later, a poem written from the horrors of the trenches gave evidence of an awareness of the deception that came too late.

Waves of strong men
That will surge not again,
Scattered and riven
You lie, and you rot;
What have you not given?
And what – have you got?

What did we get? We got the imposition of an Israeli apartheid state and an Islamic State (Saudi Arabia) in the Middle East. The world also received the ‘gift’ of a Russian Revolution that gave way to the Soviet Union and the pathocracy which it spread across a large swathe of Eurasia. As German General Ludendorff would lament, foreshadowing the horrors that would come following Germany’s collapse, the Versailles Treaty ‘sent the German people into bondage, into an absolutely crushing one. All delusions have vanished’, he wrote. ‘We look into nothingness. Something else is needed’. Hitlerism would blot out the sun of Europe for decades. And the British Elite? They still refer to themselves as ‘Sir’ and ‘Honorable’ while pointing the finger at Russia as the ‘source of all evil’.

In short, history is proof that no one should ever trust a word the British establishment says.

Back to Today

Throughout modern history, we see the same ‘elite’ pushing, prodding, gaslighting, promising one thing to one country and something entirely different to another. In their pure malevolent instinct, we see the ‘essential psychopath’ at work spinning his web effortlessly across entire nations and generations. The biggest vulnerability? The average person’s tendency to engage in emotional thinking and the chaos it engenders when entire nations fall are infected by it.

But, as Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov has stated, “The truth will come out. We will not let ourselves to be provoked into an emotional breakdown.” Modern Russia is not Germany under the naive leadership of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who believed his relations with the Russian Tsar and the King of England would safeguard his country from war.

Modern Russia also isn’t Iraq – a small country easily overwhelmed by the superior military strength of NATO with an isolated leader easily smeared due to his past aggression. Modern Russia is a nuclear armed superpower that is organized by some of the most brilliant statesmen this planet has seen – they won’t be deceived, they won’t be out-gunned, and any attack on them will be an act of suicide.

So, for those pushing for war against Russia, their only viable outlet for their destructive anti-Russian impulse is more false flags, more black propaganda and all manner of dirty tricks. In other words they will attempt to poison, sanction, scream, rig, and otherwise sabotage us all into oblivion, and then blame it all on Russia.

References

1. David Fromkin’s A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East p. 232
2. Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War p. 214
3. P. Hof’s The Two Edwards: How King Edward VII and Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey Started The First World War p. 4
4. David Fromkin’s A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East p. 125
5 Ibid p. 104
6. F. William Engdahl’s A Century of War Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order p. 39
7. Ibid. p. 31
8. Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War p. 135
9. Ibid. p. 133
10. Ibid. p. 155
11. J. Lee Thompson’s Politicians, the Press, and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919 Kindle Edition Location 175
12. Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War p. 148- 149
13. J. Lee Thompson’s Politicians, the Press, and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919 Kindle Edition Location 175
14. Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War p. 151
15. Andrew Feinstein’s The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade p. 5
16. Alan Corssal’s Ideology and International Relations in the Modern World p. 121
17. Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War p. 257
18. Ibid p. 267
19. Ibid p. 293

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Corey Schink (Profile)

Corey Schink was born and raised in the Midwestern United States, where he worked on farms and as a welder, musician, and social worker. His interests in government, philosophy and history led to his writing for SOTT in 2012 and to becoming a SOTT editor and Truth Perspective co-host in 2014. He now resides in North Carolina, where he enjoys the magnificent views of the Appalachian Mountains.

Moscow confronts London with 14 questions on ‘fabricated’ Skripal case – By RT

Moscow confronts London with 14 questions on ‘fabricated’ Skripal case
Russia’s Embassy in London has sent a list of 14 questions to the UK Foreign Ministry, demanding that it reveals details of the investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The questions, provided in full below, include a demand to clarify whether samples of the nerve agent “Novichok” have ever been developed in the UK. The embassy’s statement calls the incident that started the recent diplomatic row a “fabricated case against Russia.”

READ MORE: ‘US expelling America’s friends’: Russian Ambassador decries Trump’s move as diplomats leave DC

1. Why has Russia been denied the right of consular access to the two Russian citizens, who came to harm on British territory?

2. What specific antidotes and in what form were the victims injected with? How did such antidotes come into the possession of British doctors at the scene of the incident?

3. On what grounds was France involved in technical cooperation in the investigation of the incident, in which Russian citizens were injured?

4. Did the UK notify the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France’s involvement in the investigation of the Salisbury incident?

