Some Dead Children Count More Than Others 530

The ever excellent Campaign Against the Arms Trade is back in the English High Court again today in its continuing attempts to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It is against UK law to sell arms to a country which is likely to use them in breach of international humanitarian law, and that Saudi Arabia consistently and regularly uses British weapons to bomb schools, hospitals and civilians is indisputable.

Unfortunately the courts are an instrument of power and control for the 1%, not an impartial resort for justice, so I fear CAAT will not succeed despite the fact their case is undeniably correct.

Part of the British Government’s defence is the close military support it gives to Saudi Arabia, which it claims minimises civilian deaths (it plainly does no such thing). Thousands of children have died in the Yemeni war, most killed by the Saudis and their allies. These war crimes have been documented by the United Nations despite concerted UK and US diplomacy at the UN aimed at downplaying the Saudi crimes. Cluster bombs, white phosphorous and other illegal weapons have frequently been used.

Yemeni dead children very seldom make in into the mainstream media, whereas Syrian children do. But not all Syrian children – those children killed by the jihadist head-choppers the West and its Saudi allies have armed, funded and “advised” do not make the corporate and state media either. Only children allegedly – and the word needs repeating, allegedly – gassed by the Syrian armed forces are apparently worth our attention.

If we really attack because we care about the children, we would be attacking Saudi Arabia to halt its atrocities in Yemen. Instead we are allying with Saudi Arabia – the child killers, UK military support to whom is today being stressed in the High Court – to attack Syria.

Anybody who believes this is anything to do with “humanitarian intervention” is a complete fool.

530 thoughts on “Some Dead Children Count More Than Others

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  • Abulhaq

    Arab lives are cheap whatever age. That has been the imperialist Western view for at least a century. Keeping the Arabophone world weak is the general theme.
    The USA, England and France are complicit in that endeavour.
    They carry the fire to ignite world war. Arabs Awake!

    • SA

      You are quite right. But the Arabs to awake need proper organisation and not by NGOs from the west. Any local movements are crushed by leaders like Mubarak and Sisi in Egypt and as to the greatest hereditary dictators in KSA they are now part of the Western alliance to introduce democracy in Syria.
      Such blatant hypocrisy and sometimes overt racism passes for foreign policy in U.K. and US.

  • jazza

    We can expect the british courts to continue their pursuit of armour-geddon – justice doesn’t live here anymore

  • TomGard

    “Some Dead Children Count More Than Others” – false. They count different, on different scales. Put the other way round, only one category of children “count” at all – the offspring of some say 10 thounsand families around the globe. The others are either expendable, or they count solely numerical, that is in the rate of reproduction of useful warriors, workforce and service-slaves.

  • Laguerre

    I would have thought it would be possible for Britain (or indeed other Western powers) to force Saudi and UAE to stop in Yemen, if they wanted to. It is said that MbS has been looking for a way out of the Yemeni quagmire. I would think so, given the regularity with which Houthi missiles arrive over Riyadh. But of course he can’t back down, for willy-waving reasons and the widespread paranoia in the Saudi royal family about the Shi’a. It’s a classic situation where diplomacy could work, is it not? If someone can find the right formula…. But I see zero enthusiasm for such an effort. May and Johnson don’t have the competence or intelligence necessary anyway.

    • Abulhaq

      The Wahhâbi régime is imperial England’s spawn. The ‘heretical’, expansionist Ibn Sa3d clan was favoured and financed over the Hijazi Hashemites. Divide and rule in action. Backing the thugs for mutual rewards in future.

      • Laguerre

        “The ‘heretical’, expansionist Ibn Sa3d clan was favoured and financed over the Hijazi Hashemites.”

        That’s wrong. We favoured the Hashemites. Ibn Saud did it on his own. But we didn’t do anything to stop him. In 1925 what happened in the middle of Arabia didn’t matter too much (as opposed to in the Gulf). Saudi didn’t become important until the 1930s, and the deal between Ibn Saud and Standard Oil.

        • Abulhaq

          I disagree..also read Faisal of Iraq by Ali Allawi. The English played a double game in Arabia. They exploited the bitter rivalries between the Hashemites and Wahhâbis and the latters visceral anti-Shi’a outlook, waiting to see who would be ultimate victor.
          The Hashemites in their ambition to unite all ex Ottoman Arabs were duped. They lost the homeland of Hijaz to Ibn Sa3ud and Syria to the French. Abdullah was given Jordan and Faisal just managed to get Iraq because the Shi’a were not wholly trusted. This suited the English and the assertive pro-Sunni India Office client state strategy. Palestine was being prepared for other things.

