The Rush to War 729

I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury, amongst other possibilities. But I do rule out the possibility that Assad is dropping chemical weapons in Ghouta. In this extraordinary war, where Saudi-funded jihadist head choppers have Israeli air support and US and UK military “advisers”, every time the Syrian army is about to take complete control of a major jihadist enclave, at the last moment when victory is in their grasp, the Syrian Army allegedly attacks children with chemical weapons, for no military reason at all. We have been fed this narrative again and again and again.

We then face a propaganda onslaught from neo-con politicians, think tanks and “charities” urging a great rain of Western bombs and missiles, and are accused of callousness towards suffering children if we demur. This despite the certain knowledge that Western military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have had consequences which remain to this day utterly disastrous.

I fear that the massive orchestration of Russophobia over the last two years is intended to prepare public opinion for a wider military conflict centred on the Middle East, but likely to spread, and that we are approaching that endgame. The dislocation of the political and media class from the general population is such, that the levers for people of goodwill to prevent this are, as with Iraq, extremely few as politicians quake in the face of media jingoism. These feel like extremely dangerous times.

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729 thoughts on “The Rush to War

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    • MightyDrunken

      When I saw on the news, the Syrian children been given (asthma?) inhalers for a “chemical” attack I thought that something big may be afoot. The Skripal incident now seems even more likely to be a way to try to make Russia look guilty (assuming it was a false flag). To put the effort into that implies that there is some long term plan now coming close to fruition and therefore conflict. 🙁

      As an aside it seems weird with the two recent obvious propaganda pushes in the UK, the “Skripal incident” and anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Corbyn was one of the few politicians who suggested a more reasoned response regarding accusing Russsia and at the same time he was hit with anti-Semitism rhetoric. With the Syrian situation Russia is again involved, as is Israel. Coincidence?

    • Muscleguy

      That article is excellent. In the South of St Petersburg opposite our hotel when we were there in ’94 is a war memorial marking the closest point the Germans got to the Centre of Leningrad. It is very moving, with heroic bronze statuary and lots of marble. In the middle is an eternal flame and it had a old war veteran caretaker who spotted us Western tourists with young kids right off and greeted us with warm smiles and please come in hand signals.

      It knocks any Western war memorial I have seen into a cocked hat.

      Then you walk down Nevsky Prospekt and you see the holes in the brick masonry from shell splinters and sniper bullets, the sign warning of snipers. Deliberately left.

  • Stephen

    I have copied from end of previous blog entry as this thread seems more appropriate as to what might happen very soon.
    It now looks like it will be a 100% dead cert that Trump will attack Syria within the next few days possibly even overnight.
    The FBI have just raided his person lawyer’s office for documents on the Playboy woman pay off.

    It looks very suspicious timing as if it is designed to force Trump to try and change the news cycle by attacking Syria.
    Clinton’s “Wag the Dog” comes to mind.
    I hope it is peaceful in the morning good night.

  • Hieroglyph

    The ever reliable Simon Tisdall is already banging the war drum. I won’t link to the article, because it’s irrelevant, as is The Guardian more generally. Certain actors desire war, I do not know why. Personally, I’d be surprised if Trump fell for this obvious trap, however he now has John Bolton for ‘advice’. To my own surprise, I’m broadly supportive of Trump, but can’t for the life of me understand why he employs John Bolton. I’m assuming some low level military strike is on the way, but not full out war. But, John Bolton always wants full out war, and there is no war he won’t support. Let’s hope Trump is wise enough to ignore him, where he wasn’t wise enough to avoid employing him in the first place.

    I think I may avoid the media for a few days, it’s too bloodthirsty for my own tastes.

  • Charles

    Without the ME oil and the associated financials the US is finished, civil war and decay with 5 years.

    The word put out on the Arab Street (for obvious reasons) (generate fear) is that the US will destroy every military airbase in Syria in the next 24hrs

    If that happens when the number of missiles are detected in the air by the Russian, that is it, game over.

