Neo-Con Bloodlust Let Rip

by craig on August 29, 2013 1:11 pm in Uncategorized

If a country breaches an International Convention, that in no sense makes it legal in international law for other countries to bomb it.  Otherwise Britain should certainly be bombed for continual and flagrant breaches of the UN Convention against Torture in the context of extraordinary rendition, and for breaches of several international arms control treaties with regard to the planned acquisition of a new, enhanced, and ruinously expensive, Trident missile system.

Even if we accept that the Assad regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks, that does not give a right to bomb Syria.  Why the lunatic bloodlusters all over our screens - including recycled Blairites who should be in jail -  think that blowing children to pieces ourselves is the correct response to horrible pictures of dead children, is something no TV journalist has had the guts to ask them.

Even the lunatic warmonger Blair felt the  need to bolster the almost non-existent legal arguments for the attack on Iraq with a claim, however ridiculous, that there was imminent danger of an attack by Iraq on British sovereign territory with WMD – in that case the British military bases on Cyprus.  Yet another reason, incidentally, that those colonial remnants must urgently be returned to the Cypriots.  If Britain had been in genuine imminent danger of attack, that would indeed have been a justification of some validity.  On Syria we have merely the claim that some civilians have been destroyed by chemicals; a terrible thing, but when hundreds of thousands have already been eviscerated by white hot metal, and horribly murdered by all side in this gruesome civil war, not the most logical of spurs to action against only one side in particular.

That the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks is perfectly possible but very,  very far from certain.  Particularly as those who claim to have the most certainty about it are precisely those who lied repeatedly about WMD.  That the Assad regime should risk this action now it is winning the war seems peculiar, to say the least.  But the truth is that even if it was Assad himself, nobody else has any legal right to intervene in this civil war without the express authority of the UN Security Council, and there is no possibility of that.

Many on the right are arguing that the Security Council is irrelevant, but we should not bomb anyway as we have no idea of the long term result.  That is true but still short sighted.  The same prudence should apply to the consequences of destroying international law and the authority of the UN.  To do that might seem smart to the neo-cons when the USA is the most powerful military force on earth and we in the UK are its sidekick.  But within my lifetime China will be the most powerful military force on earth.

The neo-cons may feel that destroying the idea of international restraint, in favour of might is right, is  to their advantage, but that is simply further proof of their quite extraordinary short sightedness and stupidity.

 

 

 

 

Tweet this post

115 Comments

  1. Hear! Hear!

  2. I agree with what you say – but I want to ask what you think we should do instead. I don’t have any answers myself.

    I might add one thing though – the lessons of history tend to show that the International Community is always too slow to respond. Whether it’s Rwanda, Bosnia, or the Rhineland, prompt action within a week would have prevented much bloodshed.

    Also, can you explain why Russia and China are defending Assad?.

  3. What did Winston (Churchill, not Smith) say about being at the ‘end of the beginning’? I think if this Neocon Operation Mk 5 can be averted, it might mark exactly that. People are starting to wake up to what has been happening since Rambouillet (April 1999) and this even includes some MSM journalists! Hopefully Syria will not be the next name on the PNAC list.

    In terms of culpability, if Al Nusra can eat their enemies organs, decapitate priests and massacre Kurdish villagers, and if their main backers can threaten to attack innocent civilians — including Britons — at the Sochi Olympic Games, then gassing some “heretic” civilians wouldn’t have posed much of a moral conundrum.

    Welcome back Craig. Hope you’re fine and dandy.

  4. Richard, good questions, but as per my point on the last thread, doing nothing may be the best option. I don’t like it, but the alternatives are (a) assume UK-US are motivated by compassion for the Syrian people, (b) as Craig says, take the word of proven liars about possible atrocities, (c) risk killing more people than have already died, in order to ‘save’ them.

    I wish there were a benign force available, divorced from the capitalist urge to dress up national geo-strategic interests as humanitarian interventionism, but there really isn’t. The system, as ever, is the problem.

    I read something from Blair recently, I think a CIF article in the Guardian. He claimed that we should not be engaging in the moral arithmetic of death counts, though I think that is exactly what we should be doing. It is the ghosts of the 1M+ dead, which he has a direct shared responsibility for, that informs him of his odious (and strangely persistent) views.

    The upside is that it is precisely Blair’s history (and how history is judging him already) that are injecting some caution into the UK response, even though Cameron and co just want to play soldiers.

  5. So glad to have you back.

  6. Agree with Phew, welcome back Craig, and good health.

  7. I don’t mind David and William starting another war of agression based purely on Youtube evidence but what I want to know is what is he doing about the shape-shifters and UFOs? The UK has sat idley by for long enough.

  8. I am in agreement…why we should even be thinking about this is beyond me…and welcome back..

  9. Otherwise Britain should certainly be bombed for continual and flagrant breaches of the UN Convention against Torture in the context of extraordinary rendition…

    inter alia, to Damascus…little-known and totally overlooked fact:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/the-forgotten-prisoner-a-tale-of-extraordinary-renditions-and-double-standards-a-386033.html

  10. Matthew Amroliwala on BBC news openly badgering and berating those who oppose war, absolutely disgusting.

  11. Welcome back! Add John Kerry to the list of lunatic warmongers.

  12. Here’s Nick Robinson on the Commons debate, handing media analysts plenty of material:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23879744, “Why Cameron buckled on Syria vote”.

    The piece starts “It is without modern precedent for a prime minister to lose control of his foreign policy, let alone decisions about peace and war”. How odd that hearing an anti-war view might be openly regarded as “buckling” and “losing control of foreign policy”!

    Later it says “David Cameron has consistently talked tough on Syria and consistently proved unable to act tough. Today he will try to present that as a search for consensus after the painful wounds of Iraq.” But of course, the attack on Iraq is not described as a supreme international crime, it is “painful”, with the obscene implication that it is the perpetrators who are carrying that emotional pain, and not the Iraqis.

    Oddly, for such nakedly propagandist wording, I still maintain that Robinson and the like are not instructed to make the case for war – indeed, Robinson would be horrified if that were to happen. I do not believe that he believes himself to be biased in favour of Establishment capitalist interests. But, as ever, he needs no instructions, since he does it by his own “neutral” volition.

  13. Krishnamurky

    29 Aug, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    An Anthony Charles Lynton was fined for importuning with another male at a public toilet by a Bow Street Magistrates’ Court. Easy meat for a CIA recruiter at Oxford Uni. The rest as they say is history, shameless Miranda still continues today rooting for a war sought by his masters,in complete disrespect of public democratic opinion.

