Syria: A Moment to Reflect 281


The death of Raed Fares in Syria reminds us that there was a moment in Syria when protest was led by secular democrats keen to see the end of decades of one family rule. That he was killed by the Islamist rebels the West is now actively supporting – and the fact that all the western news reports have sought to elide that fact – is sign of how horribly it has all gone wrong.

The assault on Hodeidah appears finally to have focused some Western leaders on the appalling horrors of the bombing of civilians in Yemen by the Saudi/UAE led coalition. Hodeidah is abhorrent not just because of the direct effect of the assault, but because the aim is to close the port which is the only supply route standing between further millions and death by starvation. When you add to Hodeidah the hideous killing of Khashoggi and the dreadful imprisonment of the unfortunate Matthew Hedges by Saudi satellite the UAE, and you realise that all of these deaths and injustices including that of Raed Fares are orchestrated by the same people, you would hope the pause to reflect would be general.

Trump/MBS/Netanyahu is the real axis of evil today. In Syria and Yemen the West has abandoned all belief in human rights and in basic decency, in favour of promoting a crazed Sunni jihadist agenda against Iran. The effects are so perverse, that we reached a stage where the continuation of the Assad regime is the best outcome that can be hoped for short term in Syria because the alternative is now al-Nusra. Western foreign policy in the Middle East has long been both illegal and morally indefensible; it has now also become extremely stupid.


281 thoughts on “Syria: A Moment to Reflect

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  • John Mann

    It’s good to read Craig Murray saying this. I wish he were in Parliament – or at least that there was someone in Parliament who would say these things loudly and clearly.

    • Sharp Ears

      As opposed to the Tory warmongers in the HoC who wished to destroy Syria and Dr Bashar Assad. One of them, Alistair Burt, the MENA minister in the FCO, actually recommended death for Assad in the same style as Gaddafi’s death, ie by insertion of a bayonet per rectum. How vile.

      That was in a debate in the HoC in 2013. Burt is a member of the CFoI and a one time officer of the outfit. He is also a self professed Christian. Perhaps he missed out on the Ten Commandments in his lessons.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/30/alistair-burt-anger-syria-westminster

      • John Mann

        Very sad about Burt. He is also a supporter of the Saudi government’s action in Yemen.

        Strange about him being a professing Christian. I’m a Christian, and have, for many years, taken an interest in Christian work in the Middle East. It was largely because of this interest in Christian mission in the Middle East that I was came to question the 2003 Iraq invasion, and to conclude that it was wrong on every level – including the fact that it devastated the Christian community and Christian outreach in Iraq.

        It was also through my interest in Christian work in Syria, and reading what those involved in that Christian work had to say, that I realised that the rebels were dominated by fairly unpleasant Islamic extremists – and thus realised that the UK government (& much of the UK press) was misleading us.

        Indeed, the Barnabas Fund, which is a respected evangelical Christian organisation, has long been saying that the British government and press have been misleading us.

        Hence Christians are far more likely than ordinary people in the UK to see the truth of what Craig Murray is saying.

        • Doug Scorgie

          I could be wrong John but it is my understanding that Evangelical Christians are very pro I.ra.l and Zi.n..m.

          • pretzelattack

            definitely true in the u.s., don’t know about the u.k., but i would expect it would be the same.

          • John Mann

            It varies. Even in the US there are a lot of Evangelical Christians who are not Zionists. John Piper, now retired as minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church, in Minneapolis, who has been very influential, rejected Christian Zionism, and took the view that
            “the secular state of Israel today may not claim a present divine right to the Land, but they and we should seek a peaceful settlement not based on present divine rights, but on international principles of justice, mercy, and practical feasibility.”
            see https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/israel-palestine-and-the-middle-east

            Some evangelical Christians in the UK are into Christian Zionism, but it is not a majority position. However, even among those who are not into Christian Zionism, there is a tendency to feel sympathy to Jews in general, and Israel in particular, simply because of the feeling that the Jews are underdogs who have had to put up with a lot of hostility.

            I think that most of them, if they knew more about what actually happened in the Middle East in the 20th century, would be open minded enough to change their views. But the UK government and the mainstream media don’t exactly help.

      • Ort

        The Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament, so it’s more likely that Minister Burt acquired a peculiar understanding of the message of the Gospel.

        Judging from your description of Burt’s vile and reprehensible remarks, he seems to revere the Gospel(s) as a “how-to” manual showcasing the most effective violent techniques for suppressing dissent. If so, he would naturally ignore or dismiss The Sermon on the Mount and parables like the Good Samaritan as mere subversive, seditious twaddle to set up the object lesson in brutal authoritarian repression.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Ten Commandments are different for Roman Catholics from Protestants…..some problem with graven images

    • SA

      The propaganda workshop was also in evidence in the Panorama programme on Salisbury. Apparently it is all solved with culprits known. However there was a stranger absence of the dog that did not bark and the skirting around anything actually to do with the current status of the Skripals. Several ‘own goals’ were however scored. The former MI head had to admit that former spies even when active seem not to deserve active security (?). The denial of contact between Sergei and Yulia and the rest of the family was movingly shown by the obvious pain and tears of Skripal’s old and sick mother. The DS described what he felt as having pin point pupils rather than expressing it in terms such as those he might have experienced rather than what he was told to experience. Then the mystery: how come that he has been to his home to contaminate liberally so much so that all thier belongings had to be destroyed before experiencing the symptoms from this most deadly poison. The pin point pupils were also mentioned by the friend of dawn Sturgess who remarked on this.
      The evidence by bellingcat was presented as fact but there was no attempt to ask why the billions of pounds spent on the security services failed to find out what was revealed by a one man band running on shoestrings (well not really shoestrings but only a few hundred thousands through the Atlantic council).
      But what was clear to me at the end of this programme is that the GRU must have been infiltrated by our security services. Whether the purpose of the exercise was to expose this indirectly to embarrass the Russians or whether there are other motives, is not clear.

