Teaser 94


Alarm at Russian expansion had at this time caused a flurry of British intelligence activity.  Russia was fighting a tremendous spirit of resistance in its newly conquered territories in the Caucasus, and in a secret service operation Palmerston sent a British ship, the Vixen, into the Black Sea in 1836 to run arms to Chechen resistance fighters there.  It caused a diplomatic incident when the ship was intercepted by Russian forces, but Palmerston sent an assurance to Russian foreign minister Count Nesselrode that the British government had no knowledge of the venture – just as Nesselrode was to assure Palmerston two years later that the Russian government had not authorised Witkiewicz’ mission to Kabul.  Both men were highly accomplished liars.

I am still working very hard indeed on Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game and I thought you might enjoy that paragraph as a little teaser, given its contemporary relevance.  The world hasn’t really changed that much in the intervening 180 years.


94 thoughts on “Teaser

1 2 3 4
  • Joe

    That’s the ‘terror of the situation’ Craig. The ‘elite’ of this world have been pulling the same kind of shit that makes for a fucked up world for longer than anyone can even imagine.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Seems to me that the nationality, office, and the sex of the liars has changed, though the response time is faster and more powerful now.

    I am thinking of Condi Rice, GW’s National Security Adviser, and her lies about the Russian takeover of South Ossetia when it was Georgia’s President Saakasvili who tried to do it, but Putin’s forces managed to get to the southern exit to the tunnel under the Caucasus before the Georgians did.

    She is heating up the rhetoric now about what the Russian President is up to.

    Still: Putin 2, West 0

  • lwtc247

    Palmerston : What the hell right did he have to do any of this? Another filthy imperialist.

  • Resident Dissident

    Putin’s lie that there are no Russian troops in Crimea is hardly highly accomplished – perhaps brazen would be a better description?

  • Herbie

    Res Diss

    “Putin’s lie that there are no Russian troops in Crimea is hardly highly accomplished – perhaps brazen would be a better description?”

    Did Putin say that?

    Seems strange, given that there’s a garrison there of something like 15,000 serving the Black Sea Fleet, and they’re entitled to have 25,000.

    You’re a bit confused.

  • fred

    “That’s the ‘terror of the situation’ Craig. The ‘elite’ of this world have been pulling the same kind of shit that makes for a fucked up world for longer than anyone can even imagine.”

    Yeh. I was reading a quote by Samuel Johnson the other day “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. It was puzzling at first, Johnson is known to have been a patriot. Then I realised if you substitute the word “psychopath” for the word “scoundrel” it makes perfect sense and could apply equally as well today.

  • Roderick Russell

    Re: “The world hasn’t really changed that much in the intervening 180 years.”

    One difference is that Russia is a huge nuclear power; therefor risking war these days is rather more serious than it was in Palmerston’s time.

    A second difference is that Palmerston saw Russia as a threat to (then) British India and sought to provide diversions in the caucuses as part of the great game. Rightly or wrongly he probably thought that he was serving British Interests. I can’t see what Britain and Canada think they have to gain today where there is no vital British or Canadian interest involved. Indeed Mr. Putin’s Russia has been remarkably benign compared to the old Soviet Union or Tsarist Russia, and change in my view – given Russian history – is more likely to be for the worse than for the better.

  • N_

    @Craig – Out of interest, have you read Le Carré’s Our Game? Big Caucasus theme. He’s very clued-in as usual.

    Elsewhere in that heterogenous area (in which Dagestan is especially heterogeneous), there is the republic of Kalmykia.

    Until 2010, Kalmykia was reigned over by billionaire President Ilyumzhinov, who makes it clear in his autobiography (which may still be online) that he models himself on Hitler without the racism (sic). He is of course a mega-crook. He’s also an interesting combination of craziness and intelligent statecraft.

    He’s Buddhist but like ‘Prince’ Charles he seems to want to be head of all religions. (Nazarbaybev in Kazakhstan seems to have given up his ambitions in that department. Big Brit architecture contracts for the pyramid etc. though.)

    Like Klitschko in the Ukraine, Ilyumzhinov too was a champion boxer. Of course one has to recognise that unlike in Georgia and Chechenia, at least there hasn’t been war in Kalmykia, which is of course a good thing.