          • Laguerre

            I’m sure they did play a double game (there were two power centres running Arabian policy: London and Delhi. The Gulf was run from Delhi, and the Hijaz from London/Cairo). But I think they didn’t actually help Ibn Saud, which was the point in question.

          • Christine

            Very very interesting comments on your post. Imperial powes have always used “Divide and rule” as a modus operandi. I was witness to this policy throughout my life in N Ireland. Is it not possible therefore for Arabs instead of giving way to divisions to band together with a new tolerant and enlightened vision for peace? Is that completely impossible?

          • Abulhaq

            The divide and rule principle even applied to the internal functions of the imperial system. The India Office was Hawkish, London was more circumspect. Useful to the PR element of the thing.
            It would be something if the Arab world got its act together. The problem is which model? Islam, secular or a fusion of the two. What place for minorities. Arabophone Jews were expelled despite being in the region for millennia and Christians and Yazidis know the cut of the sword. Tolerance of difference is needed. Islam is not the problem it is the social interpretation of Islam that breeds sectarianism. For that you need wise leaders.
            The west has a horror of those. You cant manipulate and bribe them.

          • Fwl

            Had thought that UK had promoted Hashemites and the US, with assistance of Kim Philby’s father, had supported Saudis. However, the picture may be quite complicated and interwoven. The Germans were amongst the first on the scene trying to ferment holy war (fictionalised in Greenmantle), but without much success and the tribes seem to have been adept at assessing those playing them and playing them back. Wahabism also featured in Hashemite territory as well as Saud. On light tribal raiding a Bedouin once said: “There are not sufficient of us to bear heavy losses. If we all got killed, fighting would have to stop and life would be very dull.” Such light raiding was for day time only because women and children were inviolate and night time attacks, which put women and children at risk were deemed dishonourable.

      • Laguerre

        Yes, about five. One, then a barrage of three, then another one a couple of days ago.

    • SA

      Let’s cut out the crap. To think that MBS can do these things independently is to buy into the game of deception. The west arms manufacturers would not like the war in Yemen to end. Who else at the moment has that sort of money to buy these weapons of intermediate destruction?

      • Laguerre

        I’m sure that’s true, but it’s not central. Even Saudi has hardly got the money for arms contracts now, because of the decline in the oil price. They’ve been overspending massively. Very noticeable that when MbS came to Britain, he didn’t actually sign the arms contracts the media talked about. It was only a letter of intention. Anyway, who wants outdated British planes these days? MbS’s aim was to keep Britain onside, and that was as far as he could go.

        He did actually sign when Trump was in Riyadh, but then it is vital to have American protection. When Saudi troops won’t even stand and fight to defend their frontier against Houthi raids, he needs that protection.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Humanitarian-Compassionate Bombing Intervention has been the Zeitgeist and Rock of Ages since Tone showed us the Way and the Light, starting with Serbia at the close of the last century.

  • Alexander Zucrow

    I’m glad that someone is talking about the obscenity that is the arms trade – it’s certainly too hot a subject for the liberal press.

    But these days things have been turned on their head, it seems: Two days a ago the Guardian published an absolutely vile pro-war piece by Simon Tisdall that was met with almost unanimous condemnation by the readers (who were, inexplicably given a rare opportunity to comment:

    And just last week, Fox news (yes, really) aired an absolutely astonishing appeal against yet more US-led bloodshed in Syria presented by Tucker Carlson. (I urge anyone who has not seen this to watch it):

    This is how bad things have become: The Guardian is pro-war, and the only channel allowing its journalists free speech is Fox News. Of course, Carlson was immediately defamed as being a Russian Propagandist, but these anti-Russian slights are as ineffective as they are tiresome. The Guardian in particular has been using the strategy of defaming those holding different views for years, and doesn’t realize just how fascistic it has become. It’s sickening.

    • Silvio

      Watch left wing, Bernie Sanders supporter Jimmy Dore, a US stand-up comic and now a Youtube political commentator, as he finds himself to his utter amazement agreeing with a Fox News commentator, Tucker Carlson, for the first time ever and wondering why there is a dearth of such commentary coming from the left side of the political spectrum in the US. Warning, Jimmy does tend to use some off-colour language and 4 letter words, so not for viewing at the office without headphones.

