Living With Putin (and Assad) 226

The West cannot approach the problems of Syria, Ukraine or Iran without facing up to the question of its relationship with Putin’s Russia. That relationship is now severely dysfunctional and characterised by squabble and acrimony on a range of detail encompassing much of the globe.

Anti-Russian sentiment is now forming part of the ceaseless wave of militarist propaganda to which the media endlessly subjects us. There were particularly pointless pieces two days ago on all British broadcast media about one of the Royal parasites taking the salute at the 100th anniversary of some RAF squadron. Every week some military unit will have some anniversary. Plus the Second World War lasted fully six years, and as the 70th, 75th and 80th anniversaries are each to be commemorated of every happening during that war, there is never a single day with a shortage of excuse for some royal prat in a Ruritanian uniform to take a salute.

Both Sky and the BBC have recently run pieces on how the brave RAF squadrons protect us from the devastating Russian bomber threat. The alleged “problem” was that Russian aircraft fly along in international airspace close to British airspace. In other words, there is a major issue with Russian aircraft behaving perfectly legally. No mention was made of the fact that NATO aircraft do exactly the same thing to Russia, only many times more often. We saw jets scrambled to meet the “emergency” of Russian aircraft who were – err – flying along well North of Scotland and never entering British airspace at all. You were supposed to watch it and think how happy we are that the RAF are keeping us safe. I was left sobbing at the millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money I had just watched wasted for no reason at all.

Which is not to say that Russia is not a threat. Russia plainly is a threat to some of its immediate neighbours. Putin holds that parts of the Former Soviet Union with ethnic Russian populations should be absorbed into Russia. That was the cause of the attack on Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the de facto annexation of parts of Eastern Ukraine. Putin’s motivation is sometimes hard to fathom, but certainly this use of military power against weak neighbours, with a definite ethnic agenda, is very popular with the Russian public. To Putin, it is more or less cost free, as Western corporate interests would be damaged by any positive action Western governments might take – the “sanctions” are almost entirely token. Putin is not mad enough to take on one of the former Soviet states which is now in NATO or the EU, so his possible future targets are severely limited.

Nor is it plain that Putin is “winning” in a strategic sense. Just three years ago, Russia had a pre-eminent influence throughout all of Ukraine. Now 70% of Ukraine has been lost forever to any Russian influence at all. That is a peculiar kind of victory. The economy of the Crimea plus Donbass is in disarray and even before the crisis, the GDP of the entire region was about the same as the GDP of Dundee. The whole exercise is yet another example of the thesis of J A Hobson, adopted by Lenin, that Imperialism benefits the military and political classes but not the Imperial nation as a whole. The Ukraine civil war has been good for Putin and the Russian military. It has done nothing for Russia.

It is coincidence that the Ukraine confrontation has coincided with a collapse in hydrocarbon prices. But the economic impact of that collapse has been stark and has highlighted Putin’s total failure in the most important task facing him – the diversification of the Russian economy. The failure to develop a viable manufacturing sector and to halt the extreme, Nigerian style levels of capital flight has condemned Russia to continuing Second World economic status. People take issue with my description of the Russian economy as the same size as the Spanish economy. I stand by it. Remember published economic data is historic, rather than reflecting the situation today. I am also unimpressed by attempts to disguise economic failure by using Purchasing Power Parity, rather than actual dollar values. PPP states that as cabbage is extremely cheap in Ekaterinburg, Russians are cabbage rich. So what?

Russia is no superpower. Its economy is the same size as Spain’s, and a good deal less diversified. It is a nationalistic kleptocracy. It has nonetheless a certain residual influence from its imperial past, and continuing Imperial present. Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan remain colonies. Putin is extremely aware of that, which is why peaceful anti-imperial pro-independence campaigners from those countries receive heavy prison sentences, or simply get killed.

Undoubtedly the temporary economic difficulties caused by the oil price collapse have decreased Russian influence for a time. Russia went from being a major player in the Iran nuclear talks (remember the proposals about processing of Iranian fuel in Russia), to being in the end irrelevant. Russia’s impotence over Iran came from a realisation that the prospect of a return of Iranian oil to the open market would depress energy prices still further. But in Ukraine by virtue of force on the ground, and in Syria by simple virtue of being plainly right where the West has been horribly wrong, Russia remains an important player.