5. What does France have to do with the incident, involving two Russian citizens in the UK?

6. What rules of UK procedural legislation allow for the involvement of a foreign state in an internal investigation?

7. What evidence was handed over to France to be studied and for the investigation to be conducted?

8. Were the French experts present during the sampling of biomaterial from Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

9. Was the study of biomaterials from Sergei and Yulia Skripal conducted by the French experts and, if so, in which specific laboratories?

10. Does the UK have the materials involved in the investigation carried out by France?  

11. Have the results of the French investigation been presented to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?

12. Based on what attributes was the alleged “Russian origin” of the substance used in Salisbury established?

13. Does the UK have control samples of the chemical warfare agent, which British representatives refer to as “Novichok”?

14. Have the samples of a chemical warfare agent of the same type as “Novichok” (in accordance to British terminology) or its analogues been developed in the UK?

READ MORE: Moscow expels diplomats of countries that kicked out Russians over Skripal case

Britain’s Last Hurrah to Vandalize EU-Russia Relations – By Finian Cunningham (Sputnik)

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Global insanity has taken over international relations. The British government is leading dozens of nations down a precarious path of Monty Python burlesque politics towards Russia.

It’s far from funny. This is how world wars are incited.

Over 100 Russian diplomats are being expelled by the United States, Canada, Australia, and European countries — largely at the behest of official British claims that Russia was responsible for an alleged poison attack in England earlier this month.

Moscow, as well as many other independent observers, have pointed out that not one scrap of evidence has been presented to date by the British government to support its claim that Russian state agents carried out an assassination attempt on a former MI6 double agent and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4.

READ MORE: How PM May Diverts Public Attention Away From Child Sex Abuse

Sergei (66) and 33-year-old Yulia Skripal reportedly remain in hospital after apparently being injured from exposure to a nerve-agent substance while they were in a public space. But the exact circumstances of how they fell ill is not known. British claims of Russian state culpability are simply that: unverified claims.

The link to alleged Russian state involvement is tenuous at best, relying on undisclosed claims made by the British concerning the hypothetical poisonous substance which the Skripals supposedly encountered.

Yet on the basis of no evidence and heaps of sensational British speculation now more than 25 nations have exacted retribution on Russia, expelling up to 130 diplomats this week. The campaign to penalize Russia looks set to escalate even further. British Prime Minister Theresa May says that more punitive measures are being considered. The US and EU have also warned of further sanctions.London is gloating at its capacity to galvanize other nations into action against Russia. And so it might. For it is something of an achievement — albeit dubious — that the British have managed to whip up one of the worst diplomatic crisis since the Second World War, based solely on lurid anti-Russian innuendo.

It is all the more something to marvel at given that Britain is in the throes of an acrimonious row with the European Union over its decision to quit the bloc.

The Brexit referendum held in 2016 ends British membership of the European community after more than 40 years from its joining in 1973. The departure has caused an existential rupture in the EU, unleashing tensions among separatist political forces in other member states. Not so long ago, senior EU figures were fretting that the entire bloc might even collapse altogether after the British blow to leave.

READ MORE: Moscow Lambasts ‘Lying US Accusations’ Over Skripal Case

So, given the damage that British national politics have inflicted on the European Union it is rather astounding that now the bloc is rallying at the behest of Britain to further undermine relations with Russia.

It is unbelievable that supposedly advanced democracies in Europe are indulging Britain’s trashing of legal standards to make wild claims against Russia.

However, on one hand we should not be surprised. Britain’s historic role with regard to Europe since the Second World War has been to act as a spoiler to ensure that European states did not embrace socialist politics or develop friendly relations with Russia.

After World War II, there was a strong movement across Europe to adopt socialism. That was anathema to the Americans and their always-close British ally as the custodians of international capitalism. This was one reason why the US-led military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was set up in 1949 as a bulwark to keep Europe under Anglo-American control.NATO’s first secretary-general, Britain’s Lord Ismay, quipped that the function of the alliance was “to keep the Americans in, the Germans down and the Russians out”.

The European Union and its precursor European Economic Community was another such vehicle for American and British control over the continent to make sure it didn’t establish independent, friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

One of the European architects, French President Charles De Gaulle, did not want to admit Britain to the early community because he rightly envisaged the British acting as a spanner in the works. How right De Gaulle was.

READ MORE: Macron Accused of ‘Servility’ for Rejecting to Visit Russian Book Stand in Paris

For most of its four-decade membership of the European bloc, Britain has been a troublesome party. It has always seemed to be out of step with the rest of Europe, using the benefits of trade, while at the same time stirring up political problems over Britain’s “special status”.