  • Justin

    The extent of the carnage and horror is beyond words. Words of outrage burst against the brick wall of reality. Why has the West chosen to transform the Middle East no matter what the cost ?

      • Sharp Ears

        “Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
        The Infamous “Oded Yinon Plan”. Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky
        https://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

        ‘Introduction
        The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government, the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. (article first published by Global Research on April 29, 2013).

        President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank).
        Moreover, by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and allowing for the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and beyond, the US president has provided a de facto endorsement of the “Greater Israel” project as formulated under the Yinon Plan.

        Bear in mind: this design is not strictly a Zionist Project for the Middle East, it is an integral part of US foreign policy, namely Washington’s intent to fracture and balkanize the Middle East. Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is intended to trigger political instability throughout the region.

        According to the founding father of Zionism Theodore Herzl, “the area of the Jcwish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.” According to Rabbi Fischmann, “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.” ‘

        No further words are needed.

      • Jo Dominich

        Sharp Ears, I also think that Trump imposing more sanctions against Iran and attempting to reduce their oil output to zero internationally has much to do with setting the scene for Israel to find a pretext for invading Iran. I might be wrong though, it just looks that way to me.

  • Tony M

    Based on the comments of ‘b’, ‘Leonardo’, ‘SA’ and others on page one, I have to wonder, as I have before and on other issues, just what CM’s game is, true he’s in small grudging steps back-pedalling, but this contrasts with just honestly and commendably admitting he got this – and then what else – just plain wrong. As for secular democrats keen to see the end of decades of one family-rule, it could apply to the UK too, but the events in Syria were never intended to empower those secular democrats, they were merely incidental. I’m not quick to jump to conclusions but this is a clear demonstration of ‘falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus’, and where bang on the mark simply stopped-clock syndrome, being right occasionally merely coincidentally. It is disconcerting that it has taken to get up to speed and get to where dismayed understandably suspicious commenters below the line were donkeys-years ago. Syria, its people would be incomparably better off if the whole regime-change thing, which Murray tacitly supported hadn’t kicked-off in the first place, and in turn if Iraq hadn’t been destroyed, if the settler state hadn’t been established next-door on stolen-land and armed to the teeth and so on back to WW1, British Zionism, you lack historical context other than platitudinous mainstream pap. He has marked distaste for the the left, but is demonstrably a die-hard cultural-marxist. Can we trust him on the form Scottish Independence should or should not take: fuzzy civic-nationalism, versus honest blood and soil; on gone rogue supranationals: the EU, NATO, UN; on Ukraine, on Russia; on the poison the flaw the human pathology that is religion -all of them; political -isms; disputed and suppressed aspects of 20th C European history … And still continuation of the Assad ‘regime’ is only the best outcome “short-term”, yeah lets have another go; how soon is next time around?

    Your feet of clay are sticking out the bottom of your trews. You are awful, but I like you.

      • Adam

        Blood and soil, from German “Blut und Boden” , a Nazi slogan emphasising the supposed mystical bond between the German race and the German land.

    • Coldish

      Thanks, Tony M. That sums it up well. As regards one-family (or dynastic) rule: until the mould was broken in 2016 you have to go back quite a long time (back to 1928 in fact) to find the Republican party winning a US presidential election with neither a Bush nor a Nixon on the ticket; we should be grateful that Trump managed to stop in its tracks the attempt to establish a neoliberal Clinton dynasty in the other party.
      I know Craig has come a long way from being a blind tool of western imperialism, but it would be welcome if he could accept that for the last half century and more it has been the west that has backed the overthrow of democratic and/or secular regimes in the Muslim world. Syria is just the most recent example. We should be grateful for the tenacity with which President Assad has refused to bow to the demands of Craig’s erstwhile colleagues that he should let his country be overrun by western-backed psychopathic maniacs. Well done Assad!

      .

      • Tom Welsh

        Whether power is held by one person, one family, one party or one group of oligarchic interests is not the most important thing. What’s really important is how well the power is used, and whether it’s used in the interests of the nation and its people rather than any small clique.

        In the USA (and other Western nations) a surprisingly small amount of cosmetic PR paint has sufficed to hide the fact that power is exercised for the same clique, whose interests are wholly different from those of the people at large.

        Noticing that the USSR’s one-party state worked rather well as a way of holding on to power, those who rule the USA decided to emulate it. However, their single party was cleverly split in two, and pretended to compete with itself for power. Bemused and fascinated by the loud and colourful disputes mounted for their entertainment, the people never noticed that, whoever won the election, the same policies continued smoothly – and not policies that the people wanted.