  14. “the painful wounds of Iraq”

    Yes, “our” painful wounds, not Iraq’s.

  15. Krishnamurky, meh – dunno where to start with that stuff. If you are of the view that Blair does his master’s Jewish bidding because he is being blackmailed out of the closet, then I see shades of homophobia and anti-Jewish racism. Worse, you let Blair off the hook as a victim of a powerful conspiracy, rather than objecting to his psychopathy.

  16. Worth remembering that we’re the Poodle State. And our kindly master has even got some reservations too.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/United-States-Syria-Congress/2013/08/29/id/522860

    “The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring into power people friendly to the United States,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said.

  17. Krishnamurky

    29 Aug, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Jon, sorry its the CIA that recruits at Oxford. George Bush was Blair’s ultimate CIA handler!

  18. Hi Craig. I’m not sure you’re right on the law. There is a good argument for humanitarian intervention to prevent further atrocities. This is not new law ; I was examined on it in 1978 when I was at the finest University in Dundee

    That said the idea of the UK intervening on the basis of so called intelligence is very weak. It’s time we abandoned imperial pretension , no matter how much the awful Hague wants to be a new Palmerston , and , instead , insisted on a regional solution.

  19. Jon 29 Aug, 2013 – 2:16 pm

    But that’s exactly what we have seen with Hague. The evidence (i.e. tittle tattle) is overwheling.

  20. If anyone’s in any doubt about what’s about to happen in our names then spend 10 minutes watching this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckpfcQD0RPQ

  21. What about Edward Heath? Saved from charges four times in the 1950′s by British security services, suppose a foriegn intelligence asset got their first? We could have had a Roger Hollis running the country.

  22. How reassuring that the BBC invites war criminal John Reid to make the governments case, and he’s using Saddam’s chemical weapons attack just days after it was anounced that the CIA provided the weather reports, satellite images and intelligence to Saddam that led to that episode.

  23. The Americans had better be right in their “calculus”, if more good than harm is to result from their proposed action. I am glad that I don’t have to make such a decision.

  24. Haward – I’d be interested to know how your legal education might have dealt with this, by Chomsky, written after your time at what I hope was not Abertay-

    The prospective leader of “humanitarian intervention” is also notorious for its ability to maintain a self-image of benevolence whatever it does, a trait that impressed de Tocqueville 150 years ago. Observing one of the great atrocities, he was struck that Americans could deprive Indians of their rights and exterminate them “with singular felicity, tranquilly, legally, philanthropically, without shedding blood, and without violating a single great principle of morality in the eyes of the world.” It was impossible to destroy people with “more respect for the laws of humanity,” he wrote. So it has always been, to this day.

    Several qualifications must be added. The United States is not significantly different from others in its history of violence and lawlessness. Rather, it is more powerful, therefore more dangerous, a danger magnified by the capacity of the elite culture to deny and evade the obvious.

    Chomsky is concerned, as any discussion of Syria must be, not with humanitarian intervention as an end in itself, given legal force by general agreement, but with its use as an excuse or mitigator for actions taken by highly interested parties whose humanitarian principles are to say the least in doubt.

    http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199401–02.htm

  25. Glad to have you back Craig. We missed you.

  26. And welcome back from me, too. Hope you’re doing okay, Craig. Your commentary often brings in points I hadn’t thought of and I’ve missed it.

  27. Komodo – Chomsky is a cracking analyst but no lawyer. Note that he does not deny the doctrine ; he criticizes its use by self interested States and he is right there.

    There was no Abertay when I was educated in Dundee ; btw

    H

  28. Well…here’s the advice Cameron has had on his legal position:

    If action in the Security Council is blocked, the UK would still be permitted under
    international law to take exceptional measures in order to alleviate the scale of the
    overwhelming humanitarian catastrophe in Syria by deterring and disrupting the further
    use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
    Such a legal basis is available, under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention,
    provided three conditions are met:

    (i)
    there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community
    as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring
    immediate and urgent relief;
    (ii)
    it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of
    force if lives are to be saved; and
    (iii)
    the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of
    relief of humanitarian need and must be strictly limited in time and scope to this
    aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).

    No doubt Cameron and his poisonous cheerleader Hague will assume that the spirit of the law, not the letter is important. But how does sending the cruise missiles in affect the humanitarian need one iota? And the provision is for humanitarian assistance, not for reprisals for breaching an international convention. I don’t think Craig is wrong here. Justification is being asserted under one heading for action under quite another.

  29. Glad to see you’re back Craig. Hope all’s well.

    The US (+NATO) attack on Syria is a dead cert. Military equipment is in place. Jihadi’s rearmed and pumped. Majority of the belligerent nations MPs/Senators already in the pocket. Propaganda for domestic populations is well under way. And finally the UN circus has commenced.

  30. Apostoli: Indeed, what is not being reported in any detail is the mobilisation of the Russian military to counter this. Additionally China and Russia are practicing securing the sea lanes of Asia.

    The peices are being put in place, quietly, deliberatey and methodically. Syria is a smokescreen to drag the world into NATO v East.

  31. Krishnamurky

    29 Aug, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    Crypto millipede squirmed through the Labour Party position in the Commons, ably assisted by an incredible unspoken sync from the SS -Rifkind and Straw. So Labour may agree to war even if there is veto in Security Council, so much for legitimacy in International Law. For the time being we may skirt around the law says another AG Goldsmith, but we will need to reset the law right after the job is done! Interesting to see Fox,Rifkind & Co trying to water-down the standard of compelling evidence required or the issue of any Russian/Chinese vetos that may arise, in advance of the “second” vote.

  32. Craig, thanks for posting on this important issue of contravention of international law and illegal wars committed by the powerful on the weak. In your absence personal and unprovoked attacks have interrupted some astute thought on the developing threat of war. My colleague, Gilbert Mercier, Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post, gives a similar assessment to your own, mentioning also that there are voices in Congress not happy with breaking international law.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/08/28/natos-assault-on-syria-a-crime-and-a-mistake/

  33. Milliband is not a crypto, unlike King David and Prince Gideon.

  34. Whilst I am glad to see that HMG is not being allowed to “do a Blair” this time, at least for the time being, it would be interesting to have an idea of what, precisely, you think the international community should be doing. Personally I’m in the New Zealand camp – heads down as it’s fuck all to do with us.

