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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    • TonyT16

      This debacle is of much more significance to Washington to you think.

      It represents a revisitation of the brink of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, to those left in Washington who know their history. This was the turning point in the Vietnam War which cost a lot of casualties and lives on both side, and was the point at which Washington had to accept that the game was up and that they had lost.

      The Neocon campaign of interventions and regime changes in the Middle East had been going moderately well with Afghanistan relatively sorted out and both Saddam’s and Qadafi’s heads on pikes. Then they hit the next two names on the list: Syria and Iran. Eight years into Syria and still Assad is in office, helped by to Russian and Iranian assistance as allies to Syria, also both in the crosshairs of Washington hawks. It was beyond doubt that Assad had prevailed and would continue to prevail unless the US took the upper hand immediately and created a fake environment to enable a last attempt at regime change which would not alarm the public in the USA and its dumb+dumber nodding-dog allies France and the UK.

      What happens next? Do those with knowledge of history call it quits and move on? Or do they go for a Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid big ending?

      Certainly Theresa May is digging her own grave politically because this scenario will not end well for her, and she is enough trouble already. Especially when she has chosen to exclude Parliament from debate and decision-making and chooses instead to wait for a tweet from the President of another nation to determine what happens next.

      • Paul

        If UK citizen support for war is as low as I have seen indicated, is there any way that this does not significantly damage the government at the imminent local elections (whether the Parliament motion is held or not)?

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    Sorry to post this again on this thread, but it may be of importance.

    LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AT THE GUARDIAN

    According to the Guardian’s editorial code, “Trust in the authenticity and reliability of our sources is essential.” It emphasises the importance of authentication and states that “We should be honest about our sources, even if we can’t name them.” CP Scott’s precept about the role of a newspaper is quoted: “Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.”

    It appears from recent posts to the Guardian Syria Live Blogs that the newspaper may not always be fully transparent about the background of its sources. The first case is a post by the journalist Mona Mahmood of an interview with Yousif Al Bustani, 27, on 13th April which can be found at:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/13/syria-crisis-corbyn-accuses-may-of-waiting-for-trumps-instructions-live-updates
    Al Bustani’s words are notable for their specificity about what the USA should attack and what weapons (anti-aircraft missiles) the rebels require. According to the blog, Al Bustani “had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days ago following the chemical attack”. It appears that this person is Yousef (with an e) Al Bustani, a media activist, 27 years old, who arrived in the Aleppo countryside a few days ago. See the links at:
    https://www.facebook.com/Yousef.albostany1/about?lst=100008788269953%3A100002537104533%3A1523633864
    https://en.sy-24.com/article/yousef-al-bustani-russia-continue-humiliating-regime-officers/
    http://syriadirect.org/news/east-ghouta-protester-%E2%80%98if-the-un-continues-to-remain-silent-it-will-be-assad%E2%80%99s-partner-in-the-killing%E2%80%99/
    In the third (Syria Direct) link, he is credited with a photo of a demonstration in which protestors complain about the allocation of aid in East Ghouta, and equate the United Nations with Assad. More telling is the second (Sy-24) link, in which he is interviewed and claims that there is no more Assad regime and that Syria is occupied by Russia. He claims that Russian officers humiliate Syrian officers. Crucially, the byline for this story is 6th April (last Friday). The story begins “Waves of IDPs [internally displaced persons] continue to arrive from Douma to northern Syria after an agreement was made between Jaish al-Islam and Russia.” Al Bustani states that no-one should question why they left, after six years of bombardment and siege, and notes that they have suffered psychological damage. All this is quite understandable. However, no mention is made of the alleged chemical attack, for the good reason that it had not yet occurred (that was on Saturday 7th). There are two crucial things that follow from this: (1) contrary to the story, emphasised by the Guardian among others, that resistance crumbled after the attack, this story shows that the agreement to evacuate had been made beforehand, completely undermining any motive for the Assad regime to launch one; (2) the Guardian blog post claims that Al Bustani had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days before 13th April, on the 8th (after the date of the attack), but Sy-24 places him there on the 6th.
    The second post, also by Mona Mahmood, on 12th April, gives the comments of Judi Arsh, who also calls for the regime to be toppled by the USA. See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/12/uk-russia-tensions-rise-over-syria-attack-and-salisbury-poisoning-live-updates?page=with:block-5acf767ee4b0457ba8886176#liveblog-navigation
    She is described as “a 24-year-old former resident Homs who fled to the Aleppo countryside with her family last year” but the blog does not disclose that she is a former regime detainee and journalist.
    I think both these individuals are entitled to be heard and I respect their courage. However, it seems to me there are two problems here:
    (1) The reader is left to assume that the interviewees are ordinary civilians. The reader is entitled to know if the background of the source might affect their testimony.
    (2) The date and content of the Al Bustani Sy-24 story raise grave doubts about the whole narrative claiming that Jaish al Islam withdrew because of the chemical attack, and contradict the assertion that he fled Douma following the attack.

    • Thomas_Stockmann

      I think maybe its journalists think they are morally justified in skating over these problems and don’t even recognise that their good intentions may be taking us down the road to hell.