The Brexit debacle is the outcome of decades of incorrigible British carping and spoiling with the rest of Europe.

The irony is that just as this churlish European member is packing its bags to leave the bloc, Britain bequeaths a final act of vandalism on EU-Russian relations with its outlandish tale of an assassination attempt.

It is particularly risible that Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has played such a prominent role in the latest saga, agitating “solidarity” among EU members against Russia. This is the same Johnson who arrogantly wants to dump Europe to pursue British fantasies of renewed “greatness”. Recall his bumptious response to EU claims for financial compensation over the Brexit divorce: he advised the Europeans “to go whistle” — meaning, no reparation.British leaders must be smugly laughing up their sleeves over the collective insanity they have induced across Europe in particular.

We can expect nothing better from Washington. It is only too willing to exploit an opportunity to demonize and debilitate Russia especially given its strategic goal of displacing Russian gas from European markets with its own fuel exports.

What is perplexing is just how gullible European states are to adopt a British wild-goose-chase story based on no evidence, which is storing up longterm strategic problems with Russia and the continent of Europe. Have the Europeans learnt nothing from their history of wars and destruction, and manipulation by perfidious Britain?

Amazing too is the timing of horrendous anniversaries. This month, it is 15 years since the Americans and British waged an illegal war on Iraq based on lies, inflicting over one million deaths and setting the entire Middle East on fire; this month, it is also seven years since the American and British principally launched the covert wars for regime change in Syria and Libya which have flooded Europe with a refugee crisis; it is three years this month since the Americans and British began supporting the Saudi war on Yemen which is described by the UN as the worst man-made humanitarian crisis in decades.All the evidence for these American-British horrors are as plain as the nose on your face. And yet the pious European states have not issued sanctions for those crimes. No. They are instead prepared to cut the nose off their face to spite their own relations with Russia — all on the say-so of the self-serving British.

European political leaders may not have common morality or intelligence to see the travesty. But ordinary European citizens do. That is why the venal EU bureaucracy is in deep trouble. Its feckless leaders are betraying the real needs of the people, to pursue geopolitical charades. The people will not forgive such odious decadence.

The views and opinions expressed by Finian Cunningham are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Zakharova: Britain using ‘black PR’ in Skripal case, Russia will ‘have a surprise’ for those comparing Russia to Third Reich – By Inessa Sinchougova – Fort Russ (SOTT)

Maria Zakharova

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Maria Zakharova, believes that Britain is using “black PR” in relation to the Skripal case; the actions of London are “a colossal provocation.”

“They can not defend their theses, they can not sell it, using their own arguments.” Accordingly, they turned to the concept of black PR on a world scale: it’s a colossal provocation, I would say more: it’s a colossal adventure [for them].”

Zakharova noted that the information campaign against Russia is poorly worked out. The British mass media have already begun to pay attention to this unconvincing argument.

The recent EU summit discussed the Salisbury incident “without a single fact, without a single argument”, which, she believes, “does not even remotely resemble a trial.””Have at least some argument, but no, you need a comparison with the Third Reich and Nazi Germany for such public purposes,” she said.

The diplomat also promised a surprise to all those who are trying to present Russia as an enemy. “We have a surprise for all who have the impudence to compare, to draw parallels between Russia and the Third Reich,” Zakharova said.

Lavrov: ‘Rest assured, Russia won’t tolerate’ West’s obnoxious conduct – By TASS

March 27, 13:23 UTC+3

The top diplomat believes the decision by some Western countries to expel Russian diplomats is due to a colossal blackmail campaign and pressure from the United States

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TASHKENT, March 27. /TASS/. Moscow won’t tolerate Western countries’ crassness and will definitely respond to the expulsion of diplomats, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“Rest assured, we will respond,” Lavrov said in reply to a TASS question. “The reason is that no one would like to tolerate such obnoxiousness and we won’t either,” he added.

The decision by some Western countries to expel Russian diplomats comes as the result of a colossal blackmail campaign and pressure from the United States, he went on.

“The conclusion that readily offers itself is that we were quite right when said more than once that truly independent countries in the modern world and in modern Europe are very few. When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington’s chief instrument in the international scene,” Lavrov said. “This is what we hear in this situation and in relation to the Palestinian problem. ‘We will not be giving any money to the Palestinians until you say you will agree to the idea we have not formulated yet.’ In other words, ‘take it for granted.’ These ‘take-it-for-granted’ statements (charges against Russia in connection with the reported poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia – TASS) are an insult to the system of Anglo-Saxon, British justice,” Lavrov said.