    If the US hit one Syrian airfield the Russians will destroy the US launch platforms (and a few more), then the ball is back in Trump’s court with potentially several nuclear powered Flat Tops that have gone submarine.

    So the choice is for Trump. Stop spending Trillions on war and repair his god forsaken country or let it die in a 5 years or 5 weeks timeframe

    • Lea

      Hi, Charles. The oil is not the problem. With Saudi Arabia, the US is awash with oil. The thing is, the US lives off wars. The US military-industrial complex their president Eisenhower had warned against has taken hold of the country — and that process was completed in the Bush years. Today, the US economy rests on wars. Without them, they are done for.
      This piece written during the Bush years is extraordinarily enlightening. It should be mandatory reading!
      ‘Why America Needs War’, by Canadian historian Jacques R. Pauwels

      But Russia (and China in Afghanistan) are thwarting their plans by stepping in to put an end to their wars. That’s the reason why the US froth at the mouth, and that is what we are up against: the biggest money-making endeavour in the whole of human history: gazillions sunk in private sector-produced mass destruction. In other terms, taxpayers money divested to the pockets of military contractors and weapon makers, to the tune of billions of dollars, via the most corrupt Congress in history.
      And the whole of NATO follows…

      • Morton Subotnick

        As every Marxist knows, the massive post-WW2 destruction of capital by the West, particularly the US, in pursuing the arms race was the only thing that saved the Capitalist mode of production from multiple overproduction crises (hence the economic problems since 1989 and the impossibility of turning “swords into ploughshares”). Even with that destruction, the first such crisis was occurring in, for example, the US car industry by the early-1950s.

        Nice introduction to the subject by the late, great Giovanni Arrighi from the September/October 1978 issue of New Left Review (actually written in 1972):

        And, since machines/robots cannot produce surplus value, the AI future is even more bleak for the CMP – bleak as in terminal. On which topic, from the September/October 1984 issue of New Left Review:

    • CanSpeccy

      “If the US hit one Syrian airfield the Russians will destroy the US launch platforms”

      How do they hit subs that launch cruise missiles?

      And will they hit air bases in Britain from which the USAF operates? That could shake some of the shit out Boris Johnson.

      • Yonatan

        “How do they hit subs that launch cruise missiles?”

        The Russians have flown one of their Il-38 anti-sub aircraft to Hymeim. It can do the job. It carries 20,000 lbs of munitions – mines, torpedos, depth charges and the like.

        • CanSpeccy


          How do you think they will react if the US launches cruise missiles at Syrian targets from their UK-based B-1 bombers?

  • Golubitsa

    US Nikki Haily in UN today: US prepared for the military action in Syria if UN doesn’t act. Reminds you of something? God help us.

  • sam sung

    It goes to show how dangerous the Internet is to the scum pulling the strings. Recorded history is evidently utter drivel. Pre-Internet, all the lies about poisoning would have been unchallenged. Utterly sickening.

  • Jonathan Davison

    I fear you are right Craig. Very succinctly and eloquently put, i feel completely helpless as I read hundreds of deeply sceptical comments in newspapers from both left and right yet the column inches are given seemingly exclusively to those pushing for military action (See Simon Tisdall’s opinion piece in the Guardian for sabre rattling). Thankfully, social media is offering an alternative narrative.

    Thank you for your ongoing sanity and resolute campaigning.

  • Justin Glyn

    Thank you for this warning. I fear, as Dave Majumdar at National Interest and the Russia expert, Stephen F Cohen, warn, that we have lost both the institutional memory of the Cuban Missile Crisis and anything like an organised peace movement which would hold governments to account. While I don’t think anyone is actually stupidly suicidal enough to actually WANT a nuclear war, the fact is that people who see war as a profit making enterprise seem to be running governments and the traditional safety nets which would prevent these instincts from killing us all (press, peace movements, Churches and other religious and civil society voices) do not have the clout in societal discourse which they once did.