    • Laguerre

      By the way don’t complain about the difference in spelling between Yousef and Yousif. The original name is in Arabic script, which in normal writing doesn’t have a vowel at this point, because short vowels are not written. This is just Syrian dialectical pronunciation, which can be somewhat strange. The original Classical Arabic is a u, as in Yousuf (Arabic version of Joseph).

    • Crispa

      You have picked up about the Guardian reporting that I have thought about myself. From my memory today there have been two different reports from anti-regime people placed strategically near the top of the thread. Then in today’s paper there is the misleading headline “Skripols were poisoned by novichok, experts confirm”. And in Tuesday’s paper under the heading of “I leave Douma knowing I gave everything I could” there is an article by an Istanbul based journalist quoting a “paramedic” entering into “forced exile” in Northern Syria (no doubt as a member of the hard line Jaish-al-Islam”) Later the article states “Syrian state media” had demanded that Jaish-al-Islam had to hand over their prisoners and abductees in exchange for a safe passage, the implication being that the imprisonments and kidnappings were inventions of the Syrian government when there is ample evidence to the contrary about the “repentance prisons” and their brutal methods and use of hostages in digging the tunnels relied on to smuggle goods into and out of the area, Also there has been little or no reporting in the UK msm of the killing of Damascus civilians from Jaish-al-Islam” missiles – over 40 killed in Kashkoul and smaller numbers elsewhere in other attacks. I am a Guardian reader of over 50 years but I have never doubted the veracity and integrity of reporting as I do at present. I have virtually given up on the BBC too… .

      • Digger

        Good for you. If there one thing that is really important in these troubling times it is that more and more of us are realizing that once trusted sources of information are not to be trusted at all. Those who want to approach the truth must dig much deeper.

    • Chain Break

      “LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AT THE GUARDIAN”

      The Guardian is a joke… even among its readers… when they inadvertently open comments on contentious issues note how fast they are shut down.

      Dissent not allowed from the official narrative.

      Has turned into a right wing neoliberal mouthpiece… thos under the impression it is otherwise should just view it’s position on Corbyn, Iraq, Syria etc…

    • Tony_0pmoc

      That was funny. I think his pension will be O.K.. He realises this nonsense can’t carry on, and he was very brave to say what he did.

      It’s the lunatics currently in control, that need to worry about their pensions.

      I don’t think they will find them much use,when they are in jail.

      Just because Tony Blair got away with it, doesn’t mean to say they will…

      These imbeciles have nearly brought us to a nuclear war.

      A lot of people believed Tony Blair’s lies.

      Almost no one believes this lot.

      The media are in big trouble too.

      This can’t go on.

      Tony

      • Phil Espin

        Tony, if May uses the royal perogative to take us into an illegal war which she gets prosecuted for, should the Queen be in the dock with her too?

        Tony Blair at least covered his arse (and her Maj’s) to some degree with a rigged vote in parliament based on the dodgy dossier.

        Beyond that if there is a vote and war crimes ensue (as they must as it would be an act of aggression illegal in international law) should all MPs voting in favour be in the dock too?

        I would say Yes on all counts and Saddam the lot of ‘em. But it only if convicted in a properly constituted court following due process.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Phil Espin,

          At this moment in time, I am not going to criticise The Queen, and I have largely been a fan, though to be perfectly honest I preferred her Mum. She is the only Royal, I have actually seen, though Princess Diana, used to go to the gym, right opposite where I worked, and used to go to The Ballet, with her kids, whilst we did with ours. But no one made a fuss of her, Diana was just a kid like us. No one noticed her, except my wife.

          I could criticise The Queen about loads of stuff. She should have said no to Tony Blair, but she’s a bit old for that now.

          Tony

          • Paul

            Actually as one of her last official acts, perhaps speaking out against something that has the potential to become a nuclear war is something this Queen might be pleased to be remembered for.

            And if, moreover, Parliament is by-passed, would the Queen feel less constrained to make her dissent known, particularly in the case of a minority government, and particularly one of this composition?

          • Phil Espin

            Good point Paul, if the Queen speaks out everyone would have to take notice. She usually says nothing but exceptional crimes cry out for justice. Won’t hold my breath…

        • N_

          Parliamentary support will be no defence whatever for Tony Blair if he ever gets put into the dock on a charge of war crimes at the Hague.

      • Ultraviolet

        “The media are in big trouble too.”

        That’s perhaps the thing that gets me most about this. Trust in the MSM has been dropping for the past few years, but it has still largely been a fringe, albeit a growing fringe, that has treated the MSM as completely untrustworthy.

        Over the past month, I feel like I have just watched the entire MSM destroy its reputation with the vast majority of the country. If not a majority, then at least a very substantial minority of the country believe they have been told a pack of lies over anti-Semitism, over Salisbury and over Syria.

        God only knows what the long term consequences of that will be. But there will be no going back from this, for either the MSM or May either.

    • Ahimsa

      I just watched that before coming on here for a check in… Truly twisted and makes it so obvious what’s going on if it wasn’t already.

      You can just picture the scene in the control room when they realised where he was going.