I have no time for the Assad regime. The current occupant is not so vicious as his father, but it remains a dictatorship, and I look forward to the day it passes. But you have to be crazed not to accept that the growth of vicious Islamic extremism means that it is necessary for Syria to be reunited under Assad and the dictatorship to survive another decade. That plainly is the lesser of a number of evils. There is no good solution.

Attempts to demonise the Assad regime over use of chemical weapons have been almost entirely unconvincing. The effort by the media to demonise “barrel bombs” – as though being eviscerated by a proper western made technological bomb is preferable to being eviscerated by a homemade bomb – has been bizarre. What is needed is an immediate halt to the funding of combatants by the USA, Saudi Arabia and their allies, and at least an internal acknowledgement that was what created ISIL in the first place. Russia should instead be authorised and funded by the UN to help enforce peace, and Russian troops should wear blue helmets. We then need a comprehensive peace deal which guarantees that the Assad regime will not pursue reprisal, and includes the return of the illegally occupied Golan Heights to Syria.

No other outcome can lead to a sustainable solution which can halt the flow of refugees compelled to leave their homeland. The first step towards such a deal must be a summit meeting between the western powers and Putin. Ideally, Ukraine should also be on the agenda. The obvious solution there is a major UN force followed, after a year of peace, by a genuine referendum on joining Russia in each of the various districts of Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea.

I am not crazy and I realise that none of this will happen. What will happen instead is that the West will intensify the civil war in both Syria and Ukraine. In Syria, the neo-cons of the Tory Party will ally with the Blairite Red Tories and the UK will join in, happily bombing away, killing thousands of civilians. Within three weeks of the parliamentary vote they will be massively bombing the Syrian army too because, we will be told, it is necessary to degrade Syrian ground defences to ensure the safety of our airmen. The flow of refugees will intensify.

One aspect of the refugee crisis nobody wishes directly to address is the ferocious grip that xenophobia and racism has on the cultures of Eastern Europe. This lies behind an interesting article in the Guardian by Irina Molodikova which sought to explain this in terms of resentment of historical conquest by the Ottoman Empire. That is a peculiarly Eastern European line of defence, but fails to wash as it goes nowhere to explain the rampant anti-semitism in countries like Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, nor the abuse suffered by black people.

I have personally witnessed extraordinary degrees of racism throughout Eastern Europe. It is a cultural trait common to the otherwise conflicting nationalisms of Poland and Russia. It should not be forgotten that Russia – which is again officially encouraging its citizens to breed as it needs population – is making no significant offer to accept Syrian refugees. I continually hear stories of the everyday experiences with violent racism and discrimination suffered by Uzbek workers in Russia.

I am conscious this lengthy article rambles through a number of major issues. But the problems we face are organic, complex and linked. Any neat analysis is bound to be false, and any neat dichotomy wrong. Those who believe “Putin Bad, West Good” or “West Bad, Putin Good” are fools, just as those who believe “Islam Good, Christians Bad” or “Christians Good, Islam Bad” are fools. We need a deeper understanding. We are about to face a deluge of war propaganda. A genuine understanding is the true defence against it.

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226 thoughts on “Living With Putin (and Assad)

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  • Peter Beswick

    At last Herbie someone that “gets it” other than the other bloke. Anyway welcome on board, you will be kitted out with the garters and a woggle at the next meeting, you are looking very promising, have you thought about where you want to be in say …

    Enough of that let me take your coat the tea urn is just about warm, turns off at midnight but you can make yourself a brew and we will sit here until the next poor schmuck comes along.

    A couple of pointers; if you think you are in danger of corpsing or breaking try thinking about Assad killing babies with mustard gas, not form big oil drums dropped from air ballons but him sneaking up with one of those squirty things you get from garden centres and taking the baby in his arms, pretending to kiss it and then splot, right in the gob. That’s how he normally does its shocking I know.

    Look I know this is your first day/night, it could be a long shift you don’t have £20 quid and I’ll go and get some croissants and a new jar of decaf whilst you hold the fort, there’s a good chap, you are going to shine at this I can tell.

    William Tell and apples ………..

  • Peter Beswick

    No, I just left Herbie with the reigns tou can let Fwl go, hasn’t got the imagination you know. If Herbie asks where I am tell him the palace called.