  • Ophelia Ball

    I didn’t catch all of the UN Security Council meeting, but heard the Syrian Ambassador’s speech. The guy is an old-school diplomat, habitually measured and respectful in his presentation, but tonight there he was “giving it large”, calling the Western powers out as liars (in those terms)

    Something has changed here; even the Russian delegate was pulling no punches, asserting that the USA has no friends at the UN, just nations who are cowed and too afraid to stand up to them.

    I myself am not emotionally inert in all of this, and my sentiment varies from utter despair to denial to the conclusion that we’ve heard it all before and back to disgust at the lies and grandstanding, but one common thread runs through all of this – intentions and nuanced messages are wholly irrelevant in a context where one simple mistake or overreaction could send this whole thing sky high, very quickly indeed

    I have no more idea than the next man about what happens next, and, along with Nietzsche, I have now progressed way beyond considerations of Good and Evil – we just have to wait and see, but Hope has surely now grown grey hairs, and some kind of Gotterdaemmerung is now perhaps upon us. Good luck, you lot.

    • Ophelia Ball

      from the article Ian cites above:

      “American leadership might have hated the Soviet Union, but it was not contemptuous of it. No American leader would have called the Soviet Union, as John McCain called Russia, just “a gas station masquerading as a country.” And no senior American or British leader would have told the Soviet Union what British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told Russia last week: to “go away and shut up.”

      This is a discourse that assumes its own righteousness, authority, and superior power, even as it betrays its own weakness. It’s the discourse of a frustrated child. Or bully. Russia isn’t shutting up and going away, and the British are not—and know they’re not—going to make it. But they may think the Big Daddy backing them up can and will. And daddy may think so himself.

      Like all bullies, the people enmeshed in this arrogant discourse don’t seem to understand that it is not frightening Russia. It’s only insulting the country, and leading it to conclude that there is indeed nothing remaining of productive, non-conflictual, US-Russian “partnership” ties. The post-Skripal worldwide diplomatic expulsions, which seem deliberately and desperately excessive, may have finally convinced Russia that there is no longer any use trying. Those who should be frightened of this are the American people.”

      Brilliant. TBH, I think we are all probably forked from this point forwards

      • James

        The expulsions were not world wide – they weren’t even Europe wide!!!

        I don’t like it when facts are ignored in this context it looks like hyperbole.

  • Dario

    I cannot but share your worries and concerns.
    At the same time, as a long time observer and researcher of US and British foreign policy, I want to take this opportunity to strongly commend your intellectual and ethical independence for taking the only and most reasonable stance on this gruesome episode.
    In times of unprecedented media corruption and
    political propaganda, your voice does stand out as a lighthouse in an ocean of dark nonsense.
    There was no reason whatsoever why the legitimate govern of Syria should have carried out such an attack, at a time where not only had it recaptured the last stronghold of the rebels, but when an agreement in place was being implemented to peacefully transfer the rebels in a different area of the country.
    Yet of course, do not expect to hear any of this banally sensical point in the mainstream press.

  • Strategist

    There is nothing that these depraved psychopaths won’t sink to.
    It makes me sick to say it, but the press campaign on this issue in UK right now is also of a piece with the Corbyn is an anti-semite meme of the last 2 weeks. The same approach to propaganda, from the same people, in the same media outlets. Evil, evil bastards.

  • J Galt

    Indeed Mr Murray, the time for choosing sides, come what may, could soon be upon us.

    May conscience dictate.

    • Hieroglyph

      I’ve chosen my side. And it’s Russia, and Putin. I’m not under the illusion that Putin is Ghandi, but the provocation is entirely one-sided, and it’s coming from The West. Putin has shown remarkable nobel-prize-worthy restraint, but The West is under the control of people who simply can’t see reason.

      For the next week, we’ll have our minister for fashion and foreign jolly’s – the Forn Minister – echo Western talking points, without blinking an eye. It’s not as full-on insane as Boris and May inventing stuff, but it’s still disturbing. And ‘we’ will offer ‘support’ as Australia always does.

      Luckily, we have Trump, not Clinton, in power, so I don’t think it’ll go much further. But, I have been wrong before.