 

In his opinion, this decision by Western countries “reflects the determination of the ruling elites to ignore the voice of the people.”

“I’ve been shown some related publications. Germany’s daily Die Welt has conducted a poll to ask the respondents if more sanctions should be taken against Russia. More than 80% said NO. Such mechanisms of direct democracy should be used more often,” Lavrov said.

Skripal incident and expulsion of diplomats

A number of EU member countries, the United States, Canada and Australia earlier announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal, which the UK blames on Moscow without providing any evidence. In particular, Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats, including 48 embassy staff and 12 members of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. In addition, the US authorities decided to close Russia’s consulate in Seattle.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that those unfriendly actions would not remain unanswered.

On March 4, ex-Colonel Skripal and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. British Prime Minister Theresa May said the substance used in the attack had allegedly been the so-called Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union. London expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia.

 
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British PM May Using Skripal Poisoning to Divert Attention from Child Sex Abuse – By Sputnik

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The assumption that British Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the alarm over the Sergei Skripal case to downplay political failures of her cabinet cost Dimitros Lyacos, Greek journalist and foreign affairs columnist, his job. Speaking to Radio Sputnik Lyacos shared his views on what could really be behind London’s hysteria.

Having said on the air that British Prime Minister Theresa May is hyping the scandal about the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury to divert public attention away from the Rotherham child sexual exploitation case and Brexit problems, Dimitros Lyacos, a foreign affairs columnist, was fired from Cyprus’ state-owned television channel.

“I dared to say on the air in Cyprus, the former British colony, that the reason behind British PM Theresa May’s brining up [the Skripal case] is – at least according to Moscow – the Brexit problem which she has yet to solve. In a year Britain should withdraw from the EU and pay a huge sum of money to Brussels. And the second reason is a scandal about the rape of more than a thousand underage girls in a [South Yorkshire] provincial town,” Lyacos told Radio Sputnik.

The journalist specified that the rape incidents remain neglected due to the fact that some of perpetrators were “refugees” which makes the case highly sensitive for the British authorities.

It was previously reported that over 1,500 children had fallen victim to sex abuse on an unprecedented scale in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. According to the 2014 independent inquiry into the child sexual exploitation in the town, the majority of abusers were individuals of “Asian” origin which prompted fears among local officials to be labeled as “racists” while tackling the problem.

“However, does the sexual violence issue really matter after Russia’s sudden ‘attack’ against [Britain]?” Lyacos asked wittily.

“On Friday morning my colleague from London went on air and began to praise May, who made a general statement [on the Skripal case] along with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, [US President Donald] Trump and [President of France Emmanuel] Macron. And then they [Cyprus state-owned broadcaster] addressed me: “Dimitros, good afternoon. What’s going on in Moscow?” And I began to tell them [about May’s attempt to divert Britons’ attention away from domestic problems]. While speaking to them I felt that they were about to say ‘All right, Dimitros, good-bye!'”

A week later, Lyacos was replaced with another correspondent to cover the 2018 Russian presidential election. The journalist sent an official letter to the editorial office asking his colleagues to explain the situation, but received no response. At the same time, he believes that the editorial board ceased cooperation with him against its will.

“If I were a British ambassador in Cyprus and heard this report, I would react like this: ‘Who allowed him to say such things?’ Then you can speculate about what could happen. The only thing is that this is not an initiative of my colleagues and my direct supervisors,” the journalist said.

On March 4, the police found former spook Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, unconscious near a shopping center in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The Skripals were reportedly poisoned by nerve agent А-234.

Sergei Skripal, a former MI6 agent, has been living in Britain since 2010 when he and three other individuals were pardoned by the Kremlin and swapped with 10 Russian intelligence agents, exposed in the US at the time.

Although the inquiry into the poisoning of the former spy has yet to be completed, British Prime PM May groundlessly claimed that it was Moscow who was responsible for the attempted murder of the Skripals. She severed top-level diplomatic ties with Moscow and authorized the expulsion of 23 Russian envoys from the UK which prompted a similar move on the part of Moscow.

Commenting on the British hysteria around the Skripal case, British journalist Rod Liddle dubbed London’s response to the nerve gas attack as “an act of self-harm” in his recent op-ed for Spectator.