  • Beth

    Barbara McKenzie 3.50pm—-Couldn’t agree more. I have been lucky enough to spend time in Syria between 1991 and 2010. On my first visit I met the British Ambassador who absolutely loved Syria.He was the person who received John McCarthy on his release. On my last visit in 2010 we had an extra week thanks to the volcano eruption in Iceland. As you said a lot of improvements and changes had taken place. There were so many more tourists in Damascus that time. I feel sad for people who have not been to Syria. The people who are trying to destroy Syria are evil but I don’t think they will succeed.

  • Peter Beswick

    Signal just in from the palace.

    Herbie stop If Beth calls again stop there is a stop machine gun in waste paper basket stop dont hesitate to use it stop palace sends their love and stop say you are doing a very important job dont stop stop

  • Old Mark

    I read an interesting article about anti-semitism in Bulgaria by a Bulgarian priest, either Orthodox or Catholic, I don’t remember which. His point was that there was no anti-semitism in Bulgaria, until liberation from the Ottomans, which occurred in the 19th century. Then it came in with a vengeance.

    The ‘interesting’ article sounds like piffle to me Laguerre; Bulgaria is probably the least anti semitic country in the region. Most of its Jews (mainly Ladino speaking Sephardim)survived the holocaust and the country (until recent terrorist attacks by Islamists) was favoured as a holiday destination by Israeli tourists .

    The little old lady who was never found despite the best efforts of British journalists of all persuasions?

    As I said, you’re a joke.

    Habba, Lysias is wrong to take Powell’s murmurerings about CIA involvement in the Airey Neave & Robert Bradford assassinations seriously- but you are dead wrong in claiming the little old lady Powell referred to anonymously in his April 1968 speech didn’t exist. She did- and her name was Druscilla Cotterill

  • Jives

    Oh Canspeccy,

    Watch out for the swarm,nay tsunami,of coloured people in the world wontcha mate?

    Theyre all really out to get you and your Earl Grey elevenses and other comforts.

    You dunce.

  • Barbara McKenzie

    6.15 Unfortunately it seems to be quite fashionable to quote the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and a number of other equally dubious sites …

    6.23 Thank you for the Curtis recommendation. I have read his book Unpeople, and will certainly get this one.

    Beth 12.55 am Good to get your input.

  • Silvio

    Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer. He was born in Russia but moved to the USA at the age of 12 with his family and completed his high school and engineering degree in the USA. He made several trips back to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and claims to see in the US today many signs of an impending economic collapse that reminds him of the situation in the USSR as forces beyond its control lead to the dissolution of the USSR and an economic implosion.

    Orlov has written several books on the topic, e.g. Societies That Collapse, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, and The Five Stages of Collapse – Survivors’ Toolkit.

    Here is a snip from Orlov’s latest blog entry touching on recent US foreign policy failures:

    America’s Latest Foreign Policy Fiascos, Part I
    Dmitry Orlov

    US meddling in the Ukraine has produced none of the results it was intended to produce:

    • It didn’t isolate Russia internationally
    • It didn’t destroy Russia’s economy
    • It didn’t pull Russia into a futile, unpopular, bloody conflict
    • It didn’t produce regime change within Russia

    Just the opposite:

    • It prompted Russia, China and several other countries to opt for closer economic and security ties
    • It motivated Russia to think seriously about import replacement, giving its domestic economy a big boost
    • It made the US and NATO part to a bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine while Russia has steadfastly stood on the sidelines providing humanitarian aid
    • It caused Russia’s “nonsystemic opposition”—so called because it can never garner enough votes to win any election anywhere—which has been financed by American NGOs and transnational oligarchs like Soros, Khodorkovsky and others, to pretty much fade from the Russian political scene altogether, all the while complaining bitterly about the horrible Russian people who don’t understand them and the lack of imported French cheeses, not to mention the pâtés; please, don’t get them started on the pâtés—that would be simply too cruel.

    And then here are some bonus points:

    • It has increased the popularity of Russia’s government, and Vladimir Putin personally while making the average Russian greatly dislike the US in particular, and mistrust the West in general
    • It has driven a political wedge between the US and the EU, with EU member-states now starting to dimly discern for the first time that US policies are undermining rather than enhancing their security
    • It has provided Russia with a bonanza in the form of 1.5 million additional Russians, in the form of refugees from the economically collapsed, war-torn Ukraine.
    • It has put Russia in a position where it can just sit back and let the US, NATO and their puppets in the Ukraine twist in the wind, or soak in a cesspool of their own creation, or sit back and watch as a dunce’s cap is lowered onto their collective head while circus music plays—or your own hyperbolic metaphor—but their level of embarrassment is already high and getting higher.