      • Beth

        Jimmy Dore is great and I think Craig should go on his show. I am sure I have heard him quoting Craig on his show.

    • Shatnersrug

      The guardian really have lowered themselves further than they’ve ever gone before, now I notice them sessions backwards. It took Peter Hitchens of all people to call them out, peter and I have rarely seen eye to eye of matter political however the old duffer has actually been quite a source of enlightenment lately, at least regarding the fundamentals of democracy. I honestly believe had his tweet recommending citizens write to their MPs not gone viral two days ago then May would have gone headlong into yet another folly.

      Also we must all thank Tony Blair. His belief that military action was necessary stated on Sky is probably the only reason most British people need to understand it’s a terrible idea. So thanks Blair.

      However, this whole confected “debate” with Jenkins as the sceptic is extremely disingenuous. How many seriously believe these is about anything other than geopolitics for resources. We know the culprits – the neocons in Washington – we know they intended to take out 5 countries in 5 years whilst they thought Russia at her weakest. We know it went wrong and Iraq dragged on, we know the lack of support they had for bombing Libya and how Hilary pushed it on, we know that they tried this in Syria in 2013, however Labour blocked Cameron from backing them up. And here they are again, this time they don’t even bother to come up with a new excuse, just the same one as last time.

    • King of Welsh Noir

      Two great links, Emily. The Daily Mail comments are astonishing. I read about thirty and every single one dripped with contempt for this idiocy and patently did not believe a word of the official narrative.

      • Emily

        Notice what May was wearing in the Mail – yesterday.
        Symbolic, accidental or deliberate.
        Letting us know where her sympathy lies.

        • Sharp Ears

          The Sikh shawl following her visit to a Walsall temple? She should have been on the stage or in a pulpit like Daddy.

      • JOML

        It’s the lack of talent, brains and empathy that hampers May, not the lack of children. Her ignorance allows her to be manipulated and influenced very easily, with self interest and survival being her main goal. She’s a tool for evil.

      • Lokyc

        Fat Dave has quite a few. You think Leadsom will be any better? Maybe the fact they are all entitled Tories is the issue.

      • Rink

        The absolutely overwhelming majority of warmongers in power, and those that give orders for mass killings, are parents.

  • Christine

    Yes indeed. I have made that point yesterday on the Mail website and also made the point that if we wanted to take the moral high road then using further bombing and out and out war is hardly the enlightened way forward. How can it be? It will unleash hatred and desire like a genie from a bottle which will follow us. This situation is a grab for control in Syria. Control of resources. Personally, I am heart broken that so many Syrians are suffering and their county is falling apart round them. Terrible.

  • Sharp Ears

    Does anyone agree that the reason for the war on the Houthis in Yemen is to keep the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden open for the Saudis and for the Israeli naval ships and Dolfins? Or is it more to do with keeping Iran contained?

    • Laguerre

      A lot of people do talk about Saudi pipelines into the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, but I doubt that it’s that. It’s more basic. The Sauds are paranoid about the Shi’a. It’s partly Wahhabist hatred for heretics, but more that the population who live on the Saudi oil-fields (all of them) are Shi’a. If the Saudi boot is taken off the Shi’a throat, they may go for independence, and in that case the Saudi princes would have to go back to being poverty-stricken camel-herders (they may do anyway, when the oil runs out).

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Given the trillions the Sauds have acrrued from oil, they would only go back to being camel herders if they have not learned the art of bribery: offshore bankers; mercenaries; US oligarchs etc.

  • Resident Dissident

    Perhaps Craig might wish to mention this next time he appears on RT – Putin is just as keen to sell arms to the Saudis as our merchants of death.

    • bj

      Sure. But Craig cannot vote in Russia, whereas he can</I vote in the UK. It's the old Chomsky principle.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Did you notice the US wish to extradite 5 Bulgarians? And a Bulgar journo who exposed gun running using diplomatic cover was sacked??

    A journalist being a journalist is sacked. A journalist foaming at the mouth for death and destruction is promoted.

    I find life not reading the MSM much more restful. I was swearing at the QT fuckwits last night so I switched it off. My days of diplomacy died in 1998!

