A Gangster State 1085


Max Weber defined a key attribute of a state as holding the monopoly on the legitimate exercise of violence within a given territory. For anybody other than the state to use substantive physical force against you or to imprison you is regarded as an extremely serious crime. The state itself may however constrain you, beat you, imprison you and even kill you. That link is on deaths in police custody. I might also quote the state murder of 12 year old British child Jojo Jones, deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.

That is but one example of the British state’s decreasing reticence over the use of extreme violence. The shameless promotion of Cressida Dick to head the Metropolitan Police as reward for orchestrating the cold-blooded murder of an innocent and unresisting Jean Charles de Menezes is another example. So is Savid Javid’s positive encouragement of the US to employ the death penalty against British men stripped of citizenship.

There are a class of states where the central government does not have sufficient control over its territories to preserve its monopoly of violence. That may include violence in opposition to the state. But one further aspect of that is state sanctioned violence in pursuit of state aims by non state actors, done with a nod and a wink from the government – death squads and private militias, often CIA supplied, in South America have often acted this way, and so occasionally does the British state, for example in the murder of Pat Finucane. In some instances, a state might properly be described as a gangster state, where violent groups acting for personal gain act in concert with state authorities, with motives of personal financial profit involved on both sides.

It appears to me in this sense it is fair to call Britain a gangster state. It has contracted out the exercise of state violence, including in some instances to the point of death, against prisoners and immigration detainees to companies including G4S, who exercise that violence purely for the making of profit from it. It is a great moral abomination that violence should be exercised against humans for profit – and it should be clear that in even in most “humane” conditions the deprivation of physical liberty of any person is an extreme and chronic exercise of violence against them. I do not deny the necessity of such action on occasion to protect others, but that the state shares out its monopoly of violence, so that business interests with which the political class are closely associated can turn a profit, is a matter of extreme moral repugnance.

Rory Stewart appeared on Sky News this morning and the very first point he saw fit to make was a piece of impassioned shilling on behalf of G4S. That this was the first reaction of the Prisons Minister to a question on the collapse of order at Birmingham Prison due to G4S’ abject performance, shows both the Tories’ ideological commitment to privatisation in all circumstances, especially where it has demonstrably failed, and shows also the extent to which they are in the pockets of financial interests – and not in the least concerned about the public interest.

I should add to this that Tories here includes Blairites. Blair and Brown were gung-ho for prison privatisation, and even keen to extend the contracting out of state violence for profit to the military sector by the deployment of mercenary soldiers, which New Labour itself consciously rebranded as “private military companies”. Iraq was a major exercise in this with British government contracted mercenaries often outnumbering actual British troops.

The reason for the state to have the monopoly of violence in any society is supposed to be in order to ensure that violence is only ever exercised with caution, with regret and in proportion, solely in unavoidable circumstances. It is the most profound duty of a state to ensure that this is so. The contracting out of state violence for private profit ought to be unthinkable to any decent person.


1,085 thoughts on “A Gangster State

1 4 5 6
  • N_

    The documents published by the British government yesterday on “preparing for a hard Brexit” include a few words on sperm that the media have enjoyed headlining, but as far as I know they do not include a figure for the expected impact a hard Brexit would have on national output, GDP.

    Probably many readers of this blog have heard of Nicholas Stern, the former chief economist at the World Bank, and also at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, who is now a professor at the LSE and has been one of the world’s main figures pushing the idea that climate change requires “big changes” in society. He wrote the “Stern Review” on “the economics of climate change” for the British government, which was published in 2006, and he is currently president of the British Academy.

    Well you had better hear what Stern says about a hard Brexit. He says it would mean a 5%-7% fall in annual GDP over 15 years. And yes, he says “per annum”. Click on that link, go to about 30 seconds in and you will hear him say it.

    A steady annual fall of 5% for 15 years would leave the economy at 46% of its present size. A steady annual fall of 7% would leave it at 34% of what it is now. So to summarise: he is predicting that the British economy would contract to between a third and a half of its current size. Be in no doubt: that kind of scenario means Armageddon.

    • Amber T

      And still the leavers will say such utterances as ‘will of the people’, democracy, project fear and we managed before the EU. It’s despairsville…. David Davies even remarked about Mad Max style race to the bottom, but in denial!! Where’s this all going to end?

    • MJ

      Be in no doubt: that sort of stuff was shoved down our throats before the referendum and we still voted to leave. Scare stories just don’t hit the spot any more I’m afraid. Be as fearful as you like but please don’t expect others to join in.

      • N_

        Have you got a link to any prominent economist predicting before the referendum that a hard Brexit would cut the size of the British economy by a half to two-thirds?

        Stern and I are talking about the effect of a hard Brexit. In that discussion, what on earth does it matter that in 2016 people expressed their feelings about immigration by voting to leave, being so stupid that they thought that was a good way to object to being “told what to do”, or that you’re not scared?

        • MJ

          It hasn’t happened yet so perhaps you and your mate should take a deep beath and wait and see. Of course it matters what people’s views were in 2016. There was a referendum. It’s called democracy.

          • N_

            What does what voters did in 2016, or the meaning of the word “democracy”, have to do with what the effect of a hard Brexit would be?

            Those considerations may have a bearing on what you want, or what you think is right, but that’s not the topic.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        “We still voted Leave” is accurate for the aggregate results from GB & NI. Scotland and NI expressed significantly more enthusiasm for Remain than England and Wales expressed for Leave. Consider; the depth and complexity of mass political debate in Scotland is much advanced as a legacy of 2014. In short, the people of Scotland were making a better informed decision. Also, the people of Scotland are not exceptionalist, they are content with the notion of being a small Northern European state in a larger political collective. In short, we don’t buy that sceptr’d isle crap.

    • Dave

      Difficult to take seriously forecasts from someone who promotes the climate change scam.

      • glenn_nl

        Difficult to take you seriously, when you have absolutely no argument whatsoever for the case you make. I refer to Clark’s demonstration of this, earlier in the week, when he comprehensively showed you cannot follow reason or logic.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        What a curious world you live in. Only agree with someone on a subject if they agree with you on absolutely everything else.

        • Dave

          No I’m open minded about contrary opinion and will change my mind accordingly, but when I’m offered doomsday economic forecasts by someone who offers doomsday climate change forecasts, when its an elementary scam, its only natural to be sceptical.

          As I pointed out to Clark, who unscientifically promotes “spontaneous combustion due to shock theory” about 9/11, man made emissions of carbon dioxide is a fraction of naturally occurring and variable carbon dioxide emission so its elementary to conclude the man made bit doesn’t determine climate particularly as many things determine climate including Sun, Moon, Oceans, water vapour, gulf stream, volcanoes and other ‘greenhouse gases’, irrespective of what “nearly all scientists say”.

          • Dave

            Clark says “I believe buildings can fall down” wins understatement of the year award.

            3 towers made of reinforced concrete and steel at combined 267 storeys high explode and completely disintegrate into dust in seconds after, at least officially, being ‘hit’ by two ‘tin cans’ planes.

          • Clark

            Dave, I object to your wildly inaccurate misrepresentations of arguments that I have presented. I feel angry about them, because I always try my best to present factual, reasoned arguments. My personal feeling is that you are being knowingly dishonest. I would like you to correct what you have written but I don’t expect that you will.

          • Dave

            Clark says “nearly all the scientists agree”! Whereas I say its elementary a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide generated by human activity doesn’t determine climate, hence why in truth no scientist agrees! But Clark responds “nearly all scientists agree” and little echo wont answer the point either!

          • Clark

            I ask for honesty but Dave responds with more misrepresentation.

            Are you likely to convince me this way, Dave? Or are you likely to make me doubt your honesty more than I did already?

          • Dave

            Having witnessed the way you tried to drown out reason with your “shock theory” and then get Craig’s 9/11 thread closed I doubt I, or anyone, could persuade you to answer the question, whether you believe a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide generated by human activity determines climate. I’ve had to repeat the question again as it appears you keep missing it the last times it was asked.

          • Clark

            OK Dave, I’m calling you a liar now.

            There was a concerted effort to drown me out on the 9/11 thread. “Shock theory” is your own invention to misrepresent what I was saying. Node invented the idea I was trying to get it closed, when in fact I was the moderator who had repeatedly reopened it.

          • ADKC

            It does appear to be true that the % of C02 in the atmosphere does appear to be minuscule. And the level of C02 does appear to have been higher in the past.

            So Dave’s points are not easily dismissed.