        Similarly, one might notice that there is much to be said for a continuing “dictatorship” like those of the Assads, Mr Putin, FDR, Marcus Aurelius or Pericles. The “dictator” is clearly and unmistakably responsible for the results of his or her policies, and therefore cannot afford to “slash, burn and run” like, for example, Blair, Brown, Cameron, the Bushes, Clinton or Obama. Once out of power, those politicians benefit from bountiful state benefits and security protection, virtual immunity to the law, and apparently complete lack of accountability for what they did in office. Not so a dictator.

        • Borncynical

          I have long maintained this view of the benefits of the concept of dictatorships to liberal minded friends of mine and they just look at me as if I must be an evil, right wing fascist! Obviously there have been despotic ‘dictators’ but many others are performing a role that no one else particularly aspires to (for obvious reasons!) and who are respected by the majority of their citizens for guaranteeing them protection and, often, valued living standards. To many Western minds, politics boils down to simple binary choices in a relatively disinterested society – just look at the number of Western countries in which elections usually are a contest between two main rival parties. They have no perception or understanding of the situation in countries in the Middle East and Asia. In Syria, for example, a small amount of research informed me that there are in the region of 100 different political groups, many of which would like to be the dominant party and are prepared to indulge in horrific atrocities to assert themselves, and if they came to power would have no qualms about committing genocide against every other person not of the same political leanings. I’d be interested to know how Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson would suggest dealing long-term with such a situation in a Western ‘democratic’ way without being labelled a ‘dictator’!

    • Tom Welsh

      “When you add to Hodeidah the hideous killing of Khashoggi and the dreadful imprisonment of the unfortunate Matthew Hedges by Saudi satellite the UAE…”

      If you add one million to one or two, the total is still one million – close enough for government work (which it is).

      Funny how Westerners – sadly including Craig – seem to feel that the death of a single individual like Khashoggi or the not-even-killing of Hedges are in any way comparable to the deaths of literally millions engineered by Western governments.

  • Tunde

    The initial stages of the Syrian revolution were led by secular democrats but it was Assad himself that poisoned the stew by releasing thousands of extremists held in his prisons, in a deliberate attempt to portray the protesters as jihadists. This cynical move backfired spectacularly and the triumvirate of KSA, Qatar and Turkey took advantage by seeding the civil war with their preferred jihadists. The US and Israel, along with Turkey became armourers, financiers and healthcare providers of various ” unicorn” armies (FSA, YPG et al). The goal presumably to wreck Syria, all because to isolate Iran, from Lebanon etc. The troika didn’t reckon on several factors; Assad’s resilience ( unlike Ben Ali in Tunisia or Gaddafhi in Libya), Russia and Iran itself. Assad was advised to employ the Grozny methodology, no hand wringing. Russia supplied air power and Iran men and materiale. Erdogan’s increasingly unhinged denounciations against Assad was evidence things weren’t going to plan. His agents in IS started being evacuated and Putin called the West’s hypocrisy out in seeking a united effort to eliminate IS, to which Obama et al had hoped would rape and pillage Syria, cornering Assad in Latakia. So much for hope and change. In the his entire mess, what I’d never understood was why Iran allowed senior AQ personnel ( or those self-identifying as such) stage from their country ( becoming Al-Nusra in Syria). The same AN were killing Iranian troops. So many pawns in this game; The Yazidis, Kurds, Qataris, Yemenis, Turkomen. Heck even developments in Egypt’s Sinai region. And ultimately the future of Syria itself. Please correct my narrative if I’ve got it wrong. I’m still trying to read as much into the subject as I can.

    • Paul Greenwood

      EU and EuroZone are now almost identical. UK is around 16% EU GDP and so now it becomes a smaller economy than USA with a huge population of poor little agricultural economies hanging on the Brussels drip-feed. Germany loses its 35% Blocking Minority as is now delivered to France and Club Med for “Wealth Redistribution”.

      You see why Ludwig Erhard wanted UK “IN” in 1950s and opposed Hallstein’s Custom’s Union approach instead of FTA

  • Sharp Ears

    The poor people. The suffering is ever ending.

    Over 70 people hospitalized in Syria’s Aleppo after militants shell city with poison gas – reports
    25 Nov, 2018 10:07
    At least 73 residents of neighborhoods in Syria’s Aleppo have been treated for symptoms of toxic gas poisoning after militants attacked the residential area with gas-filled munitions, Syrian media reported.

    The Al-Khalidiye and Al Zahraa neighborhoods, as well as Nile Street, were targeted by rocket fire on Saturday evening, Syria’s state SANA news agency reported. The munitions used by the rebels were rigged with toxic gas, causing dozens of civilians to suffer from asphyxiation, the agency said.

    Read more
    ISIS seizes chlorine canisters in attack on Al-Nusra & White Helmets – Russian MoD

    The hazardous substance has been preliminarily identified as chlorine, according to medical officials.
    The head of the health department of the Syrian city of Aleppo, Ziad Haj Taha, reported that 50 people were taken to two Aleppo hospitals after the shelling, noting that the number of the injured is likely to rise.’
    /..
    https://www.rt.com/news/444804-syria-gas-attack-aleppo/

    • Sharp Ears

      Syria blames foreign states for Aleppo ‘toxic gas attack’, calls for UN to step in
      25th November, 2018 12.57
      https://www.rt.com/news/444829-syria-toxic-attack-un/

      ‘At least 46 people, including 8 children have been hospitalized in Aleppo with symptoms of gas poisoning from chlorine, according to the Russian military who sent special units to assist with treating patients after the attack. Syrian media say over 100 people were injured.