  35. “Even if we accept that the Assad regime was responsible for chemical weapons attacks”

    I don’t think there is any choice. One MP today said that if the UN report uncovers chmical weapons that are known to be in Assads arsenal than that is the proof they need, however if the chemicals are found to from some other source then that meant it could then be either Assad or the ‘rebels’. So we’ll still be in this ‘most likely it’s Assad’ nonsense even if they only find industrial chemicals, which a number of experts reckons is what has been used.

  36. David Cameron opened today’s Commons debate with: “We are not searching for chemical or biological weapons. The case for ultimately – and I say ultimately because there would have to be another vote in this house – the case for ultimately supporting action is not based on [...] intelligence.”

    Nor indeed is it based on crass stupidity. It’s based on geopolitical engineering.

    OK, the bit missing was “a specific piece or pieces of …”, but if the decision to cause untold destruction is not based on pieces of intelligence, what fills in the gaps? A strong hunch? Divine revelation? (Oh, God, not again!) Economic interests of key allies? Political pressure from across the water?? I think we’re getting closer …

  37. A face-saving bombing for Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama. With the Israelis pulling the strings. All the same phrases we heard in 2003…

  38. Not sure about your argument on this Craig. I’m sure I’ve read on your blog about the unpardonable use of white phosphorous on civilians. So lets say a certain ME power looks over the present crisis and sees the US/UK buckle at this egregious and hideous incident. Lets say that said ME power decides to let loose a bit of sarin or whatever against the “terrorists” who disturb its peace and tranquility. What then? Will liberal opinion demand that no action is taken? Somehow I don’t think so.

    Seems to me that if there is serious condemnation of chemical weapons then there must be consequences for those that use them and if possible the weapons and/or the delivery and control systems should be destroyed. If nothing happens except a lot of noise, then who knows, perhaps the Chechens, Georgians Tibetans or even the Taiwanese might be in for a bit of a neurological kicking. When is it right to take a stand against the use of such weapons?

  39. I have a question for several posters above – Just what exactly are we supposed to understand by “The International Community”?

    For a solid considered analysis, putting the alleged attacks in their strategic context and current as at 24 hours ago, see this from Franklyn Lamb in Tehran: Bandar and the Zionist Lobby:Forcing Obama into a Prolonged Syrian War

    There are clearly major divisions being played out in Washington right now – sadly, on past for its clear what the outcome is likely to be.

  40. Rob

    Don’t think I can see the comparison. a) the Israelis aren’t attacking their own citizens and b) I have never advocated bombing Israel anyway.

  41. “Hi Craig. I’m not sure you’re right on the law. There is a good argument for humanitarian intervention to prevent further atrocities. This is not new law ; I was examined on it in 1978 when I was at the finest University in Dundee”

    I can see how there could be an argument for bombing Dundee on humanitarian grounds.

    Need more evidence before we bomb Syria though.

  42. The last thing the Israeli’s and Saudi’s want is for the Shia’s to win. So, isn’t this about knobbling the Shia’s. Assad comes from a Shia sect, so gets the support of Shia Iran.

    I believe there is a rather oppressed Shia minority in Saudi.The Sunni Saudis have been agitating for Assad’s downfall.

    Since the Israeli bombing of Syria, Assad has been winning, thanks to Hamas support.

    So, if Assad wins, presumably Hamas and Iraq gain a grateful ally. Hence the yanks doing what Saudi and Israel want.

  43. Although I long for Scottish independence, the independence campaign has opened my eyes.
    I used to think the BBC was a decent news organisation. Obviously they would put a pro UK slant on world affairs, but I mostly trusted them. Now I just feel sad.
    Witnessing the daily lies, smears and selective reporting of BBC Scotland on the independence debate, acting as the propaganda arm of the Westminster cabal, I now find that I don’t believe ANYTHING they say.
    Sometimes I wish I could go back to being a sheep.

  44. “I can see how there could be an argument for bombing Dundee on humanitarian grounds”

    That has already been suggested by Unionists in Project Fear.

  45. deepgreenpuddock

    29 Aug, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    yes indeed Donald, re John Reid. I almost fell out of bed with laughing at him this morning as I listened to him talking about military objectives and needing to define ,etc etc, while all the time I remembered his hopelessly futile deployment of troops to Helmand, an operation so devoid of joined up thinking it beggared belief, and a simple response to a demand from the US to take it on. The result was disastrous.

    A curiosity here- I am not sure that China has the capacity to overhaul the US in military terms. All sorts of reasons for that, but the technological lead enjoyed by the US at the moment , and their unrivalled capacity to generate new technology, both seem overwhelming, compared to China.

  46. deepgreenpuddock

    And I remember when “made in Japan” meant low quality low technology shoddy plastic and nothing else, and Korean cars and ships were laughable. The world changes, you know.

  47. I think I was in your company many years ago Craig, having a pint in the Phoenix Bar. :-)

  48. Has the world gone mad. All this outrage over pictures that show civilians being attacked, as yet not known with what.

    They claim its chemical weapons, but when reality shows them white phosphorus bombs, a chemical weapon not to be used against civilians, and some 419 children and 108 women died in the cast lead massacre not a peep was to be heard.

    Warmongering hypocrits. Even if it is shown that Assad responded in kind, I do not think we should go to war, all this hypocrisy proclaiming its OK for us to slaughter and create chaos, but everyone else doing it is a monster to humanity.

    Cleggs comments today are full on TORY, the Lib Dems have morphed for good so it seems, what a load of twaddle the BBC had to transmit today with Amroliwala being the biggest waller of all.
    And Israel should be told now, via our ambassadors that they are on their own should they decide to attack Syria/Iran, no more collegial land grabs, not in Syria, which already has its Golan Heights occupied for decades, not from Jordan or Lebanon.

  49. Rob, I agree to a point about there needing to be consequences for people who use chemical weapons (or whatever other prohibited weapon) – it reflects my feeling of powerlessness over the way the world institutions and economic mechanisms are configured.

    Let us say we can prove that Assad has authorised the use of such weapons (which is not at all proven currently). What do we do? Bombing campaigns kill people. That is their purpose usually, and usually it is civilians who bear the brunt of it. Bad intelligence and inaccurate targetting and unpredictable blast radii all come into it. If that wasn’t bad enough, the only forces we have at our disposal are led by people who lied to us in order to pillage Iraq, and who did much the same with Libya in order to keep the oil flowing. Do we choose to trust them this time around?

    I’m not dismissing your concerns at all, I have them too. What Western electorates need is some moral test to determine that in a particular set of circumstances, with a limited objective, it is clear that our usually corrupt warmongering governments are not setting out on a campaign of regime change, energy supplies liberation, or some other undeclared geopolitical objective. That their stated humanitarian purpose is their only purpose.