    A lot of the local leaders in far-flung places in the Russian Federation were on the plane a lot to and fro to Moscow in earlier incarnations and put a lot of stock on, er, ‘order’ and good relations with the centre.

    Problems then arise when you get some complete cunt like Berezovsky who played a major role in stoking war in Chechenia so as to line his filthy pockets. (There’s a good story about Berezovsky in Ilyumzhinov’s autobiography.) Similarly Western interests deliberately started war in Libya after they’d already taken over the fucking country. At least it hasn’t been as prolonged as in Chechenia.

    Ilyumzhinov is still head of the World Chess Federation FIDE.

    Some parallels could be drawn with Nazarbayev the dictator of Kazakhstan, although in his case there’s someone called Alexander Mashkevitch who owns enormous interests in Kazakhstan and probably sees Nazarbayev as a useful idiot.

    As you know, Nazarbayev was once on the Politburo of the USSR, a fact which many people in Kazakstan are unaware of. Mashkevitch, a Jew from Kyrgyzstan, is now described in the Brit press as a “London-based Israeli businessman”. Ho hum. Like many other oligarchs from the former Soviet area, he’s not only Jewish but he has held important positions in official Jewish organisations.

  • fred

    “One difference is that Russia is a huge nuclear power; therefor risking war these days is rather more serious than it was in Palmerston’s time.”

    Yet there were those in the American government during the Cold War who did advocate nuclear war. There argument was that if one side were to strike first, massively and with no warning whatsoever, then they would probably end up with some of their country intact while the other would be totally destroyed. Therefore America should be the one to do it before Russia did.

    What is more worrying is theses people went on to achieve positions of power and one of them, Dick Cheney, is calling for military action against Russia in Crimea.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    From N_

    “Mashkevitch, a Jew from Kyrgyzstan, is now described in the Brit press as a “London-based Israeli businessman”. Ho hum. Like many other oligarchs from the former Soviet area, he’s not only Jewish but he has held important positions in official Jewish…”
    _______________________

    Only about 8 comments in and we’re off already!

    Question to Eminences and others : is a Jewish Russian oligarch better or worse than a non-Jewish Russian oligarch? Answers on a postcard please.

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

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    From Fred, branching out from Scottish independence into Cold War issues

    “Yet there were those in the American government during the Cold War who did advocate nuclear war.”
    ___________________

    Correct, and their arguments did not win the day.

    Relevance to anything in particular?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Hurby

    Res Diss

    ““Putin’s lie that there are no Russian troops in Crimea is hardly highly accomplished – perhaps brazen would be a better description?”

    Did Putin say that?

    Seems strange, given that there’s a garrison there of something like 15,000 serving the Black Sea Fleet, and they’re entitled to have 25,000.”
    ____________________

    Serving the Black Sea fleet, not surrounding Ukrainian army barracks and Ukrainian airfields, beating up Ukrainian govt supporters, preventing an OSCE observer mission from entering what is still Ukrainian territory, etc, etc, etc.

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

    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier! (J. Stalin, ca. 1932)

  • fred

    “From Fred, branching out from Scottish independence into Cold War issues”

    Look shit for brains you don’t even know what my opinions on Scottish independence are. All you know is what the Nationalist keep saying they are so they can pretend I have an ulterior motive for telling the truth.

    So crawl back under your stone.

  • N_

    1) The Brits secretly supplied weapons to “Chechen resistance fighters” in 1836.

    2) “The world hasn’t really changed that much in the intervening 180 years.

    You’re not suggesting…?

    Well Britain does support Akhmed Zakayev, current Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, who lives in London despite being wanted on terrorism charges and who sat on the rebel Chechen cabinet alongside Shamil Basayev, the butcher of Beslan.

    I’m thinking here of how the British SAS trained the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s.

    (@Habby: your racism – or maybe you’re just a JTRIGger pretending, but what do I care? – makes you look completely absurd. You just have to put your fists up whenever anyone says anything negative about anyone who’s Jewish and who’s involved in an ethnically based crime ring, don’t you? What on earth is wrong with someone like that? Did you have any human values even when you were a small child?)