    • N_

      Thanks for that link, @Dave. People should spread that video of general Jonathan Shaw far and wide. He is right that the key question is why on f***ing Earth would the Syrian government carry out a chemical attack at that time and place. There is no reasonable motive. Add that to the Russian government’s announcement before the event that it was being planned as a provocation, and its more recent statement that Britain induced the White Helmets to stage it, and the next question is why would Britain do it. There is of course the defence budget. Pretty clear that won’t be cut now! But if that was the only reason, I doubt that a former general would have much of a problem with it. WW3 looks more like it.

      Shaw wasn’t head of the armed forces. It’s instructive to look at his career. After commanding 2 Para, he was Director Special Forces (in which role he would have commanded many operations by SAS, SBS, etc.), chief of staff at HQ Land Forces, then Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (international security policy, then global issues, where in particular he was concerned with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear policy, counter proliferation, and cyber. Note that “proliferation” includes proliferation of chemical weapons, not just nukes. His opinion on what happened in Douma is backed up with a lot of knowledge.

      If people are reading this who are serving in the British armed forces, please watch that video. If you know people in the armed forces, please draw their attention to it.

      Clearly there is at least some disquiet at a senior level about what looks very much like a push to start WW3. We must intensify and spread that disquiet.

      “I was only obeying orders” is not a defence against a charge of crime against humanity.

    • Christine

      Watched this. Incredible rush to hide the truth! Pity they didn’t warn him ahead of time that he would be expected to lie. It’s only now that we are beginning to realise just how routinely we are deceived.

  • Jones

    imbecile Nikki Haley says Syria have used chemical weapons 50 times, these idiots consider other people so dumb that they can’t see how dumb they are themselves, to think people’s lives are in their hands is frightening. How can such people end up in power.

    • Hagar

      I watched that meeting to-day UNSC.
      Haley, Pierce and the French bloke would argue a black crow is white.
      And if the cat had kittens Putin would get the blame.

    • Tom

      [Mod: “simple simon”, “sample sermon”, “simeon”, “gnome”, “dnome”, and now “Tom”, probably among others, is banned for vile anti-Semitism and for continual sock puppeting. Oh: and “Andy”, and “Sheila”. Suggest if people see the trademark of lower-case letters and trailing dots, they hold off replying for a day or two.]

      Content deleted.

      • bj

        trademark of lower-case letters and trailing dots

        In the text, or in the ‘handle’ id?

  • Christine

    [Mod: Caught in spam filter, time stamp updated.]

    Yes it’s time for a big shake up and a change of hearts and minds and women in politics could indeed be instrumental in that process. It’s called evolution. After all men on their own,in politics have made a mess of the world! But women cannot and must not behave the same as men , just to ” get in on the act”. They must be different and insist on different values. Values that benefit humanity. Men also can promote these values but we cannot have the same ego fuelled,money grabbing,power crazed types we have been used to! Need I go on?

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    [Mod: Caught in spam filter, time stamp updated.]

    LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AT THE GUARDIAN

    According to the Guardian’s editorial code, “Trust in the authenticity and reliability of our sources is essential.” It emphasises the importance of authentication and states that “We should be honest about our sources, even if we can’t name them.” CP Scott’s precept about the role of a newspaper is quoted: “Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.”

    It appears from recent posts to the Guardian Syria Live Blogs that the newspaper may not always be fully transparent about the background of its sources. The first case is a post by the journalist Mona Mahmood of an interview with Yousif Al Bustani, 27, on 13th April which can be found at:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/13/syria-crisis-corbyn-accuses-may-of-waiting-for-trumps-instructions-live-updates
    Al Bustani’s words are notable for their specificity about what the USA should attack and what weapons (anti-aircraft missiles) the rebels require. According to the blog, Al Bustani “had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days ago following the chemical attack”. It appears that this person is Yousef (with an e) Al Bustani, a media activist, 27 years old, who arrived in the Aleppo countryside a few days ago. See the links at:
    https://www.facebook.com/Yousef.albostany1/about?lst=100008788269953%3A100002537104533%3A1523633864
    https://en.sy-24.com/article/yousef-al-bustani-russia-continue-humiliating-regime-officers/
    http://syriadirect.org/news/east-ghouta-protester-%E2%80%98if-the-un-continues-to-remain-silent-it-will-be-assad%E2%80%99s-partner-in-the-killing%E2%80%99/
    In the third (Syria Direct) link, he is credited with a photo of a demonstration in which protestors complain about the allocation of aid in East Ghouta, and equate the United Nations with Assad. More telling is the second (Sy-24) link, in which he is interviewed and claims that there is no more Assad regime and that Syria is occupied by Russia. He claims that Russian officers humiliate Syrian officers. Crucially, the byline for this story is 6th April (last Friday). The story begins “Waves of IDPs [internally displaced persons] continue to arrive from Douma to northern Syria after an agreement was made between Jaish al-Islam and Russia.” Al Bustani states that no-one should question why they left, after six years of bombardment and siege, and notes that they have suffered psychological damage. All this is quite understandable. However, no mention is made of the alleged chemical attack, for the good reason that it had not yet occurred (that was on Saturday 7th). There are two crucial things that follow from this: (1) contrary to the story, emphasised by the Guardian among others, that resistance crumbled after the attack, this story shows that the agreement to evacuate had been made beforehand, completely undermining any motive for the Assad regime to launch one; (2) the Guardian blog post claims that Al Bustani had to flee to the Aleppo countryside five days before 13th April, on the 8th (after the date of the attack), but Sy-24 places him there on the 6th.
    The second post, also by Mona Mahmood, on 12th April, gives the comments of Judi Arsh, who also calls for the regime to be toppled by the USA. See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/12/uk-russia-tensions-rise-over-syria-attack-and-salisbury-poisoning-live-updates?page=with:block-5acf767ee4b0457ba8886176#liveblog-navigation
    She is described as “a 24-year-old former resident Homs who fled to the Aleppo countryside with her family last year” but the blog does not disclose that she is a former regime detainee and journalist.
    I think both these individuals are entitled to be heard and I respect their courage. However, it seems to me there are two problems here:
    (1) The reader is left to assume that the interviewees are ordinary civilians. The reader is entitled to know if the background of the source might affect their testimony.
    (2) The date and content of the Al Bustani Sy-24 story raise grave doubts about the whole narrative claiming that Jaish al Islam withdrew because of the chemical attack, and contradict the assertion that he fled Douma following the attack.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Assuming we survive this, and I think we have now turned the corner, and there is a good chance, for our two Grandchildren to grow up (they are 2 and 2 months old), my nominaton for journalist of the year (2017) still rings true for 2018….though the competetion is heating up, and even Craig Murray, has now moved intp the top 10 (in fact recently he has been completely brilliant)