    That brings me to your example of a certain ME power. If they were to use chemical weapons (e.g. white phosphorus) upon a neighbouring region that said power is also occupying militarily, then liberal/leftists would object, yes. Now, if the US/UK were to take some action against that power*, the moral test would be passed, since there would be no obvious geopolitical advantage to that action – in fact, it would require action against an ally, and thus is disadvantageous.

    * Not sure they actually did, though.

  50. I would agree that China is way behind the US and will remain so for 50+ years. China’s rising military power is exaggerated to justify more US spending and deployments to Asia.

    In the key ability to project power beyond their borders they are very limited. Yes they have an aircraft carrier but few/no operational aircraft for it – and one aircraft carrier is nearly useless anyway.

    China’s conventional forces would be destroyed within days if not hours in any conflict with the US.

    China is however a major nuclear power and that means the US cannot bully them or smack them around with impunity. This makes them a force to be reckoned with even now.

  51. Surely the time for (well written or otherwise) articles,blogs and political mental masturbation on this subject has passed and Cameron and Hague now simply need to face legal prosecution for their attempts at international crimes? The Westminster debate has completely missed the point and is focusing on the wrong regime. All attention and focus should be turned on the two main protagonist clowns of Hague and Cameron sitting on the front bench

  52. Good to see you back Craig; I was getting worried about you.

  53. A snippet from the Guardian letters page yesterday, since we’re probably in need of some relief:

    “It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that a prime minister possessed of a popularity deficit must acquire a war.”

  54. Just seen MP Edward Leigh speak at the Westminster debate – his and Galloway’s are astounding contributions and rebuttals to the twisted Cameron/Hague regime plans

  55. BrianFujisan

    29 Aug, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    Welcome back Craig

    Nevermind. well said, it’s all just sickening, as i said in the Previous thread Against it’s excitement comment, i am horrified, and Helpless, at what is going on here,

    Whilst they use the chemical excuse, ( same old Lies ) there is more evidence to sugest that it was the rebels who used chemicals, and the experts say it was not chemicals, but something else. The U.N have already said it was the rebels who used Chem / industrial toxins or Whatever.

    And whilst there is not a single shrad of evidence to support the claim that Assad used chems ?

    rebels have been caught with chem in may….

    RT reported that “Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

    http://intellihub.com/2013/08/29/syrian-rebels-caught-sneaking-sarin-gas-across-border-may/

    There is already a strong case being made that the “rebels” have deployed a form of sarin in a home-made shell fired on government forces in Khan al-Assal. Russia has provided the UN with evidence to this effect and Khan al-Assal was one of the sites on the list to be visited by the UN inspection team. Moreover, in May this year UN investigator Carla Del Ponte pointed the finger at the “rebels” for the use of chemical weapons, a fact that has been thoroughly whitewashed in both western media and from the duplicitous mouths of western diplomats – who still claim that “rebels” don’t have the capability to launch chemical weapons. Contrary to western diplomats hollow claims; in late May militant cells with links to Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham were found in both Iraq and Turkey with sarin and other chemical weapons materiel in their possession – another fact that received only light attention in western media, and has been virtually ignored in any western diplomats talking points.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-obamas-pretext-for-war-the-rebels-are-in-possession-of-chemical-weapons/5347335

    And also with regards the Disgusting Blood thirsty MSM
    A great piece from Medialens

    As this alert was being written, one week after the massacre in Egypt, claims emerged of a major gas attack killing hundreds of civilians in Damascus, Syria. Channel 4′s Sarah Smith asked the question that arises so readily, so naturally, for UK journalists:

    ‘Syria chemical weapons horror – is it time for intervention?’ (Smith, Snowmail, August 22, 2013)

    No need for UN inspectors to gather factual evidence of chemical weapons use; Smith, Channel 4′s business correspondent, already knew what had happened and who was to blame:

    ‘There seems little doubt that red lines have now been crossed, broken and smashed to pieces. But what will anyone do about it?’

    The ‘red lines’ of course referred to Obama’s warning to the Syrian government that its use of chemical weapons would trigger US ‘intervention’. No-one is pretending the US would bomb the ‘rebels’.

    In similar vein, a Guardian leader commented, again with no serious evidence:

    ‘There is next to no doubt that chemical weapons were used in Ghouta in eastern Damascus… Nor is there much doubt about who committed the atrocity.’

    A second leader continued to mislead readers, insisting on the need for ‘clear and persuasive information’ indicating that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons:

    ‘That information may well exist – much of the evidence points in that direction.’

    In reality, the truth is simply unknown. Even US intelligence officials argue that the responsibility of the Syrian government, let alone Assad, is no ‘slam dunk’. Chemical weapons experts are also clear that much doubt remains.

    It is of course possible that government forces launched the attacks, although it would have been an inexplicably foolish, indeed suicidal, act for Assad to order the mass gassing of civilians three days after UN inspectors had arrived in the country. In the Daily Mail, Peter Hitchens offered a rare rational comment on this theme:

    ‘In those circumstances, what could possibly have possessed him to do something so completely crazy? He was, until this event, actually doing quite well in his war against the Sunni rebels. Any conceivable gains from using chemical weapons would be cancelled out a million times by the diplomatic risk. It does not make sense. Mr Assad is not Saddam Hussein, or some mad carpet-biting dictator, but a reasonably intelligent, medically-trained person who has no detectable reason to act in such an illogical and self-damaging fashion.

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/740-massacres-that-matter-part-2.html

  56. At the outset the notions of “we are bombing these …… (fill as applicable) ever since the turn of the century for their own good, democracy, free beer, and a pair of Prada shades”. Is designed for the consumption of morons, dimwits, and imbeciles.

    The fact that we in the UK tag along and as the nice man on the telly said; Americans fire hundred cruise missiles, the British Submarine fires four, then Americans fire another hundred missiles the British fire another four, and are rotated out for the next British vessel to go and fire another eight missiles, while Americans have fired two hundred more missiles.

    Given that each missile is worth a cool one million pounds, the delivery of four hundred and sixteen million pounds to bounce rubble in Syria, as well as killing many, many more women, children, men, old and young, all in the aid of “up holding the international law” is a story that is far from the truth and actualities.