    • Ophelia Ball

      there will be an interesting debate to be had in about 50 years time, considering whether the end of the social contract between State and People in Western societies was caused by a fundamental shift in the way politicians conduct themselves or if it had always been so, but people like you and I only became aware of it due to the advent of the internet and the consequent availability of information which highlighted their crass hypocrisy, lies and venal self-interest

      I have spent a lot of time in China; there are many things wrong with China, and not many of us would enjoy living there for any period of time; however, the social compact between the State and the People is very different: yes, we are totally in control, and you don’t get any real say in what goes on; on the other hand, literacy, life expectancy, incomes, wealth, national pride, just about everything has improved over the past 50 years, whereas you would be hard-pressed to make similar claims about the standard of living under nominal democracies in the West, let alone Iraq or Libya.

      The difference is between brutal honesty on the one hand, and complacent entitled hypocrisy on the other. Quite frankly, I prefer China, and whisper it, but Chinese people living under the oppressive dictatorial Communist regime enjoy far more personal freedom than people in the West do these days.

      • SA

        A sort of similar thing happened in the old USSR when people had housing, health, food and emplyment but when the state collapsed and shock therapy introduced, life expectancy plummeted. You really have hit the nail on the head with what you say, thanks.

  • Doghouse

    The maniac May and her cabinet conspirators are a disgrace to this island country and have no regard whatsoever for human life or the public whom they do not serve. They should resign en mass and be held to account immediately.

    Yesterday they took only 3 hours or so to pave the way to endanger the entire population of not just Syria, but also the United Kingdom, and once again they did this with no evidence whatsoever, they did this knowing that General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis had just said the following to Law makers in the US –

    “I believe there was a chemical attack. We are looking for the actual evidence.”

    There we have it, the US secretary of defence admitting they have no evidence only a spurious belief, and on that, the Maniac May and her conspirators open the door to war. A crying disgrace! Not just them though, presumably she need the permission of the Queen to commit her troops to war – it is after all to her to whom they swear allegiance is it not, not the government. From armed forces, to Law makers, police and politicians, all swear allegiance to her, therefore WW3 cannot be entered into without her consent one presumes.

    There is a total disconnect between shameless politicians and the media with whom they conspire, from the public whom they continually attempt to deceive. They care not for evidence, international law, nor human life, preferring instead to heap untold misery and grief on millions who have been shamefully battered on some demonic agenda.

    I am absolutely ashamed to be British, I was ashamed in 2003 by the actions of war criminal Blair, and I am more so today. I disown this country, its vile political class and its feeble and complicit so called media.

    Not in my name, no death in my name.

  • Pyotr Grozny

    Thank you Craig. You put things so well. I have just sent parts of this to all my contacts encouraging them to attend the demos planned for this weekend.

  • TonyT16

    Given the possibility of the chemical weapons incidents in Salisbury and Douma being false-flag events to bring us to where we are today, what do you think might be the possibility of a false-flag sinking of a US warship to pin the tail firmly on the Russian donkey?

    Sounds far-fetched but the beginning of the Vietnam war was the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and there are crazies in Washington ready to do anything to get the bombs flying.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ TonyT16 April 13, 2018 at 10:30
      Check out Peter Hounam’s book ‘Operation Cyanide’. In the 1967 Six Day War, LBJ arranged with a certain Middle East country to send an unarmed US spy ship, the USS Liberty, to international waters just off El Arish, and the ‘certain Middle East country’s’ job was to attack and sink it, and leave no survivors. The US would then blame Egypt, and nuke them (Russia was supporting Egypt).
      The ship was murderously attacked, but managed to get out an SOS; the attack was called off, the ‘certain country’ apologised for its error, saying it thought the ship was Egyptian, and A4 nuke armed planes from the Sixth Fleet, and also nuke armed planes from a North African base, were recalled, just three minutes from their targets.
      “USS Liberty: Dead In The Water”:
      The book gives much more detail, of course, but the BBC commissioned Peter Hounam to make the documentary; he knew nothing of the Liberty at the time, but after making the documentary he wrote the book.

  • Hatuey

    It’s one thing to discuss unpleasant things like this in isolation, and nobody could deny that these things are unpleasant, innocents including children have unfortunately been killed, but when you venture to make claims about the international system as a whole I feel it is only right that someone is allowed to provide a defense of that system.

    I like the international system we have with its emphasis on open markets, liberalisation, and freedom of movement. I think the interdependency and integration it has brought about has not only saved countless millions of lives but it is verifiably the most successful system the world has ever had in terms of sustaining human life. It isn’t perfect by any standard, but most aspiring people and countries in the world aspire to take part and succeed within the global system, not replace it or build an alternative.