    i couldn’t come to a decision for 2017.

    I made these 2 girls both Number 1.

    I think they are both awesome.

    More courage than any man, and totally brilliant in a TV interview.

    Eva Bartlett https://ingaza.wordpress.com/about-me/

    Vanessa Beeley https://thewallwillfall.org/about/

    Google them for their latest interviews. sometimes their websites are under attack, or they haven’t the time to update them, because they are in Syria being real journalists, rather than these armchair fakes doing their copies and pastes from the CIA central command.

    https://i2.wp.com/www.wrongkindofgreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Eva-Vanessa-Strike-Down-Corporate-Media-.jpg?w=702

    Thank You – You guys are the real heroes.

    You are keeping our world alive, by finding out the truth, and telling it.

    Tony

  • Jim

    Is there anything (lawful) we can do to bring May and Johnson and the defense man whose name I forget to account? They have not only it seems tried to deceive us and lead our country and others into an illegal war against the UN charter, but they have it seems been inciting racial hatred against the Russians. If they had said what they have said about about the Russians about any other racial grouping they would have been arrested. The media are implicit in this racial profiling and incitement too.

    I think there are a lot of decent MPs (maybe I’m being naïve) both conservative and other parties that are probably just as dismayed Perhaps they are already making moves to remove May and Johnson from office? Perhaps the natural order of politics will deal with the matter.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Jim,

      I am pleased you are asking this question, because the law is extremely important, and if we lose the rule of law which we have had from at least 1066, and most of it is based on morality and common law, and common sense, and has been replicated amongst much of the world, despite the recent rewrite of history, then we are all in very big trouble.

      Tony

    • Jones

      unfortunately i imagine it would take someone with very big pockets to take them to court, for the majority of people i guess the only thing we have is our vote, how anyone could ever vote to return them to power defies me.

    • Jack

      What that bozo Johnson said about the Russians acting like Nazis was about the most offensive thing anyone could say to the Russians. It was mind bogglingly stupid for him to say that. Unbelievable .

  • Rhys Jaggar

    RT has published a 34 page position paper of the Russian State concerning the Skripal affair.

    I strongly recommend everyone read it as it is concise, measured, but very firm about where its red lines reside.

    The document states that Boris Johnson informed Russia that the Novichok concerned was A-234. They make no comment on whether the OPCW agrees with that or not.

    They suggest the agent applied to door handles was in the form of a gel.

    Apart from anything else, the document is extremely useful in documenting large numbers of temporal facts and exhanges between officials.

  • Scottish Intelligence Service

    The liars in London, May and Johnson have been wagging the dog on all of this from the start. The Skripal PSYOP was primarily run from London, and not Washington. Then Trump watched the gas PSYOP on TV and took it as real.

    Now the Russians have called them out on the gas attack PSYOP. The media is now so co-opted, that truth is hidden.

    Why is the Queen letting the disgusting liars lead the country into a possible cataclysm? Is the Queen being misled by her advisors? Is the Queen being fed false intelligence by operatives in London? Why were Her Majesty and Prince Charles played like fools over the recent fake terror PSYOPS?

    Search Travis Frain + Westminster + Prince Charles. Mr Frain being the only human in history to have broken his leg, with no swelling and bruising. The swines played Charles. Why is the stinking government getting away with this corruption?

    Potential massive war, based on lies from the stinking May.