    The criminals who are busy plotting the murder of many innocent people in Syria, are not war criminals, this is not a war, for a war there needs to be an opponent, and an enemy. Syria is not any kind of a threat to either US, UK, or for that matter anyone else. Syria has not transgressed or attacked or impugned on any interests of US, UK, France. The smash and grab raid that is being touted as the mission to “up hold international law” is making a mockery of any conventions and only is a cover for the bad, mad, criminally insane intent and conduct of the Western belligerents, who are behaving as a tribe of cannibals would. Alas a tribe of cannibals who own sophisticated public relations company to make their aggression, and mass murder more acceptable and tolerable.

    There is no bases in law, or in any moral point of view to spend all these millions to go kill more Syrians, and make the remainder even more miserable, as well as keeping our own people hungry, ill, homeless, and make these spend their lives in a hopeless misery. Let us not fall into the trap of crap that is being spewed from upon high about the “up holding of anything” this is all a fucking lie, an untruth, a fraud, a trick, and a sick con.

    The bastards bent on going to kill more Syrians have been busy setting up their stall, and as we can see and hear the same mouth pieces on the telly spewing the homilies about WMD, Intentional law, we must …… Bullshit!

    Why the rush to attack Syrians now?
    What is being covered up?

  57. What they need is another ‘Curveball’.

    [quote from the Wikipedia piece]:

    ‘ Furthermore, on June 26, 2006, The Washington Post reported that “the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels.” ‘

    Wait! Anyone know a Syrian taxi-driver who drives taxis in Damascus! Or perhaps this time it should be… a Lollipop Lady!

    Meanwhile, what exactly is Prince Bandar up to? Follow the trail.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball_%28informant%29

  58. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 9:00 pm

  59. richard swain

    29 Aug, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    Craig, you are the best!
    Anyway, surely, if we feel we should be doing something, we should be urging a diplomatic solution. I believe Assad is happy to talk but the US is blocking.

  60. Welcome back Craig, a rare sane voice while the media urges us into another absurd bloody confrontation.

  61. Khartoum Karli

    29 Aug, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    I watched the Parliamentary debate this afternoon and was surprised that Miliband had turned. I’d heard it was a fait a complis. I felt relieved.
    It’s mid week but I felt that averting war was worthy of a celebration, so I went out for a 6 pack. Came home, Not sure which channel it was, but it was Menzies Campbell, and he was pissed as a fart and rambling on smuggly about the second vote… Being a Fifer and not too enamoured with the Labour usual candidates, I used to vote for that mingin B.
    There he was telling the TV audience that the UN could be pushed to the side because Tony Blair in 99 had set a precedent.
    So I found out where Ming lives in Cupar, and the next time he’s hame and I see sheets hingin I’m going to set my lum aff.

  62. “the technological lead enjoyed by the US at the moment”

    Hmm, not to sure on that. F22 Raptor is suffocating it’s pilots, it’s $35 bn a pop, needs ridiculous amount of maintenance between flights, has to have approximate 3 support trucks per fighter, requires full length runway. On the other hand the Sukhoi SU38 (which outperforms F22 in all combat-critical areas) requires 1 truck and an hour maintenance between flights and can be launched from a dual carriage-way. It costs a fraction of the F22 as well.

    Then there is the S300, superior to the US patriot and no NATO counter-defence. There are the anti-ship missiles like the SS-N-22 again there is no defence against them.

    So, basically, there are absolutely no guarantees of a NATO victory and if Russia looked remotely threatend by the US China would undoubtedly intervene. Chinese tech is very advanced, do not be fooled the media. Look at their manned space-program, it’s bloody impressive. Their software skills are also legendary, and in an era of electronic equipment based warfare that could be very telling.

  63. deepgreenpuddock

    29 Aug, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    Re China overtaking the US. I base my comment on my experience , living and working in the US.
    while It is no secret that the US has relinquished a lot of their productive capacity in consumer goods and outsourced many of the processes, they have conserved and indeed invested heavily in home grown industries and education-most especially in engineering (various branches).
    They have also invested heavily in research and education. Their higher education system is miles ahead of anything else in the world. I know there will be much dispute about this but the scale is overwhelming.In the UK and Europe there are certainly areas of excellence but the American system is simply huge in comparison at every level; The university system is extremely efficient at cherry picking and nurturing talent and rewarding it.
    china does indeed have massive human resources but so far they have not been able to remotely match the US in mass education. It appears that China has one university at the highest level. Compare that to the US with its centres of excellence in Boston, NewYork, Washington, LA, Chicago, Michigan, and LA.
    I am not particularly a sympathiser of the US, but it has to be acknowledged that it is extremely attractive from the point of view of gaining material rewards and acts as a great incentive to immigration of the talented individuals. I guess that Americans are paid on average-twice or three times the equivalent in this country.These kinds of rewards are extremely attractive to immigrants.
    I also have to say that despite reservations about the US and its leading role in the world, as a place to live it is extremely attractive to vast swathes of humanity.

    It was reported that Edward Snowden was on $120,000 a year as a relatively junior contractor in the NSA. 80.000 quid? Not fantastic money, but seems good for that level of work.
    I also suspect that the US has very carefully protected its human and education resources, despite appearances to the contrary, and has been very careful to identify areas of critical technical importance. Their domination of key technologies stifles competing development in other places.I cannot see the US not being aware of the issues related to maintaining their military superiority.
    Furthermore you mention the ascent of Japan and S. korea, but both these places fall within western influence. Their markets are mainly in the west and these countries are highly influenced by Western thinking and interests.

  64. Carlos Johnson

    29 Aug, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    I’ve heard talk that people believe that the Syrian chemical weapons attack was an inside job. People who believe that seem to also believe that 911 was an inside job – just the stupidest conspiracy.

  65. “It was reported that Edward Snowden was on $120,000 a year as a relatively junior contractor in the NSA.”
    All the more reason to doubt his ridiculous claims of having the names of every overseas US agent.

    Both Russia and China realised in the 90s that they were never going to compete with the US on military spending so they gave up the numbers game, instead choosing to put all their R+D efforts into advanced defensive ‘game changers’, like the Yukhont for example, which has made the carrier battle fleet obsolote overnight.

    I could site a large number of examples, but what I will say is that Putin is not bluffing when he warns the West about ‘serious consequences’ of miltary adventurism in the region.