“Our response to the Salisbury nerve gas attack has been precipitous, shrill, petulant and an act of self-harm,” Liddle wrote on March 24. “And already our European allies are – rightly – beginning to row back a little from their original stance of unequivocal support for the UK and refusing to attribute the attack directly to the Kremlin. That’s because they don’t know it is attributable to the Kremlin, and frankly nor do we at this stage.”

“Why not, you know, wait a little? Gather a bit more evidence?” the British journalist asked rhetorically.

Meanwhile, 14 EU member states and the US have signaled their willingness to expel Russian diplomats “in solidarity with the UK.”

“Fourteen out of 28 EU member-states have decided to expel diplomats from the Russian Federation as a measure of solidarity with London on the Skripal case,” European Council President Donald Tusk told journalists Monday.

Comment: Poisoning a British spy in order to blame it on Russia is reprehensible. Even more reprehensible is the British authorities refusal to adequately protect their own children from sexual abuse for the sole reason that they’re afraid of being called racist. It just goes to show how inverted Western values have become. Racism is the supreme evil and must be fought, even if that means subjecting our children to rape and murder.

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Cambridge Analytica: How the Royal family became embroiled in a data harvesting scandal – By RT

Cambridge Analytica: How the Royal family became embroiled in a data harvesting scandal
The extended Royal family has become embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica (CA) scandal. As journalists investigate the shady deals of the consultancy firm, it has been exposed that ties to the data company go right to the top.

As the week progressed, more and more links between CA and the establishment have been revealed. Board members for parent company SCL Group include a Lords member, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors… there’s even a direct descendant of a queen in there for good measure.

CA is one arm of SCL group, formerly known as Strategic Communication Laboratories. The Observer article, which initially broke the CA scandal, said “for all intents and purposes, SCL/Cambridge Analytica are one and the same.”

SCL’s board is a who’s who of the British establishment, with minor royals rubbing shoulders with Conservative Party donors and the military top brass. 

Board member Roger Gabb is a successful wine merchant well known for his significant donations to the Conservative Party – half a million pounds, to be exact, in 2006. Whilethe Chief Executive of SCL is Nigel Oakes, an Etonian, who was infamously the ex-lover of Lady Helen Windsor. Rumor has it that Lady Helen reportedly smuggled him into her parents’ grace-and-favor home in St James’s Palace. He was at Lady Helen’s 21st birthday (hosted by the Queen) when he was arrested… there had been a warrant in his name for driving without insurance. He was also once rumored to be an MI5 spy.

The company’s upper echelons have links to the military establishment too; another listed director is Rear Admiral John Tolhurst. Tolhurst, as well as being an aide de camp to the Queen, is a former MoD assistant director of naval warfare at the Ministry of Defence.

There are closer links to her majesty, though, in the form of Ivar Mountbatten. He’s the third cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II and shares a direct line with none other than Queen Victoria.

Such deep connections to politics and the establishment raise questions over SCA’s winning of contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence, the US State Department and NATO as well as their reported involvement in the Tory Party

The London-based political consultancy has been at the center of a storm this week, after a whistleblower said the company had paid an academic to harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users, to build profiles of American voters before the 2016 U.S. election.

Following this, a Channel 4 News undercover sting revealed that the company’s [now suspended] CEO Alexander Nix offered to use dirty tricks, which included bribery and the hiring of ‘Ukrainian women,’ to entrap politicians and subvert elections.

Nix is the current (but now suspended) CEO of CA and the director of SCL. He’s also recently found himself at the helm of a new venture called Emerdata. Nix’s new company’s board members are Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer, daughters of hedge fund tycoon Robert Mercer, whose father funneled his riches into the Trump election campaign.

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Skripal case: EU Council ditches Theresa May’s ultimatum to Russia – By Alexander Mercouris (THE DURAN)

EU Council statement retreats from “culpable” to “highly likely”, and refers to “ongoing investigation” of Skripal case

 

In my previous article about the failure of Britain’s allies to give Britain the strong support it expected in the Skripal case I predicted that the EU Council meeting on 22nd March 2018 would publish a statement which appeared to be strongly supportive of Britain but which on careful examination would turn out to be less than it seemed.

So it has been proved, as shown by the statement the EU Council did put out, which has now published on the Europa website

  1. The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent attack in Salisbury, expresses its deepest sympathies to all whose lives have been threatened and lends its support to the ongoing investigation. It agrees with the United Kingdom government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We stand in unqualified solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this grave challenge to our shared security.