      • MightyDrunken

        I feel that May and Johnson are rather “light weight”. While May as far as I know has couched her terms in weasel words like “of a type manufactured by Russia”, both seem very happy to make their accusations against Russia. Is this because they know there is a greater power behind them? Like the USA?

      • CanSpeccy

        “I’ve chosen my side. And it’s Russia, and Putin.”

        You won’t find much support in the UK once the Ruskies launch some missiles at UK air bases.

        That’s when it will be obvious to all and sundry that Nazi Reichsfuhrer Goering was correct when he said: “the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.”

        • Paedo Hunter

          well, I’ve been a Putin follower for some time…..a decade at least…..strikes me some folk are quite ‘new’ to the Operation Beluga and Gladio Ops…..and made my mind up a long time ago….the Satanic West is heading down the toilet…all for the Satanic Talmudists in Tel Aviv….and their dual citizens in Washington and Congress…..time for them to meet their Prince of Light

  • WJ

    The sheer irrationality is sickening. U.S. and U.K. official sources ADMIT there is no confirmation of reports, but this is admitted as counting for NOTHING in the rush to war. There is not even the PRETENSE of rationality anymore. To appeal to reason AT ALL is to be labeled an “Assad Apologist” and a “Useful Idiot” by a know-nothing, boot-licking, power-whoring, blood-lusting professional class that truly makes me wish there were a hell.

    • CanSpeccy

      “The sheer irrationality is sickening.”

      What’s irrational. The bastards want to smash Russia and they think it’s now or never, so they’re lying up a casus belli

  • Jomry

    Spot on, Craig. I have believed from the outset that the extremely clumsy orchestration of the Skripal affair was the prelude to some wider movement an suddenly up pops the spectre of bad Assad and the Russians dropping chemical weapons… There, we told you so! You have been conditioned – if you are naive, or just generally ill informed – to accept that the West is just doing the right thing in protecting us from these heartless aggressors.

  • BrianFujisan

    Great Writing Craig… I was saying exactly this to my Lady Friend earilier..

    Re the Guardian… BBC .. They Fact Evil

  • Capella

    China may force a halt to the blind aggression of the US and UK. I certainly hope so. They have a base in Djibouti to protect their energy resource in Iran. Russia and Syria may not be alone in standing up to the ravenous wolves.

  • Crackerjack

    Spot on Craig. The Russians have said they will knock out any NATO plane or ship that attacks Syria. I do wonder if that Israeli attack today was the West sending out feelers to test Russias response. If Trump relies on that I think he is very mistaken. I fear this is war and the Russians final desperate act of offering the OPCW a ride into Ghouta will be ignored by the arrogant West. Duck & Cover indeed

  • Reimer

    And I (naively) hoped Trump’s election would put an end to the sort of rubbish being pumped from the telescreens this last 48 hours. Signing that spending bill and bringing Don Bulleone back into the fold a week or three ago now seems like DC getting ready ahead of a scheduled black op.

  • Elena Blue

    If Russia lets the US et al have Syria, then Iran will be next. Will they leave Russia alone? Possibly, if it stays out of the ME free for all that will ensue. Be interested to hear what others think. Frankly I’m feeling quite terrified by events. A WW will be very lucrative for a #Few. And the US is so very far away from the theatre of war; cushioned. It’s just not fair. I see a future where Israel and SaudiA will have a go at each others throats; their ‘harmony’ won’t last.

    • Paul

      This may the moment for China to push its chips into the centre of the poker table. Declare that any attack on Russia will result in attacks on US bases in East Asia. While Iran publicly pledges attacks on KSA, Israel and US bases in ME. Perhaps, just perhaps, the sociopaths in charge might see the outbreak of a world war in the immediate offing. China and Russia have been playing for time as the Western hegemon bleeds out, but perhaps all the players now believe this is the make-or-break moment for both sides.

      Hard to see how it doesn’t go nuclear within 24 hours.