  • Thomas_Stockmann

    I know some of you are concerned about the way in which the Guardian is trying to shape the debate in favour of war. As you will see above, I have found concrete evidence that the live blog is passing off the testimony of activists without identifying them, i.e. as if they were ordinary civilians. When I have tried to post about this on the Jonathan Freedland article, first my post was deleted, then a polite request to the moderator to reinstate it and refer it to the readers’ editor was also deleted. I think this shows the sensitivity of the paper to the well-founded accusation but their only reaction is to cover it up and treat me as if I were some sort of troll.

    • Laguerre

      Comments to the Guardian are quite randomly deleted, and they never reinstate. The moderators are quite probably low-level interns, but still live people. They used to have a moderator who was hasbara, and deleted anything anti-Israel, but that person has disappeared now, and they’re more relaxed. The policy now is only to open comments on uncontroversial articles, which will give a good jolly for commenters. The main no-no is to criticise the Guardian itself, and its journalists, which apparently you have done.

  • N_

    Another former senior officer in the British armed forces, this time the navy, speaks out against accepting the story that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in Douma: Alan West, who spoke with RT.

    “It seems to be utterly ludicrous for the military that is in the process of taking over an area to go and do something with chemical weapons, which will draw the wrath of the larger enemy down upon them,” he said. “If I was advising the opponents of Assad, I would be delighted to kill a few people there. Let’s face it, [the insurgents] don’t care if they kill women and children.”

    (His phrasing is unfortunate.)

  • Laguerre

    I do have a feeling, I could be wrong, that this attack on Syria is going to fail. Trump would have done better to have fired off the missiles he had available the first night. They’re evidently now waiting for the arrival of the Truman carrier group, which is some days away yet (some say 10). By the way, one commenter, I think on MoA, with a friend on board, said that the Truman is actually headed for the Gulf.

    It’s just that the doubts are building up. Public opinion in Britain is strongly against. The more days that go on, the less the justification presented will work. It’s already too late for British public opinion. Does May really want a public relations negative right now?

    • BrianFujisan

      May Already has a Huge Public relations disaster at the moment. But all this Skripal, Syria is a diversion from Brexit

      Plus she has nos Soul, Nor empathy.. Happy to kill innocents in Syria, And Libya, And Yemen, And Somalia, And Ukraine, And Gaza

    • SA

      Sadly May seems to think that being a warrior will increase her popularity as people will rally because we are at war.

      • bj

        A warrior whose lipstick, hairdo, skin and dignity will remain unruffled, no matter how many thousands of innocents she will send to their deaths.

    • N_

      Has anybody got a link where we can track US and other warships, or at least may be able to track some of them?

    • giyane

      The idea of Russia being an enemy is a Great Game fantasy with roots as old as the hills. In the Westminster bubble, Mrs May as a Tory might be able to attach political dogma hatred to Russia but in doing so she would have to ignore a lot of reality, about UK citizens trading inside Russia and vice versa. nothing like seeing a politician with their head screwed off and lying on the floor to reassure one in a time of crisis. In fact all of the news in recent days appears to me to be a May crisis, in her head, as leader of this country, rather than an existential reality. Is she having a breakdown?

      Is there a plan B to place her into a place of asylum, before the stress of leading a racist Brexit affects her sanity? She looks to me like someone who needs help, and not getting much from Bullingdon Brutus and Gormless Gavin right now. Reminds me of Richard 2, Act 3, scene 4


      GARDENER, to one Servingman
      Go, bind thou up young dangling apricokes
      Which, like unruly children, make their sire
      Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
      Give some supportance to the bending twigs.— 35
      Go thou, and like an executioner
      Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays
      That look too lofty in our commonwealth.
      All must be even in our government.
      You thus employed, I will go root away 40
      The noisome weeds which without profit suck
      The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.

      A Gardener comes in with two men and starts ordering his workers around. He tells one of them to bind the apricot trees to give them more support. He tells the second one to prune some plants that are growing too fast.

      MAN
      Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
      Keep law and form and due proportion,
      Showing as in a model our firm estate, 45
      When our sea-wallèd garden, the whole land,
      Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
      Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
      Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
      Swarming with caterpillars? 50

      GARDENER Hold thy peace.
      He that hath suffered this disordered spring
      Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
      The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did
      shelter, 55
      That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
      Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke—
      I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.

      MAN
      What, are they dead?

      Then the landscapers start to talk politics. The first man asks why they should bother keeping the garden in such good order when the kingdom – a metaphorical garden – is in such a shambles.

      The Gardener says Bolingbroke has pulled up the “weeds” that were keeping the king weak. (He’s talking, of course, about how Bolingbroke ordered the deaths of Bushy and Green, Richard’s lousy advisors.)

      GARDENER They are. And Bolingbroke 60
      Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
      That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
      As we this garden! We at time of year
      Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
      Lest, being overproud in sap and blood, 65
      With too much riches it confound itself.
      Had he done so to great and growing men,
      They might have lived to bear and he to taste
      Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
      We lop away, that bearing boughs may live. 70
      Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
      Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.”

      https://www.shmoop.com/richard-ii/act-3-scene-4-translation.html

      • John Goss

        Thanks for the culture and knowledge that while gardeners may produce fruit and keep their gardens fair, governments are not always so pernickety. 🙂

  • Hatuey

    It looks like 90% of this forums users have already decided, before any enquiry or evidence has been made public, that the alleged gas attack in Syria was a false flag operation carried out by Assad’s opponents.