  2. The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons under any circumstances, is completely unacceptable, must be systematically and rigorously condemned and constitutes a security threat to us all. Member States will coordinate on the consequences to be drawn in the light of the answers provided by the Russian authorities. The European Union will remain closely focused on this issue and its implications.

  3. Against this background, the European Union must strengthen its resilience to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear-related risks, including through closer cooperation between the European Union and its Member States as well as NATO. The European Union and its Member States should also continue to bolster their capabilities to address hybrid threats, including in the areas of cyber, strategic communication and counter-intelligence. The European Council invites the European Commission and the High Representative to take this work forward and report on progress by the June European Council.

(bold italics added)

One of the great problems any person trying to make sense of the current state of international relations immediately encounters is that any news concerning Russia is immediately subjected to a vast volume of negative noise.

This is the case with this EU Council statement, which the British media – predictably enough – is presenting as a “victory” for Theresa May.

This article in The Times of London serves as a good example.

Note for example how this article misrepresents a telephone conversation on 22nd March 2018 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as a Russian “diplomatic rearguard action to avoid further punitive measures”.

In fact, as the Kremlin’s summary of the conversation shows, it was Tsipras who called Putin, doing so – as Trump and Macron have previously done, and as the Finnish and Croatian Presidents also did on the same day – in order to congratulate Putin on his re-election.

In reality what the EU Council statement does is take the position back to what it was in Theresa May’s statement to the British House of Commons on 12th March 2018 ie. before the British ultimatum, which has been effectively annulled.

In her statement of 12th March 2018 Theresa May used the following words

Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down; our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so; Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations; and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations; the Government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

 
 

Mr. Speaker, there are therefore only two plausible explanations for what happened in Salisbury on the 4th of March.

Either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country.

Or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.

The words “highly likely” and “plausible explanation” in the EU Council statement are obviously taken from Theresa May’s 12th March 2018 statement.

However on 14th March 2018 – following expiry of her ultimatum – Theresa May in a second statement to the British House of Commons said the following

Mr Speaker, there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter – and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.

What was only “highly likely” on 12th March 2018 had on 14th March 2018 become fact, so that based on Russia’s supposed failure to answer Britain’s questions by the deadline Theresa May set in her ultimatum of 12th March 2018 there was “no alternative conclusion” than that Russia “was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter” and had committed “an unlawful use of force….against the United Kingdom”.

This definite conclusion of Russian culpability in Theresa May’s 14th March 2018 statement has now been set aside.

We are now once again back in the EU Council statement – which note Theresa May has signed – to the position of Russian responsibility being no more than “highly likely” as it was in Theresa May’s statement of 12th March 2018.

Needless to say the words “highly likely” leave open the possibility that the murder attempt on Skripal was the work of someone else other than Russia.  Theresa May after all admitted as much in her statement of 12th March 2018 when she said she would only conclude the Russians were guilty if they failed within the deadline set by her ultimatum to answer her questions.

Even the words “no plausible alternative explanation” – also clearly borrowed from Theresa May’s 12th March 2018 – are qualified words.  They leave open the possibility of other “alternative explanations” which may for the moment appear “implausible” but which could turn out to be true.

Needless to say the words “highly likely” – which imply no more than suspicion – come nowhere close to meeting the test applied by British courts to determine guilt or innocence in criminal cases, which is “beyond reasonable doubt”.

As a matter of fact the EU Council statement pointedly refers to an “ongoing investigation” – something which implicitly admits that questions of guilt or innocence in the case have still not been decided – and over the course of which the Russians are expected to answer questions (“the answers provided by the Russian authorities”).

Of course the fact that the Russian authorities are once again being asked to provide answers to questions – without moreover any deadline being set for their answers – further confirms that Theresa May’s ultimatum of 12th March 2018 – which demanded Russia’s answers by midnight on 13th March 2018 – has been set aside.

Unsurprisingly, since the question of Russian involvement in the Skripal attack has now once again been downgraded from certainty to mere suspicion, the “unlawful use of force” in Theresa May’s statement of 14th March 2018 has also been downgraded to a “grave challenge”.

Needless to say, the EU Council statement also says that the EU gives Britain its “unqualified solidarity”, and in a joint press conference Merkel and Macron have said that they treat the British claim that the nerve agent which was used to poison Sergey and Yulia Skripal is a Novichok to be as “well founded”.

 

However Merkel and Macron also spoke of the investigation being still ongoing, whilst the “unqualified solidarity” the EU is giving is with Theresa May’s position of 12th March 2018, not with her position of 14th March 2018.