    The biggest problem the world faces today, making it a victim of its own success, is over-population. Nobody is seriously suggesting we depopulate, of course, and that means it is imperative — more now than ever — that we defend and maintain the international system that so many billions of lives depend upon.

    If people on here or elsewhere are genuinely worried about the plight of children and innocents, they should be targeting their focus on states and players who destabilise and threaten the international system.

    Strangely enough, this isn’t an argument for attacking Russia, China, or Assad — Russia and China know how important the preservation of the world system is to their interests. Where Russia is aggrieved because their access to the system has being hampered, through sanctions, China is aggrieved at the prospect of their status within the system being undermined. Syria’s foreign policy going back decades has been geared towards bursting into that same system of international cooperation and trade. None of them want to dismantle it.

    Using the logic of arguments I frequently see on here, the apprehension and punishment of criminals within a flourishing, successful state might be used to argue that the state and society as a whole has failed. I disagree.

    Footnote. The world system we have in place today was essentially defined and put in place by American post-War planners. It’s worth remembering that hostility to that system in the early days came from European colonial powers like Britain and France who rightly perceived it as a threat to their imperial interests. Suez proves that the US was and has been essentially impartial in the management of the system.

    • frankywiggles

      “the US was and has been essentially impartial in the management of the system”

      Thanks buddy, I needed a laugh.

      • frankywiggles

        Understand your suspicions, Ophelia, but this is just the standard, approved narrative that most “educated” people imbibe in our society. They don’t have to be paid to parrot it.I know many, many decent people who genuinely believe it and cling to it in the face of all evidence.

        • Ophelia Ball

          absolutely, and I can respect that; my concern is that there is a astonishingly thin veneer of propriety which frequently masks a far more sinister streak in present-day political discourse, and that not everyone plays nicely with the other children. It pays to be fairly circumspect about who you are dealing with, if only to avoid making naive assumptions

          Consider the way all-and-sundry have weighed in on Jeremy Corbyn; he’s an elected politician – if people don’t support his views, he’ll be voted down in Parliament and voted out at the next election, pending which there is no need for character assassination. Well, not in any form of society which claims to be tolerant and nominally civilised

          Perhaps the ultimate proof is to be found in the type of people which the Defenders of the System find so threatening: are they troubled by the young firebrands of AntiFa, or Muslim youths rioting across France, or declarations of Sharia Law in Tower Hamlets? No – this is who they are afraid of – middle aged people like you and me, who’ve seen it all before and are sick to the back teeth of the lies and hypocrisy. It’s people like us who voted for Brexit and naively thought Trump was somehow “different”, not the poor little brainwashed snowflake millennial who don’t know any different – they are just dripfed this nonsense straight from the womb:

        • Hatuey

          I would have thought, if you were serious about debate, that it was incumbent on you to provide an example of an alternative world system that is or was superior to the one we have. It’s a basic enough argument that I have pout together here and refuting it ought to be a simple thing.

          Just remember that imagined world systems that are perfect only in your mind do not count. We need real historical examples that exist or once existed in objective reality.

          I reiterate that I think the deaths of innocent children is a tragic failure. The thing to me that makes it particularly tragic is that it is unnecessary.

      • Hatuey

        If you are arguing for an alternative to the global system, I’m eager to hear about it.

        If you are arguing that the global policeman, the US, sometimes gets things wrong (just as an ordinary policeman in the street handing out parking tickets gets things wrong from time to time), then I concur.

        The system we have was invented as an alternative to direct colonial rule which nobody with any seriousness could defend. That is what it replaced, imperialism. I like to think that we can all agree that what we have now is better than that; and since I don’t see any of the ex-colonies queuing up to invite Europeans back, I will assume they think so too.

        • Laguerre

          Sometimes gets things wrong? That’s a good laugh. The millions of deaths consequent on US policies, that’s not just sometimes.

          • Hatuey

            But again no mention of the millions of lives (billions even) consequent on US policies. That’s not sometimes either.

            We have almost 8 billion people on earth today. We live in a more integrated world than we have ever lived in and that means the system as a whole is more important than it ever was to human life.

            Have a look at where the everyday things you take for granted came from. The Internet, for starters, came out of a US defense department lab. Don’t bother to thank the US taxpayer or the system as a whole.