      • MightyDrunken

        In regard to China, with a discursion. I think I am rational and love science and progress. There are many things the UK could do that would improve our economy and future prosperity, which we don’t. I feel that of all the “major” countries China is fulfilling that promise of technological progress more than most.
        With its massive population and successful programme to improve their economy I think China can afford to wait and see. However, it would make sense for them to back Russia if things got out of hand.

        Therefore I feel that the Russiaphobia will (hopefully) not lead to direct war. It could cause a greater division between the West and the rest of the world, probably to the West’s detriment. Assad is likely toast.

  • Chain Break

    For those who detest Trump (and I’m not his greatest fan) if we had Clinton now in the White House we’d be looking at WWIII – she would be savage and damned the consequences.

    My sincere hope is Trump may, just may see through this bullshit.

    • OAH

      As George Wallace used to say’ there ain’t a dimes worth of difference tween ’em’. It’s WWIII either way unless we are very lucky.

  • Ian Cisholm

    I agree Craig. There are so many players now all with their own agendas. I have heard the White Helmets are not altruistic but part of a group. Perhaps we should remember that the mefievil Daesh forces could have been in control of many middle east States by now if Russia had not intervened. A political solution is needed and it might be a re drawing of the borders in Syria with The Kurdish and others allowed to separate. Much of the middle east had synthetic borders imposed on them by British and French intetests….but there is a strange reluctance to ratify new borders in the world today.

  • fred

    “…the Syrian Army allegedly attacks children with chemical weapons, for no military reason at all. ”

    No they don’t attack children, chemical weapons are indiscriminate, if there are children in the area when they are used they will be gassed along with the people who are targeted. The military reasons are well known, they have been used for thousands of years, when your enemy is in a place which is easily defended you make life unbearable for them and force them to move out. Armies burnt sulphur and arsenic for the purpose in ancient times.

    • Crackerjack

      But when they are winning and the consequences of using them are defeat?

      Simply applying the cui bono principle shows how ridiculous the lies are

      After Obama laid down his red line there was Sarin attack in East Ghouta. Who would benefit from that? The terrorists

      After Trump had made clear he was pulling the US out of Syria there was a Sarin attack in Khan Shedoun. Who would benefit from that? The terrorists

      And now this one again in East Ghouta. The Syrian army have cleared 90% of EG and yet on the verge of Victory they choose to use CW and bring the US down on their head?? How fucking stupid to you have to be to believe that I do not know. But that’s what the journalists and TV reporters who have never been near Syria and instead use terrorists spokesmen (aka “activists”) as their source want us to believe

      • fred

        “But when they are winning and the consequences of using them are defeat? ”

        They are winning because their tactics were successful in the past and they will be successful this time.

  • Paul

    Is there an insight, original thought, fragment of new information or reasoned argumentation lurking in there somewhere…Boris?

  • Michele Lomas

    My thoughts exactly. Once more, who benefits? This together with the Skripal case, is part of a major onslaught by the West!

  • John Goss

    Although I am convinced that the Salisbury incident, whatever it turns out to be, is a false-flag and rule out totally any involvement by Russia, you are right over Syria and the lack of logic in releasing a chemical agent when state control is almost total in Ghouta. Likewise what has Russia to gain in poisoning the Skripals. Both are psy-ops.

    This man, John Helmer, from Moscow seems to have done as much as anyone in trying to get information about the Skripals by seeking to know if Salisbury hospital’s Christine Blanshard has consent forms from Yulia Skripal regarding her family and domestic rights which are required by law.

    • J

      How to disappear a person completely. Claim they were the victim of a chemical weapon attack, apparently.

      • supermundane

        I suggested this possibility on this very blog when Craig first posted an article on the case.

  • J Galt

    It took a wee while for the GCHQ, pro murdering bastards trolls to turn up – but here they are.

    I hope it pays well.

  • Lochinvar

    I think war might be a red herring. They’re depopulation agenda is being achieved through the exponential increases in diseases (autism, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia) and lower fertility whilst the totalitarian tiptoe encroaches on ever area of our lives as most sleepwalk straight into it.

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