The EU Council statement is in fact a typical product of a compromise.

Media reports suggest that the original draft was – no doubt intentionally – much weaker.

That allowed scope for negotiations with the British over the wording of the draft in which the British were forced to respond to the objections of counties like Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Greece, which have all made their doubts about the British rush to judgement perfectly clear.

That set the scene for Merkel to do what she always does in these situations, which is broker an apparent compromise, which is in reality to the position she has had all along.

In this case that is to put the position back to where it was in Theresa May’s statement of 12th March 2018, minus Theresa May’s ultimatum of that date, which has now been cancelled.

Meanwhile the prospect of further significant EU action against Russia has been kicked into the long grass, with any further action being apparently postponed until the conclusion of the investigation, which the British police are saying may be months away.

By that time of course Brexit will be even closer, and Britain’s diplomatic traction within the EU will be even weaker than it is now.

Of course if the investigation has not been concluded before Brexit takes place – which as of the time of writing is starting to look increasingly likely – then British diplomatic traction within the EU by the time the investigation is finally concluded will be weaker still.

In the meantime the only thing the EU for the moment is collectively prepared to do is make the token gesture of withdrawing the EU’s ambassador from Moscow for four days for consultations.

Some EU member states are supposedly considering expelling Russian diplomats.  Should that happen then the Russians will of course respond in kind.

However significant further sanctions against Russia are according to one of the EU’s Commissioners apparently being ruled out.

As the US recently concluded, further sanctions against Russia would be ineffective and counter-productive anyway.

Whilst the Skripal affair is not over, I suspect that the peak of the international aspect of this “crisis” is now passing.

If one compares what the British appeared to be threatening at the start of the crisis two weeks ago with what has actually happened, it is questionable whether there has even been a “crisis” at all.

No major Western state apart from Britain has cut off high level contacts with Russia.  No sanctions of any sort have been imposed.

Proposals to break off diplomatic relations with Russia, cut Russian banks off from SWIFT, launch cyber attacks against Russia, declare Russia a terrorist state, ban Russians from buying property in London, and for a boycott the 2018 World Cup, appear to have been abandoned

If the British plan was to get NATO support by invoking Article 5 – as I strongly suspect – then that plan has failed.

Even talk of cancelling RT’s broadcasting licence in Britain seems to be abating.

There have been reciprocal expulsions of diplomats from London and Moscow.  As I have said previously that will hurt the British more than it will hurt the Russians.  If more tit-for-tat expulsions of Russian diplomats involving other European countries happen, that will hurt the Russians more.  However it will hardly help those countries either.

In fact the only significant step any party has so far taken during this “crisis” which will cause any other party actual injury is the Russian decision to close down the British Council in Russia.

Whilst that is hardly a major blow, for a country like Britain which relies so heavily on soft power it is a blow nonetheless.

The crisis may have damaged further Russia’s already terrible image in Britain and – though I suspect to a much lesser degree – in northern Europe (in the US this crisis appears to have barely registered, whilst perception of Russia – and of the Skripal crisis – is completely different in southern Europe).

However my impression is that the British reaction to the attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal was so over the top, and so obviously violated due process, that in the long run it will be Britain whose image will have been damaged across Europe more than Russia’s.  Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s recently retired former Foreign Minister, has recently described the Skripal affair as a “bad James Bond film” and that I suspect is what many Europeans – including many European governments – privately think.

Even in Britain I am starting to sense that a reaction is starting to set in, with even some of Theresa May’s new found fans noticing that the hysteria over the Skripal case has coincided with a further cave-in by Theresa May in the Brexit talks, and some of her fans perhaps even noticing that the actual position of Britain’s Western allies in the Skripal case is essentially the same as the much despised position taken by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom some sections of the British media have come close to branding a traitor.

As for the Skripal case itself, the prospect of an impartial inquiry has been almost certainly fatally compromised by Theresa May’s disastrous decision to pre-empt the investigation’s findings by making a declaration of Russia’s guilt just days after the investigation had begun and whilst it was still underway.

Inevitably that is going to put enormous pressure on the investigators to support her conclusions, making it less likely that important clues will be followed up.

I no longer expect ever to learn the truth about this affair

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Author Says White Helmets, Avaaz Sing From Same Song Sheet, Reveals Orchestrator – By SPUTNIK

An activist with a face painted with the British Union Flag (L) and the US flag (R) poses in front of a Stop Trump battle bus in London on September 21, 2016 in a campaign run by campaign group Avaaz to mobilise US expatriots in the UK to register to vote in the US presidential election. Voters are set to go to the polls to elect the 45th president of the US on November 8, 2016.