      The shelling that targeted residential areas of Aleppo on Saturday night is believed to have been launched from within the Idlib de-escalation zone, from an area controlled by the former Al-Nusra front.

      Damascus said the attack aimed to further frame the Syrian government, according to Sana news agency. The Syrian Foreign Ministry called on the UN Security Council to immediately condemn the “terrorist crimes,” and take “deterrent and punitive measures against the states and regimes backing terrorism.” ‘

  • N_

    The person who tried to sealion me with respect to the Steinerite “root racers'” recent seizure of the London bridges (under the banner of “Extinction Rebellion” and the rotated Dagaz rune) will have to get up a lot earlier in the morning next time.

    The Steinerites long ago subdued Mumsnet. They have their daggers into the Student Room and Arrse too. Some of us remember what their close pals in East Grinstead the Scientologists did to Penet.fi. Don’t expect to read any revelatory stuff about them on Wikipedia.

    Less than a year ago, Helen Saunders was killed under a train in Stroud. The coroner Katie Skerrett returned a verdict of suicide, appending the apology “I am sorry I cannot shed any more light on what final fact or event pushed her over the edge.” Ri-i-ight. We’ve heard that one before.

    Helen’s website (Stop Steiner in Stroud) is well worth reading, if it hasn’t been removed from the archives yet. For a taster, take a look at what was written there about Prince Charles, Steiner schools and their “inspection” regime, “biodynamics”, “transition” towns and so on. If you thought eurythmy was just about little children dancing, get reading. And there’s a hell of a lot more to find out, about the cult’s influence in agriculture, “food security”, and other fields.

    Don’t get sealioned. The cult uses the most up-to-date techniques of propaganda, rebuttal, sealioning, misdirection, and so on, as well as lawyers.

    • Sharp Ears

      Well embedded in the country. Are they fee paying or in any way state funded?

      https://www.steinerwaldorf.org/steiner-schools/list-of-schools/

      ___

      The inquest for that young woman looked to be skimpy as is the Trinity Mirror**report which reinforces the straight forward suicide verdict via the links given

      Now known as ‘Reach’ since the Mirror group was acquired by Desmond’s dreadful Express and Star outfit.
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/05/trinity-mirror-reach-express-star-simon-fox-pay

      ‘Trinity Mirror is to change its name to Reach following the acquisition of Richard Desmond’s Express and Star titles, as the newspaper publisher reported a slump in revenues in tough trading conditions last year.
      The chief executive, Simon Fox, said the new name encapsulated the reach its newspaper titles had with readers in print and digital.
      Fox’s pay packet swelled by 19% to £893,000 last year, thanks to almost £300,000 in bonuses and awards.’

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Biodynamics is not a cult, mate, it is an approach to agriculture where no coercion occurs whatsoever. You can read about it, try things out and see if it has any relevance. All without any form of pressure.

      I have tried it on a vegetable garden over three years and it certainly does no harm, may well do some good. Much of it concerns restoring soil biodiversity, not to mention more effective uptake of silica by edible crop plants. The focus is on high quality compost and using biological sprays on the topsoil.

      The fundamental principle of it at a farm scale is self sufficiency and the increase in soil fertility over many years through healthy husbandry of cows and judicious husbandry of ducks, geese, chickens, sheep, pigs, goats, dogs, cats and horses.

      There is no cult and unlike Scientology, no continuous mailing once you have bought one product. If you choose to be a sheep and believe everything literally, your choice. You always have the choice to read what they say and evaluate it critically. The growing calendars are a bit like Farmers Almanacs in the US. Thing is, they cannot be right all over the world as the whole world does not have the same weather each year. It will be cold some place, warm in others. What is true the world over is the location of the sun and planets in the celestial sky.

      Yes, biodynamics was first enunciated by Rudolf Steiner in Austria, but far more was done by a German woman called Maria Thun and large amounts of research concerning planetary effects on crop growing have been done by many others. Science has now advanced enough to experiment rigorously with biodynamic postulates and it will stand or fall based on how such testing progresses.

      As for Steiner Education, it is merely one formulation of how to learn from 7-19. It believes in generalist education rather than early specislism and one teacher moving with a class for eight years up to 14, before more specialist teachers take over in the last five years. The concept of holistic education is hardly radical and if you read what the actual curriculum covers, very few parents would be aggrieved or shocked.

      I do hope you wish to ban all education associated with any Western politician who believed in wars, Empires and the like. Steiner was not a saint, but his views on agriculture and education should be judged not on his individual life, rather the outcomes achieved on farms and in schools following his broad philosophies. The same way Free schools, grammar schools, comprehensive schools, public schools etc should slso be evaluated.

      The easiest way to stop Steiner education is for parents whose children tried it to denounce it based on poor holistic outcomes.

      Just as those obsessed with examination grades can be condemned if A* 18 year olds are totally maladapted to real life.

      For those who have not tried it, it might be helpful to have extremely robust evidence to justify banning it. It is hardly Madrassas promoting extreme Wahhabi Islam after all.

  • Adrian Kent

    I’m not sure that the Syrian conflict was ever ‘headed’ by secular types – having read Tim Anderson’s ‘The Dirty War On Syria’, I have to disagree.