  66. Deep Green Puddock: If you’d posted that 5 years ago I would have agreed with you. I’m just back from the US. It has changed alot. For starters just getting in is a chore. The security started in frankfurt.. everything very thorough. Thought it was going to cavity, but they changed their minds. The paranoia is amazing. And then I arrive in my destination in Maryland to find out that someone had stolen things from my case. You have all of this security and if they can remove things ,then they can also place items into your luggage. It’s a joke.
    All I witnessed was ignorance being supervised by the ignorant. Every 2nd person you meet is employed in defence or the communictaion industry… if not they are waiting tables. They know what they are doing but not why.Education ? Scholarships ? Is that education or just an easy way to get a diploma ? I am not saying the Americans are stupid, but as production has gone east, so has alot of know how. Look at their airports for gods sake. Attaturk is streets ahead.
    The US is sinking, but I still love the people there. They are completely uninformed.

  67. BBC News at 10 is showing LOTS of very graphic images of dead people – talk about conditioning public opinion. It’s like a form of torture “Let us kill them properly or we’ll do it slowly, and show you every night”.

    I’m sure the politicians secretly blame the public for this lack of action. If public opinion against this war had not been so overwhelming Labour would have accepted it without a blink.

  68. Craig,

    “That the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks is perfectly possible but very,  very far from certain.  Particularly as those who claim to have the most certainty about it are precisely those who lied repeatedly about WMD.  That the Assad regime should risk this action now it is winning the war seems peculiar, to say the least.”

    *****************

    Without doubt the most intelligent and truthful sentences i’ve read anywhere since this all began.

    Thank you-and great to have you posting again.

  69. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    Most of the Snowden naysayers have doubted the extent of his access, until the revelations come out. Much of the discussion shows the fookin massiveness of the data burden. Getting as many on the security clearance fasttrack is the goal because it is frankly, almost unmanageable for humans.

    Too much is made of Snowden…hero or traitor? I don’t care. The light of day is essential,

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/08/29/the-black-budget/

  70. They are completely uninformed.

    Hence the biggest miseducation campaign in the world. An educated public will be informed, and aware. Training and education ought not be confused, further levels of income, or “prestige” have little to do with “competency” and “proficiency” of the individual engineers, doctors, etc.

    For high levels of dedication there is a need high for levels of wisdom and knowledge and not glitzy buildings, and massive marketing apparatus.

    Thanks for first hand account.

  71. “Their higher education system is miles ahead of anything else in the world.”

    A personal anecdote from a few months ago. Pub in Covent Garden, two Americans at the bar order 5 pints of Guiness. One asks how much is a pint the answer is £4.35, they then start getting their money ready but can’t work out 5 x 4.35, slightly amused I ask one of them if he knows what 5 x 4 is, which he does so I say ‘remeber that’s £20′, then I say “whats 5 x 35″, I am not kidding they could not do it, ok they had had a couple of beers, but they definately were not drunk. After we had a little giggle one of them pulled out his id, it was for Harvard Univeristy. True story.

  72. Ah “giving succour to Assad”, sez Dave. Where have we heard that before? For me, it’s more about not wanting to kill lots of people without proof, and even then, given the reactions from various other players e.g Iran firing on Israel, not exactly advisable.

    I dunno about the black budget, Ben, but the Pentagon soaks up almost 25 per cent of the Federal spend now. The war machine is, as Ike feared, an out-of-control state within a state. Obama is powerless to rein that in. I think it’s beyond that now, unless the whole political class pulls together on this. And I wouldn’t bet on that happening any time soon.

    I think Cheney, Perle et al succeeded, like Reagan before them, in shifting the whole spectrum to the right. Their legacy will be with us for years to come, just like Thatcher/Blair in this country. It’s a grim thought, but not intractable. Keep hope alive, I guess.

  73. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    “A personal anecdote from a few months ago. Pub in Covent Garden, two Americans at the bar order 5 pints of Guiness. One asks how much is a pint the answer is £4.35, they then start getting their money ready but can’t work out 5 x 4.35, slightly amused I ask one of them if he knows what 5 x 4 is, which he does so I say ‘remeber that’s £20′, then I say “whats 5 x 35″, I am not kidding they could not do it, ok they had had a couple of beers, but they definately were not drunk. After we had a little giggle one of them pulled out his id, it was for Harvard Univeristy. True story.”

    What’s your point?

  74. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    Mike; It actually started in 1947 through the National Security Act. Listen, we can see the Pentagon Budget. We can’t see CIA/NSA. It’s time this blank check is written in disappearing ink.

    Transparency is a wonderful thing.

  75. Parliament votes against syrian intervention in principal. Within one minute newsnight has three bcc journalists talking amongst themselves declaring “this debate is not over”.

  76. Oh I know Ben, the black budget hides lots of nasties, many of themthe wet dreams of the Darpa boys (and gals?). But it’s the scale of the US economy’s (official) retooling as a war economy that speaks for itself.

    Anyway, a soupcon of sanity has crept into British politics, I see. At least the vote proves (for a while anyway) that Miliband is not Jesus Blair.

  77. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    Oh, they haven’t given up, Phil. Mike Rogers (House Intel) was just on saying the same thing. Rogers is the same marionette who was talking about going in to get Snowden, like he was on Seal Team 6. These phuckers don’t change.

  78. I can’t actually watch the BBC on Syria anymore – it’s bad for my blood pressure. Perhaps they should follow up the Telegraph (of all places!) article from Tuesday and tell us why the Saudis have threatened to attack the Sochi Olympic games.

    I eat my fuckin socks of Mark Urban or Ian Pannell told us about that.

  79. The Snowdon affair is likely just the effects of some little clique trying their utmost to get Obama out of office. Snowdown could have easily got the data from a third party, hence he get’s hooked up with a temporary position in a junior role just long enough to give him the ‘NSA whistle-blower’ tag.

    I beleive The Benghazi Consular affair was another such incident, what was supposed to be a limited attack by some little country’s proxy jihadists, so the US rescue mission would give a boost to Obama’s re-election campaing, ended up in the deliberate murder of Ambassador Stevens. Obama got his revenge after he won the election by sacking Hilary Clinton, for it was her idea (i.e. she set the trap and Obama walked into it, presumably they offered her their support to be first female POTUS, which is all she and Bill ever think about).

    Obama is walking along a tightrope, regardless of the right or wrongs of the US and him personally I think he has shown awsome political nouce in not only getting re-elected in spite of the tremendous efforts by the lobby but also keeping well clear of the trap being created for the US in Syria by their ‘eternal’ ally and the enemies he has within.

  80. Interesting take on the man, Donald. It deserves some serious thought.

  81. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 11:02 pm

    Heh; Obama went to Harvard Law and like myself is a product of the US educational failure, but I’m sure he needs help getting across the street. I know i do.