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    You are very good at linking the historical patters to contemporaneity.

    When intellect is married to practical life experiences – you are not a bad chap after all.

    Now kneel and arise – Sir Murray.

    LOL
    CB

  • Someone

    Found this in the link I put on above.

    “18. Liam Fox – Conservative MP – became shadow health secretary in 1999 – employs Adam Werrity as a paid intern in 2004 – by this time Adam Werrity becomes a director of health consultancy firm ‘UK Health Ltd’ (now dissolved), while Liam Fox was shadow health secretary of which he and Liam Fox were shareholders. Werrity owned 11.5% of UK Health Group and Fox owned 2.3%. In 2005 a researcher based in Mr Fox’s office worked ‘exclusively’ for the now closed Atlantic Bridge ‘charity’, which Liam Fox was the founding member; Mr Werrity became director, and which had links to radical right-wing neocons in the U.S. The researcher received funding from Pfizer Inc. He claimed ‘she has no function in any health role.’ The researcher was Gabby Bertin, who is now David Cameron’s press secretary. Received £5,000 to run his private office in October 2012 from investment company IPGL limited, who purchased healthcare pharma company Cyprotex.”

  • fool

    Some things haven’t changed much since 1555, i.e. British enthusiasm for trade with Russia.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Fred

    “you don’t even know what my opinions on Scottish independence are.”
    _____________________

    Don’t talk crap. By the way you dump on every argument in favour, you’re obviously against.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    N_

    “You just have to put your fists up whenever anyone says anything negative about anyone who’s Jewish”
    ________________

    Not at all. I just feel impelled to kick the arse of someone who makes a point – of no relevance to the main story – of lovingly identifying someone he doesn’t like as being Jewish.

    If this bloke you were commenting about were Buddist or aHindu, I don’t think you’d bother to mention his religion.

  • fred

    “Putin dismissed the notion that the uniformed armed people without insignia who are currently present in Crimea are Russian soldiers.”

    That could well be true.

    In the Iraq ar America circumvented the law by using mercenaries, soldiers but not technically American soldiers. Blackwater as they were called then.

    It’s not implausible that Russia decided that if America can do it so can they.

  • Someone

    “Michael Smith, the author of Six: A History of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (2010), has argued that MI6 officers based in Russia, were involved in developing a plot to assassinate Rasputin. Giles Milton, argues in Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Global Plot (2013), that the original idea came from Samuel Hoare, the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service in Petrograd. Hoare believed that Rasputin was sabotaging the Russian war effort and if he was murdered “the country would be freed from the sinister influence that was striking down its natural leaders and endangering the success of its armies in the field.” Richard Cullen, the author of Rasputin: The Role of Britain’s Secret Service in his Torture and Murder (2010), claims that agents Oswald Rayner, John Scale and Stephen Alley were involved in the plot.”

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSrasputin.htm

  • mark golding

    ‘The Revolution that Shook the World’ certainly had a ‘bird’s eye view’ – an oleaginous narrative and film. Essentially dark on gore, the view was psychologically ubiquitous and subliminally powerful it was a first class act in deception, expectedly much better than the latest Russian attempt.

    ..and I contributed?

  • Resident Dissident

    “1) The Brits secretly supplied weapons to “Chechen resistance fighters” in 1836.

    2) “The world hasn’t really changed that much in the intervening 180 years.”

    If you had read Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad you’d know that that Putin’s attitude towards Chechenya had changed little from the Tsarist authorities in those days.

  • fred

    “Don’t talk crap. By the way you dump on every argument in favour, you’re obviously against.”

    You are obviously a shit for brained moron retard.

    So don’t tell me what my opinions are dick head and don’t go broadcasting your delusions about me around around this blog because you just don’t have a clue.

    Got that? Talk about me and you get a flame war.

    Now fuck off.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Problems then arise when you get some complete cunt like Berezovsky who played a major role in stoking war in Chechenia so as to line his filthy pockets.”

    While I can agree with this assessment of Berezovsky – perhaps you might wish to apply the same description to Putin who did his own little bit towards stoking up another war in Chechenya?

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.