    It certainly has been extended anddeepened by the west – where the propaganda continues – I’m currently going through the motions of making acomplaint about the Panorama programme ‘Syria’s Chemical War’ which was choc-a-block with cobblers. Bellingcat are given top billing by them:

    https://medium.com/@AdrianKent/bbc-panorama-syrias-chemical-war-bias-or-incompetence-take-your-pick-89acb86f1bfa

    • Borncynical

      Adrian

      I’ve just read through your critique of the Panorama /BBC assertions and presentation technique and must congratulate you on a superb piece of work. Another inconsistency in so-called ‘evidence’ of SG atrocities could be found in the OPCW report on Khan Sheikhoun. I don’t think you refer to this in your comments and unfortunately I can’t immediately lay my hands on a reference link. But I recall (and it may have been Seymour Hersch who first remarked on this) that within the main body of the OPCW report there is a reference to the CW attack occurring at 7 a.m, based on witness statements and radar evidence of aircraft movements. [NB. I’m not sure if I have the specified time right, it may have been 7.30 a.m.] yet one of the annexes in the same report has an entry stating that the first victims of the ‘attack’ started arriving at hospital at 6 a.m. Strangely, no one accusing President Assad of war crimes has been asked by the MSM to explain the ability of the victims to travel back in time. Apologies if you have indeed mentioned this contradiction and I missed it.

  • pete

    Another good post Craig, I was surprised to read, amongst the comments, attempts to redefine it or untangle the whole Middle East war in in more precise terms, saying it’s about oil or strategic positions or ideology or warlords, or dynasties or whatever and criticising Raed Fares for not being in one ideological camp or another.
    All of the borders between these states were artificial constructs created by the western powers in order to divide communities and create conflicts so that the west could manage the resources they wanted from within, by puppet regimes, or outside by financial dominance. This is my, albeit crude, understanding from the historic evidence available, and the reason why the conflicts continue.
    I continue to believe that your absence from the Foreign Office is their loss.

    • giyane

      Pete

      Victoria Nuland was a great champion of the argument that the national boundary between Iraq and Syria was artificial and out of date. She used this argument to justify her Al Qaida, and subsequently Daesh to re-draw it.
      Vast resources were spent by Western powers to brainwash jihadists in the irrelevance of borders under the Islamic Caliphate, to justify the US illegal invasions using proxy jihadists. Woe betide anybody who crosses the Saudi border, or sets out from France to the UK in a fruit lorry or rubber boat.

      You have to laugh when billions have been spent on trying to seal those borders when the entire business community wants them to profusely leak. 26 pages of ‘we’ll do whatever we b****y like.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Victoria Nuland was a great champion of the argument that the national boundary between Iraq and Syria was artificial and out of date.

        and the border between Texas and Mexico and between California and Mexico is highly artificial and will in time “Disappear Through Demographics”

    • Tom Welsh

      “I continue to believe that your absence from the Foreign Office is their loss”.

      I quite agree, but not to Mr Murray’s (or the FO’s) credit.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Trump/MBS/Netanyahu is the real axis of evil today

    The axis in its original form was founded decades ago. I would recommend Joseph Sobran’s 1996 article, ‘In Our Hands’:

    ‘In an essay reprinted in the May 27, 1996, issue of the New York Times Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist, reflected sorrowfully on the wanton Israeli killing of more than a hundred Lebanese civilians in April. “We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own…”

    ‘In a single phrase—“in our hands”—Mr Shavit has lit up the American political landscape like a flash of lightning.’

    • giyane

      Johnny Rottenborough

      decades? I think not. Centuries ago. Either in the Crusades or even before Christ pbuh. Christ pbuh was struggling to preach a religion of truth at a time when the rabbis had tried to make it an apartheid, exclusivist and exeptionalist, nationalist supremacy.

      Oh dear, I seem to have described Islamism in a single sentence referring to the would-be assasins of Christ pbuh two centuries ago. If salt loses its flavour , with what will you salt it? When people refuse to reform their faith and insist on attacking the superpowers of the time, the result is predictable. That’s what happening now with Islam. All that is required is for Muslims to reform their , but it’s so much easier not to reform and just add on jihad as slogan of superiority. With inevitable catastrophic results.

    • Sharp Ears

      Operation Grapes of Wrath (The IDF have a special department which composes poetic names for their wars)
      The actuality:
      Casualties and losses –

      3 Israeli soldiers killed
      14 Hezbollah fighters killed
      About a dozen Syrian soldiers killed
      62 Israeli civilians wounded
      20,000–30,000 Israeli civilians displaced
      154–170 Lebanese civilians killed
      350 Lebanese civilians wounded
      350,000–500,000 Lebanese civilians displaced

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Grapes_of_Wrath

  • Roger Ewen

    These same actor, the military, the political leaders, the media, the reporters, all colluded to hide the fifty thousand plus Libyans murdered by the coalitions bombing campaign of the Libyan nation, protecting them from Gadaffi! The hundreds of thousands injured, weren’t a problem!
    The murder of Gadaffi, being sodomised with a knife, whilst NATO TROOPS guarded the mercenaries.

    We are a slave nation on the coat tails of American imperialism!

    Aren’t the English proud they gave everything our forefathers fought two world wars to free these nations from the extremists who run these nations, simply by voting Tory and the extremists contained therein.
    The meaning of Tory…..Irish …… highway robber….. it’s all in the words!