            Most of the clothes you are wearing probably came from south east Asia, as did most of the technology you take for granted and much else.

            Food is coming from as far afield as South America and the Horn of Africa, fresh to your plate.

            If you are in the UK, you are living in one of the countries in the world that is most dependent on international trade and global markets. That isn’t because of your incapable politicians either — it’s because your country has a comparative advantage in producing Turnips and nothing else.

            UK manufacturing, or that of it which still clings on, is almost entirely dependent on foreign direct investment towards car manufacturing and such. It’s basically dead, gone.

            And the same is true today of most countries. Like it or not, we are interdependent. It’s an interdependent world system, invented, rolled out, managed, and yes, sometimes mis-managed, by the United States.

    • Ophelia Ball

      I take it that’s a “No” then, Hatuey. Fair enough

      The society I was referring to in my Comment was China; believe me, it certainly is NOT perfect, not by a long chalk, but it is at least honest

      My concern about Western society – and specifically in the context of Craig’s comments about selectively valuing some childrens lives over others – is the mendacious hypocrisy which is endemic in our current political narrative and the reluctance of anyone in the 4th estate to hold them to account. This latter point raises my suspicion – which is not entirely unfounded – that several commentators who present themselves overtly or stylistically as “Defenders of the System” are perhaps no more than bought & paid for shills

      • Hatuey

        Let’s forget the question of where the various contributors to the discussion originate from and focus on what they actually say. Even if your suspicions are true in that regard, it makes sense that we exchange ideas rather than insults…

        Now, it seems that you are suggesting that China or rather the Chinese system as a whole is superior to the world system that we have in place. If it was your intention to astound me with your ignorance then I wish to surrender immediately.

        However, the Chinese system is as you will be aware characterised in the phrase ‘one country, two systems…” Let’s be clear about what they mean when they say two systems.

        On one hand, in the special economic zones, etc., they straight-forwardly want to embrace the global capitalist system. No challenge here, I’m afraid. In those spheres they wish to attract international finance and investment and clearly, looking at the conditions most Chinese workers suffer, have the most minimal qualms imaginable when it comes to social responsibility.

        It is interesting and noteworthy that China’s greatest strength when it comes to its economy and ability to attract investment is that it guarantees the lowest standards possible in the world when it comes to working conditions and regulations on things like pollution.

        As for the second of this one Country’s two systems, well, it is there that we take things from bad to worse if we are to look at China through the prism of your idealism. It’s hard to imagine a country that is more systematic in terms of curtailing freedom of thought and expression — note that Google is basically banned in China.

        Note also that Chinese politics doesn’t even pretend to be democratic or subscribe to the most basic norms in terms of representative government. Anyone who even criticises that system is likely to find himself in prison without trial.

        Naturally, I could go on and on and on. Ask China’s neighbours in Korea, Japan, and elsewhere what they think of the idea of Chinese hegemony in the region. Better still, ask the Tamils (if you can find any survivors).

        • Ophelia Ball

          “it makes sense that we exchange ideas rather than insults……… If it was your intention to astound me with your ignorance then I wish to surrender immediately.


          I rest my case

        • Doghouse

          “……note that Google is basically banned in China.”

          Case of the biter bitten. Must smart. Chuckle.

    • SA

      Hat you wrote:
      “I like the international system we have with its emphasis on open markets, liberalisation, and freedom of movement. I think the interdependency and integration it has brought about has not only saved countless millions of lives but it is verifiably the most successful system the world has ever had in terms of sustaining human life. It isn’t perfect by any standard, but most aspiring people and countries in the world aspire to take part and succeed within the global system, not replace it or build an alternative.”

      Your presentation of a good system with minor flaws seems to discount the gross unfairness in the system. Yes on the whole people in the west are prosperous but there is a lot of waste and a lot of hunger in the rest of the world to pay for this. The main problem is that it is a global system of control not of participation and equality or multilateralism. The other part of it is the exploitative nature of the US whereby they can borrow money against the petrodollars and spend it for thier own good at the expense of others.

      “The biggest problem the world faces today, making it a victim of its own success, is over-population. Nobody is seriously suggesting we depopulate, of course, and that means it is imperative — more now than ever — that we defend and maintain the international system that so many billions of lives depend upon.”

      Nobody is seriously suggesting we depopulate but we go on and do it anyway, a million here, a few hundreds of thousands there through war and natural disasters, shortened survivals in many lives in developing countries and so on. It is just that this is not articulated just practiced.