  • Joe

    “Putin holds that parts of the Former Soviet Union with ethnic Russian populations should be absorbed into Russia. That was the cause of the attack on Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the de facto annexation of parts of Eastern Ukraine.”

    Not true. In Georgia NATO sought to attack Russia in the usual way – through proxy jihadi mercenaries. Russia acted ‘lawfully’ (in terms of the version of international law established long ago by the USA) to protect its interests.

    Crimea was clearly not “annexed” and its absorption into Russia also occurred in the context of a concerted attempt by the USA and its NGOs and snipers to attack Russia by taking Ukraine and Crimea, and most importantly Russia black sea fleet port, away from Russia. This was a ‘red line’ for Russia and rightly so.

    Craig, you seem consistently unable to see the situation as it really is: The anglo-American empire desperately attempting to ‘roll back’ Russia (and China) and prevent them from taking their rightful place on the world stage as major Eurasian powers which, if united with the rest of Eurasia in a sensible, practical economic union, would spell the end of US hegemony.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Would be interesting to try and draw some Ven Overton windows showing the overlaps between countries, say between the Greek Overton window alongside the British. Its always good to see what others are saying eg Varufakis on QT.

    Now there’s a project! You’d need some consistent measures of leftwardness and rightwardness, though – would involve trawling through dozens of public opinion surveys, perhaps. Some aspects of our policy have (officially) shifted left, such as legislation on gay marriage, while legislation penalising the unemployed has leapt right: could be tricky establishing a set of measures which would not be instantly challenged by PR’s such as Cameron.

    I do wish zombie politicians such as Mandelson and Blair would butt out. I hope this has been posted before, but in case it hasn’t, this where Mandelson’s interests lie:

    IOW, here’s a member of the UK government who is joined at the hip with a potentially hostile country’s high heid yins, presuming to advise a UK socialist party which he has abandoned for all practical purposes in order to become filthy rich. And indeed the man whose advice did not succeed in getting that party elected.

    Latest Blairings in the usual place…

  • Mary

    See how it works.

    Media coverage of upcoming UN meetings is worth watching as Russia chairs Sec Council this month and Putin makes his first visit to the UN in a decade.

    America has been working hard behind the scenes to pre-emptively block certain of Russia’s proposals, eg on Syria and Israel-Palestine.
    This Foreign Policy article is a must-read if one wants context for upcoming UN media coverage:

    “US Stonewalls Putin’s anti-terror push at the United Nations” / Foreign Policy

    (HT Margo Medialens MB)

  • Mary

    The war on Yemen by the Saudis as proxies for the US, has not been mentioned.

    Starving civilians in Yemen wish for death to escape horrors of war
    Civilians have been devastated by war in which both the Saudi-led coalition and Houthis are accused of committing war crimes

    The UK as arms supplier again.

    ‘In the meantime, the coalition’s relentless bombing campaign continues to fuel popular anger and resentment against Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Western arms exporters such as the United States and the United Kingdom. The UK, in particular, has been one of the leading arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia, granting the kingdom 37 export military licenses since the beginning of its Yemeni campaign in March.

    “The UK Government is quietly fuelling the Yemen conflict and exacerbating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, potentially in breach of both domestic and international laws on the sales of arms,” Oxfam said in a statement earlier this month.

    The legal framework governing the arms trade prohibits deals where there is a clear risk that weapons might be used to commit war crimes or human rights abuses. Human rights groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of potential war crimes, pointing to a pattern of airstrikes in civilian areas that included no obvious military targets.’

  • Jim

    Not sure Tatarstan can be lumped in with Chechnya. It is in the heart of Russia for a start. Also not convinced that a mainstream Chechen movement is a serious threat to Russian interests there any longer (or Russians are doing much fighting there).

    Interesting perspective from you none-the-less. I think it is a danger glossing over the kind of regime in Ukraine and the state of its economy. The number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia is in the millions now. So would be interested to hear your thoughts on that.