    And this so called democracy…. where it wasn’t until 1976 some section of these nations were allowed the vote! For the first time!
    Collusion between the Labour Party, and the Tories allowed this to occur!
    Where the Labour Party still refuses to field candidates, to allow the extremists a tool to create war and terror between our people.
    Of course with the assistance of the crown, and the duke of Cumberland, the heredity heir of the orange order.

    Of course we could talk of the attempted coop de tat, in England…. supported by the military, the media, and the son of winston Churchill, also called Winston Churchill, MP until 1976.
    We live in a cowboy republic, run by degenerates.

  • giyane

    The Oxford Dictionary gives the origin of ‘secular’ as
    ” Origin
    Middle English: secular (sense 1 of the adjective, from Old French seculer, from Latin saecularis, from saeculum ‘generation, age’, used in Christian Latin to mean ‘the world’ ”

    Just because I don’t like the hierarchies based on made -up rules that defy logic or common-sense, whether secular or religious, doesn’t mean that don’t like the religious rules of Islam. Al Qaida make up the rules to suit themselves and their ‘ selves’ IMHO have all been altered by Western torture-brainwashing-rendition.
    I don’t see ‘secular’ as good. I see quasi religious laws imposed by Al Qaida, or large corporations, or Tory Party dogma as having a secular, usually political, origin and therefore either extremely harmful or irrelevant.

    Whatever secular rebellion existed in Syria was instantly overtaken by Western interference. Vast quantities of old weapons and veteran jihadists were shipped from Libya, vast concrete bunkers were constructed by Hillary Clinton’s Lafarge to house them both and then destroyed by Russia.

    I don’t even think that Western malicious intervention was secular because I am totally convinced that it was either done by or justified by Zionism, which is still rampant, if somewhat cowed by threats and retaliation by secular Russia and secular China. Nothing could be more amusing than to see a secular France being led by a Zionist. At least Theresa may does not contradict herself when she says she is a Zionist. She is , both by religious and political conviction a Zionist, a believer in the establishment of the Judae-Christian faith and the dismantling and destruction of its successor, Islam, wherever they have the capability by new technology to reach and destroy it.

    • fwl

      Imho what passes for theocratic may be as secular as that which everyone says is secular. Some systems passing for secular may in fact involve participants who have a sacred approach to government. In other words its not the label but its in the thought and behaviour. If in government you feel and are aware of the interconnectivity of all and act accordingly and follow your conscience you are essentially participating in a sacred way. If you are mechanically following rules its profane even if someone suggests the rules you claim to follow are sacred.

  • Tony M

    Nothing much wrong with Tunde’s analysis except for the first bit: “The initial stages of the Syrian revolution were led by secular democrats but it was Assad himself that poisoned the stew by releasing thousands of extremists held in his prisons, in a deliberate attempt to portray the protesters as jihadists.” It was the Saudis who emptied their prisons and sent their violent prisoners and jihadist nutters with their British and Saudi derived Wahabbist ideology, into Syria. I doubt too very much that Iran was simultaneously sending non-Iranian Jihadist nutters into Syria and others to suppress and eliminate them. In the initial stages protests were marred by hired provocateur nutters firing into crowds, similar to as was seen in Ukraine, but more often hitting not army at that stage, but police officers, who bore the brunt of it. Later western special-forces formed the command and control of the rag-tag organ-eating moderate rebels. They are too directing the present genocidal assault on Yemen; ‘Saudi’ planes are being flown by Israeli and probably RAF and USAF pilots and crew.

    It is only towards the end of the screed that it can be seen as an attempt to exculpate and erase US, UK and Israeli involvement and blame it all on those incorrigible crazy whirling dervishes, plus Russians and Iranians thrown in for good measure in harmony with the enemy du jour mythologising, ignoring the fact that it is the more secular and more rational societies, the less religious, hardly fanatical which are being destroyed, by the more insanely religious: the.Israelis, the Saudis and the Merkins. Digressing a little: why in the great big magic holy books of fantastic tales set in the middle-east, is there no mention of the existence of the pyramids in Egypt, where much of the action was said to have taken place, you’d have they’d noticed and noted these quite extraordinary structures and woven them into their fairy-tales, would they not, or maybe if there is any truth whatever in the stories of these hapless gullible bronze-age players, that they took place quite somewhere else, like Yemen perhaps, or are entirely fictitious altogether, it’s all as most have long understood total and utter bollocks? Archaeology is every day disproving even the broad outlines and showing them to have no basis in reality whatsoever.

    Religion on its own is a pretty sad assortment of fairy-tales and supernatural nonsense appealing to the unintelligent or mentally and morally deficient, unable to formulate and adhere to acceptable-to-all rules of inter-personal conduct of their own devising originating in and over-riding evolutionarily lower instinctive parts of the brain, the limbic system shared with the simpler life-forms; subsceptibility to these externally socially-hierarchically imposed systems and beliefs also tends towards autonomic divide and rule and fratricide needs only the slightest trigger or push by the criminal and calculating to set it in motion. This widespread affliction this Religion Bug in human-beings, this flaw in the common mold seems incurable except by isolating them and allowing them, without harm to those already cured and the wider world watching in amazement, to battle it out amongst themselves till they all fall down and in time are out-evolved.