  82. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 11:04 pm

    Cameron vote fails. 282 say NO to Syria.

  83. “What’s your point?”

    I know you’re American and I presume that is ironic (I certainly hope so). If not, first I apologise, second… oh, what’s the point? OK, here: “Their higher education system is miles ahead of anything else in the world.” as confirmed by my own experience with two members of the US of A’s finest business school – $50,000 pa – where they can not do elementary math[s].

  84. The package on Newsnight from Syria with a lot of song and dance “distressing”, etc, … use of napalm, …… wait for it…… wait….

    Then there is the clip a newly painted room (in a war zone remember) with a few characters strewed around the room and ham acting, without any lacerations or limbs torn off but a lot of ohhing and awwwing and ohhing some more, apparently in pain. (the chaps in Newsnight have not seen the naked girl image in Vietnam, with her skin hanging off).

    Recollecting the Iraqi soldiers bayoneting the Kuwaiti infants out of their incubators to take the incubators back to Baghdad!

    Recollecting the Iraqi woman who was raped by 150 Saddam men who turned out she is an actress and was invited to perform in the Labour conference.

    This fucking armature performance for youtube is just one con too far!

    Now there will be oh well; stuff this shit for a game of soldiers and all that crap!

    Interesting isn’t it?

    What is a fucking warmonger to do?

    Just what will it take for the fucking great unwashed to be conned into another war?

    Oh why o why o why?

  85. “Cameron vote fails. 282 say NO to Syria.”

    I can almost hear them putting together their next outrage, “We need to see more children… more screaming… more pain… more death…., that should convince the sceptics and naysayers”.

    When asked what possible reason Assad would have for such illogical actions all Cameron can say is that he is ‘testing the resolve of the international community’. Utterly utterly utterly pathetic. I know who the psycopaths really are.

  86. “Oh why o why o why? ”
    Oy vay oy vay oy vay?

  87. Newsnight = “Wag The Dog”

  88. Assad Hitler Appeasers!!!! The lot of them ……

    What the fuck is with the UK broadcasters?

    Are these tosspots elected reps?

    Who are these tadgers with an autocue? Who they think they fucking are?

    The SIS briefing of the tadgers with an autocue certainly had not read the mood of the nation (using their own parlance) fool me once, and fool me twice, and fool me thrice, ….. Just how many fucking times are they going to fucking fool us and get away with it, do they think?

  89. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    29 Aug, 2013 - 11:21 pm

    Obama threatening to go it alone. Unilateralism. Isn’t that the cautionary tale?

    Anyway words are just words to him. They carry no more weight than a piece of paper with a peace agreement.

  90. Obama threatening to go it alone. Unilateralism. Isn’t that the cautionary tale?

    He really is the Uncle Tom epitome isn’t he?

    He sits there and gets his coterie to be briefing; “Credibility, credibility, credibility ……” In an attempt to show how reluctantly he is getting shoved into a war, honest gov!

    Now he want to go it alone, when even the poodle UK has baulked at the notions of starting the WWIII?

  91. I also beleive that Obama has deliberately forced Dave to bolt early knowing that he would fall at the first hurdel. Every sign was that right up until yesterday Cameron was chasing a US set timetable for action on Thursday, which strangley the US themseleves did not seem to be following.

    Obama openly called Cameron a “fucking lightweight” after their first meeting, ever since Cameron has been an embarrassment in trying to suck up to him – drinking beer, eating hot-dogs, watching basket ball whilst looking seriously ill at ease. I think Obama exploited this weakness in Dave.

    This is a perfect example of how wiley Obama is. He now gets to take no action and all the pressure has moved onto Dave. Another little problem put away for a few more weeks. Genius.

  92. Sofia Kibo Noh

    29 Aug, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    So good to see Craig not only back but clearly in great blogging form. I hope you are feeling as good as you’re writing.

    ”That the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks is perfectly possible but very, very far from certain. Particularly as those who claim to have the most certainty about it are precisely those who lied repeatedly about WMD.

    Too bloody true!

    “Experts Point To Long, Glorious History Of Successful U.S. Bombing Campaigns

    “In light of increased pressure on President Obama to order a military strike on Syria, leading historians and military experts on Tuesday simply pointed to the United States’ longstanding and absolutely impeccable record of successful bombing campaigns over the past 60 years…” The Onion, (America’s Finest News Source. Well, that’s what they say anyway)

    @Brian Fujisan. (With apologies about the company I’m making you keep here)

    ”Contrary to western diplomats hollow claims; in late May militant cells with links to Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham were found in both Iraq and Turkey with sarin and other chemical weapons materiel in their possession…” ,

    President Obama, (Peace Prize Winner and Drone Assassin)

    “Suggestions that there’s any doubt about who’s responsible for this are as preposterous as a suggestion that the attack did not occur…”

    So, if it transpires, as seems increasingly likely, that the chemical attack was carried out by the rebel proxy forces, does that mean places like Porton Down and US chemical weapons locations will have to get flattened and burned in another Glorious Episode?

    The US agreed in 1993 to end all use and production of chemical weapons, as well as to destroy of all chemical weapons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Weapons_Convention

    Twenty years later a quarter of the US’s vast stockpile remains undestroyed.
    Our rulers need to explain how they expect a bombing campaign to do the job in Syria?
    Surely if a chemical weapons stockpile is bombed clouds of these chemicals will drift with the wind?
    Won’t large numbers of people will be poisoned?
    What about the Responsibility to Protect?

  93. I know what!

    Fight the fucking Spaniards!

    Those Daigo bastard have been fucking around with the concrete blocks dropped with the royal navy! Oh the honour of our concrete blocks and the violation thereof! Today our concrete blocks, tomorrow fuck knows what else, attack I say, attack now, or our credibility and phony baloney stuff and shit will be violated! Recall the parliament pronto, and who knows we can go and bomb Assad Hitler afterwards!

  94. “Anyway words are just words to him. They carry no more weight than a piece of paper with a peace agreement.”

    ‘The most important traits in a politician are sincerity, honesty and integrity. If you can fake that you’ve got it made.’

  95. “I know what! Fight the fucking Spaniards!”

    oh, have the pubs shut?

  96. oh, have the pubs shut?

    Craps never thought of that, cant have that! Back to the drawing board.

  97. “This is a perfect example of how wiley Obama is. He now gets to take no action and all the pressure has moved onto Dave.”

    … and he ruined his summer holiday. Three cheers for the POTUS.

  98. Our tag-team visitors conspicuous by their absence from this blog today.

    I wonder if they’ve been assigned a new mission for a small while?