  • Andrew

    Why doesn’t Britain commemorate those who died for us in the Soviet Union during the Second World War? The debt is enormous. According to the historian A.J.P. Taylor:

    “Soviet Russia did most of the fighting against Germany, sustained nine tenths of the casualties, and suffered catastrophic economic losses. The British suffered considerable economic loss and sustained comparatively few casualties. The Americans made great economic gains and had a trifling number of casualties fighting against Germany – their main losses were in the war against Japan. In short, the British and Americans sat back, though not of malice aforethought, while the Russians defeated Germany for them. Of the three great men at the top, Roosevelt was the only one who knew what he was doing; he made the United States the greatest power in the world at virtually no cost.”

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Recently Craig has been on top form, but I am convinced he misunderstands the position in The Ukraine, Russia and Syria. From an opposite point of view, I think Paul Craig Roberts has too..but to a much lesser extent.

    “Russia’s False Hopes”

    This is my response

    I rarely find anything much to disagree with PCR, but I think he has got a few things wrong here. First of all he doesn’t seem to understand the importance of propaganda and what populations actually think. The West have been telling the World that they are Fighting the dreaded ISIS head choppers when in fact they are The West’s creation. The propaganda over the last month – with the refugee flood etc was designed to get Western population approval to Bomb Syria. Most people would think that the West intended to bomb the head choppers – whilst the real intention was to destroy The Syrian Government’s army (and people) and in effect continue supporting ISIS. Putin called their bluff. He is not as naive as PCR thinks. In fact he is very smart indeed.

    He understand what their real intention was, but moving his armed forces into Syria – extremely quickly – and stating Russia’s intention to support The West in defeating ISIS – he not only gets the popular support of the populations on both sides, but in effect paralyses The West from attacking The Syrian Government forces…because if they do – they will in effect also be attacking Russia – and Russia has Nukes – and will shoot back. It’s a complete Masterstroke by Putin that has left The West dumbfounded – and that includes Israel too. How can they reject such an offer to help defeat the Evil headchoppers – and maintain any credibility with their own populations? They can’t – and there are strong indications that they will come onside. A lot of it is about saving face….and Putin has given them that “out” too (again).

    I also think PCR slightly overestimates the power of the neocons. Yes they are far more powerful than they should be (something that I seriously do not understand – are 98% of Americans wimps – including their Government?), but they are not all powerful – and everything they have done in terms of dictating foreign policy and their wars of aggression has turned into a complete disaster – not just for the countries attacked – but for the USA too – because such wars lead to the impoverishment of ordinary Americans too. There are strong signs of division with the controlling American elites – and European Governments have some influence too – especially as they are being drowned with Millions of Refugees – as a direct result of all the American Neocon’s crazy wars.


  • doug scorgie

    Ray Vison
    24 Sep, 2015 – 8:50 pm

    “Don’t make the mistake of going for Assad – he is the whole cause of the brutal bloodshed in Syria and there will be no solution if he remains. Mass murderer.”

    Don’t you remember Ray; he had tea with the queen not so long ago?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Not sure Tatarstan can be lumped in with Chechnya. It is in the heart of Russia for a start. Also not convinced that a mainstream Chechen movement is a serious threat to Russian interests there any longer (or Russians are doing much fighting there).

    As long as his buddy Kadyrov is in charge, Putin has nothing whatever to fear from the Chechens.

    No doubt the claqueski will provide links to Sputnik asserting that Kadyrov is a sweet and much-misunderstood kitten lover.

  • Tom Welsh


    “Very unlike President Putin, whose entire career was spent in the KGB and who in fact ended up as the KGB boss-man (correct me if I’m wrong).

    “Any other countries whose President spent his entire previous career as a spook?”

    Since you ask so politely, I’ll correct you. For details, see (although I can’t understand why you didn’t look it up before writing your remark).

    Putin spent 16 years with the KGB – just as a similar American might have worked with the CIA or FBI, or a British person with MI5 or MI6. He retired as a lieutenant-colonel, a pretty lowly rank among all the generals and colonel-generals. On that Wikipedia page you can read:

    ‘Putin resigned from the active state security services with the rank of lieutenant colonel on 20 August 1991 (with some efforts to resign made earlier),[44] on the second day of the KGB-supported abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.[45] Putin later explained his decision: “As soon as the coup began, I immediately decided which side I was on”, though he also noted that the choice was hard because he had spent the best part of his life with “the organs”.[46] In 1999, he described communism as “a blind alley, far away from the mainstream of civilization.”‘

  • fwl

    Ba’al sounds as if Oliver Letwin created a ven diagram or something similar to prepare for the Tory Liberal coalition talks.