    • giyane

      Tony M

      You mention a few dictators who emptied their prisons, but you don’t mention the dictators who govern us who give a joy-rider who kills a pedestrian at speed , in effect, a 3 years sentence. The message the UK dictators send out to the populace is that the religious tenet that life is sacred no longer exists, etc etc for rapists, muggers, scooter terrorists. It’s only your life, your personal self-respect or your property you are losing.
      Things do evolve. A banana skin evolves into brown sludge in about a month.

      • MJ

        One of the best things about shariah law is that the victim (or victim’s next of kin) chooses the most appropriate punishment from those offered by the court .

    • Dungroanin

      The religious hierarchies of the world are to human spirituality – the god shaped hole we are all born with – as the MIC is to defence of ones own home and neighbours by marauders, slavers and barbarians.

      Secular shouldn’t mean none spiritual.
      All religious control, as a pillar of state, bastardises the common evolved spiritualness of all humans. A means of making sense of what is not yet understood.

      They are probably working in some isolated parts of the US on ‘evolving’ pure non-spiritual psychopaths, so that they can be test-tubbed, rather then recruited and nurtured to turn others and themselves into mincemeat, in exchange for some mental high.

      Child soldiers – we in the western world have the biggest supply of them – self recruited via the insanely violent computer gaming – they will happily develop their psychopathic skills and be selected to occupy the roles in this Pathocracy of which organised Religion is just another facet.

    • Molloy

      .

      Tony M. Prolixity?

      “Religion on its own is a pretty sad assortment of fairy-tales and supernatural nonsense appealing to the unintelligent or mentally and morally deficient, unable to formulate and adhere to acceptable-to-all rules of inter-personal conduct of their own devising ”

      ‘Religion’. Societal control/manipulation exercised by neo-feudal/moneyed power, directly and via so-called public institutions, over other less fortunate humankind (the majority).
      Also, reference ‘worthiness’; class; virtue-signalling; and ‘coat-tailing’/agreed joint enterprise?

      Compassion? Victim-blaming at all?

      .

  • Entropy Wins

    Raed Fares was a fully paid-up member of the US regime change team. He was described by the US State Department as a ‘moderate rebel’ and ‘a longtime friend of the State Department’. The term ‘moderate rebel’ is a propagandist construct to make the unspeakable seem reasonable. The notorious al Zinki group – who decapitated an ill Syrian boy, with drip feed still in has arm, on video – were also a ‘moderate rebel’ group.

    Walid Retweeted
    @walid970721

    There it is from the horse’s mouth.
    Heather Nauert: “He was also a longtime friend of the state department.”
    (link: https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1066098293447495680) twitter.com/statedeptspox/… #RaedFares #Syria
    Quote Tweet
    Heather Nauert
    @statedeptspox
    We are saddened by the murder of Raed Fares in Idlib. He was a courageous activist for peace & a better future for Syrian people. He was also a longtime friend of @statedept Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family & the family of Hamud Junaid.

    • Dungroanin

      It is impossible that anyone within that war zone was there without permission or direction of the banker overlords proxy forces.

      As that war us lost there are a lot of the proxies with plenty of knowledge of their funders, trainers and controllers.

      There is plenty of tidying up going on, in an attempt to destroy the inconvinient truthand proof ever coming out.

      There are mass murders of fighters promised everything and who are now abandoned with promises of support by their western financiers.

      These who are unthinking are moved to fight the Russians and Chinese directly at their own borders or to provide cover in Africa for the mercenary rape and ripoff the resources.

      This can only be stopped by electing a genuine and honest politicians telling us the truth – knowing that ‘national interests’ will be damaged by stopping the imperialism.
      The establishment will do anything, ANYTHING, including killing your children in front of your eyes if you dare consider such an option. They are rich you are poir, they are powerful and violent, you have just your words and your body on the streets.

      Revolution against the evil fuckers is the only way – and this time off with all their heads! Otherwise they will comeback within a hundred years, as the French are seeing again.

  • Steve Hayes

    Craig You sound like you think this sociopathic behaviour is something of recent origin. It isn’t. The so called liberal democracies of the west, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, have been supporting the jihadists for decades. Carter’s National Security Adviser came up with the idea of supporting the jihadists in Afghanistan back in 1979 in order to create regime change and fatally weaken the Soviet Union. The ruling elites of these countries have a long and consistent history of supporting jihadists, fascists and sundry dictators. They poured money into the Ukraine, supporting the Stepan Bandera idolising neo-Nazis in order to overthrow the democratically elected government and when the violent coup d’etat was successful, they fully supported it in waging war on the people in the east of the country. Just weeks ago, the government of this country imported a bunch of jihadists known as the White Helmets. The Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a jihadi organisation that the government supported as part of its plan to reduce Africa’s most highly developed country back to the Middle Ages. This isn’t a time for reflection. It has long been obvious to anyone paying attention that the ruling elite are a bunch of sociopaths who should not be trusted to be in charge of anyone or anything.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Going back further, the forerunner of MI6 took control of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s and set about using them in much the same manner as Western “intelligence” agencies use Islamists today,

  • John2o2o

    “Western foreign policy in the Middle East has long been both illegal and morally indefensible; it has now also become extremely stupid.”

    I agree.

    And the top-brass nutjobs in the UK military are now telling us that Russia is the biggest threat. I can’t get my head around this. How can they be so stupid?