  99. I wonder if they’ve been assigned a new mission for a small while?

    All hands to the pump to get the line; “fall in line behind your government” across the various sites, too many sceptics and too few keyboard hasbara elements!

  100. Sofia Kibo Noh

    30 Aug, 2013 - 12:01 am

    @Fedup.11 18pm

    ”Just how many fucking times are they going to fucking fool us and get away with it, do they think?

    Well, judging by the unprecedented low polling for the bombfest option, we’re witnessing something different this time.

    What happens when majority society feels this way about what is being done in their name?

  101. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    30 Aug, 2013 - 12:01 am

    Two days ago, the contingency plan was revealed;

    Syrian Electronic Army !!! Hacked NYT !!!!

    Today after the Cameron bashing, it was trotted out again.

    ‘OMG. They could hack into our power grid, our iphones and facebook.’

    BOOGA, BOOGA !!!

    The war mongers are pure genius.

  102. I’m told that this is the document containing “evidence” that was given to MPs today/this evening

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/235094/Jp_115_JD_PM_Syria_Reported_Chemical_Weapon_Use_with_annex.pdf

  103. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    30 Aug, 2013 - 12:17 am

    ‘Highly likely’ is not persuasive and obviously that was understood, Dre.

    The Admin has proof through recorded discussions about an attack. I wonder why they left that out of the UK briefing?

  104. “I wonder why they left that out of the UK briefing?”

    Maybe, Ben, because such things can be faked?

    I read someone on Twitter saying that they watched the debate and were surprised that so many MPs mentioned the fact that the attack could have been a deliberate false flag event by the “rebels”.

    So there are “conspiracy theorists” among the MPs too!

  105. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    30 Aug, 2013 - 12:27 am

    “Maybe, Ben, because such things can be faked?”

    And are highly subject to interpretation? I think they overestimated the support. I think you guys effectively communicated with Parliament, and this was the outcome. Congrats.

    Now it’s up to us…(facepalm)

  106. “The JIC had high confidence in all of its assessments except in relation to the regime’s precise motivation for carrying out an attack of this scale at this time – though intelligence may increase our confidence in the future.”

    It seems even the openly unintelligent JIC is diffident about its ability to concoct a plausible rationale. Surely the Syrian regime must have a narrative which rebuts the points made in the JIC document. Admittedly, they aren’t getting much media airtime. Can anybody locate up a detailed rebuttal on t’web?

  107. Sofia Kibo Noh

    30 Aug, 2013 - 12:45 am

    @Donald. 9 41pm

    Spot on!

    I feel we shouldn’t underestimate China and it’s people.

    China has been the most technologically advanced society for most of history and recent western superiority may well be seen by future historians as simply a brief anomaly.

    From the time when progress in marine technology made it possible to explore sea routes, numerous attempts were made by the Europeans to establish commercial contact with China, a country believed to possess some of the finest of treasures.

    In September 1793 the first British ambassador to China, Lord George Macartney was finally granted an audience with Emperor Qianlong to whom he presented £150000 worth of the best quality items British manufacturing technology could produce. He also delivered a letter from George III, in which the King of England requested permission from the Emperor Qianlong to establish a British Resident Minister in Peking in charge of overseeing trading affairs.
    This and a second letter were both unconditionally rejected.

    A second mission led by Lord Amherst went to China in 1816 and, like its predecessor, returned without any agreement with the Chinese government.

    Trade continued but the shortage of silver to pay for the tea imports forced the British to seek other commodities to compensate for the loss and to bring in profit. They discovered opium, a highly lucrative commodity. Opium had been banned in China by Imperial edict of 1729 . The East India Company was responsible for most of its production in India.

    By 1830s, opium had flooded the entire black market in China and, inevitably, became a major cause of concern for the Chinese Government. A Chinese official in Canton, Commissioner Lin, ordered the confiscation of some 20,000 chests of opium from English ships and refused to pay indemnity to the British traders. This incident outraged the British and triggered the first Opium War in 1840. This lasted two years and resulted in a treaty which caused Hong Kong to be ceded to the British Crown for 150 years and five other Chinese ports to be opened to foreign traders.

    ( Much of the above shamelessly copied and pasted from, http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion/asia/china/guidesources/chinatrade/ )

    Though curiously absent from my history classes I’m sure Chinese people are better educated on these issues. They have developed their research and production skills while the West has trashed and out-sourced theirs to….well…China of course!

    Meanwhile US has become an “army with a country” that allows it’s own society and infrastructure to crumble while devoting more than 50% of it’s economy to military matters, and it’s foreign policy to domination and plunder, all in order to feed the avarice of a tiny elite.

    But I’m going on a bit now, sorry.

    Goodnight All and thanks.

  108. “Fight the fucking Spaniards!”

    Spain is a bit like Dundee.

    Only in Spain it’s the Moors that come out of the hills.

  109. A curiosity here- I am not sure that China has the capacity to overhaul the US in military terms. All sorts of reasons for that, but the technological lead enjoyed by the US at the moment , and their unrivalled capacity to generate new technology, both seem overwhelming, compared to China.

    You’re forgetting their frightening facility at reverse-engineering absolutely anything…came across a site devoted to Chinese military hardware t’other day, and the great majority is reimagined French, Russian and even US kit. There was a Chinese American Humvee with Chinese French AA missiles among other things. US innovation may be good, but it’s less than useful unless the innovations can be made reliable and put into mass production. The Chinese are rather good at that, and at industrial espionage. They don’t need to be madly innovative.

    I see Fred didn’t enjoy Dundee…my affection for the place grows. Who has not been panhandled by a smackhead while consuming a peh in the bus station has not lived…

  110. The Admin has proof through recorded discussions about an attack. I wonder why they left that out of the UK briefing?

    Because the recordings were made by Israel, and even hardened Fox watchers might have smelt a rat…there’s also the isolated report that Israel had a source in an “elite” Syrian unit with responsibility for CW. Of course, once that got out, there will have been some questions asked in the unit, and I guess the guilty party (if he exists) has even now been strung up by his thumbs and beaten to death, but the fiction of protecting ones’ sources has to be maintained.

  111. “I see Fred didn’t enjoy Dundee”

    Methinks Fred had the piss taken out of him, as he marched with full regalia on one of his Orange Order parades.
    It can’t be easy being a supporter of the British State in Dundee.

  112. Craig – if the US is the most powerful military force on earth, then why do they let the Israelis handle security at US nuclear installations, both civil and military?

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted by Expathos