            Part of the problem seems to be that climate change scientists appear to have dumbed down the reason given to the public. The dynamic involved in climate change is more that just C02.

            The reason (less simplified but more accurate) appears to be that Nitrogen, Oxygen and argon comprises more that 99 present of the atmosphere but these have no role in either the warming or cooling of the atmosphere; and can be regarded as irrelevant. It is the remaining gases (water vapour, CO2, methane and nitrous oxide) and also the oceans that matter and these are all warming. I don’t fully understand the process but the problem is that people on both sides of the argument have adopted tribal positions rather than informed positions.

            Skeptics tend to rebel against authority. Climate change advocates tend to follow authority.

            Btw: in no way are governments doing anywhere near enough to tackle global warming so this division must suit them as well.

            Car travel, car manufacture, plane travel, traveling to workplaces (in general), going on holiday, excess consumption, wars, meat heavy diets, etc. need to be immediately stopped. Rationing needs to be introduced. All this needs to happen now if global warming is real. No amount of recycling, paying for plastic bags or electric cars is going to make any difference. So, objectively, the vast majority of people in the west don’t believe in global warming, its just virtue signaling.

          • Clark

            ADKC, recycling, paying for plastic bags and electric cars are all primarily about other problems.

            Recycling is because we’re running short of critical resources particularly as the affluent population increases, we’re running short of landfill sites, and because many substances in products end up as toxins in the environment.

            Restrictions on plastics are because they take so long to break down, and megatonnes of it are ending up in the oceans where they kill marine life, damaging the base of the food chain.

            Electric cars are because urban emissions cause health problems, and because we’ve passed ‘peak oil’; oil production is being forced to fall by geological constraints, but we need to conserve liquid fuel because we as yet have no alternative on which to run tractors, combine harvesters, trucks and aircraft. Electric batteries are unlikely to get good enough for these high power applications.

          • ADHD

            Yes, Clark, I know. Can’t you see that these measures deliberately mislead people into thinking that they are doing something about global warming. That’s by design. And, Clark, for someone who positions themselves as being concerned about global warming you are extremely weak on doing anything to address the issue other than virtue signal and get superior with people like Dave.

            You, me and Dave are exactly the same. We are both doing nothing of any real effect about global warming. Dave’s excuse is that he doesn’t believe its true. What’s ours?

            It is not climate change deniers (an unhelpful divisive term) that will cause catastrophic climate change, but those who believe climate change is happening.

          • Clark

            “Measures” can’t “deliberately mislead people”, as you put it; the media can and does. Scientists haven’t dumbed down the message as you claimed earlier; again, the culprit is the corporate media.

            Typical individuals can’t do anything to directly reduce CO2 emissions, because individuals can’t reduce the extraction rate, and whatever gets extracted will be burned shortly afterwards. The best most individuals can do, short of direct action and probably getting arrested and/or seduced by a spy, is raise awareness and act politically.

            You may think that misinformation doesn’t matter, but the pro-emissions lobby disagrees with you to the tune of tens of millions of (mostly) dollars, which they spend to produce precisely the attitudes displayed by Dave, who I doubt receives any share.

            Misinformation nearly always works to the detriment of the people and in the service of the vested interests that manufacture it. That’s why we must always pursue

            Truth -> Justice -> Peace

          • ADHD

            Clark, government enables the misinformation. The measures clearly do mislead people. Individuals can effect CO2 and other gases by not eating meat, by not owning and not using a car, by not going on long journeys to work, by not going on foreign holidays and using planes, by rationing energy consumption, by not living in houses in excess of their housing need. These are all perfectly practical things that can be put in place with undue effort. Why does the government never promote this? Instead it gets people wasting time on recycling, when they could easily achieve the objectives of recycling by putting regulation for minimal and 100% recyclable packaging on industry. The real climate change deniers are not individuals like Dave but big business and Government. The recycling con is just the sop to distract people.

          • Clark

            Well the UK government were encouraging fuel conservation, because I remember seeing the TV ads; tip extra water out of the kettle before you boil it, turn the house thermostat down a bit, replace that light bulb with a low energy one. I don’t know if they’re still showing those ads ‘cos generally I don’t watch telly.

            But such measures won’t make any difference because there are lots more people who are poorer than us. The reason is economic; supply and demand. If people such as ourselves conserve, we reduce our demand. This causes fuel prices to fall, making fuel affordable to poorer people elsewhere, so they burn it instead. This was typical government hypocrisy; pressure the population while continuing to subsidise the extraction industries. To make a difference, governments have to restrict extraction. These are known as “demand side” and “supply side” policies, respectively.

            Incidentally, I do conserve, but I know it merely eases my conscience.

            But you’re right that the governments are abdicating their responsibilities. They repeatedly pressure consumers but leave producers unregulated or even subsidised. Fuels, plastics, etc.; same deal. Basically, our governments have been pwnd by corporatism.

            It’s still better to have the likes of Dave on board. It’s important that knowledge of the real issues be as widespread as possible, so that the most effective pressure is applied and the best votes cast.

          • Node

            Node invented the idea I was trying to get [the 911 thread] closed, when in fact I was the moderator who had repeatedly reopened it.

            Anyone unacquainted with the facts would conclude that Clark is denying closing down the 911 thread, but he isn’t. He has conflated two unrelated statements to give the impression he is denying it, but he isn’t because he can’t because he did. Here’s what actually happened:

            In latter years, the 911 thread had become a hangout for a dozen or so regulars, had become a quite unique archive and forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the subject of 911. Some of us considered it a valuable resource. Clark disagreed with the majority on whether the towers were demolished and became increasingly aggressive to those he characterised as “conspiracy theorists.” For example : (I hesitate to compare myself to Jeremy Corbyn 🙂 but) Clark cynically used false accusations of antisemitism in an attempt to get my comments deleted.

            Clark repeatedly threatened to have the thread closed down. Eventually he embarked on a deliberate campaign of flouting moderation rules in order to create so much work for the moderators that they would be forced to close it down. He succeeded. All this is clear to see from the remaining posts on the 911 thread, and in admissions he made on Squonk’s blog.

            Clark, I avoid conversation with you because you once admitted you were stalking me. However I’m not going to let you use my name to re-write history. If you don’t want the truth spelled out like this for all to see, keep me out of your devious machinations.

          • Clark

            There was repeated anti-Semitism on the 9/11 thread. It disappointed me, but I was the only one honest enough to call it out. Dave recommended a book by a Holocaust denier titled “The J_wish Conspiracy against America” which explicitly blamed J_disim itself as the cause of 9/11. He accused Larry Silverstein of “J_wish lightning”, which is anti-Semitic slang for insurance fraud by arson. These comments were deleted. Paul Barbara repeatedly insinuated that Kempe and I were in some way suspect. When I met him in public he demanded to know if I was J_wish.

            I was constantly abused, and none of the abusers would face my criticism. Instead they ganged up on me, including Node. RobG called for my execution and the anti-Semitic gang called it humour.

            I could go on.

            “The most egregious of faults is to be conscious of none”

          • Node

            Instead they ganged up on me, including Node.

            That’s another lie. I’m familiar with your tactic of making false accusations to provoke an emotional reaction which you then escalate into a slagging match, which you then use as ‘proof’ that everybody is out to get you, so I’m finished with this discussion. As I go, I note that you haven’t contradicted my account of the demise of 911.

          • Clark

            Node, as I remember, you were the first to suggest that I was trying to get the thread closed by the method you describe. That itself was a transgression of the moderation rules:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/06/moderation-rules-commenters/

            “Fair Play. Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others, including me. No taunting”

            No. I was angry. I repeatedly explained why I was angry. The moderators were unfortunately too inexperienced to recognise that accusations against me of pseudo-science and incompetence in physics were slurs against me personally rather than engagement with my arguments. You occasionally joined in with such personal attacks, though to be fair less often than most. Some of the abuse directed at me was horrendous, on the thread and at squonk.tk. “Peter Bes wick” or whatever he called himself, and his various socks, was appalling. You had advice for the rest of the gang, but criticism only of me.

            I know my behaviour deteriorated – I’m self aware enough to recognise that – but if you recognised any of the sustained, concerted and frequently hideous personal abuse being directed at me you remained silent about it. Maybe you’ve never faced psychological bullying from a gang and thus didn’t recognise it, even though I pointed it out. Indeed, you are still pretending that the blatant anti-Semitism did not exist, and that I invented it to be manipulative. Until you correct that, I will have to doubt either your honesty or your self-knowledge. That saddens me, because you are a long-time commenter much of whose input I respect and appreciate.