      • Hatuey

        The system is unfair for some. But don’t discount so casually the value that the poor and downtrodden attach to their own lives. Living standards and a bunch of other things have improved since 1945, along with the massive increase in population.

        If you were to look back through history and choose an epoch to live your life in, there is no doubt that the post 1945 epoch would be the best one to choose in terms of life chances, prosperity, peacefulness, health, opportunity, travel, and education, to name but a few things.

  • frankywiggles

    Well said, Craig. The failure of mainstream journalists and politicians to inform the public of this glaring hypocrisy begs enormous questions about the society we inhabit.

  • SA

    Sorry I am reposting this although OT on this thread on suggestion of other reader
    April 13, 2018 at 10:35
    Below I have tried a further analysis of this summary report by the OPCW


    1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested technical
    assistance from the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) under
    subparagraph 38(e) of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention in relation
    to an incident in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 involving a toxic chemical—allegedly a
    nerve agent—and the poisoning and hospitalisation of three individuals. The
    Director-General decided to dispatch a team to the United Kingdom for a technical
    assistance visit (TAV).

    Note: The UK G has asked for technical assistance involving a ‘toxic chemical, allegedly a nerve agent’.

    2. The TAV team deployed to the United Kingdom on 19 March for a pre-deployment
    and from 21 March to 23 March for a full deployment.

    Note: Full deployment was 15 days after the incident.

    3. The team received information on the medical conditions of the affected individuals,
    Mr Sergej Skripal, Ms Yulia Skripal, and Mr Nicholas Bailey. This included
    information on their acetylcholinesterase status since hospitalisation, as well as
    information on the treatment regime.

    Note: This statement is somewhat vague and suggests that the OPCW received selected information and did not look at the medical records. In particular the main data analysed was the acetylcholinesterase levels since hospitalisation as well as the treatment they received. In this context it is worth noting that there are many substances that cause Acetylcholinesterase inhibition, either reversible or irreversible, including some medication used in treating Alzheimer’s disease, myasthenia gravis and glaucoma, as well as insecticides and herbicides and fungicides,

    4. The team was able to collect blood samples from the three affected individuals under
    full chain of custody for delivery to the OPCW Laboratory and subsequent analysis
    by OPCW designated laboratories, and conducted identification of the three
    individuals against official photo-ID documents.

    Note: This statement suggests but does not prove that a member of the OPCW did not actually collect the samples. They may have been present during collection or they may have just had signed statements as to the chain of custody. Also it is not quite clear from this statement if the OPCW team actually saw the individuals concerned or just had their identity verified through photo ID.

    5. The team was able to conduct on-site sampling of environmental samples under full
    chain of custody at sites identified as possible hot-spots of residual contamination.
    Samples were returned to the OPCW Laboratory for subsequent analysis by OPCW
    designated laboratories.

    Note: The implication here is that the team was taken to the various sites identified as possible hot spots presumably by PD or Police. Again the use of the term, under full chain of custody needs more clarification. Did the OPCW team collect the samples or were these samples vouched for by the UK authorities.

    6. The team requested and received splits of samples taken by British authorities for
    delivery to the OPCW Laboratory in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and subsequent
    analysis by OPCW designated laboratories. This was done for comparative purposes
    and to verify the analysis of the United Kingdom.

    Note: So these are splits of the original samples taken by PD for comparative purposes and to verify the analysis. This part should be uncontroversial.

    7. The team was briefed on the identity of the toxic chemical identified by the United
    Kingdom and was able to review analytical results and data from chemical analysis of
    biomedical samples collected by the British authorities from the affected individuals,
    as well as from environmental samples collected on site.

    Note: Again relatively uncontroversial. PD told them what they found and showed them the various analyses.

    8. The results of analysis of biomedical samples conducted by OPCW designated
    laboratories demonstrate the exposure of the three hospitalised individuals to this
    toxic chemical.

    Note: This statement is extremely problematic. It is not really a very scientific way of expressing a result by identifying that someone has been exposed to this toxic agent before you have explicitly identified this chemical.

    9. The results of analysis of the environmental samples conducted by OPCW designated
    laboratories demonstrate the presence of this toxic chemical in the samples.

    Note: Again this undefined toxic chemical.

    10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
    biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
    Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
    severely injured three people.