    On the other side of the equation we have elected politicians like Trump prematurely suggesting otherwise.

    Not a great advert for democracy and the rule of law, is it?

    • Crackerjack

      Its an excellent example of democracy and the rule of law. A healthy disrespect of our ”leaders” and their propaganda machine (based on previous lies) is what makes us not the USA or North Korea

      • Hatuey

        Excuse me but the French are saying they have proof that Assad was responsible for the gas attack. I propose that we wait to see the evidence and let an enquiry investigate.

        Nobody really cares what Britain a declining minnow of a power thinks; the events that are about to unfold will not hinge on what Britain does with its aircraftless aircraft carrier.

        • Crackerjack

          “Nobody really cares what Britain a declining minnow of a power thinks; the events that are about to unfold will not hinge on what Britain does with its aircraftless aircraft carrier.”

          Well at last we can agree on something. Frankly this “punching above our weight” nonsense makes me physically sick. Sadly I believe our aircraft carriers are nothing more than target practice for the Zircon Missile. As with the French and US warships

          Not so sure I agree with your reliance on French intelligence though. They stated they had proof that Assad was responsible for the East Ghouta and Khan Sheikhoun Sarin attacks. No such proof exists according to the snoop master generals

          http://www.newsweek.com/now-mattis-admits-there-was-no-evidence-assad-using-poison-gas-his-people-801542

          • Hatuey

            “Not so sure I agree with your reliance on French intelligence though”

            Can you show me where I indicated anything resembling reliance on French evidence? Suggesting we wait to their evidence isn’t a reliance on it.

          • Crackerjack

            No but it does suggest you would take it into account despite the fact that they’ve already – how shall I say it – pushed the boundaries of truth

            I do take your point though. We need to wait until the evidence is collected and then see if it has any holes in it. Enough from me

    • N_

      Democracy means one person one vote. The rule of law is the principle that everyone including public officials must obey the law. What on earth have either of those notions got to do with our publishing our conclusions from the Russian prediction of a staged chemical attack, from the past record of the British and US elites of concocting such lies as reasons for attacking foreign countries, and from the inability of anyone to come up with a feasible motive on the part of the Syrian government, and from other premises, that the Syrian government is not responsible, and that what is actually going on is the telling of criminal lies in order to support mass murder on a huge scale?? You’ll be calling us all “chavs” or “four eyes” or whatever else you don’t like next! You can continue to vote for whoever you like and we’re not breaking any laws in saying what we say.

      • Hatuey

        Since you and others voted for people like Trump, not to mention the trivial May, who are equally guilty of jumping to conclusions, I’d say that reflects badly on democracy.

        Since no international authority, court, or the UN has as yet put forward any evidence or came to a conclusion on the alleged gassing in Syria, I’d say those who jump to conclusions prematurely are not being very respectful towards the principle of the rule of law.

        Hopefully that clarifies my position for you.

        • N_

          @Hatuey – “Since you and others voted for people like Trump, not to mention the trivial May, who are equally guilty of jumping to conclusions, I’d say that reflects badly on democracy.

          Since no international authority, court, or the UN has as yet put forward any evidence or came to a conclusion on the alleged gassing in Syria, I’d say those who jump to conclusions prematurely are not being very respectful towards the principle of the rule of law.

          Hopefully that clarifies my position for you.

          It does. You are a fantasist (I’ve never voted for anybody like Trump or May), you don’t address the arguments offered for the conclusions that you’re opposing, and you think it’s disrespectful of something you hold dear (which you call the “rule of law”) to make conclusions unless an “authority” hands them down.

    • SA

      The facts are clear
      1. Syria has given up its chemical and biological weapons and this has been verified by the OPCW.
      2. Syria is not only winning the war in Ghouta and Douma, the already have liberated all that area.
      3. Syria has no motive for bombing an area which they knew they are on the way to liberating.
      4. If you follow Arabic websites you would know that the SG was keen to liberate over 1000 civilians abducted from Adra by the rebels, some of them held as hostages and held and displayed in cages, to slow down or deter the progress of the SAA.
      5. Throughpout this conflict, the SG and the Russian reconciliation centre have urged civilians to leave the conflict areas often establishing humanitarian corridors and even transporting out terrorists into terrorist held areas in order to mitigate loss of life amongst civilians.
      6. The Russians have been warning of a false flag attack staged to deter the progress of the SAA. This is a repeated pattern of accusations against the Syrian government that happened with monotonous regularity everytime the SAA was advancing and winning against the rebels.
      7. The rebels on the other side are terrorists, why is the west keen to support them. In fact why are you keen to support them?
      8. Why is it that the majority of the ‘victims’ being hosed down in the videos produced by the terrorist all of children? is it that these chemical weapons are so age specific that they do not affect adults. What would the tactical reason for targeting civilians be for the SG?
      9. The accusations and the proposed actions by the west occurred soon after the events were advertised without any attempt to try and confirm what really happened.
      10. The west has had a long history of lying in order to invade other countries, with extremely serious consequences.
      11. The lies continue. We have a Foreign secretary who is known to have a rather cavalier attitude to facts and to the rule of law. Why should we suddenly believe anything he says.
      12. Why are you defending Donald Trump.