    The British people are in my view being endangered by this paranoid, self serving elite. Russia is not threatening us, and would probably prefer trade to war, so why do we keep on provoking her?

    • Paul Greenwood

      And the top-brass nutjobs in the UK military are now telling us that Russia is the biggest threat. I can’t get my head around this. How can they be so stupid?

      It is getting very close to Christmas and Santa needs to fill their sack with new toys. After Dannat blew a fortune on FRES and the Navy got its flat tops, Dreadnought Class subs, and F-35s ………and RAF got F-35s……….so the poor Army wants some hardware

  • TFS

    Its funny you mention the Regime of Netanyahu.

    It seems to me that a certain part of the Israeli regime has polticized and hoodwinked the term Anti-Semite. It used to be that Anti-Semites were people who hated the Jews. Jeremy Corbyn is well aware of the second, politicised version, where Anti-Semities are people certain Jewish people hate.

    Maybe calling Nethanyahui an Anti-Semitites is more appropriate:
    a) His hates all Jewish people not singing from his hymn sheet; are there are many. not singing from it.
    b) His hates Arabs. Given the Websters dictionary on a Semite as someone who is also an Arab, the description would fit Netanyahu most aptly.

    Anyways, if some of you haven’t noticed, him, may I suggest Shlomo Sand. Check out his youtube videos. You’ll be amazed to here his take on Israel and being Jewish (or not).

    Last JFK had reappeared in various parts of the media:

    There are those that prerfer the GovernmentsCase, and those that don’t. Either way, this is appropriate before moving in either direction.

    Fact: Back and to the left.
    Question: Please supply firstly as an hypothisis (using science) on the machanism that produced the above fact from a bullet from the TSBD. Then support you hypothisis replicating in real life the effect, making sure others can reproduce the effect using your methods.

  • Merkin Scot

    The government in this country is using hunger as a punishment. No surprise that they support the same policy in Yemen.

  • No More Craig

    Roland Dumas, lawyer, former French Minister of Foreign Relations and former French Minister of Foreign Affairs:

    “I was in London for business. Syria was not yet on the international scene, I was there for banal business, and the people I was dealing with, who were authentic English, one day asked me if I would agree to meet Syrians. I found the question a bit unusual and wanted to know more. I asked them who these Syrians were. It was then that they revealed to me without any precautions that an action was being prepared in Syria, from England, with Syrians and other people from the Middle East and that it was aimed at overthrowing the regime, that once and for all the revolution was going to exist, which would be very strong, which would attack the government of Bachar al-Assad, and that it would start in the following months. Then a few months passed, I went back to France and saw things happen as I had been told.

    I thought to myself, and I repeated and published things about it: it’s not the first time things are starting from England. The British have been working for the Americans for a long time now, you know I was not born yesterday. I have already followed the first revolutions in the Arab world very closely, and in particular one of the first revolutions I followed very closely was in Iran, at the time of Mossadegh. I remember very well that the English were the spearhead for the Americans who intervened afterwards, at the end. All this to reassure me in my analysis, that things were starting from the Anglo-Saxon world. This is what happened afterwards. Other elements were added to this, in particular the Arab countries, but the objective was to start from a small group, they had organized everything, including the replacement of the president: there was the replacement of Bachar al-Assad in the meeting, I did not mention him. He was an old general. He may not have kept this function, but he was presented as the successor to Bashar al-Assad. So it started from that moment, about 6 months before the outbreak of hostilities.”

  • Jack

    Strange, when rebels now apparently use chemical weapons in Syria, the media nor the western military pound them with condemnations/missiles! These people are sick.

    • Borncynical

      It was just the same, and still is, when terrorists fire rockets into residential areas of Damascus killing and injuring children in schools and innocent civilians in their homes and workplaces, they get no mention in the West.

  • Deb O'Nair

    “Trump/MBS/Netanyahu is the real axis of evil today”

    Before Trump was on the scene the Tories were directly supporting the mess in Syria and the Tories have supported the Saudis since they began their destruction of Yemen, which was before MBS became crown prince.

  • No More Craig

    The mass media have their “moderate” rebels, Craig Murray has his “secular” “democratic” ones.

    Craig should read Stephen Gowans’ book “Washington’s Long War on Syria”.

  • Sharp Ears

    Coming up on BBC2 at 7pm.

    Mrs May and Mr Williamson would be pleased if you watch so that you can see how £6billion and counting was spent.

    Crewing Up

    Britain’s Biggest WarshipSeries 1 Episode 1 of 3

    It is early 2016 and sailors begin to arrive at Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth is still under construction. Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 sailors assemble to take up their posts on the biggest warship constructed for the Royal Navy. Their mission? To take the prototype warship to sea for the first time on dangerous make-or-break sea trials in the North Sea.

    Before sailing, the crew have to undergo rigorous fire and flood training, but suddenly they are faced with the real thing. Has the training paid off? And how will they get the supercarrier out of the dockyard sea gate with only a few centimetres clearance either side? They will also have to sail her under the Forth road and rail bridges – no easy task when HMS Queen Elizabeth is taller than both.

    With unprecedented access, this series – three years in the making – tells the behind-the-scenes story of what makes HMS Queen Elizabeth so unique and how her crew are working together to breathe life into Britain’s biggest warship.

    59 minutes

1 2 3

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