            No, I was not trying to get the thread shut down, but it is probably best that it was, both for the sake of my mental health and because the thread had become a cesspit of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. What you concocted was a self-fulfilling prophecy based on taunting followed by victim-blaming, much as Israel uses against the prisoners in Gaza. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Clark

            Node, something you don’t know; I quit moderating because of a dispute between myself and another mod who was supporting the “theory” of pre-rigged demolition of the Twin Towers. I do not regret my decision; I think it turned out for the best, but if it was still within my power I would reopen the thread. However, I would insist upon the thread being moderated very strictly, enforcing pre-mod on all comments, to block anti-Semitism whether explicit and suspected/insinuated, and the constant and concerted personal attacks that pro-demolition theorists use in their apparent attempts to drive critics from the debate. I would require training for other moderators to recognise the more subtle ways in which personal attack can appear to be criticism of the argument, or even helpful advice. In conscience, I could not permit other critical commenters to suffer the sort of group dishonesty and abuse that was directed at me; it was unfair and far too unpleasant.

          • ADHD

            Clark,

            Well the 9/11 issue exploded out of nowhere! I took a look at the 9/11 thread and I would say it was of an incredibly high standard on both sides of the argument(s). Probably this blog is not the best suited to organising the discussion but its a real pity its been closed down.

            With regard to CO2 you seemed to miss that I was trying to reposition CO2 from being a minuscule gas to be being a major component of the gasses that matter and that this was an issue for Dave to ponder; he did say he was open to having his mind changed. Instead, you took issue with me over recycling?

            In return I am willing to listen to the points that Dave makes and would welcome his input once he has looked into it and considered the point. And I am willing to be persuaded by Dave, even if he were unwilling to be persuaded my me.

            One issue that I know Dave would probably raise is the issue of CO2 being much higher in the distance past. Again, there are obvious implications with this and I haven’t looked into so I don’t really know. But it is an issue that deserves to be considered properly not just skated over. And the simple argument that ‘scientists say…’ isn’t going to be enough.

            Both sides of the debate have got to stop being tribal and Clark you can be the one of the worst for this. In one post above you accuse Dave of misrepresentation and dishonesty, then get on your high horse in your next post when you feel Dave is accusing you of lying.

            There are many people on the blog that I disagree with, sometimes I’m mistaken, sometimes they’re mistaken but very few are liars.

          • Clark

            Well you’ve found some lies here ADHD. Node claims that I “cynically used false accusations of antisemitism” and that I lied about being ganged up upon. Yet here he is, again ganging up against me with the person who posted the blatant anti-Semitism! Really couldn’t be plainer.

            Good luck with Dave. You see if you can get any sense out of him.

          • Clark

            And I certainly won’t accept a “scientists say” from the mass media when they present one or two cherry-picked studies (probably about cancer, alcohol or sex). But accepting the declared position of all the major scientific institutions in the world on a serious matter it would take a decade or two to learn really isn’t remotely comparable.

          • ADHD

            Crumbs, Clark, you just lost the argument. Can’t you see that you effectively just said “I don’t know. I just listen to authority and do what I’m told”

          • Clark

            No. It means I accept expert opinion until I can work it out for myself. “Expert” is not the daily newspapers and their websites.

            You do the same. When you told Dave that CO2 matters because it’s a greenhouse gas whereas oxygen and nitrogen aren’t, you hadn’t measured atmospheric composition for yourself. You hadn’t even checked that the chemical elements weren’t a hoax.

          • ADHD

            Clark, As I have made clear on other posts there is a lot I don’t know. I listen to people (like Dave) I look into what they say and then I respond to the point they raised. I then wait to see what they what they have got to say in response. (Surprisingly, they just tend to go onto another issue and then eventually rotate back to the being of their ‘list’).

            Sometimes, I wonder whether you look objectively at what you write. I would guess that the number of people who (genuinely) believe that climate change is a hoax is quite large and growing. If so, it will mean that the political ability to deal with climate change won’t be there when it’s needed. All of these policies to be implemented in 2040 are just punting the issue into the long grass.

            An argument that says “that’s what the experts say” is not going to cut it in an age when the belief in the expert (and authority) is evaporating. That is exactly the response the deniers want you to rely on.

            Now you raised the issue of chemical elements being a hoax? No-one else (not even climate change ‘deniers’) have ever raised the issue of chemical elements being a hoax? I think you’ve gone a bit off the deep-end. I wouldn’t base any attack on what you think I’ve checked or not you’d probably be wrong, which doesn’t mean that I might not be mistaken about the point I made. So tell me where I am wrong/mistaken on what I have said about chemical elements? I’m willing to listen.

      • N_

        I agree that the whole idea of anthropogenic climate change is rubbish. Nor is a steady annual decline over 15 years likely. I’m not saying that this economist, this government adviser, this international banker, has done his number-crunching and let’s all follow what Mr Expert says. I’m saying Armageddon is on the agenda. The propaganda for climate change isn’t just about belt-tightening, capitalist cost-cutting, and the culture of increasing submission to the ruling arseholes and their liars , sold as “planet saving” – it’s also about preparing the way for an almighty cull. Stern’s background as a government climate change propagandist makes him an interesting person to be involved in the discourse on hard Brexit.

        • glenn_nl

          Could you outline how the entire world’s scientific community got in on this supposed scam, how they manage to keep their collective story straight, and how nobody has successfully rumbled it yet?

          I’d also be fascinated to know how they managed to melt virtually all the ice at the North Pole without anyone catching them at it.

          • Clark

            HAARP, obviously.

            It’s depressing how easy it is to throw bits and pieces together and come up with something a noisy minority will find convincing. Just like “immigrants taking our jobs” while ignoring that an increase in population also creates jobs, and if it doesn’t create enough jobs that’s a problem in its own right, and nothing to do with where the population increase came from.

            People want to blame an “other”. Whether it be “scientists” or “immigrants” doesn’t matter, just so long as it’s “not us”.

          • Dave

            You are confusing the “world scientific community” with the non-scientific UN Panel on Climate Change. And virtually all the ice at the North Pole hasn’t melted, and even if it had, it would be due to changes in climate rather than climate change.

          • Dave

            Are you saying all the scientists listed agree with you (unless you don’t agree, I don’t know as you wont say) that a tiny fraction of carbon dioxide generated by humans determines climate?

          • Clark

            That isn’t a list of scientists, Dave. They’re scientific institutions.

            No, they don’t claim that CO2 “determines climate”. That is another of your misrepresentations, otherwise known as a straw man argument.

            On scientific matters, you are simply not worth conversing with. I have told you how to change that, but you ignore me. Your problem.

          • Clark

            The institutions have each had their internal deliberations and have stated their positions on the particular question of whether human activity is causing global warming. Some of the last to declare were the petroleum geological societies. That is not the same as saying that they necessarily agree, nor that all of their members agree. Science thrives on challenge.

            I think the IPCC did encourage the institutions to declare their positions, because it was very, very clear that there was a massive, mostly covert PR network for industry and fossil fuel companies to manufacture doubt. This still goes on.

          • Clark

            So far as I know, YOU are saying that CO2 determines climate, setting it up as a straw man so you can knock it down.

            The general scientific consensus is that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses influence climate along with other factors; that industrial and agricultural CO2 emissions etc. are causing global warming, and if this goes too far, there are various positive feedback mechanisms that will accelerate the process, quite probably making it catastrophic.

          • Clark

            Yes of course, but beyond this my knowledge becomes inadequate. I’m prepared to accept the consensus of the scientific community on this, until there’s a good reason not to. Science make aircraft fly, computers work, and heart surgery effective, or at least survivable, so mainstream science must have a pretty good chance of being right.

            Look, you can do science for yourself. Why not give it a try? Then you’ll be in a much better position to critique others’ science. Try reading Bad Science by Ben Goldacre; it has some experiments to do at home and it’s a hoot! Really, it takes the piss out of all sorts of authority figures, and shows you how to do so too. It’s empowering.

          • Soothmoother

            There are quite a few scams doing the rounds. White Helmets/Syria, Ukraine, Iraqi WMDs, Russian interference in everything, Novichok. Do you believe all of those. MSM keeps on script and reputations are ruined if you question anything. The Skripal collective story wasn’t exactly straight, but they keep punting out the same lies, no matter how ridiculous. The more it’s repeated the more it becomes the “truth”.

          • Dave

            Presumably you also accepted the consensus when the “scientific community” warned of another ice age?