      Right if you have a 12 point rebuttal we shall consider whether you have a case to answer.

      • Hatuey

        You do understand that in most countries circumstantial evidence and folk psychology are not enough to bring about a conviction? Even when it comes to rather trivial stuff like exceeding the speed limit that principle is considered sacrosanct which is why policemen have things like cameras and speed guns.

        • N_

          We’re not in court. In that theatre, though, circumstantial evidence is often sufficient to bring a conviction, and in the realm of intelligence and counter-intelligence it’s often the best kind.

        • Bayard

          “You do understand that in most countries circumstantial evidence and folk psychology are not enough to bring about a conviction?”
          But in this country, it is enough to go to war on?

    • Laguerre

      “with Russia, the US, and everybody pulling out of Syria on the basis that it was more or less over, is it possible he thought nobody would notice or care?”

      So, your idea is that Asad is winning, and so just to advance his success by 5 minutes or so, he’s going to employ a CW attack that was bound to provoke a violent US reaction. Pull the other one (if you are able to understand that British expression).

      • Hatuey

        No, that’s not my idea. My emphasis was on not knowing and I was questioning the certainty with which others like you discuss the subject when the truth is you don’t know what happened either.

    • Crackerjack

      Do you honestly think we will ever see the evidence? We’ve accused Russia of poisoning two of their Nationals in public to the world based on F all.

      Nikki Haley is accusing Assad of poisoning his people without offering any evidence and in clear contradiction of her Defence Secretary who says they have no evidence

      Come on! This will be the same script as Iraq and Libya where in a couple of years time a Parliamentary Commission will conclude we fucked up again. Of course no-one will care by then

    • John Goss

      Might I suggest that it may be you who has already decided. When I read a comment and take the trouble to watch the attached link, as here:

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/some-dead-children-count-more-than-others/comment-page-4/#comment-737130

      and watch a doctor who was working at the hospital and is shown in the footage of the people who gatecrashed the hospital say they were dealing with problems of smoke inhalation when this film crew broke in with cries of “It’s a chemical attack” I make the same decision 90% of other thinking people might make. Perhaps you have pinned your premature opinions on the petard premature actions in response to a lie.

      • Hatuey

        All great but I don’t have an opinion.

        That should be the end of this conversation although it would arguably be appropriate for you to apologise and concede that you have both misunderstood and misrepresented my views.

        • Bayard

          “All great but I don’t have an opinion.”
          Then why are you posting then?
          “it would arguably be appropriate for you to apologise and concede that you have both misunderstood and misrepresented my views.”
          It’s not your views that anyone is worried about, in any case you have just said you don’t have any (views = opinions in English), it’s your statements of “fact”.

      • Dumb Unicorn

        It’s been bugging me that there was something which didn’t ring true about the video in the hospital but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It was the women, or the lack of them. There are a couple in there but apart from one, I couldn’t see any of them with the children. Where were the mothers?

        A mother with an ill or injured child would never leave their side – that’s true in all humans (and many animals too), there’s an instinct which kicks in and I would defy anyone to try and keep a mother away from their child if they were in danger. That would be true even if the mother was injured too.

        The men also were very rough with the children which made me think they were neither medics used to dealing with children, nor the children’s fathers. It was painful to watch.

        • Jiusito

          Is there more than one video doing the rounds? The one I have seen (several times) doesn’t seem to me particularly harrowing at all. Little children without their mothers, being shouted at and hosed with cold water, are likely to look frightened and miserable. Is that it? I have seen truly dreadful images of children traumatised and torn up by bullets, bombs and mortar shells, but the video purportedly from Douma offers nothing like that. Have I missed something?

          • Dumb Unicorn

            I guess I worded that badly. What I meant was that it made it look more likely that it was staged because the children were there without their mothers. Were they gassed somewhere there was only men and children present? In a war zone, most mothers would keep their children close and would have stayed with them at the hospital if they were genuinely injured. Even orphans would likely be looked after by a woman. It just didn’t make sense that the people coming in were virtually all men, but with a few unrelated children thrown in, that’s all.

            When I said it was painful to watch, it just made me wince to see the children thrown about like that, it was the lack of caring that struck me as unnatural in that situation – they didn’t act like medical staff, even in an emergency situation, or like someone who knew and cared about the child (i.e. family). Again it made me think that the video was staged – it looked like a bunch of amateur ‘actors’ had borrowed someone else’s children to act out a scene. “Quick, get some children, we need children for maximum outrage”.

            I wasn’t saying that what happened to the children in the video was terrible in itself and I’m sorry if it came across that way. I’m well aware that countless children will have suffered far worse.

          • Dumb Unicorn

            When I think about it, none of the children looked at any of the adults as if they knew them or vice versa.