    The exercise would have to be partly intuitive but if people recognised their side of the diagram and trusted the other side then they could start to explore ideas which are not so different to their own or think about those which are markedly different and question their own assumptions.

    Even a US / UK comparison would be interesting and relevant to Craig’s thoughts about republicanism simply because the US looks like us in so many ways yet their Overton window would have republicanism as a given.

    I’m not a republican. In theory yes, but in practice I don’t trust any of the potential presidents. Maybe things will change after the current reign but right now we appear to have a good monarch (even if German when we should have the house of Tudor).

  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)

    Tom Welsh (re President Putin and the KGB)

    1/. I stand corrected – President Putin did not head the KGB. My mistake.

    2/. You say (and quote from Wikipedia) ss fOllows:

    Putin spent 16 years with the KGB… He retired as a lieutenant-colonel, a pretty lowly rank among all the generals and colonel-generals…

    ‘Putin resigned from the active state security services with the rank of lieutenant colonel on 20 August 1991… though he also noted that the choice was hard because he had spent the best part of his life with “the organs””

    I would comment as follows:

    a) I believe he joined the KGB straight after graduating and did no other work before resigning and entering politics and rapidly becoming the St Petersburg city boss.

    Let me therefore amend my original comment to read “Putin sent his entire working life before becomng a politician and Leningrad city boss as a secret policeman.


    b) you point to his “lowly rank” perhaps in an attempt to downplay his KGB career.

    I don’t know if you have ever had any connection with the military but from entrant to LieutenantColonel in 16 years is pretty good going I’d say. So I guess he must have been pretty “good” at his job. 🙂


    Now, having got those little corrections out of the way, let me repeat my original question (not addressed to you, but thank you for responding after the other commenter went silent) in appropriately amended form:

    “Any other countries whose President spent his entire previous career as a spook before entering politics?”

    Over to you, Sir.

    It was

  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)

    BTW, I think the other commenter who went to ground goes under the moniker “Fwl”

  • Habbbakuk (combat cant)


    “Habba, Lysias is wrong to take Powell’s murmurerings about CIA involvement in the Airey Neave & Robert Bradford assassinations seriously- but you are dead wrong in claiming the little old lady Powell referred to anonymously in his April 1968 speech didn’t exist. She did- and her name was Druscilla Cotterill”

    Fair enough – I was unaware of that.

    I do note however that the Daily Mail article you linked to makes no mention of shit being pushed through her letterbox, nor of her windows having been broken, nor of her being followed in the street by “piccaninnies” chanting “racialist, racialist” (these were all evoked, as fact, in Powell’s speech).

    What the Daily Mail article does say, however, is this:

    “According to contemporary witnesses, it is certain that Druscilla was teased by local children who, now adults, admit knocking on her door and running away to annoy her.”

    And her sense of alienation (which did not prevent her, however, from continuing to live in her house in that street.


    So, you see, my point is that Powell lied.

    And that I find it strange that Lysias should attempt to lend authority to his conspiracy theories by using Mr Powell, a porven liar, as a source.

  • lysias

    Airey Neave was himself assassinated in a car-bomb attack at the House of Commons in 1979, allegedly by the Irish National Liberation Army, but there are some other theories. Lord Mountbatten, who according to some accounts took part in the conspiracies against Harold Wilson, was also assassinated, this time by the IRA in 1978.

    This was my posting, which was challenged. It does not accept Powell’s theory as true. It merely asserts that there are other theories (including his,) as I have demonstrated from Neave’s Wikipedia entry is true.

    I have no idea whether there was any substance to Powell’s claims. But Powell was in a position where he might have known. As for his being a liar, the fact that someone lies once does not necessarily mean that all his statements are lies. As I have shown, the person who criticizes my citing Powell here has treated him with respect and used him as a source previously.

    Might his change of mind have to do with the fact that the particular statements of Powell’s that he objects to here accuse “the Americans” and MI6?

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