          • Clark

            I don’t believe a single one of those.

            None of them are science, mind. Look what happened with novichok. The corporate management front man at Porton Down gave his public speech on telly; meanwhile Craig leaked the word from the Porton Down scientists there that they were severely pissed off with being pressured to say it came from Russia when there was no scientific evidence that it did.

            Look, I remember the global warming debate before the Stern Review. The media gave the vested interests every chance they could to mock the science. The politicians clearly valued money and power ahead of environment and lives. Stern restated global warming in monetary costs and suddenly the approach changed; the powerful care about money.

            Read Bad Science if you want to know where I’m coming from. The corporate media is forever misrepresenting science and scientists.

          • Clark

            Dave, I don’t remember the scientific community having such a consensus. I remember the corporate media cherry-picking a scientific paper or two.

            Do you know what a systematic review is?

          • Clark

            There presumably will be another ice-age eventually*. Climate science isn’t my thing, but from the little I remember we’re currently in an interglacial period, and there has been a cycle of ice-ages coming and going for hundreds of thousands of years.

            (* if human activity hasn’t disrupted the cycle)

          • Clark

            Presumably. You need to ask climate scientists. This is not a simple subject, but the chance of a conspiracy to deceive by every major scientific institution in the world is exceedingly low.

          • Clark

            Let me put it this way. Say you were knocked down by a car, you had internal injuries and bleeding and a fractured skull. Who would you rather have fix it up? A trained medical team in a hospital, or some bloke on a blog with a scalpel who says all doctors are conspiring to kill the population with vaccines?

          • Dave

            Clark says “you need to ask climate scientists”, so presumably any old scientist wont do, which makes sense because science covers a multitude of disciplines. When Blair promoted the scam, he referenced the Government’s Scientific Advisor, Professor King, who wasn’t a “climate scientist”. The reason he didn’t preface his advice with that information, is because he would have soon been an ex-government advisor. Public statements by civil servants are made at the behest of Ministers and only made if its the advice the Minister has asked for. I.e. the politicians hide behind the experts who have been told what to say by the politicians.

          • Dave

            And if I saw someone knocked over and injured by a car, I wouldn’t need to be a qualified doctor to know they had been injured by a car. And you don’t need to be a qualified “climate scientist” to know a tiny fraction of CO2, which is essential to life on earth, doesn’t determines climate, particularly on a sunny day.

          • Clark

            So you’d rather be operated on by the Internet conspiracy theorist would you?

            Dave, when we’re little we’re taught how to write the letters of the alphabet, taught to spell, and by and by we get round to learning what we childishly called ‘joined up writing’. It seems to me that our responsibility as adults is to learn joined-up thinking, and we’re not naturally very good at it; our natural tendency is to leap to conclusions and then metaphorically fight to defend them.

            OK, you’ve learned that power and influence are joined up, and you think you’ve correctly joined up Blair’s power and influence over Professor King. How does this join up with retreating Arctic ice, retreating glaciers, falling alkalinity of the oceans, increasing storm intensity, satellite measurement of decreasing global radiation, spectroscopic measurement of radiative frequencies at the Earth’s surface, patterns of species displacement, earlier Springs and later Winters, etc. etc. etc? Because all these diverse disciplines and many more, and all the scientists working in them, join up to inform the various evolving scientific overviews, including the current broad consensus on global warming.

            I’ll pre-empt the objection that’s leaping into your mind right now by pointing out that I haven’t claimed that all those scientists agree about global warming (see? My thinking is joined up, I know how your rhetoric works). I said their work was joined up, which it is, via both hierarchical and lateral interactions of communication, cooperation, objection, adversarial challenge, comparison, statistical analysis and systematic review etc. The scientific outlook is the ultimate exercise in joined-up thinking; the various disciplines are not permitted to remain in stark contradiction to each other.

            Alternatively, how does Blair’s power join up with the stated positions of the scientific institutions of, say, Russia and China, or even of the US, seeing as the statements of the US scientific institutions have been very unpopular with certain sections of the US government?

            So, to recap, that’s three questions I have asked you: Who would you rather be treated by? How does your “science” fit the many diverse scientific disciplines? And how does the distortion you allege span across antagonistic countries? I shall answer your question with a rhetorical question of my own; if CO2 is so insignificant due to its low concentration, how can you claim it be so vital to life? You can’t have it both ways Dave, for the convenience of your disjointed rhetoric; in science, things have to join up.

          • Dave

            Clark answer your own question, do you really think carbon dioxide determines everything you describe? Carbon dioxide is vital to life on earth, as are many things, but it doesn’t determine climate, that’s the Sun’s role.

          • Clark

            Dave, you just keep asking the same question over and over again and it isn’t a scientific question, nor even about the climate. It is a personal question about what I think.

            I am highly confident that atmospheric CO2 concentration has more effect upon Earth’s climate than do my personal thoughts.

  • N_

    Just look at this ludicrous article by Stephen Bush in the Spectator

    Why are Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks about British Z__nists offensive?” he asks. Notice the trick question.

    He then opines:

    Why are the remarks so inflammatory? Well, 90 per cent of British J__s identify themselves as supporters of I__rael’s right to exist as a J__ish state (…) So any remark about “British Z__nists” will feel to the majority of Britain’s J__s as though it is about them.

    Oh, the poor darlings!

    If 90% of British J__s are fascists, which is what they are, because support for the existence of I__ael is fascism, then I will f***ing well say so, even if creeps like Bush know that it would be the end of his job if he did – and even if most of the said fascists love to shout that it’s racist to call them what they are, and who also like, as good fascists and racists, to slam anti-fascist J__s as race traitors.

        • Dave

          Not referring to you or me, just a general observation about it being a crime to be offensive, you can’t say this or that because its offensive and if you do, “it incites physical attacks” so better keep quiet. Hence during a discussion on ‘hate crime’ I asked a policeman if it’s a crime to racially insult, or whatever, someone who is trying to kill you, bearing in mind under ‘hate crime’ legislation its the perception that counts. I.e. if the ‘victim’ perceives it as an proscribed insult its a proscribed insult. And he like Clark wouldn’t answer the question.

          So consider if I had asked can you defend yourself from physical attack, the reply would have been a proportionate yes, but can you mouth a perceived insult that makes your attacker a ‘victim’ and they can’t answer to avoid being guilty of thought crime themselves.

          • SA

            Dave
            If someone is trying to kill you, the last thing that will go through your mind is to insult them is to to insult them. This is because you will either be busy defending yourself or avoiding to give them reason to further be violent towards you. So your question is rather fanciful.
            Your second misperception is this ” I.e. if the ‘victim’ perceives it as an proscribed insult its a proscribed insult. 2 This is again a misinterpretation of what has been said on the subject. It does not automatically become law if a victim perceives a proscribed insult is such, it merely means you have to consider thier view in deciding, otherwise there will be no need for the law or courts.

          • Dave

            As its a question of perception then any words spoken could be perceived as insulting and during fights many words are often spoken. Under ‘hate crime’ legislation any complaints about proscribed words/insults to the police, which the Home Office encourage people to make, need to be investigated. They may conclude a ‘hate crime’ has been committed or if not, it has to be recorded as a ‘hate incident’.

            The point being thought crime is becoming so endemic that a policeman refused to say whether it was OK to insult someone who is trying to kill you, or for your benefit just pushing you, because it makes the attacker the ‘victim’.

          • Herbie

            There’s nothing logical about any of this nonsense.

            That’s the whole point.

            It’s anti-Logos.

            And that ain’t good.

    • Sharp Ears

      How have the Sterns become so influential?

      ‘Stern is the son of the late Bert Stern and Marion Stern and nephew of Donald Swann—half of the Flanders and Swann partnership. Richard Stern, former vice-president of the World Bank, and Brian E Stern, former vice-president of Xerox Corporation, are his brothers, and his sister is Naomi Opalinska.’
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Stern,_Baron_Stern_of_Brentford

      Any connection to the Stern Gang? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avraham_Stern

      • Node

        Any connection to the Stern Gang?

        Please don’t mention the Stern Gang. You might make people wonder why the most serious terrorist threat to our government and politicians since Guy Fawkes is so little known about.

        In April 1947, two Stern Gang terrorists, a man and a woman, attempted to blow up the Colonial Office in Whitehall in the center of London. They planted a bomb containing 24 sticks of explosives at Dover House, headquarters of the Colonial Office, but it failed to go off because it was not fused correctly. The head of London’s Special Branch, commander Leonard Burt, believed that if the bomb had gone off, it would have caused as much damage as the bombing of the King David Hotel in London nine months earlier.