          • Jiusito

            Dumb Unicorn, no offence. I have heard so many people describe the “video evidence” of a chemical attack at Douma as horrifying, heinous, sickening &c that I can only think they’ve watched something I haven’t. Is there another video, because (as I say) nothing in this one seems very distressing.

            On the other hand, there are videos in circulation of unarmed young Palestinians being shot in the head, the knee &c near the Gaza border these last few days that are genuinely distressing; but not in a million years will May or Macron speak out on that.

    • Hatuey

      “We haven’t quite accustomed ourselves in the UK to the idea of our politicians lying.“

      And you also haven’t quite accustomed yourselves to the idea that Britain and British public opinion matters nowhere outside of U.K. bubble.

      When I said evidence I wasn’t meaning anything the British might come up with.

    • Bayard

      “It looks like 90% of this forums users have already decided, before any enquiry or evidence has been made public, that the alleged gas attack in Syria was a false flag operation carried out by Assad’s opponents.”
      No, it looks like 90% of this forums users have already decided, because no enquiry or evidence has been made public, that the alleged gas attack in Syria is likely not to have been carried out by Assad.
      Can you tell the difference?

  • BrianFujisan

    I wonder if OPCW are really on their way to Syria..Given Trump’s Majour Anouncements at the U.N ( sorry Tweets ) And the Russian response, About Shooting down the west’s Misslies, and that they have proof the Uk were involved, well they / we were

    Here is good interview with Annie Machon on these Chemical weapons claims –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iejzhb_-Do

  • Tony M

    Paul
    April 13, 2018 at 20:45
    “… warhead-less missile was the cause, then a similar strike on a warship couldn’t really be expected to inflict merely token damage.”

    Yes I would agree, one could still do immense damage even with the warhead disabled or replaced by a dummy to compensate for the weight difference. It could even go right through a ship and out the other side. See Mark Golding’s harrowing comment about the Sheffield, immediately after yours (my replies don’t thread correctly).
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/some-dead-children-count-more-than-others/comment-page-3/#comment-737025

  • Tony M

    As head of state the ‘queen’, or as defendant Ms. Guelph or Guelf is almost certainly criminally culpable for the illegal actions of the state. How could it be otherwise?

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Tony M,

      Well yes, she didn’t make it to the Old Testament, but The Queen made it to Alice in Wonderland, and now Theresa May has taken her part without permission (so far as I know)

      Tony

      • N_

        She can at the Hague.

        And “Charles I” was tried in England for crimes including murder and treason. It’s about time the House of Commons took a stand against the position that 1649-1660 was an 11-year-period of government by criminals.

  • Tony M

    Though I only sometimes bought the National newspaper, rather than doing so on a regular basis, I will not be doing so in future, as a result of yesterday’s Syria timeline feature which from beginning to is pretty much a one-sided farrago of lies, half-truths and disinformation. They should simply have stayed away from issue entirely than piled in echoing the mainstream media’s pitiful efforts. Sad.

    .

    • BrianFujisan

      And yesterday aint the first Time Tony.

      I have been calling The National out on several occasions in recent weeks.. for promoting May’s Lies.

  • Tony M

    Thanks BrianFujisan, I thought it was just me. Even the first item about the youths throwing things at the police and spraying graffiti in the beginning who were as was widely reported released after a ticking off, they say they were tortured. It just got worse till I couldn’t read on.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    About 30 years ago, after The IRA attacks, we got complacent, we didn’t think there was any threat, we were largely at peace…there were virtually no wars, but then we allowed all our institutions to be infiltrated by foreign evil forces. Exactly the same thing happenned to The Americans.

    The people in control now do not have traditional British, American, nor Christian values.

    We let our children and their children down.

    Sorry,

    Now the lunatics are in control.

    I did march with over 1,000,000 other people in February 2003, to try and stop them

    Where were you?

    Tony

  • Tony M

    Not quite with gravitas of Jimmy Reid or Tony Benn, but I would urge anyone attending any demos or protests this weekend, to behave with the utmost dignity, to be respectful to the Police who’re not all bad, (whatever provocations) and most would rather be anywhere else than in the thick of this, we need them and the rest of the people on our side, do not block roads or throughways for emergency vehicles and access, or for the general public going about their business, earning their livelihood or visiting the capital. It would be counter-productive to do so. We’re better than that. Have a fun day, sing dance, party and get home again safe and well.

    • Pyotr Grozny

      The protest in Whitehall was very well-behaved and even the Socialist Worker person was understanding when I declined their placard saying that I wanted this to be as cross-party as possible.

  • Silvio

    A guest on an MSNBC panel, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, explains to the panel and another guest, a retired US admiral, why Syria is a complete cockup thanks to President Obama deciding “Assad had to go” and then thinking it would be a smart move to hand over the job of removing Assad to the CIA covert ops specialist. Sachs further explains that any further military intervention will only increase the extent of the cockup and make the situation in Syria even more untenable with the added bonus of possibly starting a war with Russia. It’s a bit of a breakthrough to see just this one small example of a rational, anti-war voice appear on a mainstream media outlet in the USA.

    https://youtu.be/-vwKk4pADCw

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