© AFP 2018/ Daniel Leal-Olivas
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Avaaz, a US-based cyber activist organization has been calling for the boycott of the soon-to-be 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, unless Russia stops its anti-terrorist operations in Syria. David Icke, writer and public speaker, has given his take on this and much more in an interview to with Sputnik.

David Icke: There are two things that go on in terms of a war – you have a physical war, but then you have to justify the physical war, and that’s by the war on perception. Organizations like Avaaz and of course the White Helmets actually sing from the same song sheet, are pushing out the propaganda particularly to the young in Avaaz’s case to tens of millions of members now to sow regime change after regime change.

Remember, it was Avaaz that was pushing for no-fly zone in Libya, which has turned Libya, ultimately, into a catastrophe. Then it was pushing for the no-fly zone in Syria – we see the same. So, this list of regime changes has been very clearly sorted at every step by this organization. And we should therefore have massive questions about it.

If you look at the guy who runs it, Ricken Patel, he’s been an adviser to the UN, to the Rockefeller Foundation, to the Gates Foundation and to the International Crisis Group which has Soros and other globalists as trustees.And of course, Avaaz was created by moveon.org and organization called Res Publica, both of which are George Soros-funded and Soros is now infamous for using his Open Society Foundation work to trigger “revolutions” to remove the very people and regimes that were on their list in September 2000.

If you want a conflict with Russia, which has been a plan all along, then of course, if that’s the outcome, you have to demonize Russia to prepare the global public to accept your outcome. This is why NATO forces are constantly building up on Russia’s borders. Vladimir Putin must be an absolute genius, because his power was responsible for everything.

Look at the claims that Russia actually manipulated and caused Trump actually to win at the American election, you look at what’s happened in Salisbury with the nerve agent attack, you look at what’s happening in Syria – these are just excuses after excuses. I mean Russia apparently manipulated the Brexit vote – I mean what else?

“I’ve burnt the toast – it’s the Russians!”, “I’ve burnt the flat – it’s the Russians!” It’s become that ludicrous because what we are looking at is a global propaganda campaign to demonize Russia to prepare the global public to accept the outcome they are going towards and wish to happen. 

Sputnik: If this information continues to spread as fake news – you’ve stated that fake news reaches users faster than real news – is more likely to be shared. If that is the case, we are in for a very, very tough time, aren’t we David?David Icke: Of course fake news has many, many faces. One face is mainstream media which has been absolutely founded, and even more so than ever before now, on faking information and misleading the public as to what is happening and particularly the context of what is happening. And then you have the alleged fake news which is what Facebook, and Google and all are using as an excuse to sensor alternative narratives, and that is invariably not fake news but simply looking at a situation from an angle that the global establishment doesn’t want people to see the world in that fashion.

They only want to see them, to see the way that they wish them to view the world. If you are after controlling perception, which is what this is all about, then where do people get perceptions from? From information received. It could be a personal experience; it could be the 10 o’clock news. For most people, that information comes from the equivalent of the 10 o’clock news – from mainstream media.

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

Now, if you are going to control perception, you have to control the information received, that’s going to lead to that perception. The last thing you want is people coming from another angle and saying “Hold on, this is why we are having attacks on Russia today, in Britain and cause them to be banned and deleted.”

That’s why you’ve had that demonization of Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, the opposition Labour party leader – for having the absolute audacity to ask for evidence to support the claim that Russia, the Russian government was involved in that attack. We are now living in a post-fact, post-evidence society, and that is because you control the information people receive, you invariably control the perceptions they come to. 

Sputnik: What’s your take on the FIFA World Cup that’s scheduled to take place in Russia? Some say the measure in terms of cancelling the World Cup will damage world’s sport forever. What do you think?

David Icke: I think, calls to stop the World Cup are an absolute joke, but you see, it’s part of this demonization. Who else is calling for the World Cup to be banned in Russia? Avaaz!

These are different strands in the same web that want to give the impression that they are operating in isolation. They are not. They are pushing an agenda which is coordinated.You know, what’s very encouraging in Britain, particularly from my experience is that those that dominate the microphones with their hysteria and their nonsense and their lack of evidence, and their lack of sanity – they are speaking one language, but large numbers of the British people are speaking another language. If you are so desperate to demonize Russia for instance, you can overcook the pot. And if you overcook the pot – and people are increasingly not buying it – the more their hysteria is becoming counterproductive.

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