        In June 1947, two months after the attempted bombing of the Colonial Office, a Stern Gang cell operating in Italy posted 21 letter bombs to senior British politicians and cabinet members including Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and Chancellor of the Exchequer Stafford, Cripps as well as Winston Churchill. Most of the letter bombs were intercepted, but some reached their intended recipients and failed to go off.

        The Conservative Party’s Anthony Eden carried a letter bomb disguised in a book around with him for a whole day, until he was warned of the plot and checked inside his briefcase, where it was. British explosive experts reported that all the letter bombs were potentially lethal. One Stern Gang member involved in the plot later claimed that he had “invented the book bomb.”

        https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-british-intel-files-reveal-how-the-zionist-stern-gang-terrorized-london-1.5627474

        • Cesca

          WOW! That is gobsmacking Node, serious cheers for the info. For those who don’t have a Haaretz sub, the story can be read at archive today: Coat Bomb and Explosive Prosthesis: British Intel Files Reveal How the Zionist Stern Gang Terrorized London http://archive.is/7txUL

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Cesca August 24, 2018 at 18:09
            Yes, and Netanyahu had the nerve to castigate Jeremy Corbyn for attending a wreath-laying ceremony of victims of an Israeli airstrike, as part of a Peace Conference visit he made to Tunisia, whilst in 2006 Netanyahu honoured the bombers of the King David Hotel in 2006 on the 60th anniversary of the bombing, calling the bombers ‘Freedom Fighters’.

  • Sharp Ears

    Flogging off the estate. ie assets that belong to us, the citizen tax payers.

    This is an example.

    Devon NHS Trust enters estates partnership with Health Innovation Partners
    Business, Contract wins and partnerships, Healthcare Sector, Joint Venture, News, Partnerships
    1 day ago 181 Views

    Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT) has announced it will be entering into a 50:50 strategic estates partnership and joint venture with Health Innovation Partners to support the development of its estate and delivery of the community’s ambitious estates
    strategy.
    +++This flexible, non-exclusive partnership is for an initial period of fifteen years and follows a successful public procurement and competitive dialogue process.’+++

    https://www.fmj.co.uk/devon-nhs-trust-enters-estates-partnership-with-health-innovation-partners/

    Community hospitals have been closed in Devon and beds closed in the two hospitals at Torbay and Plymouth. Every bit of property and land will be flogged off to the Tories’ friends, the property developers. Same in all areas, Epsom General Hospital – a recent announcement which made Mr Failing Grayling comment. He was surprised.

    Hunt’s replacement. Matt Hancock is well placed. He even received Gideon’s seal of approval.
    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/analysis/what-we-know-about-new-health-secretary-matt-hancock/20037063.article
    Suggest reading the comments. The professionals in the NHS have Hancock sussed.

    • Michael McNulty

      I have never understood how it could be legal to sell off British assets when the government is the guardian of those assets not their owners. I think Thatcher’s crooked government had to introduce some new law to do it, but in reality it should have been no more lawful than if your babysitter sold your TV to one of her mates one time when she was in charge of your house.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been stockpiling a bit. 15 Fray Bentos so far and tins of soup, bog rolls etc. Am I acting wisely?

  • Sharp Ears

    Milord Finkelstein writes:

    Jeremy Corbyn’s latest comments could be final straw
    Daniel Finkelstein
    24th August 2018
    Jeremy Corbyn’s latest comments are qualitatively different from anything that has come before.

    Until now, Mr Corbyn has been accused of appearing on platforms with antisemites, appearing to endorse antisemites, putting wreaths on the graves of those who murder Jews and endorsing an antisemitic mural. But never before has been accused of saying something so directly and unequivocally antisemitic.

    So this is different.

    The usual excuses do not help this time. His comments were taken out of context? Well it is hard to see how the context could conceivably have made things better, but as it happens they make things worse.

    The best that could be said of Mr Corbyn’s comments is that they were addressed to a specific group of people, not all Zionists and certainly not all Jews. And these people had behaved in an annoying fashion, or at least one that annoyed him. That’s all context can do for him.

    Yet what this means is that Mr Corbyn told Jewish individuals with whom he disagreed that they weren’t properly English. The fact that they were specific individuals robs him of any chance to suggest that the remarks were ambiguous. The only thing that could help him is if the individuals came forward and it turned out that they weren’t Jewish after all and that Mr Corbyn knew that. This is vanishingly unlikely.

    Mr Corbyn will just have to hope that nobody much notices or cares. But he will worry that for some Labour MPs, unsure whether to campaign to make him prime minister, this is the final straw.

    /.. paywall
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/jeremy-corbyns-latest-comments-could-be-final-straw-qgf358h3d?

    184 comments underneath the piece, none of which I have looked at. I expect they all chime with him.

    His register of interests is too long to copy here. I see he is even helping Agent Cameron (who gave him his peerage) with his memoirs. LOL. Similarly he is giving assistance to Frank Lampard. For a fee presumably. Many speaking engagements and membership of the usual outfits is recorded.
    https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-finkelstein/4283

    He was supported by Dr Acula and Lord Coe when he was introduced to the HoL in October 2013 as Lord Finkelstein of Pinner. His maiden speech is on p 6 http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/LLN-2015-0011/LLN-2015-0011.pdf Predictable content.

    • Cesca

      It’s obvious JC was referring to the extremists who berated the Ambassador Sharp Ears, it wasn’t AS. From what i can see The Indy haven’t bothered with the story, i’m impressed. =) The Guardian do have a story about it, haven’t gone all fire and brimstone this time tho, which rocks!

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig Murray
    @CraigMurrayOrg
    58mins
    Can’t post to Facebook and all my Facebook posts since July 2017 have vanished. Is it just a glitch, or part of Facebook’s censorship campaign against anti-Establishment writers?

  • Anon1

    Just a quick skim back through the discussion and it seems that to oppose unsustainable mass-immigration on this blog makes one a

    Racist,
    Hateful,
    Violent,
    Xenophobic,
    Bigoted,
    Scared,
    Angry,
    Stupid,
    Aggressive,
    Lonely,
    Extremist,
    BNP/EDL,
    Fascist,
    White supremacist,
    Nazi.

    All this for being quite naturally and legitimately concerned about the impact that unprecedented levels of immigration will have on the future of this country. Is it any wonder the modern left are despised so much?

          • ADKC

            I notice you have ‘stupid’ on your list. You didn’t get that from my posts having a go a Clark? I really wasn’t referring to you.

          • Anon1

            Clark’s favourite was “scared”. This ties in with “phobia”, as in “Islamophobia”, a meaningless construct invented by some trotskyist university department in the 1970s to describe an apparent “irrational fear” of Islam (with the aim of making criticism of Islam a crime). There is, of course, nothing irrational about fearing Islam. Just ask any ex-Muslim.

          • ADKC

            I’ve got a new one ‘clarkophobia’, you can add that to your list, gratis.

            Have you noticed you have a strange obsession with ‘list of names’? What could it mean? It’s getting to be an impressive list, mind.

          • Anon1

            Thats the one! Glenn was choosing to getting offended by it the other day because Ricky gervais dared to defend Boris over the letterbox row.

          • Anon1

            He was also choosing to get offended by Gervais’ jokes about rape.

            Now, one of Glenn’s longstanding jokes is that as a young man he and his mates used to go around town in Wales asking English girls if they had any Welsh in them. If they replied “No”, he and his mates would chip in with a “Would you like some?”

            Tish!

    • SA

      Anon1
      I feel your pain. If you feel that everyone is against you, you must either do a lot of of soul searching, or just feel got at. In either case, you will come out stronger. Maybe it is a question of style? Maybe it is a question of how you express your feelings?

      • Anon1

        It’s not just me. This is the standard list of smears deployed by the left against *anyone* who utters the slightest objection to mass-immigration.

          • ADKC

            SA, You are just not taking Anon1 hurt feelings into account. If you can’t be supportive it’s probably best not to say anything.

    • ADKC

      Anyway, change of subject. I really feel for the totally unwarranted victiminazion you’ve been experiencing. Your hurt feelings probably can never be compensated for?

      To escape this persecution you should change your name. Can I suggest Anon2?