    Note: This states basically that the OPCW confirms1. That three people have been exposed to an acetylcholinesterase (ACE) inhibitor, 2. That this agent is what has been stated to be by PD. The problematic bit here is that PD said it was a novichok or something similar so that covers a lot of ACE inhibitors.

    11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is
    concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities.

    Note: This is a very big giveaway. I do not think that this high purity is a result from biological tests as this is not stated above and is unlikely. What seems to have been gleaned from the biological samples is the ACH levels I suppose and therefore must be of the environmental samples. Even this is strange. Imagine a highly reactive compound being smeared on doorknobs being completely uncontaminated whilst being exposed to environmental factors including rain, oxygen contaminants such as smoke and car fumes.

    12. The name and structure of the identified toxic chemical are contained in the full
    classified report of the Secretariat, available to States Parties.

    Note: The name and structure remains secret but I presumably available to all member states of the OPCW. It remains however to be identified as a toxic chemical.

    Note: My impression therefore is that the OPCW has failed to throw further light on this matter. Of course it will be used as a PR exercise in any way you choose, but in my opinion the report is not sufficiently versed in scientific language to be convincing.
    Below I have tried a further analysis of this summary report by the OPCW

    • bj

      Note: This statement suggests but does not prove that a member of the OPCW did not actually collect the samples. They may have been present during collection or they may have just had signed statements as to the chain of custody. Also it is not quite clear from this statement if the OPCW team actually saw the individuals concerned or just had their identity verified through photo ID.

      Sorry, I’m totally NOT with you here, on all counts.

    • Matt

      Getting boring, seeing you flog this dead horse again and again. Are you really sorry for re-posting? Why do it then?

      • SA

        Thank you for your kind comment. You are welcome not to read my boring post. Please point me to one of your insightful and exciting posts so that I can learn from your impeccable good manners.

      • Paul

        Is it a dead horse, then? Old news…inconsequential or perhaps irrelevant to today’s events?

        To dismiss it as boring is revealingly lazy bit of intellectual thuggery. Is there something else in the news we can better entertain you with?

  • Dave G

    Britain, the EU and America back Islamic terrorists in Yemen and Syria and neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Have we learnt nothing from history?

    • Emily

      Nothing new there Dave.
      They did the same in Yugoslavia.
      They bombed the christian Serbs ‘back to the stoneage’ on behalf of the KLA islamic terrorists and illegally took Kosovo.
      Good men did nothing and unleashed the same on Iraq, Libya – all the same pattern.
      What has not been made very public in the west is that the attack on Serbia was also based on complete lies.
      No ethnic cleansing – no mass graves.
      Slobodan Milosevich has been deemed an innocent man by the courts.
      Unfortunately they almost certainly murdered him in his cell before he could enjoy his vindication and Serbia’s.
      Here is John Pilger.

    • D_Majestic

      Thanks for this, Tony. Absolutely disgusting. BBC revealed as part of the ‘Deep State’. I never would have guessed. Lol.

      • Mochyn69

        Wasn’t it just his iPhone Siri kicking in?

        Whatever, he’s a Tory so he’s toxic.


  • N_

    Since events in Douma on 7 April have any major US or British media recalled that the Russian army’s chief of staff announced on 13 March that a staged chemical provocation was under preparation in order that the US could falsely blame it on the Syrian government to “justify” a US onslaught? Or has that fact disappeared down the memory hole completely?

  • Je

    The dead children of Iraq from 2003 onwards (and before with the sanctions) didn’t count. British politicians like May who voted for the invasion just carry on as if nothing happening.

  • Charles

    Not just the type of children involved but how they are killed is important too.

    Maiming them with shrapnel or incendiaries and inflicting a death of several days or weeks is absolutely acceptable to the leaders of the western civilised world.

  • Kammadayado

    OPhelia I gather that the quote, on the face of it a very accurate statement, was coined by an American white supremacist. I imagine it has been reattributed to Voltaire to obscure that and to try and validate it. Sometimes appalling people stumble upon the truth, of course.

    Best wishes

  • Jones

    The law only applies to people not powerful enough to dismiss it, only profit either political or financial is the real reason for war, it is financially profitable for UK to keep out of the Yemen war and politically profitable for war in Syria. No western politician suffers the horror of war, none will suffer famine, none will watch their children starve to death, none will be blown to pieces on the battlefield, none will lose limbs, none will be tortured after being captured, none will return home after war to end up homeless, all will retire to a secure comfortable life.

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