    • ADKC

      I’m wondering whether GoFundMe might be better for our campaign? (Please notice my use of the supportive and inclusive ‘our’; a very modern touch, I think you’ll agree)

      I realised Kickstarter had very old fashioned connotations. Phew! But you’re glad I spotted that before we launched ‘our’ campaign. ‘Campaign’ that’s a bit non-PC as well, on reflection. Conjures up visions of Poland and Russian mud of all things. Have you get any alternative suggestions for the C____ word?

      I really believe that if we get this right we can generate a real FOMO. Are you feelin’ it?

        • ADKC

          Just as soon as you’ve updated the list. Then we can call it a night! We can start it again tomorrow if you like?

          I can be very motivated, some people can’t really handle it. Have you ever found the same thing? I would have thought in your line of work you’ve be annoying quite a lot of people.

  • Dave

    Trump is President but he’s attacked 24/7 by a hostile MSM, just like Corbyn by the same neo-con lobby and its out in the open for all to see.

    The pro-peace “Left” has been anti-US due to its imperial warmongering and the pro-peace “Left” has sided with a range of anti-US groups due to the justified hostility to the warmongering. But its a mistake to confuse US with Deep State and Jane Fonda regretted doing so during her anti-Vietnam war protests.

    The point is if the pro-peace “Left” needs to recognise the Deep State rather than the US as the enemy and then recognise Trump, like Corbyn, is an enemy of the Deep State and needs to be supported rather than maligned, if promoting world peace is really their aim.

    • Clark

      I don’t think Trump is an enemy of the “Deep State”. I think he’s just less controllable. The military-industrial complex has built this huge, shiny, extremely dangerous war machine; they’d been laughing all the way to the bank and feeling they held decisive power over small to middling countries, but suddenly they’ve got an unpredictable nutter at the controls and now they’re very scared of what he might do. Hell, they might not get their toys back in one piece!

      Trump’s not all bad news for them though; he is increasing US military spending and cajoling NATO countries to do so too. Not like Corbyn who’d like to start dismantling the war machine and use the money for something productive.

      I don’t believe there is a unified “Deep State”. I’m pretty sure there are assorted Deep Actors, and an uneasy balance of hidden power. C’mon, think what sort of people these are! Power is their drug; they’re not a bunch of hippies who just love to cooperate. They’ll stab each other in the back, but only if they think they can get away with it.

  • ADHD

    [ MOD: Kindly refer to the rules for moderation :
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/06/moderation-rules-commenters/
    ]

    MODERATOR.

    ADKC and ADHD are clearly the same person. I was not pretending to be a sock puppet.

    Anon1 posts poisonous racist filth all the time. He needed a bit of derision.

    It was Anon1 who suggested I change my avatar to ADHD. It was intended as an insult to me. I just went along with it and used the new avatar to deride him further. I’m not asking you to delete Anon1 poison but don’t delete my derision. Did you really get rid of my White Duck gif. Why, why, WHY!

    I didn’t say anything offensive to Anon1, I just made a fool of him. Why protect him.

    Is it really the case that pushing subtle race hatred messages are fine, but deriding the racist messenger is unacceptable? I feel that you have damaged a work of art, “The Puncturing of a Racist” is what I would call it.

    However, on the plus side Anon1 now looks even more pathetic because he needs to be protected by the Moderator for being made fun of.

    • Cesca

      I seriously don’t want to stir up trouble, or trivialise what you’ve said but the immortal words: *Did you really get rid of my White Duck gif. Why, why, WHY!* are beyond precious to me. I’ll be wiping away tears of laughter the rest of the nite.

        • Clark

          I’m glad that you’re better; look after yourself.

          The festival was really good thanks; such a contrast to last year, stuck on-site for a month afterwards, trying to clear toilet cubicles and broken down vehicles from a sea of mud. Poor Jamie on Facebook day after day, trying to encourage volunteers to come and join us in the rain. We did it, though; managed to save the site, and this year was our reward. What a joy! Sixteen days of sunshine from arrival on-site to everything cleared and our departure.

          I felt quite down after I got back; it’s bound to be an anticlimax, but I seem to be OK now thanks. What a pandemonium politics is in! Brexit, the unfathomable legal shenanigans around Trump, increasingly desperate accusations of anti-Semitism against Corbyn, third-rate Tories with no idea how they’ll undo the European knot but strutting around as if they’re warriors; I have honestly never seen such chaos.

          Your comments are informative, as always. Keep up the good work!

    • Clark

      Trump supporters note; this is who your “peace loving” hero appointed as US National Security Advisor:

      Bolton has been called a “war hawk” and is an advocate for regime change in Iran and North Korea and repeatedly called for the termination of the Iran deal. He was a supporter of the Iraq War and continues to support his decision. He has continuously supported military action and regime change in Syria, Libya, and Iran

      Wikipedia, based on citations from NPR, BBC, Politico and Huffington Post.

      • ADHD

        I tend to believe very much that Trump wanted peace with Russia and to get out of these wars, even though he is flim-flam man. But I also believe that he has been weakening and his reluctance/resistance has been worn down.

        I think he outsmarted the neo-cons over Douma (with the help of Mattis) but I don’t think he has anything much left. Neo-cons I think were smart enough to realise that the fake attack of 14th April 2018 had the advantage of habituating the public.

        So I think a potential huge confrontation is coming and only Mattis can stop it. But, I just don’t believe that Mattis will go against the politicians.

        The way Bolton conducts seem himself indicates that his current series of discussions are meant to distract Russia. He seems oblivious to the fact that he can be read so easily. Russia obviously know that a game is afoot.

        Russia is probably deciding whether to ride out any attack (normally their preferred option) or whether they have no option but to need to give the west a short sharp shock in response.

        I hope that I am mistaken on this.

        • Michael McNulty

          Bolton thinks he’s okay to act menacing because he’s an ocean and two continents away from any fighting, but if world war does break out I hope Russia uses its smaller missile systems to kill people like him at the same time they target US forces. Target his first and second homes, lakeside cabin, favourite hotel suite, boat at harbour etc. He’s worth $5 million in missiles, easy, and even if they fail to get him he’ll soon know they’re after him and he’ll never be sure they won’t get him in the end.

          Russia can change the nature of warfare forever by taking war to their front door. If they’re among the first to die they’re unlikely to call for much more war, more likely they’ll call to end it.

          • ADHD

            You’re definitely thinking out of the box here! But it’s a thought, what would happen if you just got rid of all those back room warriors in one fell swoop?

    • SA

      Yes indeed preparations under way as Idlib is the last bastion of the US backed terrorists

      https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-accuses-us-britain-france-of-preparing-to-carry-out-new-strikes-against-syrian-govt/

      government.

      “To carry out the alleged “chemical attack” in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, the Tahrir al-Sham group (affiliated with the Jabhat Nusra* terror organization) militants had delivered 8 tankers with chlorine… to a village a few kilometers from Jisr al-Shughur,” the general stated.

      For this purpose, USS The Sullivans destroyer with 56 cruise missiles on board arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago, while a US В-1В bomber carrying 24 air-to-surface AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles was deployed at Al Udeid air base in Qatar, the spokesman suggested.

      “This provocation with the active participation of the British special services will serve as another pretext for the US, UK and France to conduct a missile strike on the Syrian government and economic facilities,” Konashenkov said.

      A group of militants trained under the guidance by British private military company Olive to work with poisonous substances has arrived in Idlib, the ministry said.

      “The militants are tasked with imitating the rescue of the victims of chemical weapons’ use in the vestments of the notorious White Helmets,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov noted.

      • Clark

        This is very worrying. Frustratingly, it is difficult to verify since the almasdarnews article is sourced from Sputnik, which is said to be under Russian government control, leaving plausible the accusation that this is disinfo in preparation to deflect criticism following a planned chlorine attack coordinated between the Syrian and Russian governments. However, the information is detailed and seems very plausible. Additional sources or evidence would be appreciated.

        A recent comment claimed that Theresa May has invoked the Royal Prerogative in order to bypass Parliament. The current Tory government’s power is secure only until an election. I suspect it is a case of doing as much damage in the time remaining.

        • SA

          Yes I know there is no independent corroboration and it may be based on intelligence, or as you say disinformation but is in line with Bolton’s warning and with the two previous attacks on Syria by US in 2017 and FUKUS in 2018.

        • ADHD

          The first level of truth that you need to accept is that this is what the Russian government has stated. And that needs to be taken seriously.

          As far as corroboration of the actual western plan I have read a number of references in past weeks to this in a number of blogs and new-sources none of which you would accept as being unlinked to Russia.

          But as far as can see this announcement by the Russian Defense Ministry is not reported on the BBC, Guardian and Daily Mail website. I don’t have a TV or read MSM but it appears the story is entirely unreported (not even any small barely noticeable article). But other far more inconsequential stories are covered. So ask yourself ‘why is that?’

          • Clark

            I do assume that almasdarnews / Sputnik have correctly reported “Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov”. A check could be made that there is such a spokesman.

            Beyond that, the Russian / Syrian governments are in the same position over this as the UK government is over its Skripal allegations, which is that they convey no authenticity unless they publish the evidence upon which the allegations are based.

            This means that we can determine nothing from the silence of the Western media, since they could argue that they must not impart validity to potential disinfo, since doing so would encourage such attacks.

            In the event of the predicted chlorine attack, the Russian announcement would nearly rule out any parties other than [Russia / Syria] or [The Western / Gulf / Israeli alliance] being responsible, unless Russian / Syrian intelligence had been fooled in elaborate double bluff that I cannot see any point to.

            To make any further valid comments we have to broaden the context, abandoning specifics:

            * The Western / Gulf / Israeli alliance has long wished for the destruction of the Syrian government, and has been and continues to break international law by supporting the opposition,
            * Chlorine is not classed as a chemical weapon by the OPCW, so if gas is released and the Western / Gulf / Israeli alliance either responds or “responds” (ie. attacks even though it supplied the chlorine), the chlorine was merely an excuse either way.
            * Russia supports nasty governments just the the West does. Neither sides’ motives are honourable, but the West’s record is worse.

            But there is a further layer of complexity due to Olive Group being a private concern:

            * Olive Group is a private company and may have been contracted by any other private interest to support the Tahrir al-Sham group. This would all be private commercial information, not disclosed to any of the Western / Gulf / Israeli governments.
            * Or, the above fact may be providing plausible deniability to the Western / Gulf / Israeli alliance. Private military companies should therefore be banned under international law.
            * Applying pressure to ban private military companies is a possible incentive for Russia to release disinfo to make a chlorine attack appear to be false-flag.

            Overall, I think the correct question to ask is, have the Russian government published any intelligence upon which their allegation is based, and if not, why not?

            I’m sorry my comment is so complex and indeterminate. Only check the logic if you can be bothered.

          • ADHD

            Clark, We’ve been ‘warned’ by a nuclear power not to stage this provocation and this ‘warning’ is not being reported to the western public. Most Russian Statement have some level of reporting, but this has been getting none. It’s probably one of the most serious warnings Russia have issued. Russians are not neanderthals they tend to be quite civilised in the way the say and do things (think of it as a bit like ‘classic British understatement’). Russia doesn’t issue threats like the US. Russians are also proud and they are not going to demean themselves or look desperate to get their message over. They’ve done the proof thing before and been derided for it and Russia knows that this is not about proof. Also, don’t think that this is a US problem, the UK is a prime instigator of these staged incidents.

            We’ve been warned, that’s all you need to understand.

          • SA

            ADHD
            I think that Clark is saying that we must be equally rigorous in applying evidence to statements made by either side. The problem is that in a war such as this based as we all know on a major subterfuge by one side, this equality looses any meaning. There is a lot of undeclared covert action by both sides and therefore evidence will often have to be withheld. The SG have a very effective network of spies and infiltrators in territory held by the rebels if you have been following news locally closely. The specificity of the 8 chlorine canisters suggests actual intelligence and the site of proposed use and its significance. What is reported by local ME media is even less often reported by the MSM than even what is reported by Russian media.
            The second important factor is that we do know that these warnings by the west of retaliation if CWs are used, occur before each battle and that actions follow without waiting for any evidence as has happened at least twice.
            The problem that the Russians have created for themselves is that on the last occasion thier public warnings about attacking the platforms from which missiles are launched was not carried out, instead they tried neutralising the missiles. The weakness of the Russian position is that retaliation will lead to a trap of serious escalation.
            In the past some limited retaliations have been carried out against the US, UK assets inside Syria unreported of course by the MSM.

          • ADHD

            SA,

            The last attack was fake in that it was all pre-agreed with the Russians what targets would be hit and when the attacks would stop. This was pre-agreed with Mattis. It was all a stage-managed affair. But that is why the Russians didn’t attempt to destroy any of the coalition ships. This is fairly well known but proof impossible; we can never know if this is ‘true’ or not.

            The US must believe that they have learnt much from what happened last time. This time things are likely to be different. Blogs and news-sources on alternative media (which have proven accurate in the past) are indicating that there will be a chemical incident and an almost immediate west response.

            It is possible we’ll learn the ‘truth’ about what is currently happening at some point in the future (when it makes no difference) but waiting on definitive proof is just a recipe for disaster. We (in the UK) can’t put any pressure on Putin, we can’t put pressure on the US, but we can put pressure on the UK government.

            Who knows what the ‘truth’ is, but credibility lies with Russia at the present time.

            We’ve been warned by Russia, we need to take that warning seriously.

          • Clark

            ADHD, 02:30:

            “We’ve been ‘warned’ by a nuclear power not to stage this provocation”

            The Russian government will not escalate to nuclear attack over this. The Russian government undoubtedly has calculated the value it places upon Syria, and of course, it is much less than the value it places upon Russia. Just as the US government places a value upon the UK, France and Israel etc., which are much less than its value for the USA mainland. Even Saudi Arabia has a price tag; I expect it’s the highest of the lot (though falling with its oil reserves), and determined by how much it would cost to take and hold Venezuela or Iran.

            The Russian and US governments are consenting to fight over Syria, largely, I expect, because weapons systems can only be tested to a certain extent outside of actual combat. The last two US attacks were neutralised, so a further US attack is almost certain. When the US launches enough weapons that some manage to breach the Russian anti-missile-missile cordon, the relative prices of the US and Russian weapons systems can be calculated and normal arms trading can resume.

            The Russian government will not relinquish Syria lightly; it has military bases there. If unwanted escalation occurs, Israeli forces in the Golan Heights, and Israeli military aircraft in non-Western-alliance airspace are likely to become the Russian government’s next targets.

            It is a sickening game. Join CAAT.

          • ADHD

            Russia has a well known military doctrine that they will not use nuclear weapons or WMD unless they are used against them or in situations where the very existence of the state is under threat. So you are right there is some grounds to believe that Russia would/could (at least) accept a certain amount of conventional attrition before resorting to the use of Nuclear weapons. Would that remain the case if Russia forces withdrew and US forces decided to press the attack (à la, the Road to Bagram)?

            Can I ask you to consider would every Russian military officer with control of these weapons be guaranteed to just follow orders and let their comrades be decimated?

            Can I also ask how you can be so trusting about what Russia’s stated rules of engagement are, yet be so sceptical of what they are saying about the role of the west in what they believe is a planned staged provocation?

            And are you aware that the US policy for the use of nuclear weapons is far broader and harder to clarify. America policy states that they would employ nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances (which includes non-nuclear attacks), to defend the vital interests of the United States, allies and partners. The policy also appears to allow for the use of Nuclear Weapons where a defensive position could otherwise not be breached. There has also been some concern about the increased discretion for authorising the use of nuclear weapons that has been given to battlefield commanders. The policy doesn’t appear to have been fully codified and the words used are capable of differing interpretation. The scientists behind the Doomsday Clock are concerned about areas that are ambiguous and uncertain and state that more needs to be hone the policy. Please think about that?

            Can I me ask, can you be certain that the US will not use Nuclear weapons if they encounter difficulties in a conventional conflict?

            Can I ask, what happens if an American battlefield commander decides to use nuclear weapons when encountering a strong Russian defensive position?

            Any conventional confrontation between US and Russia forces run this risk of running out of control. There was never been a direct confrontation (involving the use of weapons) between the US and Russia. US and Russian forces have barely ever faced eachother.

            20 Russian ships have mustered near the Syrian coast and an unknown number of submarines. This is a huge deployment for Russia. It their fleet is destroyed that would probably meet the threshold of ‘the very existence of the state is under threat’.

            Current number of US ships deployed to Syria doesn’t appear to be in the public domain.

            Russia will not attack Israel (and Israel will not attack Russia) no matter what happens. Israel is relying on Russia to police the border of the occupied Golan Heights (and other sensitive areas).

            It is believed that the battle for Idlib will commence sometime shortly after the 7th September (a meeting with Turkey happens on this day). It will probably last something like 6 months. That’s a long time for Russia and US forces to keep out of eachother’s way.

          • Clark

            It’s a dangerous build-up on both sides, certainly.

            I agree, Russia will not attack Israel. But the Golan Heights are in Syria.

            Beyond this I cannot think tonight.

      • ADHD

        Hi Sa,

        There have been consistent and numerous reports about this over the last few months. But the latest info that you have posted indicates a very different plan from one that happened in Douma. It looks very much like the west will attack Syria very quickly after this new fake chemical incident occurs. This will be to ensure that western public opinion is completely sidelined.

        Such an attack will remove the last vestiges of any belief that the West (US, UK and France) is anything less than an aggressor state. However, it raises the risk of a confrontation with Russia exponentially.

        Everything that Russia has said regarding past incidents has proven to be far more accurate that the statements coming from the west.

        The statement from Russian Defense Ministry has no explicit threats but should be regarded as a warning.

        We have very short memories in the west. We forget what happened last week. We live in a bubble. A confrontation can only be stopped before it occurs.

        Important political voices that would be opposed (e.g. Corby, Salmond) have been traduced and effectively silenced.

        It is very little, but every person who wants to avoid the incalculable consequences of this plan should at the very least write to their MP and the PM.

        • SA

          ADHD
          My personal feeling is that the Russians are preparing for this, There was obviously a lot of behind the scenes preparations before the last SAA attack on Dara’a and its total liberation and a lot of local deals and reconciliation agreements were made brokered by the Russians and this prevented any major incidents apart from one or two spoilers by Israel.
          But Idlib is different and is also complicated by the presence of Turkey. It seems to me that the Russians are preparing for this, and although they may not directly sink any ships or shoot down planes launching missiles, they may practice thier electronic warfare on these as has been mooted in the past to have happened.
          The significance of Jisr Al -Shughur is that it is thought to be the source of the repeated drone attacks on Hmeimim air base and therefore is sure to be an early target of the SAA action.

          • ADHD

            Paul,

            This is horrible.

            I had considered that, after Douma, the west would have learnt that they needed to have real deaths but the amount of deaths implied by the SouthFront article is staggering.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ ADHD August 27, 2018 at 00:49
            With an estimated 500,000 deaths already just in Syria, the Western instigators couldn’t give a toss how many innocents die. Same thing in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and any other ‘Regime Change’ target.
            Remember Madeleine Albright, when told 500,000 children had died because of Iraq sanctions: ‘”I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it.”

          • ADHD

            I did some research and asked a few questions and think that you may well be right.

            It seems that the view is that Russia will just focus on their plan (to attack the rebels) and ignore what the US does (apart form carrying put tests and experiments against the US missiles, as you say, using electronic warfare; but that will all just be secondary). The US will have no real targets of any importance to strike. Russia will achieve its objectives and, as an added bonus, will learn a great deal about US munitions.

            The US will launch a lot of fire power to no effect and will just look impotent. As long as the US doesn’t attack Russian assets that’s probably how it’s going to play out.

            Can the US really be this stupid?

            Hopefully, once they realise they have been abandoned, the rebels will just give up and agree to go through the reconciliation process before Idlib turns into a mass-slaughter.

      • Clark

        “Olive Group is a global company headquartered in the Middle East, operating across five continents, with principal offices in the UAE, USA, UK, and fourteen regional offices. As specialists in serving the energy, national security and critical infrastructure sectors, our strong track record of assuring our clients’ success in the most challenging quarters of the Middle East, Africa and Asia underpins our pioneering role in shaping and sustaining security solutions worldwide”

        https://www.bayt.com/en/company/olive-group-1839138/

        So all the right places. Google finds plenty of mentions but little information. Part of Constellis:

        https://www.google.com/search?q=+Olive+group

        • Sharp Ears

          OLIVE GROUP has one remaining director. Three have resigned.
          Kelvin King has two other directorships –

          SFML Ltd previously known as
          STIRLING FACILITIES MANAGEMENT LIMITED
          and
          SPECIALCORE LIMITED Public order and safety activities.

          and

          SRSM Ltd previously known as

          STIRLING SECURITY LTD. Public order and safety activities.

          Stirling – Why does that name resonate?

          Kelvin King. @ Constellis, based in Dubai, for 6 months in 2017.
          https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=248699501&privcapId=12545685&previousCapId=12545685&previousTitle=Olive%20Group%20Capital%20Ltd

          Constellis Group
          Commercial company
          Headquarters: Virginia, United States
          CEO: Craig Nixon (Jul 2014–)
          Number of employees: 20,000
          Founded: 2003
          Subsidiaries: Triple Canopy, Academi, Olive Group Capital Ltd., Strategic Social LLC
          Parent organization: Constellis Holdings, Inc.
          https://constellis.com/

          Academi = Blackwater

          Primordial slime occupants..

          • Clark

            “Academi = Blackwater
            – Primordial slime occupants..”

            Sharp Ears, you have had my deepest respect for a long time because know this filthy game better than anyone. Each of these weapons systems has a capital value. The bombs, tanks, nukes, aircraft etc. obviously, but also the armies of mercenaries, the psychological warfare operations, the PR companies, the media. Anything that can wield decisive influence over people; their minds, their emotions, their livelihoods their very lives.

            https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=12545685

            Commercial Services and Supplies
            Company Overview of Olive Group Capital Ltd.

            Olive Group Capital Ltd. provides professional security services and risk mitigation solutions. It offers risk management services; security services that include mobile security, static security, outsourced security management, analysis and assessment, training, investigations, cyber security, and large project security in East Africa; and mine action services that include battle area clearance, manual and mechanical demining, the deployment of mine detection dogs, and stockpile destruction and ammunition demilitarization. The company also provides maritime services that include tracking, threat and risk assessments, port security, legislative risk assessment and compliance, offshore security, transit security, and shore-side support; and logistics and enabling services that include camp construction, life support provision, procurement, and logistics, as well as project tracking, management, and response. It serves oil and gas, national security, critical infrastructure, and international sectors. Olive Group Capital Ltd. was formerly known as Olive Security and changed its name to Olive Group Capital Ltd. in 2005. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with principal offices in the United Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, and regional offices. As of May 2015, Olive Group Capital Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Constellis Group Inc.

            Key Executives for Olive Group Capital Ltd.

            Mr. Martin Rudd – Chief Executive Officer
            Mr. Kelvin King – Finance Director
            Mr. Darren Bance – Senior Vice President of Solutions
            Mr. Christopher Beese MBE – Vice President of Administration & Governance
            Mr. Simon Price – General Counsel

          • Sharp Ears

            Clark.

            The fresh faced Mr Martin Rudd (photo within the link) has moved on to a more lucrative position in another outfit which is called by a name that is an abortion of the name ICARUS.

            ‘Dubai, United Arab Emirates 09 July 2018 – Iqarus today announced the appointment of Martin Rudd as Managing Director, Global Health Services, Iqarus.

            Rudd will lead the Global Health Services (GHS) division, delivering preventative and remote health services in complex and demanding environments for governments, supra-nationals, NGOs and multinationals.

            He takes over from Neil Gadd, Acting Managing Director, GHS, who was seconded to Iqarus from International SOS as part of a strategic alliance formed in June 2017.’

            htps://www.iqarus.com/en/media-center/news/iqarus-strengthens-leadership-team-with-rudd-appointment/

            I suppose the operatives have to be kept in peak health and evacuated by medivac occasionally when injured, blown up, etc.

            We could continue by looking at Mr Tim Mitchell, the CEO, but I will leave it there. These ex Army types sicken me.

  • SA

    ADHD
    August 27, 2018 at 02:24
    There are serious problems regarding Idlib which are that it neighbors Turkey which has actively participated in the war on behalf of the rebels and will continue to do so and also the fact that whereas in other areas , conciliation meant either giving up arms or being transported to Idlib, the AQ terrorists have no where to go and I am sure Turkey will not want them. By the way this second option was theoretically not open to foreign terrorists but I am sure some did get evacuated. This will create a ‘humanitarian’ crisis as they are a considerable number with their families including civilians.
    I am very anxious about this particular campaign but from past experience it seems that the Trump administration and its hangers on have been happy to engage in face saving token bombing of not highly significant targets. Plus the fact that it all gives Russia and US allies to test new weapons without nescessarily a direct confrontation. Let us hope for the best.

    • ADHD

      The US might also just be using up obsolete (soon to be replaced) munitions?

      I too am very anxious. I find it hard to believe that the confrontation (between US and Russia) will play out just like time.

      “Let us hope for the best.”

1 4 5 6

Comments are closed.